By SAM HOUSEHOLDER
---- — BRISTOL — Prudential One Real Estate has become Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northern Indiana.
The franchise name change became official at a launch party Tuesday held at Elcona Country Club in Bristol.
Steve Fase, broker owner and chief executive officer of the newly named Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northern Indiana, said he has been the owner of the firm since 1981 when Prudential was just beginning.
“It has been a wonderful run,” he said.
Fase’s franchise operates 40 offices across Indiana and Michigan and said the employees and customers are embracing the change.
“We’re just very, very excited about it,” Fase said. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner in Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and Warren Buffett.
Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest men in the world and operates Berkshire Hathaway, an umbrella investment company with many business interests.
“And we have 560 sales associates and nobody likes change, but they are embracing this and our customers are embracing this so we’re pretty excited.”
According to Fase, when Prudential decided to get out of the real estate franchise business it was a perfect fit for them to change to the new Berkshire Hathaway brand.
“We just think what a better choice. Berkshire Hathaway is known for financial strength, stability, longevity, it was a perfect match for us,” Fase said.
“First of all, the franchise is for us. We look for it as added supportt. We still have to be an excellent company and have excellent Realtors,” he said.
“We’ll see a difference in forward-thinking, technology, I think, just keeping ahead of everything,” he said.
Fase believes the integrity of Buffett’s name and Berkshire Hathaway name have behind them will help the business.
“(Warren Buffett) has had a chance to say what a real estate franchise is supposed to look like ‘and let’s build a great one,’” Fase said. “And we believe he has.”