Berkshire Hathaway brokerage in Baton Rouge to join forces with Hammond franchisee

    Berkshire Hathaway Home Services-United Properties, which hung out its shingle in Baton Rouge just 15 months ago, has reached an agreement to join forces with the Berkshire Hathaway franchisee in the Hammond area, Berkshire Hathaway-Bobby Tallo Realty.

    When finalized in early September, the deal will give the combined company more than 100 agents and offices in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Hammond and Central.

    “We figure we’ll be stronger together as we capitalize on the southeast region of the state,” says Jonathan Starns, co-owner of BHHS-United Properties. “Eventually, we want to be statewide.”

    Berkshire Hathaway, the fourth-largest real estate company in the U.S., entered the Baton Rouge market in May 2016, when Starns and Chase Muller acquired the residential division of Donnie Jarreau Real Estate and licensed the Berkshire Hathaway flag.

    At the time, the partners had 15 agents. Their brokerage has since grown to 55.

    Berkshire Hathaway-Bobby Tallo Realty, which is owned by Kyle Tallo, opened in the Hammond market around the same time and has nearly 50 agents.

    Starns did not disclose terms of the merger, but says the partners will work together under a single, corporate umbrella and have an aggressive growth strategy for south Louisiana. Starns says the partners have plans to soon open Berkshire Hathaway offices in Ascension and St. Tammany parishes, and are also eyeing the Lafayette and New Orleans markets.

    —Stephanie Riegel

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