Working Capital The Real Estate Podcast

New Rules of Real Estate Investing with Chris Prefontaine | EP91

Feb 16, 2022

In This Episode

Chris Prefontaine is a 3-time best-selling author of Real Estate on Your Terms, The New Rules of Real Estate Investing, and Moneeka Sawyer’s Real Estate Investing for Women. He is also the Founder and CEO of SmartRealEstateCoach.com and host of The Smart Real Estate Coach Podcast

In this episode we talked about:

  • Chris` Background
  • Changes in Lead Generation
  • Vendor Take Back Mortgages
  • Chris` Involvement in Deals
  • Geography and Real Estate
  • Motivation for Writing a book
  • Interest Rates and General Economy Outlook
  • Regulatory Environment Challenges
  • Coaching. Advice for the Younger Generation
  • Chris` Plans for the Future

Useful links:
https://smartrealestatecoach.com

Transcriptions:

Jesse (0s): Welcome to the working capital real estate podcast. My name is Jesper galley. And on this show, we discuss all things real estate with investors and experts in a variety of industries that impact real estate. Whether you’re looking at your first investment or raising your first fund, join me and let’s build that portfolio one square foot at a time. All right, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jesper galleon. You’re listening to working capital the real estate podcast. Our returning guests today is Chris Prefontaine. Chris is a three-time bestselling author of real estate on your terms, the new rules of real estate investing and Monica Sawyer is real estate investing for women.

 

He is also the founder and CEO of smart real estate coach.com and host of the smart real estate coach podcast. Chris, welcome back.

 

Chris (47s): Thanks Jesse. I’m going to be back and thanks for having me

 

Jesse (49s): Back. Yeah, it’s my pleasure. So a lot’s changed since the last time we spoke. How, how are things in Rhode Island?

 

Chris (56s): Yeah, lots change would be an understatement for everybody, right? You and I were talking off here. It’s been crazy. I knock on wood. I’ll say the craziness helps us because we’re looking to solve problems. Right? It’s every person I come across in every show is like, oh, why is it affecting you? And I almost feel bad sometimes because we’re doing really well. We’ve increased that business because of it because more people need a guide. That’s the short answer.

 

Jesse (1m 21s): Yeah. Have, have you changed or pivoted anything specifically because of just given the last year and what’s changed either regulatorily from a government standpoint or just, just in the business.

 

Chris (1m 34s): Good question. So not from a regulation standpoint, because again, knock on wood. Nobody’s screwed that up for us. There’s always a bad egg in every market, but nobody’s done that to two on this yet, but as far as the deals yeah, because their market’s so hot, there’s still a need for different lead sources. So we’ve added like three new lead sources, but still do the same base have always done. And now I’m starting to see the numbers creep back. Not quite as far back as 13, 14, 15, 16 pre COVID, but getting better.

 

Meaning how many cells we talk to to get a house in a contract, for example, it’s just starting to come down again, which is nice to seek. So as long as you know, the math is okay, but we’ve added variable so that we don’t have to rely on three sources, you know? Yeah,

 

Jesse (2m 19s): For sure. So for, for listeners that haven’t heard the, the last episode, I think it was episode 63. Don’t quote me on that, but maybe you could give a little bit of a background again on what, what kind of space you play in, in the real estate world?

 

Chris (2m 34s): Yeah. No, thank you for contact. Cause I go, I go with something like that. Everybody knows what the heck I’m talking about. So we buy without banks, we bought without using our own cash. You buy without signing on loans still to this day, that was all sparked long story short from the oil crash that I painfully lived through. Then re-engineer, re-engineered everything to kind of weather every storm. And then, you know, the then obviously COVID whacked everyone. So we only buy on least purchased owner financing, which is one of my favorites and subject to existing financing.

 

Those are the three things we do if a Canadian listeners, the vendor whole back. And there’s different ways of saying it, but that’s what we do. I love those types of deals now, because again, as the market tightens and now rates going up is going to push a whole bunch of people out of the market again. And that’ll put us back and play with a lot of people. So that’s how we buy. When I said we added lead sources, we used to call on a, for sale by owners, expired listings that don’t sell the agents and for rent by owners. And now we’ve added probate. Most recently we’ve added TV very recently.

 

And so those are some, a couple of new ways that we’re going at it and then believe it or not, Jesse, there’s a brand new list. We’re experimenting before we bring it to our community. We do that all the time. We want to make sure we’re good with it. And that is COVID stress people already, there’s less you can buy. So we did our first blast with that and we’ll see how it goes, but that’s, those are the three new sources we’ve added, always looking to provide, you know?

 

Jesse (3m 55s): Yeah, for sure. So you mentioned the lead generation piece there, so what’s, what’s changed specifically in that area. Well,

 

Chris (4m 3s): Okay. So there’s two ends of this cause people say to me, well, the market’s so high, you must have been getting deals. Yeah, the market’s hot, but there’s still a bunch of buyers that can’t get financing. But balance that with the fact that the market is hot in pockets. And that means we have to talk to more sellers to get a deal. And that’s why we added those three different lead sources. So let’s, I’ll give you some metrics back, say 13 to 19. I’ll give that as a reference before COVID I would talk to about 11 as get in the door about 17 sellers. I’ve talked to, to get a property under contract and by about 25 leads per actual sale, where we create three paydays, which we can talk about later.

 

Now the number’s up to instead of 25 to get a say, probably talking closer to 50 or 60. So it’s doubled the amount of people you have to talk to to get a deal double it’s. Okay. As long as you know your metrics and you can plan your business that way, the key is knowing your metrics, right. Keeping track of it, but that’s, what’s changed. Hmm.

 

Jesse (4m 56s): So in terms of the, the kind of the vendor take back aspect, and you know, for those that don’t know, you know, we’ve talked about it on the show, seller financing vendor, take back where you’re basically, you know, asking the vendor or the seller to participate, kind of like the bank and provide the loan. We see it oftentimes when people are trying to close a deal and they can’t get financing and sometimes it sweetens the deal. And then sometimes, you know, even with clients or, or ourselves, when we’re buying things sometimes as a vendor, it’s nice because you typically have a deferral in your capital gains in terms of what you do, how it, how you differentiate yourself from the pure vendor take back or do you, how do you go about that?

 

Hey,

 

Chris (5m 39s): We we’ve done it all. But the one I prefer Jesse is running down the lane of when they do take back the cell financing hobby referred to in your particular market, we do no interest. So we make principal payments monthly to the, to the seller, to the vendor. I didn’t mail them building. I, you know, we do it on a big multi-million dollar properties. You do it on $200,000 homes. So you’re the bank Jessie, you sell to me for 400 grand. Maybe you couldn’t get 400 grand in the rocket. I’m willing to pay you that because I’m going to make monthly principal pay down that hammers down.

 

Principal gives me a nice hedge against any kind of market changes. And you as a seller may be ego maybe financially, but you get your price. You go, Hey, I want my number. Okay. What happens? So we do monthly principal only payments. Now, does that work always in forever? No. It’s about 90% of ideals that are on financing. The other ones you might go, if someone says, I need interest, I’m working on a deal right now. And I said to my son a lot, who’s structuring it well. Okay. But why don’t we try to get 12 months to 18 months of no interest. And then we kick in interest for them.

 

So we both win. That’s another huge advantage. There’s all kinds of ways you can stair-step it. But the short answer is we prefer a principal only payments monthly for a lot of reasons.

