By Tristan Hiegler
Snapper Schuler Kenner (SSK) Real Estate, located at 505 Front St. in Lynden, has officially merged with The Muljat Group as of June 1. SSK Real Estate will now be called The Muljat Group, SSK Branch.
Jerry Blankers, managing broker for the SSK Branch, said that brokers will now have access to Muljat’s commercial and appraisal division and that customers in Lynden will now have a 70-person team working for them.
“It gives them a bigger team of agents working to sell their property,” Jerry said of the merger’s benefits to customers.
The staff and practices of SSK Real Estate will not change with the merger, Jerry said, but its access to expanded resources will give them and their customers more options.
Jerry said the merger also gives SSK brokers access to the weekly commercial and residential real estate classes that The Muljat Group provides.
Frank Muljat, designated broker for The Muljat Group, said adding SSK Real Estate to the fold appealed to him because the office gives Muljat a north Whatcom County presence. The Muljat Group’s main office is on Lakeway Drive in Bellingham, and they have additional locations on Broadway and Maple streets, as well as a Ferndale location. The SSK branch is the group’s fifth location.
“I think the important factor too is that there’s just two strong, reputable, independent offices that have combined forces,” Muljat said.
Jerry said he pursued the merger because Paul Kenner of SSK Insurance, who was a minority stakeholder in SSK Real Estate, wanted to be bought out, a process that was finalized in April. Jerry said Kenner wanted to keep the SSK name for the insurance company, so SSK Real Estate either had to create a new name and start from scratch or join with an existing real estate group.
The SSK name for the branch will have to be phased out by the end of 2011, Jerry said, which he feels gives people enough time to adjust to the idea of the merger and any new name selected.
The Muljat Group’s SSK Branch will be hosting an open house Friday, June 11, from 3 to 5 p.m. at its offices.
Jerry said the SSK Branch will also be hosting its 12th annual Curt Maberry Memorial Tournament in conjunction with the Northwest Raspberry Festival, which runs July 16 and 17. The three-on-three basketball tournament commemorates a local berry farmer and will provide another opportunity for the branch to get its new name and the news of the merger out the public. Additionally, the branch will have a booth at the Northwest Washington Fair, which starts on Aug. 16.
“It’s just an opportunity to get the name out there, get the change out there so people get used to it,” Jerry said.
For more information, call the Muljat main office at (360) 733-3030 and the SSK Branch at (360) 354-4242 or visit www.muljatgroup.com.