Creating Catalytic Impact in Rural Opportunity Zones, with Chris Montgomery

Chris Montgomery

What is an OZ fund on Colorado’s western slope doing to spark catalytic impact and serve the long-term needs of rural communities?

Chris Montgomery is partner at Four Points Funding, whose Opportunity Zone fund was recently awarded the Grand Prize as the Forbes OZ 20’s Top Rural Opportunity Zone Fund Catalyst by Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Foundation.

Click the play button below to listen to my conversation with Chris.

Episode Highlights

  • The Forbes OZ 20 and the four grand prize winners awarded at the Sorenson Winter Impact Summit.
  • How the state of Colorado collaborated with real estate developers like Four Points to identify their Opportunity Zones.
  • How Opportunity Zones represent a generationally big tax incentive. While OZs won’t turn a bad deal into a good deal, it is nonetheless a massive incentive.
  • The complexities of setting up and running an Opportunity Zone fund.
  • Strategies for solving the chicken-and-egg problem: investors want to see committed projects, but committing to projects without investor capital can be difficult.
  • Four Points Funding’s Opportunity Zone portfolio strategy.
  • The logistics of investor timing and offering different fund vintages.
  • Sourcing local investors and local development institutions at scale to make catalytic impact and serve the long-term needs of communities.

Featured on This Episode

Industry Spotlight: Four Points Funding

Founded in 2013, Four Points Funding invests in real estate across Colorado’s emerging communities, in particular the state’s Western Slope. Their Opportunity Zone fund is focused on multifamily housing and hospitality located primarily in Grand Junction, Durango, Avon, Estes Park, Buena Vista, and Glenwood Springs.

Learn more about Four Points Funding:

About the Opportunity Zones Podcast

Hosted by OpportunityDb.com founder Jimmy Atkinson, the Opportunity Zones Podcast features guest interviews from fund managers, advisors, policymakers, tax professionals, and other foremost experts in opportunity zones.

Show Transcript

Jimmy: Welcome to the Opportunity Zones Podcast. I’m your host Jimmy Atkinson. And today I’m joined by Chris Montgomery, a partner at Four Points Funding. Chris joins us from his office in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Chris, welcome to the podcast.

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Chris: Thank you, Jimmy. Pleasure to be here, honored to be on your podcast.

Jimmy: Well, pleasure to have you on as well. Chris, well, congratulations are in order because your fund was recently presented at the Forbes OZ 20 Award as the top rural fund, as an Opportunity Zone catalyst. Can you tell me a little bit more about that distinction, how you were awarded that and the process that you went through to receive the award?

Chris: Yeah, yeah. Thanks for starting with that, it was a huge honor for us. We were honored to be upon stage in Salt Lake at the Sorensen Winter Impact Summit that they just had a few weeks ago with some great funds and some great communities. But the process was they had a little over 100 Opportunity Zone funds and communities apply back in early 19. It’s a traditional application process of, you know, interviews and filling things out but it’s really about Opportunity Zone catalysts, the idea of who are people that are moving opportunity zones forward and making changes in how opportunity zones can work.

So, I went through the process. It was great for us that it’s both Forbes and Sorenson, so it’s really about, you know, how to do this as a proper business but also how to make an impact in your community. So, a really nice fit for the two combinations there for us.

We were selected as the top rural fund in terms of our focus, we’re focused exclusively on areas outside the urban corridor in Colorado. And we were honored to be up there with a group from…we had a group from Alabama, a group from Erie, and a group from California, and it was great to share notes and just, you know, talk about best practices with all the groups that were selected.

Jimmy: Only four different organizations received the grand prize distinction? So, congratulations again there for pointing the top rural fund as an Opportunity Zone catalyst, that’s great. Before we dive into your fund and talk about opportunity zones in more detail, Chris, let me get a little bit of background on you and your team. Can you tell us the story about how you and your other partners came together and a little bit of background on you personally and the career path that you took to get to this point?

