Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Adds Leavenworth Properties

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has announced that independent brokerage Leavenworth Properties has joined its network operating as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Leavenworth Properties in the city of Leavenworth, Washington, and as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Cascade Properties outside of the Leavenworth area.

The full-service brokerage, a home-sales leader in greater Leavenworth, remains independently owned and operated. It unites with one of America’s fastest-growing real estate brokerage networks, which counts more than 48,000 agents and 1,400 offices in only five years as a brand.

“Leavenworth Properties/Cascade Properties is known for sound leadership and experienced agents who chose to live, raise families and sell real estate in this unique mountain community,” said Gino Blefari, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “Their transactional skill and market expertise enable them to anticipate the opportunities and challenges of the real estate process resulting in the highest levels of client service, satisfaction and repeat business.”

“We are excited to bring the iconic Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand to our markets,” said Broker/Owner Camiekae Lynch. “The brand is fresh and distinctive and represents success with integrity in real estate. We believe our clients will understand the marketing potential of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and embrace the brand.”

Broker/Owner Lynn Stoddard said the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand appeals to the broadest range of real estate consumers, particularly buyers and sellers of luxury and resort properties.

“Our markets attract sophisticated and affluent consumers, many of whom own primary residences in greater Seattle,” Stoddard explained. “We’re confident the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices name and the network’s progressive real estate technology, marketing and resources will help our team win an even greater portion of our region’s luxury and high-end business.”

With their network membership, Leavenworth Properties/Cascade Properties agents gain access to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Global Network Platform, a powerful tool suite driving lead generation, marketing support, social media, video production/distribution and more. The network also provides international listing syndication, relocation referrals, professional education and the exclusive Luxury Collection marketing program for high-end listings.

Stoddard said her brokerage is poised for growth in markets from Stevens Pass to Leavenworth, Cashmere, Wenatchee and beyond. In fact, Leavenworth Properties/Cascade Properties is recruiting top agents as part of the growth plan.

“We’ve progressed about as far as we could as an independent brokerage,” Stoddard said. “With Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, we have the resources and support to reach new levels of production, service and efficiency. We’re thrilled for the future as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Leavenworth Properties and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Cascade Properties.”

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkadia Arranges Sale and Financing for Apartments Complex in Pensacola, Florida

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Berkadia, Berkshire Hathaway’s joint venture with Leucadia National Corporation, has arranged the sale and financing of Carriage Hills Apartments, a 260-unit apartment complex in Pensacola, Florida.

Michaelson Group, which also purchased a 104-unit Tampa Bay community for $10 million earlier this summer, has acquired the property for $22 million in an off-market transaction from The Hallmark Cos.

The acquisition involved a $16.5 million, 12-year fixed-rate loan, with six years of interest only at a 75 percent loan-to-value.

Berkadia facilitated both sides of the transaction, with Cole Whitaker of Berkadia’s Orlando office and David Etchison of the Panhandle office represented the seller, and Mitch Sinberg and Matt Robbins of the company’s South Florida office, along with Bob Falese and Jeremy Lynch of the Philadelphia office, secured financing through Freddie Mac on behalf of the buyer.

About Berkadia

Founded in 2009 as a 50/50 joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation, Berkadia is a third-party commercial mortgage servicer, as well as an approved lender for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD/FHA.

The company is among the top Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae multifamily lenders.

Berkadia owes its origins to GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation, which was acquired in 2009 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Christened Capmark Financial, the company had $10 billion of originations in 2008 and a servicing portfolio of more than $360 billion before running into bankruptcy in October 2009.

In a deal approved by the bankruptcy court, Capmark sold its mortgage loan and servicing to the newly formed Berkadia in a deal worth $515 million.

The deal brought Berkshire into the heart of the commercial loan serving business, and the company has one of the largest commercial real estate servicing portfolios.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Mouser Electronics Creates Partnership with SamacSys

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Mouser Electronics has announced a new partnership with SamacSys, a global leader in electronic component library solutions.

Under the new partnership Mouser will provide its customers with a range of free design resources including PCB footprints, schematic symbols, and 3D models for more than 1.1 million components.

These design resources work seamlessly with top engineering CAD systems, including Cadence, Altium and other programs. The new service will be available free to Mouser customers around the world on millions of Mouser’s product detail pages featuring components from leading manufacturers.

