A bold move by US business mogul Warren Buffett rocked the Hudson Valley real estate industry on Tuesday when his company, HomeServices of America, Inc., acquired Houlihan Lawrence.
Houlihan Lawrence serves Westchester, Fairfield, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties in New York and Connecticut with 1,300 salespeople operating out of 30 sales offices. In 2016, Houlihan Lawrence closed a sales volume of $ 6.7 billion.
Home Services is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway already has real estate agencies in New York and Connecticut. The Houlihan Lawrence and Berkshire Hathaway offices in the region will continue to operate independently.
Nancy Seaman will step down as President while her brothers Stephen Meyers, President and CEO, and Chris Meyers, Managing Director, will continue to lead the company’s strategic growth initiatives and manage day-to-day operations with their management teams. sales management. Houlihan Lawrence, like other local brand brokerage firms under the HomeServices umbrella, will retain his name.
Seaman, a resident of Greenwich, and her late husband Peter Bailey bought Houlihan Lawrence from the Lawrence family in 1990. When Peter died suddenly from cancer in 1994 at the age of 42, Nancy took control of the ‘business. Together with her brothers, she built the company on a unique foundation of core values combined with cutting edge technology.
Under his leadership, the company grew from 600 agents, 12 offices and $ 375 million in annual sales to 1,300 agents, 30 offices and $ 6.7 billion in sales in 2016.
“We are joining an organization known for its strength and stability,” said Stephen Meyers. “Our partnership secures the future of the company without changing the exceptional culture that is at the heart of our historic brand. We are delighted with this announcement and the many benefits it brings to our clients and agents.
“When you combine the incredible strength of our people and the remarkable history of our success with the unparalleled financial stability of HomeServices, there is no limit to what we can accomplish,” added Chris Meyers.
A statement on Houlihan Lawrence’s website said nothing will change except for the transfer of ownership. Seaman will pursue her long-term passion in the non-profit sector, in which she and Houlihan Lawrence have always been active.
Seaman’s immediate job will be to advocate for children’s rights. She will continue to serve on the board of HELP USA, which benefits veterans and victims of domestic violence.
“Without me leaving you wouldn’t know there has been a change of ownership,” said Seaman. “I really love this company and believe in this company, and I have no doubts that this decision ensures that Houlihan Lawrence as we know it – and the extraordinary culture that we have built over the past 125 years – to exist for the next 125 years. “
Buffet is a business associate of Seaman’s husband, Alan Schwartz, executive chairman of Guggenheim Partners.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England / Westchester Properties is based in Wallingford, Connecticut. It opened its first Westchester County offices in 2015 in Scarsdale, Larchmont and Eastchester, and expanded to Rye last year. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties opened earlier this month in New York City.
“Nancy, Stephen and Chris, along with their team of Sales Managers and Agents, have built an extraordinary organization and exemplify a level of expertise and leadership unmatched in the real estate industry today,” said Ron Peltier , Chairman of the Board of Directors. and CEO, HomeServices. “Their culture of integrity and innovation aligns closely with our corporate vision and our focus on customer value and results. “
With the transaction, HomeServices has nearly 29,500 real estate professionals operating in nearly 570 offices in 28 states. In 2016, the company’s associates facilitated more than $ 93 billion in residential real estate sales.
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