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The Truth About Real Estate Investing... for Canadians

For Canadians by Canadians sharing the truths about generating wealth through real estate investing. This show is about getting rich slowly, investing is a marathon, no get rich quick methods will be discussed here hosted by award winning investor and three time Realtor of the Year Erwin Szeto aka Mr. Hamilton
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Now displaying: January, 2018
Jan 24, 2018
I was talking to one of my fellow students during a break during Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class who is still a student.  He’s in electrical engineering so as always, I’m rhyming off unsolicited advice on fields of study to make money. I recommended learning about SEO (search engine optimization) and Block Chain as that’s the future right?
 
Why is SEO a big deal? Search engine optimization may be the reason you found me or one of my websites, but I’m merely a student of the subject, that’s why I sought out the teacher in Hamilton real estate investor and client of ours John Vuong.  He’s an ultra successful entrepreneur because his firm, Local SEO Search is providing tons of value to small and medium sized businesses in driving traffic to their websites and landing pages to translate into more sales.  John’s time is really expensive too, so he doesn’t even see the houses he’s buying as he has that kind of track record and success rate with his real estate team.  John was kind enough to spare us an hour of his time to share his story here and give us advice on how we can all grow our businesses with search engine optimization.
 
Who is John Vuong? He’s a 15 year veteran of Sales and internet marketing, a hard worker and track record of being a top performer in every work position he’s held until a business opportunity presented itself and John took action in starting a new business in 2013 that is Local Seo Search Inc.  He too attended the best University in Canada which happens to be the same as my alma matter, the University of Western Ontario, he’s a young dad and John started his own charity providing school materials to local schools for underprivileged kids.
 
So without further ado, I give you Hamilton real estate investor and SEO expert, John Vuong.
Jan 17, 2018
We are BAAACKKK!  And we survived FOUR days and three nights in Las Vegas!!! LOL
 
I have a group of real estate buddies I hang out with for several reasons, we all like to have fun, we have flexible work schedules to meet during the week so we can reserve weekends for work and family, and most importantly we love to talk business and real estate.  Business and pleasure wrapped into one, dropped in the middle of the Las Vegas strip for some masterminding and fun.
 
The masterminding could have been better as it took much of a back seat to the fun HAHAHA.  The initial plan was to block off six hours allotting 30 mins for each member to share their 2017 accomplishments and 2018 goals.  Unfortunately, like the vodka we were drinking, those 30 minutes were distilled down to 5-6 minutes each. That was all the time we had to spare.  Those who presented first enjoyed a how you say, more sober audience...
 
We hit a club, gambled, ate many great $15 steaks, saw O: the Cirque de Soleil show, shot some automatic machine guns, raced some exotic cars, mine was a Lamborghini Huracan, zip lined  the length of Freemont St., rode ATV’s in the Nevada desert, dined at the Heart Attack Grill, we fought zombies in a live urban warfare simulation, enjoyed a libation or twenty, etc… what we didn’t do was sleep much so I personally slept about 25 of the next 48 hours when we got home.
 
It all started with Westjet announcing direct flights to Las Vegas from Hamilton Airport and our return flight was only $300!!!  We then price shopped everything and Groupon’d almost of the activities.
 
The real estate investor in me enjoyed touring through the hotels thinking how grateful I was other gamblers were paying for me to enjoy the beautiful casinos as my gambling losings only totalled $15.  I don’t gamble. I mean it’s fun but I’m more interested in earning returns like investing in real estate.
 
The trip was simply epic.  We shared a ton of laughs and a very, very memorable trip. I can’t recommend Hamilton Airport enough and I thought our hotel New York, New York was great for our frugal purposes.
 
On to this week’s podcast!
 
The Millennial Retirement Plan: Seven Houses at Age 33 w Sarah Larbi
 
Welcome ladies and gentlemen investors across Canada, the greatest country in the world.  My name is Erwin Szeto, aka Mr. Hamilton bringing you the Truth About Real Estate Investing show for Canadians where it is my job to bring you the tactics, education and lessons of real estate multi-millionaires. What makes these people successful? These world class entrepreneurs don’t have superpowers so let’s find out together how they are killing it so we too may reproduce their results to create financial freedom for ourselves and those closest to us. So lets get to it!
 
