Monthly Archives: February 2010

The Fallacy of the RRSP Investment

by Dave Peniuk

I am going to get to the point today, which is often very tough for me (according to my lovely wife and business partner, Julie!). You see, I just returned from a conference on how we can utilize the cash in our Registered Retirement Savings Plan (similar to an IRA in the USA) and become fat and rich like our Banks, and lend that cash out as mortgages. But besides learning about the process of how to do it and following all of the government rules and regulations, it was pointed out just how few Canadians actually understand what their RRSP is.

I call it the “Fallacy of the RRSP Investment“. You see, a fallacy is “an incorrect or misleading notion or opinion based on inaccurate facts or invalid reasoning“.

Your RRSP in and of itself is NOT an investment.

It is a special type of account that can hold funds in it and the funds in it are tax deferred (thus, you can write-off your contributions to it and the returns are not taxable either – UNTIL you begin withdrawing the funds).

But, and this is very important, the RRSP is not an investment. The GIC’s, Mutual Funds, Stocks, Bonds, Mortgages (yes, you can invest in a mortgage through you RRSP account) are the investment.

I want to inform Canadians (and even our US counterparts with their IRA accounts) that they need to educate themselves and take more control of their money. If you do not know, unequivocally, what investments you have within your RRSP (or RESP, LIRA, RRIF, etc.), and what is their NET RETURN to you, then you need to take a good hard look.

This is what Dave looks like when he's excited

And you know what I am excited about? Really excited about? I am excited about the fact that I now have the full knowledge of how to use the cash in my RRSP’s and how I can help others use the cash in their RRSP’s to invest in mortgages (and with it the knowledge of what the NET RETURN will be because it’s a mortgage!! – you know, like the ones that you pay the banks hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest??!?!).

Now, I am not giving advice, as I am not a “Licensed Investment Salesperson” at one of the financial institutions (many Financial Advisors were called this until 2008), but I am letting you know you have other options available to you in your RRSP accounts. And, I urge you to find out:

  • What are you invested in within your RRSP (RESP, RRIF, LIRA)
  • What are your NET returns (this is your total return less all the fees charged by your Advisor, or Mutual Fund, or admin fees..)
  • If you have a Financial Advisor, Planner, Broker, ask him or her to explain how your investments are doing in REAL CANADIAN LANGUAGE
  • Ask your Planner what they are invested in and see if they are invested in any of the same products they suggested you invest in

If you do the above, and are able to get a real handle on the investments within your RRSP (or IRA), then you will be well on your way to taking real control of your money….because hey, no one and I mean NO ONE will (or more importantly SHOULD) care  more about your money than you!

11 Comments

Filed under real estate, RRSP

An Update from the Little Yellow Letter Campaign

by Julie Broad

I know that some folks, like Shae Bynes, are anxiously awaiting a campaign update. So … at long last here is an update …

Starting back in October of 2009 we selected a couple of areas within the city of Nanaimo that we liked, purchased a mailing list based on the postal codes of those areas and began mailing out little yellow letters. They are handwritten, simple and basically say:

“Hello my name is Rick Broad and my wife Ruth-Anne and I are interested in buying your home.”

The biggest surprise for us has been the better than 25% response rate! In some postal code areas we have hit almost a 40% response rate!! If you’re doing the math that means over 1,000 calls from the 5,000 letters we’ve sent out and my Dad has talked to most of them!! He works for a pretty low cost (ok, his labour to date has been free) and he is happy to chat with the folks that want to chat, happy to smooth out the ruffled feathers of the ones that are scared and most of all he is happy to hear about the people who might want to sell us their house!

Now … as I discussed in my post yesterday about Tony Peters’ techniques, I am not convinced that this type of campaign is really working for us. And from some folks we know that have done something similar in Sylvan Lake, AB and Edmonton, AB we understand the responses they are getting is similar.

We look forward to hearing what Tony Peters and his wife Jo-Ann do because I think that Tony really hit the nail on the head in the teleseminar we had with him on his creative real estate investing strategies when he said that this type of letter doesn’t work in all markets because it’s too personal. It gets opened but it also gets people’s defenses up.

While I agree I also know my Dad is pretty good at explaining what we’re doing. And all it takes is a simple Google search for “Rick Broad” to find their lovely Bed and Breakfast, their home phone number, mailing address and a ton of other information about them. This does provide people with a lot of comfort because they know that if we were doing something underhanded we’d probably do a better job of hiding our real identities.

