The youth of today are balancing between innovation and tradition which has helped them create their own pathways forward and harvest their entrepreneurial spirits. This is true of local entrepreneur, Ethan Schlachter. Ethan, a 2018 graduate of Ayersville High School, is currently a student at The University of Toledo majoring in electrical engineering… and a successful business owner. While Ethan was still a senior in high school, he purchased his first residential home and created ELS Ventures, LLC.
Great Support System
Hard work and perseverance could be used to describe Ethan and his brothers Logan and Tyson, although they give a lot of the credit to their support system, specifically their parents Brad and Trisha Schlachter. “My parents are very supportive of our endeavors, provide a wealth of knowledge and have guided my brothers and me along the way,” Ethan said of his parents. “The number of hours our dad has spent helping us renovate our properties is incredible. While having his own business ventures outside of his day job, he has consistently sacrificed evenings and weekends since we started buying houses to help us out” he adds. Although his mom doesn’t typically help with the renovating, she still plays an important role in their success. “Our mom is the glue of our family. From doing little things like mailing our Menards rebates for us, to helping us clean up our houses once we are done working on them, and everything in between, her impact is huge” Ethan says.
Ethan also credits his roommates, girlfriend, and family friends because he believes it takes a village to accomplish his business goals. He specifically wanted to mention the following people and companies who have helped him with his houses: Dave Delano, Steve Hoffman, Phillips Home Improvement, Scott Seigman, Rich Gamby, Rensi Dirt Works, Valerio’s Roofing, United Heating & Air Conditioning, Kelly Baumle, and Carpet Mart. “They are all honest, hard-working people that have treated me great” he says.
How it All Started
When Ethan turned 18, he purchased his first rental home with money he had earned mowing lawns and the financial backing of his parents. After he had made improvements to the property and found a tenant, Ethan was able to use that first property as collateral for his next rental home purchase. He recently sold the last house he completed with the help of Cari Kost, owner of Go Giver Real Estate. “Cari was awesome to work with. I’d highly recommend her for your real estate needs” he mentioned. Ethan now owns several rental homes with minimal debt and has since paid back his parents’ initial investment with interest.
With the housing shortage throughout the country including here in Defiance County, it is amazing to see this type of initiative from community members. Ethan added that he believes “it is truly a win-win situation. We’ve been able to purchase properties that need work at a fair price, renovate and repair them, and then provide people the opportunity to rent and live in Defiance.” Ethan and his younger brother (who also owns rental homes) work on the homes themselves relying on their support system for guidance. One thing Ethan did mention was to not be afraid to try something new and shared about how many times he started and failed during this process. It was very interesting to hear that this was a driving factor for his business and that he saw each failure as a learning experience to grow which “wasn’t really a failure” after all. Ethan said, “Each house has presented its own unique problem which I’ve had to find a solution for. I enjoy the challenges I’m faced with as they give me the chance to learn something new and improve my skills.”
The Future is Bright for the Schlachters
Mr. Schlachter is quite the ambitious young man. He is currently working with Marathon Petroleum Corporation through a co-op program traveling the country gaining experience while earning his engineering degree at UT. Ethan spends the week at school and spends his weekends working on his properties. The future is bright for Ethan as he focuses on what comes next with his engineering career, but his passion for rental houses and real estate continues. “I thoroughly enjoy it. I don’t think I would be able to devote as much time as I do to it or have come this far if I didn’t truly love it” he added. Jokingly, Ethan said he might need to buy his girlfriend a ring before he buys another house.
The business spirit also runs in the family with Ethan’s younger brothers, Logan and Tyson. Logan is a sophomore at the University of Toledo, dual majoring in electrical and computer science engineering. He also owns rental homes. Tyson is a junior in high school who runs a successful lawn care service. Their grandfathers had their own businesses, one being an excavation company and the other being a used car dealership. Their dad has invested in real estate since he was in college. “My brothers and I were lucky to have successful business owners to look up to and learn from growing up. Since we saw family members have success as entrepreneurs firsthand, I think naturally we always believed we could find a way to have some as well” Ethan said.
Advice for New Business Owners
Starting a new business can be intimidating but also be fulfilling. Personally, I noticed Ethan was very driven and had a great work ethic which are good qualities to have as an entrepreneur.
Although he believes a college degree is worth pursuing for certain careers, he wanted the young people of today to know that you can be successful without going to college. “College isn’t for everyone