Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Best of 2009 at Rev N You Multi-Media Style!

by Julie Broad

I sat here for nearly an hour trying to figure out how I could best recap an entire year of new adventures, new challenges and new friendships and I decided the absolute best way I could do this was to feature one single article, video, or post from each month. In most cases it will be the most viewed item of that particular month but in some cases … well … it just might be my personal favourite… and you can tell me in the comments if I missed something or if you would have picked something else!! All right… here we go…


Property management is not something I enjoy … at all. And Dave shared the story about how we both concluded that I was not well suited for it. Nor did I feel it was a good use of my time … and it does require time to effectively manage a property! This really resonated with people as we continue to receive emails from our newsletter subscribers who say they really related to how I felt in the situation!

8 Ways To Know You Should Hire a Property Manager


For us, the most exciting thing was that we began to roll out our new real estate investing course. As we welcomed students into our program we also got a lot of emails asking about our program. Most people  wanted to know if our program would help them start real estate investing even though they don’t have money. Our program covers that … we’ve done many deals where we invest very little of our own money into the deal … but these people weren’t just concerned about buying real estate with no money… they wanted to make millions FAST without spending much time or any money to do so.

We had to write a lot of letters of apology saying that we’re all out of magic buttons. But if they find someone with a functioning magic button we too would like one because so far what we’ve found works very well, but there’s definitely work involved. And the wealth and financial freedom with our method does not happen overnight.

Our dose of reality was swallowed with mixed responses … after all those guys on the infomercials and free seminars sell easy money and fast retirement so there are still people out there looking for it … and it does seem to work for a few people, but we’re realistic. We tell the truth… and the truth is that real estate investing creates massive wealth over time. And real estate investing is simple but it’s not easy!!

Anyway… this one spreadsheet Dave created and shared received a TON of feedback both in our blog and by email. It was in response to a potential students request for a plan to create $20,000 in passive income in five years.

Our response and the spreadsheet we created was not welcomed with open arms by the person who wrote to us. Needless to say they did not sign up for our program but that is ok. We’re not selling hype. And in fact the spreadsheet Dave created is a bit optimistic for many folks but we believe it is still very realistic. You absolutely could do much better than the plan Dave lays out in the Outline for Creating $20,000 in Passive Income in 5-7 Years … but we’re trying to show you what is realistically possible.


A surprise winner for the entire year… not just the month of March … is the blog post we threw together after helping our soon to be married friends and now expecting parents Cam and April prepare for the purchase of their new home. And they certainly did well to buy when they did and with the extras they negotiated in. And this post… all about the things to negotiate with a builder when buying a new home continues to be the most viewed post on our blog month after month.

Upgrades to Negotiate with a Builder When Buying a New Home in Today's Market



Our Rev N You with Real Estate Newsletter celebrated it’s 3rd Birthday!! It’s hard to believe we’ve been writing our newsletter for over 3 years… and as our newsletter was now in it’s fourth official month of being a real live online business, I was heading down to Austin for Part 2 of a mentoring program put on by Keith Cunningham. And it’s from the teachings of Keith that I put together my thoughts around one of my favourite articles of 2009:

The Danger of Pursuing Passive Income


May reminded me once again why I refuse to let Dave get us into flipping properties. After a second month of vacancy was looming at a duplex of ours in Nanaimo we decided to tackle some much needed upgrades and repairs. My brother Wes had just lost his job because the company he was working for went out of business. But thankfully, both he and my other brother Dan are carpenters and are within an hour or so drive of the property so we figured it was a good time to tackle the project, get some family labour and get the place rented.

Well… we had it rented before we even finished… but the job was twice as long, twice as expensive and twice as labour intensive as we figured reminding me once again why I refuse to flip houses for profit!

(We wrote several blog posts on the renovation… check those out here: Rental Property Renovations, Rental Property Renovations Continued)


Best teleseminar of the year was with James A. Randel

Put simply… June was pretty crazy as Dave was away fishing for Halibut and I went to Florida … but around that we interviewed two really interesting authors: William Lederer and James Randel. I think James Randel was our best teleseminar all year.


As we worked on buying a couple of properties in Kelowna, BC we learned another lesson about pricing risk into your deals. We also met the most responsive, hard working and reliable realtor we have ever worked with in our lives in Kelowna – Brenda Bachmann. We can’t say enough about how wonderful it is to have her on our team!


