Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices announced expansion of its franchise network into the London market by signing an agreement with luxury estate agency Kay & Co. Starting November 2018; the agency will operate as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co.
The signing marks the second global franchisee of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices following Rubina Real Estate of Berlin in May. Kay & Co plans expansion in the prime central London market through acquisitions and joint ventures with best-in-class agencies, and the addition of up to 10 standalone offices over the next decade.
“London has been among our highest priorities as a key center for international business and an attractive market for global capital looking to invest in property,” said Gino Blefari, president and CEO of the network. “We are thrilled to enter the market with Kay & Co, a brokerage known for exceptional leadership, knowledgeable, tenured agents and relentless client service. As important, the company’s core values and growth aspirations match those of our own, steeped in trust, integrity, stability and longevity.”
Kay & Co, founded in 1982 by Chairman Samuel Bikhit, remains independently owned and operated. It serves London’s upscale Mayfair, Hyde Park, Marylebone, Regent’s Park, King’s Cross, Bayswater, Paddington and West End districts. The estate agency was recently named “Smaller Managing Agent of the Year” at the prestigious ARMA ACE Awards, which recognize the U.K.’s leading residential asset managers and suppliers. It is also a perennial honoree of the British Property Awards, a recognition program that ultimately helps consumers choose estate agencies.
“We are proud to bring the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand to London,” said Bikhit. “We believe Londoners and our many American clients in the city will embrace the brand and understand its marketing appeal.”
Martin Bikhit, Kay & Co’s managing director, added: “We are delighted to enter into this agreement with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. London is a global hub that attracts people from around the world and as specialists in the central London property market we are confident that London will remain a desirable choice for many.”
Timing for his agency’s brand transition is ideal as an influx of corporations to London will likely drive demand for luxury residential real estate, Martin Bikhit said. “We believe there will be a surge of home-buyer interest in areas across central London, driven by the arrival of global tech giants Apple in Battersea Power Station, Twitter in Soho, Instagram and Snap – the parent company of Snapchat – in Fitzrovia and Google and Facebook in King’s Cross,” he explained. “These companies and others have made informed decisions to establish hubs in London. Their employees will need homes in the months and years ahead, and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co will be ready to help.”
With their network membership, Kay & Co gains access to the brand’s Global Network Platform, a powerful tool suite driving lead generation, marketing support, social media, video production/distribution and more. The brand also provides global listing syndication, relocation referrals, professional education and the exclusive Luxury Collection marketing program for high-end listings.
“Our longstanding clients are going to benefit from this international alliance, which will open up opportunities with fellow Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchisees,” Martin Bikhit said. “We are joining a network of top U.S. and German estate agencies and as such we’re very excited for the future.”
Samuel Bikhit reflected that his family-owned estate agency has matured nicely over the years. “Kay & Co steps forward to a whole new era with a wealth of experience serving the central London market our team dearly loves,” he said. “We’ve seen boom times and we’ve endured challenging times. The experience has given us a unique insight and understanding of the areas and clients we serve, and that knowledge is hard to beat.”