Table of Contents - A Conversation with “JV Jedi”, Russel Westcott
Dave Debeau [00:00:08] I hear that everybody, this is Dave Debeau with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast. Don't try to say that three times in real quickly. And my special guest today is none other than Mr. Russell Westcott. Russell, how are you doing today?
Russel Westcott [00:00:24] Hey, Dave. Doing fantastic. Amazing day today. It's amazing day to be alive out here. You know, we're not like those people on the prairies that are freezing their butts off at the moment.
Dave Debeau [00:00:33] Exactly. So as we're recording this and goodness knows when you'll be getting this, but it's the middle of winter here. Brussels, the lovely lower mainland of British Columbia up in Kamloops that is originally a prairie boy. So he's keeping an eye on what the temperature is like out there,
Russel Westcott [00:00:46] as I have family and friends that are out there that they're very clearly and very quickly tell me how cold it is.
Dave Debeau [00:00:53] What else have they got to do in the middle of the winter?
Russel Westcott [00:00:54] The curling, obviously.
Dave Debeau [00:00:57] So for those of you, if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting wrestling in the past or listening to Russell speak because he speaks in front of a lot of real estate investment clubs, Russell Westcott is a very, very accomplished real estate entrepreneur. He was one of the top fellows and people in charge at the real estate investment network for many, many, many years. That's how Russell and I first met each other. He not only teaches this stuff, what he's done to literally thousands and thousands of people across Canada over the years, he does it and he's probably best known for authoring a book, joint venture Secrets, all about creating joint ventures. So when it comes to real estate investing, Russel's either done it or he's helped people do it or he knows a billion and a half people who've already done it. He's had his fingers one way and the other into the real estate game for many, many, many years. One of the things I don't know if I ever told you this or one of the things I really appreciate about appreciate about you is you tell it like it is. I mean, a lot of real estate, so-called gurus, they just talk about all the wins. Everything's just sunshine and flowers. Twenty four, seven for them. What I really appreciate about Russell is he talks about the wins, but he also talks about some of the not so good experiences that he's had in real estate investing. And he really helps people to avoid making those kind of mistakes or to be aware of the downside as well as the upside when it comes to real estate investing. So really appreciate that, buddy. And and looking forward to our chat today.
Russel Westcott [00:02:28] So, Dave, you said investing for many, many, many, many years. I heard four. Does that are you saying are you implying I'm old? Is that what you're trying to buy?
Dave Debeau [00:02:37] My friend? It is regarding this is your birthday.
Russel Westcott [00:02:40] So this year we do what we love and real estate is in our blood and we love talking to people. Let's put it this way. I have my entire afternoon blocked for consultation and strategy calls with investors helping people from age like twenty one. I had a meeting yesterday with the guy of seventy seven and everything in between, so I'm just just loving it. But before we dove into this, I want to just acknowledge you and congratulate you on your head, your virtual the bootcamp that you had, your virtual boot camp and your launch of your podcast. You just go through your crushing it. You're providing an unbelievable service and value for people out there and how times have changed him the day. Do you have a virtual boot camp where you actually don't have to leave your home? When we first got started, it was like we had to go and fly to Edmonton to go see a guy present on the stage to get our information. So congratulations to you first and foremost.
Dave Debeau [00:03:27] Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that, buddy. That's for sure. Why don't you why don't we go way, way, way,
Russel Westcott [00:03:31] way, way back when I was five, I heard five
Dave Debeau [00:03:36] to where do you first start? In real estate. What what got you into it? How do you decide to jump into real estate? What were you doing before? And now it's just very briefly how you got started.
Russel Westcott [00:03:47] Well, I will try to keep it as brief as possible. But, you know, as long as we both have been around this, there is a there's a story and every everybody has a story. And that's what I love. I love the stories around this. So when I actually look back at it, I had no indication that I would ever get into real estate ever was. I grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan. I grew up in a mobile home park. I actually never even lived in a house until I was I think it was about 14 or 15 years when we lived in our first house. I've never bought a place. I was renting a basement suite and nothing said that I would be pointed towards real estate. For me, kind of that moment for me was a milestone birthday. I was just turning a little over thirty. I was turning thirty years old and I had a self diagnosed Peter Pan syndrome that I didn't never want to grow up. So then the answer to me came in the form of Oprah watching Oprah and I saw Robert Kiyosaki on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I got introduced to this book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which I have two copies on my bookshelf behind me. You can see here in the corner, the purple ones right up in the little corner, right up there, right. The little purple book. And that was my inception moment into that, which led me into a workshop which led me into meeting Don Campbell. It's made me into becoming part of the real estate investment network, which led me into taking action as a real estate investor. And it all started by.
