Warren Buffett Launches Real Estate Franchise

September 24, 2013

Warren Buffett’s new real estate franchise is officially open for business.

Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, has launched its Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties division with about 3,200 agents in more than 62 offices across Southern California and the Central Coast. San Diego-based Prudential California Realty became the first brokerage to relaunch under the HomeServices franchise.

Twenty-six brokerages affiliated with the Prudential Real Estate brand have agreed to transition to Berkshire Hathaway by the fourth quarter. Two more are set to debut this month: Prudential Connecticut Realty on Sept. 26 and Prudential Florida on Oct. 1. The franchise plans to expand across the U.S. and eventually overseas, says Earl Lee of HSF Affiliates, the Irvine, Calif., company that operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential, and Real Living networks.

For Buffett, the second-wealthiest person in the country and a top investor, this is his first time entering the real estate franchise business. 

“[Berkshire Hathaway] will add to our image and our ability to do business and the way we deal with our clients,” BHHS California Properties President and CEO David Cabot told Inman News. “To have Warren Buffett lend his name to the real estate world is significant. It lends credibility to the real estate world.”

Source: “Berkshire Hathaway to Shake Up Real Estate Franchise Landscape,” The Los Angeles Times (Sept. 20, 2013) and “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Franchise Open for Business,” Inman News (Sept. 23, 2013)

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