BRRRs To Pre Construction Condos; Travelling to the Ukrainian Border To Help Refugees With Todor Yordanov

What a strange time to be alive!

One day, I’ll stop saying these are historical times we live in, but I’ll say again, these are historical times we live in.

I’ve spoken to a couple of real estate investors who have lost significant amounts of money in alternative cryptocurrency coins. I find it difficult to reconcile how one invests in cash-flowing real estate because it’s an incredibly defensive and offensive investment, and then place their money into such speculative… I don’t even know what to call them, alternative coins, e.g. Luna coin, which fell from $80 to 2 cents in a matter of hours.

Personally, I’m a believer of the Ethereum and Bitcoin, but I don’t have much because I don’t like the current prices; I own enough stocks I overpaid for, so I’m being patient this time as the risks in the crypto and financial markets are high compared to the reward, so I’m being patient. What I’m not being patient about is pushing our refinancing process through to free up more capital to take advantage of opportunities in real estate, stocks and crypto. 

So far in 2022, cash is a winning asset, but I don’t think it will stay that way for long. The central banks in both Canada and US have been very successful in cooling both housing and stock markets. 

My crystal ball is no better than yours, but I expect at least two more interest rate increases this year. The pain for some will be great, and that may also be the best opportunity to get into any quality asset for the next who knows how long.

Today reminds me a lot of 2017 when the housing market corrected, and Cherry and I picked up two houses in the 4-500s.  There were no competing offers; I had conditional offers. We have since converted both into duplexes, each recently appraised for $1 million.  We plan to buy this dip as soon as our refinancing is done.

The nice part of the market today is there are turnkey duplexes available for sale, which was not a luxury back in 2017. Cherry and I are too busy with our lives and prefer turnkey these days, collecting rent and cash flow ASAP, and going back to our busy lives, including watching our kids in sports since they grow up so fast! 

When I was a bit younger and had more time, I’d be all in doing BRRRs and renos, but our businesses provide enough cash flow, and we’re having fun hence no immediate plans for retirement. 

Everyone needs to choose an investment strategy suited to their goals, those who want to quit their day jobs will have to be more active than Cherry and I. That’s the Truth About Real Estate Investing, AND I have several multi-millionaire clients who invest as a side hustle.

If you’re new to investing, whichever you choose, please start with quality education and have some expert eyes review your deals.  This week, I learned of an investor who bought a property from a well-known wholesaler. Unfortunately, the wholesaler did not disclose there was a legal marijuana grow-op in the basement. An honest omission? Maybe but at the end of the day, buyers beware. Verify everything, and do your own due diligence.

This wouldn’t have slipped by my coaches.  If we wouldn’t buy a property with our own money, we’ll let you know.

A few other investors asked me how to scale their real estate portfolios when they own pre-construction condos when theirs are negative cash flow. I tell them they don’t.  The bank doesn’t like negative cash flow.  

If you were the bank, would you prefer a negative cash flow property or a positive one?  Definitely the latter; hence I’m able to keep getting more mortgages to buy more real estate, which is in line with our goals.

BRRRs To Pre Construction Condos; Travelling to the Ukrainian Border To Help Refugees With Todor Yordanov

On to this week’s show!

We have an incredible story from my old friend Todor Yordanov, one of the first serious real estate investors I met in 2007, and he’s done quite well for himself.

He’s done so well that he’s progressed to helping others, specifically Ukrainian refugees in Varna, Bulgaria, where he’s from. How his partner Natalia would cry all night when the war broke out, and one morning, they dropped everything to get on a plane to go help.

Today, Todor is sharing how he became a successful investor and Broker, from BRRRR investor to his now focus, pre-construction condos.

As I type, Todor is actually on his way back to help Ukrainian refugees.  What a guy!

Todor’s gofundme for charity the Ukrainian Humanitarian Emergency Relief: https://gofund.me/bc23b150

 

This episode is brought to you by me! We don’t have sponsors for this show, I only share with you services owned by my wife Cherry and I.  Real estate investing is a staple in my life and allowed me to build wealth and more importantly, achieve financial peace about the future knowing our retirement is taken care of and my kids will be able to afford a home when they grow up.  If you too are interested in my systematic strategy to implement the #1 investment strategy, the same one pretty much all my guests are doing themselves, then go visit www.infinitywealth.ca/events and register for our next FREE Online Training Class.  We will be back in person once legally allowed to do so but for now we are 100% virtual.

No need for you to reinvent the wheel, we have our system down pat. Again that’s  www.infinitywealth.ca/events and register for the FREE Online Training Class.

 

This episode is also brought to you www.stockhackeracademy.ca where everyday real estate investors learn the best practices in stock investing to earn cash flow in about 15-30 mins per day from their mobile phones. After real estate, Stock Hacking is the next best hustle as you’ve heard from many past guests on this show. Among our students last year, 31 trades were shared with them. 30 were profitable for an over 96% success rate. I will be giving free demonstrations online, very similar to the one I gave my kid cousin, a full time musician and he just made 50% return in 2021.  Past of course does not predict the future but if you’d like a free demonstration go to www.stockhackeracademy.ca in the top right, click FREE Demo.  At the demonstration I’ll have special bonuses. We do not advertise publicly for all my favourite listeners and I only have two more demos to give in the next few weeks.

Don’t delay www.stockhackeracademy.ca, what I consider the future of side hustles with real estate so unaffordable for many.

 

We’re hiring!

Just a friendly reminder that we are hiring more investment Realtors who want a full-time challenge to help our clients, regular everyday people, mostly from the GTA, invest in the top investment towns west of the GTA. 

This is for driven folks who want to multiply their current incomes.

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To Listen:

Audio Transcript

Erwin  

Hello everyone, this is Erwin Szeto bringing you the truth about real estate investing show. And what a strange time it is to be alive. One day I’ll stop saying these are historical times that we live in. But I’ll say it again, these are historical times we live in. I’ve spoken to a couple of real estate investors who have lost significant amounts of money in alternative cryptocurrency coins. Try saying that three times fast. I actually find it difficult to reconcile how one invest in cash flowing real estate, sorry, cashflow. Real estate is an incredibly defensive and offensive investment strategy. But I can’t reconcile is how the same people then place money into something so speculative, like alternative cryptocurrency coins, I can’t even name them all. I don’t even know what to call them. But these alternative coins One example would be Luna, which is making headlines these days. It fell from $80 to two cents in a matter of hours. I think overnight. 48 hours ago, I didn’t know what Luna was actually no I did. It was a friend of mine told me what a great investment it was about a month ago. And there were people that told me that they lost their entire investment in that investment. I was actually speaking to someone at lunch who had bought 17,000 Luna coins, they’re bought them for fractions of a cent because they’re trying to buy the dip. And then the coin shop the five cents, they got too busy. They didn’t take their exit, they could have had a 600% return in just minutes. But it’s it’s crapped out even more. But it’s an investment. So it’s not like it went negative and they already might even work. So yeah, so a friend of mine gambled away $200 That’s nothing like what other friends have shared with me. People have lost 1000s of dollars on this on this coin. And then the coin has actually brought down the entire cryptocurrency market for those who aren’t familiar, not tracking. So yeah, Cryptos are bad. Me personally, I’ve only been focused on mainly Bitcoin related stocks. So my generally my exposure is very, very small compared to my net worth compared, especially compared to my real estate portfolio. So yeah, and I believe in the business case for Bitcoin and Ethereum It’s just I don’t like the valuations. I don’t like the prices I don’t like who’s investing in these things. And it seems to be too many legislators. And when there’s too much speculative buying that, you know, then that price gets pumped up a little bit and it feels little bit artificial. So I gotta be patient. I’m actually worried that the cryptocurrency market may bring down the stock market with it. So we’ll see. We’ll see I’m being patient right now. And just sitting on a bit of cash, waiting for opportunity. Hopefully I can free up more cash to Yeah, so I mean patient, but we are pushing along our refinancing process to free up some more capital to take advantages in real estate, stocks and crypto. That’s just me, though, I’m not an expert at all in anything. And this is not financial advice. So far in 2022 cash has been the winning asset. If you actually look at the US dollar, I believe it’s like one of the best I went to one of the best performing asset classes in terms of this year alone. But don’t do stay that way for long. It’s actually beating gold, I believe I believe the US dollar is beating gold. What a world! The highest inflation going on the US dollar is beating gold. The central banks in both Canada and US have been very successful in cooling respective housing markets and stock markets. You know, for any Canadian go have a look at Shopify, see how that stocks doing? 

