BrokerageIndustry News

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate enters Kansas

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Prudential Kansas City Realty, an independently owned and operated 425-agent firm with more than $1 billion in annual sales, has reaffiliated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, the companies announced today.

Based in Overland, Kan., the six-office brokerage will now do business as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes. It’s the 15th brokerage to join the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchise network this year and the first franchisee for the brand in Kansas.

By representing 3,102 closed transaction sides in 2011, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes was one of the largest brokerages in the Kansas City area, according to Real Trends. In the last 12 months, the company reports, the firm has closed more than $1 billion in sales.

"We are pleased to expand our brand presence into Kansas City, a flagship market in the Midwest," said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, in a statement.

David Cooper, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes, said that "of all the many options that we had to choose from, it was clear to us that adding the power of the well-established Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate name and franchise network was the best long-term move for our company, our agents and our clients."

It’s not the first time the Realogy Holdings Corp. subsidiary has recruited a Prudential Real Estate-branded brokerage into its network. In June, the franchisor, now 8,350 agents and 258 offices strong in 26 U.S. states and Canada, signed up Houston-based Gary Greene Realtors, one of the 60 largest brokerages in the U.S.

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Prudential Real Estate maintained a strong presence in the Houston market when Anderson Properties, a brokerage that had affiliated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in March 2010, merged its operations with Alvin, Texas-based Prudential Reyes-Planka Realtors. The resulting firm, operating as Prudential Anderson Properties, has 10 offices in the Greater Houston area, Austin and Lubbock.


Sherry Chris

In September 2010, Prudential Real Estate lost one of its biggest brokerages — Pleasanton, Calif.-based Mason-McDuffie Real Estate Inc. — to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Prudential Real Estate immediately announced a new affiliation with San Ramon, Calif.-based brokerage Prudential California Realty Pearson Properties, a firm that’s since doubled in size to more than 500 agents.  

The Prudential Real Estate brand has changed ownership twice in the last year. In December 2011, Brookfield Residential Property Services acquired Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services for $110 million.

In October, Brookfield RPS’ parent company, Brookfield Asset Management, facilitated billionaire Warren Buffett’s entry into real estate franchising by selling a majority interest in the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living brands to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. affiliate HomeServices of America Inc.

HomeServices of America has formed a joint venture with Brookfield, HSF Affiliates LLC, to operate the Real Living and Prudential Real Estate affiliate networks, whose member brokers employ 53,000 sales associates and closed more than $72 billion in home sales last year.

HSF Affiliates will roll out a new franchise brand next year, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, while continuing to operate the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate networks and brands. Brookfield’s relocation business, Brookfield Global Relocation Services, remains wholly owned by Brookfield.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has been on a steady growth path since its parent company, real estate giant Realogy, paved the way for the brand in 2007 by entering a 50-year licensing agreement with Meredith Corp. to own, operate and franchise the Better Homes and Gardens brand.

This year, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, which launched in 2008 with Sherry Chris at the helm, has been on a growth tear.

  • In February, it added brokerages in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas.
  • In April, it grew in Arizona, Texas and New York City.
  • In May, another South Carolina brokerage signed on.
  • In June, Gary Greene Realtors in Houston came on board.
  • In August, Carefree, Ariz.-based Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Lifestyles joined.
  • In September, the franchisor added a southwest Missouri brokerage, its first in the state.
  • In November, the brand entered Kentucky with the addition of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Bluegrass Connection in Lexington. Also joining the network in November was Winchester, Mass.-based brokerage The Shanahan Group and IBR Realty, a Minnesota brokerage serving St. Paul, Minn., and surrounding areas.

With its entry into Kansas, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is now in 26 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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