Where I Come From

“My name is Mike Jager. Been in real estate for a little over 14 years now. Started actually in textiles. Was born in a family business that my dad started here. He came off the boat, as we say, and was sweeping floors in a factory, and worked his way up from janitor, to manager, to partner, and bought out his partner and owned the business since 1983.

So I was literally born into this family business. We’ll call it the Schmatta business. And that’s all I knew, growing up. Figured that’s what I would do. But one thing my dad always instilled in me, says, “Always make a difference, no matter what you do. You work with someone, you work for yourself, or anybody else, make a difference.” I felt I was limited with regards to making a difference in the textile world. At one point he, when I moved to Toronto, and he got very ill, and then I moved back to Montreal, and he was contemplating selling the business to have a talk.

He said, “You know, I’m thinking about selling the business. Unless you want to take it over.” I saw it as a huge opportunity to go out and do something on my own. And real estate is something I always had a passion for. It’s something I always wanted to do. But I felt limited with regards to being able to take that avenue, because I was dedicated to the family business. So the first thing I said was, “Dad, sell the business. Great opportunity; go for it.” He sold the business, and then I sold everything I had. Sold my house, sold my trucks, cars, and said, “I’m gonna go all in and go into real estate.” I had just been married a little over a year.

My daughter Sienna was born two months prior. Came home, told my wife, I said, “Honey, we’re leaving the family business. My dad is selling the company, and I’m gonna go into real estate. So we’re gonna take a bit of a gamble. We’re gonna move into your parents’ duplex, in the one-and-a-half downstairs. And I’m gonna go work for a real estate company and gain knowledge before I go one day work for a developer and maybe start my own development company.”

She says, “Great. What are they gonna pay you in this real estate company?” And I said, “Well they’re not gonna pay me anything. They’re gonna give me a draw. They’re gonna lend me $30,000 a year towards my future commissions.” So she pretty much got a little bit of a heart attack, thinking you’re leaving a high paying family business, to going into real estate where they don’t pay you. They’re lending you money until you can get on your feet? I said, “Yeah, but don’t worry. Give me a couple of years and we’ll make it happen.”

And that’s how it started. That’s how I got started in real estate. That’s how I got started at CBRE. And was there for about 3 years, and during that time I had the opportunity to do a couple of transactions with the Groupe Montoni. With the Dario Montoni specifically. And one day got a call from Dario saying, “I got this client I want to talk to you about. How about you come in and meet with me?” So I went to his office and I sat down with him, and there was no talk of a client. He asked a lot of personal questions, you know, “Are you married? Do you got kids? What are your initiatives? What do you want to do in life?” And so I wasn’t really sure why I was getting interrogated until he said, you know, “I’m looking for someone to come work with me.

I need someone to be kind of like my right-hand man. Help me out. I’m doing everything on my own at this point.” And so, I was kinda confused. I said, “Do you want me to help you find someone?” He says, “No, I want you to come work with me.” So my first reaction was that I have no knowledge of construction. You know, I’m not a developer. I’d like to be one day, but I have no knowledge of construction.

He said, “Don’t worry. What you have, I can’t teach. You have passion, you have integrity.” He goes, “Construction, I can teach. But what you have, I can’t. And that’s why I want you to come work with me.” And it’s been ten years. It’s been a great ride. And it’s been a lot of fun.”

How I Started In Real Estate

“It’s funny, yeah, because a lot of the young kids I spoke to when we were doing a bit of mentoring a few years back was exactly that. They’re all questioning, you know, how do you stay in real estate? There’s no money to be made. How do you persevere? How do you, you know, how do you do it?

Prior to selling the family business, I had taken real estate classes because I had always had a passion for real estate. I figured if there’s any way of making a difference in this city it would be with real estate. So I had my real estate license, I was was still working with my dad, and then we finally decided to sell the family business. And I took a plunge.

I know I wanted to go into commercial real estate so, I called a friend of mine, the one person I knew in commercial real estate, and I gave him a call and I said, “Mike, I want to get into commercial real estate. Which offices should I call?” He gave me four names of four general managers of four different companies and the first one that called me back was Brett Miller, at the time the director of CBRE. And I sat down and he says, “What do you know about real estate?” I said, “Well, I took the class. But I don’t know more than that.”

