Top 5 Renovations to get you top dollar for your home

When renovating a home to sell when you are the owner-user getting it ready for sale can be a confusing process. This is in part due to so many “gurus” online and TV shows that show a very distorted view of how the value is really derived for the larges population of buyers in any market, at any part of the real estate cycle.

Common mistakes are to change things that will not really affect the re-sale value of the home compared to the cost of those changes/improvements.

Here are the top 5 picks for dollar in to dollars back OUT which is the most important metric that matters!Paint – modern and neutral colors or even white/off-white shades can work amazingly well to make a smaller space seem larger. This item can get you 1-1+ dollars back in value. This really changes the feel of a home that helps the property show in its best light

1. Paint – modern and neutral colors or even white/off-white shades can work amazingly well to make a smaller space seem larger. This item can get you 1-1+ dollars back in value. This really changes the feel of a home that helps the property show in its best light

2. Kitchens – updating an older dated or less functional kitchen will make a huge impact on the re-sale of the home bringing a modern feel and often adding new cupboards/drawers or a pantry will add a lot of value for the investment. This will be a more expensive change, but the time that we spend in the kitchen is huge and having this entertaining and meal-prepping area present the wow factor will help a home sell faster every time

3. Bathrooms – we spend a lot of time in the bathroom and just like a hotel having white towels so that it feels clean, fresh, comfortable having updated flooring, vanities, fixtures, dual-flush water saving toilets will help a home sell faster and for more money. Smaller investment than kitchens, huge impact for the whole family. Ninja trick – add his/hers sinks this will help avoid domestic arguments between kids and parents alike!

4. Flooring – having scratched, stained, old – looking flooring will really drag the price down for the property. Buyer’s know that this can be an expensive change (however done right it does not have to be) and they often don’t want to do it themselves because it is a hassle to have all the floor disrupted while living in a home, trust me I have been there – no fun at all! This change will add a lot of value, hard floors such as vinyl plank are very popular due to the lack of maintenance and durability. Hard wood is still popular in higher end homes – look at the area trends to see if that is the right fit for updated homes in the area.

5. Fixtures – I do not just mean light fixtures! Lighting, door knobs, drawer pulls, hinges, switch covers/outlet covers. Having brass door knobs and art-deco knobs on all the cabinets do create a vintage/dated feel for a home and changing all these elements can be very cost effective, yet have a large impact on the overall feel of a home.

If you have any questions on this or any other real estate topics, contact our team today, all things real estate we are here to help!

To your success,

Tim Reid

-respect the hustle

Timing and Motivation Client Immutable laws

Today I had what I would expect is a common challenge most business owners in real estate fact often, that challenge was the matter of timing. We have all heard the phrase “timing is everything” and I would agree that timing is the most important business force surmounting any other.

The client that I had a booked meeting with, albeit several days ago by the team – which in today’s faced paced real estate market might as well have been a lifetime ago …. had already bought a house. Now, this could result in frustration, anger, resentment, or many other colorful emotions and expletive language to go along with it! (the mental battle was touch and go for a few minutes there)

A better tactic is to ask yourself “self…what am I meant to LEARN from this experience?” Which was what I did to analyze the chain of events that lead to the outcome I didn’t want because if you constantly focus on what you don’t want you tend to get more of that.

Looking back through the booking process, sending the calendar invite (not accepted but that’s common), sending the zoom invite, text message the invite to be sure they got it, then as is my custom – the phone call 15-30 minutes beforehand to confirm they have it all and will by by the computer and not driving or walking the dog so I can garner their full attention to the meeting. I did not see many improvements that could be made in the system, other than calling the day before on a holiday weekend to ensure the meeting time still works.

Then I thought a bit harder, and I was reminded of the fundamental truths of sales: it could have just been the timing or motivation of the prospect. In this case the motivation was there clearly – just not the timing of our sales presentation. That is something that no salesperson or staff member can change. If someone does not have the problem your product solves or they have said problem and are unmotivated to solve it, you could have the cure for cancer and they will not pay attention let alone pay for that product or service!

