Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty Merges With Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kovack Realtors®
Southwestern Pennsylvania-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty has acquired Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kovack Realtors®.
Kovack Realtors® was founded in 1981 by Darlene Kovack in Wadsworth, Ohio. Kovack’s company grew at a rapid pace, becoming one of the top brokerages in Ohio. In 1986, Michele Kovack Boyd returned to Ohio to assist in the family business. Since 1996, Boyd has led the company. She serves as a director on the Medina County Board of Realtors®, is a licensed Continuing Education Provider in the state of Ohio and has a total of 37 agents in her offices.
“Joining forces with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services [The Preferred Realty’s Eastern Ohio affiliate] was a natural progression for Kovack Realtors®. We already love the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices name, and can grow even more with the local support of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services,” says Boyd. Boyd will continue in her role as a managing broker in the office. Local clientele can expect a seamless experience as the new branding is unveiled.
Kevin Leonard, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty, in the Ohio region, is excited about the skillset Kovack Realtors® will bring.
“We are thrilled to have Michele grow with us; she has a terrific reputation along with superior leadership and operational skills,” says Leonard.
Tom Hosack, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty CEO and president, is thrilled about the merger.
“Clearly we have a very similar business model with Michele’s Kovack Realtors®,” says Hosack. “This joining of forces lets us leverage the power of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices name even more.”
The union adds to the brokerage superpower of more than 1,800 agents and 54 offices serving 22 counties in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.
Berkshire Northwood Invests in Technology
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty anticipates 2020 to be a big year as it focuses on growth through agent recruitment and the acquisition of new offices.
Last year the company grew by acquiring two new offices, in Medina and Wadsworth, reports MacKenzie Deller, marketing coordinator.
“Our key challenges in 2020 will be the growing market,” she says. “We are starting to notice a larger demand for homes in the first-time homebuyer price range. The challenge is that few houses for first-time homebuyers are hitting the market right now. Our agents will have to work smarter and harder to find homes for their clients in the northeastern Ohio market.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network provides agents with the most advanced technology, training and tools in the industry, according to Deller. “We are on the forefront of digital advertising and analytics,” she says.
The company has invested in a mobile app that allows agents to stay connected with homebuyers as well as Call Connect. This exclusive program, launched last June, allows an agent to differentiate between a robocall and someone calling specifically for real estate business. The calls come from a number assigned to the agent that he can save to his phone.
In 2018, Berkshire Hathaway had 6,018 calls from people clicking the button on its website; in 2019 that increased to 22,128.
“Technology helps advance our business, but technology won’t come between the relationship of our agents and homebuyers. Our business is centered around building good relationships,” Deller says.
That’s why Berkshire Hathaway empasizes training, she continues, and has a department dedicated to continuing education. Agents value the Zoom classes provided and gain valuable information geared toward increasing their business.
2019 brought numerous company recognitions. Among them: Tom Hosack, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, The Preferred Realty and Northwood Realty Services, was ranked in the 2020 Swanepoel Power 200 as one of the most powerful leaders in residential real rstate brokerage. He was also named to the board of the Broker Public Portal and elected president of the West Penn Multi-List.
Also last year, Kevin Leonard was named president of the the company’s Ohio Division and director of luxury collection in Pennsylvania.
As it does every year, Berkshire Hathaway gives back to the community, most notably through the Northwood Charitable Foundation annual bowl-a-thon that raises about $40,000 a year for the foundation, Deller says.
Last April, the Salem office received the Salem Area Chamber beautification award. Agents at this office volunteer at nursing homes and parks and and host community events.