We attended the wedding of our friends Cam and April in Newfoundland. There’s plenty of things I could share about this particular month (viewers of our Real Estate Millionaire Video Series know what I am talking about – as our vacation was rudely interupted by the almost crumbling of two deals we were working on at the time… oh fickle fickle lenders how thee ruined our trip) but I will stick to the most interesting experience we had… and our third most watched YouTube video of 2009:

Newfoundland Screech in and Kissing the Cod Ceremony


We attended Engage Today 2009 where we saw Richard Branson, the Dalai Lama, Stephen Covey and many other incredible minds from around the world. We have never attended any event so life changing, inspirational and influential. I don’t think a single person who was there would disagree with us on this. We can’t wait to share the virtual experience with you – which is going to be available in late January.

(My favourite post about Engage Today is actually: Chase the Vision Not the Money).


I was crowned the winner of MustKnowInvesting.Com’s Battle of the REI Blogs 2009!

Thank you – again – to everyone that voted for me! And also to Patrick Riddle for hosting the battle. It was so much fun, and I am pleased to say that thanks to the battle I have new friends in Steph Davis, Shae Bynes, Susan Lyons, Ron Mead and JP Moses

Here’s my victory video:


It’s tough to pick just one thing from November …  we were in Florida for nearly two weeks. I actually had dinner with Michael  Masterson … one of the people that has played a really big role in shaping me as a business person and investor.  So, to be able to sit down with him and only a few other folks, over dinner was something that I could not skip as a November highlight. But I also had the chance to learn a networking tip from the king of connections Larry Benet, and we filmed a little video on the South Florida market with Shae Bynes of So… what to pick?! Your favourite was actually the article I wrote on the Three Things I Learned from Michael Masterson … so there it is!


The month of December really seemed to be spent working with our 12 Months to $1 Million club members… and one of the subjects that keeps coming up is Rent to Own deals … so we created this little podcast from one of our group coaching calls and shared it with everyone. The response has been incredibly positive so that was definitely the winner… and our little membership program has also been a winner. We have just under 100 members in the club and we’re having so much fun with them! We’ve had calls on joint venture partnerships, the #2 secret to buying $1 Million in rental property in just 12 months and we’ve been sharing videos and special reports with them… it’s been really fun and we’re planning some additions and upgrades to the program in 2010!!

So that was 2009… in pictures, videos and blog posts!!

We are really looking forward to 2010! We’ve got some pretty ambitious plans to help you out with your real estate investing and hopefully some things to interest and entertain you as well!

So… what did I miss? What was your favourite article, blog post or video we did in 2009? And what do you want to see in 2010?? We would love to hear from you!!


Filed under Blogs, real estate, Recommended, Video

As If Calls from the Police & the Nanaimo News Weren’t Enough …

by Julie Broad

We’ve taken a break from our marketing activities for the rest of the year. We didn’t want our lovely little yellow letters to compete with holiday greeting cards but we’ll resume with our last 1500 letters in early January (that’s right Nanaimo … we’re sending you more letters!) and begin a multi-media marketing campaign complete with online ads, print ads and signage around the city.

I’m really looking forward to it! It’s sure been a fun and interesting adventure so far! One of the things that has really surprised me though is the number of people that respond to our letters with letters!! I’ve got one of the best ones for you below. But first, I thought you’d enjoy a video update we recorded from my Dad (who has been acting as our call center handling all the incoming calls).

There hasn’t been a dull moment. There also hasn’t been a deal done just yet … but we’re making progress on 4 properties and we’re hoping to wind up with at least one of them in January but we shall see! Our goal is to find properties for under market value OR find properties we can buy with some sort of vendor financing in place. And if we can combine the two and find a property with vendor financing AND buy it for under market value that is great!! It’s a treasure hunt and we know it’s going to take a bit of time.


Filed under direct marketing, Just For Fun, real estate

Dual Maps….A dream resource for real estate investors!

by Dave Peniuk

First of all … if reading bores you… scroll to the bottom and watch the video!

Second of all, if you didn’t know it yet … Google Streetview FINALLY arrived in Nanaimo this Fall!! 🙂 This makes me very happy.

And to top that off, my wife Julie told me about this wonderful little web application called Dual Maps that shows the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of houses in a map mashing made in real estate heaven. Since it means a ton of market research can be done from the comforts of my couch, I thought you also may be interested in taking a look without going out into that cold Canadian air, or sweat-inducing humid southern climate.

As you may have already read we’ve assaulted the City of Nanaimo residents with our yellow letters and have received countless interesting responses! If you haven’t heard the wild voicemails, read about the article in the paper or the call from the cops then you must read Ron LeGrands Quick Turn Program Update. But, the reason I mention this, is as we speak to “prospects” (people who are more motivated to sell for whatever reason), we’ve been using Dual Maps to learn more about the house, the neighbours houses, and the neighbourhood in general.

