Table of Contents - Advanced Flipping in Southern Ontario Discussion with Danielle Chiasson
George El-Masri [00:00:02] On this episode, I interviewed Danielle Chiasson from Perfect Property. Danielle focuses on Flip's a lot of you have probably already heard of her. She does tons of work in the Golden Horseshoe, has done multiple projects in Hamilton and starting to sort of get into the Toronto market as well. So we had a chance to discuss what kind of numbers she looks for in terms of a project, what kind of margins are important? What can she what can you expect when managing contractors ton of different and useful information in here for anyone who has any interest at all in flipping. So make sure you check it out and share this with your friends and family. I love to get the message out there so you can share it on multiple platforms that we're on. And one last thing. So we're constantly looking for new projects to work on and well in St. Catherine's Hamilton. So if you have any interest in potentially collaborating, just feel free to reach out. And I'm happy to explain it to you. You can email me directly at George at Well-off Dossie, so check it out, reach out to me, share the podcast and enjoy the episode. Welcome to the Wealth podcast, where the goal is to motivate, inspire and share success principles. I'm here with Danielle Chiasm. I'm going to say it like that. I don't know if you normally pronounce it that way, but she's a real estate investor, entrepreneur focused in southern Ontario. Her projects have ranged from like cleanup's to full guts flips and legal sweet conversions. She works as a general contractor, managing various trades and stuff, and she shares her experience and knowledge with her students through her education firm, Strategic Success Consulting. Danielle, welcome.
Danielle Chiasson [00:01:43] Thank you. Thank you for having me.
George El-Masri [00:01:44] Any time I'm glad that you can make it, even though it's a snowy kind of difficult day to travel. I appreciate it. We had a bit of a mix up. You thought that it would be recorded on Zoome or something, but yeah, it's always done in person. So I appreciate you making making it out here today. Absolutely.
Danielle Chiasson [00:02:00] No worries.
George El-Masri [00:02:01] Yeah. So the way I like to start, typically, I like to find out a little bit about you and your childhood. So if you can tell us a bit about where you grew up, what you remember, a couple of things from from your childhood.
Danielle Chiasson [00:02:13] Well, that's. Wow, OK, that's going way back. So I was born in New Brunswick, so I'm a maritime French Canadian, hence the name Schissel. And that's how you say it in French, by the way. Nobody ever says it that way. I know. We just say Chazen here. That's, I guess, the English version. But I was born in New Brunswick. I lived in Nova Scotia for about six years. I traveled a lot as a kid. And and then when I graduated high school, I jumped over the country, went to Calgary and ended up here. So since I've been here, firmly rooted myself here with my three kids and my businesses and yeah, I'm not going anywhere.
George El-Masri [00:02:54] Why did you pick Toronto up?
Danielle Chiasson [00:02:56] Well, it wasn't a choice. I came here for love, and since we were having a child, it just made sense for me to come here because he had his business is here. So since I didn't have any, like, connections or roots where I was in Calgary, it just made more sense for me to come here.
George El-Masri [00:03:15] Very cool. OK, do you have any memories that stick out to you when you were a child? Anything just that you can't forget?
Danielle Chiasson [00:03:21] Oh, I've never been asked that on a podcast is very unique. What what do I have memories like? You know, when I think of my childhood, I just think a lot about how much I moved around. My home was my grandmother, so my grandmother raised me. And for those people that follow me, actually, there's a lot of fun and interesting things happening in my life right now because I may have found my dad. So we're just waiting on test results for DNA test results. So that's very exciting. And and I should know this week, I can't wait. Sorry. Anyhow, so by the time this airs, actually, you probably can go to my Facebook page and see what the result was. But in any event. Yeah, so I just remember, you know, my grandmother being my home and travel moving around a lot. So which is probably why I'm transient and I can never really sit still, like I'm always kind of wanting to do things and move around. But yeah, no, I don't really have I don't really have like any one childhood memory that sticks out.
George El-Masri [00:04:21] Well, your grandmother, just the thought of it seems like that was the the best part of your childhood.
Danielle Chiasson [00:04:26] Yeah, no, it really was. And like I said, you know, talking about my dad and having that, you know, kind of fantasizing a lot about who he could be and, you know, forty three years later, here we are. And that might become a reality. So.
George El-Masri [00:04:40] Wow. Yeah. Well, if if we can I know we're not really going to spend too much time on this, but if you're comfortable, can you kind of just tell us what's going on? How did you how did you find out that this person could be your father and.