Sarah Larbi, is technically a millennial but is a contradiction to the stereotypes as she’s always working at her job, portfolio or self development AND she doesn’t have any social media accounts.  She’s a long term buy and hold investor whom focuses on cash flowing properties and buying under market value whenever possible. She has done this by being a market expert in one specific area; Brantford Ontario, and building a solid team of qualified professionals around her.
Sarah is also the co-founder of the SO REIT Club which holds monthly networking and real estate education meetings for investors. Sarah was also featured on the cover of the Toronto Star in June 2017 for being a young millennial building a portfolio of properties through hard work, dedication and commitment without the help of parents or relatives.
 
Show notes:
SOREITClub https://www.facebook.com/SoReitClub/
REIN’s ACRE (Erwin’s $300 discount code ERWINSGUEST): http://info.reincanada.com/toronto-acre-2018
Brantford Paralegal Wenda Allicock: http://www.wendaallicock.com/
Sarah’s website: https://sarahlarbi.com/ and email Sarah@sarahlarbi.com
 
Jan 4, 2018
Hello real estate investors!!
 
Welcome to another episode of the truth about real estate investing show.
 
Happy New Years to you all! We have many terrific guests lined up for 2018 so make sure to subscribe so you may learn their lessons to ensure you achieve your new years resolutions and I’m sure they include increased financial security and freedom!!
 
In case anyone is interested, the Real Estate Investment Network is hosting it’s annual weekend workshop call the Authentic Canadian Real Estate Systems (or ACRE for short) on March 2nd - 4th near Toronto Pearson Airport at the Pearson Convention Centre.  For my friends and listeners to the show, REIN has provided me a discount code and I tested it just now to save you $300 per guest.  If you’ve been to other events that are out there, the full retail price of $687 which has never gone up to my recollection, I’m a REIN member so my admission is included in my monthly fee…. but anyways, the full retail price is a fantastic deal already and my discount code of ERWINSGUEST will save you $300. Link: http://info.reincanada.com/toronto-acre-2018
 
If you want the full ACRE experience, I recommend you plan to attend the informal evening festivities to network with the other attendees.  To me, it’s a great time to reconnect with my out of town real estate friends who don’t make it to all the events but they make the time for ACRE because it’s such a great event.
 
Anyways, on to my 2017 Year in Review
 
The Real Estate Market:
From January to May, the market rocketed up. It was near impossible to purchase a property in Hamilton as it was a regular occurrence to compete with double digit offers on the same property with limited supply and demand through the roof from Toronto folks and locals.  St. Catharines grew in popularity for us as investors as competition was still fierce but nothing like Hamilton and we were renting at rates close to Hamilton’s.  KWC was crazy hot as well and continues to be hot as multiple offers there are a regular occurrence.  After May, and after the Foreign buyer tax becoming effective, the market slowed considerably for Hamilton and St. Catharines, exactly what us investors wanted though we noted less interest from investors in Summer and Fall.  Oddly enough, that is when I purchased two properties, in the summer and fall, both as discounts from the Spring market.  Right now the market feels more balance but prices remain up around 7-8% in our target markets compared to this time last year.
 
The Rental Market:
As a real estate investor we have two real estate markets to monitor: real estate prices as that determines the value of our portfolio and acquisition costs.  Then there is the rental market and 2017 was very good to investors.  From January to May, our investors were obtaining the highest rents we’ve ever seen in the markets we operate: mainly Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge, Hamilton, Brantford, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Niagara Region.  In the Spring we were consistently seen rents of 1650 plus utilities for renovated three bedroom apartments and 1300+ for basement two bedrooms.  Keep in mind about five-six years ago, we rented entire three bedroom houses for 1300+.  The summer saw reduced demand as kijiji ad views and showings were way down and returned to a moderate level in the Fall.  Myself, I like to review my rental ads and prices every two weeks.  If I need to make an adjustment I will, most often to price or tweaking of the headline or ad copy.  For the property we purchased in the summer, I needed to reduce the rent 3-4 times by $25-50 increments till we found a great tenant.  For the property we closed on December 1st, knowing we were approaching the holidays and winter, the slowest market, I was ultra aggressive by advertising our rent $50 below market value.  Evaluating a $50/month discount vs. being vacant for three months, an opportunity cost of $4,800, I chose the $50 discount and we rented to a customer who attended the first showing.
 