He goes, “What do you know about industrial real estate?” I said, “Well, my dad had a few industrial buildings and I find it really interesting. But I was limited to that.” He says, “Well listen. You can, you sold me.” Because we spoke for about an hour and a half. He says, “You sold me. You definitely have sales skills. Real estate will be taught. Not an issue. I want you to meet my vice president of the industrial team.”

So I met with him, a gentleman by the name of Avi Krispine, and we sat down and we started talking, and he said, “You know what, it won’t be that hard. All you gotta do is set up meetings.” I said, “What do I sell, how am I selling?” “Just don’t worry. Just set up the meetings and you’ll take it from there.” I learned really quickly that the best way to sell is to be persistent, but it consisted of a lot of hard work.

I remember walking into the office every morning, at 7 in the morning, and I would literally pull out maps, and just look at every industrial building I could find in the East end. Not even knowing where the East end was. I had to ask the question, where does the East end start and where does it finish? So I would be traveling. I’d be driving up and down the streets in the industrial parks with my wife in the passenger seat, my two month old daughter, Sienna, in the back seat.

And I’d be taking pictures of buildings, taking addresses down, doing all the research I could, all weekend long. And then Monday to Friday, I’d be cold-calling every one of those property owners. And they’d give me the time of day. It helped as well when you have a name that’s kind of unique in any industry, like Mike Jager. Kind of people giggle a bit and they kind of say, “Who am I speaking to?” And I’d say, “Mike Jager.” And they’d kind of smile and say, “Well listen, if I can have the opportunity to tell my receptionist I’m meeting a Mick Jagger in my office, I’ll do so.”

So it broke the ice. I had a chance to meet with them. And by doing so, I wasn’t the most knowledgeable in the business. I had just, just started in real estate. But I had such a passion to do whatever it took. And at that time, to sell, to lease, to find investors for other properties. And they gave me the opportunity. So there was no real secret to being successful in real estate when I got started. It was just a lot of hard work. I wasn’t afraid to put in the hours. It ended up becoming a very successful business.”

Putting People First

“One of the questions I had asked Dario Montoni before accepting to move, to jump ship, and to work with a developer like Dario, was where do we see the company going in ten years? And how are we going to last the test of time? Because there had been a lot of contractors and developers. before us, there was a lot of them to come, and a lot of them failed over time as they grew. And his philosophy was exactly the same as the way I felt about real estate.

It’s not about the building and it’s not about where you’re located. It’s about the person. The person working in the building or, if you’re doing residential, the person living in the building. It’s really people-centric. And that’s the way we conducted every meeting with every person we met. We made them feel, which was genuine, that it was about them. It wasn’t about the sale. It wasn’t about the lease. It wasn’t about the acquisition. It was about what would make them, and their team and their employees happy.

I’ll never forget meeting Ericsson for the first time. And one of the first question they asked is, what’s your vision? What do you see? And the response was simple. We see an environment like no other for your staff. Anybody can draw and build a building, but what’s gonna be important here is to make sure everybody in that building feels like they’re home. We carry that message throughout every project we’ve done. We basically look at the people and ask them, we ask them what the best environment would be for them.”

I Missed Montreal While In Toronto

“When my father was ill and I moved to Toronto to run the family business from there, I missed Montreal. I missed the culture. I missed the food. I missed the people. I missed everything about it. And I kept coming back. Every Friday I would leave Toronto and either drive or fly back. Spend a weekend here, and then get back on a plane and fly back to Toronto for another full week of work.

And I just said, “No, Montreal is home. This is where I need to be.” Everything about the city resonated with me. I just felt there was other places I’d been to, that would be be other states or other provinces, were, excuse the term, soulless is maybe the best way that I can put it. There’s a lot of soul in this city. There’s a lot of spirit. Positive vibe. And I missed it when I wasn’t here. And I missed the ambiance. And that’s what attracted me to come back to Montreal. And call this home for good.”

Creating Communities Within Projects

“For many years at Montoni, we focused on industrial projects, institutional projects, office buildings. I always had a passion for residential. And that stems back to years ago, to whenever my sister was living in an apartment building. And I remember walking over one day. It was about 200 units in this apartment building.

And I walked in and I said, “Sis,” I said, “Who are your neighbors?” She looked at me and she kind of went like this, and says, “I don’t know.” I said, “What do you guys do to kind of get together and meet everybody?” “Well, no. There’s no meeting here. Everybody has their own apartment, and they go get their car in their basement, and they go to work, or whatever they do.” And I thought that was, there was something lacking there.