Danielle Chiasson [00:04:53] Yeah, so. So, yeah. So my mother had me at a really young age. I was a surprise. And so here I came and she wasn't my my mother thought that my father was somebody else. And so when I found him later in life, I asked him for a DNA test and it turned out not to be him. So I've just never had a father in my life. I did have my grandfather and my uncles. So I had some male figures. I just didn't have a father for sort of so to speak. So anyhow, I had done a ancestry test a few years back, maybe five or six years ago, because I'm so blond and fair that I could be like I could be German, I could be data, and I could be like Hungarian, I could be, you know, Norwegian. And I know my family background on my mother's side is French, but I really could be anything else on the other side. So I actually did ancestry DNA so that I could just see maybe what my ethnicity is. Surprise. I'm French, I'm all French, and that's OK. So it was exactly what I thought I was. So that was a lot of fun. But what happens is you can opt in to B to to be open on their database to match with other people who are open in the database. And so recently I've connected with a first cousin on my father's side and. Which means her uncle would be my father. OK, and so I reached out to her, we had a conversation, we kind of narrowed it down to one of her uncles based on dates and, you know, location and all of that. And so now we're just waiting for the test results. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:06:29] So did your did this man have to agree to do the tests?
Danielle Chiasson [00:06:34] Well, actually, we asked his daughter, who happens to be my pet would be my potential sister. Right. And her name. I can't make this up because better her name is take a guess. Danielle, Danielle. And my daughter's name is Amelia. And guess what her daughter's name is. That's weird. It's very, very weird. And he named her. The story goes. He named her. He wanted a French name because he's French. And so he wanted his daughter to be French. And so now he's got two of us. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:07:06] OK, so what's going to happen? Like, let's say he is your father. What happens
Danielle Chiasson [00:07:10] from here? I'm actually planning on going just at the air date were mid-December in twenty nineteen. And so I'm planning on going there in between Christmas and New Year's. I could not have asked for a better family to find as my missing family. That means you're going to make me cry now on this, on the show that's they've been like open arms. Regardless if I'm his daughter, I'm still part of their family. It's just a matter of trying to connect the dots and seeing where that connection is. And we're really close to my dad. So so whether it's this one particular gentleman, he does know about me. We haven't talked yet, but I just don't want to I don't want to cause any issues and I don't want to get anybody's hopes up until we know for sure. But he's OK with it. And my potential sister is like, super, we're excited. And yeah. So anyway, so I'm going out there regardless and I'm going to meet them all and spend the holidays. I mean, it's family time, right?
George El-Masri [00:08:12] Is there any chance that that's your twin sister?
Danielle Chiasson [00:08:15] No, actually she's twenty four. Oh OK. Yeah there's a huge age difference. Yeah. So he had me like super early and had her later in life like there's twenty years.
George El-Masri [00:08:25] You seem convinced that this is the person.
Danielle Chiasson [00:08:28] I'm pretty sure, yeah. I'm pretty sure. I'll have to give you a follow up so you can like put it on the podcast or something. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:08:33] It's so awesome because by the time it airs we're going to know.
Danielle Chiasson [00:08:36] I'm going to know. Yeah I'm going to know for sure. So I'll know for sure. Yes or no. And if it's not him then I might not know who it is yet, but we'll figure that out for sure.
George El-Masri [00:08:43] I can only imagine what this would feel like because I'm sure this is a moment that you you've thought about for a very, very long time.
Danielle Chiasson [00:08:51] Yeah, well, I don't know. I guess. And coming back to your question, your original question, you know, in childhood, what do you think about like when do you think of your childhood, what's pops into your head? And there was a lot of fantasizing about who he was. And when I was really young, I used to think, well, maybe he's a prince and I could be a princess. And, you know, you just fantasize like that. Of course, when I got older, I was a little bit more realistic. And and when I had my children, that's when I actively started looking a little bit because I wanted to know the health background. And so I wanted to know if there was any issues that I should be aware about, aware of so that I could be prepared if something happened with my kids and also if one of my kids becomes ill and I need a donor, obviously, if I have both sides of my family have better odds of finding a donor. So it was pretty important to me for multiple reasons to find my dad. So this year I actually spent time kind of researching and whatnot, and I kind of started getting really close to where I belonged and at least kind of what branch of family and the area. And I had cousins like distant cousins, but I just hadn't narrowed it down to the detail. And then I had a cousin that just happened to do a DNA test. I'm like, oh my God, I got a first cousin. Like, that was super exciting. Yeah, yeah,
George El-Masri [00:10:15] yeah, yeah. Well, it's great that you're that you're open to sharing all of that because I know you've you keep people updated on Facebook. A lot of people are following your story. Why is it that you're choosing to share your story?
