Top Agent Magazine


Partner Content The Koehler Bortnick Team

Article by Top Agent Magazine

Photography by Kelsey Wiebe

Luxury service doesn’t create itself. It’s always the product of someone’s hard work and vision. Consider the real estate industry in Kansas City. No matter who buyers or sellers happen to choose to represent them in 2021, if they experience a streamlined, stress-free process that nets them the best value on their investment, they probably have Kathy Koehler and Heather Bortnick to thank.

“When I started real estate 35 years ago, I realized early on that Kansas City was ten years behind cities like New York and Chicago when it came to marketing and service strategies,” Kathy explains. 

“I began shadowing teams that conducted seminars, and I brought that knowledge to Kansas City.”

Kathy realized she’d need to create Kansas City’s first real estate team to achieve the superior service she wanted to offer her clients, so in 1994 she partnered with her daughter, Heather Bortnick, who helped her train four agents. Together they’ve been transforming the city’s real estate scene ever since. Today the Koehler Bortnick Team boasts 58 agents serving five different locations throughout the city, allowing them to present clients with every available option to find a home that best fits their needs. Kathy and Heather train every agent in their process to ensure an enjoyable experience for clients while making sure no detail of a transaction gets overlooked. “Our team is the best in Kansas City,” says Kathy. “I couldn’t be more proud!” 

Success is often imitated, of course. These days Kansas City offers plenty of real estate teams to choose from. But the Kansas City Business Journal still ranks Koehler- Bortnick as #1 in the Metro area, and in 2019 The Wall Street Journal recognized them as the #12 team in the entire country. Kathy and Heather are still clearly the act to chase. In 2020 they closed 890 transactions for a sales volume of $400 million, and are on track to exceed that this year. Their 75 percent repeat client or referral rate—coupled with the new business added through smart branding—is the model of a healthy company. 

Koehler-Bortnick continues to exert great influence on the city’s realty industry, profiting clients and other Realtors alike. ReeceNichols asked them to teach their strategies to all of its agents in the city, a sharing of knowledge that has certainly trickled out to other brokerages. That’s just fine by the mother-daughter team. “Our passion is for helping people, and we want everyone to have a good experience,” Heather explains. “But our brand still sets us apart. Clients are savvy, and they’ll always want to work with the best.” The team continues to serve those clients beyond the closing table too, offering educational videos aimed at building clients’ real estate acumen. It’s one of the reasons Kathy and Heather’s repeat business is so high. We never forget the teachers who cared for us the most. 

Koehler-Bortnick nurtures their city in other ways too, raising money for Children’s Mercy Hospital. They also sponsor and donate to many charities, and are continually adding to that list based on recommendations from their clients. 

The plan going forward is simple, though never easy: “We’re always looking to be more educated and innovative,” says Kathy. “It’s the necessary work we do to keep making our clients’ dreams come true.” 

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