30 in Their Thirties: Michael Kalis // 32

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CEO and Owner, MarketplaceHomes.com, Livonia
Revenue: $30M // Employees: 100

Looking to revolutionize the residential home market, Michael Kalis started an online marketing company that acts as a real estate brokerage firm. Founded in 2007, the company was foundering until Kalis acquired it for $25,000. “At the time, it was basically a landing page,” says Kalis, CEO of MarketplaceHomes.com. “We saw a way to sell new homes and help people sell their existing home — all over the Internet.” The company doesn’t build dwellings; rather, it links prospective buyers with builders, both here and around the country. Based in Livonia, the firm expects to deliver 1,400 new homes this year. “We’re open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week,” Kalis says. “You pull up to one of the model homes, call the number on the sign, and we’ll (remotely) open the doors and turn on the lights. Our trained specialist is with you the whole time.” Called iTours, the program can be accessed virtually from a home computer, as well.  Over time, Kalis has developed several unique programs, in addition to the virtual tours. Under one of the programs, the company will agree to lease a new homebuyer’s existing residence for up to six years. “Some people have trouble selling their homes, so we help them avoid one of three scenarios — double payments, a smaller new home than they wanted, or the cancellation of a new home,” he says. — R.J. King

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