Warren Buffett is coming to compete with you -- should you be worried?

by Rachel.Norvell25 Sep 2014

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the real estate brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, has added the 1,000th office to its network. Torrance, Calif.-based Prudential California Realty, which offers mortgage, escrow, and home buying and selling services, will now operate under the franchise.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks. The news comes a year after welcoming its first affiliate, San Diego-based Prudential California Realty.

California Realty, with three offices and 160 agents, will operate as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties starting in late October. The company generated nearly a half-billion dollars in sales volume in 2013.

“We are still in the process of the transition, but the affiliation is already gaining some traction,” said Bruce Short, broker and owner of California Properties and the network’s 1,000th office. “We are receiving inquiries from people that want to be affiliated with us and clients wanting the Berkshire Hathaway sign on their property. People want to be around the brand.”

A full-service real estate shop, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties has its own mortgage-finance arm, HomeServices Lending. The company, a joint venture between Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and HomeServices of America Inc., works with HomeServices Lending to provide loan products to prospective home buyers. 

HomeServices Lending‘s home financing programs and products include conventional conforming, FHA and VA loans, larger loan amounts, investment property financing and renovation loans.  The company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, an affiliate of Warren Buffett’s firm Berkshire Hathaway, in July 2013.

Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America previously said the ownership deal is in line with the company’s expansion plan. “Owning and operating the lending portion of our business provides us with tremendous flexibility as we continue to build HomeServices into a global organization.”

In late 2012, HomeServices of America announced it will enter the franchising business by acquiring a majority interest in the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living brands from Brookfield Asset Management.

HomeServices and Brookfield formed the joint venture, HSF Affiliates, to operate the Real Living and Prudential Real Estate affiliate networks. As part of the deal, Prudential Real Estate’s residential brokerages will fade away when the last rights to use the name expire in the late 2020s.

Short says California Properties had been affiliated with Prudential for 20 years. 


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