New Standardized Lease w/ Paralegal Diane Digiandomenico

Hello fellow Titans of real estate investments!
Have you been to Ghost Busters virtual reality game at the Rec Room just south of the CN Tower? It’s a lot of fun!! This was my second go of the game, and this time was with my brother and my very silly childhood friends.
The game is where we, the players, are Ghost Busters! We each choose an avatar (a virtual representation of oneself, by chance we each selected the African-Canadian male avatar so we couldn’t tell each other apart), we are each outfitted with VR helmets with headphones, mic, vest and of course, a gun. Once in the game, we walk around while being attacked by ghosts while having to complete mission objectives.

photo credit: Highly recommended for something fun to do.

The silliness and hilarity ensues as we push each other, test the boundaries of the virtual reality, and poke each other with the guns. With the VR goggles on, you’re basically blind to what’s actually going on in the real world, plus the game is sensory overload with ghouls and ghosts and marshmallow men attacking you. I highly recommend!!
Even with all the immature silliness going on, we still fared well, completing 4 of 5 tasks for a grade of A!!!!  An improvement over my previous score of B… practice makes perfect, no different than one’s 2nd investment property being smoother than one’s 1st investment property.

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Best Selling Author of Fix and Flip Ian Szabo

Hello Real Estate Investors in Toronto, Hamilton, Brantford, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, St Catharines, Niagara!

Everyone over their ACRE weekend hangover?? I had to take a two hour nap on Monday after the information overload that is ACRE and all the “networking” over food and drink after the meetings.

Thank you for the kind words to everyone who came by to say, “Hello!”  On Friday, I had a discussion with one gentleman about new construction condos in Hamilton. He came back to my booth on Sunday to say thank you for the podcast.  Silly me, I forgot my Tiger Cats jersey at home on Friday.

I hope everyone enjoyed my talk on ACRE Sunday.  Even though I speak in front of groups regularly, 500+ audiences are a different challenge with such a large stage and wide room.

I wasn’t thrilled with my performance, but like any challenge and experience, I will grow from it.

Speaking of challenges, this month’s guest on the podcast has undergone many challenges and over come them all so I hope you enjoy it and come away motivated!!

TWO Part Series: Investing With Other People’s Money (and Credit)!!

Do you know how to invest in real estate with other peoples money (and credit)? Well our March and April speakers do!!

Mandy Branham has completed 35 deals in the last two years, while our own Coach, Erika Spencer, has completed 21 deals in the same time. Both are past guests of this show, so you may want to listen to their interviews.

Mandy is creative in how she structures her deals in order to attract more business, and she will be sharing how at our March meeting.

What happens after you have your joint venture partner? Erika Spencer will be sharing how she manages the process of acquiring properties with the partner, post-sale client management or renos, and ongoing management reporting to keep partners happy and buying more property.

You do not want to miss this two part series!!!

Make sure to register at ASAP as seats are limited and we have had to waitlist folks in the past.

Best Selling Author of Fix and Flip Ian Szabo

I’ve known Ian Szabo for a very long time, since about 2008 when I first joined REIN, and there was a lot more of him.  He’s since lost 40-50 pounds and written two best selling books: Reno to Riches and Fix & Flip.  At the time he’d already started his transformation from his renovation business to full time investing for himself. Ian then wanted to give back to the community, by starting his “flip school” and his current focus, Ian’s short bus talks, where he video logs from a refurbished, pimped out short school bus. Ian rode the short bus in school with the other kids with learning disabilities, giving him limited beliefs about himself. Ian has since purchased a short bus, repainted it a deep orange, installed a roof top patio, installed new benches, complete with flat screen TV and Play Station gaming console. Ian just recently interviewed Gary Vayneychuk, the media baron, who LOVED the short bus. I’ll include a link in the show notes. Ian is one of the super successful, yet humble, good guys in the real estate world. Without further ado, I give you, Ian Szabo
To Listen:
Until next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto, Land Development and Real Estate Investor
Show Notes:
Short Bus Talk featuring Gary Vaynerchuk:
Haste and Hustle:

Power Couple Erika & Jay – How to Buy 20 Properties in Two Years

Hello Everyone Investing in Real Estate!!
I’m on my own this week with the kids for six whole days!!  My wife, Cherry Chan of, is in San Dieg at Traffic and Conversion. My kids are ages 4 and 2, so they have infinite energy and tend to argue, fight and cry. But they’re sometimes really cute and hugging them makes it all worth it!
Usually, my kids prefer their mom way more than me. The best part of the increased 1-on-2 time is that, with mom gone, I feel like I’ve been promoted to the starting lineup, making my parenting job a lot easier! – LOL
As much as I’d like to be in San Diego, next to the ocean under a warm sun, I’m limiting my conferences this year. I have been to enough in the last few years, and I’m tired of looking at the binders and packages I came home with post-conference, not having touched them since. Instead, I’m putting my head down and implementing what I’ve been taught vs. looking for the next best thing.
Hopefully those of you on the fence for your first investment property or next investment property are feeling the same. Enough with the theory and education. It’s time for action. Knowledge without action is a wasted investment.
FYI – we are starting to see more inventory come available and we are getting interest from our door knocking efforts to find deals without multiple offers, so do reach out to your coach ASAP.  My sources tell me to expect tightening credit come summer, so if you’re concerned about financing I would refinance and acquire property ASAP. I’m doing the same.
Speaking of taking action, coach Erika just bought her 21st property and her and her husband, Jay, are the guests of this week’s episode of the Truth About Real Estate Investing.

How Brand New Investors Acquired 20 Properties in just 2 years w/ Power Couple Erika and Jay

Erika and Jay (and new born baby, Owen, who was on hand for the recording) have been investing since 2014. They invest in Hamilton, St Catharines and Niagara Falls in Rent-To-Owns, buy and holds, basement apartments, joint ventures – they do it all. Currently, their portfolio consists of 20 houses with a focus on generating cashflow. Erika’s success led to her being nominated as Rising Star of the Year by the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine in 2017. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Erika’s corporate world experience involved working as a biologist at an engineering firm, where she worked on project management, environmental assessments, and negotiating permits for various types of commercial development. Her experience has definitely helped Erika in building her portfolio and coaching investors on how to navigate the process that is real estate. She is incredibly passionate about helping investors obtain the same success that she enjoys, which is why she was the perfect fit on my own team of coaches for real estate investors. Jay also recently obtained his real estate license, and will be supporting Erika along with his own pursuits.
So without further ado, I give you power couple Erika Spencer and Jay Shaw.
To reach out to Erika and Jay:
Until next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto, Land Development and Real Estate Investor

All Time Best Selling Canadian Real Estate Author Don R Campbell Ep.3

Hello Everyone who shares a love of Investing in Real Estate!!! (At the time of writing, it is Valentines Day 😃)
As with my real estate investing, I prefer to operate differently than the masses. We avoided the crowds of February 14th by enjoying a quiet night over at the local gastro pub while watching Raptors game on TV. 😃 My wife, Cherry, shares my passion for Toronto Raptors Basketball and we don’t have cable television anymore, so our dinner date was a treat on many levels. We even went home at half time to read bed time stories to the kids and put them to bed, as one of my favourite things in the world is have both kids on my lap and reading to them. It really was the perfect evening. The Raptors won via another brilliant performance by the bench, who are very fun to watch. They play at a frenetic pace and execute well.

All Time Best Selling Canadian Real Estate Author Don R Campbell Ep3

Usually the third movie in any trilogy is the worst. I just watched Jurassic World and can’t remember much about Jurassic Park 3… Well that’s not the case here! Hopefully this isn’t the last of my interviews with this week’s guest, who is none other than all time best selling Canadian real estate author, Don R Campbell. Spoiler alert, he’s a fan of the show!!
“I like your podcast, I think it’s real, it’s fresh, you have got good guests that are real life guests, it’s awesome” ~ Don R Campbell; All Time, Best Selling, Canadian Real Estate Author
We cover a lot of subjects: politics, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investing, stock investing strategy, we throw back to when Don wrote his first book and the major re-write he did, being real, the dangers of the real estate investing industry, who the best economist is (it’s not who you think), the patience to get rich slow and boring, and so much more.
I hope you enjoy hearing my interview with one of the greatest minds in real estate as much as I enjoyed giving the interview.