Anyway … as alluded to in our previous posts about the yellow letter campaign we have had all kinds of responses from:

  • Angry folks because they didn’t get a letter but their neighbours did;
  • Scared relatives wondering why we’re mailing their Mom or Aunt or Grandparents a letter wanting to buy their house;
  • Curious people wondering how we got their name;
  • People hopeful we’re going to pay them big money to move or as Dad says to them “We don’t want to pry you out of your home with money“;
  • Two different calls from the police – both of which acknowledged we are doing nothing wrong but the second call asked us to consider stopping because they are taking a lot of calls about our letters;
  • A newspaper reporter who ended up doing a story about our unconventional deal finding methods.

Most people are genuinely curious about the letter, and after speaking with my Dad for awhile they are comfortable with what we’re doing. Many of them even want to sell us their house or even if they don’t want to sell it they want to tell Dad all about how lovely it is!

In fact, Dad’s been invited over to look at nearly a dozen homes that are not for sale just because people are so proud of their homes.

It’s really wonderful and heart warming to hear Dad recount many of the lovely chats he has had with people! And he really likes it when people want him to come over to see their garden. He never will … but it makes him feel good to be invited!

At the end of the day we’re looking for a good deal.

And what makes a good deal is that it solves a problem for the seller and gets us a property either at a price that works well or at terms that allow us to avoid bank financing.

That is the bottom line.

We aren’t trying to steal homes from people or take advantage of people. I am sure there are some real estate investors out there that are looking for those sorts of deals but that is not us.

Basically we’re looking for win win situations like:

  • Someone that needs to sell but doesn’t have enough equity to sell with a realtor. In that case we could buy the home with terms that work well for us and allow them to avoid losing money on the sale of their home.
  • Someone that has to move, wants to know their house has sold, and avoid the hassles of open houses, showings, appraisers, inspectors and a bunch of other strangers running through the house. For the convenience of knowing their house is sold, the flexibility to time the sale how they want it, and avoid realtor commission we want to buy the home for a discount off it’s market value.
  • Someone that has multiple properties they have to sell or want to sell because they are tired of being a landlord but they do not want to face the tax penalties associated with selling a bunch of assets all in the same year. In these cases we can structure very favourable deals that allow the seller to minimize their tax burden, get a good price for their properties and keep us from needing bank financing.

Of course, there are other situations that come up too, but those are the main ones we’re looking for. And we’re starting to find more and more of them!

So … our Rev N You with Real Estate newsletter readers know we’ve been working on some deals lately and we’ve gone firm on one last week and are likely to lift conditions on another one this week.

We aren’t going to give you too many details because we know for a fact that people involved in both of these deals have been checking out our website and our blog … but we will tell you a little about both deals and why we like them.

Deal 1 … newer 3 bedroom 2 bathroom rancher in a good area.

This deal has come from our yellow letter! She and her husband are moving back to Victoria and wanted to avoid the hassles of showings, inspections, appraisals etc… and really wanted to know the house was sold. The only thing that we don’t like about their home is that it’s not super close to any schools but there are plenty of children in the area so other families seem to be managing ok! Otherwise this property is a perfect one for us and will show magnificently. At the end of the day we picked it up at a price that is below market, but when you consider that it’s a pretty simple transaction for the sellers at the terms they want and they save on realtor fees I think it was a very fair deal for both parties.  And they were truly a pleasure to chat with. When we left with the signed contracts in hand it felt like we were leaving the home of a relative. Meeting wonderful people really is a nice side to this business.

Deal 2 … 4 bedroom 2 bathroom old character home in an area poised for growth

Ocean and City View from Main Floor of the Home

Dad gets a weekly email from a realtor in Nanaimo and we went to look at one of the deals that popped up on the listing sheet that week. While we were there we asked the realtor to show us any other properties under $300k that had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in our specific areas. This property was on the list. It’s been off and on the market for 2 years. We were able to gather quite a bit of information about this particular property and the owner and were able to structure the deal so it works for us. I won’t say anything more because we haven’t lifted the last few conditions yet but I think it’s looking good to buy it.  But the point to note here is that we’re not just finding deals through the letters … we continue to work with several realtors, we’ve posted signs around town, we leave our hideous looking bright orange business cards everywhere, and we’ve got online ads running on a regular basis to attract home sellers.

