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    Berkshire’s Buffett loses top real estate agent to huge rival

    ‘Have to have a huge emphasis on technology’

    Original Article –

    Less than one month after missing out on the $5 billion acquisition of a tech company, Warren Buffett got more bad news.

    Buffett’s real estate brokerage, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, lost one of its biggest stars to rival Keller Williams Realty — in its own backyard. The new office for the departing CEO of Omaha’s Real Estate Group, Jeff Cohn, and his 35-person team is just a 15-minute drive from Buffett’s five-bedroom home in Omaha, Nebraska, according to HousingWire.

    “We believe that having a one-stop-shop solution for the consumer is the future, and going into this next decade, it’s imperative that we’re serving our clients at the highest level,” Cohn said in a Facebook video. “Within our office, you’re going to have access to mortgages, title insurance, along with other amenities to make your experience the best possible.”

    Cohn and his 35-person team plan to join Keller Williams in January, he said. Last year, Cohn’s team was No. 1 at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, with more than 617 transactions (worth a combined $100 million), according to research firm RealTrends.

    Cohn told Housingwire that one of the main reasons for the switch is Keller Williams’ emphasis on tech. Already, he’s received calls from about 30 agents who are interested in joining the new office from different companies, he said.

    “For real estate companies to continue to exist they are going to have to have a huge emphasis on technology while keeping the agent at the center of the transaction,” he said, noting the fate of video-rental chains that burgeoned in the 1980s and 1990s. “Otherwise, what happened to Blockbuster will happen to the real estate industry.”

    In March, Buffett’s HomeServices became the country’s largest residential brokerage firm, according to a ranking from Real Trends. The Minneapolis-based company had 44,363 agents across 919 offices.

    With a population just below 467,000, Omaha’s housing market is beginning to heat up. According to Zillow, which ranked the city’s market as “very hot,” the median home sales price last year was $179,000, up 5.3 percent from the year-ago period. Prices are expected to rise another 3.4 percent within the next year.

    Currently, the median price of homes listed is $237,900.


    Cutting-edge tech to drive new real estate center near 180th, West Dodge that hopes to create 250 jobs

    By Cindy Gonzalez / World-Herald staff writer



    Original Article –

    A new Omaha real estate operation is set to move into a 10,000-square-foot campus near 180th Street and West Dodge Road and has hopes of creating more than 250 new jobs.

    The Keller Williams franchise, led by Omahan Jeff Cohn, is to launch at the start of the year and be called KW Elite.

    Cohn’s existing team of 35 agents and support staff members previously worked under the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate flag, where it was a top producer known as Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group.

    The group is in a temporary location until the franchise headquarters, which they call a market center, is completed in the Advent Building at 17838 Burke St.

    Cohn describes the campus as a one-stop destination that will help consumers buy and sell homes and also give them mortgage, title, insurance and investment services.

    It is to be driven by cutting-edge technology and tools, he said. Clients looking for homes, for example, will have access to special headsets that give them virtual reality tours of houses. Agents will have access to production studios to record informational podcasts and to process videos of for-sale homes.

    Cohn said the technology focus of Keller Williams drew him to switch teams. He foresees new employment opportunities for more than 250 people, many of them residential real estate agents but also experts in the ancillary services that could extend their business to Keller Williams teams across the nation.

    “I believe the agent and consumer demand a virtual office solution going into this next decade,” said Cohn, who said his team over the past 13 years had nearly 5,000 transactions. “This hybrid model allows them to complete almost every task virtually, while still providing them with a physical footprint.”


    Jeff Cohn to Lead New Keller Williams Market Center Coming to Omaha, Along with New Jobs in 2020

    (OMAHA, NEB. December 10, 2019)- It was announced today at the FutureCon.Tech Conference in Las Vegas that Keller Williams will be launching a new Market Center in West Omaha – KW ELITE – in January 2020. Native Omahan Jeff Cohn, founder of Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group, will lead the new venture. He and his team of 35 agents and staff, who are currently the nation’s #1 selling residential team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate, will be making the transition in January 2020 and launching a technology-driven office.

    A modern and consumer-friendly design is underway for their 10,000 square foot campus at the Advent Building at 17838 Burke Street. The high-tech office will be a one-stop destination to aid buyers and sellers, not only in their home buying and selling process, but with acquiring mortgage, title, insurance services and more. This means employment opportunities for the area as Cohn estimates 250 new jobs. The launch of the Market Center will be accompanied by new innovation as well.

    Keller Williams has invested millions of dollars into Technology and innovation. The Omaha office will feature a myriad of tech solutions that will revolutionize the industry nationally and improve the consumer experience locally. Some examples include: Virtual Reality rooms for touring homes, a state-of-the-art training facility, and Artificial Intelligence. All empowering the agent at the center of the transaction to provide an exceptional customer service experience.

    “I believe the agent and consumer demand a virtual office solution going into this next decade,” said Cohn. “This hybrid model allows them to complete almost every task virtually, while still providing them with a physical footprint. My focus in real estate has always been two-fold: first, serving the agent through coaching, accountability, and business mastery. Second, serving the consumer by saving them money, time, and hassle! It’s a winning combination and I’m all in!”

