It's mostly about technology. But it's also about online leads, listings and money. Those are the first conclusions that can be drawn from Prudential Real Estate Affiliate's acquisition of eRealty, the Houston-headquartered online brokerage that practically invented the listings-rich virtual office Web site. ERealty was an attractive buy because it has "very good technology for the incubation of customers online," Prudential chief Earl Lee told Inman News today. Indeed, it would be odd to characterize the acquisition as an industry consolidation play, given that eRealty has only 160 sales agents spread among a dozen metropolitan markets. Rather, Lee's plan is to take eRealty's technology nationwide and thus enable Prudential's 46,000 real estate brokers and sales associates to take advantage of it. The goals are to improve those brokers' and associates' abilities to obtain business from the Internet, communicate with online prospects in their preferred way (i.e., through e-mail) ...
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