 

Erwin  

My crystal ball is no better than yours. But I from their sources that I trust and follow, we’re pretty consistent that we believe there’s gonna be at least two more interest rate increases this year, some predict more, I think that may be it, because the pain will be too great for too many Canadians, especially those who overleveraged. And we may be running into one of the best opportunities to get into any quality asset. And you know, whether it’s stock, crypto real estate, and it may be the best opportunity for I don’t know how long because not only we’re trying to time the market, we’re also trying to time when the central bank start printing money again. So holding cash, pretty soon, I would guess, maybe this year, maybe that by the end of the year, will not be something you want to be holding, as I expect the central banks to be increasing monetary policy again, like they always have in the investment world. And there’s only one thing guaranteed is that the central banks will print money. They’re not doing it right now. They’re actually easing their easing right now. But I don’t see a world where they don’t increase their their the money supplier that’s out there. Today. Reminds me a lot of 2017. So for those who have been around for a while, and I know many of you haven’t I see on my social media, lots of real estate coaches who got into the market within the last two years. But anyways, when the housing market corrected and back in 2017, Cherry and I picked up two houses and we paid in the four and five hundreds for them. Have you paid in the 500 as they were low five hundreds, and at the time, there were no competing offers actually broken Additional offers that were accepted, and we since converted both into duplexes each recently appraised for a million dollars. And we fully plan on buying this dip as soon as buying this dip as well, as soon as we have our right refinancing done of a couple of our properties. The nice part of the market today is there’s actually turnkey duplexes available for sale. My team has several of them available for sale that are they’re coming up coming up available for sale, and which was not a luxury back in 2017. The properties I bought, I had to do the conversions myself. By doing the conversion myself, I hand them off to my power teams of designers, architects, painting people, contractors, all those sorts of things, electricians, Cherry and I are too busy today. Back then, you know, I guess I’m still being a little ambitious, and want to make every single dollar. Cherry and I are too busy with their lives, and prefer turnkey investing these days, collecting rent and cash flowing as soon as possible. So we can go back to our busy lives, including watching our kids in sports, since they’re growing up so fast. Like I said, when I was a bit younger, even 2017 Five years ago, I think the pandemic aged me a lot. But anyways, when I was younger, and I was chasing every single dollar out there, I would have been doing BRRRs the whole way. Buy renovate, rent, refinance, whatever repeat or in just general, I buy beaten up properties. But our businesses provide us enough cashflow in we’re having fun running our businesses. It’s hence we have no immediate plans to reach for retirement. So everyone needs to choose their own investment strategy suited to their goals. Those who want to quit their day jobs will have to be more active than Cherry and I were not the model to follow for everyone. And that’s the truth about real estate investing. One of the truth is I have several several multimillion Naira clients who weren’t multimillionaires, when I met them, they are now multi multi millionaires who invest in real estate as a side hustle. They still like their day jobs. They don’t want to be real estate full time. They just collect three to five or eight houses, and they’re perfectly happy. If you’re new to investing whichever path you choose strategy you choose. Please start with quality education and have some expert eyes review your deals. This week, I learned from an investor who bought a property off a well known wholesaler. So that’s a private deal. No Realtors involved and the wholesaler did not disclose those a legal marijuana grow-up in the basement, legal or not, that’s not something I want my property and honest permission. Well, if it was a realtor, you could sue the pants off of them. And they probably lose their licence, at least at minimum be fined a significant amount of money, maybe maybe an honest omission. But at the end of the day, buyer beware. Verify everything, do your own due diligence. I have trust issues, because I’ve seen so many things, terrible things happen. And that’s part of capitalism, people will do what’s in their best interest. So for those of you listeners out there, you know, you are my community. I want to see you safe, investing safely. So do your own due diligence, have a healthy amount of mistrust, and anyone who’s trying to make money off of you? FYI, this would not have slipped by my coaches were not dummies, nor the supplier, anyone on my team. We know perfectly well what investment properties are good investments that we would put our own money into. And that’s what we advise our clients to do as well. A few of them other other investors asked me actually, just last night, I was hosting a free training for our own clients. And I had two investors asked me how do they scale their portfolios? Now, there’s always context needed both happened to own pre construction condos that they plan to own and plan on. Having negative cashflow is just the nature of that investment for the properties that they bought. They bombed downtown Toronto ish somewhere within Toronto City of Toronto proper, they’re likely quality deals in terms of a condo, but I tell them because your property isn’t cashflow. And when the bank looks at your negative six three or $600 cash flow and compare it to when the bank looks at my property that is positive cash flows, who do you think they’re going to lend more money to? Which portfolio Do you think they prefer? So my goal is to own multiple properties. Therefore, I need to do strategies that positive cash flow the only way a negative cash flow portfolio will scale is if rents go up, or you make more money personally, and this is Canada and let’s not forget the lessons of Rich Dad Poor Dad. The more money you make, the more tax you pay. Gotta love it. Yeah, in summary, I’m able to get mortgages still versus like condo preconstructed Condo buyer. It’ll be differently definitely different path for them to be able to scale. 

 

Erwin  

Onto this we show we have an incredible story from my old friend Todor Yordanov, one of the first serious real estate investors I’ve met back in 2006/7 and he’s done quite well for himself. Just like most investors have, you know, who’ve invested like 15 something years. He’s done well And he’s progressed to helping others. He’s done so well that he’s able to afford to go and help Ukrainian refugees at the border, where Ukraine borders with Bulgaria. Todor is from Bulgaria. Originally, he shares how his partner and Natalia would cry at night when the war br oke out. And then one morning, they dropped everything and get on the plane to go to the border and help. Todor is here today to share how he became a successful investor and real estate broker. He used to burr properties on townhouses in Hamilton and for example, and now his focus is pre construction condo, he’s gone from opposite ends of investing. Actually, when I was checking the links for Twitter or social media, I found out he’s on his way back to you to the Ukrainian border, to help more refugees. So he’s going back, even though he has admitted PTSD, what a guy! Todors GoFundMe for the charity, the Ukrainian humanitarian emergency relief fund, the links are in the show notes. It’s a GoFundMe. And yeah, he’s a good guy. He’s doing a lot more than I am to for Ukrainian refugees. Please enjoy the show. 

 

Erwin  

Hello, Todor. What’s keeping you busy these days?

 

Todor  

Hey, everyone, good to see you. Good to be with you.

 

Erwin  

I’m just happy to see that you like when when you first walked in the door, I had to check you for bullet holes to make sure you were whole. And

 

Todor  

I’m perfectly fine man. Like I’m perfectly fine. We’ve seen things that that most people are not going to see in their lifetimes. And it’s good for them. Coming back from the border of Ukraine, and spending five weeks there with mothers and kids that are fleeing from the war was definitely an experience that we know we’ve been back for exactly eight days now today. And it’s an experience that definitely now that I think about it is changed me and a lot has changed pretty much the fabric of me. It brought a lot of knowledge, experience, things that we’ve seen things that I think that I still think about our work has not finished because we still have volunteers back in Varna, Bulgaria, helping with the women and the kids and whatever they need medicine, mostly some of them food shelter. So we’re still fundraising money, we’re still doing work. It’s just that Natalia and I came here to, to do what we do so real estate, and but my mind is constantly on the need of those women and kids that are still displaced over Europe, you know, Varna Bulgaria is like a very, very small, small number of people compared to Poland, compared to Romania, Moldova, other countries.

