Edina Realty's parent buys Alabama firm

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2011 - 9:26 PM

Minneapolis-based HomeServices of America pushes national strategy.

HomeServices of America, the Minneapolis-based parent company of Edina Realty, said Tuesday that it has acquired Dauphin Realty, an Alabama firm that serves Mobile and the city's surrounding communities.

The deal is part of a national strategy aimed at acquiring established regional brokerages with deep ties to local buyers and sellers. As with all of its acquisition targets, HomeServices, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, will retain the local brand to capitalize on its regional recognition.

"Dauphin Realty is a respected company, with an excellent reputation and long-term ties to the community," said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. "This transaction exemplifies our vision of acquiring distinguished companies that share our core values."

Dauphin was founded in 1985 and now has four branches with 85 sales associates. The company will eventually merge with Roberts Brothers, another Alabama-based firm that HomeServices acquired in 2005. Roberts Brothers, founded in 1946, has four offices and more than 150 sales agents.

Peltier said the Dauphin acquisition offers the company a leading position within Mobile and Baldwin counties in southern Alabama. Though HomeServices doesn't operate its own real estate brand -- a contrarian approach in today's market -- expanding market share enables the company to increase revenues by increasing the number of affiliated services. HomeServices could offer these through its mortgage, title and closing services, insurance and home warranties and operations.

Peltier wouldn't comment on other potential acquisition targets, but the company has been clear about its plans to continue pursuing national expansion, particularly of companies that don't have the resources to compete in an increasingly challenging market.

Though Dauphin will largely retain its current staff, leadership and local presence, it can benefit from the technology and support services that are available to other HomeServices entities.

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376

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