Can You Get Rich Working for a Start Up? with Tony La

Last day of school!!!! I hope all you adults enjoyed all the amusement parks and travel before the kids are on summer break and making everything busy. 😛

For my own kids, today is their last day of school and thanks to my boss, I was able to drop them off this morning to have a quick hello with my kids’ teachers. For my daughter, it’s her last day at this school as she “graduates” to Junior Kindergarten in the Fall. My daughter doesn’t know it but I just got the best Father’s Day present. Her Teacher summarized her report card as being, “she’s perfect.”

I can’t take all the credit, Robin is her mother’s daughter. She’s going to be great at school. However she is a product of her environment as well. Robin has seen both mom and dad present at several events, including myself being the MC for my cousins wedding a few weeks back. She’s too young to notice, but mom and dad are introverts who were never comfortable public speaking.

Here’s Robin being the social butterfly at my client Simeon’s wedding.  Instead of eating dinner, she danced with her cousins and she played with the wedding party.  She’s even sitting in the groom’s chair at the head table in one of the pictures. She’s not afraid of the spotlight and that’s something she’s learned from mom and dad. She just doesn’t know we’re afraid when do all our public speaking. However, public speaking is required to give value, attract business, and achieve our goals both personally and for our charity, the Hamilton Basket Brigade.

It seems the kids are watching, so go forth, be awesome, and be the super star your kids think you are.

Other happenings this week: Cherry and I were guests of Doug and Anna at the sold out KWCREI club meeting in Cambridge and we shared the latest tax rule changes (Federal and expected from Doug Ford) and tips on getting offers accepted.

If your association or club needs speakers, kindly let us know: admin (at)

In the News:

Our charity and I were profiled in this month’s Real Estate Professional magazine. It’s always an honour to share our attempts to alleviate poverty in Hamilton and hopefully we inspire more to help in our communities. Big changes coming to our basket brigade format!! The full article can be found here on page 58, link:

Can You Get Rich Working for a Start Up? with Tony La

This week’s guest is Tony La, Chief Technical Officer of start up: Honk Mobile. Haven’t heard of them? That’s OK, because you will.  They take mobile payment for parking and they just signed Pearson International Airport in Toronto. With Honk Mobile you can pay for parking and re-feed the meter all from your phone so you don’t need to have change and you don’t need to run back to the meter to pay for more parking if the meter is running out.

The business and founder is so hot, they were featured on Dragon’s Den and four of the five Dragons made the owner offers:

As you can tell from my recent line of questioning for guests of our show, the question is: how can we make money? Preferably passively, reliably, predictably, securely, and insurably. I know I made that last one up, but you know where I’m going. What’s the best way to get rich? Hence we needed a guest on the show to talk to start ups that have the potential to be the next Uber or AirBnb.

So can we get rich working for a start up? Let’s ask my friend, client, and real estate investor, Tony La.

Show Notes:

Tony on Instagram

Sponsored by: – would you like to know how our investors returned 341.8% on positive cash flowing real estate over the last five years? On average, that was 68.4% per year, just imagine what winning in real estate could do for you. If you would like to know how we did it, ask us how by calling 289-288-5019 or email us at Don’t delay, the top markets we focus in are trending upward in price, so you can pay today’s price or tomorrow’s price. – This episode is brought to you by my networking group, the Halton REI. We meet in Oakville (part of the Halton Region), but mainly invest in the top investment towns west of Halton: Brantford, Hamilton, Niagara Region.

We regularly feature the top speakers from our industry. The vast majority of our attendees are seasoned investors, so you will want to spend more time around these folks, as you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Your net worth is your network, so choose how you spend your time wisely.

Knowledge is power. Every meeting we share the latest in market rents, prices in the top neighbourhoods, and strategies for investment. We share the best property available as our Best Buy Property of the Month. We share the best tips and tricks for you to implement immediately to your investment businesses to fast track YOU on your journey to financial freedom. It’s up to you if you’d like to be on said journey.

To get on the invite list please register at and you will receive an invite to the next Halton REI meeting once announced.

But don’t listen to me, here’s what members of our community are saying about the Halton REI!!

Till next time, Just do it, I believe in you.

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.

Questions for Don Campbell and The RE Market in 2018?

