Brokerage

Merger of Warren Buffett’s Portland, Seattle brokerages creates regional powerhouse

With 725 agents, BHHS Northwest Real Estate poised to grow

Outsiders may never even have realized that they were separate companies, but the merger of two brokerages doing business as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate — one in Seattle and one in Portland — has created a regional powerhouse with 725 agents and “a tremendous amount of growth potential.”

That’s according to Minneapolis-based parent company HomeServices of America, which announced today that the president and CEO of the Portland brokerage, Jason Waugh, will assume that role for the combined companies. Mike Gain, president and CEO of the Seattle-based brokerage, will focus on acquisition and expansion strategies as “chairman emeritus.”

With 400 agents, the Seattle-based company was a little bigger than its sister brokerage in Portland, which was a few agents shy of 350. The combined company, which closed nearly $2.2 billion in sales in 2014, will serve not only the Seattle and Portland metro areas, but Central Oregon, the Yamhill County wine region and Oregon’s coastal communities.

When HomeServices of America acquired the Portland brokerage in 2012, it had nearly 500 agents who were affiliated with the Prudential Real Estate brand. Less than two months after entering the Pacific Northwest market with its acquisition of Portland-based Prudential Northwest Properties, HomeServices of America expanded its footprint by buying Seattle-based Prudential Northwest Realty Associates.

HomeServices of America ended up owning the Prudential Real Estate brand, too, and has been transitioning Prudential Real Estate affiliates to Warren Buffett’s new franchise brand, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

Today McAllen, Texas-based Prudential Real Estate Professionals announced it has rebranded as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices RGV Realty, along with Spencerport, New York-based Prudential Discover Real Estate, which has joined the network operating as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Discover Real Estate.

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With nearly all of the brokerages that used to do business as Prudential Real Estate having made the switch, this year Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices will start signing up independent brokerages and companies affiliated with other brands, including overseas firms.