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Power brokers talk real estate trends

Online business strategies, agent retention, antitrust top discussion

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SAN FRANCISCO – Money draws attention, and that might be what's motivating a recent round of federal actions relating to antitrust allegations in the real estate industry, said Alex Perriello, president and CEO for Cendant Real Estate Franchise Group, one of the largest real estate franchise operations in the nation. "I keep thinking of the phrase, 'Follow the money.' What do they have to gain by attacking us? I believe that a lot of this is about the banks," he said. Perriello was referring to recent investigations into competitiveness in the real estate industry. He noted that U.S. Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, who in March requested an investigation of industry competition, is also chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services. That committee figures prominently in the debate over the entry of federally regulated banks into the real estate industry, which the National Association of Realtors has aggressively fought against for the past several years. Perriello, who spoke...