More importantly, SamacSys will fully support all of Mouser’s new product introductions, giving engineers access to a current, high-quality library of PCB footprints, schematic symbols, and 3D models for the newest available components.

“Mouser is excited to collaborate with SamacSys by adding these new advanced engineering resources to our extensive selection of components for our customers,” said Hayne Shumate, Mouser’s Senior Vice President of Internet Business. “Answering the technical needs of our customers is always top of mind at Mouser. We are constantly looking for ways to help engineers and buyers save time and get to market faster, whether it’s selecting, purchasing or designing. We look forward to a great partnership with SamacSys.”

“Being chosen by Mouser to provide ECAD Models to their customers is an exciting partnership for us,” said Alex MacDougall, Managing Director at SamacSys. “Mouser is recognized by many as the favored platform for electronic components. Combining this with our design assets will help more engineers create their electronic products in less time. The initial reaction from the engineering community has been incredibly positive, and we’re looking forward to our continued collaboration with Mouser.”

Finding PCB footprints, schematic symbols and 3d models and incorporating them can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. Together Mouser and SamacSys answer the decades-old problem of easy access to high-quality PCB library content, for every component and every engineer. The goal is to speed time to market by ensuring quality and trustworthy libraries are available to all, with seamless integration into engineers’ existing PCB design tools.

A global leader in component library solutions, SamacSys has over 100,000 users in more than 180 countries; its customers range from individual makers to professional engineers to international brands.

With its broad product line Mouser strives to empower innovation among design engineers and buyers by delivering advanced technologies. Mouser stocks the world’s widest selection of the latest semiconductors and electronic components for the newest design projects.

Mouser Electronics’ website is continually updated and offers advanced search methods to help customers quickly locate inventory. Mouser.com also houses data sheets, supplier-specific reference designs, application notes, technical design information, and engineering tools.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Commentary: Berkshire Hathaway Shows How to Do Retailing Right

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Nobody seems to have told Berkshire Hathaway about the “death of retailing,” which is ever present in the headlines.

With Sears having filed for bankruptcy in October, and Toys R Us, Mattress Firm, hhgregg, Bon-Ton Stores, and Gymboree among the bankruptcy filers in 2018, it’s easy to think that no one can succeed at retailing these days.

On the contrary, Berkshire Hathaway’s retailing division, which includes selling home goods, furniture electronics, and appliances through Nebraska Furniture Mart, RC Willey, Star Furniture and Jordan’s Furniture, is showing robust growth.

In the first nine months of 2018, Berkshire had a 3.8% increase in retailing business revenues to $11.404 billion as compared to $10.986 billion in the same period of 2017, with gains at its home furnishings businesses.

Berkshire reported an increase in pre-tax earnings from retailing to $572 million from $513 million.

In its recently released quarterly report, Berkshire’s revenues from its home furnishing business increased 5.4% in the first nine months.

Berkshire credited its rise in retail revenues to “higher volumes in certain geographic markets and the effect of a new store, which opened in 2018.”

Berkshire’s Utah-based RC Willey, opened a second location in Sacramento, California, in January 2018.

Over all, Berkshire Hathaway’s furniture and home good business is ranked 7th on Furniture Today’s Top 100, and had estimated 2017 furniture, bedding and accessory sales of $2.01 billion.

What is the secret to Berkshire’s success in midst of all the retailer struggles? It’s simple. They invest in retailing.

In the spring of 2015, as other retailers were closing stores and slashing investments, Berkshire opened its largest Nebraska Furniture Mart ever at The Colony in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

The store boasts a 1.9 million-square-foot facility featuring a 560,000-square-foot showroom. And the whole Nebraska Furniture Mart chain, which consists of only four stores, generates almost $2 billion in annual sales.

With its newest Nebraska Furniture Mart, Berkshire was out to prove that going into a retail store could be an experience still worth doing, even in the era of Amazon.

Berkshire situated its Dallas-Fort Worth Nebraska Furniture Mart in its own Texas-sized development called Grandscape.

The Berkshire development is a 400+ acres “a city within a city,” featuring more than 3 million square feet of retail, entertainment, dining, residential, office and attractions.

