MINNEAPOLIS (April 9, 2015) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today recognized its family of brokerage and franchise companies for being named the second-largest brokerage company in the country based on total closed sales volume of more than $68 billion and nearly 200,000 closed transaction sides in 2014 by Real Trends 500. The Real Trends 500 report is published a…
MINNEAPOLIS (January 20, 2015) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today announced the consolidation of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (based in Seattle, WA) and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (based in Portland, OR), creating a regional Pacific Northwest brokerage. Jason Waugh, current president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Portland will assume the role of president and CEO of the combined companies, effective immediately. Mike Gain, a 38-year real estate veteran and current president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Seattle has been named Chairman Emeritus where he will play an integral role in BHHS Northwest Real Estate’s success focusing on acquisition and expansion strategies and opportunities.
The merger unites the two companies, creating an organization with more than 725 real estate professionals providing residential and commercial clients in the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas, as well as Central Oregon, the Yamhill County wine region and Oregon’s coastal communities with extraordinary strength and resources to help them buy and sell their homes. In 2014, the combined firm closed nearly $2.2 billion in sales volume.
“This merger creates a regional powerhouse within the Pacific Northwest,” said Waugh. “We are combining two organizations, each with immensely talented agents, sales managers and employees and a shared commitment to delivering an exceptional real estate experience into a company that will be unmatched in their ability to serve the real estate needs of new and existing clients.”
“I am extremely proud of everyone at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate and what we have accomplished,” said Gain. “Bringing these two companies together creates a tremendous amount of growth potential and I am looking forward to driving these opportunities in my new role within the company.”
“Mike and Jason have done an outstanding job in positioning Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate for continued growth and success,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “Combining the operations of these companies brings together two great organizations and reinforces our commitment to expanding our footprint in the Pacific Northwest.”
About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (Portland)
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (Portland) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc and has nearly 350 sales associates serving the Portland metropolitan area, Southwest Washington—including Vancouver and Longview, Central Oregon and the Oregon coast. For more information, visit http://www.bhhsnw.com/
About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (Seattle)
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (Seattle) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc and serves the Seattle metropolitan area, and King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties with nearly 400 sales associates in seven offices. For more information, visit http://www.bhhsnwrealestate.com/
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 Kansas City 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 Services; Iowa Realty; Long Companies; RealtySouth; Rector-Hayden Realtors®; ReeceNichols; Roberts Brothers Inc.; Semonin Realtors®; and Woods Bros. Realty.
MINNEAPOLIS (January 15, 2015) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today congratulated executives from across its brokerage and franchise companies for being named to the 2014 Swanepoel Power 200 list.
The Swanepoel Power 200 is a comprehensive roster of leading CEOs and senior executives whose leadership and experience drive the industry and their organizations.
“The individuals on this list have distinguished themselves by their influence within the real estate industry,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “Their contribution to HomeServices and our collective success is an ongoing source of pride for the entire organization.”
The HomeServices’ executives recognized on the 2014 Swanepoel Power 200 list are:
- Candace Adams—president and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties
- Gino Blefari—president and CEO, HSF Affiliates
- David Cabot—president and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
- Jon Coile—president and CEO, Champion Realty
- Bradley J. DeVries—regional president & CEO, Huff Realty
- Joan Docktor—president, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors®
- Dan Forsman—president and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties
- Lawrence Flick, IV—president and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors®
- Mike Knapp—president and CEO, Iowa Realty
- Rosey Koberlein—president and CEO, Long Companies
- Earl Lee—SVP special projects, HSF Affiliates
- Robert McAdams, Jr. —president, Real Living Real Estate
- Robert Moline—president and COO, HomeServices of America
- Greg Mason—president and CEO, Edina Realty Home Services
- Nancy Nagy—chief executive officer, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group
- Dan Parmer—president and CEO, Harry Norman REALTORS®
- Ron Peltier—chairman and CEO, HomeServices of America
- Stephen Phillips—chief operating officer, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
- Ron Shuffield—president and CEO, EWM REALTORS®
- Tom Tognoli—president and CEO, Intero Real Estate Services
- Joe Valenti—president and CEO, CBSHOME Real Estate
- Linda Vaughan—president and CEO, ReeceNichols
MINNEAPOLIS (January 07, 2015) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today announced that effective immediately, Richard Grimes has assumed the role of chief executive officer of RealtySouth; Jim Dye has been promoted to senior vice president and general sales manager; and Ty Dodge, former president and CEO of RealtySouth, has been named Chairman Emeritus of the company.
RealtySouth is one of Alabama’s largest real estate companies with 16 real estate offices throughout Birmingham, Huntsville, Orange Beach, Auburn and Tuscaloosa. In 2013, RealtySouth handled nearly 7,300 transactions and nearly $1.7 billion in sales volume.