 

Jesse (6m 51s): So could you maybe for a, for those reasons, if you could go into the aspect of the principle payment, just so I understand if you’re not deciding to go with that interest step up or, you know, I don’t know what else to say, like a balloon payment that are kind of, it gets introduced at a later date. What is the, what is the preference or what is the reason that principal is, is so appealing to you? Yeah.

 

Chris (7m 17s): Well, let’s take a, I’ll take a house. We just cashed out of it. It’s it was a million dollar ocean front property and a resort area up sitting up on a bluff or looking open ocean, gorgeous. The woman, believe it or not selling it to us was a relative. She couldn’t sell on the open market. This was probably four or five years ago. We structured a deal at 945,000 and the monthly payment Tara was 2,500 principal. Only. That means 30,000 a year was coming off that price. So we bought it for 9 45. We just sold that recently for only 1,000,050, but because of four or five years, I think it was a principal pay down.

 

We had a nice six figure plus payday cash out. If we took out a loan for that, as you know, that would have been a pathetic profit, a hundred grand on a house that big to hold it for years, you know, it wouldn’t have worked. So the principal pay down, puts you in a position to really have it down that principle. Think of, think of anyone listening, buying a home it’s heavily weighted to interest. You get a minute amount of principle every month and then slowly goes up. We get all principals. That’s pretty cool. So, so here here’s some metrics that we can jump off of this. If you buy a house the way I’m saying, and you get at least four year terms and the house is at least 200 grand or more, I’ll give you kind of a low 200 grand a month and you structure at least $900 in that percentage of monthly principal payments, you have a six figure pay day.

 

The way we do all three paydays, six figures on that one house on a $200,000 house. So think about that. People can’t, this is a hard one too. I’m going to buy this house with two, one and a four years. I’m going to make a hundred grand on it because of the principal pay down feature. Yeah.

 

Jesse (8m 47s): So it’s kind of a, it’s essentially like a loan amortization that you, you know, over the time say you have a five term five-year term mortgage. You look from the beginning and you look at the end and you’re right. You have what? 50 sixties could be 70% interest payments at the beginning. And then after that five years, 10 years, whatever the term is, you see what you’ve kind of paid down? What your emiratisation you paid. Whereas yours is 100% in this case, 100% principal pay down. So you’re that direct effect is, is obviously accelerated.

 

Chris (9m 17s): Yeah. And then some context here. So this woman that we, that we did the 2,500 a month payments, obviously that wasn’t spread out over the term of the loan, right? Because it would have been a lot higher. We pick an amount and we tell the sellers, this, we pick an amount that when a buyer comes in to look at our property, they have to say, if I’m charging, say 3000, cause I’m paying 2,500. They have to look at that and go, well, if I bought this and I went conventional, I can’t afford it yet. I can’t get financing yet. But if I did, my payment might be around 3,500. That means I have to be somewhere around 2,500 to make that work for me.

 

I got to make a spread every month. And then of course it’s a balloon payment at whatever year. We’re cashing that out. You have three, four or five. We usually don’t go less than four. So year four or 5, 7, 10, whatever it might be. That make more sense. Yeah, it does.

 

Jesse (10m 1s): So, Chris, what is the kind of, where do you get involved in these deals? Typically

 

Chris (10m 7s): Me personally now,

 

Jesse (10m 8s): Well, I mean, at what point do you get involved in the deal? Is that when you have somebody that has it under contract, you have something that was just traded. What’s the typical kind of insertion for you? For the team?

 

Chris (10m 19s): Our team starts with taking a, what we call it, property information sheet. It’s online now in our CRM, but we take a property information sheet, elite sheet, if you will. We get that from virtual assistants who calling people, basically not saying, get lost, but say, Hey, you I’d be open to some options. Have your team call me our acquisitions team. Then calls them I don’t anymore. I used to do it all back in the early years. And then it moves from them to, from them to a person on our team that goes on appointments again, just being me then my son-in-law and just duplicated ourselves.

 

So all I do is check the metrics now monthly and make sure I help them structure deals. I like that aspect of, of the real estate, as you know, that never gets old because every deal is different. Every deal is different. There’s still lessons to learn. So I love being that transaction engineer, but me personally, I don’t get it until them, my team right away, right after that person raises their hand, we’re calling.

 

Jesse (11m 11s): Got it. And what do you find has been, is there been a specific geographical area that, that you guys have focused on? You know, will you do loans anywhere or do sorry, insert yourself anywhere.

 

Chris (11m 23s): Yeah. Sorry if that’s what you meant, geographical. Yeah. We’ll go anywhere we limit, because I I’ll tell anyone this within 50 miles of you, your radius, unless it’s water, you have plenty of deals to go to go be had. I have students in our area. I have no problem with that. There’s so many deals out there. You just have to approach this with a prosperity mindset. Now, as a family team we do in the United States, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. And then we have students in most of the other states in the country in a few in Canada. So we’ll go anyway, it works anywhere. It’s not price contingent, it’s not cycle contingent.

 

It’s just a matter of how you bop and weave and become that transaction engineer depending on where you are.

 

Jesse (11m 60s): Gotcha. So in terms of the book, we talked a little bit about it last time for listeners that you know, that didn’t hear that episode, or, you know, just wanted a little bit more information. I, I’m just a genuinely curious when people write books, cause it’s such a, it’s such a large process, especially when you’re not just, you know, getting it ghost written or it’s a, just an ebook, you know, what was the motivation for that for you to write it? You know?

 

Chris (12m 25s): So I’m going to say this from two levels business and personal one is I’ve been at this 30 years. This is my 31st year I K 30 is, was September. My wife said back on the bow when I was turning 56. So about six or seven years ago, she said, it took you 50 years to figure this out, like get all this going. And she was kidding, of course, but it’s, but it’s a fact like it takes time to walk and we’ve, and I’ve always wanted to write the book, frankly, growing up, I had, I wouldn’t call it special ed, but they wouldn’t let me take a language cause I didn’t score so well on, on those tests you have to take.

 

So I would have never thought that I would write anything, but as I got into the years in the real estate mode further, further along, and she said that to me, I said, I’d love to share that. So that was number one, number two reason for sharing. It was, we got beat up in the crashes, you know, and it’s probably on your last episode. And so my wife said to me, why don’t you tell people like teach people how you got through that? Meaning the crappy credit in the United States. That’s a key thing to have. So teach people that teach people how to teach people, how to buy a house when they don’t have great credit, teach people how to sell when they don’t know how to sell.

 

So that’s what sparked it. And then from a business standpoint, you became more of a business card versus let’s see if I can go on and sell 10,000 books. I really don’t care. I want the message to go out. I want people to read it for free or for the small Amazon chocolate, they buy it and then say, okay, this is something I want to go further on or you know what, thanks. But I didn’t spend much time on money and that’s not an issue for me. So there’s a business reason and the personal reason, that was a long answer. Sorry, but that was a good question. I don’t know.

 

Jesse (13m 52s): Not at all. So that, I mean, since, since you launched the book and it’s been out there, what’s been kind of the feedback or maybe some things that you didn’t realize that it was going to lead to or, or spark

 

Chris (14m 5s): As I didn’t notice before, but now that in hindsight and we have three books in a fourth coming out, I will tell you that I’m always amazed at the hands that gets into number one. And number two, that the credibility of brings by nature of the book. Never knew that I wrote for personal reasons that I said, okay, I can turn it into a lead magnet, but then I am just over the top, satisfied with the authority that that brings when someone is an author of a book and you attract a different type of person, perhaps a higher level of prospect than you would otherwise. And I’m calling that kind of the authority figure.

