The past couple of years have brought major changes for the real estate firm founded by Jim Manning some 30 years ago. The Overland Park/Lenexa office founded in 1984 as ERA Manning & Associates was sold in 2013 to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.
“We had no intention of selling the company until Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices contacted us in December of 2012,” Manning said. “We had been approached by many companies over the years. However, because of Berkshire Hathaway’s name and reputation, we agreed to meet.
“We were impressed with all of the marketing tools and programs they had to offer. We thought all of our associates would benefit by their name, reputation, ownership and support.”
Before the sale, the office had been successful as a boutique real estate agency offering excellent client services and enjoyed a long history of providing real estate services to professional athletes in the Kansas City area. The sale to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices became official on April 1, 2013, a move that Manning said has resulted in more services available to clients, more support for the associates and expanded business.
In addition to the Overland Park/Lenexa office at 9870 Quivira Road with 48 associates, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty has an office in Blue Springs at 2307 SW Outer Road with 18 associates. The two offices had approximately $130 million in sales in 2013, an increase of approximately 20 percent over the previous year.
“Our agents now benefit by the many services not available to us before: two in-house attorneys, a relocation department, marketing department, an IT support staff, one-on-one training and all the resources provided by Berkshire Hathaway HomeSerivces” Manning said. “They are all located minutes away at our corporate home office in Leawood.”
One service that the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty team offers to any homeowner is a no obligation market analysis reflecting the value of their home. Those who contact the office and request the service will have a monthly update emailed to them that shows homes listed for sale in their neighborhood and the listing price, as well as homes under contract and the selling price.
“We’ll never call those who request the service and the information is emailed to them until they discontinue the service,” Manning said.
The change of ownership in 2013 was followed by Manning being named president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty on May 1, 2014.
“At that time, we started our first recruiting program by accepting new and experienced agents,” Manning said. “The number of agents in our Overland Park/Lenexa office increased by 38 percent in the first 90 days. We still have eight openings and will begin interviewing agents for those spots this month.”
Manning has plans for even more expansion this year. “Our goal for 2015 is to fill our Overland Park/Lenexa office by the eight openings, add more agents in the Blue Springs/Lee’s Summit office and open a Plaza/Brooskide or Prairie Village office. We are currently in talks with a number of agents and other companies about joining us.”
Manning noted that Berkshire Hathaway was named by Barron’s Magazine in 2013 as the world’s most respected company.
“Our clients know the name stands for strength, integrity and financial stability,” he said. “In the short time of their ownership, we’ve found that consumers identify with and feel comfortable being associated with the Berkshire Hathaway name as they make what may be the biggest financial investment in their lifetime.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices of America also owns 450 real estate offices with more than 22,100 sales associates throughout the country.
“We are able to handle all of our client’s real estate needs with other companies affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway — title work by Kansas City Title and home loans by HomeServices Lending,” Manning said.
The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate brand has more than 1,000 offices nationwide and more than 34,000 agents.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty
Locations: Corporate office, 11601 Granada Road, Leawood; Overland Park/Lenexa office, 9870 Quivira Road, Lenexa; Blue Springs office, 2307 SW Outer Road, Blue Springs.
Contact: Overland Park/Lenexa, 913-492-4550; Blue Springs, 816-229-4242.