OBITUARY: Remembering P. Wesley Foster Jr.
P. Wesley Foster Jr., who co-founded Chantilly-based Long & Foster Real Estate Cos., building it into one of the nation’s largest real estate brokerages, died March 17 at his Alexandria home.
Foster and partner Henry Long started Long & Foster in 1968 in Fairfax. The pair met when Long toured a home Foster was showing and they hit it off, going on to establish their namesake firm. Foster took on the residential side, and Long oversaw commercial business.
The pair declined a buyout offer
from Merrill Lynch in 1979, and Foster bought out Long’s interest in the company. Long & Foster grew by capitalizing on Washington, D.C., suburban housing developments in the 1980s and 1990s and acquired real estate firms to increase the company’s mid-Atlantic presence. Under Foster’s leadership, the company added title and escrow, property management and insurance subsidiaries.
Foster’s “efforts provided countless opportunities for other real estate professionals to enter the industry and build successful careers,” says Virginia Realtors CEO Terrie L. Suit.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. affiliate HomeServices of America acquired Long & Foster in 2017 for an undisclosed amount from Foster, who remained as the company’s chairman emeritus. Long & Foster now has more than 200 offices, employing more
than 8,500 agents. The company recorded
$27 billion in sales volume last year.
Foster, who served multiple terms on Virginia Military Institute’s board of visitors, donated $8 million to VMI in 2004 to renovate the school’s football field. VMI later named its football stadium complex for him.
Foster’s “people-first approach defined us,” says Long & Foster President and CEO Patrick Bain, “and his legacy lives on at Long & Foster.” ν