Danielle Chiasson [00:10:28] Well, throughout my life, any time I had a major event that people might think is a negative event when I'm very open and so when I share that event with people, really unique thing happens. And actually, I'm going to tie this into real estate to you. I'll share with you how it works for me with my experience. When you share an event, then all of a sudden that person's feelings or emotions when they had a similar event gets validated and then they share back. When you open yourself up, it's really difficult for most people because they feel very vulnerable. And that feeling of vulnerability is very scary because somebody could take that information and use it against you and hurt you. And so but that has never been my experience. I don't think we're we are that way as humankind, like at the core of who we are. So I share my pain with people. And then what happens is all of a sudden they're like, oh, that happened to me or had that same situation. And then we have a really open conversation. And you connect at a very raw and real way with people when you do that. And so so I love sharing because I know whatever experience I'm going through, it's not unique to me, even though in the moment it feels like I'm the only one that is going through this. I know other people have had that same emotion or the same struggle. And so especially with finding my father, I, I can't tell you how many people have had the same missing pieces in their life. And so what happens is by me sharing it and saying this is my journey, then it's like I'm validating for them that their journey is normal. And I didn't realize because even before I shared openly my story on social media, I didn't realize how many people were out there looking for family. And so and anyway, so it's a really unique thing. And same thing with real estate investing. When I first started real estate investing, I started a meetup back in 2013 where we'd have dinner. And I was I was a newbie is like brand new in investing. I was a landlord before that thought I knew everything. And then I educated myself and realized I knew nothing that happens. And then so yes. And when we have these meet ups and I had all this education, I had my coaches telling me what to do next and I felt like I wasn't far enough ahead. I wasn't moving ahead fast enough. I wasn't getting the deals fast enough. I was it, you know, and through the meet ups, the one consistent thing was as we all it was a safe space. So we all shared our story. And I would go around the table with about 12 to 20 people and everybody. The one underlying thing was I'm not as far ahead as I should be. I haven't done enough yet. I don't know what's road blocking me. And the consistent thing was that we were validating for each other that we set expectations on ourselves that are unrealistic. And all of the challenges that everybody had in the room were the same challenges. But when we're out in the real world and we're not sharing that story of the challenges, then we feel like it's us. There's something wrong with us because I see George doing deals and I see Danielle doing deals and I see so and so moving properties and I see so and so duplexes and and then it's like, well, what about me? Why am I not there yet? And and so when you share your story, you validate to people that they're not alone as well as validating for yourself. You're not alone so that it's completely normal. So that's why I love sharing my stories.
George El-Masri [00:14:01] Awesome. Yeah, that's a really good answer. So, yeah, obviously you've we could talk about this because it's such a big part of your life, the journey to finding your father. I do really appreciate that you're sharing that and I'm really looking forward to hearing everything that happened. So keep us updated.
Danielle Chiasson [00:14:21] Well, I'm honored that you're even interested. Yeah. Like, you know, because why don't you share your story? You're like, does anybody even going to be interested? Like, who's interested in my life? Right.
George El-Masri [00:14:30] I think people are rooting for it and they want you to to find that to find out. Because obviously, I think people care about you. So they want you to to be happy. And that hopefully will bring you joy and fulfillment.
Danielle Chiasson [00:14:42] I hadn't really thought about that. Yeah, that's a great perspective.
George El-Masri [00:14:44] Yeah. Because if unless unless somebody is watching just because they want to talk about you, but like you just said, that's not likely right now.
Danielle Chiasson [00:14:51] And that's the thing. Like our fear is not fear is an emotion that we feel for a perceived or real threat. And more often than not, it's a perceived threat. And the thought of people taking that information, just using it and talking about you behind your back kind of thing is just not likely. You know, most people, you know, I think anyway, I think there's more good in the world than bad. I think most people really root for others more often than not. Not saying that it doesn't happen. It does happen, but it's just not my experience.
George El-Masri [00:15:25] Yeah, exactly. And it doesn't matter. For the people that aren't rooting for you, then whatever, then that's that's their whatever they choose to do, then that's up to them. That's right.
Danielle Chiasson [00:15:34] And they don't have to listen.
George El-Masri [00:15:36] Exactly. Exactly. OK, so you do have a lot to offer as a real estate investor, like you just mentioned, you've been doing it since 2013 or even before then. As a landlord, you you're also very good at flipping homes, among other things that you do. So I wanted to talk a little bit about that. Obviously, you're working on multiple projects. How many projects do you have right now on the go?
Danielle Chiasson [00:16:02] Right now, I have five five projects.
George El-Masri [00:16:04] So how many people can say they have five projects? That's pretty impressive.
Danielle Chiasson [00:16:07] I can't lie right now. I'm a little outside of my comfort zone like I'm stretching it. So it's when you're going from one to two at a time, it's scary. And then you go from two to four and it's scary. And now I'm like at five I'm like, oh my God, George, sell this house for me because I'm like, I need to clear my plate a little bit. So I'm a little bit outside my comfort zone, but that's just where we grow. That's where I'm forced to make changes in my business to allow me to be able to keep doing this.
George El-Masri [00:16:35] Yeah. So we'll definitely talk about some of those changes that you're thinking about making in that you're currently implementing. But let's start from the beginning. So when you do when you are looking for something to purchase and your next project, can you talk about some of the numbers that you look at, how you analyze deals, what you're looking for, maybe just kind of speak to a little bit?
Danielle Chiasson [00:16:57] I cheat,
George El-Masri [00:16:59] OK?
