Keyes nabs 100-agent Boca Raton brokerage

Purchase marks the second Boca-based expansion in recent months

Nick Rotenberger with the Boca Realty team and the The Keyes Company team
Nick Rotenberger with the Boca Realty team and the The Keyes Company team (The Keyes Company)

The Keyes Company acquired another Boca Raton brokerage, its second this year.

Keyes, one of the largest independent brokerages in Florida, bought Nick Rotenberger’s Boca Realty, a firm founded in 2015 with more than 100 agents specializing in luxury, multifamily, commercial and foreclosure deals, according to a press release. Boca Realty closed $103 million in sales volume last year, Keyes’ President Christina Pappas confirmed. 

Boca Realty will maintain its office at 200 West Palmetto Park Road as Keyes’ “Boca East” branch, the release says. Keyes’ district sales manager for Boca Raton, Joanie Richardson, is serving as the liaison between the brokerage and the Boca Realty agents, according to the release.

The Boca Realty and Keyes Company team
The Boca Realty and Keyes Company team (The Keyes Company)

The acquisition comes on the heels of Keyes’ February acquisition of Mizner Grande Realty, a 60-agent brokerage also in Boca Raton, bringing its total agent count to 160 in Boca. Pappas, who was promoted to president of Keyes in January, said Mizner Grande’s founder Ari Albinder’s relationships with other boutique brokerage owners helped facilitate this latest acquisition.

Keyes is expanding even as the South Florida market is cooling. Last June, Keyes acquired Skye Louis Realty, a 140-agent brokerage with offices in Broward and Palm Beach County. In October, the firm bought Novus Realty, a 30-person team in Miramar with $40 million in annual sales volume. 

Pappas said the firm expected a drop in the number of homes on the market after the boom years of 2021 and 2022, but did not anticipate inventory remaining below 2019 levels.

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“We think we need to hunker down for the next year,” she said, referring to South Florida’s residential market cooling under the cloud of interest rate hikes. 

The squeeze on the market, she believes, will send more boutique brokerages looking for partnerships with larger firms. Keyes is “bullish” on continuing its expansion and acquiring brokerages, even as the South Florida market underperforms expectations, Pappas said.

“The brokerage marketplace is soft on buyers. We believe now is our time,” to make purchases, she said, noting that she would like to acquire between three and five more brokerages before year-end. 

On the flip side, some larger, publicly traded players in the South Florida market, like Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM and Compass, are pulling back on brokerage acquisitions, according to Pappas.

It should be noted both of those brokerages exceeded Keyes in The Real Deal’s brokerage ranking for Miami-Dade County, with Compass coming out as top dog overall with $3 billion in annual sales volume. 

Compass opened offices in Broward and Palm Beach counties in April. Firms like One Sotheby’s International Realty, Douglas Elliman and the Agency have also made expansion moves in recent months. 

Looking ahead, Pappas said Keyes is exploring more potential acquisitions in Miami’s Brickell, in Broward and in Florida’s southwest.