And it got me thinking. It got me thinking that there should be a better way of life. There should be a better way for people to live within a community. And it’s something that I started working on a few years ago, to create a society, a community, within every project, where you could, if you want to, know everybody within the building. That would be through applications. That would be through communal spaces. Having a kitchen, which is a fun area to gather and meet, why not have a kitchen in a communal space? Where you can get together and have a coffee together.

Get to know who your neighbors are. Go on an app, someone can send out a quick message to everyone in the building saying, “Hey, I’m watching a football game or a hockey game Saturday night. Anybody want to join? I got some pizza.” Which is one thing that was lacking for a long time in residential projects.”

Montreal Is A Land Of Opportunity

“I remember being a kid and my dad would drive downtown. I’d be in his big station wagon and we’d drive by the Molson building, and he said, “See, that’s an opportunity.” And I didn’t understand, said, “What do you mean, that’s an opportunity?” He goes, “Someone came off a boat with a dream and look what he made of that dream.” And he was talking about the Molson family.

And my dad kept referring to people and how they made their dreams come true, and you should never back down, and just keep focusing on what’s important in life, and that’s to do what you want to do in life. And every time he’d use an example, he’d kind of, you know, he’d point to something in Montreal. For some reason that always resonated.

So moving to Toronto or working in the States, Montreal always attracted me. It always brought me back. It was like a magnet. It’s everything. It’s the culture, it’s the food, it’s the nightlife. It’s the festivals, it’s Formula 1. Everything about this city, no matter where I was in the world, I would talk about Montreal. I’d compare everything to Montreal. And people saw, people knew I was a proud Montrealer.”

Montrealers Have Grit

“For years we kept hearing how Toronto and Vancouver, and Calgary and Edmonton were all doing so great. And every time anybody talked about Montreal, nothing really changed. It was just Montreal is Montreal. It stands still. Market is flat. And we keep forgetting there’s millions of people who lived in Montreal who lived through those times of it just being another city in Canada.

Grit is the word that comes to mind most when I think of the people in Montreal. Because through all of the political tension, the language barriers we had, those that stayed are those who have grit. Because they lived through the worst of times while being part of the best of times. You gotta have passion, you gotta have perseverance, and you gotta be able to take a couple of punches, get back up and fight for what you believe in. And those who have stayed are those who believe in Montreal.”

When You Have Nothing, You Have To Fight For Everything

“Sometimes when you’re put in a corner and you have no other option, and you gotta fight, that’s what I consider grit to be. When I left my dad’s family business after it was sold, and decided to go into real estate, and lived in a one-and-a-half with my wife and newborn child.

Grit is the one word that would come to mind all the time because when you have nothing, you gotta fight for everything. And that’s what I consider grit to be. You gotta have passion for something and I had passion for real estate. I knew, even though I didn’t know much about it, I knew that if I worked hard, I’d be able to turn everything around and make it happen.”

Doing Our Part For The City

“I remember three years ago I had gone to a real estate conference in Toronto and the analyst on stage talked about various cities and provinces, and how great they were and how things were rocking and rolling everywhere else. And when they got to Montreal, he spent about three seconds. He says, “Montreal is Montreal. Nothing has changed. And it’ll be Montreal.”

I took offense to that. I was in the back of the room and I thought, wait a second, is there no one that’s going to speak up on behalf of Montreal? We have a lot more to offer than they think. I left that conference and I said, “I can’t speak for everyone, every Montrealer, but I’ll do my part.”

And I started promoting the city. Not promoting the company I was working for, not promoting myself, but promoting the city, and all of the positives to this city. Because I felt, I’ll do my part. And hopefully someone will hear, and someone will want to do their part as well for the city. And the more people we can get talking about it, the more minds will change. And the more people will get behind us. Looking back today, I think we made a positive change. Where many people are talking about Montreal. You look at Montrealers today, they’re smiling, they’re happy. Politics are not an issue. Language is not an issue. People are walking proud in our city.”

If You Build It, They Will Come

“What’s impressive to see about Montrealers today and a lot of business people, and a lot of real estate developers, are people that are willing to take risks. Which was not the case a few years ago. A few years ago people would look at stats, and they’d notice that there was enough inventory with the buildings we had, if we’re talking real estate. And they wouldn’t build more.

