The Twin Cities company that owns Edina Realty has acquired the biggest residential real estate brokerage in the backyard of its famous owner, Warren Buffett.
HomeServices of America, an affiliate of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, said it is buying its independently owned and operated franchisee Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate.
Ron Peltier, HomeServices' chairman and CEO, said the latest deal will solidify HomeServices' dominance in the Omaha area. The deal also includes an ownership interest in Ambassador Title Services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We like Omaha," Peltier said shortly after the deal was announced. "It's a very good growing market, and we're very pleased to have made this acquisition."
HomeServices already owns some of the biggest brokerages in Nebraska, including Omaha-based CBSHome and Lincoln-based Woods BroRealty and Home Real Estate. Those companies will continue to operate as independently branded companies.
Ambassador serves several cities in and around Omaha, including Lincoln, Council Bluffs, Fremont and Dundee.
The company has 630 sales associates in five offices and it closed more than $2.1 billion in sales last year.
Ambassador's current president, Vince Leisey, and the existing executive team and sales managers will continue to oversee the company's day-to-day operations, strategic planning and long-term growth initiatives.
"I am thrilled to join HomeServices' family of companies," Leisey said. "When you combine the exceptional culture that is the core of Ambassador's productivity and success with HomeServices' commitment to delivering exceptional service to its buyers and sellers and its unsurpassed growth opportunities, there is no limit to what we can accomplish."
HomeServices of America is now the second-largest real estate company in the country. It acquires dominant, locally owned companies and operates them under the existing local brands.
The company recently announced a major acquisition in Texas, and Peltier said that he expects to close three or four more major deals by the end of the year.
"Developing strategies that drive innovation and productivity across HomeServices' family of companies is key to our mission of delivering value to our agents and consumers," Peltier said.
With this transaction, HomeServices will have nearly 43,000 real estate professionals in nearly 900 offices across 30 states. In 2017, associates facilitated more than $137 billion in residential real estate sales and nearly 360,000 transactions.