Robert Fernicola entrepreneur profile
Business Name: Carringwood Developments Website: hillviewesates.ca
Rob Fernicola is the founder and president at Carringwood Developments. Mr. Fernicola started the business in 2012 when he acquired a contaminated commercial property in Woodbridge Ontario and successfully cleaned, rezoned and re-developed it into a 53-unit urban residential town home condominium. The project was substantially completed in the summer of 2015. Earlier that same year Mr. Fernicola began working on his second development in rural Caledon Ontario and achieved Draft Plan approval for 14 estate lots that has become Hill View Estates. Mr. Fernicola holds a B.Comm from the University of Toronto, and Msc. International Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics and holds a CPA, CA designation.
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
1. How did you get the idea for your business? Or how did you get into the business?
Real estate development has always been in the family and I transitioned into the business in 2005. I was mentored for several years by my father and ultimately acquired my own development in 2012 after his retirement.
2. What is your typical day like? How do you make it productive?
I run a relatively small business and my typical day is a day that’s not usually typical. I generally will go to the process that needs me that day – i.e. construction, finance, admin, legal, sales etc. I very rarely spend more than 2 hours a day in the office. I make it productive by prioritizing where my business needs me on a day-to-day basis and try to make sure that when I am engaged I am efficient.
3. What is the one thing that makes you productive as an entrepreneur?
I focus on being efficient. I worry less about how much time I am spending on the business and more about how efficiently I am using that time.
4. What advice would you give your younger self?
Slow down and think through daily issues carefully. When I was younger I was in too much of a rush to respond to anything – especially adverse situations. Taking your time working through problems generally yields better results and allows emotions to dissipate.
5. As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do and recommend everyone else do?
Never get to high or two low. When times are good they will not stay that way forever. Same goes when times are bad. Our natural instinct to believe the opposite.
6. What are a few strategies that have helped you grow your business?
My business is different – every development is its own business. I don’t worry about growth – I got to the project that has the positive NPV. As long as I’m doing those big or small I’ll be fine.
7. Tell us about one of your failures and what you did about it?
I underestimated the contamination of my first development and overestimated the protection my agreement provided me. In land development (and any business for that matter) don’t trust anybody but yourself to read and understand agreements. Seek advise and counsel but ultimately if you don’t understand something or feel its doesn’t make sense don’t rely on anybody but yourself to tell you to be comfortable. Your common sense is very valuable.
8. What one thing can you not live without as an entrepreneur?
Control and exercise.
9. What book(s) do you recommend others to read?
Anything other than business. Give your mind a break its healthy and refreshing.
11. What are your most inspiring quotes?
Not big on quotes.
12. How do you maintain balance in your lifestyle?
Exercise to help with health, stress and wellness. That subsequently helps me escape the day at days end and engage with my family.
13. If you could go back in time, what would you do different as an entrepreneur?
I would have been more disciplined earlier on.