Corcoran says “criminal” hackers leaked agent splits

Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman and president of sales Bill Cunningham 

Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman and president of sales Bill Cunningham

The Corcoran Group said it was hacked Friday after a stunning email containing agent splits, marketing budgets and gross commission income was sent to the entire company.

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.

“It’s the most privileged information at a real estate company” aside from client information, said an industry source. “Yikes,” said another.

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.

“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 in a statement to The Real Deal.

Although sources within the firm initially said the documents were doctored, at least one agent who spoke on the condition of anonymity told TRD their numbers were “100 percent correct.”

Some Corcoran agents speculated foul play at the hands of a rival. “I will never EVER work for a company that engages in corporate cyberwarfare,” one agent posted on Instagram, along with the hashtag “#dontbotherrecruitingme.” The agent later removed the post.

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 split their commission 70-30 with their brokerages— that is the split that the Eklund-Gomes Team has with Douglas Elliman, for example.

Agents in markets outside New York can command higher splits; in Los Angeles, north of 80 percent is not uncommon.

But rising commission costs have put pressure on brokerages. Over the past year, New York City’s top residential firms have tightened their clawback policies, which allows them recoup marketing dollars or salaries if an agent leaves the firm. (In April, Corcoran demanded a half-dozen Brooklyn agents to pay back between $20,000 and $100,000 in commission and marketing expenses.)

Meanwhile, 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.

Carl Icahn is moving his firm from NY to Miami, Michael Shvo’s hotel plan could cost him $500M: Daily digest

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Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn’s decision to relocate his firm from N.Y. to Miami could be SALT-related. The billionaire investor and noted corporate raider is planning to move his investment firm from New York City to Miami, and the SALT tax deduction could be the reason. [TRD]

Michael Shvo’s South Beach hotel plan could cost him $500 million. Between buying the Raleigh Hotel, pending deals to purchase two neighboring boutique hotels and proposing a new residential tower, Michael Shvo and his partners are already looking at a $250 million investment — and that amount could double. [TRD]

From left: Francis Suarez, Jorge Mas, and David Beckham, with a rendering of the Miami soccer stadium

From left: Francis Suarez, Jorge Mas, and David Beckham, with a rendering of the Miami soccer stadium

Miami officials want a contract for thee David Beckham-led group’s stadium deal by October. The Miami City Commission is seeking to vote on contract by the development group for the $1 billion stadium complex on either Oct. 24 or Oct. 31. [TRD]

A parcel bordering the $4 billion Miami Worldcenter megaproject just hit the market. The 24,000-square-foot development site known as World Center Link is at 33-55 Northeast 6th Street. Colliers International South Florida’s Mika Mattingly, Jack Lowell and Cecilia Estevez are the listing agents. [TRD]

Rating agencies have had doubts about WeWork for years. In an analysis of two dozen CMBS ratings reports for properties across the country, TRD found that those rating agencies have increasingly viewed WeWork, and co-working tenants in general, as a negative in their risk assessments. Meanwhile, landlords largely continued to focus on the company’s positives in public statements. [TRD]

One in four condos in New York City are sitting vacant, according to a new report. The study found that of the 16,200 units completed in New York City since 2013, around 4,100 are still on the market. It’s pushed developers to lower prices and offer concessions. And practices from previous real estate cycles are resurfacing, like the bulk sale of unsold units to investors, converting condos into rentals and more. [NYT]

CBRE group subsidiary Hana has opened three co-working locations in London. The locations will host 500 CBRE employees. Hana will partner with Nuveen Real Estate at one flexible working location, LGIM Real Assets at another and Oxford Properties at their third location. [Press release]

Bill Cunningham and Julian Johnston with the Miami Beach skyline (Credit: iStock)

Bill Cunningham and Julian Johnston with the Miami Beach skyline (Credit: iStock)

Top Miami Beach broker joins Corcoran Group. The Corcoran Group is officially in the Miami market, and it’s hiring a top Miami Beach broker, Julian Johnston. Johnston, who had been in talks with the brokerage for months, was previously working for himself as broker and owner of Calibre International Realty. [TRD]

Terranova scores first approval for 7-story hotel on Miracle Mile. The Coral Gables Planning and Zoning Department gave initial approval for Terranova Corp.’s plans to build a 120-room hotel on Coral Gables’s Miracle Mile, according to the Miami Herald. [Miami Herald]

We Company plans to list shares on Nasdaq. WeWork’s parent company is planning to list its shares on Nasdaq, while also announcing changes to its governance structure that would restrict We Co-founder and Chief Executive Adam Neumann’s voting power. [WSJ]

Compiled by Keith Larsen

PHOTOS: On the scene at Delray Beach home tour

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The Corcoran Group sponsored a home tour of Delray Beach earlier this month.
Corcoran sponsored one of the eight homes on the tour, which benefitted the Achievement Centers for Children and Families. The event took guests into a series of Delray Beach homes and included lunch at the Delray Playhouse.
Agents Gay Bridges, Laura Rodriguez, Susan Long, Jennifer Kilpatrick, Timothy Mandala, Ryan Fulton, Phil Friis, Nolan Pierami, Laurie Dietz, Adrienne Cera, Anne Bennett and John Phanco are all involved in the home tour, according to a press release.
Delray Beach has seen a number of new developments, including hotels and restaurants. Downtown Delray Beach in particular has morphed from blighted slum to night-life hot spot in the last 30 years, but city leaders are still tweaking their formula for success. – Katherine Kallergis and Sean Stewart-Muniz

Source: The Real Deal Miami