Getting to Know You: Chadwick Robertson, Real Estate Investor

Chadwick Robertson is a veteran real estate investor principally operating in Langley, British Columbia, as well as the surrounding lower coastal mainland.

Chadwick Robertson is a veteran real estate investor principally operating in Langley, British Columbia, as well as the surrounding lower coastal mainland.

Boasting more than a decade and a half of experience in the industry, Chadwick has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the burgeoning British Columbian real estate sector. His expertise lies in the areas of identifying promising investment opportunities, and acquiring, developing, and managing those properties.

Upon completing his post-secondary education, Chadwick began his career in real estate as a sales agent, which served to shore up his knowledge of the local and foreign markets. After a few years in sales, Chadwick transitioned to a position in investment, quickly distinguishing himself as a skilled negotiator with a strategic mind. More recently, he has focused his attention on acquiring and redeveloping commercial properties, everything from small retail spaces to large multi-use complexes.

Chadwick Roberstons is also a humanitarian, and in that spirit, he donates much of his time to charitable endeavors. He has spent a great deal of time promoting affordable housing and environmentally sustainable development projects in Langley and beyond, and been involved in numerous charitable organizations. When he finds himself with spare time, Chadwick enjoys hiking, skiing, and all manner of outdoor activities. He also loves to spend time with his friends and family, whether it be a night out at a restaurant or a quiet evening at home watching a movie or playing a board game.

What do you currently do at your company?

I’m a real estate investor with a special concentration on the town of Langley in British Columbia, as well as the rest of the lower BC mainland. Some time ago, I founded my own firm. I spend my work days researching properties. I begin my search online, and then if I find a promising lead, I’ll either dispatch one of my associates to provide me with an in-person analysis, or I’ll hop in my car and have a look myself. If possible, I’ll have a word with the owner or current occupant in order to better understand the property. Then, if I think it holds potential, I’ll put in a bid. Obviously, I don’t come out on top every time, but I win more of them than I lose. When I do win a bid, that’s when the real work begins; the development or the re-development. First, my team produces a plan of action, then I make my own contributions and sign off on it. After that, we spend the next few weeks or months executing the plan. At this point, the firm has put together a portfolio of properties that we’re all quite proud of.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

Simply put, I wanted to be the master of my own destiny. I wanted to reap the majority of the benefits from my own hard work, rather than work hard to forward someone else’s goals. I wanted to be my own boss. With that in mind, once I felt that I had learned all I could about the real estate industry, I knew I had to strike out on my own. In my eyes, it was inevitable.

What defines your way of doing business?

When I see a property that I’m interested in, I move on it fast. The real estate business is all about timing, so it pays to stay hyper vigilant. That being said, I always offer a good price and conduct my negotiations in good faith, and I make it a point to be respectful to all parties involved.

What keys to being productive can you share?

I would say the major keys to my productivity are more health-related than work-related. Chief among them is making sure to get eight hours of sleep each night. Any less, and I find myself lagging throughout the day, which is obviously bad for productivity. Beyond that, I eat nutritious foods and limit my consumption of alcohol to special occasions.

What would you tell your younger self?

If I had the ability to travel back in time and speak with my younger self, I would say the following: “Start saving money as soon as you can. Then, set 50 percent of your savings aside to invest.” Now that I’ve been through school and accumulated some work experience, I know that the longer you have money in the markets, the better off you’ll be long-term. But back when I was younger, the thought of investment never occurred to me. I spent the bulk of my extra money on frivolous things until my mid-20s.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

Do not under-estimate the competition. I made that mistake once and paid the price for it. But I learned from the experience, and I no longer make such assumptions.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

I like sports and the outdoors. Most of my hobbies revolve around these two things. For instance, in the winter, I love to ski. In the warmer months, I love to hike. And obviously, spending quality time with my family and friends is my favorite thing to do with my spare time.

How would your colleagues describe you?

I think my colleagues would describe me as competitive, thorough, decisive, hardworking, but also fair-minded. And I’m tenacious. Once I get an idea in my head, I don’t let go of it until its potential is fully explored.

What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?

I’m sure this is a typical answer, but I could not do my job properly without my smartphone.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

Once, while I was in university, I found myself in a situation where I had to borrow some money from my parents. I think I was about 22 years old. They agreed to loan me the money, but when my father came to drop off the cheque, he imparted some advice. He said, “Take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.” What he meant by that is, if you’re conscious of the small expenses, you’ll end up saving a fair amount of money simply by being vigilant. I don’t think he coined the phrase or anything—in fact, I think it might be a fairly old cliché—but that thought has always remained with me.

How do you measure success?

The health of my firm and the size and value of our portfolio is a great way to measure success, but it is by no means the only meaningful way. There are also more intangible considerations, such as the happiness of my team or my own ability to better myself. Basically, so long as the company is making money, my staff is content, and I feel like I’m moving forward with my life rather than remaining stagnant, then I think I’m on the right track.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

The best advice I could impart is to never give up in pursuit of your goals. Don’t let obstacles—no matter their size or nature—interfere with achieving your vision. Setbacks are inevitable in any business venture and in any industry. Viewing them as teachable moments is the best possible way of dealing with them.