Danielle Chiasson [00:17:01] So this is what I did. There's five cost centers when you buy and flip a house, so essentially there's the purchase price, what you buy it at, and then you've got your lender fees. So all your borrowing costs, then you have the cost of reneau, you got the cost of acquisition, the cost of disposition, the holding costs. And what I did is I created a spreadsheet where I just have to put in about four different numbers and it populates everything and tells me if it's a good deal or not, because it's all about streamlining like anybody who knows me and who's seen me speak. I mean, I'm I say this so many times, like, people are probably bored of hearing it, but I'm a systems person and I like building systems in to what I'm doing so that it makes it quick and easy. And the purpose of building systems, too, is that it negates any mistakes. And also it allows me to hand off that system to somebody else. And I know that they're going to do it the way I want them to do it because they're following my system. And so and if they do something wrong within the system, it's either they didn't follow the system or I need to tweak it and fix it. So I'm totally a systems person. And so it takes me about about ten minutes to get a property.
George El-Masri [00:18:12] Really? Yeah. OK, so you put in the purchase price, you add your lender fees, which should be a percentage basically.
Danielle Chiasson [00:18:19] So it's a percentage point. Sometimes there's sometimes there's a broker fee if you're dealing with a broker and then there's also the there cost for their lawyers.
George El-Masri [00:18:29] Right. So there's typically no private money. You're not used. Yeah. Because a bank will not loan on a flip if they know that's your intention. Right. Right. OK, so you're using private money and as when you go to a private lender, there's lender fees, broker fees, and you've got to pay to register the charge with the lawyer, whatever.
Danielle Chiasson [00:18:49] Yeah. Here in Canada, you have to do any transaction. Over 50000 dollars has to be done with two separate lawyers. And even if it's less than fifty thousand, I still highly recommend you use two different lawyers. So and you pay their lawyer fees, which can range anywhere from eight to fifteen hundred dollars. Right. I've had it before where I had a lawyer charge me twenty two hundred dollars. And so now I put in my commitment letter that I'll pay up to fifteen hundred dollars because then they say oh well my client's not paying so I'm just going to put in a premium. So you know again just things that I throw into my system. Once you have a system and you just tweak it right.
George El-Masri [00:19:26] That's that kind of sucks that the lawyer tried to take advantage of the situation.
Danielle Chiasson [00:19:29] Well I had actually, you know, the lender was really cool about it and offered to pay me the difference. And I said, that's fine. You know what? It was my mistake. I don't have it in my system. I learned something from it. Right. The cost of learning and it happens. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:19:41] Seven hundred dollars for a future lesson. Right. But you'll never make again another mistake. You'll never make again. Right. OK, then you put in your your Renaults. So how do you do that. You have to walk through. Or do you have, are you able to just kind of look at pictures and tell what you think it will cost.
Danielle Chiasson [00:19:56] Normally what I do is I have because my flips are all typically in the same area and I have crews that I can rely on so I know their cost basis. So it's really easy for me to kind of ballpark it. So what I do is I may not even walk through the property before putting an offer and I'll put in an offer. And then if I'm really comfortable and I have put in an offer bylined that was firm, that was actually my best deal ever. And that was I don't I don't even know how I got that anyway. It was just it was a multiple offer situation. I saw it an hour before offer presentation, and I put an offer in with seven other people and I got it. And I don't know how that happened, but I paid sixty six thousand over this. This was back in twenty seventeen and it was one of my better profits so. Yeah. And bought blind firm and don't do that. Just going to say don't do that. But again normally though if I'm going in blind I'll have a condition, I'll definitely have a condition, I'll walk through the property if something happens that there's a major issue that I didn't anticipate, then I'll go in and renegotiate the price or just let it go. But typically we can just renegotiate the price. I mean, when you when you talk to sellers and you explain to them or agents and say, well, look, you know, the cost of rent for a typical house like this would be roughly about here. But because there's this and this and that, it's really kind of jacking up. It's exploding the cost of rental. There's really nothing I can do about that unless we can renegotiate the price.
George El-Masri [00:21:29] So, OK, very cool. And then the next part is the acquisitions. Are you talking about closing costs?
Danielle Chiasson [00:21:33] Yeah. So when you buy a house, you got the land transfer tax title, title insurance and you know, your lender fees or your lawyer fees. Right. And all of that. So that that amounts anywhere to like depending on the price point, because your land transfer tax will really dictate how much your acquisition fees are. But take that out. I mean, you're about five thousand dollars.
George El-Masri [00:21:55] Yeah, it's usually around two percent of the purchase price somewhere in that range. OK, so the disposition would be your commissions.
Danielle Chiasson [00:22:06] Yeah, that's right, that's it. Commissions like that's pretty much it. Yeah, no, there's your lawyer fees. I mean, there's there's obviously got costs, but the biggest cost is the real true cost. And you've got your staging. I have that there potential photography depending on how you work it out with your realtor. What else do I have in that category?
