Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the United States-based real estate brokerage franchise network owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has set its sights on international expansion beginning in 2017.
The initial focus of the international expansion is in major financial centers around the world, with countries such as China, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom being high on the list Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Chief Operating Officer and President, Stephen Phillips says.
Phillips said that the company is setting up regional offices that will cover Asia, Europe, and South America.
Also key to its expansion plans is the network launch of a powerful, new property-search platform on its popular www.BerkshireHathawayHS.com website; and a listing-syndication program now broadcasting Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network listings to 70 real estate websites worldwide.
The platform, developed in conjunction with Aliso Viejo, CA-based Real Estate Digital, offers the industry’s most complete search experience for global shoppers of U.S. real estate. With two mouse clicks, consumers may choose to translate the website in any of 10 languages besides English including Chinese, French (European and Canadian), German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian and European) and Spanish (European and Latin American). The site also seamlessly converts currency and measurements.
Consumers may then search for homes in any U.S. city or state serviced by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchisees. What they find they can’t get on any other single site: full Multiple Listing Service data containing all listings in their search area. By registering on www.BerkshireHathawayHS.com, consumers also gain proprietary “Inside Access” features including the latest pending and sold information, market reports and property-price history.
“Until now, global shoppers of U.S. real estate see only a portion of homes for sale in their searches of states, cities and postal ZIP codes,” explained Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “When you register and search for U.S. real estate on our website, you see every property for sale in your search area, and then you can filter and sort those searches as you would on other sites. It’s a much more effective way to begin searches of homes in America.”
“Regardless of nationality, today’s home buyers want as much information as possible to make informed decisions on their real estate investments,” said Stephen Phillips, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “Our website and property-search platform are an indispensable resource for any global buyer of U.S. real estate.”
To complement the home-search platform, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is now broadcasting its network listings abroad. Most of the residential listings priced at $200,000 (USD) and above are now displayed on 70 real estate websites serving consumers in 37 countries on five continents.
“A key priority in global expansion is to help our existing U.S. franchisees earn more business from beyond our borders,” said Peter Turtzo, senior vice president of International Operations for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “Our investment in these resources will help our network capture international client leads and generate transaction opportunities. These resources will also help our existing franchisees win more domestic listings, and recruit and retain more top sales professionals.”
The international expansion will be growing source of revenue for the company, and Phillips says that he expects Asia to be 5%-10% of that revenue.
© 2016 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.