Kenneth Otterman, Principal
Ken Otterman was born and raised in Pennsylvania, graduating from Penn State University. One summer, as a 14-year-old, he visited Colorado for the first time—and his life direction was irrevocably altered. The mountains, the weather, the air, the people, the diversity and the culture all impressed him, but what resonated deeply within him was the peace its grandeur inspired. He knew he would return permanently someday.
In 1991, Ken purchased a friend’s under-managed and under-performing rental garage space building. As he began utilizing his system for cash flow and the property began prospering, he became intrigued by the simple yet lucrative possibilities of resource development. He began to expand his interests by investing in rental garages and self-storage. Over the next few years he purchased and improved over 300 garage rental units. In 1998 Ken began utilizing Limited Liability Companies (Corporations) to purchase, revitalize (through improved management and capitalizing on opportunities) and construct more than 240,000 square feet of self-storage as a “part-time” pursuit.
Ken’s experience in real estate investment is multi-faceted and extensive. He has authored five books in this field and also been published in over thirty newsletters, magazines, and trade publications. His writing encompasses all phases of real estate investing: management, tax shelters, home purchasing, construction and rehabilitation, negotiation, and finance. His trademark mechanism – Goals and Plans – keeps investments moving toward a defined target. He has worked as a consultant on more than seventy projects for other interests and has been in demand as a consultant for more than twenty-five years. Ken has honed his knowledge and expertise in this arena through classes, seminars, workshops, hands-on “seat-of-the-pants” decision learning and by growing friendships with leaders in the operation of self-storage facilities.
Ken works hand-in-hand with community projects and supports foundations such as Habitat for Humanity, The Caron Foundation, The Boy Scouts of America, Operation Facelift, Latch Key Kids, and the Clean and Sweep program in several cities. He believes in creating a sense of “give-backs” that help communities grow.
He is listed in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry and Who’s Who in the East (1993 – 1998), Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in America (1996 to present). He is co-founder and past president of REIA (Real Estate Investment Association) and continues as a charter member of its board. He also is a charter member of DIG (Diversified Investors Group) and a member of their advisory board.
His love of family, sports, and the incredible beauty of the Yampa Valley center him, and he enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren, skiing, playing golf and tennis, and keeping track of the Nittany Lions, the Pirates, the Steelers, and the Broncos.
Joy Rasmussen, General Partner/Real Estate Professional
Joy’s involvement in real estate began at a young age. “I grew up in the real estate business,” she shares. “My grandfather was a real estate developer and investor, my father was a financial controller and a home builder and my mother was a property manager, so I guess you could say this business is really in my blood….it is very personal to me, part of my life, even beyond a career,” she affirms.
Joy graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management, a field of study that has served her well both in lifestyle and client relations. She began her twenty-year professional career in resort advertising and sales in Park City, Utah where she spent her first ten years. From there, she served as Director of Sales for five-star destination resorts and six-star cruise lines where she developed an “in-house/on-board” sales and marketing program (and traveled the world!) In 2002, she made Steamboat Springs her home and joined Colorado Group Realty as an owner/broker.
Also in 2002, through her real estate contacts, Joy discovered mini-storage as a way of acquiring passive income. She purchased ten mobile containers as an entry into the market. Immediately, she was hooked on commercial cash flow real estate. This led to her current involvement in seven self-storage facilities among other properties. With this passion and specialized skill set, she has taken her very successful brokerage business into the self-storage arena by representing investment clientele from all over North America and beyond.
Joy has coupled her extensive knowledge of the tourism industry with what she is most passionate about, real estate. That combination of experience and her investment participation have given her a wealth of knowledge and an ability to tailor investment opportunities to her clients. Excellence in preparation, execution and follow-through are her strengths.
Joy’s life interests run the gamut from photography to sports to advocating for the helpless. She counts among her many sports addictions downhill and skate skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, running and just about any adventure sport she can find time to enjoy. As an avid competitor in short and long distance triathlon, Joy is consistently ranked in the top 5% by the governing body of the sport, USA Triathlon. She sat on the Board of Directors for USA Triathlon (past president for two terms) and is the founder of the Steamboat Triathlon held in August each year. Joy is also dedicated to protecting kids – she is a certified Guardian ad Litem, a championing voice for abused and abandoned children. Always on the go, you might find her donating her time to “ringing the bell” at Wal-Mart, collecting supplies and gifts for the troops, or spending time with her family.
KJ Otterman, General Partner / General Contractor / Construction Specialist
K. J. was born in Steamboat in 1976 and grew up in Pennsylvania and New York. Summers were spent at the Jersey shore with his family going to the beach, fishing and crab snatching, surfing and winning the ³darkest tan at the beach contests.² He grew up around construction and property rehabilitation, discovering that he liked to build things. He also had a passion for sports and excelled in high school football, baseball, ski racing, track, soccer, adding diving and swimming in his junior year (he set records in swimming throughout his region and qualified for state championships in diving). He was hired as a ski instructor when he was only fourteen. As you can see, when K.J. puts his effort into something, incredible things can happen.