Whether your business is in real estate investing, rocket ship repair, forestry, or IT timing and motivation is something you need to explore/ nail down/work within or you will have a real task on your hands wasting cycles attempting to convert those who are not in the end of the buying journey.

Thinking of investing in real estate in Calgary or other markets in Canada? Contact our team to book a discovery call to find out how building wealth for 3 generations could be easier than you think.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

Calgary Real Estate Market Heating up?

The Calgary Real Estate market for buyers, sellers, investors is certainly a strange place over the last couple months. Everyone thought that after all the deferrals were done there would be a flood of foreclosures. Are they still waiting in the wings? Could be, but the low inventory situation that we find Calgary in right now has created an atypical surge in sales.

Low interest rates and much higher than average savings in Canadian bank accounts due to pandemic lock downs have allowed many families to inadvertently save up a down payment! Now, not all sectors of real estate in Calgary are moving fast:

  1. Luxury homes are slow moving over 1.5M in most areas of Calgary – some areas of aspen have seen motivated sellers drop prices 100’s of thousands of dollars to get the homes sold
  2. Condo market for apartment style homes in the inner city has been a slow mover, with inventory here being far higher than demand.
  3. Older un-renovated homes under 1000sft which are normally sold to developers are slow to move because spec-home developers are being very cautious on their purchase prices for lots.

Single family and semi-detached homes are moving quick, also demand for half-duplexes with no condo fees has skyrocketed due in part for the buyer now seeing the possibility of adding a basement suite for having that extra revenue. I had a younger client recently tell me that that type of property would be great for his first home so that he could rent out the 2 suites when he decides to upgrade – what a smart young man! I wish I was thinking in those terms when I was younger, things would be very different now if that were the case.

We are seeing CS properties before I can get clients in to view them, properties going 50K over list price, and even private deals which we specialize in normally not having as much competition…we got outbid by a neighbor for a private seller of a lot I was working on selling to a builder contact of ours! Ouch – losing out on a private deal in a great location is not normal operating mechanics for Calgary real estate.

The stats won’t support this opinion, but I am seeing a balanced market at the moment in Calgary and if we don’t see a volume of inventory hit the market by spring when it gets warm and everyone wants to move….then we could have a seller’s market on our hands.

What do you do in a sellers market VS a buyers market? Good question – contact us and we are thrilled to help advise/answer questions on what could be the best strategy for your goals.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect the hustle

Book review by one of the greats

I love to read, as some of you may have seen from my posts – I have crushed a number of book since covid, frankly not driving around as much being stuck in traffic in addition to getting more sleep has really helped the book/month ratio. I will be including a comprehensive list from my book shelf here shortly.

Mr Bruce Firestone founder of the Ottawa Senators is one of my mentors and here is one of his latest blogs taking a review of corporate mergers which are not always the best for the employees…see the full article here

Let’s Talk Goals

a goal wothout pa plan is just a wish

With school now back in session for 2020 and a lot of uncertainty in the air, the last thing on the mind of a lot of business owners in real estate and others is their goals for the last quarter of the year.

Just because it is hard to see the horizon, does not mean you can skip having a destination! Imagine for a moment the mayflower not having a destination of coming to Canada…” North America or thereabouts” would not have got our ancestors here to our great nation!

We often think of the things we DON’T want as opposed to what we DO want:

  • I don’t want to go broke
  • I don’t want to get divorced
  • I don’t want to lose my job

What you put out into the universe (or god of your understanding) is what you will get back – having your focus on your intentions and GOALS consistently will move you toward them. It has been said that “what you focus on expands” so if you constantly focus on what you DON’T wand then you will get more of that.

Having goals is very important, however often they wind up like resolutions – never accomplished and only done once or twice per year. Thinking about your goals ALL THE TIME and re-visiting them and re-evaluating them to get valuable data on how well you doing (or not doing sometimes) is key to making them happen.

We have all set goals that maybe we didn’t meet in the timeline that we set out….sound familiar? The conclusion our lizard brain can make in this scenario is that “setting goals doesn’t work, I never meet them anyway” which is of course not true just feedback that there are adjustments that need to be made.

