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....
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