But there was an old term that we all heard many many times, you know, if you build it, they will come. And that’s what happened in the city. A first condo tower would go up and people thought, well, it will stay vacant. It won’t get occupied. And then a second tower was built, and it was fully leased or sold, and then a third. And now we just see buildings getting erected throughout the city and there’s no stopping it today. I think that there’s been a huge change to this city, but a lot of it’s the mindset of people who are willing to take risks, which they weren’t able to or willing to before.”

The City Is Attracting Investors

“What’s great about Montreal is how investors look at our city today. They understand that our real estate values are lower than other provinces, other cities. But then again our cost of life is significantly lower as well. Our quality of life is much better. So you can work in a great environment, possibly make a little less money than some other provinces or states. But your cost of living is cheaper, so you live better.

And we have that “joie de vivre” in Montreal that you don’t see anywhere else. And that’s what’s attracting investors, and we see companies in AI who are focusing on Montreal over other cities. Because there’s a great work-life balance that we have, that other places don’t.”

Montreal International Operating Globally

“What I admire in our city is some of the organizations that we have, such as Montreal International, who have, we’ll call them representatives, around the world, promoting our city, talking about how great it is. Not only about the people. About the business, about our quality of life. That are promoting us throughout. And that has caused a lot of attraction to international companies to look at Montreal over other places where they would be able to open a factory or a new regional head office. And create jobs and a better way of life for many people.”

The Safest Place To Raise Children

“I often go to Florida on vacation with my wife and kids, and every time we go down, I always look at my wife and tell her how safe and happy I am to be able to raise my family in Montreal. I have friends who live in the states whose kids move out of state to go to different colleges. Whereas in Montreal, I’m more than happy to see my kids go to McGill, go to Concordia, Université de Montréal. And will get an incredible education, at a fraction of the cost. A lifestyle where you feel safe with your children here. With all that’s going on in the world, the safest place I consider is our province. Is Montreal. Canada as a country.”

The Many Languages We Speak

“I try to make my kids learn as many languages as they can. My wife is Italian, my dad’s Slovenian, my mom is Polish. My kids speak French and English, and they understand grandma and grandpa in their native languages. You can’t know too much, and being in Montreal there’s so many cultures. There’s so many different people from different backgrounds. We’re blessed.”

Everything Here Is Within Close Proximity

“When we have foreign investors that come to Montreal who look at investing in our projects, or look at investing in their own business by erecting a new head office, we’ll tour the city. What’s amazing to see is how astonished they are of how great the culture is in our city. From Old Montreal, to downtown, to the suburbs. And how close, how everything is within close proximity. Within 50 kilometers you can be in the South Shore, to Laval.

In most other places or states, provinces, you won’t get that far, you won’t have that much availability in those various markets. So they’re attracted to the culture, they’re attracted to the people, they’re attracted to the possibilities, and the cost of living.”

Creating Environments That Free Up Time

“What we like to do when we build today is build cities within cities. And a project we’re doing in Laval Espace Montmorency is, I think, the perfect example of how we’re including different people of different age groups, of different backgrounds into one city. Into one area. Where we’re gonna have millennials, we’re gonna have young families, we’re gonna have seniors, all living within the same project.

There’s no need to separate someone who’s 75 years old, from someone who’s a millennial. There’s gonna be a mix of all age groups. There’s gonna be a mix of residential with office. We want to make life simple. The one thing you can’t buy in life is time. And that’s the one thing we try to give back to the people who live, work, within our projects, is time. And how do you do so, is making things simple and easy. By creating environments where there’s already day cares, there’s apartments, there’s office, there’s retail. So that you can give them back the one thing they look for the most, which is time.”

Luck Comes To Those Who Work Hard

“I learnt when I was younger that the one way you can get somewhere in life is to be extremely organized, to take up as much time as you can preparing a proper schedule. My days will start every day at 4 o’clock in the morning. It wasn’t initially by choice. It’s just because I didn’t have the knowledge others did in the field I wanted to go into, which was real estate. And I figured there’s one way I can get ahead.

