A detailed guide and review of HomeServices of America in 2024
HomeServices of America is one of the largest real estate brokerage firms and home services franchisor in the United States. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, HomeServices is an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway that oversees the operations of over 50 real estate, home services, and property management companies. Some of its most notable subsidiaries include HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate, Long & Foster, Edina Realty, and Prosperity Home Mortgage.
With over 43,000 real estate agents in 900+ brokerage offices across 30 states, HomeServices helped over $204 billion in real estate sales volume in 2021 alone. Its integrated family of companies also provides other home-related offerings like mortgage lending, title and escrow services, home warranty protection plans, property and casualty insurance, and home decor retail.
- Real Estate Brokerage: HomeServices’ family of realty brands offers residential real estate brokerage services, connecting home buyers and sellers with knowledgeable agents to assist in property transactions. Its nationwide subsidiaries facilitate over 340,000 home sales per year.
- Mortgage Lending: Prosperity Home Mortgage is HomeService’s in-house mortgage lending division, offering a wide range of home loan programs. With over 130 branches in 35 states, Prosperity facilitates over $30 million in home loans annually.
- Insurance: HomeServices insurance providers like American Home Shield, Home Warranty of America, and National Home Insurance Company offer various insurance products to protect homeowners, including home warranty plans, property insurance, flood insurance, and personal liability coverage.
- Title & Closing Services: Companies like Iowa Title Guaranty and Burnet Title provide title research, escrow closing services, title defect resolution, and title insurance to HomeServices real estate transactions. This helps ensure a smooth home buying/selling process.
- Home Decor Retail: Nebraska Furniture Mart is a HomeServices retail subsidiary that provides furniture, electronics, appliances and home accessories. With multiple mega-store locations across the Midwest, NFM is one of the nation’s largest home furnishings retailers.
- National Footprint & Global Brand Affiliation: With real estate brokerage offices nationwide, plus its affiliation with a major global brand in Berkshire Hathaway, HomeServices enjoys unmatched scale and brand recognition in the industry.
- Integrated Service Offerings: HomeServices consolidates all major home buying/selling services (realty, mortgage, insurance, etc.) under one umbrella, providing a streamlined experience.
- Experience & Knowledge: HomeServices leverages its collective experience from over 180 years of real estate operations to equip its realtors and brokers with unparalleled market knowledge and expertise.
- Technology Forward: HomeServices subsidiaries utilize innovative proptech tools and platforms (CRM, targeted marketing, email automation) to create tech-enabled experiences.
- Strong Leadership: HomeServices’ CEO, Gino Blefari, and President/CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Chris Stuart, are highly experienced industry veterans providing strong leadership.
Pros and cons:
Pros of HomeServices of America:
- Large network of agents: HomeServices has a large network of agents, which means that you have a wider pool of potential buyers and sellers to choose from.
- Strong brand reputation: HomeServices is a well-known and respected brand in the real estate industry, which can give you peace of mind when choosing an agent.
- Wide range of services: HomeServices offers a wide range of services, which can make it a one-stop shop for all of your real estate needs.
- Technology-powered tools: HomeServices provides its agents with a variety of technology-powered tools, which can help them better serve their clients.
- Commitment to customer service: HomeServices is committed to providing its customers with excellent customer service.
Cons of HomeServices of America:
- High commission rates: HomeServices’ commission rates are higher than those of some other real estate companies.
- Less personal attention: Because HomeServices is such a large company, you may not get as much personal attention from your agent as you would with a smaller company.
- Potential conflicts of interest: HomeServices is affiliated with several other companies that offer real estate-related services, which could create potential conflicts of interest.
Reviews of HomeServices of America:
HomeServices of America has received generally positive reviews from customers. On Google, the company has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with over 100,000 reviews. Customers have praised HomeServices for its knowledgeable and professional agents, its wide range of services, and its commitment to customer service.
Overall, HomeServices of America is a reputable and well-respected real estate company that can provide you with a wide range of services. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of the company carefully before making a decision.
Areas for Improvement
- Franchise Costs: Opening a HomeServices franchise like Edina Realty or Ebby Halliday carries high upfront investment ($75k+) and fees (6-7% commissions) that are prohibitive for many owners.
- Limited International Scope: While HomeServices has a strong domestic presence across most major metro areas, it does not have brokerage operations housed outside of the United States.
- Hyperlocal Focus Lacking: Most HomeServices subsidiaries operate as independent local brands without a unified national brand identity that fully leverages HomeServices’ combined brokerage network potential.
- Bias Towards Traditional Brokerage Model: While HomeServices is tech-forward, most brands still align with the traditional brokerage approach while disruptors promote hybrid/tech-focused models.
Is HomeServices a Good Franchise Investment?
For those interested in a real estate franchise ownership opportunity, HomeServices provides a compelling option. As part of the Berkshire family and with high brand recognition, an existing book of business, lead generation systems, proprietary tech platforms, and training programs, HomeServices’ franchises offer turnkey brokerage solutions.
And with most subsidiaries realizing yearly double-digit sales growth consistently outpacing independent agencies, franchisees are likely to thrive. Just ensure your local market can support adequate real estate demand, be prepared to handle the sizeable investment and fees, and have realistic growth expectations if opening where an established franchise location already exists.
Here are some additional things to consider when choosing HomeServices of America:
- Your specific needs: Consider your specific needs when choosing a real estate company. If you are looking for a company that can provide you with a wide range of services, then HomeServices is a good option. However, if you are looking for a company that can provide you with more personal attention, then you may want to consider a smaller company.
- Your budget: HomeServices’ commission rates are higher than those of some other real estate companies. Be sure to factor this into your budget when making a decision.
- Your comfort level: It is important to feel comfortable with your real estate agent. Interview different agents from different companies to find one that you feel comfortable working with.
In summary, with its unmatched scale, resources, and experience consolidating all aspects of home buying/selling services under one umbrella of high-performing brands, HomeServices of America stands as a franchise giant in the real estate brokerage space. Though not without areas that can improve, for the right franchisee in an ideal territory, a HomeServices franchise remains a lucrative avenue to explore.