The Strategist

Buffett's empire bets on luxury real estate

11/13/2018 - 14:59

The subsidiary of the company specializing in real estate services is expanding its presence throughout the world, from Italy to Japan and the Middle East.

Fortune Live Media
Fortune Live Media
The real estate business of Warren Buffett’s empire has been waiting for signing of its first overseas franchise deal for 18 years. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is expanding its presence in the world from Italy to Japan and the Middle East.

This month, the company merged with the British Kay & Co., the second largest real estate company in Europe after Rubina Real Estate in Berlin. By the end of the year, the company hopes to include Milan, Vienna and Dubai in the regions of presence.

"Over time, we will be in all major metropolitan markets," said Gino Blefari, curator of franchising networks, adding that the company is also in talks with potential partners in Paris and Madrid, and is also considering working in Mexico City, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Buffett acquired a stake in HomeServices of America, which consists of real estate brokerage companies and mortgage companies, as part of the purchase of the energy business in 2000. The billionaire investor initially paid little attention to this area, but the deal made Buffett’s Empire the second US real estate broker.

"With so many luxury real estate buyers coming from outside the United States, it has become important for us to become global," said Gino Blefari.