UPDATED Sept. 12, 12:40 p.m.: Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg, the star broker duo known as “The Jills,” have been removed from the Master Brokers Forum, a well-respected industry trade group in which Hertzberg had been a board member.
Their departure, which The Real Deal confirmed but has not yet been publicly announced, follows an acknowledgement by Eber and Hertzberg that an employee in their office had manipulated the Multiple Listings Service. Both are part of Coldwell Banker.
That came during trial testimony of former One Sotheby’s agent Kevin Tomlinson, who was convicted of extortion after he discovered the manipulation and demanded money from the duo in exchange for his silence. Tomlinson had discovered the Jills had manipulated data by hiding homes with listings older than six months. They acknowledged the manipulation but said they were unaware and blamed it on an employee.
Tomlinson was sentenced last month to probation and barred from the real estate industry.
Both Eber and Hertzberg were longtime members of the Master Brokers Forum, which is comprised of South Florida’s top real estate professionals. Membership is by invitation only and based on “outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior,” according to its website. Members include brokers such as Nelson Gonzalez, Alicia Cervera, Dora Puig, Nancy Batchelor and Ben Moss. Tomlinson is also still listed on the Master Brokers website.
Hertzberg disputes that she was removed from the organization and said through a spokesperson that she “recently decided to resign.”
According to a statement from an executive board member obtained by The Real Deal, The Jills are no longer members of the organization.
“In response to the various remarks that were made a few days ago, the MBF board worked long and hard to make sure that this issue was handled professionally, and according to appropriate protocol,” the statement reads.
A spokesperson for the Master Brokers Forum declined to comment.