When setting goals it is important to make them around things you TRULY want, have them be specific, time-bound (with a realistic timeline), and measurable. If these ingredients are not present then you have a recipe for disaster! When you can’t measure your progress you feel like your never going to get to the destination, when you set unrealistic timelines then running out of time/stress/anxiety will follow, and if what you are working on does not move your closer to something you are passionate about then how often will you make consistent action toward it? (not very often, just like the treadmill collecting dust of the gym membership not getting used).

We suggest having both short term and long term goals, in all areas of your life: personal, spiritual, health, work/business, financial, creative ETC – whatever sectors of your world that you want to improve, for some there are areas that are humming along great and no significant changes needed.

When creating your goals, be conservative with your goal/timeline – be kind to yourself. The motivation to keep working on them is derived from having confidence that through consistent action you CAN achieve them if you surpass them or crush them early then FANTASTIC! This outcome is much better than reaching your goal date and only being half done and discouraged – which is not helpful, remember to adjust and re-set the goal self- beatings are not conducive to motivation for goals!

What are your goals for the last mile of 2020?

Contact us and let us know, we would love to hear your vision for your world over the next few months.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

What is your real competition?

What-is-your-real-competition

Recently I was reading a marketing book which told the story of Coke when they were preparing to enter the Russian market many years ago. Like a large well funded company they spend a lot of time and resources researching the market and customer behavior.

What the found was that the biggest competitor to their product was the CITY BUS! The fact was that a lot of Russian consumers did not have enough disposable income to enjoy a coke PLUS ride the bus home! I know that is hard to fathom today (this was many years ago) or in many developed countries around the world.

However the lesson is still just applicable today as it was then, you need to ask yourself as a real estate business owner (or any business) when you enter the market for the first time, launch a new product, or expand your reach into new markets: what is my real competition in this space?

The facts could be far from your assumptions, and we all know what an a** assumptions can make out of business owners with the best intentions.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

Delegation Will Set you Free

4 people's hands in fists coming together, signifying teamwork and delegation

When we start off any business, real estate being no exception to the rules of course, we have to wear all the “hats”. These are things that the 9-5er may not have ever even thought about before such as:

  1. Accounting/book keeping (they are NOT the same thing)
  2. Sales
  3. Marketing
  4. Deal Analyiss
  5. Underwriting
  6. Negotiating
  7. Business Credit
  8. Corporate Financing
  9. Total Cost of borrowing
  10. Mangement
  11. HR
  12. Operations
  13. Creating Systems (critical)
  14. Time Management
  15. Social Media
  16. Traditional Media
  17. Branding
  18. Legal
  19. Building your power team

Seems overwhelming right? Well, that is OK because you do NOT have to go it alone. Even though you may not have the budget for full time staffing in many if not all of these areas in the beginning, you can outsource almost everything these days. I would suggest that even IF you did have the budget to hire a bunch of full time staff that it would be an ineffective allocation of resources.

Why? Primarily because you are learning what you are great at in the list of skills above, and what your time will be worth to your new business (or even existing) – and this is VERY important to know before you decide where to delegate/outsource/hire any role in your new empire.

Rome was not built in a day, as they say – great companies aren’t either, it takes some time to build them up and add head-count. I have seen countless businesses start and fail because they added a bunch of staff before they were ready and it killed their cash flow (employees are expensive) especially when compared to contractors. You can even rent board members, advisors, even a CEO for a few days per month to give the guidance you need for a fraction of the costs.

Now, when you are clear on what you love to do and really hate to do in your business (such as accounting/book keeping for example) then you can decide what to delegate, when, and to whom.

The whole reason we start a business is to have freedom, have fun, and provide value to the market place in a way that is fulfilling. How the heck can you do that if you despise a bunch of tasks you have to undertake every day? Simple: you CAN’T.

With that in mind, budget and map out on the calendar when you want to outsource making it a goal – having X increase in stabilized revenue then we can hire Y which will free up Z amount of hours for your the Entrepreneur to spend more time working ON the business and not IN it.

To your Success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

Avoid Bank Penalties with Blended Mortgages

penalty notice

When real estate investors start out, normally they use their own resources: credit, down payment, bank financing. This is the common way we all get started in real estate investing, however without having knowledge of creative financing structures the penalties can bite into your profits big time!

