Close and consolidate: The new reality of real estate

Guest perspective: Consumers won't continue to subsidize inefficiency

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Cendant Corp. — which owns the Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA and Sotheby’s real estate brands — recently announced plans to close and consolidate offices to slash $50 million in costs at NRT brokerages in 2006. The bold move points to a new reality in the real estate industry: close and consolidate.

The Internet has shaken the foundation of the real estate business and pricing model like no other change before.