Berkshire Hathaway affiliate HomeServices of America Inc. has acquired Prudential Northwest Properties, a firm with nearly 500 agents based in Portland, Ore., that handled nearly $900 million in sales in Oregon and Washington in 2011.
Prudential Northwest Properties will keep its name and remain a franchisee of Prudential’s U.S. real estate network, which was acquired by Canadian-based Brookfield Residential Property Services in December.
President and CEO Jason Waugh will continue in that position, running the brokerage’s day-to-day operations along with the current leadership team. His father, Bert Waugh Jr., will continue as the company’s chairman.
The acquisition is HomeServices’ first foray into the Pacific Northwest market, and will serve as the foundation for further expansion, said HomeServices Chairman and CEO Ron Peltier.
"We’re very excited about it. Prudential Northwest is a company we’ve highly valued and respected as a good player and operator for many years," Peltier said.
"It’s a great market, and we always look to grow in all of our markets whether organically, through recruiting and growing our own (brokerages), or there may be other opportune situations where we could tuck in a company or make another acquisition."
Peltier said HomeServices is also looking for opportunities to grow in other markets.
"We are in buying mode," he said. "The market through the years, the last couple years in particular, has been pretty tough. Conditions are ripe for us to get pretty aggressive. We think the next 12 to 24 months will be a very good time to grow our footprint."
Based in Minneapolis, HomeServices is the nation’s second-largest brokerage firm, after Realogy Corp.’s NRT LLC. HomeServices owns nearly two dozen brokerages around the country. Most are not affiliated with a franchise, but five are affiliated with Prudential.
Asked if he thought Brookfield RPS would continue to operate the Prudential real estate franchise network under the Prudential name, Peltier did not claim to have any special insight.
"At the end of (the) day, we don’t know what they’re doing" with the Prudential brand name. But Prudential Northwest Properties has a "lengthy" franchise contract with Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, he said.
HomeServices acquired Chicago-based brokerage Koenig & Strey from Brookfield RPS in 2009. Keonig & Strey remains affiliated with Brookfield RPS’ RealLiving franchise brand.