A single event can spark an insight into where we have been or where we are going. The news that Prudential is purchasing eRealty did that for us. For one, a traditional off-line franchise acquiring a pure Internet-inspired company shows convincingly that the marriage of bricks and clicks is real, necessary and inevitable. Prudential acquires the innovation, technology and risk-taking of an online company, and eRealty gets the depth, judgment and experience of a traditional real estate company. Of course, this deal may just be a case of one real estate company buying another–an example of consolidation, albeit on a small scale, in the industry: HomeServices buys this, Cendant buys that, Diller grabs LendingTree, Tree nabs Realestate.com and Domania tags along. The acquisition ...
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