George El-Masri [00:22:28] Well, there's little things, but those are the main ones. Yeah. Like the stage and could kind of that could add up a little bit, depending on what you depending
Danielle Chiasson [00:22:36] on how long is there. Depending. Again it's all relationship based. Right. So I use the same stage or all the time. She's amazing and she's really fair in her pricing. And if anybody wants her. No, just, you know, find me on social media, I'll give you her number. But what she does is different than other stagers is that she has two months of staging in her first fee. And so which typically, like, I move them well before that. So so I never really have any additional costs, which is nice, because then you're not guessing at how much it's going to cost you because you don't know how long you going to need it. Stage four. Right. So I know typically my houses sell within that two month period. So I know the cost that I'm might cool.
George El-Masri [00:23:19] OK, and the last thing you mentioned was holding costs. So obviously there is a mortgage payment. Well, with a private it's going to be an interest payment. There's going to be property taxes, utilities, those types of things.
Danielle Chiasson [00:23:30] So you're looking at yeah, you're looking at insurance due to insurance, taxes and your utilities. Those are the three main ones. Yeah. And if you have a property manager, that's going to make sure that the property gets looked at, because if it's a vacant property, depending on what kind of property insurance you have, you may need somebody to go there and just record that they were there every three days, which I don't do because I'm there and we're doing work in the project. But I highly recommend people to do that. But yeah, those are the three main things, it's your insurance, your taxes and your utilities and that's the whole thing when you're talking about the mortgage payment that's actually included in the lender fees.
George El-Masri [00:24:13] OK, here, including that. And are you typically paying monthly for the the mortgage or are you trying to do like a lump sum payment at the end of.
Danielle Chiasson [00:24:22] Yeah. So it depends on which lender I deal with my primary first mortgage lender. So he does interest only payments for the length of the mortgage and then I monthly. Yeah. And that's pretty standard and it's typical in the industry. But once I create a relationship, a lot of times what I do and I do have a lot of my lenders where I just pay them a lump sum at the end. Right.
George El-Masri [00:24:43] Yeah, OK. And that's better for you because it's just less money to dish out.
Danielle Chiasson [00:24:48] The project. Here's what happens with a flip that people don't understand. And I think it's really important if I may share this with your audience when you're doing a flip and everybody wants to do a flip because it's sexy and it's fun and it on TV, it looks great on TV. Right. But here's what happens. There's no money coming in until you sell the property. And what people don't understand that it's not you know, you buy the house and you take two or three months or four months to do the flip and then you get paid. It doesn't work that way because now you need to list it. You need a week to prep it and list it, which we're skipping that week. You need a week to listen to it and then list it. And then after that, maybe a month before you sell it and then maybe two months to close. So like in my spreadsheet, I have three months just to sell. So when you're flipping a property, there's nothing but money out, out, out until you close on the disposition. So when you're looking at your numbers and you're looking at your holding time, you want to look at it from close to close. Not how long you think I can flip this house for which a lot of people make. They make that mistake. They owe three months. It's very hard to sell a property close to close within three months. Yeah, I mean, that's a two week, maybe three week clean up. Right. So it's really difficult to do that. I mean, if you're talking about the flip side. I do. I mean, we're talking about drawings and dealing with the permits and going to the city and city inspectors and stuff like that. That also slows you down like the one that I'm working on right now. And one of them that's almost ready to listen. Hamilton, we got delayed on that one because we did a our parking I added parking to the to the house to increase the value of it. And and that slow me down a bit, too. Right.
George El-Masri [00:26:31] So, OK, so what kind of spread are you typically looking for? Do you have that number in mind generally, or are you just inputting your numbers in your spreadsheet.
Danielle Chiasson [00:26:40] So my business model is that what I put in is what I want out. So typically if I do a 50 Chirino, I want 50 K profit. That's gross profit and I always have thirty K for the disposition. So I'm looking at one hundred and thirty K to one hundred fifty K spread when I'm buying. Yeah. And that's just like broad numbers. And now if it's a larger unit I have fifty k rano cost for property. That's about a thousand square feet. If I have a property that's a little bit larger and we're going to fifteen hundred square feet, maybe it's a two storey now I'm up to the seventy kamarck seventy five. Right. If I'm duplex it I'm pushing ninety and those are my numbers. Now I'm starting to kind of get away from seeing projects because I'm picking up so many that I'm actually working now with and with another GC and I'm actually contracting out to him. So that's scary. You know, I got to give up a little bit of control and that's again, if you know me, I'm a bit of a control freak. So so, you know, I'm growing. I'm growing.
George El-Masri [00:27:46] Yeah, well, OK, so that's great. You shared a lot about your your flip's. So we talked about the cost centers, as you call them, what you look for and then let's talk about hiring a contractor. So that's a big, big part of it, not just hiring them, but also managing them. So where do you find your contractors?
