In the latest episode of the Deep Wealth podcast, host Jeffrey Feldberg sat down with Mike Kaeding, the CEO of Norhart, a company that designs, builds, and rents apartments. Through innovative practices and a dedication to providing high-quality, cost-effective projects, Norhart is transforming the housing industry and solving America’s housing shortage.
An Unexpected Journey into the Housing Industry
Mike’s journey into the housing industry came by way of his family business. Having initially diverted away from the company to pursue studies in computer science, mathematics, management, and special effects, Mike made the decision to join his father’s small construction enterprise. His commitment, however, was put to the test when his father unexpectedly passed away, and he found himself leading the business.
Despite facing numerous challenges, including the city briefly shutting down his company, Mike persevered. He began adopting unique approaches to traditional construction methods, assembling an exceptional team that resolved chronic inefficiencies and explored techniques from the manufacturing industry. Today, having successfully navigated his company through numerous hurdles, Mike’s focus is on solving America’s housing shortage through innovation and efficiency.
Building a Culture of Excellence
Central to Norhart’s success is its company culture. Hiring the world’s best people has dramatically shifted the company’s trajectory, with growth leaping from 10% per year to doubling annually. Attracting exceptional talent has allowed the company to unlock doors that previously seemed locked and achieve efficiencies that are transforming the construction industry. Crucial too to planting the seeds of this culture is the company’s defined and lived passion, commitment to the vision, and deep engagement with its mission.
Disrupting the Status Quo in Construction
In an industry that typically resists change and innovation, Norhart stands out. By essentially becoming its ‘own bank,’ Norhart is revolutionizing the housing industry. The company brings all works under one roof, avoiding the traditional disjointed approach of using different companies for various aspects of construction. This strategy, inspired by manufacturing techniques like the assembly line, has allowed Norhart to boost productivity and reduce construction costs, a decisive move that could potentially slash rent and mortgage payments in half.
Mike’s story is a powerful testament to tenacity, innovation, and the impact that a dedicated team can have on an industry. His deep focus on culture, dedication to attracting world-class talent, and embracing risk in the name of progress set Norhart apart in the construction industry.
On a broader scale, Mike’s story offers valuable insights for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. It demonstrates the huge difference hiring the best people can make, the power of a strong and lived culture, and the need for courage when trying new things. As Norhart moves ahead with its vision to solve America’s housing shortage, the rest of the industry would do well to take note. After all, as Mike Kaeding proves, innovation and determination can truly transform an industry.
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