Taking a lead from their friends in the United States, real estate professionals in Israel are launching a nationwide multiple listing system (MLS).
Jerusalem-based real estate broker Assaf Epstein has announced the creation of the Israeli MLS, during a recent Zoom meetup with REALTORS® and affiliates of the Staten Island Board of Realtors® (SIBOR), as well as REALTORS®from across the United States. The initiative is groundbreaking in Israel, where a much-needed organized data-sharing system was lacking, Epstein stated.
Epstein, owner of the NADLAN 2000 brokerage firm in Jerusalem, is chairman of the Chamber of Real Estate Brokers Jerusalem and vice-chairman of the Chamber of Real Estate Brokers Israel.
The announcement was made Nov. 30 during a combined virtual and in-person business conference organized by SIBOR, which has been the National Association of REALTORS® Ambassador Association to Israel since 2012.
“The United States is one of the very few countries operating with regional multiple listing services,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR and the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service. “The MLS in our nation provides the bedrock of information people depend on when buying and selling real estate. It creates orderly and efficient markets throughout the country. We’re honored to have been involved in helping our friends in Israel learn about the value of the MLS.”
The Israeli MLS initiative began in 2019 when American Homes Group broker/owner Ron Molcho and a group of his fellow SIBOR representatives participated in a trade mission to Israel to discuss the positive aspects of organized real estate in the United States and the benefits an MLS could provide in Israel.
“We were very instrumental in encouraging this and moving it forward,” Molcho said. “We provided documentation, guidance and information with the goal of fostering a national association in Israel that upholds a code of ethics and employs data-sharing throughout the brokerage industry.”
During the meeting, Epstein thanked SIBOR for its help in creating an MLS in Israel. He also spoke about the challenges facing Israel’s real estate market, expressing concern and uncertainty. “Our market is almost in a freeze,” Epstein said, pointing to inflation, increasing interest rates and rising home prices, as root causes. “… We’re not sure where it’s going to in the near future.”
Epstein said international transactions have slowed, as well, with foreign buyers still purchasing real estate in Israel, “but not in the same proportion” as in the pre-COVID era.
As for Israeli investors buying globally, the United States remains their No.1 purchase destination, he said.
Among those in attendance at the Staten Island restaurant were a variety of SIBOR representatives and high-profile real estate professionals, such as: SIBOR CEO Krueger; Molcho, who facilitated the discussion; SIBOR 2023 President Roseann La Fata of RE/MAX Elite; SIBOR Global Business Council Chair Rocio Uchofen of Century 21 Papp Realty; Council Co-Chair Daniel G. Hall, senior global advisor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties, and Jeffrey Berman, associate broker with the same organization; Sari Kingsley, broker/owner of Sari Kingsley Real Estate, who helped initiate the SIBOR-Israel ambassador relationship in 2012, and Raj Rajpal, president of FIABCI-USA, the International Real Estate Federation, a leading real estate organization with chapters in over 70 countries.
For more information, visit the Staten Island Board of Realtors®.