Brand new cabernet-and-cream Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Executive Group Real Estate signs officially replaced the familiar blue-and-white of Prudential Executive Group Real Estate in Northwest Indiana last Thursday.
“This is much more than a name change for us,” Larry Hitz, broker/owner of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Executive Group office in Valparaiso, said. “It’s an opportunity to bring a new level of quality and innovation to our office. We operated under the Century 21 brand for 25 years before making the move to Prudential Executive Group in October of 2007. Now, we are merging the heritage and expertise of Prudential with the investment competency of Berkshire Hathaway. With the resources and technology committed to launching this new real estate brand nationwide, it is truly a defining moment in our industry.”
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made its move into the real estate business in late 2012 with the acquisition of Prudential’s real estate agent network from Brookfield Asset Management.
“Berkshire Hathaway is one of the most recognizable brands in the world according to Barron’s, and we’re thrilled to be associated with it,” Hitz added. “Warren Buffett is legendary. When a billionaire investor like Warren Buffett is bullish enough on something to put his own company name on something, it says a lot. We had the option to make the switch or maintain the status quo. I opted to join Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. I took the ‘train that’s going 80 miles an hour’ because I didn’t want to be on the one stuck on the sidelines. Everyone in the office is extremely excited about the future.”
After a celebration open house event that featured beef (a nod to Buffett’s home state of Omaha) plus a selection of fine Cabernet wine along with a few other treats from Berkshire Hathaway companies such as Dairy Queen and Coca Cola, the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Executive Group team was back to work – meeting with buyers and sellers across Northwest Indiana and the southwest suburbs of Chicago, marketing properties, negotiating transactins and attending closings.
“The market is changing - homes are appreciating - and I can’t think of a better time to be affiliated with a company rooted in financial strength, integrity and trust,” Hitz said. “It’s a great name change – we are the chosen ambassadors of the Berkshire Hathaway brand in the real estate brokerage business – but it’s also an opportunity to change the business. We will continue to set high standards and exceed expectations on our way to becoming the best recognized and most highly respected homeownership services brand in the region.”
With just a select few companies in the US provided the opportunity to use the Berkshire Hathaway name, it is truly a testament to the quality of the agents, the quality of the owners and the quality of the company when they do become an affiliate. Locally owned and operated by Larry Hitz, this is the first Indiana-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchise.
“I believe Berkshire Hathaway is the new force in real estate,” he said. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brings together our local expertise with the proven operational excellence, demonstrated integrity and reputation of Berkshire Hathaway. There’s a whole new level of technology and sophistication being introduced into the market, and we are certainly honored to be a part of it.”
Dedicated to the community where he lives and works, Hitz takes great pride in the growth and development of Valparaiso during his career in real estate.
“New construction, relocation and the high-end of the market were all a natural fit as Valparaiso was growing and changing,” he explained. “I had the great opportunity to be a part of some very prestigious projects.”
Keeping a pulse on the community, Hitz also serves on working committees and personally contributes to local causes while encouraging and supporting the philanthropic efforts of his agents and staff. With approximately 20 agents working in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Executive Group office, there is a great diversity of interests and strengths.
“Having the longevity in the marketplace, being intimately involved in the community and sharing our passion for our profession is what makes this office unique,” he added. “Along with the latest technology, we have people who specialize in everything from custom homes to starter homes, including farms and foreclosures – and we cover a great deal of territory with top-producing agents in Porter and Lake County and several agents licensed in Illinois. This is the type of industry expertise you can expect from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Executive Group Real Estate.”