Back in March of this year, Warren Buffett, in an interview with CNBC, said that he was extremely bullish on the housing market. In fact, he said that if it wasn’t such a daunting tast that he would buy a couple hundred thousand (single family) homes and finance every one with a mortgage. While he obviously had no intention of buying that many homes the point was clear, he thought housing was undervalued and a good investment.
So it should come as no surprise that yesterday Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. announced that is has partnered with Brookfield Asset Management, a Canadian real estate investor to form Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices®. The deal is expected to more than double the size of Buffett’s real estate brokerage business. You can read the press release below.
MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HomeServices of America, Inc.™, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and Brookfield Asset Management, announced today that they have partnered to introduce Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices®—a new franchise brand that joins the existing brands and affiliate networks of Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices® combines the financial strength of both organizations, coupled with the operational excellence of HomeServices and superior real estate franchising experience of Brookfield.
The combined networks of more than 53,000 Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate agents generated in excess of $72 billion in residential real estate sales volume in 2011, and operate across more than 1,700 U.S. locations.
“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a new franchise brand built upon the financial strength and leadership of Brookfield and HomeServices,” said Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. “I am confident that these partners will deliver value to the residential real estate industry, and I am pleased to have Berkshire Hathaway be a part of the new brand.”
“We are honored and proud to be entrusted with the use of the Berkshire Hathaway name as our new real estate franchise brand,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “We will convey the strength of Berkshire Hathaway’s reputation and its associated principles of integrity and financial stability in everything we do.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices® unites proven operational excellence, demonstrated integrity and the reputation of Berkshire Hathaway—among the world’s most admired companies, according to Fortune’s 2012 ranking—to deliver its real estate franchise offering in the market. This combination enables brokers and affiliates to attract and retain the best agents to provide superior customer service and to drive performance and profitable growth. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices®will be available in 2013.
“The strength of the Berkshire Hathaway name, coupled with the operational excellence of HomeServices and the franchising experience of Brookfield, positions Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices® as a leading real estate franchise in the U.S., building on our traditions of exceptional client service and innovation. Brookfield is excited to be a partner in creating a home for the best real estate brokers and agents in the country,” said Bruce Flatt, Brookfield Asset Management CEO.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices® will be led by an experienced management team including Earl Lee, Chief Executive Officer; Stephen Phillips, Chief Operating Officer; Brian Peterson, Chief Financial Officer and Aleya Chattopadhyay, Chief Marketing Officer.
Information about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices® is available at: www.berkshirehathawayhs.com