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RISMEDIA, March 12, 2008-NRT LLC, one of the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerages, presented its inaugural Diversity Award to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Northern California for its popular Casa Coldwell Banker program that serves the growing Hispanic market. NRT recognized the Northern California company’s efforts during Coldwell Banker’s annual International Business Conference in Kissimmee, Fla. last month.

“Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has made a strong commitment to the Hispanic community with the Casa program,” said Judy Reeves, NRT’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The company’s ongoing support of diversity – both within the company and in the community – is exemplary and serves as a role model for all businesses.”

The company says that Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage launched its Casa Coldwell Banker initiative in 2007 to address the specialized needs of Spanish-speaking residents in the area. The program serves one of the region’s fastest-growing markets, where Latinos currently comprise 21% of the area population. The number is expected to grow sharply over the next decade.

In less than a year, the Casa program has gained national attention in the real estate industry, bolstered Coldwell Banker’s presence in the Hispanic community, and has attracted sales associates from other companies. From a standing start last year, the Casa program now has more than 250 participating agents in Northern California.

“We’re very proud of the national recognition we received for the Casa Coldwell Banker initiative,” said Larry Klapow, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the San Francisco Bay. “Our agents, managers and staff all believe deeply in supporting the many diverse communities here in our area and in making a real difference in the lives of our neighbors. The Casa program is a great example of that commitment.”

Among other things, the Casa initiative incorporates agent training and specialized continuing education, networking, translated marketing and communications materials, as well as other tools designed to assist sales associates in making the home buying and selling process simpler and more rewarding for Spanish-speaking customers.

In addition, agents who participate in the Casa program also have the opportunity to qualify for a “Casa Specialist” certification. The designation is awarded to those Spanish-speaking Coldwell Banker sales associates who complete a training program that includes a study of current and emerging market conditions, the mortgage industry, and marketing training.

NRT’s commitment to diversity reflects the belief that understanding the unique needs of niche markets is not only beneficial for the communities the company serves, it is also vital to the success of the real estate industry as a whole. NRT’s Diversity Award is the newest component of a comprehensive array of programs and initiatives that the company promotes and supports at a corporate, regional and local level:

Through corporate sponsorships, NRT maintains close connections with multi-cultural industry organizations of Hispanic, African-American and Asian real estate professionals.

Last year, NRT and its parent company Realogy, partnered with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to develop and implement a specialized real estate designation that signifies expertise in understanding the unique needs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

A strategic alliance with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition promotes best fair housing practices to real estate sales associates and consumers in more than 35 major metropolitan areas where NRT operates. At the core of the agreement is the belief that championing fair housing best practices not only strengthens communities, it also makes good business sense.

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