 

Erwin  

So I’ll speak on behalf of the average Canadian is, you know, when the wars started, I had some very poor. So actually, first, I’ll speak for myself at some very poor emotional responses. When the war started, I wanted some bad things to happen to Putin and Russian soldiers. It was just an emotional response to myself. Once I calmed down, and thought about what I can do, I made a donation to Red Cross.

 

Todor  

And thank you so much for your donation to us.

 

Erwin  

And private donation to you as well.

 

Todor  

Thank you. I really appreciate it.

 

Erwin  

You know, what I did is like, I don’t I can’t say I know how big the problem is, but I have no idea how big the damage bill is going to be. And the drop in the bucket really fell it it really felt like I should be doing more. But after I’ve resigned myself, I have I got what I have here. And I have to move on. Versus you. You decided to do something about it. 

 

Todor  

Yeah. So when the war started, like, you know, a little bit of a backdrop by I’m originally from Bulgaria, from the coastal city of Varna, from Varna to Odessa, Ukraine, it’s about 200 kilometres across the Black Sea. So you know, direct 200 kilometres like we’re very, very close. Natalia, my, my fiancee, Natalia. She’s from Ukraine originally. You know, we both live in working in Toronto.

 

Erwin  

Sorry, what’d she come over?

 

Todor  

So Natalia came over when she was 13. And she’s only been back to Ukraine once when she was in her early 20s. I go back to Bulgaria every summer. So she always wanted to go back to Ukraine. And last year, we wanted to go back to Ukraine, but it was COVID it was kind of like a bit of unsafe to cross borders and go to different countries. Ukraine, at that time, had like a really bad break out of COVID. And people are saying is like, you know, don’t be ridiculous, like, don’t go. So we stayed in Varna. So when the war the war started, Natalia like most Ukrainians, you know, they just couldn’t stop crying for two days. So on the third day, I remember when I was, you know, going to bed and the last thing that entered my mind before I fell asleep was like, We gotta go. Like we have to go to Varna, where all of these refugees are coming now and see what we can be helpful with. I woke up that morning can I looked at Natalia We didn’t even have coffee yet. And I says, like, I think we should go. And she says, like, Yeah, let’s go. So I bought the tickets on the spot. And we were on the plane that night. And, you know, five weeks, in the country, we spent, you know, quite a bit of our own money. And then people friends, like you started donating to the campaign as well. And every day, we were going to the refugee centres to the crisis centres, and seeing what they need, you know, water foods, bedsheets, blankets, space heaters, because it was still called all kinds of stuff that, you know, we people need it in order for them to be warm and fat and have a decent accommodation. So we were buying all that. And at the same time, we were driving to the Romanian Ukraine border all the time to see them arriving and to pick some of them up with us, and to arrange for transportation as well. Because at the beginning, at the very, very beginning, when we arrived, everything was not disorganised. But everything was run by volunteers. It was all people like us, they just jumped in. And they’re like, I’m here. What can I help with? Like, there was no government, no organisation knows, no support, no, nothing, no financing. So it was pretty much until the very end, it was mostly run by volunteers, and mostly paid by money donated, private. So private donations. Yeah. So I’m, like, super glad that we are super glad that we did rediscover that spark inside of me, you know, when when something like that happens, let’s like, you just have to go, you have to jump like you can’t really think about it, you know, in many areas of life is like you either do it or you don’t do it. And I respect both. Right, like you said, you donated and it’s now time to move on to your life and to what you do. And, you know, I totally respect that, you know, for me, was I decided that I’m going to go there, and I’m going to do something, I’m going to try to do something more. And when I say more, one of the most devastating things in this kind of volunteer work is when you wake up in the morning, after you’ve been exhausted after a month, and after so much money spent, and you look at yourself, and it’s like, You’ve done nothing. It’s like the impact is so tiny, and so little, in the grand scheme of things is like you feel like, How can I do more, and then you realise that you’re not a superhero. Like you cannot heal everybody, and he cannot help everybody. And he cannot, you know, there is no way that you can have all of the money in the world. So you can make an impact for everybody. And you’re just making a tiny little impact here and a tiny little impact there. And that’s, you know, the human limitations.

 

Erwin  

Todor, you inspired me. And it’s not much to say, but you inspired me that you stood up and took action. Does Natalia have family in Ukraine?

 

Todor  

Her father and her mother and her siblings are here, and everybody else is in Ukraine. So all of the aunts and uncles and cousins, everyboby’s in Ukraine. They’re staying Yeah, they’re older people.

 

Erwin  

Any of them fight?

 

Todor  

So we, one of the people that we picked up from the airport is her cousin’s daughter. She’s 23. And we picked her up and she basically took a bus to the border, from Kiev, young woman, very capable, travel, the world has master’s degrees in communication, and she wants to have a better life for herself. But the moment things improve in Ukraine, she’s gonna go back. And so her father is in the army, her brother is in the army. And both of them are pretty much every man who is capable of fighting between the ages of 18 and 60. In Ukraine, you cannot leave if you are a man between 18 and 60, you cannot leave. And all of them are a general mobilisation. So some of them are fighting, some of them are being trained, and some of them are on audits, depending on where you live. So anybody can be on a frontline at anytime. It’s really, really, I have no words to describe, because this is now so close to home, right? So close to me so close to Bulgaria, but so close to me as a person, and it’s happening in Europe with I don’t know if people realise how big Ukraine actually is. Ukraine is a it’s the biggest European country by landmass. 45 million people. Very, very rich in natural resources, black soil, growing a lot of food for Europe. So this is happening in Europe. It’s war, bombs, tanks, Molotov cocktails. It’s just First, in the 21st century to experience something like that, especially, you know, take me with my lifestyle and what we do and how we live here in Canada, in Toronto, and then all of a sudden, boom, you’re in a completely different world of war and despair. And, you know, like these women that we met, and a lot of them is like, with their little kids, you know, they’re all running scared. And then two days later, one of them the husband, you can reach the husband anymore. And then a day later, somebody tells you all he was killed. You know, it’s just just devastating. Devastating. Sorry, this is not a bit fun story for a real estate podcast. 

 

Erwin  

I give a warning at the beginning of the show. 

 

Todor  

But this is, this is what my life has kind of like shifted in a very big way in the last month and a half, two months.

 

Erwin  

So we negotiated through real estate. You’re actually the first how you say it, I guess, first real estate investor I met? I’m sure many other people. No, no, I’m sure I met other people on the way. But there was never the how that relationship started, you know? Wow. And we probably never actually had an in depth conversation about real estate. Actually, I don’t even know how I ended up at your Meetup. We were discussing before we were recording what year it was, and we’re not absolutely sure, but it could have been 2006 or 2007. Good time to get in. Yes. But I mentioned at Tim Hortons. I think you organise the meetup. I think this is back in the day when when email distribution lists like just like, we’re just starting, I guess. Yeah, yeah. But it was really just like you put everyone’s email in the To field like, Hey, who wants to meet up? Right, right. And I’m not sure it happened. But it only ended up being yourself. My now ex wife and I, yes. And we start talking about real estate. And then that led to you’re already a REIN member at that point? 

 

Todor  

Um, yes, yes. Okay. We’re trying to I’m trying to remember but yes, because I already had purchase townhomes in Hamilton. So I must have been a REIN member at that time. Yeah, for sure.

 

Erwin  

What year did you join?

 

Todor  

I honestly don’t remember. I don’t remember it must have been 2005 2006. 

 

Erwin  

Okay. But I remember it has been counting when I deserve my ten year awards. Right. Don’t ask to say it. But without your real estate, you wouldn’t have been able to go not at all within a year without your investments?

