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Private Lending Titans: Chris Hanson, Founder, Hanson Capital

Insights» Industry Spotlight - Originate Report

October 4, 2021by Originate Report Team

Read the full Originate Report October edition here.

Why did you choose to enter into this industry?

From a young age, I loved Monopoly and now I get to play with real properties.

What is your current role and what do you do day to day?

Today, I’m fortunate to be focused primarily on the growth and path of our company. Working on the development of the capital side of our business, I’m frequently exposed to some of our industry’s smartest financial minds. Insight into what they are doing and seeing is exciting as well as the ongoing continued validation that stems from their interest in our company’s path.

What excites you about your role today?

I love that my role is dynamic and constantly changing. Our success in capitalizing on the opportunities and challenges each new day brings has us on a path toward becoming a billion dollar enterprise.

Can you explain a time where you faced adversity or had struggles early on in your career? Where did it all begin? How did these experiences mold and shape you into the leader you are today?

My first real experience in the industry was buying my first flip at an auction with a cash advance on my credit card. At that time in my very young career, any bad decision would have been detrimental. That experience, although stressful, was exciting and led to taking a job being a bidder at the foreclosure auctions. It became clear quickly there was real opportunity to expand the bidding business by lending clients the money they needed to purchase their properties. Through leverage, they were able to buy more property, increasing our bid fees. Out of this realization, our lending business was born. Starting at the bottom and investing everything I had has certainly given me a deep appreciation for what we’ve built and has shifted my focus toward our long-term vision.

Is there anything that you wish you could go back and tell yourself at the beginning of your career?

Listen twice as much as you speak. I am still pleasantly surprised to be learning new things every day and the best lessons come when I am actively listening.

Who is someone that has had a significant effect on your career and why?

My daughter, Madison. In the Fall of 2018, I received a phone call informing me that my then 4-year old daughter was being rushed to Phoenix Children’s Hospital as a result of a persistent high fever that had our pediatrician concerned. She was diagnosed shortly thereafter with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a rare form of cancer affecting the blood cells. This would be the beginning of a nearly year-long hospital stay while my little girl fought for her life. Thankfully, after a long battle, she was released from the hospital but the impact of those moments have given me such perspective. We know life is precious, but moments like that change everything. For me, that experience has fueled my passion for creating a legacy, not just for my family but for our clients as well. Since that realization, Hanson Capital has grown to facilitate both short and long-term investments for as many individuals as we can to help build their own legacy, too.

What has been your favorite aspect of being in private lending over the years?

Being on both the sponsor side and the debt side of transactions over the years has granted me a better understanding and perspective for each side of the table. In many ways, this understanding has made me more effective on both sides.

What do you enjoy most about your job? Least?

I get the most fulfillment from helping our clients down their path of achieving financial freedom and success. Alternatively, it can be very frustrating when I am unable to help clients that aren’t on the path they want.

Is time or money more valuable and why?

My take on this one is simple. It’s time; you can’t buy it.

How do you make sure your company stays ahead in this industry?

I believe in having the right people in the right seats. Our organization has become a team of opportunistic people who are all experts in different areas of our industry. Having experts in all areas of our business whether it be in lending, development, multifamily, or construction, all at the same table working as a team on all of our projects, has allowed us to pivot swiftly and capitalize on inefficiencies and opportunities in the market.

What tools do you use to aid you in your role to be most efficient, organized, and focused?

Fitness, good sleep, and a mental tool from Sun Tzu.

Has your role changed significantly to address the current environment?

Our business exists to take advantage of opportunities which I believe shift every 18 – 24 months. With that mindset and experience, we have stayed dynamic through these challenging times and have

What advice would you give to someone who has just started out in private lending?

Focus on the journey and embrace the difficult times instead of being so focused on the destination. The other thing that has been impactful for me has been shifting focus towards long-term outcomes instead of short-term results. Everything we do today is guided by a long-term vision. When there is a choice to make, I am surprised how frequently the decision becomes clearer with the long-term goal in mind.

What do you believe to be the best type of real estate investment opportunity available today and why?

For me, it’s infill, value-add industrial because the risk to reward profile is completely unmatched. This investment balanced with money placed in debt through our REIT structure for cash flow, liquidity, and diversification is my favorite blend today.