BrokerageIndustry News

Should brokers take a ‘VOW’ of privacy?

From The Real Deal

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Editor's note: This article is reposted with permission by The Real Deal. Click here to view the original article. By AMY TENNERY NEW YORK CITY -- While it's true that most brokers can't read minds, with a VOW they can come pretty close. Real estate pros say that VOWs, also known as "Virtual Office Web sites," can give agents a backstage pass to their clients' predilections. VOWs allow buyers to view an agent's listings -- and those belonging to other brokerages -- all on the same Web page. But VOWs present serious invasion of privacy issues and as a result can be a real turn-off to homebuyers, critics say. VOWs can track your buying behaviors. For example, if a buyer tells a broker that she has a budget of $1.2 million, but the broker sees the buyer checking out $1.5 million listings on the company's VOW, the broker could potentially push the buyer to make a larger purchase than she had talked about. New York City companies that have recently announ...