History may remember eRealty as the father of the virtual office Web site, although others may claim to have actually invented the VOW. Either way, the online brokerage's MLS-on-the-Web technology now belongs to Prudential Real Estate Affiliates. Pru's bold acquisition puts some sophisticated dot-com stuff in the hands of a major traditional brokerage company. Prudential plans to use eRealty's technology to turn the Prudential.com Web site into a national VOW that will generate leads for Prudential brokers at the cost of a referral fee paid to the franchisor. The success of this strategy will depend in part on the extent to which local MLSs implement the local-level VOW technology. The VOW approach will enable Prudential.com to include the entire MLS, not just Prudential's own listings. Yet Lee said he doesn't intend to use Prudential's power to force MLSs to comply with the National Association of Realtors' VOW mandates and policies. That means the Prudential.com VOW will contain ...
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