O'Conor heads new NRT unit Pardoe purchase opens new doors

Real estate

December 12, 1998|By Robert Nusgart | Robert Nusgart,SUN STAFF

With a new foothold in Washington and with an eye to the north for further expansion, NRT Inc. has formed NRT Mid-Atlantic to be headed by James P. O'Conor, president and chief executive officer of NRT's O'Conor, Piper & Flynn ERA.

Yesterday's announcement comes just two days after NRT acquired Georgetown-based Pardoe Real Estate and its affiliate, Pardoe & Graham.

The two firms, with 550 associates, cater to the luxury home market, and their nine offices are located in some of the Washington area's most exclusive locations, including Potomac, Md., and McLean, Va. Like OPF, the Pardoe group will be placed under the ERA brand name.

In two years, through numerous acquisitions, NRT has become the nation's largest real estate company. The Parsippany, N.J.-based company, which boasts 700 offices nationwide, also sells under the Century 21 and Coldwell Banker brands. It is a joint venture between Cendant Corp. and Apollo Management LP.

The purchase of Pardoe Real Estate not only places NRT in another major market, but also gives O'Conor, Piper & Flynn ERA the beginning of a presence in the Washington suburbs -- something it had been thinking about since being acquired by NRT in February.

"What we've developed with NRT is a mid-Atlantic entity that is now embarking on this expansion in the total mid-Atlantic area," O'Conor said yesterday.

"There is a direct link [with the Washington market]. The link is that we are going to be intimately involved with that operation.

"So under this new company that we now have formed our companies in Washington are going to trade as Pardoe and Pardoe & Graham, and in Baltimore as O'Conor, Piper & Flynn ERA, and as there are additional further expansions -- which will be coming along very shortly -- they will come under this umbrella."

That expansion may come in the Wilmington, Del., or Philadelphia areas, where NRT Inc., has yet to form a presence.

The management team at the Pardoe Group will remain intact, but the two companies -- although separate -- will share services as well as technology, training and accounting.

"I'm here and our center is here to assist them to develop together -- them and us -- the synergies between us," O'Conor said.

"This is going to be the opportunity for them over there in Washington and us over here to exchange with each other and to do things together," he said. "Ultimately, there will be an opportunity for an OPF agent to go over and use the offices over there. That may be one of the early-on things that we will develop."

The formation of NRT Mid-Atlantic didn't surprise Laurie Moore-Moore, co-editor of Real Trends, an industry newsletter.

"This is just the start of an effort to really grow that region," Moore-Moore said of NRT's strategy.

It also makes a more formidable competitor to Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., and Weichart Realtors, two independent brokerages that dominated the Washington market.

"What has happened is that they now have a competitor by the form of Pardoe that now has some new resources, and I would think that would make them a stronger competitor than they have been in the past," Moore-Moore said.

"But you look at market share and it is a long way to go before you catch up with Long & Foster or Weichart."

Pub Date: 12/12/98

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