Whether you plan to flip, RTO, or renovate and refinance the property how your mortgage is set up is key to maximizing your profits. The bank’s and most mortgage brokers will never tell you anything about how to use blended mortgages – why? Because it isn’t in their interest to help you pay less interest and reduce fees, that is how they make their money!

A blended mortgage is defined as using 2 or more different mortgage products to fund your deals. There are private mortgage and financing options that are available, further, a variable VS fixed-rate mortgage is important. LOC’s do not have penalties when paid out early, and fixed-rate/variable-rate mortgages have pre-payment penalties in almost all cases.

Some mortgages will allow you to blend/extend the mortgage and use it to purchase another property. However, this can be problematic because of the price difference between properties 1 and 2.

When you plan to refinance/sell the house in the short term, then finding creative ways to minimize that penalty is a wise thing to do. Using blended mortgages+private money to structure the deal is one of the things we specialize in at the phoenix group.

Example: a 300K property you could get a LOC for 65% of the value 195,000 and a fixed-rate mortgage for 15% (total LTV 80%) 45,000 to fund your project. Now, you have a penalty to pay on the fixed Mortgage of only 45K rather than the full 300k! This is one of the things the bank will never tell you, however with the right guidance they can be sold on these structures easily and effectively.

Stay tuned for more insider secrets like these.

PS: If you want to learn how this strategy and others work Contact Us to book a discovery call to have a chat on how we can serve and support your real estate pathway to wealth.

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

3 Must Reads For Real Estate Investors

learning estate

They have always said that readers are leaders! I totally agree with that in real estate investing and business – there are a lot of skills to be learned. There are a lot of real estate courses there, that they do a debatable job of teaching the real estate tactics, but what about the other business skills that you need?

I started to coach other real estate investors as a Canadian for Canadians because I learned how much I DIDN’T know after school and working my way through the corporate world.

Business is 80% the same for any industry, and having some great insights from people who have been there before will give you a head start and cut the learning curve by years.

3 Books that all Real Estate Investors should Read:

  1. Duct Tape Marketing – John Jantsch. This book takes the fundamentals of all marketing and makes it applicable to the small business in simple easy to understand terms
  2. The Lean Startup – Eric Reis. This book shows you how to take a product or service to the market efficiently without spending too much money.
  3. The 4-hour workweek – Tim Ferris. One of the best books on the entrepreneurial method and how to think like a business owner and not a technician

Coaching will also exponentially cut your learning curve, and help you replace years of learning, reading, trial, and error – Contact us to set up a discovery call to help us serve and support you to the highest level

To your Success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle

RRSP Myths Real Estate Solves

RRSP Money Stacks

We are told by banks, government, and traditional financial advice to save money in our RRSP’s because you get to grow your investments tax deferred. Now, what does DEFERRED really mean? What that actually means and many do not understand or even if they do it often gets forgotten…you pay the tax LATER is what that means.

Do you know what the tax rate will be in the future? I would suggest to you that it will be higher than it is today – during the great depression the highest tax rates increased. With the current state of the world I would bet your going to see increased taxes over the coming decades to pay for the assistance the Governments around the world have had to put into the economy.

When you start taking your RRSP funds out when you retire you will have to pay whatever tax rate that the feds decide to set at that time. Have 1,000,000 saved? That could only really be 600K or 700K you could actually spend – scary thought right?

I believe in Cash flowing assets – real assets like fully optimized single family homes (contact us to learn more about what that means) and multi-family assets. No matter the tax rate in the future, people will always need to have somewhere to live, and rental rates are tied to inflation protecting your earning ability.

RRSP’s only really benefit the owners if they are Self-directed and you use them for real estate backed arm’s length mortgages. This is something we help people with on a regular basis, after learning the TRUE COST of most mutual fund investments people are shocked at what a ride they are being taken on….in favor of the bank’s/mutual fund companies interest and not their own.

If you found value in this post please feel free to share!

PS: If you would like to learn more about how to analyze the fees your being charged on your investments/how to build a cash flow machine for generations through real estate. Contact us for a complimentary discovery call

To your success,

Tim Reid

-Respect The Hustle