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Fast-growing brokerage buys real estate company from controversial builder

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 3:45 p.m. October 10, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Re/Max Alliance Group, one of the fastest-growing real estate brokerages in Florida, is growing again with the acquisition of Locals Realty from well-known — and sometimes controversial — Anna Maria Island developer and entrepreneur Shawn Kaleta. 

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.   

Locals Realty consists of two offices, one on Anna Maria Island and one on Siesta Key. Agents of the Locals Realty Anna Maria office will stay at the current location at 317 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, according to a statement. Agents of the Siesta Key office will relocate to the Re/Max Alliance office at 5221 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota. 

“The culture of professionalism at Locals Realty was a natural fit with the culture at Re/Max Alliance Group,” Ron Travis, broker and co-owner of Re/Max Alliance Group, says in the statement. 

Locals Realty umbrella company Prime Vacation Rentals, owned by Kaleta, is now the preferred vacation rental property management company for Re/Max Alliance Group, the release adds. All rentals from Re/Max Alliance Group’s former affiliate, Postcard Vacation Rentals, were transferred to Prime Vacation Rentals as part of the agreement with Kaleta.

“Privately owned vacation rental homes are a wonderful way to vacation worry-free, without being on any’s else’s schedule,” says Travis. Prime Vacation Rentals manages more than 1,500 homes and condos in popular locations. 

Re/Max Alliance Alliance Group, which merged with Re/Max Capital Realty in Lutz in February, now has a total of 13 offices from Tampa Bay to Charlotte County. The 22 agents and employees of Locals Realty will become part of the Re/Max Alliance Group family, adding to a roster of some 400 associates and staff and a combined 2022 production of more than $2.2 billion and more than 4,500 transactions.

Re/MAx Alliance Group offers residential and commercial real estate through offices in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.

In the late aughts and early 2010s, Kaleta was one of the more prominent builders and developers on Siesta Key and Anna Maria Island. He also had some issues with local officials, for alleged safety concerns and building without permits. In June, he was charged with DUI and resisting arrest for an incident on Holmes Beach. 

Kaleta didn’t return a voice mail or text message for comment Tuesday afternoon.



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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