Real estate offices combine into new franchise

VIENNA – Three local real estate companies (four offices) have combined under a new franchise and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday at its new Parkersburg location and an event Friday at Campus Martius Museum to celebrate the Marietta office.

The 9,700-square-foot office building is in PMC building 11 at the end of 37th Street near the Grand Central Mall.

“We are honored and proud to be entrusted with the use of the Berkshire Hathaway name as our new real estate franchise brand,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices.

Attending the ceremony from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices national division was Tony Porterfield on Thursday and Susan Ireland on Friday.

The Mid-Ohio Valley affiliate is the seventh company in the country to open. There will be hundreds of local franchises in the coming years, according to a press release.

The Mid-Ohio Valley affiliate is known as Real Estate Center and is locally owned and operated. Owners of three local real estate companies have combined into one: Terry Connolly, formerly of Prudential Preferred Homes; Ted Gaston, formerly of Old Colony Parkersburg and First City of Marietta; and Don Dooley and Linda McLean, formerly of Coldwell Banker/Landmark Realtors.

According to Gaston, broker of record for the new company, “Warren Buffett is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a company which is respected throughout the world for its professionalism and integrity. We’re proud to join the real estate network whose name was inspired by Mr. Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.”

“One of the most exciting parts of this new venture,” said Connolly, “is the amount of technology that we will have to showcase our listings throughout the Internet and other social media as well as the tried-and-true print media venues. We have committed to install the latest applications, hardware and software systems. This will enable us to provide our listings to the widest variety of sources for buyers of all backgrounds to easily find the house of their dreams.”

“We’ve been thinking about combining our offices for some time, and we knew we wanted to remain with a national brand,” said McLean. “But when we heard about BHHS, it was kind of a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with one of the world’s most admired companies? Our namesake, Berkshire Hathaway, was named the No. 1 company in Barron’s annual ranking of the world’s 100 most respected companies. This speaks to a commitment to business ethics and integrity over all else and this is exactly the way we feel about what we do!”

“We have over 50 real estate associates in our new office family. Our three companies have always shared the same commitment to honesty, personal attention to our clients and professional ethics when dealing with our fellow realtors. We have always worked very well together and we are comfortable that this transition will be a smooth one,” said Dooley. “It’s even better than we possibly imagined.”