Danielle Chiasson [00:28:09] Hmm. So I typically find my contractors on indeed dotcom. I have gone to a lot of different sources. Indeed is the one that I typically hire from. So now it's really the only place that I go. And I have again, I have a vetting process. I have a system. When I'm hiring contractors, they have to go through a whole screening process before I'll even meet them. And part of that is that they have to follow instructions online. So when I'm asking you for a resume and you're like, yeah, I don't have a resume, but, you know, I've been doing this for twenty years. And, you know, when they send me an email with like I'm like, no, you may as well just like written that on a napkin for me in a bar, like it means nothing to me. So I and the funny thing is I actually don't even read resumes. It's just part of the vetting process to see how. Professional there, because a professional contractor will have a resume and they'll be proud of it. And so it's just part of my and then to see whether or not they're able to send it to me, I do a little bit on the online platform to see if they're able to scan and send or if they're taking pictures and sending to me because I do a lot remotely just so I can manage my time. And so, yeah, so, you know, I just kind of test them in different ways. And then they finally get to when I when we do the phone interview, they have to schedule it online. Same thing. So I use covalently I mean, you probably use a similar booking system and they have to go in it if they're hungry enough for the job and they're interested enough. The funny thing is, is that everybody's like, oh, if you do that, you're not going to be able to you're not going to have a whole lot of candidates yet. If I get for that, I get calls from that actually make it to the phone interview. Those are for highly qualified candidates because they've gone through a vetting system. Right. And so and that's what happened last time. I just recently went through a hiring process. I hired two to the four guys. One of the two guys didn't work out, but I had qualified guys still sitting on my desk from a week before. And so, you know, I just picked up the phone. One guy walked out on Monday and by Monday night, my I had another guy hired. So so because I was confident with, you know, the four that I had, three of them were great and I had to have all three. I was only hiring two. So so. Yeah. So that's what happened. But I do have a pretty solid you know, it's probably a. Five or six step system that they go through before I even meet them.
George El-Masri [00:30:40] Wow. Yeah, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they use. Indeed. Like I've heard people say, they look on Kagi. They'll look they'll ask friends for referrals, but never indeed. Yeah, that's so. And then do you do any research on these people to like background research, ask around, check out some of their projects, or do you just trust that?
Danielle Chiasson [00:31:00] I typically will ask if I can go through a project. If they don't have something that they can share with me, then it probably that's a red flag for me. And again, it's just through the whole process, I look for red flags. I mean, I am actively looking for red flags. And the biggest, I'll tell you right now, might have to test questions. One is to test their knowledge and one is to test their honesty, because honesty to me means more than anything. And so one of the questions that I ask is, do you speed when you drive? So I'm not sure how far of a reach your podcast has, but here in Toronto, everybody speeds at least 10k over. Otherwise you're going to get pulled over. So literally, almost just everybody speeds when they drive like there's no way you can't. And so I asked you speed when you drive and if it's a quick no, that's a quick wire. And so that is actually a red flag for me because they're telling me what I want to hear. They're not telling me the honest answer, which is what I'm looking for. Most guys be like, well, I'm not really, you know, maybe just, you know, just to keep up the traffic or or I used to, but I got too many speeding tickets, so I had to slow down. I mean, those are honest questions, right? Or honest answers. The other question that I asked, which is based on knowledge and again, I've I've framed this question strategically. I use an acronym when I ask a question, I go, are you familiar with the OBC? And when they say to me, what's the ABC? I say, You don't know what OBC stands for.
George El-Masri [00:32:34] Do you know George Ontario Building Code?
Danielle Chiasson [00:32:36] I think a contractor should know that OBC stands for Ontario Building Code, don't you?
George El-Masri [00:32:43] Most like we should.
Danielle Chiasson [00:32:44] So so that's again, a knowledge question for me. And then you guys have said to me, yeah, I kind of I know a little bit about it. I don't really know too much, though, you know, again, they're just trying to B.S. me and and say they're trying to dance around. They have no clue what it stands for and they're just trying to, you know, dance.
George El-Masri [00:33:04] Thanks for testing. Me too.
Danielle Chiasson [00:33:07] Well, I know you do. You know what you're too knowledgeable for. Not know I. I already knew you knew this wasn't testing you at all. No. I got other questions for you. OK, but anyway. Yeah. So that's I mean when I'm hiring I do again. It's a system that I have, I do have a vetting process. It is a step by step system and the whole key to the system is asking them detailed questions with instructions for them to follow, to see how they follow. And the reason why that's the reason why that's important to me is because I want to see how accurately they follow my instructions, because when I say I want the vinyl floor laid in front to back, when you're walking into the house so that it gives a longer feel of the room and they lay it side to side, then it's not going to be what I asked for. And so that's why I go through that, because I have to be able to trust that they're going to be paying attention to detail when I'm giving them instruction right. On the job cycle.