Grimes began his real estate career as a Realtor® in 1992 and in 1998 joined First Real Estate as executive vice president and co-owner. In 2002, when First Real Estate merged with RealtySouth, Grimes led the new home sales division as regional vice president, directing land development projects and builder relationship programs. In 2009, Grimes was named senior vice president of RealtySouth. Grimes’ real estate experience, his negotiation skills and ability to foster relationships has enabled him to deliver the growth and profitability instrumental to RealtySouth’s continued success.
With more than 35 years of experience in real estate brokerage sales and as senior vice president of RealtySouth since 1998, Dye has been involved in nearly every aspect of real estate and brings extensive industry knowledge and management experience. As vice president and general sales manager, Dye has responsibility for the overall growth and profitability of the brokerage division of the business and will provide guidance and direction to the company’s 16 sales offices and nearly 760 Realtors®.
Dodge began his real estate career in 1978 as a sales associate and the next 20 years, held multiple executive leadership positions with Johnson-Rast & Hays Company, Inc. He joined RealtySouth in 1998 and has served as president and CEO since 2008. Under Dodge’s leadership, the company has grown to become one of the largest real estate companies in Alabama. Dodge, a long-time resident of the area, is widely recognized for his community involvement and leadership and is active in the real estate industry on both the state and national levels. In 1971, Dodge retired from the U.S. Army as a Captain, having served in Vietnam where he received three Bronze Stars; a Purple Heart; and a Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross.
“Ty and I have worked together for many years, and I have learned a tremendous amount from him,” said Grimes. “He has built a team of immensely talented agents, sales managers and employees. I look forward to leading RealtySouth to its next stage of growth and performance, supported by Jim and our exceptional management team.”
“I am proud of everyone at RealtySouth and what we have achieved,” said Dodge. “With Richard and Jim at the helm, I’m confident that RealtySouth will continue to grow and prosper, serving consumers, our associates and staff better than ever before. Their experience and vision ensure a very bright future for the company.”
“Ty’s leadership helped guide RealtySouth to its position as one of the foremost 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. Richard is a dedicated leader with a firm grasp of the real estate industry and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the months and years to come.”
CHICAGO, IL – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group’s Chief Executive Officer Nancy Nagy has been selected to serve on the National Association of Realtors® Board of Directors in 2015. Nagy was chosen to serve as one of the 75 large real estate firm representatives.
“We are very pleased that Nancy has been selected to serve on NAR’s Board of Directors. This is an important time for real estate, and we are glad that Nancy will have the opportunity to actively participate in shaping our industry as a leader within the NAR organization,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, Inc.
“It is such an honor to have been selected as one of the Board of Directors for the National Association of REALTORS®. I feel very grateful for this opportunity. As our business is changing, it is crucial that we are part of shaping that future,” said Nancy Nagy.
The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association and has 1 million members that include institutes, societies and councils that are involved with commercial and residential real estate.
About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group, a full-service real estate company, has nearly 1,500 real estate professionals and staff serving customers throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and surrounding communities. Formed from the merger between two legendary Chicago real estate brokerages – Prudential Rubloff Properties and Koenig & Strey – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group inherits a solid reputation built from decades of helping people throughout the greater Chicago area buy and sell real estate. Visit KoenigRubloff.com.
ATLANTA, GA (October 7, 2014) – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia properties introduced a new feature that allows consumers to enter an address to “click and see” local home value estimates on over 1200 company and agent websites. The estimates are free and do not require registration. The company is also introducing a new market trends report called Market Watch (based on MLS data) and a new Interactive AVM (Automated Valuation Model) report which is the same report used by lenders to estimate home values for mortgages. Visit BHHSGeorgia.com to see a local home value.
These new and innovative solutions are provided in partnership with Reliance Network and Collateral Analytics. Reliance Network specializes in integrated technology solutions for the real estate industry. Collateral Analytics develops analytic products and tools to support financial institutions, retail and institutional investors and real property capital market activities.
Home values estimates have become popular on national real estate websites like Zillow.com, Trulia.com and Realtor.com. The accuracy of these estimates is very mixed as the data is primarily based on tax records. The home value estimates provided by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties are powered by Collateral Analytics which has been rated as one of the most accurate sources by the lending industry. This report shows a value estimate, value range plus other data from tax records such as last sale price and date, comparable properties and local market trends.
The Market Watch report includes local MLS data for a more accurate perspective of local market trends. If a property was sold yesterday, it would be reflected in this report as opposed to reports based on tax records which may take weeks or months to update. The next release will add the option to draw a local area using a polygon tool. Consumers will be able to narrow their report to micro-local areas such as a subdivision. To view a Market Watch report, consumers can register for a free My Home Finder account. Only member brokerages and their registered clients can get access to local MLS data.
The new Interactive AVM (Automated Valuation Model) report is the same report used by lenders to estimate home values for mortgage loans. The I-AVM allows the agent to adjust comps and other factors for a more accurate value estimate. This powerful tool can combine MLS data, tax records and the unique insight from the local agent. The I-AVM is only available from your local Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties agent.
