HomeServices of America, Inc. Announces Settlement of Copyright-Infringement Lawsuit

Minneapolis, Minn. (September 3, 2014) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, announced today the settlement of a copyright-infringement lawsuit against American Home Realty Network, Inc. (d/b/a NeighborCity). Since 2013, HomeServices of America and two of its subsidiaries, Preferred Carolinas Realty, Inc., and Edina Realty, Inc., have been engaged in litigation with American Home Realty Network, Inc., in North Carolina and Minnesota. In North Carolina, Preferred Carolinas alleged that American Home Realty Network infringed Preferred Carolinas’ copyrights in real estate property listing photographs. In Minnesota, American Home Realty Network alleged violations of antitrust and unfair competition laws against HomeServices and Edina Realty.

On June 17, 2014, the parties reached a settlement that resolved all litigation between them. As part of the settlement, American Home Realty Network has agreed to no longer copy, display, or otherwise use real estate property listing photographs belonging to HomeServices’ operating subsidiaries and affiliates. The other settlement terms are confidential, without any admission of liability by any party.

“We are very pleased to have resolved these cases,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “Protecting our intellectual property is a top priority for HomeServices. We will continue to vigorously protect our companies’ and affiliates’ intellectual-property rights in real estate listing content.”


A Perspective of the U.S. Residential Housing Market: August 2014

As the Existing Home Sales numbers for the month of July reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on August 21st suggest, we are seeing a continuation of the housing market recovery, with spring sales volumes finally being realized. While the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first half of 2014 saw a lag in activity, largely attributed to the harsh winter, lack of job growth and negative consumer confidence, we are experiencing a relatively continuous uptick in sales.  We anticipate a robust second half of 2014 as housing inventories — which were dangerously low at the beginning of 2014 at less than two months of inventory — are now at five months of inventory.  A healthy residential real estate market has six-to-eight months of available inventory.

 Key Influencers

A number of encouraging factors are helping to drive this more traditional buying and selling cycle. Consumer confidence, now at a six-year high, is a key influencer of the home buying and selling cycle. We are also noting a resurgence of consumers who are buying homes as their primary or even secondary residences, versus solely for investment. As well, more and more homeowners are the sellers of properties, as opposed to investors or banks dealing with distressed inventories.

 Initially, the real estate recovery was fueled primarily by private equity and investors. And while that removed large blocks of distressed properties from the market, it was not a sustainable long-term model.  The more traditional cycle we are currently seeing is not only encouraging, but an appropriate recovery tract.

 Segmented Recovery

The latest analysis of the nation’s housing industry has also put a spotlight on the various segments of the market and how each is fairing through the course of the recovery.  While the luxury market has had strong sales recorded throughout most geographic regions, the mid-market continues to work through lower-than-peak values.

 Still, prices across the nation are increasing, so in many markets negative equity is giving way to positive equity, meaning that fewer people are ‘underwater’ and enabling more people to sell their homes.  At the height of the downturn, for example, we saw approximately 15 million mortgages nationwide with negative equity out of approximately 55 million total mortgages. Today, that figure has been reduced to between six to seven million mortgages, a more manageable volume.

First-time homebuyers continue to track at around 28% of home sales versus the historical average of 40%.  A number of factors are impacting this market; among them, limited inventory, stringent credit standards, dramatic increase in student debt, the spike in FHA mortgage insurance premiums, and stiff competition from cash buyers.

Yet, while underwriting standards are more rigorous, we are seeing a positive trend as buyers are increasingly able to secure financing, particularly through the assistance of quality loan officers who understand and specialize in working through the loan process.  We also note that beginning the search for a home already mortgage pre-qualified is more important than ever been before.

The Value of Homeownership

Areas of the country that suffered the most in the downturn, particularly Las Vegas, Arizona, South Florida, have seen a resurgence in sales fueled by international buyers from a variety of destinations including China, Canada, parts of Latin America and Europe, as the United States’ residential real estate market continues to be viewed as a prudent investment.

With the uptick in consumer confidence, increasing home values and other positive economic factors, the intrinsic value of homeownership continues its resurgence.

 While a full recovery is potentially two to three years away, the trend-line is positive. Job creation and overall economic growth are necessary to continue fueling the market, which, as current activity indicates, we anticipate seeing more of in the year ahead.