 

Todor  

Not at all. Like even actually, when we when we made the decision. And I turned to Madonnina says like, let’s record a little video of us making this decision and basically telling telling the people that, you know, we’re gonna go, this was March 2. So it was like four or five days after the war started. And from that moment, and not only from that moment, but from from every moment because of real estate, because of real estate investments because of business mentality that came after real estate investing, because I was working for a company like you were working for a company, you know, paycheck, security, jobs, good jobs, great jobs, great company, great advancement opportunities, like you, you move up, make more money, you know, you go to work, like you get your paid vacations, like whatever, all these good things. But then when I stepped out of that world, into the world of real estate investing, first while still working, but then selling real estate as a, as an agent, you become a business person. And that is like a completely different mindset and a completely different life, that you live our life or our life where you take, we take all of the risks, but then you also take all of the reward. And then you have all of the freedoms, but at the same time, you have all the responsibilities. So that realisation was not because of what we decided to do on March 2, but that realisation was you know, wait time before that, when I can, you know, take three months off in the summer and go back home to my hometown, and spend time with relatives and not not think about it. You know, many people will say, Well, what, how can you take three months off from your business? And my answer is like, look, it may not look like I work a lot. But up here, I work 24/7, 7 days a week. So when the summer comes and I decided to go and take off three months, like I’ve already worked three years, in a normal nine to five job. So yeah, it’s just like, the pay is different. You know, you have a lot more responsibility, we take some freedoms. So when on March 2, we decided to go I realise that you know, we are we’re fortunate because of what we we do and what we’ve done to be able to make this drastic change of course, and say like, I’m not going to worry about working right now and I’m not gonna worry about, you know, bringing an X number of income this month, I’m just gonna go and help. And I’m just gonna go and fully commit to helping, because I can. And because of, you know, if I don’t do it, then who’s gonna do it? It comes with, you know, the responsibility comes also with the freedom, you can do it, then why don’t you, you have to have an answer to that question. And again, like, whatever that answer is like, I’m totally fine with anybody else’s. No, I’m not putting responsibility or blame or asking people to do more No, like, have an answer. And that is your answer. And it’s like, totally okay. My answer is like, my work the needs of my clients right now. You know, so if you’re listening, but way in the back seat, I gotta do this.

 

Erwin  

I’m sure they can appreciate. That’s it. And on the far end of the spectrum, I follow a gentleman on Twitter who is a who is a trained Canadian medic. So he’s in Ukraine.

 

Todor  

Yeah, he’s in on the front line. You know.

 

Erwin  

But he’s got and he’s trained with weapons. So he probably is. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Dangerous. That is no sacrifice leaving behind him. He’s got three kids at home. Oh, yeah.

 

Todor  

My like the Second World War. This is just different part, but also real part. A second day of war, I turned to Natalia and says, like, you know what, like, I want to go and join the army. She goes, like are you insane. I said, No, I’m not insane. Like, I’m trained. I’ve trained for this. Like, this is what I was made to do. Because I was in the army back in the day when I was growing up. 

 

Erwin  

Excuse me. What year?

 

Todor  

85? I got out of the Army in 1985. Got in at no got in 85 got out at the end of 87. So I was in the army for two and a half, three years.

 

Erwin  

Okay, so you’re more qualified than i Okay.

 

Todor  

She says like, no, no, no, you’re insane. And then I thought about it. It says like, I’m 56 I’m not 20 anymore.

 

Erwin  

I can superpower over there on the other side. 

 

Todor  

Yeah. Plus, Plus, you know, real bullets. Real blood? Probably not. Not right now. So we decided to do something else. But I totally sympathise and I totally get it when, you know, people from Canada from all over the world, like are flying into Ukraine and joining the actual army.

 

Erwin  

And all the power to them now. 

 

Todor  

Yeah, exactly. 

 

Erwin  

I believe in freedom of choice. So

 

Todor  

Correct. Correct. Small Na, it’s like you have to decide like, this is my fight. This is not my fight. Right. That means totally.

 

Erwin  

I probably be a liability. No one want to be in my unit.

 

Todor  

Oh, you’ll be surprised.

 

Erwin  

All right. So Todor, you mentioned that you start investing in townhouses in Hamilton was it?

 

Todor  

Yeah, yeah. Actually, my first investment was townhouse row house on Berkeley and parliament in downtown Toronto. Okay, that is where I started back in 1995. 

 

Erwin  

Good time to start.

 

Todor  

Right. Yeah, I had that unit for about a year and I decided that that is not getting me rich quickly.

 

Erwin  

What do you pay for? What do you pay for?

 

Todor  

I don’t know. 120, 110, 95, Maybe?

 

Erwin  

Somewhere around there. Somewhere between 95 to 120.

 

Todor  

Exactly. That’s where? Yes. Okay, what do I know? I remember where the downpayment came from? came from my credit cards. I bought that on my credit card. 

 

Erwin  

Okay, if folks don’t understand that this is not financial advice. I don’t know what will tell them it is. What was a new construction, or?

 

Todor  

No, no, an older an older building that was sitting empty. It was part of six townhouse row houses. Very, very old, like one of the first like, I mean, one of the old buildings in Toronto, like

 

Erwin  

18 Something build them. 

 

Todor  

Correct. Correct. 

 

Erwin  

Oh, so well over 100 years? 

 

Todor  

Correct? Correct. 

 

Erwin  

Okay, you buy on a credit card, okay,

 

Todor  

I bought it in 1995. My son was just a baby. That’s how I remember. And I had tenants and I had tenants from hell and I had good tenants and then tenant from hell again, and did some renovations again on my credit card. And then after a year of, you know, income expenses, income expenses, paying off credit cards and going on an extra vacation because now we are rich property owners, so why not, you know, go on a nice, big vacation and seeing that actually, we’re not making any money from this. In one year. I got discouraged and I said, Well, this is not working and, and sold it, probably made a little bit of money. Ironically, this was probably about six months before the market started taking off. But I sold it just before the market started taking off. I decided like real estate is not good. It’s not working.

 

Erwin  

Right because 95 is playing on the way up after the 1989 crash. Yeah, I think people need to remember that too. 

 

Todor  

They made a little bit of money like probably, I don’t know. 5k 10k like whatever

 

Erwin  

You want, I guess what it’s worth today.

 

Todor  

It doesn’t even exist anymore.

 

Erwin  

Developer got to it?

 

Todor  

A few years after I sold it, somebody bought all six, and demolish them. And it’s sitting like the parking lot since the corner of Yeah, it’s been land banking, right. So somebody bought

 

Erwin  

areas, someone wanted a parking lot over having tenant six tenants. 

 

Todor  

Correct. So it’s like, right on Berkeley and parliament,

 

Erwin  

Can you blame the investor for wanting your parking lot over having six tenants?

 

Todor  

You know what like this, this leads to, you know, it’s a good example for another people saying this, like, why condos are expensive, or condos are expensive, because the only people that are able to build condos are people that bought land 30, 40 50 years ago, and that land was sitting as parking lots. And now you’re putting up a building, like trying to buy the land and build today, he can’t paint with it. So this is this is how so like a condo building lifecycle. From the moment it starts to the moment it’s finished is really 30, 40 years in some cases. Like think about that. It doesn’t start from the moment you give your deposits to buy a condo. And four years later, you have a unit. No, it started so many years prior to that.

 

Erwin  

So as we were before we were recording, we talked about townhouse versus a condo because you have pretty decent experience in both areas.

 

Todor  

Townhouses, student rentals, condos? Yes.

 

Erwin  

And you had a number of townhouses. Am I right? True, wait, so do 95 and then your exit 96-97. 

 

Todor  

96 97. And then for seven, eight years, I didn’t do anything because I was basically, like, when you think about 9596, that is just before the internet. Like we didn’t have computers back in those days, we didn’t have internet before a those days, the only thing that you can get on real estate is possibly you go to one of those bookstores and buy one or two books on real estate. That’s it. Like this is how limited the information was back in those days

 

Erwin  

Versus overload today,

 

Todor  

There were no clubs, there were no no, no podcast meetings, podcasts, like you couldn’t really get information.

