Eric Schaefer: A Double Livelihood
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CONCORD — Until fairly recently, Eric Schaefer was living what some might call a double livelihood, playing an active role in two disparate professional spheres. “I worked as a service director for Porsche for many years while simultaneously pursuing a construction career on the side,” he explains. “My grandfather was a general contractor and a real estate developer, so I got my passion for working on houses from him. In the late ’90s, I started dabbling in heating and cooling as a specialty. Over the following decade, I became more active in the trade, and in 2013, I left my job at Porsche to pursue full-time work as a residential climate control specialist.”
In 2010, Eric met Jeremy Carlock, owner of Got Watts Electric, Solar & HVAC. “I was doing climate control and he was doing electrical and solar, so we would refer work back and forth and subcontract to one another,” he relates. “Eventually, we realized it made sense to bring both of our specialties together under one roof, so I joined his company.”
Today, Eric says his favorite aspects of his job are the challenges and rewards. “I enjoy the challenge of coming up with climate control solutions for our customers. I design every system to last for 20-plus years, so it’s rewarding to know my work will be serving the customer for a generation.”
A resident of Martinez (where he lives with his wife, Tobi), Eric spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy outdoor activities like mountain biking and hiking—preferably at Lake Tahoe, which I consider my home away from home. I’m also an auto racing enthusiast and I’ve raced cars for many years.” Additionally, Eric enjoys spending time with his and Tobi’s four adult children, both casually and at holiday gatherings.
In regard to a professional philosophy, Eric espouses the value of proactive customer care. “I’m never going to sell someone something they don’t need, but I will sell them something they didn’t know they needed,” he says. “When I worked at Porsche, our job was to check each car for things the owner wasn’t aware of and address them before something went wrong. It’s similar with homes—the average homeowner isn’t aware of what they need, whether right now or 20 years down the road. It’s my job to address those needs and provide solutions that give the homeowner long-lasting performance and value.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Eric says he’d move to Lake Tahoe. “I love being up at Tahoe, so if I retired, I’d make it my primary residence instead of just my favorite vacation spot.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Taco Daddy’s in downtown Martinez.
Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee. I actually just took up drinking coffee about five years ago, so it’s a relatively new thing for me.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: I’m a big Formula 1 fan, and my favorite team is Red Bull Racing.
Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’ve ever attempted?
A: I’ve raced cars and mountain bikes, and I’ve even been skydiving, but in the end, I think having kids was the most death-defying feat of all.
Q: What was your most memorable Halloween costume?
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A: One year, a friend and I dressed up in one of those two-man horse suits. We were attending a Y&T concert at the Concord Pavilion and there was a costume contest, so we entered it as a “rockin’ horse.” We ended up winning first place!