Chris: Yeah, yeah, fantastic. I ran a software business ages ago but when we exited from that, my wife and I actually started full-time real-estate investing back in 2005-2006, so really right before the real-estate crash. We’ve been focused for 15 years now on distressed real-estate investing, we were in Central Texas for a while but we’ve moved our family and expanded the business to the Western Slope of Colorado a little over 7 years ago. And we’ve been continuing to, you know, buy and repair and develop real estate across the Western Slope.

About 4 years ago now, we were joined by one of our partners, Shawn Bertini. He joined us and we officially started Four Points, we’ve been investing through a variety of private entities. Officially started Four Points with the idea of continuing to invest in real estate but really to support the economic infrastructure and the economic ecosystem in western Colorado.

In addition to our real-estate investing, we added on syndicate-based angel investing, which really created connections for us throughout all the small communities. We were already investing in each of these emerging small communities throughout Colorado on a real-estate side. And added to that the angel investing on startup businesses.

And then, when the opportunity zones came along, we were joined by our fourth partner, Stephanie Copeland. She actually ran economic development for Governor Hickenlooper in Colorado, until their term was over, and was one of the people involved in setting up and helping to guide the Opportunity Zone selection through Colorado.

So, the full team has now been together for a little over a year. She joined us just last year. There’s four partners together, four partners together focused primarily on opportunity zones all across the Colorado region. And it’s a fantastic team, we’ve added a couple of people onto the team as employees and we’ll add a couple more this year as we continue to expand into opportunity zones.

Jimmy: That’s great. So, you’ve been real-estate investing yourself, Chris, since 2005 but it was last year you made the decision to focus on opportunities zones. Can you explain why you made that decision? What is it about opportunity zones that enticed you? And maybe you could tell us a little bit more about how you first found Opportunity Zones and why you see great opportunity in Opportunity Zone investing?

Chris: Yeah, great question. You know, actually we got introduced to opportunity zones back in February of 2018, it’s such a new program, you know, nobody’s been doing it very long. But the state actually reached out to is, they reached out and said, “Hey, you’re one of the people that we know that are doing both real-estate and business development in all of these communities. We’re looking to set the zones. We don’t wanna set the zones blindly, we wanna know where people are willing to invest and actively investing. You know, the program’s not called ‘The distressed zones,’ it’s called ‘opportunity zones,’ it needs to be a place that’s both historically underinvested but that also supports opportunity.”

And with that, when they reached out, we didn’t know a lot about it, we just said, “Hey, we’re happy to learn more, we’re happy to be involved.” And as they talked about it, what the program was and as we learned more about it, we immediately decided, “This is it. This is a great fit for what we are trying to do,” because we’re trying to not just to continue our for-profit real-estate investing but to really focus on the communities that we live in, that we work in.

The Opportunity Zone side just fit, and frankly, on a personal side too. Opportunity zones…it’s been a 10-year hold period, so that’s a long time for making a decision. You can’t tiptoe into this and decide, “Hey, I might do this for a few years.” We talked long and hard about the idea, “There’s a 10-year hold to these investments at a minimum. Are we committed to doing this long term?” And the answer for us, just on a personal level, is I’ve got kids who are middle schoolers, each of the partners happens to have kids about the same age, really fit from the idea of, “What’s our next career? How do we transition this and really make a difference in our communities and do something that fits our time schedule?”

So, the opportunity zone…initially, when it came up, we thought that what we would be doing was setting up a fund focused on real estate with perhaps a sidecar fund focused on business investing. As the details continued to shake out, it was frankly the lack of guidance that was out there initially we were looking at this in the beginning of 2018. The idea of moving forward on the business side and the angel side has been put on hold for us. We’re focused exclusively now on real estate or truly place-based businesses, so, you know, a business that’s just tied back to real estate that can’t leave the community. We’ve decided that the real estate is the focus for us at least for the foreseeable future, though we may add business back into it at some point.

But ultimately, it came down to it was a good fit. You know, it’s well-named with the opportunity zone. The tax incentive is big enough that it’s really a generationally big tax incentive. It’s not enough of an incentive to — you probably hear this on the show — I’m sure everyone says it. You know, it doesn’t make a bad deal into a good deal, but it is a massive incentive.