 

Erwin  

So you know, you didn’t have a mentor, either No, or no,

 

Todor  

Like, if you don’t know anybody, right? Like you, you’re basically, your real estate agent tells us like, Oh, I think this is a good idea. You know, why don’t you buy it? And it’s like, Okay, how much can I charge for this? How much can I charge for that unit and how much is the I mean, the basics are still the same. It’s just that the information that is so much so easily available now, was not there, back in those days. So for seven, eight years, I was thinking like, Ah, this real estate thing doesn’t work. This just stupid. And you know, I want to be out of this.

 

Erwin  

Is that parking lot still there?

 

Todor  

If I was, I mean, I probably would have made the same mistakes. But nowadays, everybody tells you like real estate is not a quick game. Now, you can make a lot of money by buying and selling quickly, you can quote, but then then you have to look for those opportunities. But when you buy a house that is going to appreciate then you better be in it for 5,6,7,8 years, more than 10 years, 15 years, whatever the case is, right? So I just didn’t have the knowledge of the the basics even right, a success for seven, eight years, like I didn’t do anything, and then I joined REIN, and then REIN basically got me thinking about educating myself and meeting other people. And, you know, the, what Don Campbell was saying is like, it should be easy. You know, it’s not simple, but it should be easier. It’s like, you know, you have to set it up in a way that you don’t really think about it too much and, and you eliminate the pain.

 

Erwin  

Less mistakes means less pain.

 

Todor  

Less mistakes means less pain, right? And then just do it as a business. So when you start thinking about investing as a business, then then you look at opportunities in a different way. And also you adjust your expectations. So you don’t have the expectations like oh, I bought a real estate property and now I’m just gonna walk talk and proud of mine like me like a millionaire now, right? Like, no, it doesn’t work that way. It takes like long time. You go through ups and downs emotionally, mentally, and so it changes you right, like you need to change in order to meet the future that you are projecting for yourself.

 

Erwin  

Definitely. We have to be patient. Yeah. And it’s missing from a lot of places. A lot of people often what was a lot of, you know, HGTV was terrible for that. Yeah, you can do a flip in an hour watching an hour TV show. Yeah. I like HGTV. So, but I think they unintentionally some people walked away with unrealistic expectations. But when I remember early days, Don Campbell would teach us you know, run your numbers. On 3% appreciation, that’s right, right, because 3% appreciation works up to 15% Return assuming your down payments 20%. That’s right. All right. And like, we’re going to beat that.

 

Todor  

And everything else is cherry on the top. 

 

Erwin  

Everything else is moving. 

 

Todor  

We know in our in our market this year is like humongous, humongous, but in world’s real estate, you know, if you look at some European countries, and I don’t know, like, I don’t really have experience anywhere else, but they don’t have the appreciation that we have. Ireland, England. So three 4% 2% appreciation 0% appreciation for peers, is this is quite normal. So, you know, you train like an athlete, right? Like, like real estate in any business, like you have to change in order to get the results that you don’t have today. If you want bigger results, you have to change who you are, how you think, what you’re capable of, like he can he can otherwise think you’re gonna get what you get. 

 

Erwin  

Yeah, I think it’s again, it’s lost. And along the way somewhere, like, if you want to win anything, you’re gonna have to show up, show up prepared. Right? That’s right. Nice thing about real estate is there’s plenty for everybody, in my opinion. And like, you’re saying, well, back then there wasn’t much to consume in terms of quality education. Today, it’s like, you have to be good at choosing what is good education, because there’s so much out there.

 

Todor  

Right? If you’re being strategic about it, I’m totally guilty of what I’m gonna say. But you know, I think we all humans, we complain, it’s like, how come I have this, and I don’t have that, and so and so has this and I want to get that. And I’m like, I want to be like Elon Musk, you know, well, nothing is stopping me to be like Elon Musk is the only person that is stopping me is me. It’s like, I don’t think like him, I don’t have his education. I don’t have his abilities, his liabilities,

 

Erwin  

Photographic memory, too,

 

Todor  

Right? Let’s let’s just like okay, no, I want to buy I want to buy another million dollar worth of properties. But it’s like, too expensive right now. And the prices are this and but then people are still doing deals. The fact that you are not in the deal making group is because you didn’t invite yourself there. And you didn’t invite yourself there because you didn’t see the opportunity. And you didn’t see the opportunities because you’re lacking something, figured out what you’re lacking, and get it and then you’re gonna be in the group that is making a million dollar deal. Is just that simple.

 

Erwin  

I’ll start off. I think the first step is to have an open mind, because I’m sure you run into this as well, for someone will tell you debt is bad. Yeah. Yeah. Right. So like, right there is like, Oh, okay. You obviously know everything. So how rich are you?

 

Todor  

Right, right. No, I, you know, the more years past and the more years I’m in this business, the more I realised how little I actually know about real estate. Real estate is like huge. There’s like so many different property types. And like, then you talk about like, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, world. There’s like real estate opportunities all over the world that we don’t even know. 

 

Erwin  

I’ll even take us back up there. And also all there’s spending more time these days on economics and history, because I’m interested in what drives asset values. Right? So that’s, that’s a humongous conversation.

 

Todor  

But even even in that, like you have one of the big drivers is emotions. Emotional. Oh, I like to own a piece of paradise in Aruba. Or you know, our friend Mike is calling me from Thailand. He moved to Thailand and he’s like, which makes very Mike Krastev odd Yeah. Thailand so yeah, he’s always there of last year Good for him. He bought he bought a Costco on the beach. And then kiss some way is the island.

 

Erwin  

Oh my god. I don’t even know how to properly Koh Samui.

 

Todor  

The city, I don’t know. But he bought this hostel on the beach. He has a little bit of a restaurant and nightlife stage scene where he’s DJing music and he says this is great. 

 

Erwin  

Even Instagram or something, I need to follow him. Yes.

 

Todor  

So he calls me up. And he goes like, oh, you know, you have to we’d like you have to we have to start the real estate company here. And we you know, we’re gonna be selling so many properties here for sale. And like Mike, you know, who are you going to sell to? He goes like, oh, Canadians are buying Americans are buying Russians are buying them like Mike. Okay, let’s let’s get serious now. How many Canadians are buying versus how many Americans versus how many Russians? He goes like, all Well, you’re right. Like it’s more The Russians, I’m like, Yes, that was before the war. 

 

Erwin  

But this geography then way closer,

 

Todor  

Exactly. And I’m like, how many Canadians do I know that are actually talking to me about buying something in Thailand, zero, like, I don’t want to start something different than I don’t know anything about. But at the same time, on the on the other side of the coin, I may be missing the greatest opportunity of my lifetime, because I don’t see the opportunity. Because I don’t know anything about continent. I don’t know anything about real estate in Thailand, I don’t know anything about vacation properties, you know, on the islands,

 

Erwin  

You can’t say the name of the city.

 

Todor  

So we’re always blind sign that in some areas, opportunities to watch, you know, get better than the get better at what you know, and what’s working. And then if you can expand later on. That’s fantastic. Right?

 

Erwin  

So talk about learning lessons. Mmm, a couple of years ago, we were talking about, I wish I just bought new construction condos in Toronto. Yeah, it was a conversation somewhere on that. Because at the time, you still own a couple of these correct, tougher, but actually, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. Explain your experience working with these townhouses in Hamilton.