If I can get an extra 4 hours out of my day, above and beyond everyone else. If I had an extra 4 hours a day, every day, I’ll be that much, not smarter, but I would get that much more time learning that others wouldn’t be doing. So I’d start my day at 4 o’clock in the morning, end up at the gym at 4:35, be at the office by 6:30, and get ahead. And that’s the one thing I would suggest for all those going into any type of business. Never think that you’re owed something. You need to work your ass off to get anywhere in life. If you’re willing to work hard, good things will come. And I firmly believe that luck comes to those who work hard.”

Guy Laliberté Had A Vision With Cirque Du Soleil

“I think I relate to people who do things that are unique and special. If I can think of one, a Quebecer, one Montrealer, who’s done that, I can think of Guy Laliberté. Cirque du Soleil. You know, he had a dream, he had a vision, that not many people believed in. But he pushed that dream on others and took Cirque du Soleil to another level.

I mean, everywhere I go now, that I be in Vegas, that I go to Orlando, Florida. You could be in Europe. Anywhere you go, you know Cirque du Soleil, and what you think of when you think of Cirque du Soleil, you think of our province. You think of Quebec. That’s what I think of. And that’s owed to one guy and his dream, his passion.”

Building The Best Infrastructure

“Many people drive through our city, and see orange cones everywhere they go. They are gonna be stuck in traffic, due to a new detour. I will drive by a cone, a construction site, and smile. I’ll smile and say, “Fantastic. There’s a new bridge going up. Look at this new street that’s getting done.”

I consider it as a step forward. You can pull off a band-aid slowly, or you can just rip it off. And I think that’s what we did. We realized we had an infrastructure issue in this city, and as opposed to doing one street at a time, we said we’re gonna do a complete overhaul, and make this city great. Yes, we’re taking a little bit of a setback, with a bit of the traffic that we have today.

But we’re preparing for what this city really has to offer. And putting forth the best infrastructure is going to prepare our city for the business to come. For the people that will be moving back. And those that have decided to dedicate themselves to this city.”

On The Importance of Never Being Content

“One thing that some people say may be a negative to my character, is that I’m never content. I’m always pushing for more. I don’t see that as a flaw. I see that as a way to grow. If I’d be satisfied with the things that I’ve done, then I wouldn’t change. I wouldn’t look for more. I think it’s important to always push, to want 10 times more than what you have, to learn 10 times more than what you know. In order to get to that next level. In order to make things happen that others won’t.”

Espace Montmorency in Laval

“Three years ago, I went on stage and announced a new project in Laval, Espace Montmorency. At the time it was a 1.2 million square foot mixed-use project. The project wasn’t erected within that first year. Not because we didn’t want it to, just because we had a lot of planning to do. And like anything, this project incurred a lot of change.

May 2019, this May, we’re gonna be having our groundbreaking ceremony, launching over 2 million square feet of mixed-use project. The project’s grown significantly over the last couple of years. For many they thought it was dead. It wasn’t gonna happen. It’s just that we were planning. We were making changes. And like everything that happens in life, change occurs. And this project evolved over time. So Espace Montorency is gonna be starting. And we’re delivering the project in three years.”

Underdogs Are Highly Motivated People

“From the time I started in real estate, I always felt like I was the underdog. Then working at Montoni as a team, many times, I believe we felt like an underdog. And many saw us as the underdog, working on some of the largest projects in the city. Building the regional head office for Ericsson as an example, where we were initially 40 developers, landowners, property owners, to being selected and building their corporate head office.

I think what motivated us all the time was being an underdog and having people look at us and say, “You probably don’t have a chance. I don’t know why you’re trying.” That motivated us. That motivates me. Every day, to push harder, to work harder, to be the best at what I can be.”

The Importance Of Building Relationships

“I think the most important thing in business is be able to build solid relationships, that would be in real estate or any field. People won’t always choose the least expensive price. They will work with those that they want to work with. And how do you pick and choose? Well, it’s simple. By building solid relationships.

Often, I’ve met clients, presented proposals where a price wasn’t the best. But the client would often tell me, “Listen, I want to work with you. I enjoy working with you. What can we do to make a deal happen?” And I think it always comes back to building relationships, in all facets of life. If you have a solid relationship with people, if you maintain your integrity, good things will come and people will want to work with you.”

Doing Things That Scare Me The Most

“The one thing that drives me the most in life, is the things that scare me the most. The first time I sat down with Cat Around Films, and gave them this crazy idea to do a presentation on stage and time it to the second, because I had a video playing, and it was timed to my speech, they as opposed to what other production companies, American companies thought, which was that I was crazy, they’re the ones that were all in.

