A Corcoran employee’s email was allegedly hacked Friday, resulting in the companywide distribution of internal company information.
The breach was first reported by The Real Deal, which reported that agent splits and commissions were among the data shared to the entire company. A Corcoran spokesperson told Inman that no consumer data was shared.
“During the afternoon of Friday, September 13, 2019, we determined a Corcoran employee’s email account was compromised and three emails containing inaccurate and misleading Corcoran information were distributed within Corcoran in a deliberate attempt to distract employees and agents, disrupt business and cause damage to Corcoran,” a spokesperson for Corcoran told Inman in a statement.
“Based on our preliminary analysis, we believe the incident is isolated to a single email account and no customer data was involved,” the statement continued. “We will be investigating the incident as criminal activity and will prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”
Inman asked the company spokesperson if Corcoran contests that all of the information was inaccurate or if just part of it was inaccurate. Corcoran declined to comment further, citing a pending investigation.
An industry source told Inman the leaking of information would disadvantageous situation for Corcoran.
“The data is proprietary and clearly creates a disadvantageous situation for [The Corcoran Group] if colleagues and competitors can see what all the agent deals are,” the source said. “The big question is who would do such a thing? An angry former employee who retained some access and has extremely strong computer skills? A competitor looking for a leg up?”
The source also said the leak highlights the current hyper-competitive state of the industry.
“More than anything the breach just clarifies the heightened need for cybersecurity and the depressing fact that the fundamental decency which was a hallmark of our industry heretofore has been reduced to tatters in this hyper-competitive environment,” the source added.
Realogy, the parent company of Corcoran, has consciously worked on alleviating some of the upward pressure on commission splits, by standardizing commissions across all markets in which it operates. In the second quarter of 2019, the company reported a “continued moderation in commission split pressure, up only 21 basis points year-over-year.”
In the second quarter of 2019, Realogy reported a $955 million cost in agent commission and agent-related expenses, down from $1 billion year-over-year.
A rise in commission splits is also one of the issues at the center of the lawsuit Realogy filed against competitor Compass, earlier this year. In the lawsuit, Realogy points to what it says are compensation packages to competitor’s employees and agents that are so inflated that Compass is sure to operate at a loss.
Realogy, in the complaint, also alleges that it believes once Compass achieves sufficiently dominant market share it will raise commission splits and fees in favor of the company, as well as restrain trade by collusive actions.
Compass recently fired back in an explosive motion to dismiss, alleging that Realogy explored a sale to Compass, which Realogy has since denied.