It’s rare to find someone who’s had a career in real estate — and is still actively involved — for more than forty years.
You might say that Cort Chalfant, managing member of Nexus Private Capital, fits the bill: he started his career at the ripe old age of six tarring (yes — not a typo — tarring) foundations in his family’s business. As a result (and according to Cort) he’s the purveyor of more “worthless” information than anyone he — and probably you — know.
If that whets your interest on all things Cort, read on:
How long have you been an AAPL member?
What AAPL benefit do you MOST value?
AAPL has delivered a lot of value in a short time by exposing our company to best practices from other lenders and related service providers from around the country. Association members have a lot of experience and by attending the Annual and other conferences, we have grown our network of hard money lending professionals and industry-specific knowledge rapidly.
Why did you become a member?
I have always felt that you need be a “student of the business” if you’re going to be good at what you do. From my perspective, AAPL is the best organization within our industry for staying on top of relevant topics and for professional development.
What is your favorite AAPL memory?
My tenure with AAPL has been short but, without a doubt, I got a lot out of the 2018 annual conference in Las Vegas.
Why did you decide to enter the private lending profession?
This is actually a funny story. I’m a recovering developer of very large-scale master-planned communities and was recruited to Austin to develop a 10,000 unit development (not my first) that stalled a week before my arrival. I had met my fiance in Austin, which locked me into the market but out of my natural network.
When former business partners in Arizona found out I had extra time on my hands they encouraged me to place some of their family money in Texas by making hard-money loans. I thought they were crazy. My career had spanned more than three decades of substantial commercial acquisitions, asset management, syndications and development and they were suggesting that I screw around with $200k loans… Really?! How many loans do you have to make for this business to make any sense? Boy, was I wrong. Private lending is a fantastic business!
What are some accomplishments you are particularly proud of?
In my prior professional life, I was a senior executive of a small team that turned a vision for five and a half square miles of nothing in the middle of nowhere into the eighth fastest-selling community in the country. Our community, Rancho Sahuarita, near Tucson, AZ, grew from fewer than 100 people in 2000 to over 15,000 people in just 10 years. It was an amazing experience to build an entire town literally from the ground up.
What is your favorite book, and why?
“The Rise of the Creative Class” by Richard Florida. Remember that I emphasized the importance of being a “student of the business?” This book and a lecture I heard from the author in the early 2000s really influenced my approach toward developing Rancho Sahuarita. It opened my eyes to the power of developing a “place” rather than just a “product.”
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