Episode 9 – Dave Steele – The Entrepreneurial Spirit

As a fresh university graduate, Dave began his journey building businesses, growing relationships and supporting others’ successes in the world of real estate investing. Now he joins Patrick Francey to discuss that journey and where it has led him to today.

“At the end of the day, in real estate, if you have the facility; if you’re like the hotel that everybody wants to stay at; if you create that with your properties, finding the money and the places to do it becomes secondary. To me, it’s just all about how do you drive that experience where the people that are living in your properties get something they’re not getting somewhere else. ” – Dave Steele

Dave is an individual who exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurism and innovation. Dave has been on a journey of building businesses, growing relationships and supporting others to win and prosper since his early days at the University of Calgary.

As the CEO of Western Canadian Properties Group, Dave Steele leads and holds a powerful vision for his company. An accomplished and award winning developer, Western Canadian Properties Group is the largest residential developer in Northeastern BC. Over the past 30 years, he and his team have helped more than 12,000 investors acquire over $1.5 billion worth of cash flowing investment properties. Today, Dave and his team are focused in Fort St. John and Victoria BC building brand new rental properties and multi-family buildings.

Dave along with partner Janet LePage of Western Wealth Capital have also acquired a significant portfolio of multi-family apartment buildings in Phoenix, Arizona representing more than $350,0000,000 and 4000 doors. They see this region as being one of the strongest growth rental markets in the United States.

Dave has been actively involved in the growth of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), a non-profit organization which now has over 12,000 members worldwide and in 1993/94, Dave served as EO’s International President.

Dave prides all that he does on his attention to detail and he and his team’s ability to deliver high-quality projects on time and on budget.

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

  • Connect with Dave Steele:
    Dave on LinkedIn
    Western Canadian Properties Group on Facebook
    Western Wealth Capital on LinkedIn

Show Notes

  • [02:15] Dave Steele: an introduction to a true entrepreneur
  • [05:00] Patrick and Dave: the beginning of a great conversation
  • [05:30] Hear Dave’s elevator pitch for his business and what they’re up to!
  • [06:10] Dave’s early education and an epic party which led to a 30-year business partnership
  • [08:15] A road trip through Sicamous BC and a houseboat leads to Dave’s first foray into the world of entrepreneurship
  • [09:30] Dave describes the unique selling proposition of their houseboat company and the tenacity behind growing the business from $1,000 to being one of the largest employers in Kelowna
  • [13:50] Spearheading innovation and creating an experience in their industry
  • [15:50] Dave and his partner Phil transition from houseboats to apartment buildings
  • [18:20] A great learning about the difference one street can make between the value of two neighbourhoods
  • [19:10] Dave tells the story of evolving from Trump Gardens to Western Properties with a new way to purchase a large building in Calgary – condominiumizing
  • [22:05] Dave shares his insights into what he’s learned along the way and advice for aspiring real estate investors
  • [23:50] The paradigm shift Dave and his team adopted early on in the property development industry with quality products they can stand behind
  • [26:30] The fundamental difference in creating wealth with a business model that is relational and not simply transactional
  • [28:30] Patrick asks Dave the question: when is enough, enough and what keeps him in the game? An enlightening conversation about innovation
  • [31:45] Dave tells the fascinating story of the truly innovative approach they took on a Fort St. John development project
  • [35:35] You have to see the possibilities for opportunity to even show up. How proactive, forward thinking about your customer’s priorities pays off
  • [37:55] Patrick and Dave reflect on holding integrity and creating a meaningful, value-driven experience
  • [40:30] Dave describes his relationship with money and how it changes through different stages of life
  • [43:35] What kind of things is Dave teaching his kids about money and business? What was Dave’s experience from his parents?
  • [47:25] How does Dave define success?
  • [48:50] What does Dave consider a failure that turned into a blessing in disguise?
  • [50:00] Dave explains how his team embraces the spirit of entrepreneurialism and seize an opportunity to create a solution to the housing needs of the Fort McMurray community after the fires.
  • [52:20] Dave shares an interesting experience of giving his property management team the opportunity for accountability and empowerment that ups their game and elevates the customer experience
  • [57:35] Dave’s conscious choices around how he shows up in leadership
  • [59:28] Dave discusses how taking responsibility to measure results and creating positive intention can keep a business a step ahead of the rest
  • [61:40] Patrick asks Dave to delve into the exceptional systems and processes he and his team have developed to effectively and successfully manage their 4000 units in Arizona
  • [64:57] Dave shines a light on a conscious strategy they undertook to foster goodwill and a positive environment for their business and their team
  • [68:00] Dave’s describes one of the ways his business partner Janet created both a community connection with their residents and good business (and life!) practice
  • [69:30] Dave’s early role and development of Entrepreneurs’ Organization around the world and the positive impact it has both on him and other members
  • [72:30] A surprising answer from Dave about what he would tell his 20-year old self
  • [73:55] Dave’s message to his 75-year old self
  • [74:30] Dave’s reveals what he’s not particularly good at and what a person can do with that
  • [76:15] Dave talks about the sort of things that light him up
  • [77:30] What is Dave’s mindset and thought process when the going gets tough? Shifting perspective and the pointless pursuit of creating worry
  • [82:00] Rapid Fire! A solid 9 on the weirdness scale; room, desk or car – what’s cleaned first; favourite tune; favourite movie; what does Dave want to hear at the pearly gates?
  • [83:00] Dave shares his gratitude.

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