And the way we look at it is it’s really a spotlight that we can use to attract capital to these underserved but really interesting communities. Colorado…it’s a pretty unique place. We’ll have massive, you know, intellectual and financial capital in some of these communities. Aspen, Telluride, Steamboat, next to, within an hour drive, communities that have been previously very extraction-based, you know, oil, gas, and coal specifically. Things that are reducing and going away. Very boom and bust economy based on the extraction and the tourism industry. Our ability to invest into a place that’s growing but that also has, you know, beautiful natural resources. It’s pretty unique.

So, when they talked about the benefits of the opportunity zone and potential to be involved, we jumped on it. We’ve been involved ever since 2018, speaking at conferences, learning all we can. We didn’t actually set up our first fund until the end of June of 2019. As you well know, there’s a lot of moving parts and some guidance that was needed. But we’ve set up our first fund in June of 2019 and we’ve actually launched our second fund just this week.

Jimmy: Well, that’s great. Yeah, I know that you have a series of funds that you’re developing that have different timing components to them. And I want to ask you more about that a little bit later in the episode.

It’s hard to not get excited about the opportunities that the Opportunity Zone incentive brings to the table. And I think you’re absolutely right, though, at the same time, it doesn’t make a bad deal into a good one. We have heard that on this podcast a few times in the past.

But Opportunity Zone investing and fund management certainly brings its own challenges, I think you would agree with me, Chris. And I know you and your partners are longtime real-estate and business investors, but this incentive has forced you into becoming fund managers as well for the first time.

Can you talk about your experience with that becoming first-time fund managers? I know it’s not a unique challenge to you, I think there’s a lot of real-estate developers, real-estate investors, and business investors out there who are kind of finding themselves in the position of having to become fund manager, so there’s time. Can you talk about your experience with that, what challenges that has posed to you, and if you might have advice to others who are looking to get into what you’re doing now?

Chris: Yeah, happy to talk about that. And you’re right, it is a real challenge and we’re not alone in that. People are transitioning from being focused primarily on investing to proper fund management. And in our case, we’re doing a true multi-asset multi-investor fund. A lot of the early funds were, “Hey, I’ve got a project that’s already going to happen. We happen to get this Opportunity Zone tax benefit, let’s just change our structure.” But if you’re going about trying to set up a proper multi-investor fund, you know, there’s some real challenges to it.

In our case, you know, we’re fortunate very fortunate to have a great team. So, not just the partners that we have, but the support structure around us with the… You know, we’re using the law firms that we’ve used, with Snell & Wilmer specifically on the on the fund-creation side and using NES Financial. I guess I’m allowed to give a shoutout to those guys. But it really matters, having people that understand the ins and outs of it.

We’ve been fortunate to already be running a private fund, meaning we had, you know, a very small group of private investors, you know, operating a few million dollars that we’ve been running for years now. So we had some familiarity with it. But we really were first-time fund managers, in our case, focused specifically on a rural area. We’ve got a vision for bringing capital at scale to these emerging communities. To do that, it’s all gonna be driven by capital and we’ve gotta be good at it. There’s a lot of learning opportunities in there. In particular, you’ve got, not just a typical private-equity real-estate fund but you’ve got all the intricacies of compliance around Opportunity Zone funds. I would say, setting up an Opportunity Zone fund is relatively easy, running an opportunity zone well and complying and understanding all the details is really the part that matters from an Opportunity Zone compliance perspective.

So, I think for us it came down to a couple of things, really diving in to understand the ins and outs of all the legislation. It also came down to…with the opportunity zone, you can get yourself in trouble if you’re trying to be cute or play games with it. We wanna be right down the middle of the fairway, very far…I’m mixing up metaphors, but far away from the guardrails. We’re looking to invest in real estate that we’re gonna do a significant substantial improvement on and hold for at least 10 years.

