Goodbye, NRT. Hello, Realogy Brokerage Group

Alphabet-soup names were holdover from 1990s

Feb.February 24, 2020 12:00 PM
From left: Ryan Schneider, Ryan Gorman, Philip White, and Pam Liebman

From left: Ryan Schneider, Ryan Gorman, Philip White, and Pam Liebman

Realogy is saying goodbye to its alphabet soup of names.

Amid a company-wide consolidation, the real estate brokerage giant is renaming NRT, the business unit that includes Corcoran Group, Sotheby’s International Realty and Coldwell Banker. The new name will be Realogy Brokerage Group.

Realogy will also rename TRG, its title insurance business, which will now be known as Realogy Title Group. It will not rename its franchise division, which is already called Realogy Franchise Group, or RFG.

The changes, which won’t affect the way the company does business, were disclosed Monday by Ryan Gorman, NRT’s president and CEO, in an email to agents viewed by The Real Deal.

“We are continuously looking for ways to simplify our business and how we communicate the services we offer,” Gorman wrote in the email. He said the renaming is part of an “effort to create consistency across business units” and will allow the company to “streamline our naming conventions to showcase a singular, strong brand.”

The NRT name dates back to the 1990s, when Realogy predecessor Cendant purchased Coldwell Banker. (In 2005, Cendant spun off its real estate holdings, which by then included the Corcoran Group.)

In a statement, Realogy stressed the new names will not change anything related to the operation of individual brands, other than how the companies appear on rankings. But CEO Ryan Schneider said the simpler names do reflect Realogy’s attempt to transform itself from a holding company to an “operator of leading residential real estate brands.”

NRT was the No. 1 brokerage in the U.S. with $176.4 billion in 2018 sales, according to data firm Real Trends. Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America was No. 2 with $135.9 billion, followed by Compass at No. 3 with $45.5 billion.

Since being named CEO of Realogy in 2017, Schneider has worked to streamline the $6.1 billion company, amid heightened competition in the industry and pressure on profit margins. He’s also steered the company through a stock market reckoning after shares plunged to just $4.78 per share in April 2019 after trading at $32.87 per share in October 2017. On Monday, shares opened at $12.61 per share.

Early last year, Realogy announced it would trim $70 million from its 2019 expenses. It has since closed some Coldwell Banker offices, and in November it said it planned to sell Cartus, its relocation business for $400 million to help pay off some $3.5 billion in debt. Last month, Realogy also announced plans to close Climb, a San Francisco brokerage it purchased in 2016, and consolidate it into Coldwell Banker. Also last month, the Corcoran Group announced a merger with Citi Habitats, although company officials said the move was not a cost-cutting measure.

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