By going bigger and bolder, Berkshire Hathaway is taking the online retail challenge head on, and is showing that there is still customer interest in the in-store experience.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkadia Secures $45 Million in Financing for Industrial Properties in Connecticut

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Berkadia, Berkshire Hathaway’s joint venture with Leucadia National Corporation, has announced the $45 million financing for Powers Industrial Portfolio, an industrial property in Danbury, Connecticut.

Managing Director Yuri Kletsman of the New York office secured the permanent refinancing through Citigroup on behalf of Delaware Commerce Park, LLC. The deal closed on October 26.

The 10-year loan features a 6.40 percent fixed interest rate blended between a senior and mezzanine loan structure. It also features an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio
.
The portfolio is a mix of industrial and warehouse buildings.

About Berkadia

Founded in 2009 as a 50/50 joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation, Berkadia is a third-party commercial mortgage servicer, as well as an approved lender for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD/FHA.

The company is among the top Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae multifamily lenders.

Berkadia owes its origins to GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation, which was acquired in 2009 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Christened Capmark Financial, the company had $10 billion of originations in 2008 and a servicing portfolio of more than $360 billion before running into bankruptcy in October 2009.

In a deal approved by the bankruptcy court, Capmark sold its mortgage loan and servicing to the newly formed Berkadia in a deal worth $515 million.

The deal brought Berkshire into the heart of the commercial loan serving business, and the company has one of the largest commercial real estate servicing portfolios.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

See’s Candies Turns to Electric Utility Executive as New CEO

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Everyone knows that candy gives you energy. Apparently, it literally works that way at the highest levels of confectioner See’s Candies, as the company has picked an electric utility executive to energize sales as its new CEO.

Berkshire Hathaway’s See’s Candies has announced that CEO Brad Kinstler will be retiring in the Spring of 2019, and has selected Pat Egan, currently Sr. Vice President of NV Energy, another Berkshire Hathaway company, as his successor.

Mr. Egan will begin his involvement with See’s on November 12, 2018, working with Mr. Kinstler to transition into the role of President and CEO.

Mr. Kinstler has been President and CEO of See’s since January 2006, and will retire the end of April 2019, having worked in various roles with Berkshire Hathaway for 32 years.

Mr. Egan becomes only the third CEO of See’s since it was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 1972.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

NV Energy and Blockchains, LLC Sign Agreement To Develop Blockchain-Powered Collaborative Energy Projects

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The CEOs of Blockchains, LLC and NV Energy have agreed to work on energy projects powered by blockchain technology. Blockchains and NV Energy’s shared vision will pilot concepts that place the customer in control of energy creation, consumption, storage and transactions.

“The goal of this collaboration is to create technology solutions that will produce customer-centric energy platforms powered by public blockchain, all with the intent of integrating approved incubations into Nevada’s energy framework,” said Jeffrey Berns, CEO of Blockchains, LLC. “These types of collaborative efforts, which return the power and control in transactions to the customer, are the very essence of blockchain technology. This partnership is only the beginning of what we have planned for Innovation Park.”

“We are thrilled to have access to Nevada-based experts in this cutting edge technology, and to be able to grow solutions that empower our customers,” said Paul Caudill, CEO of NV Energy. “We will explore a variety of out-of-the-box energy concepts to identify ways to improve the customer experience, including applications that further the use of energy storage, renewable energy and collaborative energy conservation. We are, in addition, excited about the many other undiscovered applications that public blockchain technology has the potential to make possible.”

Projects developed at Innovation Park, the home of Blockchains, LLC in Northern Nevada, could be utilized to serve NV Energy’s 1.3 million customers. Any projects incubated and ready for implementation will first be presented to, and approved by, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN).

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

BYD’s Tang is Number One in Hottest Market

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BYD’s hot-selling Tang is ranked number one in sales in the hottest market in the world for electric cars, China.

China’s plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales reached a new high in September. Some 104,900 plug-in vehicles were registered that month with BYD’s Tang taking the top spot.

The BYD Tang is a plug-in hybrid Crossover sport utility vehicle (CUV) developed by BYD Auto based on its BYD S6.

