Investing in the Future
How Caliber Is Growing Its Investments, Company and People
Caliber – The Wealth Development Co. isn’t just a real estate investment company. With five businesses—investment, construction and development, property management, brokerage and hospitality—Caliber offers a 360-degree approach to buying, selling, renovating and investing in real estate.
The full-service, integrated real estate company has seen fast growth since its beginnings in 2009, and it’s going public with an initial public offering (IPO) in the first quarter of 2018. But at the heart of the company is its commitment to its investors, partners and employees.
From Startup to IPO
Founded in 2009 as a startup company with no initial capital and three employees, Caliber has grown to a full-service investment firm that employs more than 700. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Caliber currently works across five states, as well as in Mexico.
Caliber’s diversified assets are part of what differentiates it from others in the industry. Caliber doesn’t focus on one type of real estate; instead, it expands its reach by working across the real estate spectrum, including leading projects in commercial, residential, multifamily, self-storage, hospitality and mixed-use development.
The past year has seen a wide variety of major construction projects. “In construction alone, we grew our company 64 percent in gross revenue year over year, from last year to this year,” says Roy Bade, Executive Vice President and a fund manager.
At the end of 2016, Caliber took on a large third-party project, building a 4,000-square-foot Class A office space in north Scottsdale for National Horseman, a magazine publication established in the late 1800s.
Last year, Caliber also completed an overhaul of a 167-unit apartment complex, the Treehouse Apartments, near the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona. The remodel included gutting and upgrading each unit, including adding a washer and dryer. Caliber also built a clubhouse, business center and exercise area and installed a Las Vegas-style pool, complete with a fire pit.
Then, this past October, Caliber began an expansive $8 million renovation project for the Hilton Tucson East. The work included a complete redo of all 232 guest rooms, including new furniture, finishes and amenities. Renovations also extended to the administration offices, lobby, meeting space and ballrooms, as well as swimming pool upgrades. Plans included a new hotel restaurant and bar.
Currently, the company is garnering national attention with its Zero Energy Ready townhome project under construction in Scottsdale. Caliber has partnered with MODUS Development to build Eclipse, a circular designed, 20-unit townhome community featuring the latest in sustainable living for maximum energy efficiency, as well as extensive home automation technology for a unique residential lifestyle.
And the project list continues to grow: Caliber is in the process of working on a mixed-use development north of Denver, with plans to break ground next summer. The development, which will be completed in several phrases over the next six to seven years, will include an elementary school, around 400 single-family residences, 200 to 300 multifamily condos and around 100 acres of commercial property.
The growth and success of Caliber are helping to catapult its plans to be listed on the Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). As of the first quarter of 2018, Caliber is targeting to be a public nontrading company using Regulation A+ of the U.S. JOBS Act, which allows smaller businesses to access capital then move on to the Nasdaq or NYSE.
And it’s big news for Caliber’s future. Being a publicly traded company will provide additional liquidity, giving the company the ability to continue growing into target investment markets at a faster pace.
A Different Approach
Chris Gray, Director of Construction, attributes the company’s growth in construction and development to its unique approach to investors. “Since its inception, Caliber has focused on individual accredited investors who have largely been underserved in the investment community. Going public opens access to investing with Caliber even further, allowing non-accredited investors to invest directly in real estate projects, which very few companies in real estate do,” Gray explains. “We work with individuals, and we provide very strong returns.”
Caliber’s management builds open communication with its investors; clients have direct access to executives for immediate contact, and Caliber employs an open-book policy when it comes to financials. This personalized approach to customer service and relationship building is what sets Caliber apart from other investment companies.
“We interact with our investors on a day-to-day basis,” Bade says. “Any of our investors can reach out and talk to me; they have our cell phone numbers, and they use them.”
In addition to direct access to management, Caliber also provides road shows and educational summits where investors are invited to learn more about Caliber’s progress, their investments and returns, and to meet with upper management.
Investing in its People
Investment in real estate isn’t the only secret to Caliber’s growth; investing in its people has allowed Caliber to attract top industry professionals.
The company has hundreds of years of combined experience and expertise, allowing Caliber to handle any project no matter the size, scope or schedule. Caliber’s focus on its people allows the team to provide clients with the best experience and return on their investments.
For instance, when a role within the organization opens up, Caliber’s policy is to promote from within first and foremost. Management works diligently to position people within the company based on their strengths. If an employee is hired in a position that isn’t a good fit, management will work to find a place more suited to their professional assets, so they can perform at their very best.
Caliber values employee investment and professional growth. The company not only cross-functionally trains its employees, but it also offers ongoing training and education in areas such as organizational skills, public speaking and more.
Caliber also cares for its employees’ needs outside of their work life. In March 2017, Caliber launched its Caliber CARES Program, which allows employees to donate their paid time off (PTO) for co-workers to use in the event of an emergency.
“It may be as small as the need to miss work to have car repairs done or as difficult as time off to visit a sick parent or take care of a loved one. They’re able to take time off but still get paid while doing that,” Bade explains.
Since the program’s inception, Caliber employees have generously donated nearly 1,000 hours of PTO.
The other component to the program is financial. Through its Caliber CARE Request and Caliber CARE Emergency Assistance Request, Caliber provides money to help with expenses for employees in need. A committee reviews the need and decides what is granted.
When one employee’s husband injured his back and needed physical therapy, she was able to get assistance to cover the cost. Another was able to make a request to provide her mother with a much-needed—and much-deserved—spa day.
“The program brings our entire company together and really makes it feel more like a family,” Bade says.
Caliber’s family and team approach also extends to its subcontractors, who are viewed as partners. This partnership approach has even led to subcontractors choosing to invest in real estate through Caliber.
“They get involved,” Gray explains. “Once they become investors, we’re not just hiring someone to do the work for us—they look at it as part of their own investment as well, and it comes full circle.”
Bade adds, “Everyone who works with Caliber is a partner—they don’t just work for us, we all work together.”
And for Caliber, those meaningful partnerships are truly the best return on investment. Amanda Milford is a Dallas-based writer and communications professional who loves helping people and companies share their stories.