Dave Debeau [00:05:08] Very I did not know that story. That's very, very cool. So I know you've done different things and you done any of them condos up to multi-family properties. What is your kind of your main focus these days? What are you focusing on when it comes to your own personal investing?
Russel Westcott [00:05:23] Well, you know, I'm in a luxury of probably where I'm at in my real estate investing life cycle is I don't need any more rental properties right now. I'm just I'm constantly looking for properties to add to my rental portfolio. So really, my strategy is actually of three types of strategies. I have a short term strategy of doing some flips and some short term stuff, but those are very, very rare, very rare. I have a medium term strategy of making some money, doing some developments and building some duplexes. And fourplex is that we actually have a model of apexes with some business partners and I'm working on and then have a long term strategy of buying real estate. But right now, my number one focus for the next, say, seven to 10 years is to make money off my real estate, to pay off all my mortgages. And within 10 years, I want to be free and clear across all my entire
Dave Debeau [00:06:14] portfolio rental properties. Very nice. So your portfolio, your long term buy and hold portfolio, what does that consist of? Primarily?
Russel Westcott [00:06:22] It's primarily townhouse townhomes, condos, apartment units, things like that. But here's the thing is I'm actually divesting some of those and I'm actually getting into brand new construction, side by side duplexes, side by side duplexes with suites and suites, houses, suite house with garages. So I'm actually divesting a lot of the old and getting new construction built properties.
Dave Debeau [00:06:42] So, Russell, that starts it sounds like you got off on the right foot. I mean, you watch Kiyosaki on Oprah. That was a pivotal time for him as well as when he kind of exploded. You got involved with a real estate investment network. So you did a lot of things right at the beginning. But knowing what you know now, if you were to go back in time, what, if anything, would you do differently?
Russel Westcott [00:07:02] Well, you know, it's funny. It's actually part of a teaching module. Something that I teach is I call it the three pillars of real estate. It's what you buy, where you buy. Do you rent two of those three things? The most important is who you rent to number three. But then once you know who you're into, that then determines what you buy and where you buy. So probably the biggest mistake I made was I was buying properties at a fairly breakneck pace without the consideration of my ideal tenant personas and designing or who the tenant were, who's the right tenant for the right property in the right area. And all I was doing was I was looking at property, OK, price, no pro forma cash flow is going to cash flow. OK, Biota's as many as I can buy and without any consideration as. OK, well who's going to rent that sucker from you.
Dave Debeau [00:07:47] And then and it just kind of seems to make sense until you've been through the wringer a few times. I guess it's amazing Dave.
Russel Westcott [00:07:55] Everyone will sit there and go, yeah, that makes sense. So few people will actually if I ask the question, everybody asks the question, what do I buy and where do I buy? And then I'll always answer is, OK, who's your tenant then? I don't know. And that's the number one thing you have to determine is who are you? Who's your customer? Who's your who are you going to rent this place to? Then that'll determine the other two things accordingly. And very few people actually give consideration to who their who their customer is before they actually pull the trigger. And we're stroker three, four or five hundred thousand dollar purchase.
Dave Debeau [00:08:28] Right. So if you were to go back, who would you choose as your ideal customer, your ideal tenant?
Russel Westcott [00:08:33] Oh, my ideal tenant profile is essentially somebody who's on the cusp of actually owning. Right. They have their family in the market. Then I'm at I actually won. One spouse is an oil field worker. The other spouse is a part time person. They have two young children. They have a Ford F 150 in the driveway. And then they also drive an SUV. They have a cap that's probably a cat or a dog. That's one and a half years older than the oldest child. And their marriage
Dave Debeau [00:08:59] has urged kids and all.
Russel Westcott [00:09:01] Yes, but to that point, you have to you actually have to get down to that point where you actually maybe even give them a name and give them a persona. Because here's the thing is I then will find housing in the neighborhoods they want to live in, the churches they go to the schools, they want to go to the community, the sports that the kids play in. And then I design the house and the area around the tenet first.
Dave Debeau [00:09:24] That's pretty smart. So it's kind of ties into I had
Russel Westcott [00:09:27] a few more hair follicles when I started, so that's how I learned those lessons.
Dave Debeau [00:09:31] I hear your brother. What is so with that in my I kind of ties into this question. So what do you work with a lot of real estate investors from all different experience levels. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people making these days when it comes to real estate investing? Is it not knowing who the heck their ideal tenant is?
