Thursday, January 25, 2018

How to Be a Successful Real Estate Investor in 2018

Yesterday, I attended REIN's (Real Estate Investment Network) first meeting of 2018 in Toronto. I was invited as a guest of one of the long time REIN members and am very grateful to her for bringing me there.

The event was very informative. I learned a lot. There were many great and like-minded investors in the room. We chatted and shared our latest achievements and new goals.

"Open your eyes and let the future in. But be sure to look forward and up - because that's where the future lives" Richard Dolan

Presentation topics included:


  • GTA housing market - detailed update on GTA housing and rental market by Dana Senagama of CMHC
  • What's Behind the Curtain - current view of economic fundamentals by Don R. Campbell
  • REIN Vest - how to be prepared for an emergency. I found advice and the toolkit presented by Richard Dolan priceless
  • The personal performance playbook - a guide on how to plan, prepare and perform in 2018. This was a wake up call for me, as I realized how much more I can do to stay on top of my own goals and make things happen this year as planned.
Presentations were very informative and included a lot of data and insights. In this post, I'd like to share only some key takeaways that struck me the most.

1) GTA Housing Market is Investment Ready

Overall, GTA housing market was super hot in 2017 and is projected to stay relatively hot in 2018. The primary contributing factors include:
  • Price overheating - medium
  • Price acceleration - medium
  • Overvaluation - high
  • Over building - low 
CHMC data supports high demand and insufficient supply, which pushed prices up. Even with recent policy changes, they estimate that price increase will continue. CHMC projects a slow down in growth to the level comparable with the rate of inflation of about 2%.

Rental demand is high and is projected to continue to stay high. This is because millennials are starting to rent, baby boomers continue to downsize and rent, and immigrants continue to flow in and rent.

On supply side, market is still short on purpose built rentals. Over 30% of condos are being rented out. Builders are focusing on small units, which may cause a shortage of bigger units in 5-10 years when millennials will start their families and will look for bigger units.

2017 Vacancy rate was at all time low of 1.1% and even lower for condos. It is projected that vacancy rates will remain low.

What amazed me the most was that average age of a first time home buyer in GTA is 37 years old. 

I can't believe that it may be possible that my kids will not buy a place of their own until they are 40!!!




2) Economic Fundamentals: Good Time to Become Real Estate Investor

"Thinking is the hardest work there is", Don quoted Henry Ford's famous saying at the beginning of his presentation. 
Don's key advice to all investors is to carefully consider which market they are in and what position they take before they analyze events and policy changes. Thankfully, groups such as REIN, do a lot of thinking for us and provide a recap in plain English.

The way I understood the recap:

From rental market and landlord perspective, things are looking up. Recent policy changes will push rents up, high demand and supply will continue to play in landlord's favour as well. It is essential to study markets and current economic influences and understand which real estate investment strategy will work best in the next 2-7 years.

The great news is that

"Housing was the world's best investment over the last 150 years" per Dan Kopf Quartz, Yahoo Finance, Jan. 2018 and it still is per Don R. Campbell. 

The time is right for us to hop on and catch up to this success.

Here's a link to Don's book on Amazon. Chapters 5 and 6 explain where we are at today:

Secrets of the Canadian Real Estate Cycle: An Investor's Guide



3) Be Prepared for an Emergency


For me the most thought provoking part of the presentation was about being prepared for a personal emergency in life.

Many of us, investors or not, have families, friends, and valuables.

What happens if, God forbid, my house is on fire and I have only a couple of seconds to decide what to take with me and what should be left behind. Kids and the cat are a given of course. But what else should I grab?

During the presentation it was sadly explained that in New Orleans emergency situation people suffered more than they should've because many came back to their houses for expendables, such as flat screen TV's.

What happens if life throws in an accident, disability or death at me sooner than I expect? After all, the average life expectancy is exactly that - the average, meaning that some live more and some live less. I might end up on either side of the mid point.

The reality is that there are many-many details that go into being prepared. And these details may help you in a small or big emergency.

REIN provides a toolkit for its members to fill out and follow. In a nut shell, you have to be prepared and store all necessary items in a single fire/water proof box that you can always grab or open when needed.

Make sure your family knows that they should look for this box, if you are not around to help them.

Here are some items that should be placed in your emergency box:

  • Emergency contacts
  • Insurance info - Personal, property, casualty
  • Legal info - Wills, power of attorney, trusts, etc
  • Money info - investments, annuities, pensions
  • Benefits
  • Banking info
  • Medical info
  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Passwords
  • Keys
  • Valuables
  • Miscellaneous
Having this emergency box set up will give you and your family piece of mind. I think it's a must have for every household.






4) How to Plan, Prepare and Perform in 2018 - Your Personal Performance Playbook

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible" Tony Robbins

No matter what your target is and which performance system you are using to get yourself there, setting goals is always the first step.

At the meeting, we reviewed a 10-step personal performance playbook. The playbook resonated a lot with me because it brought up several aspects that I realize and agree with on the subconscious level, but have not been consciously paying attention to lately.

Here's what I'd like to do personally for myself next:

I. Review my target and Focus on It - 50 Doors

II. Set My Goals:

1) Debt repayment and re-consolidation plan by April 2018
2) Acquire New Properties by August 2018
3) Re-Finance Short Term Interest Only Loans by December 2018

III. Plan My Actions

1) Morning - top 3, Afternoon - top 3, Evening - top 3
2) Week's Top 3
3) 30-day Top 3
4) 60-day Top 3
5) 90-day Top 3

IV. Lead Myself To Completion

1) Choose my ways of being and be that way
2) Set up my environment appropriately
3) Journalize my time

V. Review My Own Performance and GET REAL.


So, my main take away from REIN meet up yesterday is to stay focused on my target and pull my stuff together. I have to be a lot more organized and determined to achieve my goal.

The note that I posted a few weeks ago right in front of my face says:

"Get ACTIVE
Stay ACTIVE
Be PERSISTENT
MAKE a COMMITMENT".
All I have to do now is do it. Hope you've set some goals for yourself as well and are on target so far!

Here's another book I think you might like: Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook

Hey, good luck in 2018!