Because of that, the operational piece of the fund is relatively straightforward. We know that we need to attract capital, deploy capital into, you know, meaningful projects. On the setup side, there’s a lot of questions that people get into around SEC compliance, and Reg D compliance, and accredited investors, non-accredited investors. Some of that can be very complex on its own. We again try to go very middle of the highway. Accredited investors only, minimum investments into the fund, trying to make it very clear to the investors that they’re investing both in us, as fund managers, and really into a specific list of projects.

One of the big challenges that people face, and I know we’ll probably talk about this in a minute, is “What are you investing into?” Are you investing into the fund manager or are you investing into specific projects? And really it’s both. Ultimately, you’re taking a bet on that fund manager, but you also wanna know where your money is going. So, we’ve been fortunate to be able to have a fairly well-defined list of projects, as we’re going through this. So we spent a lot of time working on the project side of it, as well as the fund setup piece of it.

Getting people to invest outside of, you know, BlackRock or established fund managers in New York or Chicago, it’s a challenge. You’re educating them both on these Opportunity Zone benefits. You’re also communicating your own investment strategy and trying to build confidence in who you are as a team. For us, the thing that’s been…I’m not sure this is advice to somebody else but the thing that’s given me the most confidence is the team I’ve been able to surround myself with and have on board. Because people really are taking a bet on that team.

Jimmy: Right. And, as you alluded to the devil is in the details, especially when it comes to fund compliance. And it’s important to have a good team in place that has the expertise that they do. Chris, I wanna talk to you about what you brought to my attention, chicken-and-egg problem, particularly when you first started the fund and the problem being that investors typically wanna see that you have committed projects, they’re less interested in just going into a blind pool fund. But oftentimes it’s tough for you, as a fund sponsor, to be able to commit to projects without that investor capital. So, can you talk about that problem in more detail and your potential solution to it?

Chris: Yeah. And I think that’s really one of the larger problems, especially if you’re a relatively new fund manager and trying to do a multi-asset fund, really is one of the larger problems that ties back to that previous question of how do you go about really moving a fund forward. You know, if you’re a real-estate developer with one defined project, you’re out there raising money specifically for that project. Your challenge, at that point, is, “I need to make sure I raise enough money so I can complete the project and not have to…” Frankly, you never wanna be in a situation with an Opportunity Zone fund where you either don’t raise enough money and can’t start the project or even the opposite side, raise too much money and don’t have a project for it. You have to really time the amount of your money that you raise with the size of the capital you need for the project.

Doing a multi-asset fund, that’s really exponentially multiplied. People…they wanna see where their money is going to go, but how do you lock down a commercial property if you don’t have access to the cash? How do you raise the money if you don’t have access to the projects?

What we’ve done in our case, we actually spent most of 2018 working on this. We were blessed to have a family office come along beside us, the family office run through ZOMA Capital out of Denver. They’ve had a real vision for supporting economic development in rural and emerging communities. They put 20 million dollars essentially on our balance sheet to allow us to have what amounts to a warehouse line of credit. Think of it as mezzanine debt, if you will, our warehouse line. We can take that capital, go after a project, lock down the project, commit to fully fund a project even before we raise the long-term Opportunity Zone capital that we need for the fund.

So, we can go lock down a project…and we’ve done that, we have multiple projects that are under contract, or either we own the land or have the properties under contract ready to move forward. So, when the investor comes with their capital gains on a, you know, fairly tight 180-day time frame, they can see not just what we might do, but they can actually see the specific list of projects that we already have under contract. And as we raise that money, we can just replace that warehouse line. Essentially like a line of credit. We’ll pay back this money in a way that allows us to move those projects forward and do it in a very financially-friendly way to any of our limited partners.

So, I know that’s not available to any new fund manager necessarily or to all funds but…especially with smaller…we’re doing this at scale through a series of medium and smaller projects. It’s really been the key to the belief that we can move this forward at scale and give that confidence to the investors. If we were to take in money, and then, not have a project to fill it with and we gave it back, we’d blow up those tax incentives for our investors. And for us, we know these are hard-earned capital gains from all of our investors, our priority is always preservation of capital, as well as preservation of those tax benefits. And having access to that capital to do that has really helped solve that chicken-and-egg problem for us as we go about the fundraising process.

