Industry Update: the Future of eClosing and RON

Join industry experts for an in-depth discussion on the future of eClosing and how hybrid and RON closings benefit lenders and borrowers.

DOJ v. NAR and the ethics of real estate commissions

Today’s HousingWire Daily features the first-ever episode of Houses in Motion. We discuss the Department of Justice’s recent move to withdraw from a settlement agreement with the NAR.

Hopes for generational investment in housing fade in DC

Despite a Democratic majority, the likelihood of a massive investment in housing via a $3.5 trillion social infrastructure package appears slim these days. HW+ Premium Content

Road to the one-click mortgage

This white paper will outline how leveraging a credential-based data provider can save money for lenders, reduce friction for borrowers, speed time to close, and overall bring lenders one step closer to a one-click mortgage.

Real EstateBrokerage

Warren Buffett’s boring, dominant resi brokerage

HomeServices has methodically and anonymously stayed profitable for years

Gino Blefari HW+
Gino Blefari, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices of America CEO and chairman

Gino Blefari is a pretty colorful character. The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices of America CEO and chairman of Berkshire’s franchise network, HSF Affiliates, calls money “dough,” and is fond of tangents – like describing the initial reporting on the JFK assassination, and the best routes to the John Wayne Airport in Irvine, California.

But while Blefari has a clearly defined personality, the residential real estate brokerage he runs doesn’t. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices of America is not just a boring mouthful of a name, but it is a confusingly layered operation.

There are corporate parents, brokerage branches, brokerage branches with their own branding, mortgage companies, mortgage companies that are joint ventures with a subsidiary brokerage, a title and escrow division, and an insurance division. HSF Affiliates, meanwhile, is a mélange of franchisees with and without the Berkshire name.

“I’d like us to have more of an identity,” Blefari admitted.

This muddle combined with the brokerage’s old-fashioned approach – Blefari is not only the rare real estate CEO who does not wax on about technology, but he actually discussed how fun it was to recently post on Facebook – underwhelms real estate observers, who can offer a fiercely opinionated response about Zillow or Compass at the drop of a hat.

HomeServices is “staid” and “traditional,” said Jonathan Miller, appraiser at Miller Samuel, with “nothing earth-shattering” going on.

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