Gino Blefari became CEO of HomeServices of America (HSA) in January 2019, taking leadership of the operator of the nation’s largest real estate brokerage by transaction count (330,000 in 2019) from its longtime and beloved leader, Ron Peltier. As CEO, Blefari leads over 43,000 agents at over 900 company-owned brokerages across 30 states and Washington, D.C., plus over 53,000 agents at brokerages affiliated with its Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Real Living and Intero Real Estate brands. All told, HSA’s over 79,000 agents do over $206 billion in annual sales.
HSA exceeded its prior-year third quarter and nine-month operating revenue in 2020 through the third quarter, both by over $400 million, and its operating income more than doubled in third quarter 2020 to $239 million compared to the third quarter 2019. Its net income came in at $177 million for the third quarter, up 116 percent compared to the same period the year previous. Both are record results for the company, a subsidiary of the giant Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK).
Having weathered the storm that was 2020, Blefari leads a real estate company that is unique in one critical way: access to capital. While Zillow Group, Redfin and eXp Realty are public companies subject to the whims of the stock market, and Keller Williams Realty and Compass are thinking about going public to access capital, HSA is a business unit of Berkshire Hathaway. The giant conglomerate has over $146 billion in cash on hand, and that is after spending $15.7 billion on buying back its own shares. To put that in context, Berkshire spent almost four times what Zillow has in total just to buy back its own shares.
Since rising to the top job, Blefari restructured the company by removing all regional presidents and having all company presidents, some 26 in total, report directly to him. With weekly sales and accountability calls, Blefari has improved exceeded targets and budgets despite 2020 being a difficult year in general.
Prior to being named CEO, Blefari led HSF Affiliates — operator of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Real Living and Intero Real Estate franchise brands. He joined HSA in 2014, when it acquired Intero Real Estate Services, Inc., which he founded in 2002 and through mid-2014 served as its president and CEO. Prior to that Blefari served as SVP for NRT after selling Century 21 Seville-Contempo, another real estate company he co-owned with Bob Moles, to Realogy.