Jimmy: Yeah, that’s a very cool solution there. It might not be available to everyone. If you don’t have a relationship or access to a family office like that who can do that for you, that might be tough, but in your situation it certainly helps matters. I’m sure, Chris, I wanna talk about your funds now. Let’s get kind of into the meat of what exactly it is you’re doing, where you’re investing, what your portfolio strategy is. Can you tell us a little bit more about your Opportunity Zone fund? Or actually I believe you have a series of Opportunity Zone funds that you’re rolling out on a timely basis. Maybe you can talk about your portfolio strategy, what makes it unique among Opportunity Zone funds? And I also would like to hear about progress that your funds have made so far in terms of raising capital and deploying dollars as well.

Chris: Yeah, fantastic. So, for us it comes down to community-by-community investing. It’s definitely not one size fits all. We’re in a place in western Colorado, and specifically…although we are investing in the entire state, we’re not really in Denver and Boulder but we are covering the whole state. One of the things that we’re fortunate to have is a net influx of people. We’ve got…I think the statistics are a little under 2% a year population growth in most of the areas that we’re in. There’s a real demand for housing.

So, for us, a big part of our strategy starts specifically with housing. If I take a step back and think about the impact piece of this, you know, we are a for-profit fund but the best way we can make a difference in these communities is by scaling this capital. Biggest impact for us in these communities is primarily driven by housing and jobs, so those are the two biggest needs we see in the communities that we’re at.

So, from a scale perspective, we think that more than half of our investments will go into traditional multi-family housing with the idea of not serving…opportunity zones and low-income tax credits, they don’t particularly mix well. That’s probably discussion for another time. But we’re not really going after the low-income tax credit world with truly affordable housing, we’re really going after what we generally call the workforce housing or missing middle-type housing. If you got a good solid job, which we also wanna help provide with some of these investments, where can you live in housing that’s going to continue to serve the community and continue to attract more people in?

So, right now specifically we have multifamily housing projects going on in a couple of communities, one of them is called Grand Junction, another one’s called Glenwood Springs. I know Glenwood’s actually been brought up on your podcast before. For people outside Colorado, they may not know all the town. Those are some of the larger towns on the Western Slope, they can support…one of them is 100 units of multifamily housing, another one’s 96 units. Those are our most typical projects that we do and will have.

We also are able to do some smaller…we call them our tuck-in projects or opportunistic projects. We’ve done a tiny home hotel, which is a pretty cool project, interesting and fun and also a great financial return. We’re doing a warehouse food hall. Warehouse is the name of it, we’ve actually converted an old warehouse in the process of converting it to a food hall, food also has been one of the more popular investments we’ve seen through Opportunity Zone fund.

And then, hospitality is the other piece for us. So, from a platform’s perspective, it’s really housing and hospitality. In some of our communities, you know, one of the missing pieces has been upgrading the hotel capacity. So, in some cases, we’ll do down in the more rural areas, or the more remote areas, we’re actually doing some glamping opportunities. We’re also doing some just traditional…taking some old distressed facilities, and then, updating them to modern facilities. Some of the communities support that and some don’t, it really does come back down to, “What’s the right size and shape project for each community?” The last thing we wanna do is put, you know, 1,000 units of supply into a 10,000-person town. Doesn’t make sense, right? And so, it’s all about right sizing the opportunity.

And from a portfolio perspective, we are looking at it as really as a series of, “Which vintage of portfolio do we have?” We might have some projects that span across the multiple funds that you mentioned. What we’re looking at doing is always having…our goal is that we wanna always be available to the investors. If they’ve got their games on a 180-day schedule, we want them to always be able to put that money, to have a place to put that money, while they’re doing that, they can see specifically which vintage of portfolios they’re investing into. So, our second fund has just launched. With that, we have two housing projects, and one hotel project, and one glamping project already available. So, as people are writing those checks into the fund, they know specifically where their money is gonna go.

