Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices（BHH）本月与设在伦敦的Kay & Co.达成合作，这是继柏林的Rubina Real Estate之后，该公司在欧洲的第二家加盟商。BHH希望在年底前将米兰、维也纳和迪拜纳也入自己的业务版图。
HomeServices of America由几家房地产经纪商和抵押贷款公司组成。在2000年收购一家能源公司的交易中，巴菲特的伯克希尔-哈撒韦公司先是买下了HomeServices的部分股权。最初，这位亿万富翁投资人并不怎么关注HomeServices，但从那时起，后者逐渐成为美国最大的住宅经纪公司之一。
布莱法里是HSF Affiliates的首席执行官，BHH是HSF Affiliates的一部分。HSF Affiliates则为HomeServices of America所有，其业务是经营房地产经纪特许经营网络。
Kay & Co.是一家伦敦豪宅经纪公司，主要经营区域包括梅费尔和海德公园等地。与BHH结盟时，英国房地产市场正受到英国脱欧的打击。但这家现已更名为Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co.的英国公司并未被吓倒，它计划通过收购以及合资公司来扩张，而且今后10年将增设多达10个独立办事处。
据HSF Affiliates的全球销售高级副总裁迈克尔·贾尔伯特介绍，将不同国家的买家和卖家联系在一起的能力已经有了回报。自从宣布有意跟Kay & Co.合作以来，伯克希尔-哈撒韦的网络一直在稳定地为这家英国公司提供线索。他说：“我们甚至还没有改掉那些标识。”
今年早些时候跟柏林的Rubina Real Estate联手是BHH建立全球网络的第一步。刘易斯说，BHH还在德国其他主要城市寻找机会，而法兰克福可能成为“非常自然的第二步”。
在美国，去年收购竞争对手Long & Foster Cos后，HomeServices of America正在跟Realogy Holdings Corp.旗下的NRT LLC部门争夺市场头把交椅。布莱法里称，HomeServices已经再次出手，并且预计将在今年年底前完成两项“重大”收购。
One of Warren Buffett’s real estate brokerages waited 18 years to sign its first overseas franchise deal. Now the firm is extending its reach to regions from Italy to Japan and the Middle East.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices this month teamed up with London-based Kay & Co., its second franchisee in Europe, after Rubina Real Estate in Berlin. The company hopes to add Milan, Vienna and Dubai to its network before the year’s out.
“We’ve got a number of markets already teed up,” Gino Blefari, who oversees a business that operates franchise networks, said in an interview in Berlin. “Eventually we’ll be in all the major metropolitan markets.” The company is also in talks with prospective partners in Paris and Madrid, and is looking at Mexico City, Hong Kong and Tokyo as well.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. first acquired a stake in HomeServices of America—comprised of real estate brokerages and mortgage companies—as part of the purchase of an energy business in 2000. The billionaire investor originally paid little attention to HomeServices, but that operation has since become one of the largest residential-brokerage owners in the U.S.
Blefari is chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates, which includes Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and is owned by HomeServices of America. Blefari’s business operates networks of real estate brokerage franchises.
“With so many buyers of high-end properties coming from outside the U.S., it became essential for us to be able to say we were global,” he said.
The tie-up with a luxury-property brokerage focused on London neighborhoods including Mayfair and Hyde Park comes as Brexit hammers the U.K. housing market. Undeterred, the U.K. firm—now known as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co.—plans to expand through acquisitions and joint ventures, and will add as many as 10 standalone offices in the next decade.
“Events like the referendum in the U.K. are not a decision-maker for us because of the long-term nature of how we look at things,” said Mitch Lewis, managing director for Europe and the Middle East at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “They’re important, no doubt, but they don’t drive what we do.”
The ability to link buyers and sellers in different countries is already paying off, according to Michael Jalbert, senior vice president for global sales at HSF Affiliates. Since announcing its intention to work with Kay & Co., the U.K. company has received a steady stream of leads from the Berkshire Hathaway network. “And we haven’t even changed the signs yet,” he said.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices made its first step toward forming a global network by joining forces with Berlin’s Rubina earlier this year. The firm is looking for opportunities in other major German cities, Lewis said, adding that Frankfurt would make a “very natural second step.”
Back in the U.S., HomeServices of America is vying with Realogy Holdings Corp.’s NRT LLC unit for top spot in the market after last year’s purchase of rival broker Long & Foster Cos. Blefari said the company has been back on the acquisition trail and expects to close two “big” acquisitions by the end of the year.
“These are fun times for us,” he said. “We’re the prettiest girl at the dance right now.”