It’s been a very busy week for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago

by Emma Ludman

BHHS opens new River Forest location

This week, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago announced the opening of their new storefront in River Forest. John Lawrence, managing broker of the Oak Park office, will manage the new location as an extension of his current duties.

“Our organization is definitely in a growth mode, but we are interested in growing in ways that really make sense for our company, our agents and our clients,” Mark Pasquesi, president of brokerage for the Chicagoland arm of Berkshire Hathaway, said in a press release announcing the new office. “In the fourth quarter of 2019, we closed approximately $16 million in business in River Forest and another $3 million in January 2020. When this opportunity arose, we acted quickly to make it a reality.”

Zak Knebel set to staff up new BHHS storefront

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago also announced this week that Zak Knebel would be joining their team from @properties’ Oak Park location. He will be among the first agents to open the brokerage’s aforementioned River Forest office.

An Oak Park native, Knebel has worked as a real estate professional since 2006 and has received numerous accolades and specialized training over the course of his career. “I’ve been really interested in how Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago is growing and responding to consumer needs,” Knebel said in a press release. “Their extensive marketing reach was a key factor in my decision, and I look forward to the additional resources and support I can offer to my clients.”

BHHS welcomes Andrea Geller to Lincoln Park office

This week, industry veteran Andrea Geller announced she’d be moving over to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago’s Lincoln Park office, joining a team under managing broker Darlene Little.

Geller, who was up until recently working with The Chaz Walters Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, has worked in the business for more than 20 years. In 2015 she was named as one of the Swanepoel Power 200 and was later among the finalists for Inman’s Innovative Real Estate Agent Award.

“I am excited to make this change and bring all that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago offers to my clients,” Geller said in a press release announcing the move. “They are looking at all things real estate with fresh eyes and it’s energizing. I want to be part of that, and Darlene’s office is where I want to be.”

La Grange boutique brokerage becomes Compass team

Joan Smothers is bringing her team of more than 30 agents and staff over to Compass Chicago. Smothers Realty Group totaled around $2.8 billion in sales over their 23 years that the independent brokerage has served the La Grange community, according to a Compass press release announcing the acquisition.

“Smothers Realty Group has been leading the La Grange area for over 20 years, always keeping our reputation for quality, hard work and a strong sense of community,” said Smothers. “This partnership with Compass allows us to maintain a hyperlocal presence while giving us the tools needed for the future of the business.”

Kathy Kalnes, Compass sales lead for the western suburbs welcomed the new team. “The No. 1 brokerage in La Grange joining forces with a top national brokerage showcases how focused Compass is on community and local presence in every market,” Kalnes said.

New name for real estate mega-brand

NRT, the parent company of Coldwell Banker, Corcoran and Sotheby’s International Realty, announced this week they would change their name from NRT to Realogy Brokerage Group. 

“As Realogy continues to transform from a holding company to a true operator of leading residential real estate brands, brokerages and businesses, we have made significant progress in simplifying our organization to focus on our core drivers,” Realogy President and CEO Ryan Schneider said in a statement. “Renaming our operating segments further streamlines how we communicate the real estate services we offer and amplifies the Realogy name across the primary work we do.”

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