Agent on Fire - Kelly Cantwell, KW Classic Properties Realty
By Kaitlin Hall
Talk to Kelly Cantwell of KW Classic Properties Realty for five minutes and you’ll feel as if you’ve known her your whole life. Developing relationships is her superpower. It’s what makes her so good at what she does. Creating relationships, better yet friendships, comes second nature to her, making real estate a natural fit.
A central Ohio native, she graduated from Upper Arlington High School before receiving a degree in marketing from Bowling Green State University. She started her career with Owens Illinois, a glass manufacturer, then worked in sales for a healthcare company, Baxter Travenol. Through her work for these companies, she had the opportunity to live in Baltimore, Maryland, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Cincinnati, Ohio. It was while living in Cincinnati that she met her husband, Greg. His job took them to Denver, Colorado, where she took some time off from working to raise their children. Eventually, they wound up back in Columbus so they could be closer to family.
Kelly’s mother, Jeanne Gauer, was in real estate for 35 years, and her father Klaus was a builder until he retired last year. The name of his company was Gauer Construction and he has built new homes and renovated many homes in German Village. Not long after moving back to Ohio, Kelly decided to keep the family tradition alive by becoming a REALTOR® and working alongside her mother.
One of the things she loves most about the real estate industry is working with a broad range of people. Kelly is a Guild member with the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing as well as a member with KW Sports and Entertainment, but she’s just as happy when working with first-time homebuyers.
“I’m very outgoing and play off the energy of other people. At the end of the day, I’m surrounded by really nice people, and it just makes this job fun,” she said.
What motivates her the most is being connected through community engagement. She started a movement in her hometown of Upper Arlington called UA Gives Back during the pandemic. The Facebook group is now 600+ members strong, and they remain committed to helping local organizations in need. Their time and gifts have benefitted Heart to Heart Food Pantry, Home for Families, Moms2B, the Star House, and Columbus City Schools Student Success Stores to name a few. Most important has been helping Home For Families with backpacks filled with school supplies and holiday gifts for families in December. This initiative resulted in Kelly receiving the Community Enrichment Award from the city of Upper Arlington in 2021.
Kelly also does a podcast called Network614 and connects with a variety of people in the Columbus area. She has served as President of the Northwest Area Realty Association and Chairperson for Columbus REALTORS® Realtor Care Day. She has also served as a board member for the Upper Arlington Education Foundation & Alumni Association for several years.
One of her proudest achievements is starting her team, The Cantwell Group. Kelly is grateful to have Nic Fortkamp on her team as their collaboration allows for them to all enjoy a little R&R now and then! She’s also thankful for the opportunity to pass along her knowledge.
In her spare time, she does CrossFit with her husband and likes to dance, read and write poems. They have three grown children. Wes, who is in research in San Diego, California, and twins Jeanne and Jim. Jeanne is a teacher in San Diego, California, and Jim works at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Few industries require relationship building quite like real estate and Kelly Cantwell has the market cornered in central Ohio!