If you would like to learn from Don and attend ACRE (short for Authentic Canadian Real Estate), just north of Toronto on March 2-4th here is the link:

Discount code: Erwinsguest
The adjacent hotel is already sold out, so make sure to register ASAP with my discount code to avoid disappointment!!
Subscribe on Android
Don’s coordinates:
Until next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto, Land Development and Real Estate Investor

How a Toronto Investor Improved His Net Worth by $2 Million with One Written Goal

Hello Everyone with Real Estate Investments!

Thank you to Andy Tran and SuiteAdditions.Com for dinner on Saturday!!  He’s been a great help in getting me

It was necessary to order tons of food on Andy’s dime to prevent the table from flying away 😉

permits on three legal basement apartments. We have completed two so far. I am grateful to have Andy Tran on my team and for how accommodating the City of Hamilton is regarding basement apartments.

Saturday night dinner was fun. I was able to bring my whole family and got to network a bit with several other real estate investors. With life being so short, I love combining social outings, unlimited amounts of Japanese food, and being among fellow real estate entrepreneurs. I recall feeling overwhelmed a few months back with four renovations on the go, each in the five figure budget, two recent acquisitions, lots of vacancy, switching property managers, etc… then I looked at the neighbouring table at a Rock Star VIP event where Steve Dengate was sitting, who has had as many as 23 properties, and I felt re-energized and confident that if Steve can do it, so can I.  Steve will be on the podcast sometime next month to share how he has shifted his portfolio with a greater focus on cash flow.
Is everyone going to REIN’s ACRE? The weekend crash course on real estate investing?  My team and I are, and yours truly will be speaking on Sunday. My team will also have a booth as part of the REIN’s Buyer Group of preferred realtors presenting investment opportunities to ACRE attendees, plus our full, award winning coaching services, as always.
Hope to see you all March 2-4!! Discount code ERWINSGUEST

How a Toronto Investor Improved His Net Worth by $2 Million with One Written Goal

Ryan Hindmarsh was referred to me by my then-client, James Maggs, over six years ago. James is now the VP of my Coaching Services team. It’s funny how much can change in six years… For Ryan, he wrote a goal six years ago to buy investment property outside of his two family home in Toronto, in order to make money in his sleep. He then reached out to James Maggs, because he knew he was already investing, and the result is: assets minus liabilities equals $2 million without investing a dime of Ryan’s own money.
Ryan is a driven individual.  He starred on his varsity basketball team for the University of Saskatchewan, graduating in Kinesiology, training elite athletes, including NHL players.  He moved to Toronto to become an in-demand personal trainer, earning the highest fees I’ve heard of.  Ryan then started a sports clinic business and built it up to be one of Toronto’s leading clinics.
After all that, Ryan wanted a new challenge. Having witnessed the transformation of his own business via leadership development courses, he joined the same leadership development company to inspire, motivate, lead and coach other entrepreneurs and their leadership teams.
Ryan is also our guest speaker this February 24th and he’s giving us a taste of what to expect. Ryan and I want YOU to achieve your goals in 2018 and Ryan will be showing the Halton REI Group how to do so! You can attend by registering at
Subscribe on Android
Ryan’s coordinates:
and no he’s not a fan of the distraction that is social media 😀
Until next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto, Land Development and Real Estate Investor

The CFP Who Recommends Real Estate

Hello Real Estate Investor!!

What a great weekend, and I didn’t even watch the Super Bowl.  Congratulations to the Eagles and, more importantly, the creators of all the awesome commercials! Here’s my favourite. Peter Dlinkage went all in with his performance:

Congratulations also to the New England Patriots, who defy all odds by always winning in a salary capped league.  The team has to rely on excellent leadership, coaching, and systems to consistently make the playoffs and finals. They are truly one of the greatest teams in all of sports.
Let this be a lesson to all of us on the importance of leadership, coaching and systems in our own businesses. If you continue to improve your business in these areas, you will beat the competition and be more successful.
We recently switched property managers in Hamilton, and are now using our assistant, Maria, a student of the REIN system for many years. She is supported by the rest of my team: cleaners, Andy Tran, general contractor, handyman, and I have my 2 cents to add sometimes. My team has never been stronger, our customer services levels are at their highest, and my Hamilton portfolio has never been better.