On the business side, we’ve grown considerably helping investors transact on over 100 properties in 2017.  We’ve undergone many changes moving away from the Mr. Hamilton brand to the Halton Real Estate Investment Group as a necessity as we expanded our geographic coverage of top towns for investment in pursuit of cash flow.  Our team has grown considerably as well in order to support the number of clients we support, apparently good news travels fast and when you do a great job helping to coach clients to financial success, they compliment you with referrals of friends and family for which we are forever grateful.  Erika Spencer joined our team in late 2016 and has been a force to reckon with even with the birth of baby Owen in October and was back to work in November.  Koukun Unosawa, Han Wang, Tammy Ditomaso all joined us in 2017 plus Paisley Mackenzie is coming onboard in early 2018 all as Junior Coaches.  To ensure our newest team members received the same or better training I had given, James Tiberius Maggs was promoted to Vice President of Coaching Services with all of our coaches reporting directly to him.
 
On the Personal side of 2017, improving my health and energy levels took main stage.  After years of pushing myself mentally and physically for years, I was burnt out.  My body was giving up yet I continued to get by on excessive caffeine (coffee) and sheer will power.  I took a couple tests while seeing a new doctor, Dr Callum Cowan, a high performance health specialist who works with pro athletes like NHL’ers, UFC fighters, high level executives, to repair the damage I’ve inflicted on myself to get to where I am today.  I did a very restrictive cleanse in February and March avoiding my food sensitivities and to take care of a parasitic bacteria I picked up somewhere all the while competing in the Crossfit Open.  I also started going to bed earlier.  As you parents and entrepreneurs know, we can only control what we can control and I’ve found my mood and energy level is simply better with more sleep.  My kids and family, my clients, my business deserve the best me so I started tracking my sleep with my wearable technology called a Whoop and app to ensure my peak performance.  With all these changes, the quality of my work has improved as my mind is rested and more clear. I’m able to train more often which I love without having to take as many afternoon naps.  The best part is I’m less cranky with my wife and kids so everyone wins with more sleep.
 
Dr Cowan is one of our guest speakers for the January Halton REI Group meeting on January 13th. His talk is titled "Feel Better, Function Better, Become a Phenom” and if you’ve seen him present before, don’t worry, the doctor has promised updates as the science of health is ever evolving!!
 
We will also be hosting a guest panel of investors on the subject of raising successful kids featuring Carol Dias, Margaret Plut, Rob Watson, Charles Wah and Mary Clements.  All are successful in their careers and as investors, and they are happy to share the lessons so we can all achieve one of our ultimate goals, parents to successful children.
 
To Listen:
Google Play: http://goo.gl/CAM5Mn

 

Till next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Erwin
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto Real Estate, Land Development Investor
 
This podcast is brought to you by the Halton Real Estate Investors Group. The goal of the Halton REI is to entice would-be real estate entrepreneurs to get off the couch, make things happen, and replicate the success of our multi-millionaire clients such as podcast guests Charles Wah, Andy Tran, Evelyn, Kaush, Cherry Chan, Michal Wywrot and Tim Collins.  Our track record of coaching highly successful investors is extensive and we share our secrets, tips and tricks at Halton REI meetings.  So if you are interested in travelling the path of least resistance to real estate wealth without ever swinging a hammer than this is the place for you. Go to HaltonREI.ca/signup to register and do so quickly to avoid disappointment as we have waitlisted folks many times and seats are limited.  One of the secrets of success is to surround oneself with successful people and in my ten plus years of attending workshops and networking events, this is one of the best places to be and I hope to see you soon.
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