Head of RLS Leaves After 1 Year

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
REBNY’s RLS chief bows out
John Canniffe oversaw crackdown on bad data

The RLS is running without a head.
John Canniffe, who joined the Real Estate Board of New York last year to run the residential listings service, has left the trade group for a new role, sources said.
Despite his relatively short tenure, Canniffe oversaw the RLS during an eventful few months in which the RLS suspended its days-on-market counter to help agents weather the shutdown of their businesses due to coronavirus.

As head of the RLS, he was also involved in efforts to clean up inaccurate data shared by the city’s residential brokerages. Starting Sept. 15, REBNY will begin issuing fines of up to $20,000 per sales listing and $3,200 per rental listing to agents who violate its policies, including Fair Housing Law violations.
Canniffe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prior to REBNY, he spent six years as a vice president of strategic initiatives at Realogy, the brokerage giant that owns the Corcoran Group, Coldwell Banker and Sotheby’s International Realty.
“We are grateful for the meaningful contributions John has made to the RLS and wish him success in his new venture,” Sandhya Espitia, REBNY’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

In June, REBNY laid off staff, slashed expenses by 15 percent and cut executives’ salaries amid a steep drop in membership dues.
The trade group collected $9.7 million in dues in 2018, according to its tax filing from that year. According to the filing, REBNY paid a dozen senior staffers salaries ranging from $143,500 to $587,651. In 2018, REBNY disclosed nearly $500,000 in expenses related to operating the RLS.

Syndicating the RLS has been a major focus at REBNY in recent years, amid tension between residential firms and StreetEasy. The Zillow-owned portal does not accept the RLS feed. StreetEasy recently stopped taking brokerage feeds, too, and now requires agents to manually enter listings.

Last year, Canniffe was involved in a decision last year to award venture-backed startup Perchwell a lucrative contract to power the RLS.
At the time, sources complained that the process lacked transparency. Stratus Data Systems, which previously operated RLS’ back-end system, sent cease-and-desist letters to both Perchwell and REBNY, suggesting the startup was piggybacking on its proprietary software and data.

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
REBNY taps Realtor.com exec to lead RLS
Ninve James replaces John Canniffe, who left last month

REBNY’s Residential Listing Service has a new chief.
Ninve James is joining the Real Estate Board of New York to lead the RLS, the trade association announced in a release.

James, a former vice president at Realtor.com where she managed the site’s New York City market strategy for five years, was also part of Trulia’s founding team. She replaces REBNY’s former RLS chief, John Canniffe, who departed last month after a one-year stint.

The RLS has about 17,000 active home listings at any given time and syndicates those listings to more than 90 consumer-facing partners that publish the listing data. In recent years, the RLS has been laboring to guarantee accurate data, announcing in July that starting next week it will begin levying fines for violations.

Last year, Perchwell was selected to operate the RLS system, replacing its previous operator Stratus Data Systems. The process of awarding the contract generated controversy among competing firms and had some critics decrying a lack of transparency.

James will be managing RLS operations and strategy, and working with REBNY’s residential board of directors and RLS board.
“I could not be more excited to welcome Ninve James to her role as head of the RLS,” said Clelia Peters of Warburg Realty, the co-chair of the RLS Board. “This is a pivotal moment for the RLS.”