Neil Oliver, the newest member of the Rock Star Inner Circle. If you too would like to join, go here:

Continue to strive for better so you too may be the New England Patriots of real estate or, as I like to say to my team, the Navy Seals of real estate. 😃

Speaking of Navy Seals of real estate, we have two fantastic speakers lined up for the February 24th meeting: Ryan Hindmarsh and John Roumanis.  The first talk is titled “How I grew my net worth to $2 million with 1 written goal” and the 2nd is “$700,000 in 7 Years, Part-Time”
John was a past guest of the podcast and you can find the episode here:
We are 2.5 weeks away, yet the room is already 2/3rd booked, so please register ASAP to avoid disappointment!! to register.

The Certified Financial Planner Who Recommends Real Estate

Kathleen Van Den Berg, aside from having a long name, has an alphabet of academic designations after her name: MBA, Master of Business Administration; CFP, Certified Financial Planner; CLU, Certified Life Underwriter; I may be missing some other letters, but I know Kathleen also has her mortgage license.
I first met Kathleen through an introduction by a mutual friend, and I find her presentations and our conversations fascinating, as she is the only fee-based CFP who will talk to me. Haha!  The fee-based CFP’s I’ve been referred to simply don’t have time for me.  First of all, the ones I’ve reached out to require 1-2 million of investable assets, typically not real estate, since they don’t make money on real estate.
That’s where Kathleen is different. She is a real estate investor, she’s open about her own real estate portfolio, the fantastic returns she’s getting, and recommends some real estate to everyone even though she doesn’t directly make money selling real estate. She’s also highly educated and can apply financial planning theory and products that make sense to real estate investors, hence the reasons we’re hired Kathleen for a portfolio review.
She has also agreed to come present at a future Halton REI event after snowmobiling season is over, so make sure to register for the live, in person presentations, and get all your questions answered! To register, go to
Without further ado, I give you Katheen Van Den Berg.
Show Notes:
Till next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto Real Estate, Land Development Real Estate Investor

Creative JV Structures for More Joint Ventures with Mandy Branham

Hello Halton Real Estate Investors!!
Thank you to Butler Mortgages for hosting us at the Air Canada Centre in a catered executive suite for a Toronto Raptors game!!  Dave Butler goes all out when treating us at Rock Star Real Estate, as the catering menu included vast amounts of: cocktail shrimp, sushi, ribs, wings, cheese, veggies, pizza, desserts, and an open bar. The game starts at 7:30 but, in my humble opinion, to properly enjoy a catered executive suite is to show up when the doors open at 6:30 to maximize eating time 😃. It was a great time, as it always is when the Rock Stars get together. I’m a Raptors fan, so I sat in my seat and just ate until half time. I was so full, I said no to dessert. Summer isn’t too far off either, so I have to be ready for swim suit weather. But we did take home two stuffed takeout containers full of wings and ribs, plus another two whole pizzas. It was all going in the trash otherwise. Tammy Ditomaso was too shy to take the pizza, so I walked out with it, but Tammy took it home. I wonder if she reads my blog… Hahaha!

Creative JV Structures for More Joint Ventures with Mandy Branham

Mandy Branham, Queen of JV’s, has made mistakes along the way to perfecting her joint venture strategy. But that’s OK, as she’s here to go over her mistakes so we can learn from them, not repeat the same mistakes, and buy more real estate via joint ventures. Mandy has got her JV and investment system worked out, resulting in 15 new properties in 2016, and another 16 new properties in 2017.  If you’d like an idea of how Mandy invests with other peoples’ money and credit, then have a listen AND Mandy will be live and in person as our guest speaker at the March 24th, Halton REI event, so make sure to sign up at to receive our meeting invites.
Without further ado, I give you Mandy Branham, Queen of JV’s.

Joint ventures are typically a partnership; the coming together of two parties who bring different skills, experience, resources, and capital to the partnership. The most common arrangement is Partner A does all the work, puts the deal together, manages the property or the property manager. They are responsible for the day to day. Partner B provides the capital for downpayment and sometimes for the renovations and/or the credit for the mortgage.  There are many ways to joint venture and Mandy has most of the bases covered.
Show Notes:
Favourite content: Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Dr John Dermartini, Success Magazine
Till next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto Real Estate, Land Development Investor