 

The fourth book when Sally coming out is called sell with authority for real estate investors. So it’s like, how do you become that person in your marketplace that people want to seek out versus you trying to go seek them out?

 

Jesse (14m 49s): So you’re, you’re doing another one. Just, just a masochist.

 

Chris (14m 53s): Yeah, we, well, I, you know, you said at the beginning, I should’ve commented to do a book is starting to work. We started this one the month before COVID shut down in 20 with the goal of bringing it out in September of 20 and it’s coming out this much and I’m saying to the team, what the hell? I mean a good team of people that have partnered on this book, two great authors. It just took, it takes a long, I think, I think always, always, always said, don’t ask me why don’t we do the next one? I don’t know if that’s going to be tomorrow.

 

Jesse (15m 17s): We always say, is it take twice as much work and two times as long. So I want to talk a little bit about what’s a topical right now. I think a lot of real estate investors are looking very carefully at the fed in, in the states, you know, BOC in Canada, you know, whoever whoever’s running monetary policy, where you reside in, you know, the question of real estate interest rates or interest rates in general and how that impacts real estate we’ve been saying for ever, or as long as I can remember, interest rates can only go one way.

 

And it seems that with what seems to be non transitory, arguably non transitory inflation. What’s your, what’s your outlook right now? How are you feeling about interest rates and the general economy? Maybe you can start back home and go more broadly.

 

Chris (16m 7s): Yeah, my wife and I just got back from Vermont and I was talking with this, cause she’ll always say to me, how’s this going to affect you? How’s this going to pick your business? How’s it going to pick us always? And now she’s thinking about our kids who are young adults, 30 to 33, how’s it gonna affect them when they bought? So my take on it is this, you and I don’t have a crystal ball. If we did, we’d be on a beach somewhere. We wouldn’t have to be doing these shows together, but my take on it is yes, clearly inevitably interest rates are going to creep up. Then when I said to my wife was sadly, even a quarter of a point in interest rates, certainly a half a point in down the road for more, you are going to flush out tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, eventually a buyers out of the market because first buyers at so many times, it just borderline and the rates of afforded them to be able to get in.

 

And hopefully they smartly did a fix. Right. And they’re good for a long time. So, so on the buyer’s side, they’re going to flush a lot of them out. They’re going to need more time. If they’re going to have a buy, we can help them with that. So selfishly really cool, but we can be that guide. Now, how does that affect the other part of my business sellers? Same way. If buyers are getting flushed out, the demand for their houses went way down. And so I’m starting to kind of taste and smell and see what I did in 13 through 19 slowly coming back, like I talked about earlier with the metrics.

 

So that’s where my niche standpoint and I also, for personal reasons don’t care as much because the stage I’m at in my life would, I don’t have that anymore. And you know, I did all that after the oh eight crash and get rid of all that. So it’s important to know that’s coming from my context from a business standpoint and a personal standpoint. I don’t care. I hate to say it, but I really don’t care. It’s only going to help us help more people. Does that make sense?

 

Jesse (17m 41s): Yeah, it does. So in terms of the actual mechanics of, of your real estate in general, you know, and what I mean by that is going with open rates, variable, fixed, fixed debt. Is there anything that you’re doing from a tactical standpoint, preparing for what potentially could be interest rate increases?

 

Chris (18m 2s): Two things I guess. And tell me if this answers it from a personal standpoint, since the crash, I will never take a Ray bar, right? That’s just me personally. I don’t care if it’s a commercial building a personal, I very rarely will sign on a loan, but if I do, it’s gonna be fixed. Secondly, I would just say that anytime we do a deal and a business side of things, people say, what are you gonna change? I’m just going to make sure that longer terms. So instead of writing a four or five-year on a financing deal or at least purchase, I might do a 10 or 15 in 10 or 15 years, frankly.

 

I don’t care if the market pivots three times I’ll be okay. And that’s why the terms niche is so cool. And that, and back to the book it’s we wrote about in the book and it’s been revised probably since you and I talked to actually the revised version. So it’s up to date as you possibly can be right around COVID and that is take longer terms. You don’t care as much. They come about every 10 or 15 year cycle. You’d be okay. That’s my opinion. Yeah.

 

Jesse (18m 55s): Well, it’s, what’s the, I dunno if it’s Warren buffet, but sounds like it, but it’s, you know, not timing the market’s time in the market. I think that’s just a, a philosophy from especially hits home for real estate. You know, people that have been in the market for a number of years over time, you know, we ended up being successful. The aspect of, I also wanted to talk about is there’s been a number of changes in, in the states and Canada, the world in terms of labor, the cost of goods, supply chains would like to get your thoughts on, on how you see that in your area.

 

You know, if, if that’s impacting the type of business that you do, or generally your outlook on where you think we’re going, if we’re heading in the right direction,

 

Chris (19m 40s): I think the only thing I can tell is only speak about there again, if I’m nailing your question is the labor part, the employee part, meaning since COVID demand for virtual has gone up means I have better quality work for me all around the country. However, my costs went up direct example. We could hire an executive assistant, a really good one, pre COVID 15, 18, 20 would be just a crusher person. Now I, we can’t attract anyone in front of $25 an hour. And so I just, from my new niche of labor, I don’t know if that helps with relative to your question, but that’s what I’m feeling.

 

But as a result, we’ve got great people that you couldn’t get when you were trying to track locally here in new England. I mean, we, we just, weren’t getting the same type of quality people. Our team now is amazing because of that. And you’ve got to pay for.

 

Jesse (20m 26s): Yeah. So you mentioned from the outset, you know, you you’re relatively non geographical, like you’ll, you’ll do the, you’ll do terms in your area, as you said, you’ve mentioned there’s a couple of students in Canada. Is there anything about our, you know, contacts, our regulatory environment that, that makes terms a little bit more challenging or different in any way,

 

Chris (20m 48s): What comes to mind is just a little more challenging lead generation. So you just gotta pivot on this meaning it’s my understanding from my students that you can’t just readily go. If you’re not a relative and grab an expired listing database, for example. So it’s harder to get information. Data is more protected. That’s been my experience, but does that stop anyone? No, there’s a gentleman. I was on his show. He’s done. He’s been doing these deals there for 30 years. So I know they’re being done. You just gotta not running one lane, just like I just added three sources. You just get out of the other sources.

 

That’s all, you just gotta find the right pond efficient.

 

Jesse (21m 21s): Yeah. I find it’s one of those things. I think it’s our Castle’s laws of, well, number one, contacting and privacy act. And I kind of rolled up in that, but I mean, at the end of the day, like you said, there’s always a way we have a, you know, an equivalent for secretary of state where we can try to find, you know, the actual owners, it gets a little different with residential. Do you guys, do you guys do this outside of residential real estate? You’ll do commercial deals.

 

Chris (21m 48s): Yeah. This is a good subject too. So I, we teach residential single families. Right. But I, but the fact is you can, by the way, we’re buying boats, cars, planes, people do on the financing, right? So I bought out building in 2018 on our financing. The gentleman absolutely did not want to be cashed out. He, he seeped out a terms deal and we met and it took us 10 minutes. Now, if you go buy a commercial building, we still own it. You go buy that commercial building. Anytime I don’t care, pre COVID nut. Now it doesn’t matter.

 

You’re going through some grueling underwriting to get a commercial building these days. And you’re putting down 25 or 30% and you better have a strong balance sheet and super strong cash in addition to what you’re putting down. Well, we did the deal in 10 minutes. It went to closing like within three weeks. That’s unheard of. So yes. The short answer is yes, we’ve done four units, six units. We target them when we want to bring them in our portfolio. We either do them in our retirement account or we do them in the company.