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices named “Startup of the Year” in a category considering all of U.S. Industry

IRVINE, Calif., Jun 19, 2014 — Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC real estate brokerage family, today announced it was recognized with a Gold Stevie Award in the Startup of the Year category of the 12th annual American Business Awards presented June 13 in Chicago.

American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The awards drew more than 3,300 nominations in a wide range of categories; 240 executives worldwide participated in the judging. Startup of the Year category judging considered entrants from across U.S. industries.

“We are pleased and honored to accept the Gold Stevie Award in the Startup of the Year category,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices President Stephen Phillips, who attended the ceremonies at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel. “Our real estate brokerage network has come a long way in a short period of time.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has grown exponentially since it transitioned its first affiliates in September 2013. As of mid-June, the network counted more than 29,000 agents and 850 offices operating in 42 states. “Our network carries the name of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., one of the world’s most trusted and respected corporations,” said Phillips. “When you have a really great brand, strong and passionate affiliates and a lot of hard-working people on your team, wonderful things can happen.”
This is the network’s second award in 2014. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in March was named “Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year” by consumers in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.

“It’s an honor for us to recognize and celebrate such an outstanding class of organizations and individuals,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. “The judges were especially discerning this year. Winners should be proud that the judges recognized their achievements and their ability to express those achievements in a way that captured the judges’ hearts and imaginations.”

Details about The American Business Awards and the lists of Stevie winners announced are available at www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.

About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices received the highest numerical Equity Score among real estate brands included in the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study. Visit www.berkshirehathawayhs.com for details.


HomeServices of America, Inc. Announces New CEO and COO for Intero Real Estate Services

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (June 9, 2014) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate today announced a number of executive leadership changes within Intero Real Estate Services that will further advance the company’s growth strategies. Effective immediately, Tom Tognoli assumes the role of president and chief executive officer where he will provide strategic and operational oversight for Intero Real Estate Services and the Intero franchise network. Tognoli replaces Gino Blefari, who has assumed the role of senior vice president of HSF Affiliates, the franchise arm within the HomeServices of America enterprise. John Thompson will become chief operating officer and continue to be an integral part of Intero’s executive leadership team by overseeing Intero’s daily operations. Robert Moles will continue in his role as the Intero Real Estate Services chairman.

Tognoli, who founded Intero Real Estate Services in 2002 along with Blefari, and Thompson, is a result driven leader with 25 years of real estate industry experience. Tognoli began his career as an agent in 1989 and held numerous leadership positions within Century 21 and Coldwell Banker and upon inception of Intero became its chief operating officer.

With more than 25 years of experience in real estate brokerage sales and executive management at Coldwell Banker and Century 21 and as executive vice president of Intero for the past decade, Thompson, brings extensive business development skills, industry knowledge and exceptional leadership qualities to his new role as Intero’s chief operating officer.

“Both Tom and John have proven themselves to be dedicated and accomplished leaders with a firm grasp of the real estate industry and the experience, creativity and drive to bring Intero to new levels of success.” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “We look forward to their joining the HomeServices executive leadership team and working with them in the months and years to come.”

“This is a great honor and a great opportunity,” stated Tognoli. “Intero has a very bright future, and I look forward to working alongside John, Bob and our talented sales leadership team as we steer Intero to continued growth and success.”

“I am extremely confident about our future, as we are constantly investing in new ways to both enhance the client experience and attract new consumers,” said Thompson. “Being part of HomeServices of America provides us with access to resources as we further expand our ability to serve the real estate needs of our new and existing customers.”

“Tom and John are renowned for their ability to attract and retain seasoned professionals, capacity for identifying emerging leaders, and talent for helping new agents unlock their potential,” said Moles. “And together with John and Tom, we will continue to embrace the people and communities we serve as we strengthen what we’ve built over the last 11 years.”


HomeServices of America, Inc. Announces Leadership Changes

 

Minneapolis, Minn. (June 9, 2014) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate today announced that Gino Blefari, founder, president and chief executive officer of Intero Real Estate Services has been named senior vice president of HSF Affiliates, effective immediately and on January 1, 2015 will assume the role of chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates. Earl Lee will continue as chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates for the remainder of the year and effective January 1, 2015 will assume a senior advisory role for HSF’s domestic and global expansion strategies. Stephen Phillips, chief operating officer of HSF Affiliates and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Bob McAdams, president of Real Living Real Estate will continue in their roles without change or interruption.

