Kachemak Group becomes Kachemak KW Alaska Group

Kachemak Group Real Estate is now partners with Keller Williams Reality, the largest real estate firm in the nation.

Kachemak Group Real Estate has made several new changes recently, including partnering with the largest real estate firm in the nation, changing its name and moving to a new location.

Kachemak Group Real Estate officially merged with Keller Williams Realty, Inc., based in Anchorage, on Nov. 9, making it the Kachemak KW Alaska Group. While Kachemak KW Alaska Group will still be independently owned and operated, owner Valerie Buss said they will now have access to greater tools and resources to enhance their clients’ experiences.

“We decided to merge with Keller Williams because the real estate industry is changing so quickly,” Buss said. “It’s one of the fastest changing industries right now, and we needed to bring on bigger and better resources both for our agents and for Homer for our clients. … The unique part about our partnership is that we’re still 100% locally owned and operated, but now we have the power and resources of this larger company, Keller Williams, to help support.”

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group CEO and team leader Joshua Nelson said the realty group is responsible for roughly 24% of the state’s residential transactions and has more than 199,000 agents worldwide. In 2020, Keller Williams closed 1.2 million homes for $407.4 billion and earned $10.5 billion, according to Keller Williams’ media website Outfront.

Partnering with Kachemak Group, he said, allows Keller Williams the opportunity to support the Homer housing market and enhance the consumer’s experience through resources, training and technology.

“We have been looking for strategic partners across the state. We met Valerie and the team down here, and they really represented the culture that we want our whole company to represent. That’s why we’re really excited about being with Kachemak Group,” Nelson said. “Our emphasis is totally local. We’re very proud to have local owner operators to be in business with to enhance their client experience and consumer experience.”

“We’re not coming down here to plant the KW flag and paint the town red,” Nelson reassured. “We’re coming down here to enhance help and come alongside to benefit, anyway we can, the consumer.”

Buss said the industry changes leading to the merger were sparked by the shift to online resources and purchasing options now that more people are searching for their homes virtually rather than working through the home-buying process with realtors.

“Everything is online nowadays, and we needed to be able to compete with that,” Buss explained. “The technology behind Keller Williams and having that technology is going to be huge for clients as well as our agents.”

With the pandemic, the shift online was even more drastic.

“COVID really brought us into being a physical based business that was technologically enhanced to vice versa where it’s technology based and physically enhanced by the realtor,” Nelson said. “That happened over night in March 2020 and we all had to figure out a new way to do that.”

“People are getting more and more comfortable (purchasing homes) online and (Keller Williams) having the resources to do that is key,” he continued.

The merge, Buss said, will also help keep Kachemak KW Alaska Group competitive locally and nationally.

“We have a ton of people moving in and out of Homer, so we needed that national reach for the folks that are down in the Lower 48 looking to move, and same for the people who are moving out of Homer and need to find homes down in the Lower 48,” Buss said.

Additionally, the Kachemak KW Alaska Group realtors now have access to weekly training through Keller Williams to ensure they are up-to-date with current market trends, are competitive and are prepared to better serve their clients in person and online.

Currently, Buss said the housing market in Homer is unbalanced with only two months worth of inventory, and houses only staying on the market for about 30 days.

“Where we’re at right now is it’s a very slow market only because of the lack of houses on the market,” Buss said. “We have a ton of buyers who are ready to buy, even though we’re headed into the winter months. That’s not going to slow down — we just need more houses to come on the market.”

Buss bought Kachemak Group Real Estate in 2020 from Terry Yager and said the past year of business has been great.

“It’s been fun to be back in Homer and working with people I grew up with,” Buss said. “It’s been a good year, and now we’re having even bigger and better changes.”

Kachemak KW Alaska Group will host an open house at their new office space from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20 at 925 Sea Plane Court off Ocean Drive.

“It’s a chance for our clients and community to come see our new location, and get to know us as the newly improved brokerage/partnership,” Buss said.

For more information, visit www.kachemakgrouprealestate.com or call 907-235-7733.

Reach Sarah Knapp at sarah.knapp@homernews.com