So the bottom line is that we’ve got a deal from the letters … a deal we’re pretty happy with. And we still have a few more that may come around to us. But there is a difference between the number of leads a campaign generates and the number of leads that convert to deals. And so far this campaign is not converting to deals. But, we’re not ready to give up yet. We just might tweak our approach based on what we learn at the upcoming Creative Real Estate Investing Workshop by Tony Peters.

The letters are extremely effective at getting the phone to ring.

And now for my favourite part … I wanted to share some of the wonderful responses we’ve received from people. These are a few of the ones that make me feel warm and positive about the people in the world.

Some of the best responses we’ve had have come in the form of nicely handwritten notes in return. It takes us back to the days before emails and computers … and it also just makes you love human kind a bit more too!! Check these two awesome letters out and my Dad’s latest stories:

23 Comments

Filed under direct marketing, real estate, Tony Peters

Real Estate Investing Lesson from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

by Julie Broad

“You have to sell it to the judges!! You don’t want to think it makes a difference but throwing your arms up in the air and celebrating your run can improve your score” the commentator was explaining as we watched the women’s moguls event on the first or second day of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. That’s just the way humans are … if you don’t believe it was a good run then the judges might see that and question their own thoughts about your run.

And … let’s face it … you gotta sell yourself and your deals every day as a real estate investor. And if you’re not doing a good job with your marketing then you probably aren’t bringing home the gold.

Marketing is one of my passions. I actually get excited to put up new ads to attract tenants or tenant buyers for a property we’ve bought. I enjoy strategizing about how we’ll attract new home seller leads and I really enjoy seeing what works and what doesn’t.

I don’t enjoy skulking around in the middle of the night putting up signs though. When I do that I feel like a criminal. And I can’t stay up late enough to do it when there is very little traffic so we end up doing it around 10pm when lots of people are coming home from their evenings out and man do I feel like such a bad person when a car comes along and Dave’s not done hammering in the last nail on the sign!!

I also don’t really like it that our latest yellow letter campaign has aroused so much suspicion and defensiveness that the police are politely asking us to stop because they are getting so many calls about it.

I also feel bad that many people get defensive when they receive our lovely little note expressing interest in buying their homes.

And that is where Tony Peters comes in. Tony Peters believes 100% in marketing your way to success as a real estate investor. He also believes that the strategies so many of us have been taught by various US based experts don’t really work in our market … and probably not in every market in the United States either.

Tomorrow I will actually give you an update on our campaign so you can understand exactly what we’ve done and the results we’re getting … but for today I want to tell you about Tony Peters…

Tony, an Edmonton based real estate investor,  has done somewhere close to 300 deals in the last decade!! And he has only gone to the bank to qualify for a mortgage once … and he attributes his success in a large part to their marketing efforts!! But he approached marketing in a very different way than we did and that’s what we’re anxious to learn from him.

We got on the phone with Tony last week and talked creative real estate investing Canadian style with him! It was such a pleasure to speak with him … and we’ve got that call for you right here … go ahead and have a listen to our call with Tony Peters!

We’re going to be attending Tony’s upcoming Creative Real Estate Investing workshop in Vancouver to learn all about their strategies and their MARKETING!!!

If you decide to go please make sure you let us know so we can catch up with you!! And if you’re going sign up before February 23rd using the code ‘Rev N You’ so that you can bring a guest free!! 🙂

p.s. I know the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics tie in was a bit weak but I’ve been trying SO HARD to figure out how I can write about the Olympics … I wanted to write a post called OWN THE PODIUM OR AT LEAST THE LAND IT SITS ON or GOING FOR GOLD AS A REAL ESTATE INVESTOR but I really had nothing to say about those subjects … I just liked the title. GO CANADA GO!!!

10 Comments

Filed under real estate, Tony Peters

How to Rent Your Vacant Unit Fast

by Julie Broad

The question we get asked the most – over every other question – is how do I find great tenants for my property?

As a rental property owner, tenant turnover is the biggest expense you’ll face on a regular basis. And, unless you hire a property manager to deal with your property you will find yourself having to fill vacant units. To ensure successful rental of your property with minimal time and effort involved, I’ve created a quick little video to help you fill your vacant unit fast …. and then get back to doing the things in life that you really enjoy!

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If you like this video … you can get 30 other short real estate investing video tips. We’re giving them all away for free!!