The Future of Marketing: Search Engine Optimization w/ John Vuong

Hello Real Estate Investors!!
This past Friday, the Mr Hamilton/Halton REI/Titan Realty Investment Group (yes we have another new brand, more on that another time) team finally found time in our collective schedules to celebrate a successful 2017 over dinner at Milestones and a somewhat friendly, trash talk filled, bowling competition. In the picture at dinner, I’m holding baby Owen. He goes everywhere with Jay and Erika Spencer, so don’t be surprised when Owen makes an appearance on a St. Catharines investment property tour or your private one on one showing.
Bowling really sucked.  For me at least, as I started each game with scores in the 30s for the first five frames. We were playing for big stakes, as there were bragging rights on the line, so I was trying anything and everything to improve.  As we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results (I think most of us investors have been there, wanting to invest but taking forever to actually take action). I’m trying different bowling balls, more spin, starting my approach from the left or right. Nothing was working until I really simplified my approach with three really short steps and that worked for the next 10 frames where I striked or spared half of the frames. Yay! I actually led for a bit after being one of the worst in the first two games. The point I’m making is no one always wins and not all tests are successful. Investing is no different. I’ve tried day trading, investing in stocks and bonds, small cap, blue chip, tech stocks, mutual funds, online poker etc… Am I a failure? Maybe, but I didn’t give up and that it’s how I arrived at real estate. Nothing has come close to the returns of our real estate. Other than real estate, I invest in some private equity in land development north of Toronto. Haha! I can’t wait for my review with Certified Financial Planner Kathleen Van De Berg to see what a professional thinks of being a little concentrated in real estate.  In the end, I’m all about results, and not too concerned what other experts think…. unless they make greater returns with low risk somewhere else, then I’m all ears!!! That’s actually a great segue into this week’s podcast! SEO! High return with less investment.

The Future of Marketing: Search Engine Optimization w/ John Vuong

I was talking to one of my fellow students at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class who is still a University student. He’s in electrical engineering, 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 a 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. 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 has a track record of being a top performer in every work position he’s held before a business opportunity presented itself and John took action in starting a new business in 2013: 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 recently 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.
Local SEO Search Inc:
John’s email:
Till next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto Real Estate, Land Development Investor

The Millennial Retirement Plan: Seven Houses at Age 33 w Sarah Larbi

Hello Everyone with Real Estate Investments!!

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 a back seat to the fun! HA!  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 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.

On the Left, that’s ‘Doc’ and ex Green Beret, who has fought terrorists, and our guide through the zombie apocalypse. To quote Doc, “I’ve never seen a group shoot each other so much!” HAHAHA #friendlyfire


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 losses only totaled $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 epic. We shared a ton of laughs and it was 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

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,  focusing 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:
REIN’s ACRE (Erwin’s $300 discount code ERWINSGUEST):
Brantford Paralegal Wenda Allicock:
Sarah’s website: and email
Till next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto Real Estate, Land Development Investor

2017 In Review

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 can learn their lessons to ensure you achieve your new years resolutions, as 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, 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. It saves you $300 per guest. If you’ve been to previous events you know the the full retail price is $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:

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.

On to my 2017 Year in Review!


The Real Estate Market:
From January to May, the market rocketed up. It was nearly impossible to purchase a property in Hamilton, as it was a regular occurrence to compete with double digit offers on the same property. Supply was limited and demand was through the roof from Toronto folks and locals. St. Catharines grew in popularity for us as investors. 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 a hot market as multiple offers there are still 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 seeing rents of $1,650 plus utilities for renovated three bedroom apartments and $1,300+ for basement two-bedroom apartments. Keep in mind about five-six years ago, we rented entire three bedroom houses for $1,300+.  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 until 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 tenant 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 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, she was back to work in November.  Koukun Unosawa, Han Wang, and  Tammy Ditomaso all joined us in 2017 and Paisley Mackenzie is coming on board in early 2018, all as Junior Coaches.  To ensure our newest team members received the same training I had given, James 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, I was burnt out. My body was giving up yet I continued to get by on excessive caffeine 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, and 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 took care of a parasitic bacteria I picked up somewhere. 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 better with more sleep. My kids and family, my clients, and my business all deserve the best me, so I started tracking my sleep with my wearable technology, called a Whoop, and an 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 with UFC Champion Max “Blessed” Holloway

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.
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Till next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
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 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+ years of attending workshops and networking events, this is one of the best places to be and I hope to see you soon.