HSF Affiliates was formed in 2012 and operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Residential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. As of April 30, 2014 the combined networks include nearly 500 Franchisees/Affiliates and nearly 45,000 agents in more than 1,600 offices nationwide.

Blefari began his real estate career more than 25 years ago and has held executive leadership positions at Century 21 and NRT prior to founding Intero Real Estate Services in 2002. Under Blefari’s leadership Intero has experienced rapid year-over-year growth and is one of Silicon Valley’s largest and fastest growing residential real estate brokerage firms. HomeServices acquired Intero Real Estate Services in May 2014.

Earl has been instrumental in developing and executing the initial business growth strategies of HSF,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “Gino is renowned for his vision, leadership skills and real estate experience and will be a tremendous addition to the superb senior leadership team already in place at HSF.”

“I am extremely proud of everyone at HSF and what we have accomplished,” said Lee. “Leading a team of talented employees while playing an integral role in generating visibility and momentum for the organization and its brands, have been the highlights of my career. Gino brings extensive industry knowledge and exceptional leadership qualities to the organization and coupled with our franchise/affiliate companies and their extraordinary agents, HSF is poised for continued growth and success.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the HSF Affiliates team during this pivotal and exciting time,” said Blefari. “Earl has inspired a team of immensely talented executives and employees and I look forward to working with him and the HSF team as we lead HSF to its next stage of growth and performance.

“Gino brings a wealth of experience and industry relationships to HSF Affiliates and the HomeServices executive team. We look forward to working with him in the months and years to come,” concluded Peltier.


HomeServices of America, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Silicon Valley–based Intero Real Estate Services

Minneapolis, Minn. (May 13, 2014) – HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today announced the acquisition of Intero Real Estate Services, one of Silicon Valley’s largest and fastest growing residential real estate brokerage firms, and Intero Franchise Services, its affiliated franchise network. Terms were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Cupertino, Intero serves Northern California in 13 offices throughout the San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Benito counties. Since 2007, Intero Real Estate Services has consistently ranked in the top 5 market share in Silicon Valley, based on volume and in 2013, closed nearly 7,300 units and $5.7 billion of volume. The Intero franchise network, which is comprised of nearly 50 affiliates located in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas, generated more than $1.5 billion in sales volume in 2013. Intero Real Estate Services and the Intero franchise will each retain their name and existing branding without change or interruption.

Founded in 2002, Intero has experienced rapid year-over-year growth and is best known for its innovative approach through its technology platform and its unwavering commitment to providing their agents and clients with the highest level of customer service, expertise and resources. Gino Blefari, president and CEO, is among real estate’s most recognized and influential leaders, known for his industry expertise, vision and leadership. Blefari, together with the executive management team of Robert Moles, Tom Tognoli, and John Thompson will continue to lead Intero’s strategic planning and growth initiatives as well as manage the day-to-day operations along with their sales management teams.   

HomeServices is the second-largest, full-service residential real estate brokerage firm and through its operating companies, is one of the largest brokerage-owned settlement services providers in the U.S. The acquisition represents HomeServices’ expansion of their presence in California which also includes southern California-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties and Fresno-based Guarantee Real Estate which HomeServices acquired in 2002 and 2012, respectively.

With this transaction, HomeServices has more than 23,000 real estate professionals operating in 25 states. In 2013, HomeServices’ associates closed nearly $56 billion in sales volume, over 184,000 real estate transactions and closed approximately $3.7 billion in home mortgages.

“Intero is a strong company with an excellent reputation in a growth market,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO, HomeServices. “This transaction aligns with our vision of acquiring distinguished companies in leading markets that share our core values.”

“This transaction makes one of the premier firms in northern California an even stronger organization,” Blefari said. “By joining forces with HomeServices, we will be unmatched in our ability to serve the real estate needs of new and existing clients throughout the communities we serve.”

“We are proud to be part of HomeServices of America,” said Robert Moles, chairman of Intero Real Estate Services. “We are joining an organization known for its strength and stability; one that is consistent with our high standards of service, integrity and community involvement, making this a win/win for our customers and our brokers.”

“We are excited to be in Silicon Valley and are looking forward to having the Intero Real Estate team join the HomeServices family,” Peltier said.