Get all 31 real estate investing videos right now.


15 Comments

Filed under find tenants, Property Management

No Money Down Real Estate Investing Canadian Style

by Dave Peniuk

You might remember in the fall, when I was away on a commercial halibut fishing trip with my Dad, Julie signed me and her Dad up to go to Ron LeGrand’s Quick Turn real estate investing program.

We had just closed on 2 new properties and it had been a giant pain in the butt to get financing for those deals. She thought it was time we shook it up a bit and learned some new techniques. Plus, the more we know the easier it is to help our Rev N You with Real Estate Newsletter readers!!

The program led to us send out 5,500 direct mail letters, and in general, we hammered the city of Nanaimo with our marketing message.

It also led to the police calling us and the local newspaper running a story on our unconventional deal finding methods. It’s been interesting and we’ve had fun with it for sure.

But after 3 months of intense effort we haven’t secured a single deal. We’ve come close, and by the end of February I think we’ll have at least two deals firm, but as of right now we haven’t locked one in yet.

All this led me to contact an Edmonton based guy named Tony Peters.

Tony has become somewhat famous within the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) club I belong to. He has purchased hundreds of homes using creative strategies that require little money down and in many cases NO BANK FINANCING!!! WOOHOOO!!

The folks I know that have taken Tony’s programs or heard him speak have given him glowing reviews … they’ve learned a lot and are starting to make things happen so I wanted to learn from him and I thought you would benefit to.

I am so pleased to be able to invite you to join us on a call with Tony on Tuesday, February 16th at 6pm PST.

AND the best part … there is no charge!

AND the second best part … when you register you’re going to get a free one hour audio interview between Tony & the Vice President of REIN, Russell Westcott where you’re going to learn some of Tony’s creative strategies, hear his story and start learning so when you come to the call on Tuesday you can ask any questions that you have!

Bring your questions Tuesday night – you can speak with Tony too!

Oh, and if you can’t make the call we’ll send the replay out to everyone that registers.

By the way … thank you to EVERYONE for all your comments on the What’s Missing From This Kitchen game!! We had a ton of fun and really appreciated your participation. Check the comments to see if you’re one of the 3 T-Shirt winners that we selected!!

8 Comments

Filed under investing, real estate, Tony Peters

Let’s Play A Game – What’s Missing in the Kitchen?

by Julie Broad

We just returned from a 3 day house shopping spree in Nanaimo. We drove by dozens of properties, toured the insides of a handful and worked on buying a couple of them.

One of the properties we visited was a lovely 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom rancher at the end of a cul de sac. It backs up onto a noisier street but otherwise is a great house.  It was covered in stuff … there were dishes, clothes, toys and papers EVERYWHERE. But despite it’s messy state we could tell that it’s a great home. We liked the layout and we liked the size. Really it’s a perfect property for our rent to own program and we’re very interested in getting our hands on it.

At least that is what we thought on the first visit. Then we realized something was missing and we’re not quite sure how much money or just exactly how we’ll fix the problem.

Covered in “stuff” it is no wonder we missed this big problem on our first round through the property …

I took some pictures and I thought we’d play a game. What do you think is missing in this kitchen?

Maybe the photo doesn’t make it that easy to spot … let me give you another angle.

All right … can you spot what’s missing?? If you know the answer put it in the comments. I will randomly select one of the correct answers and send you a Rev N You with Real Estate T-Shirt just for playing the game!

The lesson I learned … bring a home check list with me into every home. Sometimes something really obvious can be overlooked. And that could have cost us a lot of money had we not realized it as we were leaving the property.

36 Comments

Filed under Just For Fun, real estate

What the Numbers on a Real Estate Deal Won’t Show

We don’t mean to pick on get rich quick real estate investing courses … but some of the things they teach are total garbage. In the program I took years ago the instructor placed a heavy emphasis on the numbers … GRM, Cash on Cash Return, and other numbers were all they talked about. It was all about the cash in and the cash out.

The return and your cashflow are definitely important concerns as a real estate investor however focusing on JUST the numbers can cause you to miss some other important things you should watch for when looking for great investment properties. In this short video, I explain further:

If you like this video … you can get 30 other short real estate investing video tips. We’re giving them all away for free!!

Get all 31 real estate investing videos right now.

6 Comments

Filed under Real Estate Investing Video Tips