 

Todor  

So the town’s is there were, you know, there were about Connerton 15 125. To buy really expensive mortgages were very easy to get with 5% or less, some people were actually pushing it and getting them for nothing for 0% down payment and good old days, you know, the good old days. So really, with, you know, 25 $30,000 on your credit cards, you could be buying five or six of those townhomes in in Hamilton. And then they needed some renovation paint, you know, carpet, this and that. And then you put tenants and tenants in Hamilton, for the most part, in my experience, were tough tenants difficult not paying rents and all kinds of issues, maybe because I was not that good as a property manager. But you know, it is what it is water under the bridge. And after a couple of years of doing that, I decided that this is too much work. I again, discovered student rentals in St. Catharines. By by an accident. I got a student rental I absolutely loved it loved the experience with dealing with the students and love, love the cashflow, because each house in St. Catharines at a time was paying me anywhere between 800 to $1,000 in cash flow per month, per month, per month. So when you have like three or four of those, like you really think that, you know he made it. But two, three years go by and again, like you started replacing roofs, you get like basements that are leaking things change with Brock University was building purpose built student residences that change the market. So I got out of Hamilton because I found more cashflow in St. Catharines. And then I decided to get out of St. Catharines because I discovered pre construction condos.

 

Erwin  

And you’re in either there. Or you didn’t?

 

Todor  

I had no idea. Okay, okay. I had no idea. Actually I wasn’t. I was at the real estate event hosted by this magazine. I can’t remember the name of

 

Erwin  

it just a magazine. That’s it crew magazine,

 

Todor  

Right. So I was just about to leave on day one or day two. And I see this guy sitting behind a desk with promoting condos. But he had like a little a little pluck up promoting student rental financing, financing for student rentals. And because I was interested in rentals that piqued my attention. So I went and met with Jerry and Jerry told me about this guy in Kitchener, who is a mortgage agent who has a way of getting better financing for student rentals. So we talked about that. And then I just out of politeness before I left. I said like oh, so what about this? Like, what do you do? So he’s the one that introduced me into pre construction condos and that world. So I met up with him after that. And that was the day when I basically decided okay, I’m done with rentals. Now I’m gonna do this.

 

Erwin  

So why the pivot? Because, you know, there’s this if it was this whole community that’s pursuing what you had a whole lot of cash.

 

Todor  

Right, right, right. You didn’t. Like I’m always I’m always trying to I guess like my whole life. I’ve always been trying to find the most efficient way to go from point A to point B.

 

Erwin  

And more cash flow does not always mean more efficient.

 

Todor  

No, no more cash flow is great. But you still have the responsibilities and you still have the tenants and you still have the risk of having an empty house. You still have the risk of something breaking in the middle of the night and you have to drive to Hamilton or St Catharines and in You’re replacing the roofs and replacing this and then every 6,7,8 months you have to you have the turnover new students, and you still isn’t active. So it’s like because you never know that if this perfect student is going to leave the room the way they found that, like now do you have to repaint it, you know, repainting a room is not an easy task. Because like, it’s either you have to do it, which means like a day of your time, we have to find somebody else to do it, I guess it’s not an act, it’s more passive is very active investment. So I’m always trying to make money easier. How can we make money easier, and pre construction condo is exactly that. Because all you have to do is you come in signed a contract, put your deposit, and then four years, you have an asset that is appreciating why it’s being built. And then you have no tenant. So it’s awesome. It’s almost like weird, because you have an investment, but nobody calls you and you don’t have to do any work for four years, and then you get the keys. And then once you get the keys, you have to decide, am I going to move into this unit? Am I going to rent it? Am I going to assign it? Am I going to sell it? Am I going to keep it for one year or for two years after I close on it, you know, you have to make these decisions. But basically, if you take a typical condo investment is let’s say seven years, four years is construction phase 75% of the time, you do absolutely nothing, no work is required, but the asset is appreciating, and then if you decide to hold it a little bit longer, which I would recommend 25% of the life of that investment. You have one or two tenants and they usually professional tenants downtime, professional mean professional professional job professionals, and you don’t hear from them their checks cash and lives good.

 

Erwin  

Yeah. But for the listener who doesn’t have context, get share with your SIR experience renting out to a Hamilton townhouse condo tenant versus renting your Toronto condo. They were all equal.

 

Todor  

I don’t want to be judgmental, but I am judgmental. We all judgmental people. I don’t think this is the only state show. So

 

Erwin  

If it was a job interview,

 

Todor  

we are not all equal. Exactly. I mean, you’re judging this candidate versus that candidate. 

 

Erwin  

I mean, this is an interesting one with the multiple, several $100,000 asset. Yeah, yeah. So so my opinion that’s more important than a job interview.

 

Todor  

The downtown the downtown tenant is condo tenant is Toronto, the Toronto is usually a young person with great education, great job, and you know, making good money. They don’t, they don’t cook at home. Or they don’t cook at home. Like it’s not it’s very, very typical to have a tenant in a brand new condo, and then they move out one or two years later, the labels and the manual are still in the oven. So you know, that’s that’s how they are a friend of mine, they take out to eat out, they don’t cook at home. So you know, they pretty much work at home, sit on the couch, watch TV, sleep, or go out with friends. So there is a lot less wear and tear on the unit.

 

Erwin  

Less than a student rental?

 

Todor  

That also depends on what type of student rental you have. As you know, some of the cheaper student rentals are beat up because you know, you, you you you have to lower your standards in order to get tenants but you have like a prime if you have a prime prime prime student rental, then you get the top of the crop

 

Erwin  

You say okay, are you talking about like a condo Toronto condo as well for student rental or No?

 

Todor  

I don’t have experience with Toronto condos.

 

Erwin  

For students and for students. I hear about it. I think it’s in the news as well, like a lot of international students are in Toronto, and they always need a place to stay.

 

Todor  

I never had tenants like that. So I can’t really comment. But yeah, so usually a single tenant professional, or a young couple, boyfriend, girlfriend professional, and you have very, very little issues, if anything at all, versus what my experience was in Hamilton, you know, back in the day, and you know, constant money issues, breakups, you know, fortunately, the tenant profile in Hamilton, a lot of people are on some type of social assistance. And and that’s the pool that you have to pick your tenants. And it was, you know, one issue after the other. It’s just different. I mean, it is the reality of situation. Again, we’re comparing. It’s not a fair comparison because you’re comparing Hamilton in the Early 2000s to Toronto of you know, late 2020.

 

Erwin  

True. And then I’ll add my own experience that that’s why I liked student rentals instead. Because my tenants are typically rich kids. Correct. So they were a better tenant profile than what you would get locally. Right? Right, right, because my orange student tenants are typically from out of town. Their parents have budgeted for this expense. And, yeah, again, they just, they have way more money typically than your typical local restaurant. So, back in the day, you and I received a lot of education around why new construction was bad. Right? Is that accurate? Um, is it bad to be a speculator?

 

Todor  

No, I don’t remember it like that.

 

Erwin  

Because I almost feel like a speculator when I buy something and hold it. Almost all my money is made through appreciation.

 

Todor  

You you sit in a room and our listening is different for every person, right? Like you listen, we listen to the same thing. And you hear one thing, and I hear something completely different. I remember a guy who’s a real estate agent member who did exactly the opposite. He bought pre construction townhomes. And within six months, he was able to make $100,000 from four townhomes. So, and I’m like, How come? I didn’t know about that? You know, but I don’t I don’t necessarily put the blame on the network and say, How come you didn’t tell me about this? You know, it’s like I said, like real estate is such a vast ocean, that, you know, you can only talk about a certain like, you cannot cover everything. You know, especially when you want to make it educational, and you want to focus the group on to something actionable? No, I do remember that there was some, some type of ridicule of people lining around the corner for condos. Rich, right. And it’s just, it’s just, you know, it just didn’t, I guess it didn’t fit the formula of what they were teaching about how to evaluate a property because you cannot evaluate appreciation. You know, it just like it happens, it doesn’t happen, like nobody knows. And it is true today, it’s always been true. So what I discovered with experiences, that the safe and proper way of investing after a while is not enough for you. And if you’re a little bit more adventurous like I am, then you’re gonna try to do something else. And then here, you’re supported, because, you know, they’re telling you how to do things. And when you start to, to basically go on your own way, like there is no support, you have to discover things. So you start making mistakes. So student rentals, definitely, I didn’t have anybody to talk to you not in the same way that you know, the hotel houses in Hamilton were the way that they were teaching us how to invest. It was great to get me started, and then I wanted to do something else, and then you want to do something else. And then you venture into a territory that, you know, in the metaphor of a jungle is like anything could happen. So you take some you take some more risks, but then you have bigger rewards. So not always the case. Not always the case. Yeah, exactly. So that’s why I, you know, from looking back in the last, you know, 15,20 years, you know, I’m grateful for everything. And, you know, mostly grateful to myself and doing things the way that I wanted to do them.

