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Customer Profile: Karie Kading Ramsey, Kading Properties


Customer Profile: Karie Kading Ramsey, Kading Properties

Kading family finds formula that works and they stick with it

The family-owned property management company, Kading Properties, is actually three companies in one. Under the Kading umbrella, they have construction, property management and a land development business. Affordable housing is their focus. Based in Urbandale, they serve the communities of Grinnell, Newton, Boone, Osceola, Indianola, Des Moines and Altoona with more than 1000 multifamily units constructed and under management. Karie Kading Ramsey shared with us the story of the company and her role within it.

How it all started Karie describes the company’s beginnings retelling a story that was probably shared with her long before she ever dreamed of joining the family business. Her dad was working in the building and lumber industry and was delivering a shed one day. “The guy looked at the materials dad was delivering and asked dad if he knew someone that could assemble it,” Karie relates. Her dad returned after work to put the shed together and that was the kernel of an idea that construction might be his calling.

40 years later, what started as a side project has grown in significant ways. The family patriarch continues to build and enjoys being on site. He now has three adult daughters who help with the day-to-day details of operations and property management. As a team, Kading Properties builds between 150 to 200 new dwellings a year, largely using the same formula. “We found our niche,” says Karie. She cites the tenant retention level as one sign that they’re doing it right. The company subcontracts very little – mostly roofing – and they focus on producing ranch style homes with high quality materials and the right sense of home. “People want to stay.”

The clientele of Kading Properties is broad, but a few characteristics stand out as typical. Many are young professionals, sometimes single moms or single dads. The average age is about 43. Seniors are also common at the Kading dwellings – the ranch style and relatively low maintenance appeals to their lifestyle. The homes are popular, often filled by people on a waiting list or by someone who has seen a yard sign just minutes after it’s been placed in the ground.

In a competitive industry, the team continues to refine and perfect its winning product. In the last year, they’ve completed an online program that allows tenants to chat with service personnel or schedule maintenance calls online. The program allows service technicians to perform their jobs with greater efficiency and a higher level of customer satisfaction.

The family business So Karie just naturally moved into the family business, right? Not exactly. “I was in insurance. I told my parents I would help out one weekend when they were not able to make showings at a new development.” She leased all the units that day and was hooked. It was a business she’d grown up with and before long, she had moved from part-time to full-time and nothing felt more natural. “I absolutely loved it.” Sisters Lindsay and Heather are also involved with the company. And their mother is still involved – often doing what it takes to help everyone balance work and family life and being the glue that binds all. “I love working with family,” says Kading Ramsey. “We get along great. We have complementary skills. We have a great business model. It all works.”

Working with Central Bank “They helped us with a couple new constructions projects. I enjoy my relationship with Michele at Central Bank. She thinks about my interests, not just banking transactions. We are members of a networking group for women in commercial real estate and Michele brings me ideas for business, connections, educational opportunities – things one small business owner would share with another. I appreciate someone who goes above and beyond like that.”

Kading Properties can be found online at www.kadingproperties.com

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