 

About HomeServices of America

HomeServices of America, Inc. is the nation’s second-largest residential real estate brokerage company and, through its operating companies, is one of the largest providers of integrated real estate services. HomeServices of America is the majority owner of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. HomeServices is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a consolidated subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. HomeServices’ operating companies offer integrated real estate services, including brokerage services, mortgage originations, title and closing services, property and casualty insurance, home warranties, and other homeownership services. HomeServices Relocation, LLC is the full-service relocation arm of HomeServices of America, which provides every aspect of domestic and international relocation to corporations around the world. HomeServices operates under the following residential real estate brands: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors®; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KC Realty; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (Portland); Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (Seattle); Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices York Simpson Underwood Realty; Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Yost & Little; Carol Jones Realtors®; CBSHOME Real Estate; Champion Realty Inc.; Edina Realty; EWM REALTORS®; Guarantee Real Estate; Harry Norman, Realtors®; HOME Real Estate; Huff Realty; Intero Real Estate; Iowa Realty; Long Companies; RealtySouth; Rector-Hayden Realtors®; Reece & Nichols; Roberts Brothers Inc.; Semonin Realtors®; and Woods Bros. Realty. 

Information about HomeServices is available at www.homeservices.com.

About Intero Real Estate

Intero serves Northern California with 13 offices throughout the Greater Silicon Valley. The Intero franchise network is comprised of nearly 50 affiliates located in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas.

Information about Intero Real Estate is available at www.interorealestate.com

 

 

 


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Named ‘Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year’

IRVINE, CA (Mar. 19, 2014) – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the new real estate brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, today announced it was named “Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year” in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices received the highest ranking in the Real Estate Agency category based on consumers’ perception of its brand familiarity, quality and purchasing consideration, among other qualifying elements. The study was based on opinions of more than 40,000 U.S. consumers surveyed online earlier this year.

“We are delighted to be recognized by consumers in the venerable Harris Poll EquiTrend® study,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC, which operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “This terrific honor by consumers is a tribute to our powerful brand – whose namesake is the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc. – and the top-quality affiliates and agents who represent it.”

Added Stephen Phillips, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices: “We are humbled by the honor, particularly since our brand was not even a year old at the time of the study. We look forward to a bright future as part of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.”  

The brand received the highest numerical Equity Score among large real estate brands included in the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study, which measures and compares the brand health of more than 1,500 brands across 170 categories from airlines and apparel to retailers and real estate. Consumers responded with their brand perceptions, gauging their emotional connection to the brand, plus brand awareness, influence and familiarity. According to Harris, a brand is defined as a set of persuasive promises about a product, service or organization that differentiates it from others in a universally positive, contextually relevant or personally compelling way.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, which transitioned its first affiliates in September 2013, has grown exponentially with independently owned brokerages operating across America. The network is built on a foundation of quality with rigorous standards for affiliation. “Our network members clearly understand the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ brand promise and the responsibility to uphold it,” said Phillips. “We all believe it’s an honor to be part of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.”


HomeServices of America Announces New CEO for Edina Realty Home Services

MINNEAPOLIS (January 27, 2014)HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today announced that Greg Mason has assumed the role of chief executive officer of Edina Realty Home Services–inclusive of its brokerage, mortgage, title and escrow and insurance businesses. Bob Peltier, former president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services has been named Chairman Emeritus of the company.

Edina Realty is one of the nation’s largest real estate companies with approximately 60 real estate offices throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. In 2013, Edina Realty closed nearly 31,500 real estate transactions and more than $7.2 billion in sales volume.

Mason joined Edina Realty Home Services in 1986 and served as corporate legal counsel where he was actively engaged in virtually all aspects of the home transaction lifecycle and, as a member of the executive leadership team was instrumental in Edina Realty’s expansion into key regional markets. In 1997, Mason was named president of Edina Realty Title and was responsible for it becoming one of the leading residential title service companies in the Midwest. He also served as managing director of title services for HomeServices of America, Inc., overseeing the company’s title and escrow operations nationwide. In 2011, under Mason’s leadership, the HomeServices Title & Closing Network—a group of local companies working cooperatively to provide a full spectrum of title and closing services through a national network operating in all 50 states—was established. He is active in the American Land Title Association and Real Estate Services Providers Council.