 

Jesse (22m 44s): Yeah. That makes sense. I was curious from our last conversation cause we do, you know, in my brokerage, we do purely a purely in, in commercial deals and was curious if you actually, the mechanics were the same with that aspect of it as well.

 

Chris (22m 57s): The conversations Jesse and more fun and more, I guess I’ll say higher level again. And the reason I’m saying that is a lot of the sellers that even if they’re having a mortgage, but certainly if the debt-free on these buildings or multi units, they’re pretty financially savvy. They got there for a reason. Right? And so these people that are like this guy was debt free. So he sat down with me. He said, well, that’s pretty cool. You read my books. Like this is really cool. I like you like you’re failing. And we cut a deal. The, he was at a different level than a first time home buyer trying to sell the home. And me saying, do you want to own or finance them?

 

That they just don’t. A lot of them don’t understand that it’s an education process where the ones doing the deals you’re probably used to doing, they get it. Like they totally get it and appreciate it, bankers. Like they get it. They love it. We we’ve bought houses from financial planners and bankers because they logged the system and the numbers. They totally understand it. Yeah.

 

Jesse (23m 46s): I think there’s this. And hopefully technology’s gonna help with this. But I think commercial real estate, even though in a lot of ways, it’s, it’s behind residential. I think the creativity of the deals is different. We think about the capital stack more from a finance standpoint then, you know, just debt and equity and that’s it. So I find that most of the deals I find I do are a little bit more creative and people are open to thinking outside the box.

 

Chris (24m 10s): Okay, great. Yeah. I agree. I love it. I love it for that reason. Whereas the new students who go on, I can’t call Jesse. He owns that big building or they’re afraid to, but now it’s easier.

 

Jesse (24m 18s): Yeah, man. It’s so funny. You mentioned that I CA you know, for anybody that’s in any industry that involves sales, it’s it? It is one of those things. I remember when I first started and I knew that, you know, somebody was a 30,000 or 40,000 foot tenant, or, you know, somebody that owned multiple large properties. There’s just this different feeling you have when you call them and you just got to get over it because the, you know, the small guys in the, in the, the guys or gals with a lot of properties, it’s the same person. It’s a, it’s a human on the other end. Yeah.

 

Chris (24m 47s): Here’s a coaching nugget then for everyone listening, if you, if you’re in that mode, that would just, and we’re just talking about there’s someone in your niche. I don’t care if you just are broke. Or if you just do terms like me, it doesn’t matter. If you just do Maltese, there’s someone in your niche that has done the higher end deals, go find them and talk to them, go buy their book, pick up the phone and they’ll talk to you. You don’t have to pay millions of dollars. Just they’ll help you get over that. So that after you do one or two, you’ll treat it like second nature. It’s all mental, all mental. I promise you that the mental game is bigger than we all think.

 

Jesse (25m 18s): Yep. And you just get your reps and well, it would, it would be a miss opportunity to not talk a little bit about coaching with yourself. So 30, 30 years in the industry, you know, what do you, what are you seeing with younger talent that comes in to our world? Or what are you saying to them? Advice for the younger, younger generation they’re obviously coming in at a crazy time. I can’t imagine coming in two or three years ago, especially into brokerage, but real estate investing in general during this time. So yeah. What’s, what’s your view?

 

Chris (25m 49s): Well, a little context, Jessie like this, I don’t know if I told you this before. So my son, Nick grew up in the business. Right? And then remind me to get back to your question promise. But he grew up in the business because he’s around me, but he had a head injury and he decided not to go to college. He was in calmer and he got out of all that. And in 2008 he became a broker. So he started in the worst time as a result. He’s pretty seasoned now. But as far as what I would have to say to them right now, coming in the business, this is so simple but effective. If you can stay with it. And that is number one, pick a niche that you can get behind and don’t get caught up in the shiny object syndrome because real estate is cool.

 

But as a result, you can get distracted real quickly. So pick a niche. That’s why I like doing free. You find a niche, there’s a lot of free stuff out there. Then once you find it by your free research to find something that I alluded to earlier, that in your niche, that’s where you want to be. Not just financially successful. Good, cool. But I’m talking about maybe family values. Whatever’s important for you. For me. I can’t go follow someone as a mentor if their life’s a mess and they don’t have real issue with their wife or their kids, that’s not for me a mentor. So that’s what I mean by get behind an issue you can get by and get by on a person you can get behind or group.

 

And then here’s the toughie put the blinders on for at least 36 months, at least 36 months. After that, I promise you you’ll have a great experience. If you listen to step number two and you talk to the person that you, that you’ve taken advice from. So I hope that helps that that’s the best thing I could tell anyone. And I wish I did that twice in my life when I had a curve ball with the market. I wish I had someone like that. And those are the only two times I didn’t. And only two times I got hit, no mentor.

 

Jesse (27m 25s): Yeah. I mean, that’s something we, we always talk about on the show, the mentor mentorship aspect. And it seems like everybody in our industry or just business in general has a, an opinion about it. And in, you know, in the context of your son coming in, in oh eight, like I was just talking with one of the partners at my company a couple of hours ago, actually about these times in our market. So whether it’s COVID oh eight, 2001, 1994, like we talked about these calamitous times and a lot of turmoil in the market.

 

Do you find that when you actually can live through that in our industry, that it, you know, it kind of sharpens the pencil? Cause I know that there are some investors or people in our, in our, a world that, you know, sometimes they won’t even work with a certain investor or sponsor if they haven’t been through at least one, one recession. What’s your view on that

 

Chris (28m 19s): Agreement about this for awhile? Because unfortunately there are people in your space, in my space that have never done a deal, but they’re great marketers. And unfortunately they’re sucking in a lot of people that they shouldn’t be. So I don’t just think it’s, it’s a big deal. I think it’s enormous that you speak with someone that’s seasoned. I hated going through what I went through twice. I got banged up. But as a result, this niche was built. This business was built. So yes, big explanation, point on what you said, hugely support that find some of that’s been at least through a life and, or a economic challenge.

 

Both would be great. And so I mentioned my son’s accident course, we all get hit by COVID nine 11. These are things that season you and then, oh yeah, by the way that mark had just turned two. So these are all important growing things.

 

Jesse (29m 8s): Yeah. Fair enough. All right. I want to be mindful of the time Chris, but before, before we let you go, I just want to ask you in terms of the business in real estate, you know, what’s next for you? What, what do you have on the horizon? I know you mentioned a, a new book. So what else you got?

 

Chris (29m 25s): Well, we we’re about to rewrite our mission. We had a five-year mission ends in 22 and it’s all about transactions. So in the midst of doing that now and then up leveling to bring on some amazing coaches, to help us expand that around the country and into the, into Canada. So it’s more of the same, Jesse. It’s just that it’s not about me anymore. It’s not about even my family team anymore. We’ve got some amazing people. Our purpose is to help individuals and families create the life of their dreams. And as such, that has caused a major, you know, motions matter when people are emotionally behind something, it just catches on.

 

I don’t want to say a movement is too cliche, but that’s where we’re headed with doing more and more transactions. I could care less. How many people buy a course. I want to do more deals and help more families. And that’s what it’s all about. So just upleveling that in a big way.

