The new firm is a division of Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway, owned by billionaire Warren Buffet. His company also owns Minneapolis, Minn.-based HomeServices of America, which owns Buckhead-based Harry Norman, Realtors and owned Jenny Pruitt and Associates, Realtors before it merged with Harry Norman in 2009.
HomeServices of America acquired Prudential Georgia Realty in March but the switch was not official until this week. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ announcement will be followed by a digital advertising campaign that will include billboards, flat-screen TVs and retail kiosks.
Prudential is ranked No. 1 in metro Atlanta among residential real estate firms for overall transactions, listing sales, buyer sales and current inventory. The new company will use many of the programs Prudential already had, including local mobile real estate apps and paperless transaction management/mobile agent support. It will also keep its local management team in place and will have 22 offices, the same number Prudential had.
One addition will be its Luxury Collection division, which will focus on high-end homes, including those in Buckhead and beyond. The new company plans to open an office in Vinings this spring.
“Take 50 years of evolution, culminating with Prudential Georgia Realty being the No. 1 company in the market, and now we launch into the next evolution of our company, real estate and our brand, so to speak,” said Dan Forsman, president and CEO of both the old company and the new one. “We close the door on one legacy and open the door on an amazing future. That’s what I see. All the growth and the battles to get to this point, to launch a whole new brand in this market, it’s a great opportunity for me personally, our company, our agents and our clients and customers.”
In a statement, Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, said, “Dan Forsman’s leadership and uncompromising commitment to his agents, employees and customers has guided Prudential Georgia Realty to its position as one of the largest companies within the Prudential network. We are proud to have his leadership for our new Georgia company.”
Forsman said he decided to make the switch this month so the new company would have an easier transition from Prudential Georgia Realty. Berkshire Hathaway approached him about the launching of the new brand before the company was purchased.
“I did not want to be the first to convert, but I also wanted to do it at a time that was least disruptive for my associates, clients and customers to convert,” Forsman said. “Plus we had the opportunity to see the new value proposition and the new brand rollout and to follow other conversions, so ours would be smooth.”