On this episode of the CRE podcast, recorded at the RealCapital conference in Toronto on February 26, 2019, Aaron Cameron and Adam Powadiuck of First National Financial LP sit down with Kevin Leon, the President and founder of Crestpoint Real Estate Investments.
In our podcast, Kevin goes into detail about how he got his start in the real estate business— from building towers out of Legos as a kid, to starting his own investments firm.
They talk about the real estate market in the early 1990s, and Kevin’s unique perspective on the “formulaic” nature of brokerage.
The guys discuss how it was for Kevin when he decided it was time for him to make a move out of investment banking and strike out on his own on the tail end of the 2008 financial crisis.
Adam points out that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart in real estate, which Kevin demonstrates when he tells the story of how Crestpoint became a part of Connor, Clark and Lunn Financial Group.
Listen in to hear more about Kevin’s perspectives on positive and negative leverage, interest-only loans, isolating risk to individual assets, and more.
Crestpoint is a real estate investments and advisory firm that has grown from their first $12M transaction of an industrial building in Calgary, to accumulating over $4 billion of assets under management consisting of almost 200 properties.
“The best way to describe [Crestpoint] is entrepreneurial in spirit, but an institutional mindset and an institutional background,” says Kevin.
This podcast was kindly sponsored by First National Financial LP and made in partnership with Informa Exhibitions.
Topics covered include:
- Kevin’s distinction of top sales broker in Canada in 1997.
- Going into investment banking and the mindset that Kevin had.
- Starting a new investment firm with two other people.
- The growth of Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group.
- Securing debt during the launch of a venture in 2011.
- Crestpoint’s rationale towards debt and why Kevin has this perspective.
- Special cases of financial risk, including an example of an industrial building in Toronto.
- What Kevin has created in the past ten years within the culture of Crestpoint.
- How Crestpoint employees spend time together outside of the company.
- What Kevin is doing to find opportunities to deploy capital.
Recorded at: RealCapital 2019
Real Estate Forums have teamed up with Adam Powadiuk and Aaron Cameron of First National Financial to produce live podcasts at conferences and forums around the country. Each episode features guests that include industry titans, innovators and game changers. Listen to podcasts recorded live at the Real Estate Forums and Conferences from our website and look out for them at events throughout the year!