“It is clear that consumers want to see home value estimates and we are pleased to be the first brokerage in Metro Atlanta to provide these innovative new solutions,” said Dan Forsman, president & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties. “Real estate is local. We have the advantage of proprietary MLS data, exclusive analytics tools and unique insight from our 1200 local experts. These powerful new tools will bring significant advantages that benefit our clients and our agents. And we are just getting started! Look for more exciting announcements very soon.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties is also announcing their plans for additional new releases in late 2014 and early 2015. Version 2 is expected to include multiple value estimates including a Zestimate from Zillow.com, a consumer calculator that allows consumers to adjust their values and a historical value trends chart that shows changing value estimates over time. Version 3 is expected to display home values on a map to more easily navigate and view values in local communities.
IRVINE, CA (Sept. 23, 2014) – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, today named its 1,000th office on the one-year anniversary of its brand launch. The distinction belongs to Torrance, CA-based California Realty and its Torrance/Skypark office, which serves as the brokerage’s headquarters.
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.
“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ momentum keeps building,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates. “This further demonstrates the power of the brand, and is a tribute to the quality of affiliates and agents who have brought the brand to life across America.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, whose namesake is the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc., received two national awards in its first year. The network was recognized as “Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year” by consumers in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® study of the largest real estate networks. It then was tapped for a Gold Stevie Award in the Startup of the Year category of the 12th annual American Business Awards. The latter considered entrants from any U.S. industry.
“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices achieved a tremendous first year yet no one is satisfied,” said Stephen Phillips, brand president. “Our vision is to become the most respected homeownership services brand in the U.S. and worldwide, and our work continues with even greater focus.”
To commemorate its 1,000th office in one year, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices today launched a national social media campaign, #1000in1. The network asks consumers, agents and affiliates to download this graphic, describe where they are today, and post the graphic on their social media pages.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices launched a year ago when one of its largest affiliates – San Diego-based California Properties – transitioned to the brand with 63 offices and more than 2,500 agents.
Over the next several weeks, industry leaders New England Properties based in Wallingford, CT; Florida Realty of Sunrise, FL; Winston-Salem-based Carolinas Realty and Devon, PA-based Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, among many others transitioned to the brand. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices plans to begin international expansion in 2015.
Bruce Short, broker/owner of California Properties and the network’s 1,000th office, said his team is elated to join Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “The brand gained significant traction in one short year with stellar brokerages across the country,” he said. “We’re proud to be part of this network and look forward to an exciting new era representing Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.”
MINNEAPOLIS (September 15, 2014) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today announced the appointment of Steven John as president and CEO HomeServices Relocation, effective September 16, 2014. Mary Lee Blaylock, current president and CEO of HomeServices Relocation has been named senior vice president and general manager of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, effective October 1st.
John brings extensive executive management and relocation experience to HomeServices Relocation. Most recently, John served as senior vice president, client services for RELO Direct where he was responsible for all relationship management, service and accounting operations, vendor management and technology. Prior to joining RELO Direct, John was executive vice president of client services for Prudential Relocation and has worked for several Fortune 500 companies in various executive management roles involving finance, budgeting, operations and strategic planning.
As HomeServices Relocation’s president and CEO, John will be responsible for expanding the size, scope and footprint of HomeServices Relocation, providing operational and financial oversight and serving as chief liaison for new and existing clients.
Blaylock began her career with Edina Realty, Inc. in 1992 as a Realtor® in Minneapolis and in 1999, was promoted to vice president of Edina Realty Relocation. In 2004 Blaylock was named president of HomeServices Relocation and under her leadership, HomeServices Relocation grew from a start-up company to a global relocation provider encompassing operations centers in Winston-Salem, NC and Philadelphia, PA as well as a Minneapolis headquarters.
In her role at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, Blaylock will focus on enhancing the internal organization processes and infrastructure, provide guidance and direction to the company’s 57 sales offices and more than 2,400 Realtors® and will oversee the creation and delivery of value-added marketing solutions and innovative technologies.
“I am excited to be joining HomeServices Relocation,” said John. “Mary Lee has built a great organization, recognized for its service excellence and consulting expertise. I look forward to building on that momentum and leading the company to its next stage of growth and performance.”
“I am extremely proud of everyone at HomeServices Relocation and what we have accomplished. HomeServices Relocation is in good hands with Steven as its leader.” said Blaylock. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is an exceptional company and I look forward to being an integral part of their leadership team.”
“Steven brings a wealth of relocation experience and industry relationships to HomeServices Relocation,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO. “We are very pleased that he is joining HomeServices and have tremendous confidence in his ability to bring HomeServices Relocation to new levels of success. Mary Lee’s focus on the customer, her ability to work cross-functionally within the organization and her drive to succeed is without parallel. With her exceptional background of leadership and management success Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is well-poised for continued growth and success.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.