BYD’s other EVs had strong sales, with BYD’s Yuan EV in third place, the BYD e5 in sixth place, the BYD Qin PHEV in ninth place, and the BYD Song PHEV in thirteenth place.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold, and is now worth roughly $1.96 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Western Colorado Properties Adding Offices

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Western Colorado Properties has opened an office in Telluride to boost its resort sales and leverage the strength of its brand among a broader range of clients frequenting the region.

Broker/Owner Jeff Keehfuss will lead the office, his third along the Western Slope including Montrose and Durango.

Additionally, Keehfuss said he will open an office in Grand Junction in 2019 followed by several additional locations by 2022.

“We are thrilled to open for business in Telluride,” said Keehfuss, who changed the name of his brokerage from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montrose Real Estate to better reflect its growing regional presence. “Telluride is a wonderful resort destination attracting people from across the United States and all over the world. We believe these people will appreciate our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand as a symbol of skill, expertise and business success.”

Western Colorado Properties’ office is well positioned at 120 Mountain Village Blvd. 120 D, along the walking path between the Peaks Resort & Spa and the Mountain Village Gondola. “There is a ton of foot traffic on this path, which provides breathtaking views of the town and the mountains,” said Keehfuss. “Just about the time people gather in these views they’ll be near our office and, hopefully, ready to own their piece of Telluride.”

Western Colorado Properties is a sales volume leader in the tri-county region of Delta, Montrose and Ouray, with extensive experience in residential, commercial, farm and ranch, investment and foreclosure property. The brokerage is known for progressive, agent-centric leadership focused on helping agents grow their businesses and better service consumers.

Lark Keehfuss, brokerage co-owner, said she is recruiting top sales professionals for Telluride and the other offices.

“Those professionals who want to move their careers to the next level should consider Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Western Colorado Properties,” she said. “Our brokerage’s culture is positive, supportive and always focused on our agents’ success.”

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas Acquires CEDA Realty

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas today announced the acquisition of CEDA Realty, a 90-agent brokerage serving the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex from Plano. The transaction gives PenFed Realty Texas broader coverage of the region, a skilled agent team and a powerful training division.

CEDA’s Managing Broker and owner Steve Goff will remain with PenFed Realty Texas as vice president of Career Development, overseeing professional advancement for the entire enterprise. Goff, with 46 years of real estate experience, is one of the region’s foremost real estate trainers and a productive agent recruiter.

“We are delighted to welcome Steve Goff and the CEDA Realty team to PenFed Realty Texas,” said Russell Rhodes, president of the brokerage. “Steve is so well respected in our industry and his agents are talented and prepared. They are an ideal fit for our company and will help us grow in the Metroplex.”

Goff is eager to start the next chapter in his storied real estate career. “My team couldn’t be in a better place than with PenFed Realty Texas,” he explained. “As for me, the greatest joy in my professional career is to share the experience, knowledge and skills that I developed over 46 years with younger agents, so they can be their best in a short period of time. I get to train professionals and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

Rhodes is a world-class production leader and founder of The Russell Rhodes Team, which set sales standards for years through relentless client service and abundant referral business. As head of PenFed Realty Texas, Rhodes is an agent-centric leader with a simple goal: “We want to help our agents grow their business by 20% per year,” he said. “To do so you have to have really good training and the right procedures and mindset.”

The combination of Rhodes and his sales managers, with Goff and his training vision, spells more growth for PenFed Realty Texas. Beyond training, the brokerage added a group in its marketing department to oversee new media, including video production and social media outreach. The overall objective is to provide agents with the support they need, which allows them to focus on what they do best: serve home buyers and sellers.

“We are fully invested in the success of our agents,” Rhodes said. “Our management mindset is roll up your sleeves and help the sales team be their best for their clients.”

PenFed Realty Texas is currently home to 430 agents working from eight offices. Rhodes said his goal is to add as many as 100 agents over the next year. “We are proud and excited for the future,” he explained. “We have a growing team that loves the real estate business and is passionate about helping people reach their homeownership dreams. As important, we have the resources and systems in place to help our agents continually develop and achieve.”

Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, congratulated Rhodes and Goff on the union. “These fine companies are well suited, and their merger brings many benefits for PenFed Realty Texas and real estate consumers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex,” he said. “We’re excited to continue supporting the brokerage and its growth for years to come.”

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.