Jimmy: And your strategy there in terms of these different tranches or…how did you refer to them, I forget?

Chris: Yeah. So for us, it’s a series of funds, think of it almost as, “Which vintage it is?”

Jimmy: Vintage.

Chris: You have capital gains, they tend to be fairly chunky. Some people of course are gonna be drawing down from the public markets with all the fairly high markets we’ve had and volatility that we’ve had. Some people are just, “Hey, I’d like to have a series of capital gains,” they’re in that position to do it. But for most investors, for most high-networth individuals that are able to invest, they’re gonna have those gains at a particular time and be looking to invest. It needs to be driven by their schedules, so what we’re doing is we’re setting up a series of 6-month funds.

What we don’t want to have happen is the person that invested 6 months ago to be on the same 10-year clock as the person that invests 3 years from now. It ends up being on a 14-year clock. 10 years is already a long time, so we want people to, as much as possible, have a series of funds available to them. And as they do that, they can see which kind of vintage of the portfolio…Fund 1 has some projects that are already fully-funded and fully-closed. Those are no longer available. Now we have the Funds 2 vintage-available. Occasionally, some projects might span across no more than two funds. But as much as possible, we’re trying to do that to really just to serve our investors.

Jimmy: Good. Now I think that makes sense. That smart kind of rolling out a different fund, every 6 months different fund vintages, as you refer to them. So, when the 6-month period is up, does that particular vintage close to new investors?

Chris: Yeah, we’ll close that fund, and then, we’ll roll out another fund. It’s more work on our part. It’s a little bit more administrative work but it tends to be cleaner for the investors. So, as we will close Fund 2 down, we’ll then launch Fund 3. It does get back too, we need to make sure we raise enough capital to serve the projects that we have. We have, you know, from a size perspective, we’re looking to raise about 20 million dollars for Fund 2 and we have the projects available to serve that. So we need to, you know, be successful at the fundraising at the scale that we’re looking to match up to those projects.

Jimmy: And who are your investors typically? You say you’re looking to raise 20 million dollars for Fund 2. Are your investors coming from family offices or high-networth individuals or elsewhere? Where are you going to raise your capital typically?

Chris: Yeah. So, both. I would say that primarily the investors are gonna be people that are high-networth individuals or family offices. Some of the source of that is potentially through their financial advisors, so through their CFPs or their RIAs. But it really does come down to high-networth individuals and family offices. If you’re a new fund manager and you’re starting out, you’re much less likely to be going after, you know, institutional-grade money. Though we’re open to that and would be happy to do that, we are focused primarily on family offices and high-networth individuals.

Colorado does have the unique kind of an emotional connection for a lot of people, which is nice. They’re happy to be here on vacations or have some connections back here, but ultimately, it comes back down to a place that we believe we have deals that will have a very solid financial return for people. And so, it’s just a matter of getting our information in front of them.

We also do wanna be…one of the criticisms of opportunity zones is that it’s always just external capital. This idea that it’s, you know, rich people from elsewhere investing into communities or even taking advantage of communities, in our case, we wanna make sure that we have investors from the local communities as well. Having investors from those communities really helps just with the whole process. We’re huge believers on the idea of making sure the projects that we invest in are the projects that the communities want. So, not only are we working with local developers and local development institutions, having local investors or people with ties back to those communities who wanna have their capital invested long-term in the communities, it makes a real difference. So we wanna make sure we’re both bringing in capital from the outside but also finding capital in the local areas as well.

Jimmy: That’s great. And just to bring things full circle, getting back to the award that you were presented with by Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Foundation, a few weeks back, as the top rural fund, as an Opportunity Zone catalyst, can you talk about how your fund is an Opportunity Zone catalyst? What type of impact or job creation is your fund providing for those local communities?