When someone calls we may, or may not, know what kind of an area their home is in. It may be an area we won’t even consider investing in. We also will only know the details of their home that they share with us … until we log onto the latest and greatest web mapping tools and see the home for ourselves!

The reason for checking the house out online is not to confirm whether the house is a pretty house, an ugly house, or a downright nasty house, but rather to see what the neighbourhood looks like.

We don’t want to waste a bunch of time negotiating with a seller about the details of their property until we’ve actually checked out the area further. Plus we can ask more intelligent questions when we’ve actually seen what the house looks like and where it’s situated! And we can do this even while we’re on the phone with the prospect… saving enormous amounts of time and even money!

Check out this quick video for how useful Dual Maps can be when evaluating a house/neighbourhood!

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Filed under Mash Ups, real estate, Recommended

Retire to Your Dream Destination – Real Estate Investing in Brazil

Taking action is critical to your success. Too many people find a reason not to go after their big dreams (I just wrote about the big but that keeps you from investing in real estate). The excuses sound really good, but at the end of the day anything that stops you from being who you want to be and living the life you want to live is just an excuse. And sometimes all we need to get out of our funk or get off our butt and do something is a story about someone else that did!

That’s why I am pretty excited to share this story from two Rev N You newsletter readers that have stepped out of their comfort zone and created the life they were dreaming of. And, of course, when that life has some great real estate lessons and angles that makes it even better.

When Trudy Palmer wrote to me about her Brazilian condo investment I thought it would make a wonderful story for our readers. I know they aren’t the only ones considering retirement in a lower cost country with a better climate. I also know they aren’t the only ones considering Central or South American investments, so I thought you would enjoy this story.

And, if you’re interested in learning more about their Brazilian investments, you are welcome to ask your questions in the comments section of the blog – Trudy will be responding to them – or you can send an email to Trudy & Steven to get more details.

Retire To Your Dream Destination

By Trudy Palmer

Ever since my husband, Steven, and I first started reading about the great climate year round, cheap real estate, low cost of living and low taxes in Panama, we’ve been dreaming and scheming of moving to a tropical country.

After one particularly long, cold winter in Kelowna, B.C. we finally decided it was time to quit dreaming and make it happen. We spent 3 weeks in Panama checking things out only to return to Canada to find out the visa requirements were changing. Before we could get ourselves moved down there the visas had become cost prohibitive

That wasn’t enough to stop us from finding a new, and maybe even better, “retirement-haven” country.

We ruled out Mexico and other countries throughout Central America that are located in the hurricane belt. We narrowed our options down to either the city of Manta, on the coast of Ecuador or Fortaleza, on the north eastern coast of Brazil. We ultimately settled on Brazil because it offered a more stable economy, better infrastructure and larger city with more amenities.

Forteleza Brazil

Fortaleza, Brazil

For us, the dream was not about paradise and privacy. We want shopping, nightlife and lots of socializing, especially being the avid salsa dancers that we are.

We sold our Kelowna home for a nice profit which is what we used to finance our new life in Brazil.

With the city selected our next task was to find a home.

My criteria for our next home was simple – to be on or near the water. However, Steven’s eye was more towards owning a revenue property. After spending a few months in Fortaleza and starting to get a feel for the market, it became very clear that the traditional rental property route was not going to be the ideal scenario. Because many Brazilians earn so little, rents are very low and we really didn’t want to be in the position of having to chase Brazilians down for money, especially when many can’t afford the rent in the first place.

The real money, with the least amount of hassle or work, is in the short-term/vacation rental market, typically through renting out condos to foreigners. And, we discovered as we were looking for a place to stay ourselves, there is a shortage of short term and vacation accommodations.

But, this still posed a problem for us. We could only afford to buy one condo. If we rented it out, where would we live? Houses with suites are nearly non-existent and there really aren’t any houses on or near the water in Fortaleza.

In  the meantime, we had found a place to live in Fortaleza that had a kitchenette, twice-weekly maid/cleaning service, a pool and common TV room. The building was 4 levels with 21 furnished one and two bedroom apartments. It is owned and operated by an American who lives in one of the apartments and rents the rest out to foreigners on a weekly or monthly basis. The idea of purchasing the property began to form but the asking price was too high and consequently the returns just weren’t attractive enough for us or another potential investor. Thus, the search for a similar property began.

Apartment in Brazil

Upon researching the market, we determined that Cumbuco, a small beach town approximately 35 kilometres from Fortaleza had a lot of potential for value and growth. With it’s proximity to the city and its popularity with kite-surfers from all over the world we felt we’d found a real gem. In fact, Cumbuco is in the early stages of being recognized as one of the top 5 destinations in the world for kite-surfing.