 

Jesse (30m 8s): Unreal. If you could remind listeners, if they want to check you out, Chris’ work and they had to,

 

Chris (30m 13s): I’ll give you just a general website and then a, and then a free master’s class. If you don’t mind listening to me for another 55 minutes, you can go to smart real estate coach.com, but there’s a free master’s class@smartrealestatecoach.com forward slash masters class. And it’s me for about 55 minutes. You’ll hear from some other students and it’s not going to you to make a million bucks, please. I want to make sure I position this properly. It is to expose you more to what Jesse and I talked about. And if that’s for you, great, I’m sure we’ll hook up cause the way to get free calls and everything’s in there. And if it’s not, you spend 55 minutes and got some education and I hope it’s a good use of your time.

 

That’s all

 

Jesse (30m 48s): My returning guest today has been Chris Prefontaine. Chris, thanks for being part of working capital.

 

Chris (30m 53s): Thank you, buddy. Appreciate you having me.

 

Jesse (31m 4s): Thank you so much for listening to working capital the real estate podcast. I’m your host, Jesse for galley. If you liked the episode, head on to iTunes and leave us a five-star review and share on social media, it really helps us out. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, Jesse for galley, F R a G a L E, have a good one. Take care.

 

Transcript

ions:

Jesse (0s): Welcome to the working capital real estate podcast. My name is Jesper galley. And on this show, we discuss all things real estate with investors and experts in a variety of industries that impact real estate. Whether you're looking at your first investment or raising your first fund, join me and let's build that portfolio one square foot at a time. All right, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jesper galleon. You're listening to working capital the real estate podcast. Our returning guests today is Chris Prefontaine. Chris is a three-time bestselling author of real estate on your terms, the new rules of real estate investing and Monica Sawyer is real estate investing for women.

 

He is also the founder and CEO of smart real estate coach.com and host of the smart real estate coach podcast. Chris, welcome back.

 

Chris (47s): Thanks Jesse. I'm going to be back and thanks for having me

 

Jesse (49s): Back. Yeah, it's my pleasure. So a lot's changed since the last time we spoke. How, how are things in Rhode Island?

 

Chris (56s): Yeah, lots change would be an understatement for everybody, right? You and I were talking off here. It's been crazy. I knock on wood. I'll say the craziness helps us because we're looking to solve problems. Right? It's every person I come across in every show is like, oh, why is it affecting you? And I almost feel bad sometimes because we're doing really well. We've increased that business because of it because more people need a guide. That's the short answer.

 

Jesse (1m 21s): Yeah. Have, have you changed or pivoted anything specifically because of just given the last year and what's changed either regulatorily from a government standpoint or just, just in the business.

 

Chris (1m 34s): Good question. So not from a regulation standpoint, because again, knock on wood. Nobody's screwed that up for us. There's always a bad egg in every market, but nobody's done that to two on this yet, but as far as the deals yeah, because their market's so hot, there's still a need for different lead sources. So we've added like three new lead sources, but still do the same base have always done. And now I'm starting to see the numbers creep back. Not quite as far back as 13, 14, 15, 16 pre COVID, but getting better.

 

Meaning how many cells we talk to to get a house in a contract, for example, it's just starting to come down again, which is nice to seek. So as long as you know, the math is okay, but we've added variable so that we don't have to rely on three sources, you know? Yeah,

 

Jesse (2m 19s): For sure. So for, for listeners that haven't heard the, the last episode, I think it was episode 63. Don't quote me on that, but maybe you could give a little bit of a background again on what, what kind of space you play in, in the real estate world?

 

Chris (2m 34s): Yeah. No, thank you for contact. Cause I go, I go with something like that. Everybody knows what the heck I'm talking about. So we buy without banks, we bought without using our own cash. You buy without signing on loans still to this day, that was all sparked long story short from the oil crash that I painfully lived through. Then re-engineer, re-engineered everything to kind of weather every storm. And then, you know, the then obviously COVID whacked everyone. So we only buy on least purchased owner financing, which is one of my favorites and subject to existing financing.

 

Those are the three things we do if a Canadian listeners, the vendor whole back. And there's different ways of saying it, but that's what we do. I love those types of deals now, because again, as the market tightens and now rates going up is going to push a whole bunch of people out of the market again. And that'll put us back and play with a lot of people. So that's how we buy. When I said we added lead sources, we used to call on a, for sale by owners, expired listings that don't sell the agents and for rent by owners. And now we've added probate. Most recently we've added TV very recently.

 

And so those are some, a couple of new ways that we're going at it and then believe it or not, Jesse, there's a brand new list. We're experimenting before we bring it to our community. We do that all the time. We want to make sure we're good with it. And that is COVID stress people already, there's less you can buy. So we did our first blast with that and we'll see how it goes, but that's, those are the three new sources we've added, always looking to provide, you know?

 

Jesse (3m 55s): Yeah, for sure. So you mentioned the lead generation piece there, so what's, what's changed specifically in that area. Well,

 

Chris (4m 3s): Okay. So there's two ends of this cause people say to me, well, the market's so high, you must have been getting deals. Yeah, the market's hot, but there's still a bunch of buyers that can't get financing. But balance that with the fact that the market is hot in pockets. And that means we have to talk to more sellers to get a deal. And that's why we added those three different lead sources. So let's, I'll give you some metrics back, say 13 to 19. I'll give that as a reference before COVID I would talk to about 11 as get in the door about 17 sellers. I've talked to, to get a property under contract and by about 25 leads per actual sale, where we create three paydays, which we can talk about later.

 

Now the number's up to instead of 25 to get a say, probably talking closer to 50 or 60. So it's doubled the amount of people you have to talk to to get a deal double it's. Okay. As long as you know your metrics and you can plan your business that way, the key is knowing your metrics, right. Keeping track of it, but that's, what's changed. Hmm.

 

Jesse (4m 56s): So in terms of the, the kind of the vendor take back aspect, and you know, for those that don't know, you know, we've talked about it on the show, seller financing vendor, take back where you're basically, you know, asking the vendor or the seller to participate, kind of like the bank and provide the loan. We see it oftentimes when people are trying to close a deal and they can't get financing and sometimes it sweetens the deal. And then sometimes, you know, even with clients or, or ourselves, when we're buying things sometimes as a vendor, it's nice because you typically have a deferral in your capital gains in terms of what you do, how it, how you differentiate yourself from the pure vendor take back or do you, how do you go about that?

 

Hey,

 

Chris (5m 39s): We we've done it all. But the one I prefer Jesse is running down the lane of when they do take back the cell financing hobby referred to in your particular market, we do no interest. So we make principal payments monthly to the, to the seller, to the vendor. I didn't mail them building. I, you know, we do it on a big multi-million dollar properties. You do it on $200,000 homes. So you're the bank Jessie, you sell to me for 400 grand. Maybe you couldn't get 400 grand in the rocket. I'm willing to pay you that because I'm going to make monthly principal pay down that hammers down.

 

Principal gives me a nice hedge against any kind of market changes. And you as a seller may be ego maybe financially, but you get your price. You go, Hey, I want my number. Okay. What happens? So we do monthly principal only payments. Now, does that work always in forever? No. It's about 90% of ideals that are on financing. The other ones you might go, if someone says, I need interest, I'm working on a deal right now. And I said to my son a lot, who's structuring it well. Okay. But why don't we try to get 12 months to 18 months of no interest. And then we kick in interest for them.

 

So we both win. That's another huge advantage. There's all kinds of ways you can stair-step it. But the short answer is we prefer a principal only payments monthly for a lot of reasons.

 

Jesse (6m 51s): So could you maybe for a, for those reasons, if you could go into the aspect of the principle payment, just so I understand if you're not deciding to go with that interest step up or, you know, I don't know what else to say, like a balloon payment that are kind of, it gets introduced at a later date. What is the, what is the preference or what is the reason that principal is, is so appealing to you? Yeah.

