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why Frank Whittle and the Saville row tailor have more in common with Warren Buffet







A few days ago Betsy Schiffman , a contributor on property in forbes magazine wrote the following piece below


But just a few days earlier, in an announcement that garnered far less press, Buffet laid down more cash in his apparent effort to build the largest collection of high-end real estate agencies in the country. HomeServices of America, a Berkshire-owned real estate brokerage, gobbled up another office — Dallas, Texas-based Allie Beth Allman & Associates — bringing the company’s total number of agents up to 26,550 in 480 offices in 27 states. Allie Beth Allman & Associates closed nearly 2,100 units and $1.5 billion in 2014 volume. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we have to assume it wasn’t too pricey because it wasn’t considered a material acquisition.

Clearly, this is more than a passing fancy for Buffett. When Berkshire first began collecting real estate brokerages 15 years ago, it seemed like a cute hobby. The company acquired MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company in 1999, and Buffett discovered, almost by happy coincidence, he got a wholly-owned brokerage business called HomeServices of America out of the deal.

“A few years ago, and somewhat by accident, MEHC found itself in the residential real estate brokerage business. It is no accident, however, that we have dramatically expanded the operation. Moreover, we are likely to keep on expanding in the future,” Buffett wrote in his 2002 letter to shareholders.

And expand it, Buffett has. In July alone, HomeServices bought two agencies: First Weber Realtors of Wisconsin and Prudential Centennial Realty, in Scarsdale and Larchmont, N.Y.

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+onthemarket blog  property view point 

15 years ago ..

SO ? 15 years ago was fifthteen years ago , Google was 3 years old , Mark Zuckerberg was the grand old age of 15 years and look where they are today, powering "social change" You , Me interact with them in some shape or form on a daily basis. Expanded they have 







Sir Frank Whittle with the very best of British Engineering Technology

I can go back further to 1937 and a tech pioneer by the name of Frank better known globally as Sir Frank Whittle, the Inventor of the the Jet engine. And I'm sure we've all used his invention to make our travel or holiday destinations online...The jet engine proved to be a winner, particularly in America where the technology was enthusiastically embraced. Whittle retired from the RAF in 1948 with the rank of air commodore. 

He was knighted in the same year and went to work in the US shortly afterwards, becoming a research professor at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. Whittle died on 9 August 1996.By October the United States had heard of the project and asked for the details and an engine. A Power Jets team and the engine were flown to Washington to enable General Electric to examine it and begin construction. The Americans worked quickly and their XP-59A Airacomet was airborne in October 1942, some time before the British Meteor, which became operational in 1944.



Suits on Saville Row


dress you up  ;)  oh madge....

 Technology and social change ,move forward with the advent on time , if you wear a suit and tie , I'm sure you've heard of Saville row in London, where a bespoke tailored  suit can cost upto £ 4000.

All your suits are custom made in London.. a verse from Madonna 1984 album ; though fast forward 31 years ,today many suits are measured up with customers details, emailed over to the other side of India and Singapore for £400 pounds a 10th or what they cost today by people, who would have, traditionally paid up to £4000 to £10,000 for a suit.

With only two family-owned tailoring houses left on Savile Row.A lot of people don’t want to go into a high street shop , and can now have them selves measured up at home in a matter of minutes. By using laser cutters to cut out the pattern pieces, the drafting process becomes entirely automated, allowing for both lower prices and faster production, bringing down production costs and saved time for the industry.


laser cut to precision for the masses 

Hong Kong’s Fung family, headed by billionaire patriarch William Fung, now owns four of the street’s best known names: Gieves & Hawkes; Hardy Amies, formerly the Queen’s official dressmaker; Kent & Curwen; and Kilgour.A bigger conglomerate, with deeper pockets, can afford to pay higher rents , sure but when you have more and more people wearing suits and tieless
The firm has also signed a 15-year lease on its base at 10 Savile Row in 2011 and has a rent review in June 2016.

According to a study at California State University, Northridge, The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing, dress formally changes the way people think. When formally dressed, most individuals:

Feel more powerful but less connected.
Think holistically rather than being detail-oriented.
Favor abstract reasoning over concrete facts.
The researchers (who, after all, are academics) present these characteristics as if they were good and useful in business situations. I beg to differ. Those characteristics describe a person who is:

Pompously aware of his or her importance.
Uses vague, fuzzy buzzwords (like holistic).
Has a "50,000-foot view" that's oblivious to facts on the ground.
Your average corporate bureaucrat, in fact.

As I interpret the study, the typical person who "dresses for success" (in the traditional sense) becomes less self-aware, less intelligent, and less perceptive than if he or she dressed more casually. Which is exactly what I've observed in real life.

So now you know why the business world is increasingly dominated by people like Mark Zuckerberg, who wears hoodies to investor meetings. Why would he don a costume that makes him less effective?

So I come full circle 15 years, one  and half decades ago , 15 years a go I was in my twenties , anyway, back to my point you've seen how social change, has embraced innovation and technology . 

I'm afraid all Warren Buffet is doing is stagnating the industry , slowing down the economy at a time when ,  innovation is needed to revitalise the foundations of financial markets , it's important because the housing market along with inflation is inextricable joined at the hip with economy.Just like Sir Frank Whittles Jet engine, a tech accelerant is needed, to keep housing transactions moving, in this economic climate.People really have changed their habits, like Buffet has n't seen..

No industry is completely insulated from this process of “creative destruction”, where newer technologies replace old. And it’s not entirely regrettable that it does. Otherwise we would have many people working in unproductive industries that have long gone out of fashion.



Further Reading 

hostmaker.co/london/ bags £1.3M seed funding as Airbnb management Service

Online Estate Agent Purplebricks.com valued upto £250M IPO as Early as December 2015
SOUFUN gets $400M private equity funding from IDG Carlyle and management members




Housesimple.com online estate agent Vs Traditional Jamie Lester interview with Gaby Logan Radio 5