By: David Zelbrand
The Corcoran Group is claiming that someone broke into its computer system last week and released an email that included agents’ splits, marketing budgets and gross commission income. The email was reportedly distributed across the firm.
“Sources said the email came from Bill Cunningham, Corcoran’s president of sales. It landed in inboxes in mid-afternoon before being quickly retracted — but not before news of the breach ricocheted through the industry,” according to therealdeal.com.
Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman “reassured agents in an email late Friday that the alleged hack appeared to be isolated to a single email account, and that no customer data was involved. The firm plans to investigate the incident as criminal activity,” according totherealdeal.com. “This afternoon, 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,” the firm said in a statement to The Real Deal.
“In an ultra-competitive market, splits have become ammunition for firms battling over top producers. Agents are known to shop around offers to negotiate better deals — especially as Compass has upped the ante by offering fat checks and bonuses to agents in New York and other markets. According to industry sources, it’s standard for top producing agents to split their commission 70-30 with their brokerages— that is the split that the Eklund-Gomes Team has with Douglas Elliman, for example,” therealdeal.com added. “Agents in markets outside New York can command higher splits; in Los Angeles, north of 80 percent is not uncommon.”
The firm’s vulnerability is far from rare, as hackers gain ground across America. “You could call it a hacker gold rush. Maybe the tail end of it; maybe not. For a diverse range of tinkering hacker entrepreneurs eager to sift through mounds of code in search of potentially lucrative software vulnerabilities, bug bounties present a Wild West of opportunity,” reported the-parallax.comrecently. “Well, maybe not so wild anymore. While the prospects of striking it rich have long convinced fresh-faced hackers to dive into bug bounties like an all-consuming startup, they also serve as a suitable side hustle for hunters like Jesse Kinser, who already juggles a full-time cybersecurity job and motherhood.”
“Meanwhile,” added TRD, “Corcoran’s parent company, Realogy, has been embroiled in a nasty legal battle with Compass, which it accused of “predatory” poaching and illegal business practices in a July lawsuit. Most recently, Compass accused Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider of attempting to sell the company or form a joint venture — a claim Realogy vehemently denied.”