What will the new Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices look like, and what’s the plan for existing Prudential and Real Living franchisees?
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, HomeServices of America Inc., made news last October when the company acquired two of the nation’s largest real estate franchise networks—Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate. The two franchisors, along with a third newly created brand called Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, will be managed under HSF Affiliates LLC, a joint venture created by HomeServices of America and Brookfield Asset Management.
Here’s what’s in store at the three companies: Prudential franchisees will eventually transition into Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices offices, while Real Living will announce new franchise opportunities later this year with what company president Robert McAdams Jr. calls an “expanded footprint” and extended national reach. “We’re going to keep growing but we’re the same Real Living everyone has come to know and appreciate,” he says. For the moment, however, Real Living has halted franchise sales.
As part of Prudential’s conversion plan, existing franchisees can choose to become a BHHS affiliate or else continue to operate under the Prudential name until the end of their contract. HSF Affiliates Chief Operating Officer Stephen Phillips expects the vast majority of franchises will convert by the middle of next year. The last Prudential contracts are set to expire in 2026.
The new BHHS brand identity is being carefully crafted. A “cabernet and cream” color scheme for marketing and advertising materials will set it apart from the color palettes of other major franchises. The company’s lead generation and management systems are being updated from Prudential’s offerings, while a new operating platform technology suite is being developed for franchisees as well. New franchisees will come aboard later in the year. As HSF Affiliates CEO Earl Lee says, “It’s important to us that we signify the depth of the brand so we reflect well on the organization whose name we now carry.”
Article courtesy of July/August 2013 REALTOR(r) Mag.