 

Erwin  

It’s making headlines these days, some projects are not being completed. I’m falling Hamilton and Burlington stories. A friend of mine, he bought his in August, new construction. Yeah, it’s just not built yet. And then the builder sent them an email and said, You’re cancelled, because it’s gone up too much. Yeah, that was funny thing was then he called and he said, and then negotiate and like, oh, okay, if you pay 6%, five, 6% more than you can keep it. And then he asked me there is my thoughts like, inflation has gone up more than five 6% doesn’t sound bad. It’s an issue in Toronto, or products not getting built.

 

Todor  

When it started happening. Two, three years ago, we were saying all it’s the it’s the one offs, it’s the builders that are ready to completely destroy their reputation. Because they will not be able to build anything else in the city after that. 

 

Erwin  

And as small ones, small ones, no, it’s not like a try Dell or something. 

 

Todor  

Try to Miami, you know, the big the big companies, the big builders, like will not be able to they will never destroy their company or their reputation by doing something like that. That’s what we were saying two years ago, one year ago. Now, I don’t want to say it’s happening more often, but because it’s not, it’s happened more than in the last three years. You But the you know, look at the the craziness of the world that we live in the prices in the grocery store. You know, last Sunday, we went to play golf at Royal Ontario with me and my daughter and my son, three of us. We were playing with another family. So I went up to pay for us three, and it was $357 we to play golf. And then we spent $85 On three burgers, three Cokes, two orders, and onion rings at five bucks. So that golf day on Sunday, when we started playing, it was three degrees. Okay. There was almost nobody else on the golf course. Almost nobody else it was just the US. So forget about like the summer, the spring specials, the late fall specials know, though, they’re charging you full price from day one. So $450 for the three of us to play golf. Okay. So we ended up the golf round, we had a great time. And I called the golf superintendent, because he’s a friend of mine. And I said, Tony, like what the hell? I just paid $450 to play golf with me and my two kids. Like what’s going on? He goes, buddy, last year, I was buying fertiliser a bag for $38. This year, I’m paying $62 For the same bag. So translate this now into a builder who needs to buy the build, like a big building? And it takes four years to do that is like how do you do that? Like, how do you cost calculates your end cause here four years in advance,

 

Erwin  

let alone actually get all your supplies that you need. 

 

Todor  

So So we kind of like have to start believing them. It’s they’re not, they’re not charging you an extra $100,000. Because this is what’s happening. A lot of people, not a lot of people, but some people are getting letters from a builder. So saying, Look, your unit that you bought for 450 is worth about 650. Now, you have two options. One, you cancel, two, we adjust the price to 550. So basically split the appreciation in half, and people are up in arms. Because they’re they you feel that they’re stealing from your appreciation, it may be opportunistic on the builder side, but at the same time, it also may be true is that if they don’t get more money, they’re not going to be able to finish the projects that are going on chance they’re gonna cancel out anyway. And they’re going to resell it the next day to a willing buyer. So that’s the reality. That’s that’s the reality of doing something long term in inflationary times.

 

Erwin  

I’m glad I hold a lot of real estate.

 

Todor  

A lot of wanted to share a couple of things that I kind of like mental notes that I was making to myself, like, lessons that I was learning during my time helping the Ukrainian refugees. And these are the four lessons that I brought to myself. Yeah, down to four. Yeah, four. It’s not a complete list. And it’s not, it’s just my list. One is you don’t have the last moment. The two is, are you prepared for the real plan B. Three is most people are not ready mentally, and everything else that stems from that mental preparedness to help you in a meaningful way, in a time of personal struggle. And number four, is snap your fingers. And we’re still in mediaeval times. And I just want to if you have a few minutes on explain this, what I heard from every single person in Ukraine that we were calling and, you know, relatives or relatives and was like, like, Get out now get out now. They’re like, No, I’m just gonna wait a little bit more. It’s like, it’s not it’s not close to us, you know, it’s probably not gonna come here. And and they are waiting and waiting until the last moment. Like, and I’m thinking is like, look at us humans. Like we’re always waiting until the last moment. You know, it’s like it’s inside our DNA. You know, I’m not gonna go for that medical exam. It’s like, I’m gonna call my doctor but not today next week, like things that that are important for us for our own safety for our own life. Sometimes, like, we don’t want to deal with that. I’m just gonna go and wait until the last moment. And then the one hour later, you’re surrounded by tanks and bombs are falling on you. You don’t have the last moment that is no Luxury that you have. The last moment is not for you. The last moment is, it’s not yours. So you always have to, like whatever you decide to if you decide to stay in fight like that’s your that’s your decision. But if you decide to leave, because it’s war, like, don’t wait until the last moment, like get out a day, early a week, early a month early is better than the last moment because so many people get stuck on, for example, one of our friends here in Toronto, we’ve been begging her to get her mom out of her son and her sister. And she’s like, Oh, they don’t want to go. And Natalia was like, let me call them. We have an apartment ready for them, we have saved for them, they just have to come like we got everything for them. And they’re like, oh, no, no, no, they’re okay. There will be okay, there’ll be Cara, and her sister got killed two days ago. Just this is real. Are you prepared for the real plan B, you know, because we talk about like how prepared we are. This goes to, again, real estate and holdings and money and you know, personal wealth. And you see these people crossing the border with, you know, a mother with two kids, and just the small carry on and a backpack. That’s it, that’s all this in 25 euros in your pocket, that’s all they got. And then a week later, the war really moves to the area and the apartment is destroyed, the car is destroyed, Kuzmin is killed, you have nothing, you have nothing to go back to you have nothing you have nothing, you have nothing you have nothing. Like how do you go back from that, and people do, people do. But the point is, like, you know, because you know, we’re building something, right, you’re building a real estate portfolio, you’re building your life, you’re you you’re doing it because you want safety. That’s what you want. You want safety you want is your life, you want more freedom for you, for your kids. Now, and this is why also, back to real estate, this is why a lot of people are coming to Canada, because Canada is seen as this almost like islands of safety. We’re protected by two oceans, United States and the North Pole. We’re an island, a very big island, but we are an island of safety. I cannot get to Canada. Unless you cannot come to Canada unless you’re approved. It’s very different. It’s very different than Europe. Yes, you can walk to Europe, from Afghanistan, people do today. And to open up a map and see how far Afghanistan is from Europe. You can walk to Europe, from India, you can walk from Europe to from China, you can walk to Europe from you can walk, you know, you can walk to Canada. So we are protected. And this is why people are coming here. This is why real estate here just keeps on going up and people from all over the world. They want to be here. And because it’s nice, it’s new, its infrastructure. This is why the prices are where they are. So what is the real plan B for people? That’s a very, very difficult question. I don’t have the answer. Because I’m, I’m thinking in my mind is like how do you get prepared? How do you make sure that what you have for most of it are some of it will be available to you in a time of disaster? Disaster Planning. That’s what we’re talking about here, right? different scenarios. I don’t have an idea. I mean, I have some ideas. But so far, nothing’s working, right? That I was thinking is like, Oh, I’m just gonna go and buy a piece of land somewhere. So I can grow things. And then I’m gonna buy a bunch of like arms, you know, machine guns. And I’m thinking is like, yeah, I don’t think so. If this is really valuable, and people are hungry, overwhelmed me, like who would be the next victim? It will be me. So So what do you what do you take from this life in a time of disaster, what I’m also finding through our, you know, fundraising work, but also with the Ukrainian community, and the Ukrainian refugees, and the dynamics between people that I see is how most of us I think, in the back of my mind, I own a backup in the back of our minds, like you’re always thinking that somebody else is there to help you. And then in a time of Rioni, like you find out that they will give you just a little bit more time that they give their Facebook feed. Like they’ll scroll through you, they’ll probably pay attention to you for a second or a minute or a day. And then everybody goes on with their life. And that’s how we are right. So like know that that most people mentally and in many other ways, are not going to be able to help you or pay attention to you in a time of personal struggle. So again, help yourself before other people help you. And the last thing is like we’re still in mediaeval times, not nothing’s changed. To, like Molotov cocktails and people killing each other, and like, it’s brutal, it is absolutely brutal what we are still capable of doing to each other. And it’s, it all goes through our belief system, you know how we see each other as enemies, and how we’re still making somebody else’s wrong on something, and then that spins into all kinds of stories and makes a monster out of you. And, you know, monsters and victims like mediaeval stupidity in the middle of Europe. It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable. But at the same time, you know, I flew back to Toronto, we landed in Toronto got into a taxi. And I’m thinking like, this is nice, wide roads, clean, organised, planned, like when you like, because we were landing during a daytime. So I took a really nice video of the plane, approaching Toronto and making a turn over Toronto. And you see everything, like manicured like, everything is like, nice. And I’m like, it hit me and I’m like, okay, I get it. I get why people want to come here, even though our prices are very expensive. And even though, you know, life is not easy, sometimes for some for a lot of people. And even though like the weekend comes and like what are we going to do, and there’s nothing to do really like Muskoka, it’s far this that, like when you’re in Europe, things are so much closer, and so many interesting things to do, that I miss here. But at the same time, like working here, living here, creating life here for us, for clients, for everybody else, it’s very rewarding. It’s very easy. And easier. It’s fantastic.

