Kyle Klaus is a successful businessman and actor. He opened his first business back in 2012 called Prestige Properties, a real estate firm with multiple offices throughout New Jersey and New York City. In 2019 the firm reached Platinum Status as a result of the huge sales. Klaus is also the owner/founder of The North Pole, a company that provides unique kitchen and bar tools and gift ideas, and he also owns a restaurant in Hoboken, New Jersey. While running successful businesses, Klaus can also be seen on TV in shows like The Blacklist, Billions, Homeland, Happy! and The Last O.G. to name a few.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Kyle to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I grew up in Pottstown, PA. From as early as I could remember I wanted to be an actor. I just didn’t know that you could actually do it as a job. I loved being in other people’s shoes and wearing many hats. I think that’s what added to my love of being an entrepreneur. I thought long and hard about how I could build a life that would allow me the flexibility to still be able to take an acting job when the opportunity arose. Real estate and entrepreneurship was the best option I could find. I learned early on that I had a knack for it. I always looked out for my clients’ best interests and felt that if you just took that as the number 1 rule then everything else would fall into place. When I moved to the New York City area I worked at a real estate company to supplement my acting dream. Then I envisioned the possibility of being a broker/owner and having other agents work under my own umbrella. That is when I was set off on my path of opening my business.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
I live by the rule that if it is not in my calendar, it doesn’t exist. (It’s easier said than done, and I don’t always follow it but I try to). Since I’m still an active broker, I maintain an hour or two I call “power hour.” This time I do every single day no matter what. This is just digging for new business. There is no mystery to it. It just depends whether you are willing to put in the work or not. The other secret is that I am always trying to get new and improved systems in place. That’s part of growing.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
I use Instagram a lot however, I am getting more into Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to grow my brand.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
The only thing I can say that I’ve had any true success with PPC is when I run a campaign on Amazon. One of my entrepreneurial endeavors was to create a physical product, brand it, and sell it on Amazon. I use PPC campaigns there, and they do very well. A lot of it I find depends on the target. So if you are not getting results it’s all about tracking and measuring until you do.
What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?
I like to tell a story and get close to my clients. For instance, I just helped a family find a house during the pandemic. There were so many things that went into it: the buyers being unsure of purchasing their first house during a pandemic, the seller’s not wanting anyone in their house because of Covid-19, me setting up a virtual showing between myself and the other parties, the buyer getting furloughed from his job temporarily while under contract, almost losing the property, the house not in the shape we wanted it to be an hour before closing, and then finally them telling me they were surprising their children – they never told them they were buying a house and their dream has always been homeownership and I was able to be a part of making that a reality for them. I loved that. Helping them set up long term wealth for their family.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
We use constant contact and email campaigns a lot. I think that has worked very well on staying top of mind. That and social media. I think social media sometimes is harder to track unless there is some post that you are tracking and promoting with a call to action.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
At some point, we go to a point like a fork in the road, where we were considering whether or not we were going to expand our real estate company into another location and grow or not. We chose the first option, so we opened a new office, got more agents and it was the best decision.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
I like to think that I did a very good job of working hard and smart, saving money, keeping overhead low, running a tight ship, and saving and investing smartly. The “mistake” I would say along the way is not owning a few properties I was close to investing in, that ended up appreciating greatly. I still made other investments, which just proved not to be as lucrative. Another mistake was selling out of a couple of stocks too early, that I should have held onto because I was too caught up in the day to day results of how they were doing. Hey, no one has a crystal ball and hindsight is 20/20 so you can’t worry about past mistakes too much. It’s easier said than done and I find myself thinking about it sometimes too much. I think that if you can learn from it, not let it affect your judgment going forward, then it’s not a mistake, but a lesson.
What new business would you love to start?
I’d love to start a production company. I opened an LLC for one intending to start it. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I think further down the line would be fun to be a part of producing some things I feel passionately about.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
Definitely buying some properties that I was considering 10 years ago. I would also seek out people to look up to, some people who are doing exactly what I’m doing now, try to learn from them, and streamline the process to get there quicker. However, you can’t really think that way. Hindsight is 20/20 of course. I think you have to learn from things and then use that knowledge moving forward to help you make better choices.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Thoughts become things. That’s the best advice I’ve ever been given in short. You really need to monitor your thoughts and what you think about on a daily basis all day long. Good or bad, positive or negative, your thoughts can and will shape your reality.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
I would say don’t worry too much about HOW you’ll do things at first. Envision what you want first, see the big picture, then worry about the process step by step. If you set a goal it’s easier to reverse engineer and obtain reachable goals to get there.