George El-Masri [00:34:03] Those are really good, good tips. The questions that you ask in the system that you have in place to find contractors. Now, when you do have a contractor, you found the person that you think is right for the job. How do you manage them? Make sure that they finish the project on time, make sure that they're showing up to work every day, that they're not taking days off and whatnot.
Danielle Chiasson [00:34:24] Again, it's systems. So there's a system out there called TI Sheets, which is like time sheets. It's a digital platform. It is a paid platform per user. I mean, you have to use it. You have to pay for using the platform and then each additional user, there's a fee, but there is geolocation on it. So when they sign in and sign out on their phones because they have their own, you create employee profile. So they log in and log out. Well, they sign in and sign out on the app. And I can see that they're in the project. They're on site. So not having that system in place really opens you up to fudging the numbers and whatnot. So and again, with this guy that walked off on the job, what happened was when he left the next day, he sent me a text message asking me which job site I wanted him at. And I quite nicely answered him back that after some careful consideration, I didn't think we were a good fit. And so I met him on site and I said, you know, Samier hours and I'll get Angela, who's my bookkeeper, to send to cut a check for you. So. And he just threw in a whole bunch of hours because I hadn't set him up on it and it was actually ten and a quarter hours that he had it on. And so and, you know, when you have systems in place, then you avoid that from happening right prior to that, because there was two of them working on site and they're showing up like my hours for my contractors is eight to four. Thirty is pretty standard, eight to four with a half an hour unpaid lunch. And if it's outside of that, I just asked them to let me know. But with T sheets, I can see if they're there earlier so that if it is a little bit earlier and I just print a report for Angelyne, I'll have to think about it. Right. So it's a lot easier. Again, there's a cost to having the system, but I think the flip side is dealing with what I had to deal with, with this employee walking off and then having to dispute hours. Right. So, I mean, the cost is a proactive cost. I there's two ways you can run your business. You can be proactive or reactive. And I firmly believe being reactive is more expensive than being proactive.
George El-Masri [00:36:41] Yeah, well, I can't imagine the costs of the annual cost of this software is more than 10 hours of his pay.
Danielle Chiasson [00:36:47] It's not right. It's really minimal. Yeah, it's really minimal.
George El-Masri [00:36:51] And so that with TI sheets you're able to see when they're on site. So they have to manually check in every day they go to the site. You just have to remind them once in a while, hey, make sure you're punching in your hours.
Danielle Chiasson [00:37:03] Yes. Just like remember when you used to go. He used to have to like. For those of you who are my age, when you had a job, you had to, like take a piece of paper and like punch in on the time clock and it's essentially the same thing, except it's on their phone.
George El-Masri [00:37:17] So, yeah, that's very cool. OK, that's a good tip, too. How do you make sure that they finish the project on time? So it's one thing for them to show up, but let's say they think the project is going to take six weeks to finish and six weeks and they're not even halfway done. Yeah.
Danielle Chiasson [00:37:32] So again, because here's my struggle. So if I can be real with you, I typically I like to get a project done within four months, max, depending on the scope of the project. But my scopes are usually I haven't done less than a sixty five thousand dollars run on a long time, and that's at my cost. So that would be probably about 80, 85 if you're working with a GC. So. So yeah, I'm doing I'm doing my flips typically in four months, but because I got so many flips and I don't have enough guys so they are taking longer and then also I'm moving them around from one job site to the other. And so I'm just finding that I'm having my like this one. I'm finishing up in Hamilton. It's taking too long. We're at five and a half months now and I'm like, I'm just done with it. Like I want it. I just want it done. And so but that's because, you know, I'm prepping another one so that all the all the professional trades can go in and do their ruffian's and stuff. And then I'm sending them back here. And then I bought another one that needed some exterior work before winter came and and then back to that one. So I just keep pulling them off. And that's a bit of an issue for me. So now, as I mentioned earlier, I'm starting to work with a GC and just starting to like pay the premium. That way I can just do what I do best, which is like work with people and raise capital and find partners to work with. So and finding deals, OK.
George El-Masri [00:38:56] Very cool. Yeah. So you've shared tons of stuff here. There's I think there's a lot to take away from this. I've got a bunch of NCLB those notes.
Danielle Chiasson [00:39:05] I want to see that.
George El-Masri [00:39:07] Yeah. So why don't we jump into the next section of our podcast, which is the random five, ask you five random questions and you're just going to answer the first thing that comes to mind. OK, the first question is, what was your last dream about?
Danielle Chiasson [00:39:22] Oh, what was my last dream about, huh? I was real estate. I do remember that. It was last night. I was I had a bit of a restless sleep last night. It was about real estate. But funny thing about those dreams is they're elusive. I just remember it was about a lender and I was feeling anxious. So and I don't know if that's because it's funny because, you know, like your real life, I firmly believe whatever is going on in your real life influences your dreams. And so I'm not sure if it's because I've been sitting on this property in five and a half months and I haven't I'm not yet ready to live. And, you know, my lenders are six month terms, so and I don't know, that's just causing me a little bit of anxiety. But that was last night.
