Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is now the 2nd-biggest real-estate broker in the US

  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the investment conglomerate’s residential real-estate brokerage business, is now the second-largest in the US.
  • While many of Warren Buffett’s portfolio companies aren’t associated with the Berkshire moniker, the firm’s real-estate business is named in order to spread its brand.

Berkshire Hathaway can now add a new designation to its ever-expanding list of qualifications: America’s second-largest residential real-estate brokerage.

The massive, Warren Buffett-helmed investment conglomerate moved into second place for 2017, according to a Wall Street Journal report. At the end of last year, the franchise network for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices included over 365 franchisees in over 1,500 brokerage offices, employing more than 48,000 real estate agents, according to a filing.

The growth is reflective of the firm’s efforts to make the Berkshire Hathaway name more recognisable across the US. It’s worth noting that while the company has historically retained the original names of portfolio companies, the Berkshire moniker is front and center for the brokerage business. That might explain why you’ve been seeing it on an increasing number of signs around your neighbourhood.

On a financial basis, Berkshire’s real-estate segment reported earnings of $US220 million last year, a slight decline from the previous year. However, the company’s full-year sales surged by 23% on a year-over-year basis, according to its annual report.

One of the most formative events in the history of the HomeServices business came in October 2012, when it acquired a 66.7% interest on one of the largest residential real-estate brokerage franchises in the US.

Berkshire’s home brokerage business will be just one of many businesses discussed at the firm’s annual shareholder meeting, which is scheduled for May 5. Stay tuned to Business Insider on Saturday for updates from the event.

Read the full Wall Street Journal story here.

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