Chad Kaltenbach is the CEO and a philanthropist of Kaltenbach Real Estate, Chad is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Chad provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Kaltenbach Real Estate.
Chad Kaltenbach joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers & entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Chad join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Chad Kaltenbach is a successful CEO and a philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of Kaltenbach Real Estate, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Chad always had the entrepreneurial drive in him from childhood, and it’s evident in the growth of Kaltenbach Real Estate. He started the company 25-years ago with just $200k. Today, it has a portfolio of commercial and residential properties that is worth over $100 million. The company has also sold millions worth of property in its 25-year history. Chad’s success is a mix of passion, skills, and life background. He is very passionate about real estate and this helps him keep moving even during the tough times. In terms of his background, Chad was born into a family of entrepreneurs and was able to understand the basics of business while still a young boy. He used this as a stepping stone to pursue a degree in business management and graduate with high honors. He then pursued an MBA further opening up his mind to the complexities of business. These skills saw him work at major investment firms and deepen his understanding of real estate. By the time he was starting Kaltenbach Real Estate, he had the skills and experience to see it thrive. As a philanthropist, Chad has over the years given thousands of dollars to charities that support poor children. It gives him joy knowing that his money is helping change someone’s life.
Let's start by telling us about your business.
Kaltenbach Real Estate is a real estate company. We develop and sell properties and also hold a sizeable rental portfolio. I have been the CEO for the last 25 years, and it’s been a good run so far. I began the real estate journey with about $200,000, and have steadily grown this to a multi-billion business. It has been steady and gradual growth over time.
Q: Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
Since the day I started this company, I put a huge premium on customer service. Whether someone is renting or buying from us, I always make sure that they get the best service possible. Customer service is paramount to the growth of any business. Customers are the bedrock, and the fuel of all businesses, hence the need to ensure that they get premium service. I have had a lot of referrals and return business as a direct result of giving premium service. You should also not forget that the people to provide this premium service are your employees. It is in this aspect that many company bosses fail. I ensure that I treat my staff with the utmost respect. I have created a sense of family hood and belongingness in my company. It is this happy workforce that dedicates itself every day to serve our clients. Without dedicated and self-driven staff, I can assure you that you would not see any business growth.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
That would be customer service. I invest a lot in making services as personalized as possible. I ensure that everyone in the company understands this aspect and makes it their number one priority. It is only through proper service that you can have consistent growth in business. Customers rate you through the service you provide and will either return or refer you to their friends and families. Try and be unique by providing more for less to stay on top of your competition.
Q: And to finish this section, please tell us what is the one major key to your company’s success?
As a company, we are very strategic in our investments. This has helped in building a portfolio of properties with a high ROI. Much as you provide good service, you’ve got to have a good strategy. My company focuses on high-value properties that have high returns. We have over time acquired dilapidated properties in high-value areas, renovated them and sold them at very good profits, and also kept others for rental income.
Q: For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
I would advise them to first take time and understand the industry before venturing out. A lot of times startups fail due to inadequate industry information. Before venturing into the real estate industry, I worked in my family’s business for several years. It is during this time that I took my time to study this industry. There are so many dynamics in this industry that you have to take your time to determine the area that is best suited for you. Once you identify which area of real estate you want to venture into, ensure you at least have some capital to start with. You should never invest your entire capital but have a budget that includes administrative and operational expenses, and another part to acquire your business assets. You should keep expenses as low as possible, and focus on maximizing profit. The real estate business is one that takes quite some time to break even, so you will need to be extra patient. Keep in mind that you might take even more than a year before realizing a profit, but once you do, you will enjoy it. Take your time, lay your foundation, and let your business grow steadily.
Q: For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what one big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Challenges are part of the business equation. Don’t let them scare you into quitting. Instead, use them to build capacity for future growth. In real estate especially, you are bound to face quite some challenges when starting, and even in the course of your business. There will be instances of running capital running low, there will be instances of defaults, and properties failing to sell as expected. One thing you have to be is resilient and aggressive. You have to keep pushing and looking for better deals. However, do not be arrogant. No which deals to walk out of, and which to push to completion. Try and be as consistent, and let the business have that natural growth. You will always know bad deals when you see them with time.
Q: In today’s fast-changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
I network a lot with other players both in and outside real estate. This helps me stay up to date on the latest trends in the business world. You have to keep changing with the changing trends for the better. I try to attend symposiums and travel a lot to meet business prospects. Creating business connections, networks, and making friends are paramount to this business. I ensure I form rewarding relationships whenever I get an opportunity to do so. Traveling around the country and abroad is also a good way of broadening my horizons. Reading has been my passion and still is. I have to keep on finding relevant literature to enhance my knowledge. You cannot in this or any other business afford to just sit and hope that your business will keep growing.
Q: What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
To enjoy the gift of life while empowering others. As much as I seek financial success, I never forget that being alive and healthy is the most important thing. I cannot make any impact on mine or anyone’s life if I am not alive. It is the motivation to change society for the better and empower as many people as possible that keeps me going.
Q: In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
A great leader should also be a good listener.
Q: In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
They are the reason for the last 25-years of success.
Q: In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
Technology can help cut costs and make homes affordable to a lot more people.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how something positive to motivate our readers?
In whatever you do, stay focused and you will succeed.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
I start my day with a 5-kilometer jog to build up energy for the day.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
I use them as motivation to become a better version of myself.
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
I look at passion first, experience, then skills in that order.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
By spending time with my family, it helps me recharge.
Chad Kaltenbach, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Kaltenbach Real Estate, nothing but the best.