A top local residential real estate brokerage that added a commercial arm five years ago has acquired a smaller competitor that also does deals in both sectors.
Kentwood Real Estate announced its purchase of Calibrate Real Estate this week. It’s the firm’s first acquisition since 2021, when Kentwood bought Savvy Realty.
Kentwood did $2.2 billion in sales volume in 2022, according to the company. Calibrate founder Kyle Malnati, who owned the company alongside his wife, said his firm had sales volume of $85 million in 2021, $92 million in 2022 and $50 million so far in 2023.
Calibrate peaked at 13 agents and support staff, including its owners, Malnati said. It had 11 when Malnati disclosed the pending deal with Kentwood. Six are ultimately joining the firm: Malnati, Ana Jewett, Mike Csrnko, Kayla Rauch, Matt Peterson and Zach Jenkins. Malnati said his wife is pursuing a new career. The firm will give up the office it has been working from at 1660 S. Albion St.
Malnati said Kentwood initially approached him about a possible deal two years ago.
“The timing was not quite right and the offer was different than what it was today,” he said.
Malnati said he then was approached by different firms this summer and “felt loyal to my conversations with Kentwood two years ago,” so he reached back out.
Prior to starting Calibrate in 2016, Malnati spent five years at Madison & Co. Properties and five years at Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors. As a “player-coach” at Calibrate, he said, management responsibilities meant he often had “to sacrifice time with my family, and my clients.”
As he joins Kentwood, Malnati said he’s looking forward to focusing on his own deals, as well as his three kids in middle school.
Calibrate has marketed both commercial properties as well as single-family homes, the cornerstone of residential real estate. Deals in the last 12 months include the sale of two Sloan’s Lake buildings to Illegal Pete’s for the company’s new headquarters, as well as the sale of the 39-unit apartment building at 1201 N. Clarkson St. in Cap Hill and the 31-unit building at 2444 S. York St. near the University of Denver.
Malnati said the marriage of commercial and residential deals is relatively unusual in larger markets, but less so in small towns like Laramie, Wyoming, where he studied finance at the University of Wyoming and got introduced to real estate while interning at a local bank branch.
“In larger cities, you tend to see people graduate to specialization,” he said.
The setup made Kentwood a natural firm to acquire Calibrate. The company is a major player in the residential space, but added its Kentwood Commercial arm in 2018. That arm had one broker then; the Calibrate acquisition will bring it to 10. Separate from the Calibrate transaction, the division also recently added Todd Snyder, formerly of NAI Shames Makovsky.
“We’re very focused on retaining our culture of collaboration and excellence at Kentwood with everyone we bring on,” Kentwood CEO Gretchen Rosenberg said in a statement. “Kyle and his team will offer a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm, and fit well in terms of our commitment to high standards.”
Kentwood said it employs 40 staff members and manages 283 licenses; 243 of those are actively selling brokers, and the rest are licensed employees or support staff.
The support staff were another factor in favor of the deal, Malnati said.
“I need to be at a spot that has much bigger systems than I’m capable of supplying at Calibrate,” he said.
Kentwood was founded in 1981. HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. acquired Kentwood in 2016 . Kentwood said in a news release it is exploring additional expansion opportunities along the Front Range, with the Colorado Springs market as the next natural progression.