Hello Real Estate Investors!!!
We are baaaccckkk!!! From a quick week in the Western Caribbean (I always spell it wrong: Carribean…) on mega cruise ship Oasis of the Seas!!! This time we cruised with the kids, my mom and our friend, Maria.  I don’t get to see my mom as much as we’d like, as she lives on the other side of the planet in Hong Kong, but we will start making this a tradition of bringing mom with us on a vacation with the kids around the holidays.  For all of us investors it’s been a great year, so why not have some fun with our returns since life is short and all about experiences. My mom had never been on a cruise either, so it was a fun gift to her.  Next year, the goal is a Disney Cruise!!!
Though this trip was challenging, because Cherry and both kids were sick during the trip, we return with great memories.  On the last day of the cruise, after breakfast on our way back to our room to grab our luggage to disembark, we explained to my son we were going home and everyone on the packed elevator heard him whine, “I don’t want to go.”  Mission accomplished, the kids had a great time! We took a bajillion pictures to capture the memories. My mom and kids are looking forward to the next vacation. Cherry and I on the other hand could use a vacation from the vacation!
No podcast this week, but I did interview my favourite Financial Advisor, Kathleen Van Den Berg. She is far from your typical Certified Financial Planner who is commissioned to sell you mutual funds.  Instead she takes a more holistic look at your goals and portfolios and, if you can believe it, recommends investing in real estate!! Plus more great financial advice to build and protect your financial wealth.  The audio needs some work hence the delay… only the best for our listeners!!
We do have some great guests coming up, including a young lady who executed 16 joint venture deals in 2017!! She will share her successes and failures so you may learn what to do and what not to do.

Questions for Don Campbell and The RE Market in 2018?

We also have best selling author and Senior Economic Analyst of the Real Estate Investment Network coming up. If you have questions please send them in! Our discussion will be focusing on investing for 2018 and his advice for investors to play both offence and defense with your real estate.

In other news, check out these articles on Hamilton. The first article I find hilarious. Having worked for years in downtown Toronto, with many friends and family who live in downtown condos, and as a parent of young kids, to always be planning around their temperament and schedules, I really relate to it. E.g. if we eat out at a restaurant, we are there at 5-5:30pm to ensure we are the first table served for expedient service and allowing time for the pre-going to bed process. Lineups and wait times are the enemy!!! All you parents know what I’m talking about!
The New Hamiltontonians, article here:

Quoting and summarizing the article:
The author of the article describes his experience and decision making process of growing up, working, starting a family in Toronto and the pragmatic decision to move to Hamilton. The story gives insight into why die hard Torontonians are becoming the new Hamiltonians.

“Once I had a kid, the minor inconveniences of downtown life became meltdown-triggering minefields. The simple act of going to a neighbourhood restaurant for lunch required a logistical calculus evaluating wait times, stroller storage space, high-chair availability and my toddler’s ticking-time-bomb temperament. The ­family-friendly attractions Toronto has to offer—the AGO’s Sunday kids program, the dinosaurs at the ROM, the CN Tower, the High Park cherry blossoms—came to represent lineups and headaches. And that’s to say nothing of the city’s programs, which were harder to access than Tragically Hip seats on Ticketmaster last summer.”
~ I laughed out loud at this one!!

“The average price of a home in the city of Hamilton is $541,720—a bargain compared to Toronto, where the average is nearing the million-dollar mark…. In the first quarter of 2017, 23 per cent of people who bought homes in the Hamilton area were from the GTA.”

“Hamilton is just getting started. These days, the city’s top employers aren’t the steel mills, but McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences Corp., the umbrella organization for the hospital network. The Hamilton area is expected to generate 2,600 new jobs in 2017 and 4,000 more next year, mostly in the tech, health and education sectors. As the economy has grown, so has the city’s infrastructure. A second GO station opened in 2015. “

“we were able to sell our [Toronto] place for $845,000—which, after clearing up debts, left us with enough for a 20 per cent down payment and a monthly mortgage equivalent to the $1,400 share we were paying in Toronto.”
~ same payments and 4x the square footage in one of Hamilton’s nicest neighbourhoods.

Here is a more recent article: Hamilton doesn’t need real estate bargain-hunting Torontonians, link:
This article is from the view of a long-time Hamiltonian on how the influx of Torontonians is affecting the lifestyles of Hamiltonians and the roots of Hamilton’s NIMBY’ism (not in my backyard), a consequence of Hamilton being such an attractive place to both live and invest.

Till next time, Just do it, I believe in you.
Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto Real Estate, Land Development Investor