NRT is the #1 residential real estate brokerage company in the US. It holds and operates the company-owned brokerage businesses of parent Realogy Corporation, which also owns such brand names as Coldwell Banker, Sotheby's International Realty, ERA, and Corcoran Group. NRT provides commercial and investment property services through Coldwell Banker Commercial; group affiliates offer title, warranty, mortgage, and other support services. The group operates some 750 offices in more than 35 major metropolitan areas throughout the US. Real estate franchisor Cendant (now Avis Budget Group) established the company as National Realty Trust in 1996. In 2012 Realogy parent Domus filed to take itself public.
Domus hopes to raise up to $1 billion in its initial public offering; it plans to use the proceeds to help pay down its approximately $7 billion in debt.
NRT's strategy to stay on top is to buy local and regional brokerage firms and repackage them under one of its own brands. Since its beginning, NRT has made more than 300 such purchases throughout the country. In 2011 it bought four brokerages, including Connecticut-based Prestige Properties and Philadelphia's Baird & Bird. The previous year brought five acquisitions including Coldwell Banker Preferred in Philadelphia and Cashin Company Realtors, one of San Francisco's largest brokerage companies. NRT continued its growth strategy in early 2012 when it bought Chicago's Keller Williams Gold Coast.
Among NRT's most significant transactions were the acquisitions of Southern California's Jon Douglas Company for $10.5 billion (1997), The DeWolfe Companies in New England for $6.6 billion (2002), and Florida developer St. Joe Company's brokerage business Arvida Realty Services for $7.7 billion (also 2002).
NRT was originally formed to own approximately 400 real estate offices that came with the purchase of Coldwell Banker. In 2006 Cendant split its various lines of business into four public companies; NRT became part of the real estate arm.