Platz Group Eyes Expansion with Acquisition of Kutlick Realty

BOARDMAN, Ohio – With its acquisition of Kutlick Realty, Platz Realty Group is looking to expand beyond its core Mahoning Valley market and add agents to support that growth. 

Platz, headquartered in Canfield with offices in Warren and downtown Youngstown, completed its purchase of Boardman-based Kutlick last week, said Don Thomas, Platz managing partner.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Bill Kutlick, principal broker and owner of Kutlick Realty, will not have an ownership stake, Thomas said.

Kutlick, who has more than 40 years of experience in commercial real estate, joined the Platz firm as a real estate agent.  

In 2018, Platz – owned by Thomas, Adam Divelbiss and Matt Wilson – merged with Routh-Hurlbert Real Estate. With the Kutlick Realty acquisition, Platz Realty now has 14 contractors and employees. Along with Kutlick, his two agents and office manager are joining Platz.

Platz and Kutlick primarily operate in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, but the “long-term goal” is to grow staff to expand the market area, Kutlick said.

“We will look and are looking for folks for Trumbull County and Columbiana County, and we would take a hard look at anybody in western Pennsylvania,” though the licensing requirements in Pennsylvania are “a little bit different,” Thomas said. 

“An acquisition in western Pennsylvania is certainly not out of the question,” he added.

Discussions between Thomas and Kutlick have been underway since last summer, Kutlick said. Kutlick Realty had grown to the point that it needed additional salespeople. 

“It just made good sense to join forces and be better staffed to service our clients,” he said. 

“We think it’s a unique opportunity,” Thomas continued. “The business in the Valley has changed over time and we see some competitive landscapes that are changing.” 

Among those changes, he continued, are encroachment into the commercial real estate market by firms that primarily focused on residential real estate, as well as “creep down” from commercial firms in Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburgh as the local economy has improved. 

Kutlick Realty was a good fit because Kutlick and Thomas have a good relationship, Thomas said. Also, Platz Realty’s founder, Steve Platz, who remains involved with the firm, and Kutlick were partners years ago.

“We have relationships with Bill’s agents and we worked together in the past,” Thomas said. 

The combined firm’s concerted efforts in the Mahoning Valley and western Pennsylvania are aided by technology such as a Matterport 3D imaging cameras and drone pictures, taking what Thomas described as a different approach to real estate.  

“We see that as an opportunity to feed our clients  – both ours and Bill’s – and to give a broader inventory with a group of seasoned professionals,” Thomas said.  

Platz is in negotiations for a larger, 2,700-square-foot space near its current office at Starr Centre Drive in Canfield, to serve as the firm’s headquarters. It will retain its existing offices in Youngstown and Warren.  

Pictured: Bill Kutlick and Steve Thomas

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.