As much as I was scared, they were scared. And we made it work. My drive every day is to do the things that scare me the most. And why? Because the things that I remember in life the most are all those things that scared me the most. That would be from jumping off a plane, that would be getting on stage in front of 1500 people, when as recent as ten years ago, I wouldn’t be able to talk in front of three people in a meeting.

Because my jaw would freeze up, and I’d get pasty, and I’d get nervous to the point where I’d feel like I’m fainting. To go from that to being on stage over in front of a few thousand people. It’s the things that scare me the most that I’m most proud of.”

The Transfer Of Knowledge Is Key

“I think the transfer of knowledge is key, mentoring younger people. The one thing I can’t stand is companies and people who work in silo. They keep information to themselves. They don’t share. They push projects, they push ideas upon others. And it creates a catastrophe. For the project, for the people around them.

The more information that is brought to a table, that would be from the youngest person at the table, to the most senior person at the table, will just make things better. I mean, we have so many brainstorming sessions, about everything from HR to a construction project. And information comes from every person. The input is given by everybody around a table. And that’s what makes a project great.”

How To Deal With Competition

“I remember, at a young age, going into my dad’s factory, into his office, and asking him how does he deal with competition? How does he deal with people who would bad-talk his company? And he always said, “You know what, the more successful you become in life, the more enemies you’ll make along the way. Not because you’re a bad person, just because people hate, some people hate seeing other people rise.”

And I took that with me, throughout my career. And the more presence we had with the projects we’ve done, or the more stage presence that I had, the more critics I’d have. I think it comes in with the territory. You have to brush it off. You have to know if people are criticizing what you do, it’s because you are making a dent in the universe. And it comes with the territory.”

Students Are Now Staying In Montreal

“What’s great about Montreal is our schools, obviously. What was unfortunate for many, many years is people would come to Montreal, they’d go to the different universities that we have, some of the great universities that we have, and they would leave, thereafter. Back home, or they’d move out to the states, or other provinces.

What’s incredible to see now is how many students, how many foreign students, how many local students, will go to our great universities and stay. And call Montreal home. That’s what’s an amazing change that’s occurred in Montreal over the last couple of years, that we haven’t seen in decades.”

Speak Proudly About Your City

“I think what’s key for anyone who lives in Montreal is to be proud of where you’re from. And wherever I go in the world and I talk about Montreal, I say with my head up high. And people are attracted. They tell me every time, I gotta come to Montreal. If they haven’t been, I wanna come, I wanna see this great city you’re talking about. And that’s what we should all do as Montrealers, is stand tall, talk proudly about our city, and enough with the negativity.”

How Much There Is To Do In This City

“I often have clients or friends that will come from out of town and because we have the most restaurants per capita in Canada, it’s incredible how much positive feedback I get from people come in, and they go to a restaurant, and they go to a nightclub, or they’ll go to a festival, and how great of a time they have in this city. They always tell me how much there is to do in this city and how great it is. And it’s amazing to hear. It’s amazing to hear that it’s not going on in other places, but it’s going on in our back yard.”

Be Part of Something Greater Than Yourself

“What’s next for Mike Jager? A lot of hard work. Gonna keep pushing change in the city with regards to how projects are being developed. How they’re being erected in our city. And how we can do more than just build buildings, but create communities, create societies, and always making sure that it’s people-centric. Not many people want to feel alone. People want to be part of something that’s greater than themselves. And that’s the mission that I have with regards to what I want to do in real estate development, is unite people and create these communities.”

Always Surround Yourself With The Best

“Always surround yourself with the best of the best, in any type of business. The best example I can use is when we started, when we announced initially Espace Montmorency, today being an over 2 million square foot project, mixed-use project. We’re experts in various fields. That would be industrial buildings, office buildings, but we weren’t experts in every field. What we did, we surrounded ourselves with the best of the best. The best architects. The best engineers.

We asked questions to different people, in different communities, in different settings. We spoke to the rectors of the university. We spoke to some of the seniors in the neighborhoods. Some of the students. And asked them, what do they want to see? By asking people what they want to see, what they want to feel, and surrounding yourself with professionals in all those facets, will make a successful project.”