Earlier this month, sophisticated cyber intruders accessed the data of 16.6 million customers at LoanDepot, a top-15 mortgage lender. The ransomware attack, one of the largest in the industry’s recent history, not only compromised the sensitive personal information and financial data of homebuyers—it underscores just how unprepared many major real estate players are to defend themselves against advanced AI-driven scams, hack attempts, and fraudulent impersonations.
As buying and selling activity accelerates this spring—and fraud surges in lock-step—agents and brokerages are encouraged to watch out for “phishy” activity, like sight-unseen purchases, unusual payment methods, and suspicious listings.
🔊Today’s Top Podcast Rec:
Three major shifts are shaping January’s housing market: A double-digit boom in mortgage demand, NAR leadership changes, and growing interest in all things East Coast. Watch Scott break down the trends you need to know, in the latest episode of Real Estate Report.
TRACK THE TRENDS
One down, one to go…
In the ongoing legal battle over agent commissions, the Real Estate Board of New York notched a rare win. On Monday, one of two pending lawsuits against REBNY, Douglas Elliman, The Agency, Christie’s International Real Estate, Compass, and other brokerages was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff, Richard Friedman. Friedman’s case, which was first filed in December, centered on the sale of his Park Slope property in May 2021—a sale he alleged unfairly inflated broker commissions.
The case’s dismissal, plus REBNY’s recent rule change that prevents listing agents from paying or offering to pay buyers’ agents compensation, are likely to play into the court’s decision on the remaining commission inflation lawsuit against REBNY and over two dozen other brokerages.
The Friday Five
📖 Managing expectations. How to explain the market to your clients—without scaring them off.
👀 Barbie world. This pink dreamhouse gives Florida vibes on the coast of Indiana.
👀 AI Art. Celebrity homes, as imagined by unhinged AI.
💡Red flag. Watch out for the home inspector scam that nearly derailed Glennda’s sale.
💡Obsolete agents? Ricky Carruth on describing your value as a real estate pro.
WHAT’S NEW FROM ESTATE MEDIA
The daring duo is back!
When Josh Flagg and Amanda McCants team up to co-list luxury, anything can happen (and probably will). ICYMI, check out Part 1 of How NOT to Show a House here—then tap the video below for more comedic comments and downright deal-killers.
FEATURED LUXURY LISTING
Lavish Log Cabin
Lake living has never looked so luxe. Today’s featured listing, a rustic modern masterpiece in the aptly named town of Log Cabin, Texas, welcomes you home with over 8,000 square feet of elegant design, high-energy activities, and entertainment spaces. From the wall-to-wall windows that look towards Cedar Creek Lake, to the comfortable bunk rooms fit for a weekend away, this new construction is a listing not to be missed.
Our full lineup of real estate reads:
Estate Elegance. Your daily dive into luxury real estate. Everyday.
Homes.tastrophes. Unique, weird, and wild real estate. Every Monday
The Glennda Gazette. Real estate, real life, in real time. Every Wednesday.
WAS the Newsletter. Explore interior design advice and inspiration. Every Friday.
Before we go…
ESTATE RECOMMENDED RESOURCES
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