‘Business as Usual’ for Prudential Rubloff, Despite Berkshire Acquisiton

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Principals of Prudential Rubloff Properties Michael Pierson and Chris Eigel have announced that operations for their brokerage will not be affected by the recent acquisition of the Prudential brand by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

By Carlo Calma and Peter Ricci

Michael Pierson, principal for Prudential Rubloff Properties, announced Tuesday, Oct. 30 that operations for the brokerage will not be affected by the recent acquisition of the Prudential and Real Living real estate franchises by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

The Prudential brand was acquired by Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. in early December of last year. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., though, which is owned by business magnate Warren Buffett, is now acquiring both the Prudential and Real Living brands from Brookfield., according to reports.

No Changes for Prudential Rubloff

Despite the recent news, Pierson asserted in an issued press release that there will be “no changes” for the brand that he, and fellow Principal Chris Eigel, operates.

“As a reminder, Prudential Rubloff Properties is privately owned and operated by the two of us,” said Pierson in an email. “We have a long-term agreement with Prudential and simply put, it is business as usual at Prudential Rubloff Properties.”

“We make the operating decisions at [Prudential Rubloff],” Pierson added. “No one else.”

Berkshire’s Vote of Confidence for Housing

The one intriguing aspect of the deal, as we mentioned already, is that Brookfield just purchased the Prudential network not even a year ago. Although it seems like a rather quick turnaround on Brookfield’s ends, the deal makes perfect sense when one views the post-boom business decisions of Buffett.

Ever the optimist, Buffett was endorsing expansionary policies even during the financial meltdown, and given his recent bullish comments on the housing market, it’s not surprising that he would make such a pronounced investment in real estate.

Also, Buffett’s acquisitions are another sign of investor confidence in the housing market – perhaps the sign, even, given Buffett’s superior reputation in the investment world. Along with the successful IPOs of Zillow, Trulia and Realogy, the markets can’t seem to get enough housing, it seems!

Naming Rights?

The Prudential network will be based in Irvine, California, and managed by executives from Prudential. Both the Prudential and Real Living brands, though, will be combined into what HomeServices CEO Ron Peltier called a “super brand,” called Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – a name that, ironically, has been criticized by some outlets for its lack of imagination.

Real estate website Estately, as a result, took it upon itself to suggest to Buffett what it called “superior” names for the new brokerage. It suggested 29 in total, but our favorites were “Warren’s All-You-Can-Eat Real Estate Buffet” and “Buffett the Real Estate Slayer.” See the other suggestions here!

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