    “We’re excited to welcome Jeff Cohn to the Keller Williams family,” said Gary Keller, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Keller Williams. “At Keller Williams we believe in succeeding through people and having Jeff on our team is a huge win for us.”

    For more information about Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group and the upcoming Market Center Launch, KW Elite, visit


    Charity Drive- Back-to-School Backpack Drive


    OMAHA, NE —
    It’s the last leg of the annual 7 Can Help Kids Back-to-School Backpack drive with The Salvation Army. So far, more than 6,000 backpacks have been donated by the Omaha community, and stuffed by volunteers.

    Organizers say volunteers are working hard as donations continue to flow in.

    For example, dozens of backpacks and supplies were collected by Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group and dropped off Thursday morning.

    “We kind of came to the game a little bit late, but we really felt like our team was excited about the project. A lot of us have kids and so we know the cost of school supplies,” said Melissa Boldt with Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group.

    Workers from 2 Men And A Truck volunteered their time as well, loading boxes full of already-stuffed backpacks.

    “People are going to get colored pencils, crayons, notebooks, pens, erasers. Everything they need so that when they show up, they’re ready,” said Curt Vincentini, of The Salvation Army.

    Ensuring that every child, no matter their circumstance, is prepared to learn when they step into class.

    “I think the worst thing that could happen is a child comes to school and not have what they need while their peers and classmates show up with the things that they need,” Vincentini said.

    The Salvation Army said community members can still drop off donations at their campus near 36th and Cuming Streets.

    Backpacks will be distributed at The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center near 30th and Y Streets and at the North Corps Center at 24th and Pratt Streets, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

    On Saturday, additional backpacks will be distributed at the Millard branch of the Omaha Public Library from 9 a.m. to noon.

    To get a backpack, parents or guardians must bring a photo I.D, proof of address and proof of school registration for the child.


    Charity Drive- Water Bottle Drive

    Caleb Sherman, 11, of Gretna, just wanted to collect some bottles of water to give to the homeless.

    “They always have like a really hard time, and people are really mean to them,” Caleb said.

    So between the camps and baseball games this summer, this soon-to-be sixth-grader set out to collect bottled water all though the month of June for the Open Door Mission — for a second time.

    Last year, he collected about 800 bottles of water. To boost his donations this time around, Caleb reached out to his community for help.

    “This year, I asked some baseball teams and the neighborhood,” he said.

    According to his mom, Tammy, it was a big step.

    “He’s typically reserved, shy. That is not something you’d normally see out of him,” she said.

    It worked better than Caleb expected.

    “The cool thing was, teams we didn’t even talk to — like one of the teams that was playing this other team — they mentioned it, and those guys event brought water,” Caleb said.

    And he didn’t stop there.

    “One of my friends’ dads works for a company,” Caleb said. “They donated a bunch of water.”

    So far this June, Caleb has collected a lot more bottles of water than he did last year: 7,500 bottles were sitting in the family’s garage Friday as his mom tried to figure out how to get them all over to the mission.

    “We’re still working on that,” Tammy said. “We don’t have anything in place yet.”

    But the community responded. Quickly.

    Mary Mueller, an Omaha realtor, donated use of a truck to help Caleb get his water to the mission.

    “It was so inspiring, what you guys are doing,” Mueller said to the family. “We wanted to help you guys.”

    Housing Market

    The Omaha Metro’s housing market is booming compared to the recent past. In fact, home sales are up 13% compared to just this same time last year. It’s easy to see that 2015 is off to a strong start. That’s good for sellers, good for buyers, and good for Omaha’s local economy. We’re seeing that interest rates are continuing to stay lower and therefore keeping buyers in the market. That leads to a low housing inventory in the area. And from there, it’s simple Economics 101: Supply & Demand. With a low supply of homes and a large demand from buyers, we’re seeing a fantastic trend for sellers.

    With houses “flying off the shelves”, as Jeff Cohn- owner of Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate, puts it, sellers are getting great prices for their homes. On average, sellers can expect to get around 98-99% of their asking prices if a home is in a desirable location, in great condition, and priced appropriately. Cohn also goes on to say that Omaha’s sweet spot are homes priced in the $150-250,000 price range. How long is it taking to sell these kinds of homes? Months? Weeks? Try days and even hours.

    “I don’t think we’ve seen inventory this low in over eight or nine years, our group has sold over 200 properties already in 2015 alone.”, said Cohn. He then went on to say, “A lot of the houses we list, literally we’ll put a sign in the yard and have multiple offers within 24 hours.”

    Omaha’s economic health can be largely judged by how the local housing market is trending. With so many companies and jobs tied to real estate, it’s a great indicator that the metro economy is on the right path.

    Real estate experts are focused particularly on the “Millennial” Generation right now. Economists are finding that this generation is now entering the housing market with full force. Many people that fall within the age range of this generation are hitting a stride in their careers, thus giving them more income to put towards things like purchasing homes. It’s forecasted that the Millennials will be the driving force of real estate sales for the foreseeable future, much like the “Baby Boomer” Generation has in the last several decades.

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