Russel Westcott [00:09:49] Is that absolutely no one? I would say that's the one. Number two is I would say is a corollary to that. And the caller would be is buying properties based on quantity and quality. So most people will sit there and and I get it. I'm one hundred percent get it. I was when I first got going, I got stuck in my ego. And I got stuck, I was a guy on stage, remember, I was the guy on stage saying, look at me, look at me, at the super investor, look at all those really wonderful things that I've done and telling people, bought this place, bought this one. And I was just on this breakneck pace. I focused on the quantity and not the quality of the property rights. And so you
Dave Debeau [00:10:25] see a lot of people making that same mistake.
Russel Westcott [00:10:26] I do. Other people fall into two ends of the spectrum. They're either going way too fast and they're just rapid breakneck growth without the underpinning support of the business fundamentals, or they're really having a hard time actually to pull the trigger on the first deal. And they just just can't even get them to buy the first place or just can't get past the fear. So I see it. There's those two bookends. I think the perfect investor is somebody in between, somebody who knows what they're buying. They have a system in place and they're just slow and steady wins the race. It's a marathon distance at a sprinter's pace right now.
Dave Debeau [00:11:03] That makes a lot of sense. Russell, you've gotten into coaching and training. We've always been a teacher at heart. I know that's that's one of your big passions. Now that you're doing your own thing, who is it that you are primarily working with when it comes to real estate? Investors are the people that are just getting into the game or people have got a lot of experience under their belt, almost anybody now?
Russel Westcott [00:11:26] Well, you know, unlike similar to you, David, you're a believer in education because I believe in two things. One of the fundamental beliefs I have is that in order to learn something deeper yourself, you need to it is actually your duty to teach other people right. Because if you think about it, if you actually teach somebody else something you just learned, you're reinforcing what you just learned and you're potentially inspiring somebody else to learn something new, to elevate their game. At the same time. So does one of the most rewarding things you can ever do is to teach other people what you've done or how to do it as well. Let's start on one of the best rewarding experience. The other thing that happens, too, is if you're teaching other people what you're doing, it holds you accountable that you have to do it yourself. Right, just to be authentic to who you are. And part of your teaching or you can always tell is, look, I haven't done this. I haven't I haven't I haven't bought warehousing, but I know some people who have. And I can talk to you about how to perform the cap rates and all those kind of wonderful things. I can teach that, but I make no bones about it. But I have done it right. So it just hold me accountable to keep moving forward and keep elevating everybody else. Because if you actually inspire others and you encourage others and you make them turn them into leaders, as a good educator, you should actually be proud when your students surpass everything you've done by a ten fold. That is actually the goal of a good teacher is to create other leaders as opposed to just look at me, look at me type of thing. Right.
Dave Debeau [00:12:57] Very good. So what would you say is the main? Because I know you can you can help people in many, many different things. What would you say is the main problem that you help people solve?
Russel Westcott [00:13:07] Well, you know, I've broken down into there's actually it's funny. I have a I have an entire presentation called What's Stopping You. We're all walk into a group and I'll sit there and we'll actually part of the first part of the presentation is I'll walk people through and I'll ask the question. OK, let's let's be honest. Let's be open and honest and transparent, yellow and everything. And I'll put on a flip chart our way board and I'll say what's stopping you? And we'll just list everything, everything from the banks to can't find properties to fear to we'll just put it all in the whiteboard. And it comes out to without question, with every group I've ever presented to, it comes down to three things. There's three things that are stopping people. No. One is time. Number two is money. And number three is mindset. So I coin it's the time squared. Right. And of those three, I honestly think the most important is the mindset. OK, but here's the thing is, if I was to have a presentation that put on there today, we're going to talk about the five steps of mind set training. Nobody would show up. Everybody. It's it's funny. It's the thing that people need the most, but it's the thing they want to hear the least of. So I think they
Dave Debeau [00:14:13] already know it.
Russel Westcott [00:14:14] Absolutely. Or they just or they think it's fluffy, tight. So I think the biggest challenge that real estate investors face is the money. Where do you find the money to keep moving forward? And that's actually been an obsession of mine for the past 15 years of doing that is training is to answer. One question is where do you get the capital to keep buying properties and building a portfolio?
Dave Debeau [00:14:37] Very good. So what would you say, whether it's to do with mindset or the money, what would you say would be one action any of our listeners right now could take over? Come pick one. Of which action do you think they could take right now to either help crack the mindset challenge or the money
Russel Westcott [00:14:55] I'd like to over deliver? I'm going to do two things, I think to the critical success events in this is number one is you need to have access to some good deals, right? You need to be known for something to be known for somebody. You need to. Known as, you know, early in your career debut, you were the rent on your rent own guy, right? You were the guy and did 18 flips in 18 months in the Kamloops market. You were known for something, right? So be known for something and have access to deals is number one. And number two is hang around with people that have capital. Right, with investors that have the capital. And then what you're doing is you're just connecting good deals to money and you're the person in between that gets a piece of the action in between. And it all depends on what level of involvement you are with both sides to what level you get paid. But really, the critical success event in this is tying people with capital together with people with deals. And that's really the two critical success events.
