Chris Prefontaine is a bestselling author and real estate investor with over 26 years of experience in the field, including 18 years as a builder, realtor, broker/owner and investor. He’s always been an entrepreneur even when he didn’t know it. When he used to drag his wagon up to the street corner and sell junk from his closet or when he used to purchase gum by the pack and sell by the slice in middle school.
In 1991, Chris began building homes and built 100 homes before starting his own brokerage. He then become a broker/owner and was selling 100 homes a year with his small team. Since the 2008 debacle he realized he needed to reinvent his business so that he no longer had to use his own money or credit. After years of strategic real estate coaching independently, Chris founded Smart Real Estate Coach in 2014. The company coaches investors on how to scale & automate their business throughout the US and Canada- all without using their cash or credit. Chris and his team, which includes his kids, have done over $80 million in real estate transactions.
They mentor, coach, consult and have Associates around the country doing exactly what they do. On top of that, they run their own buying and selling business so they’re in the trenches every single week. Between their existing Associates around the Country and their own deals, they’re still doing 5-10 properties every month and control as of now between $20-$25 million of real estate with little to no money down.
- Who is Chris Prefontaine?
Chris started building single family homes in the 90’s and moved into being a broker for a while. After selling the brokerage to Coldwell Banker, he got back into various real estate construction projects and got hit really hard in the 2008 financial crisis. The crisis taught Chris many valuable lessons that he’s carried forward to today.
- Strategic Real Estate Coaching
Real estate changes a lot. Chris made the change to broker/owner and back out again due to changing life circumstances and changes in the industry.
Working with real estate is an opportunity for Chris to work with his family and keep taking on new challenges.
The 2008 financial crisis didn’t make the business bad, it made Chris’s decisions bad. He took the setbacks he suffered as a reason to reengineer the way he structured deals and thought about real estate investing.
Find a mentor, but not just any mentor. They have to be in your niche, still doing what they talk about, and you can relate to them.
Not pledging any of your personal assets is way better than having the stress of the liability that many real estate investors take on.
- Working With The Banks
When your credit is perfect, it’s very easy to walk into a bank and get the money you need but things go bad, you’re on the hook. The bank will throw you under the bus if it means saving their own job. Don’t pledge your assets lightly. If you have it, protect it.
You should work with a real human being that is likely to say thanks rather than a faceless corporate bank.
- Coaching and Mentoring
Chris dabbled in strategic real estate coaching in the early 2000’s as a job and in 2013 was asked by a local Navy guy who heard about what Chris did and asked him to teach him. Now he has a number of students/partners that he teaches around the country. He teaches them while they do the deals together.
Real estate professionals know that a number of different kinds of deals will come your way. Chris teaches people to become master transaction engineers so they can handle all sorts of different kinds of deals.
When you buy on terms and protect yourself the way that Chris does, it doesn’t matter what the market does.
- Is real estate optional?
Real estate is not optional. What job could you do that could possibly pay you as much as working with real estate that also gives you the time to do what you want from wherever you want? It’s not about the money, it’s about the things that the money can help you buy. Real estate investing allows you to design the life you want and build your own dream.
Paralysis by analysis is real. When you get started, put your blinders on and do exactly what your mentor tells you to do. Have faith and stick to it for however long they say.
- Chris’s Takeaway
Choose a mentor asap. Success leaves clues. Pick a mentor based on the criteria stated earlier and within a month you will know you’re on the right track.
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