During his senior year of high school, he won the opportunity to participate in a project of building a house for resale through his school. He produced exceptional work on the project and it sold for a tidy profit. At graduation, the major sponsors of the project recognized him as ³the most accomplished student² of the project. After graduation, K.J. began college on an athletic scholarship but found that university life did not fit him well. He decided to take time to think things over and came to Steamboat Springs, the town where he was born and spent so much time in growing up‹and soon decided to stay.
As he continued pursuing summer construction jobs, he gained valuable experience in carpentry, masonry, foundations, siding, trim and general job etiquette. He worked for the ski mountain, appeared in several skiing productions and television commercials, bussed tables, shoveled roofs, cleaned restaurants, mowed lawns, and installed lawn irrigation systems. He spent several winters tuning skis for some of the top world competitors (including Olympian Travis Mayer, silver medalist at the 2002 Olympics in Utah). Throughout this time, he continued to work in construction, furthering his knowledge and accumulating the tools of the trade.
In 2001 he made the leap to work full-time in construction by starting a siding, roofing and trim carpentry company (KJ¹s Construction). Long hours and hard work made that company profitable very quickly. Though he saw it as a nice beginning, a desire for greater growth and a focus on his direction kept him on the beam. As KJ says, ³when you have no money but a big dream and see others being successful with their dream, you will find a way.²
In the winter of 2002, KJ was approached by two different families to build them new homes. The homes went to immediate plan-and-build stages. His success with the two homeowners brought him two more referral clients wanting homes. As a result of his expertise and efficient management, he was able to incorporate his business in the summer of 2003 and set about to make it grow.
Over the next few years, KJ built an average of five homes per year for clients in Routt County. He makes it a point to work face-to-face with the subcontractors, owners and lenders, and has built a solid reputation in the community. He often can be seen teaching his crew the finer points of construction, and paying attention to detail, keeping the wheels of business well-oiled.
In addition to his original business, he has added a home framing company, a residential renovation company, a custom home building company and a concrete contracting business. Most recently, he has begun to consult homeowners in efficient and effective ways to build their home.
In 2005, with a look to his long-term future, he started his investment career. He is currently a partner and LLC Managing Member in several self-storage and commercial facilities in the Yampa Valley, the Front Range and has now expanded to three facilities in Pennsylvania.
As he continues perusing the business he has come to love, custom home building, his family is growing and has completed several commercial projects including warehouse construction, retail repurposing, self-storage, restaurants and office construction.
In his free time, he enjoys traveling to new and old places with family and friends
Brent Richards, General Partner/Business Builder
Brent Richards has been a successful self-employed businessman for more than 27 years. His entrepreneurial spirit began as a young boy in the Wyoming hills, hunting and catching rattlesnakes for their rattles to sell to a local gift store. He learned quickly that risk, hard work and determination brings a profit. As he grew into his teenage years, he found that the world had much to offer in business. At the age of 18, while living in Utah, he worked security for large retail chains such as Nordstrom, Weinstocks, and Ross. During this time he began an investigative business that grew into consistent work doing asset searches and skip tracing for a prominent group of attorneys.
In 1987, Brent moved himself and his young family to Denver, Colorado. He worked as a partner alongside his father as a representative for manufacturers in the pipe, valve and fitting industry. Before long, he bought out his father’s portion of ownership of the rep firm and renamed the company, RepMasters, Inc. It wasn’t long before Brent’s, “think outside the box,” mentality began to shine. His ideas, dedication and determination led to big changes. Brent’s ingenuity has blown the lid off of the pipe, valve and fitting rep industry today. He has raised the bar so high that other rep firms cannot compete and the factories he represents couldn’t be happier. His ideas grew RepMasters from $2,000,000 in gross sales per year, when he purchased full ownership of the company, to sales currently exceeding $24,000,000 in gross sales yearly.
During these years in the rep industry, Brent has been involved in the buying and leasing of residential and commercial real estate. He has also been involved with and has interests in the stock market, self-storage, and other business ventures. Not only has his hands-on experience in the business world at every level helped him be successful but his formal education has also been a valuable asset in his endeavors. He graduated with honors, completing a dual major in Business Management and Business Administration.
Brent began to see the value of asset income rather than asset accumulation through real estate and began a quest to own and manage cash flow real estate. Beginning with single-family homes, he moved cautiously into commercial and industrial opportunities, testing the waters for the right fit for his direction. He also began working with “like-minded individuals” and currently continues to expand his real estate holdings.
Brent has been involved in and continues to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Denver Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, and the Special Olympics. He believes that with as much as he has been blessed, it is important to give back.
At every opportunity, Brent loads up the family and spends time at his ranch away from home in Routt County Colorado to live the serene ranch life even if it is just for a weekend. His other interests include God, family, writing, martial arts, snowboarding and overall physical health through exercise. He fully embraces every moment in life and enjoys a challenge. Luckily for the rattlesnakes, he’s moved onto other interests.