 

Erwin  

I think we’ll leave it there. Thank you, Todor for coming in. 

 

Todor  

My pleasure. 

 

Erwin  

Glad you’re safe in the thanks. Oh, before we go away, tell us about your charity. Where can people find out about it?

 

Todor  

So, we have a GoFundMe campaign on GoFundMe. And it’s Ukrainian humanitarian emergency relief. It’s a nonprofit, every single cent of every single dollar goes directly from the bank directly into medicine, or foods or transportation, or the items for the daily life of those refugees that need it in Varna, Bulgaria, we already we have raised about $68,000. So far, we spent pretty much all of it. We are now in a big drive to raise more money. And as soon as we do, we open up a school for Ukrainian kids. So we opened up, we’re going to open up a donation centre environment, so people can donate clothing and all kinds of stuff. So we’re still doing a lot of work. I’m planning to go back in about, I don’t know, it’s gonna be anytime between 10 days from now and a month from now. And, yeah, that’s entirely what I’m focusing on right now. And then working people, and but but I also have to say that you know, that you don’t wake up one day, and you are like that, right? I mean, I’ve watched you with your brigade for the Thanksgiving dinners, like, you know, the pictures with the tables and all the preparations like, you know, these things inspire you, they are seeds that are planted in, you know, they were planted in my mind, and then you watch other things. And then it’s like, okay, I want to do this, and I want to do that. But now I’m busy with this, and then all of a sudden, boom. So I didn’t, I didn’t just like I’m the product. And I think we all are the product of the people that were surrounded. So thank you for the great work that you’ve been doing for for years now. You know, collecting, donating, raising, helping, you know, you are my example, you know, you are the the leader that that I’m following.

 

Erwin  

There are many people before me. That’s right. And then to add to your point about, like, you have to do it for yourself. we pivoted away from from fundraising and focusing more on this. In our experience, it was easier just to work on our businesses to create more value, make more money for the business, and then we were able to donate, right, that was an easier path and then fundraising, in our experience.

 

Todor  

That is an amazing, amazing point. Because, again, I’m new to fundraising. 

 

Erwin  

It’s hard. 

 

Todor  

I’m not even thinking that I’m in fundraising. I’m not in fundraising. It’s just that we, you know, we I was I was you know, able to go to the bank and put $30,000 on the day and we left and we said like we’re going with our money. And then people started like Okay, can I contribute and started sending e-transfers. And then a friend of mine says, like, oh, you know, Rihanna, she says, like, I can create a GoFundMe page for you. I’m like, okay, and she did all of the work. Like I actually logged on to the GoFundMe campaign. For the first time, two days ago, after we came back, the time when we were there, I had no time. So she was managing all of that. It was all based on trust. And still is funny enough, I called a friend of mine, who’s who’s the president of a Hospital Foundation yesterday. And I said to her, I says, like, like, how do I, how do I grow this bigger? How do I do this in a much bigger way? Like I’m talking about, like, we have a goal to reach $100,000 Now with this campaign, but then my next immediate goal is $1 million. And then the goal after that would be like $10 million, right? And things like, Okay, this is crazy now. So fundraising is a job. And it’s not a job I want to have, I don’t want to be seen as a fundraiser. I just want to I just want to help. So I appealed to people to help. And, you know, with the help with people like yourself, and so many other individuals that contributed, we can make the lives of few people a little better. But at some point, like, you’re right, like, at some point, I have to come back from all of this, and focus on me, my work, my family, because it’s let me just say, I hope this war ends very soon.

 

Erwin  

I think we all would like that. 

 

Erwin  

Yeah. 

 

Erwin  

And where can, people follow you on social media for your personal journey?

 

Todor  

Um, I don’t have the links. Instagram, I can send that to you if you can include it. Somehow. Instagram has todor underscore, CT real T point, boss, that’s Instagram. Oh, that’s my new Instagram. Before before?

 

Erwin  

What would your Facebook your Facebook’s easier? And I’ll have all the links in the show notes. 

 

Todor  

Few of us with the same name. But you know, they’ll recognise me.

 

Erwin  

Yeah, and I noticed it was largely the real estate community that supported you as well. Well, like Susan White past, like, was one that informed me like your Twitter left the country like, what is the UK? No, it’s not Ukrainian. He’s on his way over. And he is actually there right now.

 

Todor  

It is true, like a lot of people support us. And it was very heartwarming to see that. It was a great feeling. It was it was like, You know what, like, I’m gonna say this, and I don’t know if it’s gonna sound appropriate or not. But it’s, it’s a great feeling to spend somebody else’s money on something that matters. And you have full control of that, like, not full control in terms of like you’re controlling it, but you’re the decision maker. And I was not even the decision maker. Like, it’s the moment that decides, like, you need you need. You have, we have a woman that came from Morocco, from with her elderly father, and his blood pressures, like the guy is like about to have a stroke, like so high, because they lived in a basement for three weeks. And she says like when a basement like mouldy and wet basement with no food, or just bread. And after three weeks when they got out, and it was a night and she says we’ve never seen a night skies like this, it was full of stars, because everything was destroyed, and there was no light pollution, like there was no light on the street. So you see the sky. And anyways, they arrived. And the guy doesn’t have a blood pressure monitor, he doesn’t have blood pressure medication. She doesn’t have any clothes, like nothing like that. So we just go and buy these things. You know, it’s like, some of it is my money. Some of it is like most of it is money from people like you, you know, and it’s to be able to do that for another person completely outside of any official organisation or, like it’s not even my job. And I don’t even know how to do it. And I don’t know even how to do it properly. But like, how do you do it properly. You have a human in front of you and they need something and you can buy it so you just go and buy it and say here. That’s for you. That’s all!

 

Erwin  

Amazing, your work Todor , I wish more people like you.

 

Todor  

Thank you Erwin. 

 

Erwin  

Thanks again for coming on the show.

 

Todor  

My pleasure.

 

Erwin  

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