Episode 139 – Chris Prefontaine – A Clear Guide in Ever-changing Territory

“We can be a guide to people, so I welcome the constant change.” – Chris Prefontaine  

  • [02:08] Patrick introduces his next TEDM guest, Chris Prefontaine.
  • [03:36] Chris and Patrick get underway with Chris’ elevator speech, which they break down a bit to better understand how Chris’ business operates and the types of property they coach and invest in.
  • [06:34] Having watched his Dad work leverage real estate as part of his industrial gas and welding supply business in New England, Chris got the itch in 1991 and started his own deep dive into the world of real estate from development to investment to coaching. The 2008 debacle almost had him turn away completely after taking hits on all fronts, but 2012 brought a fresh road which the one he is on now.
  • [08:40] Chris discusses the geographical focus of their business, which is really very broad, and student driven.
  • [09:57] The economics of real estate. Chris provides his outlook (with the caveat that nobody really knows anything) on where the market is headed and what he sees as opportunity.
  • [14:08] Both Patrick and Chris offer their opinions on interest rate increases and how they may or may not have the desired effect of slowing down inflation. The circumstances of inflation are certainly a different game than any other historical event. In a reality of constant change, Chris no longer freaks out, rather he sees where their company can be of contribution to people through proven guidance.
  • [19:44] First, Chris talks about the t-shirt he’s wearing! Bridge the Gap. He goes on to explain the three fundamental buying methodologies that he and his team use in their business and coaching, and why it was necessary to be built the way it was, recession resistant.
  • [25:01] Chris unpacks one of the methodologies, lease-purchase or sandwich lease in the U.S., which is a version of an agreement for sale in Canada and a wrap in Australia.
  • [27:12] With so many ways to get creative in buying real estate, it’s a great time to preserve capital, to open the door and start putting capital to work in the market. In addition to the three ways they buy, Chris also talks about the timeline and terms in their preferred exit strategy.
  • [29:50] Chris further talks about their approach when there is work to be done on the lease-purchase house (they don’t fix and flip), and the type of buyer they market to, always ensuring it’s a win-win deal.
  • [31:02] Chris comes by his entrepreneurial spirit naturally, watching and working with his Dad in his businesses, and only one “job” to his name which goes back to middle school.
  • [32:20] Reflecting on the challenges he faced during the recession of 2008, Chris offers two important pieces of guidance for anyone facing difficulties and provides examples for clarity.
  • [35:38] Mindset matters. In the environment of coaching both Chris and Patrick commonly see people who want to step over the mindset component and the headspace needed for long-term investing success. Too often, they want to go straight to the ‘what’ and the ‘how-to’ in a race for get rich quick. Coaching helps to manage expectations, strengthen the mental game, and elevate strategic thinking.
  • [41:16] Chris describes their filter system for new clients and the foundational criteria of aligned values. He explains the three-step formula that he offers to people to help them find the investing niche that’s right for their needs. Whether working with a new client, a coach, or raising capital, sometimes it’s necessary to turn down an opportunity, because if it’s misaligned with our values, it will be a bigger burden in the long run.
  • [46:02] Understanding that values are such a critical component of life and business, Chris outlines the values of his company.
  • [48:43] Are you coachable? Although they ask potential clients the question in numerous ways during the application process, Chris still runs into the challenge of people wanting to circumvent the process. By sticking with the system, the results follow – it’s been proven time and time again.
  • [50:42] Coaches see the potential in their client, they know what we are capable of, far more than we do with our set of experiences and filters holding us back. Chris suggests we can ask ourselves different questions or consider different views to break our inclination for confirmation bias; seeing, reading, hanging out with people who confirm what we think we already know. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer
  • [55:05] Chris shares his perspective on the current state of things, and how it relates to the opportunity and vision he has for their company and the contribution they can be to the world.
  • [56:42] Chris explains some of the other investment types he explores and then explains their trademarked phrase “3 PayDays”
  • [58:29] A short and sweet rapid fire: iPhone or Android; the importance of relationship in turmoil; message at the pearly gates; what he doesn’t like doing but does it anyway; most recent book to have a great impact; fork-in-the-road moment; favourite tune; favourite movie.
  • [63:25] Chris’ gratitude.

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