Dave Debeau [00:15:47] So rain is a great place to do that. Are there any other suggestions of places where you can find people in the capital and find people with the deals?
Russel Westcott [00:15:55] Oh, you know, so some and I actually it's funny, I actually have a checklist of like over one hundred and one places. At the end of the day, David, it's wherever you show up as truly is who you are when you show up. And I'm going to share one of my favorite personal stories of all of this, I believe. And, you know, we have a little bit of a difference on this, Dave, which is good that we have a difference. I believe that wherever you show up, turning the conversation to a real estate conversation is one of the best ways to have it right. And I know you have a different a little bit of a different approach, but both work both when I'm at work. Funniest story of how I turned the conversation into a real estate conversation as I was in Toronto and I was delivering a workshop that night. And I woke up in the morning and I had this pain. I was passing a kidney stone wall in Toronto. They had to call an ambulance and I was in the back of an ambulance on an IV drip with morphine and things to get things flowing adrift in the back of the ambulance. The paramedic asked me the question, So what are you doing in town? Because I was at an airport hotel. I'm just in there. I go, do I do this or not? What the hell? So I'm in town to help inspire a group at this point, how to invest in real estate and how to use other people's money to invest in real estate. I said, that's the paramedic. And then I shut up and I wanted him to say, well, yeah, that's really cool. I've always thought about investing in real estate. So bottom line, I turn the conversation into a real estate conversation in the back of an ambulance while passing a kidney stone. So a message here, Dave, is not to impress anybody. What it really is, is to impress upon you. To what lengths will you go to share your message with people? That's really the point of that story.
Dave Debeau [00:17:35] Yeah. You know what? And I don't I don't disagree with you, Russell. We have slightly different viewpoints on it. I think what I try to say is I just see so many people do it in a sloppy way and it just comes across as needy and creepy. So if you got a good way, you know that the whole 30 second commercial idea, I think you and I have a common friend, Julie Broad. She had the best 30 second commercial ever heard. What people said. What do you do? She said, I collect houses now that that just created the curiosity to start the conversation. But that's that's some short and sweet to get somebody else asking questions.
Russel Westcott [00:18:11] So it's it's you know, it's true and authentic to who you are as a as a person. And really, here's the here's the thing. The one hundred percent of the intention, as you know, Dave, is to help the other person. That's number one, the intention about how you will get investors coming to you if you have an intention to help them, if you detach yourself to what you're going to get from the transaction and what you're going to get from the deal and detach yourself from the result. And your only focus is to help the other person fulfill upon what they want to accomplish. And you participate with them winning. You will have an endless supply of investors lined up at your door.
Dave Debeau [00:18:48] Fantastic, my friend. So if people are interested in finding out more about Russell Wescott, woop woop, that's our that's our time is up. So people are interested in finding out more about Russell Lescott and and what you do and who you work with. What would you have them do?
Russel Westcott [00:19:04] Well, you know, I think the best place would just go to my website. That's kind of the hub of everything. And it's Russell Westcott, dot com, two S's, two L's, and there's a T in Westcourt, Westcourt.
Dave Debeau [00:19:14] So I'll put I'll put the links along with that. So there you go. And if people go to your site, you have any free information or anything like that, any goodies that you got?
Russel Westcott [00:19:23] Well, actually it's fun and fun. I actually just created some for just you to this morning. Dave, what I'm going to offer to your listeners is I'm going to offer them a script and I call this my investor qualifications script. So what I'm going to do for you, for your guys is if you're interested, you can go to Russell Westcott dot com slash script, and that's where you can downloaded what this is. It's my killer questions that I asked to get people to a point where I'm qualifying them. I think the most difficult step and the most important step of the whole process is to get the person qualified before you ever present a property. I need to know that the person is called. If I had to work with me and I need to know the reasons why, and I need to know that they're ready to move forward before I'll ever take the time to show them a deal. So this checklist in this script is actually been years of trial and error in the making. And I'll offer that to you, to your to your podcast listeners. And actually, I'll put a little video around it on how to use it and how to use the script and how to qualify people.
Dave Debeau [00:20:30] Sounds awesome. There you go. Check it out. Russell, thank you very much, my friend. It's always a pleasure.
Russel Westcott [00:20:34] Dave happy to help. Any time, my friend.
Dave Debeau [00:20:36] Take care. Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast. And you like what we're doing here. Please head on over to iTunes. Subscribe write us and leave us the review. Be very, very much appreciated. And if you're looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom Ticker.