Kite Surfing in Brazil

Cumbuco has really grown and over the past few years. Brazil, especially the north eastern coast, is in the early stages of a real estate boom. This is evidenced by the many large developments underway in Fortaleza, Cumbuco and up and down the coast. In addition, the World Soccer (Football) Games are approved for Fortaleza in 2014, and World Olympics are taking place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. With the combination of the buyer’s market and the strengthening of the Brazilian Real which is projected to continue to strengthen, we feel strongtly that now is the perfect time to buy.

We found a beautiful property in Cumbuco, located one block from the beach with 16 rooms and a restaurant. The seller was motivated and we managed to negotiate the property at a 25% discount with 18 months of seller financing (which is practically non-existent in Brazil).

Our timing was perfect because we recently learned that a few weeks after the seller accepted our offer, a European investor offered her twice we paid for her property.

We are living our dream retirement in a dream destination. And we’d be happy to share more details with you.

<Note from Julie & Dave: Trudy & Steven welcome you to get more details about their investment. Feel free to leave your questions in the blog post comments section or if you’re interested you can access their investment proposal by sending a blank email to: >


Filed under investing, real estate

Is Your Big But Keeping You From Investing in Real Estate?

by Julie Broad

But I am just waiting until I’ve read your program a few more times before I make my first offer.

But I don’t know anybody with money to partner with.

But it’s not a good time to buy right now.

But I just haven’t found the right deal.

I wish I had just made those up but those are quotes from actual emails I’ve received this year. And I could go on and on with more from people who read our real estate investing newsletters, our blog posts and even join one of our real estate investing programs. These are people who really want to start investing in real estate but can’t even get themselves to put in a single offer.

I understand… it’s scary. There are people who have lost a lot of money investing in real estate.

But there are just as many (or more) that have made a lot of money.

And you’re taking the time to educate yourself on the fundamentals of real estate investing. And you’ve been learning from people like us that are showing you how to avoid the mistakes we’ve made. (I know you’re doing these things because you’re reading our blog!)

So, if you’re doing all of that and still not making offers, then you MUST read this book by Sean Stephenson called Get Off Your But. Sean says, “our BUTS are huge. And the longer we sit on them, the more they continue to grow!

It’s ok. We all do it! We all have a ‘but’ we’re sitting on that is holding us back from something we really want. But you have to know that YOUR BUT IS THE ONLY THING HOLDING YOU BACK from what you want.

I know this to be true, and yet I have allowed my but to be really big for some of my lifelong goals…  and I am going to change that. I’ve set my goals for 2010 and they are audacious. They are my biggest goals yet. I am going to get off my but and I hope you do too!

Besides being a fascinating and inspiring tale of the life of this three foot tall giant of a man who has never been able to stand on his own two feet due to having brittle bones (the non medical term for his condition), it’s a book full of resources and tools to help you overcome those fears, excuses and insecurities that are giving you the biggest buts.

I’ve said this before when I have talked about my mountain biking accidents … especially the one where I hit the root when there was a small path to the left of it that I could have used to safely get by … you get what you focus on. If you are focused on the things you fear the most or the things that are holding you back then you will have a hard time finding a way around those things.

Sean provides a great exercise in the book to demonstrate this. Essentially he gets you to ask a friend to spend 60 seconds finding everything that is blue coloured in a room. Then, after they have told you everything that is blue, ask the person to tell you a few things that were yellow or red.

It’s going to be nearly impossible for them to name anything that is a different colour because they have been so focused on the blue things.

The same thing happens to would-be real estate investors … they get so hung up on the financing challenges, the fact they can’t find good partners or the lack of good deals that they never actually get going and get off their big but.

So… get off your but! Stop making excuses and start making offers … or just stop letting your big but hold you back from whatever it is you want in your life.

And if you need a little help, I would highly recommend you pick up Sean Stephenson’s book or watch his new TV show on the BIO channel (check out a video about the show below).

No one is dealt a bad or a good hand in life; we’re just dealt cards. It’s up to us to stay in the game and play. Sure, some cards look ‘better’ but they’re really not.” – Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your But p. 257

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Filed under Books, Engage Today 2009, investing, real estate

A Small Tribute to the SPCA Biscuit Fund and Cindy Schafer

by Julie Broad

I shed a few tears as I made my $500 donation to the Vancouver SPCA’s biscuit fund and looked back at the supporters who really rallied behind me for the Battle of the REI Blogs.

Normally the tears would have been for the abused animals pictured on the website of the SPCA but I have learned not to read their heart wrenching stories. Those stories always end in tears for me. I will never understand how people can be cruel to animals … especially dogs who are generally so loyal and loving.