Peltier began his real estate career in 1978 and has held numerous executive leadership positions at Edina Realty before being named Edina Realty Home Services president and CEO in 2009. He is considered an expert in key industry areas including new construction and development, technology and general market trends and under Peltier’s leadership, Edina Realty has grown to more than 60 offices and more than 2,200 REALTORS® throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin and, together with Edina Realty Mortgage, Edina Realty Title and Edina Realty Insurance, is considered one of the premier real estate companies in the Midwest and one of the largest and most respected nationwide. Peltier, a long-time resident of St. Paul is widely recognized for his community involvement and leadership and is active in the real estate industry on both the state and national levels.

“I am extremely proud of everyone at Edina Realty and what we have accomplished,” said Peltier. “Greg is extraordinarily well-qualified to serve as CEO and under his leadership, coupled with our remarkable agents and management team, Edina Realty is poised for continued growth and success.”

“Bob and I have worked together for many years and his strategic insight and vision have been at the center of Edina’s unparalleled success,” said Mason. “He attracted and inspired a team of immensely talented executives, agents, sales managers and employees. I look forward to leading Edina Realty to its next stage of growth and performance, supported by our world class management team.”

“Bob’s leadership, dedication and uncompromising commitment to his agents, employees and customers guided Edina Realty to its position as one of the largest and most successful real estate companies in the country,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “On behalf of all of HomeServices, we thank him for his innumerable contributions and we wish him well as he enters this new chapter of his life. Greg brings extensive industry knowledge and exceptional leadership qualities to Edina Realty and the HomeServices executive team and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the months and years to come.”

 


Prudential Georgia Realty Joins Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Brokerage Network

ATLANTA, Dec 09, 2013 — Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the new real estate brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, today announced that Prudential Georgia Realty has joined the growing network and now operates as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties. The brokerage, an established frontrunner in the Atlanta real estate market, follows affiliate launches in California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Washington.

“We are thrilled to now be part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network,” said Dan Forsman, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brings an unparalleled level of quality and innovation to the real estate market and we are excited for what the future holds.”

Forsman and Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates, introduced the new brand at an agent event today at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta where they spoke about the implications of the transition on the local real estate market. Guests were also invited to a private tour of the museum in honor of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties’ new corporate membership and donation to the museum.

“Dan and his company have built a stellar reputation by delivering the highest value and exceptional service to clients,” said Lee. “We are proud they are now part of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and we look forward to their continue growth and success.”

Added Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, Inc.: “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties is a highly regarded real estate company both nationally and regionally and we are delighted they have joined the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network.”

The brokerage also unveiled a suite of innovative digital resources for its agents and consumers, including a new real estate mobile app with custom local search options and a new digital advertising network, which will revolutionize the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta real estate market.

As part of the transition, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties agents also gain access to a robust real estate technology platform, ongoing business consultation, professional education, marketing support and more.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties’ new “Cabernet & White” yard signs will begin appearing throughout Atlanta starting today. The company is part of a long line of Prudential Real Estate affiliates that have and will continue to join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand through 2014 and beyond.


Prudential First Realty Joins Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

WEST DES MOINES, IA (Nov. 20, 2013) – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the new real estate brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, today announced that Prudential First Realty has joined the growing network and now operates as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty. The brokerage, a leader in the Des Moines real estate market, follows affiliate launches in California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Washington.

“We are honored and excited to join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network,” said David Peers, general manager and chief operating officer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty. “Starting this next chapter with the Berkshire Hathaway brand name – the world’s most respected company, according to Barron’s – will bring even more opportunities to our agents and clients and strengthen our position as a leader in Iowa real estate.”

Peers and Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, introduced the new brand at the Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines today and spoke about the implications of the transition on the local real estate market. They helped unveil the new “Cabernet and Cream” signage, and agents and brokers from the company’s three offices were on hand to celebrate and display the first yard sign at a local property.

“We are thrilled to welcome First Realty to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network,” said Peltier. “For the last 50 years, First Realty has built its reputation as a frontrunner in the real estate market with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced agents. We are proud to have the company join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network and represent the brand in Iowa.”

With the change, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices affiliates gain access to a robust real estate technology platform, ongoing business consultation, professional education, marketing support and more.

“A respected leader in the Iowa marketplace, First Realty makes a strong addition to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network,” added Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. “First Realty is known for its commitment and dedication to its clients and we are excited to have the team on board.”

First Realty’s new yard signs will begin appearing throughout Des Moines starting today. The company is part of a long line of Prudential Real Estate affiliates that will join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand through 2014 and beyond.