 

Chris (7m 17s): Well, let's take a, I'll take a house. We just cashed out of it. It's it was a million dollar ocean front property and a resort area up sitting up on a bluff or looking open ocean, gorgeous. The woman, believe it or not selling it to us was a relative. She couldn't sell on the open market. This was probably four or five years ago. We structured a deal at 945,000 and the monthly payment Tara was 2,500 principal. Only. That means 30,000 a year was coming off that price. So we bought it for 9 45. We just sold that recently for only 1,000,050, but because of four or five years, I think it was a principal pay down.

 

We had a nice six figure plus payday cash out. If we took out a loan for that, as you know, that would have been a pathetic profit, a hundred grand on a house that big to hold it for years, you know, it wouldn't have worked. So the principal pay down, puts you in a position to really have it down that principle. Think of, think of anyone listening, buying a home it's heavily weighted to interest. You get a minute amount of principle every month and then slowly goes up. We get all principals. That's pretty cool. So, so here here's some metrics that we can jump off of this. If you buy a house the way I'm saying, and you get at least four year terms and the house is at least 200 grand or more, I'll give you kind of a low 200 grand a month and you structure at least $900 in that percentage of monthly principal payments, you have a six figure pay day.

 

The way we do all three paydays, six figures on that one house on a $200,000 house. So think about that. People can't, this is a hard one too. I'm going to buy this house with two, one and a four years. I'm going to make a hundred grand on it because of the principal pay down feature. Yeah.

 

Jesse (8m 47s): So it's kind of a, it's essentially like a loan amortization that you, you know, over the time say you have a five term five-year term mortgage. You look from the beginning and you look at the end and you're right. You have what? 50 sixties could be 70% interest payments at the beginning. And then after that five years, 10 years, whatever the term is, you see what you've kind of paid down? What your emiratisation you paid. Whereas yours is 100% in this case, 100% principal pay down. So you're that direct effect is, is obviously accelerated.

 

Chris (9m 17s): Yeah. And then some context here. So this woman that we, that we did the 2,500 a month payments, obviously that wasn't spread out over the term of the loan, right? Because it would have been a lot higher. We pick an amount and we tell the sellers, this, we pick an amount that when a buyer comes in to look at our property, they have to say, if I'm charging, say 3000, cause I'm paying 2,500. They have to look at that and go, well, if I bought this and I went conventional, I can't afford it yet. I can't get financing yet. But if I did, my payment might be around 3,500. That means I have to be somewhere around 2,500 to make that work for me.

 

I got to make a spread every month. And then of course it's a balloon payment at whatever year. We're cashing that out. You have three, four or five. We usually don't go less than four. So year four or 5, 7, 10, whatever it might be. That make more sense. Yeah, it does.

 

Jesse (10m 1s): So, Chris, what is the kind of, where do you get involved in these deals? Typically

 

Chris (10m 7s): Me personally now,

 

Jesse (10m 8s): Well, I mean, at what point do you get involved in the deal? Is that when you have somebody that has it under contract, you have something that was just traded. What's the typical kind of insertion for you? For the team?

 

Chris (10m 19s): Our team starts with taking a, what we call it, property information sheet. It's online now in our CRM, but we take a property information sheet, elite sheet, if you will. We get that from virtual assistants who calling people, basically not saying, get lost, but say, Hey, you I'd be open to some options. Have your team call me our acquisitions team. Then calls them I don't anymore. I used to do it all back in the early years. And then it moves from them to, from them to a person on our team that goes on appointments again, just being me then my son-in-law and just duplicated ourselves.

 

So all I do is check the metrics now monthly and make sure I help them structure deals. I like that aspect of, of the real estate, as you know, that never gets old because every deal is different. Every deal is different. There's still lessons to learn. So I love being that transaction engineer, but me personally, I don't get it until them, my team right away, right after that person raises their hand, we're calling.

 

Jesse (11m 11s): Got it. And what do you find has been, is there been a specific geographical area that, that you guys have focused on? You know, will you do loans anywhere or do sorry, insert yourself anywhere.

 

Chris (11m 23s): Yeah. Sorry if that's what you meant, geographical. Yeah. We'll go anywhere we limit, because I I'll tell anyone this within 50 miles of you, your radius, unless it's water, you have plenty of deals to go to go be had. I have students in our area. I have no problem with that. There's so many deals out there. You just have to approach this with a prosperity mindset. Now, as a family team we do in the United States, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. And then we have students in most of the other states in the country in a few in Canada. So we'll go anyway, it works anywhere. It's not price contingent, it's not cycle contingent.

 

It's just a matter of how you bop and weave and become that transaction engineer depending on where you are.

 

Jesse (11m 60s): Gotcha. So in terms of the book, we talked a little bit about it last time for listeners that you know, that didn't hear that episode, or, you know, just wanted a little bit more information. I, I'm just a genuinely curious when people write books, cause it's such a, it's such a large process, especially when you're not just, you know, getting it ghost written or it's a, just an ebook, you know, what was the motivation for that for you to write it? You know?

 

Chris (12m 25s): So I'm going to say this from two levels business and personal one is I've been at this 30 years. This is my 31st year I K 30 is, was September. My wife said back on the bow when I was turning 56. So about six or seven years ago, she said, it took you 50 years to figure this out, like get all this going. And she was kidding, of course, but it's, but it's a fact like it takes time to walk and we've, and I've always wanted to write the book, frankly, growing up, I had, I wouldn't call it special ed, but they wouldn't let me take a language cause I didn't score so well on, on those tests you have to take.

 

So I would have never thought that I would write anything, but as I got into the years in the real estate mode further, further along, and she said that to me, I said, I'd love to share that. So that was number one, number two reason for sharing. It was, we got beat up in the crashes, you know, and it's probably on your last episode. And so my wife said to me, why don't you tell people like teach people how you got through that? Meaning the crappy credit in the United States. That's a key thing to have. So teach people that teach people how to teach people, how to buy a house when they don't have great credit, teach people how to sell when they don't know how to sell.

 

So that's what sparked it. And then from a business standpoint, you became more of a business card versus let's see if I can go on and sell 10,000 books. I really don't care. I want the message to go out. I want people to read it for free or for the small Amazon chocolate, they buy it and then say, okay, this is something I want to go further on or you know what, thanks. But I didn't spend much time on money and that's not an issue for me. So there's a business reason and the personal reason, that was a long answer. Sorry, but that was a good question. I don't know.

 

Jesse (13m 52s): Not at all. So that, I mean, since, since you launched the book and it's been out there, what's been kind of the feedback or maybe some things that you didn't realize that it was going to lead to or, or spark

 

Chris (14m 5s): As I didn't notice before, but now that in hindsight and we have three books in a fourth coming out, I will tell you that I'm always amazed at the hands that gets into number one. And number two, that the credibility of brings by nature of the book. Never knew that I wrote for personal reasons that I said, okay, I can turn it into a lead magnet, but then I am just over the top, satisfied with the authority that that brings when someone is an author of a book and you attract a different type of person, perhaps a higher level of prospect than you would otherwise. And I'm calling that kind of the authority figure.

 

The fourth book when Sally coming out is called sell with authority for real estate investors. So it's like, how do you become that person in your marketplace that people want to seek out versus you trying to go seek them out?

 

Jesse (14m 49s): So you're, you're doing another one. Just, just a masochist.

