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10 Questions for Von Kaenel Real Estate Owner Mark Von Kaenel

Have a business you would like to nominate for this column? Email your recommendations to sheila.sanchez@patch.com.

Mark Von Kaenel is the owner of which has two locations at 3190 So. Bascom Ave., suite 200, in San Jose; and 262 E. Main St. in Los Gatos. Founded in 2000, Von Kaenel Real Estate is a full-service real estate company. The business' Los Gatos office serves buyers and sellers of local residential and luxury properties. The San Jose office features sales, investment and management of single-family homes, multi-residential properties, commercial office buildings and retail centers in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. Its hours of operation are 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. By appointment any other time. Details: 408-559-8355 and 408-356-8009.

Los Gatos Patch: What did you dream of being as a kid?

Mark Von Kaenel: My dream job was to be a police officer or teacher.

Patch: How does your personality play into your business?

Von Kaenel: My outgoing personality and desire to help people assist in my business on a daily basis. In our industry, quiet or introverted does not work.  You need to be willing to be the voice of reason and confidence at all times.

Patch: At what moment did you decide to open a business?

Von Kaenel: I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I started my first company in high school, then several others in college. The last company I started in college was sold to our number-one competitor. We had more than 40 employees and had become very successful. As my wife and I decided to start our family we felt that coming back home to Los Gatos was the best choice. So we sold the business and moved home. As we looked for other businesses to invest, I was introduced to real estate.

Patch: What inspired you?

Von Kaenel: When we moved to this area and were searching for a new home, we went through six agents. It appeared that most were interested in their commission and own best interest and not ours. At this time I was introduced to the founder of a large real estate firm, whom stated that real estate was an intriguing and rewarding business. I decided to take the leap and have never looked back.

Patch: Describe the biggest challenge of owning a business in the Town
of Los Gatos?

Von Kaenel: Los Gatos is a community based town. If you are going to do business in town, you need to be part of the community. 

Patch: Describe the best thing about owning a business in the town of Los Gatos?

Von Kaenel: Community, as mentioned above. It is absolutely incredible to not only be a large part of this community, but to live in it as well. We have raised our family in town, both of our children have attended Blossom Hill Elementary, Raymond J. Fisher Middle School and now Los Gatos High School. I cannot state enough the joy of being able to live and work in this awesome community.

Patch: What is one thing you would never change about your business?

Von Kaenel: Our commitment to the community. We believe that it is very important to give back where we work and live. 

Patch: What is your business' greatest asset?

Von Kaenel: The fact that we live in town and have chosen to raise our family here. This allows us the benefit of truly educating our clients on why Los Gatos is a great place to live, raise a family and invest in real estate.

Patch: What is your favorite spot in town?

Von Kaenel: There are so many. That's what makes Los Gatos an incredible place. Some of my favorites are the trail going to St. Joseph Hill, the downtown area with all of our incredible restaurants and boutiques, and our local wineries.

Patch: What's one thing the community should know about you?

Von Kaenel: While we recently opened our Los Gatos office, we are definitely not new, we have been doing business in our community for more than 18 years. We have been around since 1994 and have sold more than 700 properties. Many of which have been right here in Los Gatos and the immediate surrounding area. We have another office in San Jose that houses our Property Management and Commercial Division. We are proud to be the alternative to the “big box” real estate companies that have taken over our industry. We are able to provide our clients with unsurpassed customer service through our whole team approach, driven by experience and technology.

Cassie Maas September 25, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Great interview! Mark didn't mention that he's the Chair-Elect for the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors 2013.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz September 25, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Good interview. Thanks for the info. Mark!
Kay Groft III September 27, 2012 at 12:35 AM
It's very inspiring to hear about someone that cares about what they do and the people within their community and in turn translate that into success. For someone like me, who's still trying to find an interest that can possibly become a profession, reading this and finding out that real estate is a good place for an outgoing person, it makes me think of looking into it further. Good interview.
Lu Ann Flechsig October 05, 2012 at 12:12 AM
I am so impressed with Mark Von Kaenel. When the Los Gatos High School's Gold Ribbon Cancer Awareness Club was looking for businesses to participate in our very first Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in Los Gatos, my daughter, Olivia, immediately thought of Mr. Von Kaenel. She said that he was a great supporter of LGHS and the town. It was not easy getting businesses to participate by donating a percentage of their proceeds from that ONE day, Sat. September 15, 2012 to Cursearch. We were fortunate to find about 25 generous businesses to participate. The reaction my daughter got when she asked Mark if he would participate was far from what we expected. Not only was he enthusiastic about participating, he offered to donate money for each sale for the ENTIRE month of September. I don't know if he realizes how much his participation and donation means to people like me, whose had a child with cancer. While our family is one of the fortunate ones because our daughter, Natalie, is still alive and doing well, there are children battling and dying everyday. With so little money going to research for childhood cancer, it's crucial that we continue to raise money. Mr. Von Kaenel is amazing.

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