In the realm of real estate few names are as founded with Billings as that of Floberg. The company, now known as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Floberg Realtors, has been purchased by Charles “Dan” and Beth Smith from founders Don and Marilyn Floberg and partners, Tom and Robin Hanel, and Linda Parker and Mike Oliver.

The company was founded in 1959 and its growth has paralleled that of Billings. Its sale incidentally coincided with the death of Don Floberg on December 15, 2020.

The Smiths have been part of the Floberg team for two years, having brought with them experience in real estate and in business. Tom Hanel will continue as the Managing Broker, and he and Robin will remain as a top sales team with the company.

After over a half century in the real estate business, Don and Marilyn decided six years ago to phase out of the business by selling part of it to the Hanels, with the idea that they would eventually become sole owners. That was the plan, but about a year ago the Hanels realized the priorities in their lives had changed and they were not as inclined to pursue ownership any more.

“We don’t plan to retire,” said Tom, “but we want to have more flexibility in our lives.” Like many people, Tom and Robin were discovering that with the responsibilities of aging parents and the joys of many grandchildren, there were other things they wanted to do.

After discussing the matter with the Flobergs, it was decided they would sell the whole business. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Floberg Real Estate is a franchise with offices in Red Lodge and Columbus, as well as Billings.

The decision to sell was quite easy once the Smiths were identified as the prospective purchasers. They were the perfect couple to continue the Floberg legacy, said the Hanels. “They will make all of us proud.”

Don and Marilyn, still very active in the business, were initially concerned about being able to find new owners who would be committed to continuing the legacy and maintain the business as the “Number 1” agency in Billings and a top performer with Berkshire Hathaway, but in coming to know Dan and Beth as part of the Floberg team those concerns were allayed.

“They were completely on board,” said Hanel, and Don was pleased to be able to sign some of the closing documents days before he died.

The Smiths moved to Billings ten years ago from Kansas. Dan was in corporate management and Beth was for 15 years a real estate appraiser. Tom Hanel sold them their home in Billings, and the families quickly became good friends.

The Smiths, who have three children, quickly fell in love with Billings and Montana, and were not the least bit interested in moving, when Dan’s company wanted to transfer him to Denver.

The solution for the Smiths was to buy a business, about which they consulted with their good friend and real estate advisor, Tom Hanel. Hanel suggested that they both get their real estate licenses and join Floberg Real Estate. It was a perfect fit. “We love it here,” said Beth Smith, “the comradery, the atmosphere, the giving spirit of everyone. We are very blessed that it worked out the way it did.”

Charles “Dan” Smith says, “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Floberg Real Estate is a superior company as a result of an amazing Franchise in Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, exceptional agents, and a top notch administrative team.”

Their primary goal, said Beth Smith, is “not to mess anything up.”

The Flobergs have built such a great foundation, she continued, “our challenge will be to continue what they started” in the business and in the community. The Flobergs have long been noted for their community involvement.

Hanel, who has been managing Floberg Real Estate, will continue as manager and a mentor to the Smiths for another year or so, but then phase into focusing on real estate sales with Robin, as the top real estate team. Robin stressed that neither of them have any intention of leaving the business any time soon, and that they want to be supportive of the Smiths.

Floberg Real Estate, the second oldest consecutive operating real estate business in Billings, employs six full time staff people and has almost 60 agents. The name will remain the same as will the trusted and dependable service and support for their clients.


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