 

Chris (14m 53s): Yeah, we, well, I, you know, you said at the beginning, I should've commented to do a book is starting to work. We started this one the month before COVID shut down in 20 with the goal of bringing it out in September of 20 and it's coming out this much and I'm saying to the team, what the hell? I mean a good team of people that have partnered on this book, two great authors. It just took, it takes a long, I think, I think always, always, always said, don't ask me why don't we do the next one? I don't know if that's going to be tomorrow.

 

Jesse (15m 17s): We always say, is it take twice as much work and two times as long. So I want to talk a little bit about what's a topical right now. I think a lot of real estate investors are looking very carefully at the fed in, in the states, you know, BOC in Canada, you know, whoever whoever's running monetary policy, where you reside in, you know, the question of real estate interest rates or interest rates in general and how that impacts real estate we've been saying for ever, or as long as I can remember, interest rates can only go one way.

 

And it seems that with what seems to be non transitory, arguably non transitory inflation. What's your, what's your outlook right now? How are you feeling about interest rates and the general economy? Maybe you can start back home and go more broadly.

 

Chris (16m 7s): Yeah, my wife and I just got back from Vermont and I was talking with this, cause she'll always say to me, how's this going to affect you? How's this going to pick your business? How's it going to pick us always? And now she's thinking about our kids who are young adults, 30 to 33, how's it gonna affect them when they bought? So my take on it is this, you and I don't have a crystal ball. If we did, we'd be on a beach somewhere. We wouldn't have to be doing these shows together, but my take on it is yes, clearly inevitably interest rates are going to creep up. Then when I said to my wife was sadly, even a quarter of a point in interest rates, certainly a half a point in down the road for more, you are going to flush out tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, eventually a buyers out of the market because first buyers at so many times, it just borderline and the rates of afforded them to be able to get in.

 

And hopefully they smartly did a fix. Right. And they're good for a long time. So, so on the buyer's side, they're going to flush a lot of them out. They're going to need more time. If they're going to have a buy, we can help them with that. So selfishly really cool, but we can be that guide. Now, how does that affect the other part of my business sellers? Same way. If buyers are getting flushed out, the demand for their houses went way down. And so I'm starting to kind of taste and smell and see what I did in 13 through 19 slowly coming back, like I talked about earlier with the metrics.

 

So that's where my niche standpoint and I also, for personal reasons don't care as much because the stage I'm at in my life would, I don't have that anymore. And you know, I did all that after the oh eight crash and get rid of all that. So it's important to know that's coming from my context from a business standpoint and a personal standpoint. I don't care. I hate to say it, but I really don't care. It's only going to help us help more people. Does that make sense?

 

Jesse (17m 41s): Yeah, it does. So in terms of the actual mechanics of, of your real estate in general, you know, and what I mean by that is going with open rates, variable, fixed, fixed debt. Is there anything that you're doing from a tactical standpoint, preparing for what potentially could be interest rate increases?

 

Chris (18m 2s): Two things I guess. And tell me if this answers it from a personal standpoint, since the crash, I will never take a Ray bar, right? That's just me personally. I don't care if it's a commercial building a personal, I very rarely will sign on a loan, but if I do, it's gonna be fixed. Secondly, I would just say that anytime we do a deal and a business side of things, people say, what are you gonna change? I'm just going to make sure that longer terms. So instead of writing a four or five-year on a financing deal or at least purchase, I might do a 10 or 15 in 10 or 15 years, frankly.

 

I don't care if the market pivots three times I'll be okay. And that's why the terms niche is so cool. And that, and back to the book it's we wrote about in the book and it's been revised probably since you and I talked to actually the revised version. So it's up to date as you possibly can be right around COVID and that is take longer terms. You don't care as much. They come about every 10 or 15 year cycle. You'd be okay. That's my opinion. Yeah.

 

Jesse (18m 55s): Well, it's, what's the, I dunno if it's Warren buffet, but sounds like it, but it's, you know, not timing the market's time in the market. I think that's just a, a philosophy from especially hits home for real estate. You know, people that have been in the market for a number of years over time, you know, we ended up being successful. The aspect of, I also wanted to talk about is there's been a number of changes in, in the states and Canada, the world in terms of labor, the cost of goods, supply chains would like to get your thoughts on, on how you see that in your area.

 

You know, if, if that's impacting the type of business that you do, or generally your outlook on where you think we're going, if we're heading in the right direction,

 

Chris (19m 40s): I think the only thing I can tell is only speak about there again, if I'm nailing your question is the labor part, the employee part, meaning since COVID demand for virtual has gone up means I have better quality work for me all around the country. However, my costs went up direct example. We could hire an executive assistant, a really good one, pre COVID 15, 18, 20 would be just a crusher person. Now I, we can't attract anyone in front of $25 an hour. And so I just, from my new niche of labor, I don't know if that helps with relative to your question, but that's what I'm feeling.

 

But as a result, we've got great people that you couldn't get when you were trying to track locally here in new England. I mean, we, we just, weren't getting the same type of quality people. Our team now is amazing because of that. And you've got to pay for.

 

Jesse (20m 26s): Yeah. So you mentioned from the outset, you know, you you're relatively non geographical, like you'll, you'll do the, you'll do terms in your area, as you said, you've mentioned there's a couple of students in Canada. Is there anything about our, you know, contacts, our regulatory environment that, that makes terms a little bit more challenging or different in any way,

 

Chris (20m 48s): What comes to mind is just a little more challenging lead generation. So you just gotta pivot on this meaning it's my understanding from my students that you can't just readily go. If you're not a relative and grab an expired listing database, for example. So it's harder to get information. Data is more protected. That's been my experience, but does that stop anyone? No, there's a gentleman. I was on his show. He's done. He's been doing these deals there for 30 years. So I know they're being done. You just gotta not running one lane, just like I just added three sources. You just get out of the other sources.

 

That's all, you just gotta find the right pond efficient.

 

Jesse (21m 21s): Yeah. I find it's one of those things. I think it's our Castle's laws of, well, number one, contacting and privacy act. And I kind of rolled up in that, but I mean, at the end of the day, like you said, there's always a way we have a, you know, an equivalent for secretary of state where we can try to find, you know, the actual owners, it gets a little different with residential. Do you guys, do you guys do this outside of residential real estate? You'll do commercial deals.

 

Chris (21m 48s): Yeah. This is a good subject too. So I, we teach residential single families. Right. But I, but the fact is you can, by the way, we're buying boats, cars, planes, people do on the financing, right? So I bought out building in 2018 on our financing. The gentleman absolutely did not want to be cashed out. He, he seeped out a terms deal and we met and it took us 10 minutes. Now, if you go buy a commercial building, we still own it. You go buy that commercial building. Anytime I don't care, pre COVID nut. Now it doesn't matter.

 

You're going through some grueling underwriting to get a commercial building these days. And you're putting down 25 or 30% and you better have a strong balance sheet and super strong cash in addition to what you're putting down. Well, we did the deal in 10 minutes. It went to closing like within three weeks. That's unheard of. So yes. The short answer is yes, we've done four units, six units. We target them when we want to bring them in our portfolio. We either do them in our retirement account or we do them in the company.

 

Jesse (22m 44s): Yeah. That makes sense. I was curious from our last conversation cause we do, you know, in my brokerage, we do purely a purely in, in commercial deals and was curious if you actually, the mechanics were the same with that aspect of it as well.

 

Chris (22m 57s): The conversations Jesse and more fun and more, I guess I'll say higher level again. And the reason I'm saying that is a lot of the sellers that even if they're having a mortgage, but certainly if the debt-free on these buildings or multi units, they're pretty financially savvy. They got there for a reason. Right? And so these people that are like this guy was debt free. So he sat down with me. He said, well, that's pretty cool. You read my books. Like this is really cool. I like you like you're failing. And we cut a deal. The, he was at a different level than a first time home buyer trying to sell the home. And me saying, do you want to own or finance them?

