loader image

DreamNation Real Estate Episode 37 – Chris Senegal: Leveraging Through Your Frustrations

Are you one of those people who get so caught up in your nine to five day to day job that you often forget to start working on your exit strategy? Or are you someone who wants to start working on your exit strategy but afraid it might not work out for you? From having a boss to being your own boss, how does that sound for you? 

In today’s episode, let’s hear from Mr. Buy Back the Block, Chris Senegal, how he was able to start working his way out early on, to becoming a social impact investor, real estate developer and entrepreneurship advocate that he is now. 

The first company Chris built was Invictus Properties and Holdings, a buy, fix, and rent real estate company with properties in Houston, TX and Memphis, TN. But before all of that, he first had a corporate job right after college just like most people. Find out how he’s crushing the real estate biz through crowdfunding and buying back the block. 

Here’s What You Missed

Figuring out your Exit Strategy

  • “…halfway through the first year out of college, I realized that corporate wasn’t going to be my 40 year plan, and I had to figure out my exit strategy. So I started working on it immediately.” (02:12)
  • “These people were 20, 30 years ahead of me, and they’re not happy.” (03:39)
  • “I think a lot of people get caught in a cycle for four or five years at least. So they’re like mid 20s, late 20s, before they really realized it’s not going to happen, or it’s going to be a lot harder than what they thought. By that time, they’re in a cycle of debt and a cycle of not knowing where to start because this is their adult life.” (03:54)

Cycle of not knowing where to start

  • “Anything about entrepreneurship never clicked. Business never clicked.” (06:03)
  • “I just had no exposure to what real entrepreneurship or a business was. I really didn’t get any understanding of that side of capitalism, and the ability to leverage money until I got out of school and started reading.” (06:13)
  • “Once I’ve got it sorted, first, I got frustrated. I was in that cycle. And I started reading a bunch of books and all the light bulbs started going off.” (06:25)

Going full-time in Real Estate

  • “At 23, I’m trying to pay the mortgage on that house and trying to pay rent here in Houston. So I got frustrated. And out of pure frustration, I hired a property manager to manage the property for me in Memphis. My mortgage plan was like 1100 bucks a month. They got a tenant in it for about 1500 a month. So that’s when a light bulb really went off, like two months into it.” (09:21)
  • “My thought process is my ability to analyze different projects and make money that’ll go on autopilot.” (10:10)
  • “…the contractor became my mentor at 24. I still use him today. He would help me pick the houses, we do the rehab on them, and we both make money. So the system just works. So we kept doing it. And that’s the power of not trying to figure out on your own, having a mentor.” (12:04)

Startup capital for your first deal

  • “I had 5000 saved. I needed 14,000 to close. So I borrowed the money against my 401k.” (13:34)
  • “I just realized that money was sitting there, and I was like, man, it’s like making 6 or 7%. It’s not really doing anything for me. So I was like, I wonder if I can take it out.” (13:49)

Buying Back the Block

  • “I just want to figure out how I can do something bigger and have an impact on the community at the same time.” (16:18)
  • “I stuck with the price point that I knew I could turn the deals quickly.” (18:16)
  • “I ended up sticking with people that are reacclimate to society from prison. It’s worked out better.” (20:15)
  • “My focus, especially in areas that are revitalizing, is high income people are about to move in and take over the neighborhood. So we should be participating in that neighborhood and controlling what’s being built, and attracting some of our people that have good jobs back to those neighborhoods.” (22:08)

Get quality creative design and receive an exclusive special VIP offer from DesignCrowd, (20:20)

Get 15% off at Designcrowd today!

New crowdfunding tier from the JOBS Act

  • “ …it was like an opportunity for the people that want to get into real estate, but may not even be able to save up enough money to buy a rental property.” (24:12)
  • “It’s a little bit more hands on than just investing in a publicly traded real estate investment company. Because you’re still kind of tangible and closer to the project itself and its project specific.” (24:23)
  • “I didn’t want to take that type of risk on, without knowing what the asset was I’m gonna deploy the money into.” (26:14)

Investment Strategy for each property

  • “Each project is a separate animal in itself.” (27:32)
  • “If I need partners, I take on partners. If I can handle it myself and go to the bank and get financing, I do that. I don’t have a specific strategy. The name of the game, especially in building wealth, is leverage. So you cannot try to do everything yourself.” (27:45)

Road to Success in Real Estate Investing

  • “If I would have took on maybe a project manager, or maybe the partners that have more capital to leverage into more deals, I would have accelerated a lot faster. What I didn’t understand back then is I don’t have to save up the money, come up with the money on my own to do flips.” (28:51)
  • “What I teach everybody in entrepreneurship in general, you gotta have the three points on a success triangle. The first point is the knowledge. The second point is opportunity. And the third point is the money. If you can get all three of those, you’ll be successful no matter what it is.” (30:04)
  • “…a good title company is very important. Because title work is probably one of the most important parts of buying a deal that ensures that the person who’s selling the deal to you has the right to sell it to you, that there’s nobody else that can claim ownership in the project and come back and try to take the property from you.” (31:30)
  • “So I think those: the contractors, the source of the leads, and the title company. They’re most important.” (32:03)

Fear of failure

  • “Don’t be afraid to fail. I think the only thing that would hinder you from starting is because you’re thinking that it may not work.” (35:10)
  • “It’s just about perseverance and just realizing that anything you get wrong is just feedback on what you need to do better. So until you start having failures in the process, you will never reach your goal.” (35:46)
  • “Mentors help you cut a lot of time off the learning process and get you to go a lot faster because they can give you the insight on what they did wrong and guide you along the way on how you can reach the same goal faster.” (36:09)
  • “There’s several ways to approach it. You just have to figure out what works best for you.” (38:40)

Quotes and Advice from our host and guest:

  • I don’t see why people focus so much on trying to make this thing work. I think part of the challenge is everybody thinks they’re going to be that exception to the rule, and they’re prodigy.” – Chris (3:43)
  • “…we never understand the power that we have to leverage it to a full time entrepreneur, which means that you got to bring on more staff, which means that you got to think even bigger, rather than just owning a job.” – Casanova (06:43)
  • “How can you make money and how can you solve a problem? Just look at what are the things that annoy you right now. Then if you get frustrated with it, then that’s something that somebody else is probably frustrated with as well. If you can find a solution for that, you can make money on it.” – Casanova (10:26)
  • “Whenever people invest, they’re part of something not only that’s bringing in revenue, but it’s in a gentrifying area, lots of revitalization going on, and the property value is shooting up anyway. So it’s a win-win when you ask me about appreciation and cash flow.” Chris

Podcast Episode with Chris Senegal: Leveraging Through Your Frustrations

Books, Mentions and Links:

Chris Senegal 




Enjoy A Full Experience of


Let's figure out what works for you + Free Stuff!

 DreamNation will never sell, rent or share any of your information to any outside party without any of your permission.

Reasons to Subscribe to the DN Email List: