Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct that at the time of publication, HomeServices of America Inc. owned 10 brokerages affiliated with Prudential Real Estate.
Warren Buffett’s new franchise network, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, today unveiled the branding the company hopes will be adopted by brokerages affiliated with Prudential Real Estate and Real Living.
Buffett got into the franchising game in October, when HomeServices of America Inc. — a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate that’s the second-largest real estate brokerage in the nation — acquired a majority interest in the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living brands from Brookfield Asset Management.
HomeServices and Brookfield formed a joint venture, HSF Affiliates LLC, which will roll out the new franchise brand later this year while continuing to operate the Real Living and Prudential Real Estate affiliate networks.
The brand "will be available in late 2013," the company said today. The Berkshire Hathaway name is front and center in the branding, and that’s by design.
"The brand’s strongest asset is the Berkshire Hathaway name itself," said Kevin Ostler, communications manager for HSF Affiliates LLC, HomeServices’ new franchise wing.
The rich cabernet color, Ostler said, makes the brand stand out from the red-and-blue dominated branding of much of the real estate industry. It also gives distinction, he said. "It’s the color of royalty."
Initial reactions to the cream and cabernet-colored branding were positive. Joel Burslem, partner at real estate design firm 1000watt Consulting, gave a thumbs up on Twitter.
How the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand will appear on marketing materials.
Chris Nichols, broker-owner of Orem, Utah-based Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate, was at Prudential Real Estate Sales Convention in Las Vegas where the new logo and identity were announced this morning. He said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was "excited for the new color and branding with a focus on the strength and integrity of the Berkshire Hathaway name."
In a video played as part of rollout of the branding, Nichols said Buffett expressed his confidence in real estate going forward.
Under the terms of the 2011 sale of the Prudential Real Estate brand to Brookfield Asset Management, the brand is slated to fade away when the last rights expire in the late 2020s.
All 10 of the HomeServices-owned Prudential-branded brokerages are transitioning to the new branding, said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates.
Other brokerages affiliated with Prudential Real Estate but not owned by HomeServices may continue to use the Prudential brand, although some, like Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes, have defected.