Berkshire Hathaway Expands Into New York City; Firm Eyes Further Growth in Westchester in 2017
John Jordan | January 2017
NEW YORK—Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices announced on Jan. 9 that it established a beachhead of sorts in New York City, opening its first office in Manhattan at 590 Madison Ave. Company executives also tell Real Estate In-Depth that the firm plans on expanding its operations in Westchester County and elsewhere in 2017.
The newly established Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties is now part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties/Westchester Properties family. The New York City operations will be headed by real estate veteran Ellie Johnson, who for nearly 11 years at Sotheby’s International Realty managed the network’s Upper East Side New York office to perennial sales-volume leadership as a senior vice president/brokerage manager. Prior to her time at Sotheby’s Johnson was the Principal Broker Owner of Executive Brokers, LLC in New York City for four years. Johnson now serves as president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties/Westchester Properties CEO Candace Adams in an interview with Real Estate In-Depth says the firm opened its approximately 5,000-square-foot office on the 37th floor at 590 Madison Ave. on Jan. 9. The company currently has eight licensed agents and will be adding additional personnel at that office this year. She added that the brokerage firm expects to open additional locations in Manhattan in the future. BHHS New York Properties agents also service the other four boroughs of New York City as well.
“We are elated to attract such a talented and respected leader in Ellie Johnson and at the same time enter the New York City real estate market,” says Adams. “This is a monumental step for our brokerage as we look to expand our presence in the Northeast.” BHHS New England Properties, a Wallingford, CT-based company owned by HomeServices of America, entered Westchester County in 2015 with the acquisitions of brokerages operating in Scarsdale, Larchmont and Eastchester. The brokerage expanded into Rye last year.
Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, says, “Ellie has earned a legacy of significant success in the marketplace, and Candace ranks among the finest in real estate brokerage operators. We’re excited to help this brokerage grow.”
He adds New York Properties is vital to the network’s global expansion strategy that begins in 2017. “New York City is the gateway to America and the hub for global industry and finance,” he said. “Our presence in Manhattan is a key factor in our expansion into Western Europe and other parts of the world.”
“I’m honored to represent the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand in Manhattan,” says Johnson. “The brand carries the name of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., one of the world’s most trusted and respected corporations. We are confident the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand will be warmly embraced in Manhattan, as it has been throughout America.”
Adams says the BHHS New York Properties will grow into its new Madison Ave. office. “We will be continuing to add members to our team probably everyday going forward hopefully for several weeks to come.” While she did not say how many agents she hopes to have working at the office, Adams stressed that the company is focused in attracting quality agents to the office.
“We want to make sure that we develop our business in the New York City marketplace so that we are a strong competitor and we want to make sure that we build with quality agents, not necessarily large numbers,” Adams says.
BHHS was actively working on expanding into Manhattan for the past eight months and expects to grow both its New York City and Westchester operations in 2017, Adams notes.
“We have been strategizing for a long time on this and our goal would absolutely be to expand throughout the city and have key locations in the areas that are in most demand right now,” Adams says.
BHHS Eyes Expansion in Westchester in 2017
Adams says that as part of its strategic plan for 2017 is growing its Westchester brokerage operations, as well as its presence in Connecticut and Rhode Island. She also reports that BHHS New England Properties/Westchester Properties also plans to establish an office in Massachusetts this year.
In terms of its expansion this year in Westchester, she says the growth could come in a variety of different ways.
“We are looking to acquire some great firms if we could, we certainly will continue to invite strong agents to join us and we want to expand geographically into a couple of other key markets,” Adams says.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is based in Irvine, CA. HSF Affiliates LLC operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The Irvine, CA-based company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.