But, that isn’t why I shed a few tears today.

Through this contest I was introduced to Cindy Schafer.

Cindy emerged as a supporter during the Battle of the REI Blogs. A fellow dog lover, blogger & daughter of bed and breakfast parents we had many things in common. We exchanged blog comments, a couple of emails and I was hooked on her cheery words and warm heart.

Of course, she found out about the contest through my Mom who networks with her Mom on a bed and breakfast forum.

She even wrote a plea to her blog readers to support Julie Broad in the Battle of the REI Blogs.

I know she would have been so happy today to learn that my $500 donation to the Vancouver SPCA is complete and her vote and her support played a part in my victory which led to that donation. But Cindy was killed in a plane crash last week.

I can’t even imagine the pain that everyone who loves her is feeling. I never even met her in person and I feel such sadness.

But I will forever be grateful for her support and for the brief encounters we did share thanks to the Battle of the REI blogs.  That is why I shed a few tears. And this year my $500 is in tribute to her and for the wonderful legacy she leaves behind with me and with everyone who knew her.

And to everyone else who supported us during the Battle of the REI Blogs, your vote and your comments meant so much to us. The $500 donation to the biscuit fund will go towards helping at least one badly injured animal receive the medical treatment they need to recover and live a happy and healthy life. And next year I am pretty sure we’ll double the donation if we can make it a victory two years in a row!


Filed under real estate

Ron LeGrand’s Quick Turn Real Estate Program Update….it’s gettin’ juicy…

by Dave Peniuk

Well, here we are, approximately 6 weeks since my last post since completing Ron LeGrand’s Quick Turn Real Estate investing seminar in Edmonton, AB. And I have one word for the experience thus far….WOW!

Now, before I jump too far ahead and tell you all the amusing, irritating, sad, and potentially profitable things we’ve been introduced to, I want to start by explaining just what exactly we’ve done so far.

In the past 6 weeks, we have personally put together and mailed 4,000 yellow letters. This work was coordinated by Julie’s Mom. We hired some willing workers on Salt Spring Island to help us with the addressing and personalization of the letters so we didn’t do them all ourselves. But yep – that is still four thousand envelopes and letters! All to the same city, across 2 postal codes (like zip codes in the US).

From those 4,000 letters we have received over 1,000 phone calls which my father-in-law has largely handled!

We did NOT hire as instructed by Ron at the event simply because:

  • We felt we wanted to learn “the business” firsthand by actually talking to folks that call
  • We know it would be very expensive to go through
  • We build better rapport with the callers, in the hope that down the road if they do want to sell, they’ll call us first

So, you’re probably dying to know how many deals we’ve got from all of this effort? Well, as of today we have officially no firm deals. That is rather disappointing given all the money, time and effort we’ve put into this in the last six weeks.  BUT, and it’s a big BUT we do have several strong leads for acquiring some solid (and not so solid) properties.

We have 1 property which we hope to acquire for what’s owed using the Agreement for Sale strategy (it’s basically like buying the property without taking title/deed and without paying out the mortgage but still have “control” of the asset), we have another where we intend to acquire using Wrap Financing and buy with little of our own money, and we have a few others whereby we’ll use similar strategies. Again, we have no intention of teaching you any of these strategies. We are still going to focus on buy and hold real estate investing and the fundamentals but we will give you updates on this adventure because it’s certainly entertaining and we know there’s lots to learn from the experience.

Now, the BEST part of trying Ron’s techniques are the responses we have received from the folks receiving our little, pleasant, yellow letter. And what I find so amusing is that this is basically all that’s on the letter:

Dear X  We would like to buy your house located at X Please call us at X.

I can’t say exactly all the details of what’s on the letter and what it looks like for fear of Ron coming after me for passing along this information (although you can find examples of it all over the internet), but the essence of it is that it’s very simple and very non-threatening….but boy oh boy some people have felt threatened. Just look at this recent article about us in the local news!!

The responses are mostly people curious about our interest in their home, but recently we’ve started to get some really funny people:

The good part, by and large, is that 90% of all those we speak with are pleasant, good natured individuals who are mostly curious about what we are trying to do and maybe even what we may pay for their house.

And some people have even been upset when they haven’t received a letter… check out this one:

Regardless of how many deals we end up doing using Ron LeGrand’s strategies (and in particular the yellow letter campaign which has been our focus thus far), it has been a lesson in human behaviour and HIGHLY entertaining.

Please continue to follow our updates as we (hopefully) close on some deals and continue to find how we, the human race, react to unorthodox buying methods!


Filed under real estate