Chris: Yeah, great question. And, you know, it’s interesting too to be…one of the reasons we were so excited to be selected by Forbes and Sorenson is that we’re a truly for-profit fund. All of the Opportunity Zone benefits are around the ideas of, you know, tax elimination. You don’t need those benefits if you’re not making your profit. Right? So it starts with for-profit, but why would you make a commitment to these long-term communities if it was just about profit? So, for us, it again starts with housing in many of these places. Many of these communities are looking to pivot off of the extractive industry. One of the communities that we just invested into had a uranium mine that just closed, another one has a coal mine that’s closing within the next 5 years. So, it’s difficult to invest into a place that has defined coming job losses.

So, we look at it both from, “How do those communities attract people?” Part of that for those communities is making sure they have the housing stock available, so we’re focused, as I mentioned, on housing. The other piece is many of these jobs, though we’re not doing direct, you know, startup investing through the Opportunity Zone fund, we continue to do that through our angel syndicate. We continue to do some business investing outside the fund. But with the fund, we’re also investing into things that specifically create jobs. The multiplier effect in a small community, you know, even a handful of jobs in a small community makes a bigger difference than…you know, dollar staying in that community, jobs staying in that community, it makes a huge difference. Part of it for us is these communities generally have not been able to attract capital. So it all comes back to, “How do we attract capital at scales and invest it into communities where capital has really never been deployed at scale before?”

And that’s really I think our most catalytic thing is the idea that we can attract the capital at scale, and then, deploy it into the right-size investments into those individual communities. What each community needs might be slightly different but it’s impossible to go and say, “Hey, we need to go raise a million dollars for this project and we wanna attract the attention of family offices or institutional offices outside of possibly philanthropy.” If we can go raise that money at scale, then we can deploy it alongside projects and alongside communities in a way that really hasn’t been done before. So, from a catalytic perspective, the idea of raising at scale but investing into the appropriately-sized projects to really serve the long-term needs of those communities is what we’re trying to accomplish.

It’s also very much not a zero-sum game, it’s very collaborative. You know, we’re starting to now see some other Opportunity Zone funds looking to invest into some of the same communities we are. We think that’s fantastic. If we can build the housing and someone else can build the brewery, we can build the the warehouse and someone else, maybe philanthropy, can build a daycare center, the more we can work together to serve those communities and solve those needs, it doesn’t just help the community, it makes our investment less risky, it makes the financial returns from our investments better, and really turn it into, you know, a win-win scenario for these communities.

Jimmy: No, that’s great. In a way, you’re creating a snowball effect to kind of…I guess that’s what a catalyst does, in essence. Well, Chris, this has been great speaking with you today. For our listeners out there, where can they go to learn more about you and Four Points Funding?

Chris: Yeah, the best place would just be directly to our website, it’s fourpointsfunding.com. We have all of our contact information out there, they can certainly reach me directly at any time, my email is as simple as [email protected] We have our website out there. We are limited to accredited investors, from an investor perspective, so we don’t place all of our decks and investing material out there but we’re more than happy to share that with anybody that was able to reach out to us as well. And always happy to talk to anyone in the Opportunity Zone community as this is new for all of us. We’re very excited about it and excited about the long-term prospects of opportunity zones.

Jimmy: Perfect, well said. Well, for our listeners out there today, I will have show notes for today’s episode on the Opportunity Zones Database website. You can find links to all of the resources that Chris and I discussed on today’s show at opportunitydb.com/podcast. I’ll be sure to link to the Forbes OZ 20 Award, as well as fourpointsfunding.com. So, check us out, opportunitydb.com/podcast. Chris, this has been great, thanks again for joining me.

Chris: Thanks, Jimmy. I appreciate it.

Jimmy Atkinson

Jimmy Atkinson

Hi, I'm Jimmy Atkinson... I founded OpportunityDb in August 2018. I'm a veteran Internet entrepreneur with a background in economics and Web marketing. I previously founded ETFdb.com. These days, I am passionate about impact investing and tax-advantaged investment opportunities. At the crossroads of these two ideals is the opportunity zones program, a place-based tax policy intended to economically transform some of the poorest areas of the United States with new real estate and business development.

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