 

That they just don't. A lot of them don't understand that it's an education process where the ones doing the deals you're probably used to doing, they get it. Like they totally get it and appreciate it, bankers. Like they get it. They love it. We we've bought houses from financial planners and bankers because they logged the system and the numbers. They totally understand it. Yeah.

 

Jesse (23m 46s): I think there's this. And hopefully technology's gonna help with this. But I think commercial real estate, even though in a lot of ways, it's, it's behind residential. I think the creativity of the deals is different. We think about the capital stack more from a finance standpoint then, you know, just debt and equity and that's it. So I find that most of the deals I find I do are a little bit more creative and people are open to thinking outside the box.

 

Chris (24m 10s): Okay, great. Yeah. I agree. I love it. I love it for that reason. Whereas the new students who go on, I can't call Jesse. He owns that big building or they're afraid to, but now it's easier.

 

Jesse (24m 18s): Yeah, man. It's so funny. You mentioned that I CA you know, for anybody that's in any industry that involves sales, it's it? It is one of those things. I remember when I first started and I knew that, you know, somebody was a 30,000 or 40,000 foot tenant, or, you know, somebody that owned multiple large properties. There's just this different feeling you have when you call them and you just got to get over it because the, you know, the small guys in the, in the, the guys or gals with a lot of properties, it's the same person. It's a, it's a human on the other end. Yeah.

 

Chris (24m 47s): Here's a coaching nugget then for everyone listening, if you, if you're in that mode, that would just, and we're just talking about there's someone in your niche. I don't care if you just are broke. Or if you just do terms like me, it doesn't matter. If you just do Maltese, there's someone in your niche that has done the higher end deals, go find them and talk to them, go buy their book, pick up the phone and they'll talk to you. You don't have to pay millions of dollars. Just they'll help you get over that. So that after you do one or two, you'll treat it like second nature. It's all mental, all mental. I promise you that the mental game is bigger than we all think.

 

Jesse (25m 18s): Yep. And you just get your reps and well, it would, it would be a miss opportunity to not talk a little bit about coaching with yourself. So 30, 30 years in the industry, you know, what do you, what are you seeing with younger talent that comes in to our world? Or what are you saying to them? Advice for the younger, younger generation they're obviously coming in at a crazy time. I can't imagine coming in two or three years ago, especially into brokerage, but real estate investing in general during this time. So yeah. What's, what's your view?

 

Chris (25m 49s): Well, a little context, Jessie like this, I don't know if I told you this before. So my son, Nick grew up in the business. Right? And then remind me to get back to your question promise. But he grew up in the business because he's around me, but he had a head injury and he decided not to go to college. He was in calmer and he got out of all that. And in 2008 he became a broker. So he started in the worst time as a result. He's pretty seasoned now. But as far as what I would have to say to them right now, coming in the business, this is so simple but effective. If you can stay with it. And that is number one, pick a niche that you can get behind and don't get caught up in the shiny object syndrome because real estate is cool.

 

But as a result, you can get distracted real quickly. So pick a niche. That's why I like doing free. You find a niche, there's a lot of free stuff out there. Then once you find it by your free research to find something that I alluded to earlier, that in your niche, that's where you want to be. Not just financially successful. Good, cool. But I'm talking about maybe family values. Whatever's important for you. For me. I can't go follow someone as a mentor if their life's a mess and they don't have real issue with their wife or their kids, that's not for me a mentor. So that's what I mean by get behind an issue you can get by and get by on a person you can get behind or group.

 

And then here's the toughie put the blinders on for at least 36 months, at least 36 months. After that, I promise you you'll have a great experience. If you listen to step number two and you talk to the person that you, that you've taken advice from. So I hope that helps that that's the best thing I could tell anyone. And I wish I did that twice in my life when I had a curve ball with the market. I wish I had someone like that. And those are the only two times I didn't. And only two times I got hit, no mentor.

 

Jesse (27m 25s): Yeah. I mean, that's something we, we always talk about on the show, the mentor mentorship aspect. And it seems like everybody in our industry or just business in general has a, an opinion about it. And in, you know, in the context of your son coming in, in oh eight, like I was just talking with one of the partners at my company a couple of hours ago, actually about these times in our market. So whether it's COVID oh eight, 2001, 1994, like we talked about these calamitous times and a lot of turmoil in the market.

 

Do you find that when you actually can live through that in our industry, that it, you know, it kind of sharpens the pencil? Cause I know that there are some investors or people in our, in our, a world that, you know, sometimes they won't even work with a certain investor or sponsor if they haven't been through at least one, one recession. What's your view on that

 

Chris (28m 19s): Agreement about this for awhile? Because unfortunately there are people in your space, in my space that have never done a deal, but they're great marketers. And unfortunately they're sucking in a lot of people that they shouldn't be. So I don't just think it's, it's a big deal. I think it's enormous that you speak with someone that's seasoned. I hated going through what I went through twice. I got banged up. But as a result, this niche was built. This business was built. So yes, big explanation, point on what you said, hugely support that find some of that's been at least through a life and, or a economic challenge.

 

Both would be great. And so I mentioned my son's accident course, we all get hit by COVID nine 11. These are things that season you and then, oh yeah, by the way that mark had just turned two. So these are all important growing things.

 

Jesse (29m 8s): Yeah. Fair enough. All right. I want to be mindful of the time Chris, but before, before we let you go, I just want to ask you in terms of the business in real estate, you know, what's next for you? What, what do you have on the horizon? I know you mentioned a, a new book. So what else you got?

 

Chris (29m 25s): Well, we we're about to rewrite our mission. We had a five-year mission ends in 22 and it's all about transactions. So in the midst of doing that now and then up leveling to bring on some amazing coaches, to help us expand that around the country and into the, into Canada. So it's more of the same, Jesse. It's just that it's not about me anymore. It's not about even my family team anymore. We've got some amazing people. Our purpose is to help individuals and families create the life of their dreams. And as such, that has caused a major, you know, motions matter when people are emotionally behind something, it just catches on.

 

I don't want to say a movement is too cliche, but that's where we're headed with doing more and more transactions. I could care less. How many people buy a course. I want to do more deals and help more families. And that's what it's all about. So just upleveling that in a big way.

 

Jesse (30m 8s): Unreal. If you could remind listeners, if they want to check you out, Chris' work and they had to,

 

Chris (30m 13s): I'll give you just a general website and then a, and then a free master's class. If you don't mind listening to me for another 55 minutes, you can go to smart real estate coach.com, but there's a free master's class@smartrealestatecoach.com forward slash masters class. And it's me for about 55 minutes. You'll hear from some other students and it's not going to you to make a million bucks, please. I want to make sure I position this properly. It is to expose you more to what Jesse and I talked about. And if that's for you, great, I'm sure we'll hook up cause the way to get free calls and everything's in there. And if it's not, you spend 55 minutes and got some education and I hope it's a good use of your time.

 

That's all

 

Jesse (30m 48s): My returning guest today has been Chris Prefontaine. Chris, thanks for being part of working capital.

 

Chris (30m 53s): Thank you, buddy. Appreciate you having me.

 

Jesse (31m 4s): Thank you so much for listening to working capital the real estate podcast. I'm your host, Jesse for galley. If you liked the episode, head on to iTunes and leave us a five-star review and share on social media, it really helps us out. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, Jesse for galley, F R a G a L E, have a good one. Take care.