Warren Buffett’s new real estate franchise brand, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, will convert 12 more Prudential Real Estate-affiliated brokerages, bringing the total number of firms committed to the 1-year-old network to 51.
The new franchise brand gives Buffett — already a heavyweight in the residential real estate brokerage business, through Berkshire Hathaway’s ownership of the second-biggest U.S. brokerage company HomeServices of America, and America’s second-wealthiest person — a new way to expand his footprint.
The 12 new firms, which grow the new franchise network to 502 offices and 19,000 agents in 24 states, will transition to the new brand by the middle of 2014. They are:
- Prudential California Realty, Guerneville, Calif.
- Prudential California Realty, South Pasadena, Calif.
- Prudential C. Dan Joyner Co. Realtors, Greenville, S.C.
- Prudential Hickory Metro Real Estate, Hickory, N.C.
- Prudential Lake Almanor Real Estate, Lake Almanor, Calif.
- Prudential The McMillen Real Estate Group, Goldsboro, N.C.
- Prudential One Realtors, Dayton, Ohio
- Prudential Parks & Weisberg Realtors, Louisville, Ky., and Jeffersonville, Ind.
- Prudential Preferred Properties, Clarks Summit, Pa.
- Prudential Select Properties, Cleveland, Ohio
- Prudential Snyder Real Estate, Bloomington, Ill.
- Prudential Town and Country Real Estate, Wellesley, Mass.
HomeServices of America created the new brand when it took a majority stake in the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living brands from Brookfield Asset Management in October 2012. It will eventually replace the Prudential Real Estate brand, which is slated to disappear in the 2020s as a condition of Prudential Financial Inc.’s sale of its real estate franchising business to Brookfield Asset Management in 2011.
Since HomeServices entered the franchise game, several large Prudential-affiliated firms, starting with Prudential California Realty (San Diego) on Sept. 23, have officially converted to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, including Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, Prudential Connecticut Realty, Prudential Anderson Properties, Prudential Florida Realty and Seattle-based Prudential Northwest Realty Associates. So far, only Prudential-affiliated firms have committed to Buffett’s new brand.
“Momentum continues building for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC — the joint venture between HomeServices and Brookfield that manages the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living brands — in a statement.
“Affiliates realize the strength of this new brand — inspired by the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc. — and the depth of its real estate tools, technology and services,” Lee said. “They want to capitalize on our brand and all it has to offer.”
“We’re thrilled to add the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices name to ours,” said David Mussari, managing partner at Prudential One Realtors and Prudential Select Properties, in a statement. ”The brand stands for strength, stability and trust — just like its Berkshire Hathaway namesake — and it represents a new era of growth for our company and agents.”
HomeServices has been aggressive in its effort to grow the new network. In November, it acquired Prudential Rubloff Properties, which it will merge with Koenig & Strey Real Living Real Estate to create the second-biggest brokerage — which will become a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices affiliate next year — in the Chicago area. In August, it purchased Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, the sixth-largest brokerage in the U.S. by closed transaction sides in 2012, which has already transitioned to the new brand.