Leisa Aras, a Real Estate agent with Keller Williams NYC, used to jump from site to site to search comps on properties in the highly competitive New York City market. Now she turns to Blocksy.com.
“While some sites have removed important information like price-per-square-foot and days on market or market history, Blocksy has maintained the integrity and transparency of that database, helping me give my clients up-to-date and truly informed accurate reports and data,” she said. “It is as close to a true MLS that Manhattan has. And that alone is worth its weight in gold.”
Billing itself as the most comprehensive database of Real Estate listings in New York, Blocksy.com features hourly updates to the tens of thousands of sales and rental listings for the city’s five boroughs. And that time can be critical in a housing environment with the tightest vacancy rates in more than a decade.
Blocksy’s micro-neighborhood data will show you, for example, that a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Manhattan is selling for an average price of $1,115 per square foot, or, at an average size of 1,059 square feet, just over $1 million. Or that a one-bedroom in Inwood on the northernmost section of Manhattan Island will set you back a mere $364 per square foot, while you’ll pay an average of nearly six times that – $2,096 a square foot – about 11 miles away in Manhattan’s Union Square.
Others have tried to take the headache out of navigating this market, including Zillow’s Streeteasy.com. Even so, Blocksy founder Jason White, an entrepreneur for more than 20 years, saw opportunity in creating a more user-friendly portal for both agents and their prospective clients, and he has been working hard to earn their respect since founding the site in 2011.
“I have had a lot of experience looking for homes here. It’s a difficult process,” said White, who is originally from Canada but has lived in New York City for more than a decade. “I assumed that everything that can be done had been done, and I realized it hadn’t.”
Many of the New York City Real Estate websites were disorganized, he said, cluttered with display advertising and annoying lead-generation practices – in short, they were “where telephones were before iPhones came along.” On a shoestring budget, he and his team have built relationships with every Real Estate agency in the city, as well as create unique features that have brought more than 1 million users to the site to date.
Among the most popular is Blocksy Tours, where a customized property list can easily be created by an agent around a particular interest, such as “Best apartments for foodies for under $1 million,” and then shared through e-mail or social media. Condos, co-ops, townhouses, apartment rentals – even properties that have dropped in price recently – are sliced and diced for a multitude of browsing preferences. Want a doorman? How about a gym? Blocksy has a search for that.
Agents can also claim, share or submit listings, get leads on property inquiries, and use Blocksy’s analytics to see what’s hot in the market. The best part – it’s all free, apart from a premium use feature that runs $15 a month for access to more timely or exclusive listings.
In September, Blocksy launched a redesigned website, which White describes as the “absence of clutter,” and there are plans to roll out additional features in the months to come.
“We are empowering everybody involved in the Real Estate process,” White said. “We have lofty ambitions and a long product roadmap with specific features that are absolutely game-changing.”