George El-Masri [00:40:01] Yeah, OK. I'm sure that has something to do with your dream. Wait a minute.
Danielle Chiasson [00:40:05] When you said dream, are you talking about like a sleeping dream or like a dream?
George El-Masri [00:40:09] I'm talking about you're sleeping, OK? Yeah, you answered it perfectly. OK, what's your most essential appliance? Hmm.
Danielle Chiasson [00:40:16] My most sent my washer. OK, I have three kids, so we didn't talk about the kids too much, but yeah, I got three kids and yeah, I don't know, I just I, I've never been one to, like, put them in like the same outfit twice and so I do.
George El-Masri [00:40:33] But never were. You mean ever. The only ones. And they throw up their clothes.
Danielle Chiasson [00:40:38] No, no, no, no. They have to wash it, you know, like how sometimes they're like, you know, just wear what you wore two days ago or whatever, like, you know, I, I legit do two loads of laundry a day. Really. Yeah. It's crazy.
George El-Masri [00:40:48] So ah. You have somebody to do it for you.
Danielle Chiasson [00:40:51] Yeah, I do it myself. You know what, there's a couple of reasons for that. I do have a housekeeper, she comes in and cleans but the I don't want my kids to be entitled and I don't want them to. Have a distorted sense of reality that you don't have to work for it. And so at their fathers, they do have a nanny. But in my world, I want them to see that you have to work to balance life. And and I have a dishwasher. I never use it. It drives them crazy. But they do dishes with me. You know, we cook dinner and we clean the kitchen together as a family. And that really is to just create healthy habits with them and keep them moving, get them off the couch kind of thing. And they don't really ever sit on the couch, but they they have their devices and whatnot. Right. And I just don't want them. I don't know. We our best time is doing dishes together. Now, I haven't gotten them on the laundry thing. I got to work on that one.
George El-Masri [00:41:54] Yeah, well, kids are having fun doing dishes. That's that's a first. All right. What do you fear the most.
Danielle Chiasson [00:42:02] Oh, death always been and not my death. Other people's death. So we talked about my grandmother at the beginning of the of the podcast. And I have not one knock on wood. But it'll hurt your ears, Mike. So I have not lost anybody close to me in my family. So there's my mother, my grandmother, my grandmother, my grandfather, and then my mother. She's one of six. And I have my mom and all my aunts and uncles. So the family that I grew up with, I have them all and I've never lost anybody. So I'm really my grandmother now is 80. She'll be 81 one in February soon. And that's my biggest fear because I don't know how to react to that. And when I was younger as a teenager, I lost a couple of friends in high school, went through suicide, went through a car crash, and I didn't handle that very well. So I think I got a fear of like if just friends and I should say just friends. But I think I just don't know how I'm going to handle it. And I think now I have the maturity and I think I think, you know, the higher power gives you what you can handle when you can handle it. And I don't think I lost anybody at a young age because I just couldn't have handled it. I think now it's not really as much of a fear. Maybe my bigger fear now be losing one of my children. But, yeah, I think I'm more prepared now for my family, but I just I've never really experienced it, so.
George El-Masri [00:43:36] Yeah, OK, fair enough. Well, thanks for sharing that. You're very open about that. What's the heaviest thing you've ever lifted.
Danielle Chiasson [00:43:43] Oh my suitcase when I travel when I used to travel. OK, so now they have the maximum wait for your bags is fifty pounds. It used to be seventy was the max and you'd pay overweighed up to one hundred pounds. And let me tell you I always pack max and so and back then they didn't have the beautiful rollers that we have today. So not only are they later today, but they're easier to carry. I mean I used to have big duffel bags that I would throw on my back and and have the handles like on my shoulder. So, yeah, I think that would be probably the heaviest thing
George El-Masri [00:44:28] that makes sense. 70 to 100 pounds on your back.
Danielle Chiasson [00:44:31] On my back. Yeah. Going through an airport. Yeah. Like a crazy lady. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:44:36] OK, the last question is what success principle do you live by.
Danielle Chiasson [00:44:40] Hmm. Consistency is key. I have a whole bunch like I mean I could just ramble them off like you said, first thing that comes to your mind and I got like a million going in my head. But consistency is key again. It comes back to me building systems to create that consistency in my business. I feel that is a key to success. I think doing business the right way is also the key to success because you'll attract the right. Well, here's the bigger thing to you have to you have to surround yourself with like minded people and be on the same page so as at a networking event, for example, last night. And people are coming to me and they want to work with me and JV with me. And I always tell them, well, let's set up an intake call and see whether or not our goals are in alignment, because I won't JV with somebody. If we're not in alignment, that doesn't mean that you're bad. If you don't meet my goals or Michaels don't meet your goals. It just means we don't click well. But it doesn't mean I can't help you introduce somebody that could help you on your goals, because I have long term goals. Maybe you have short term goals. And so. So, yeah. So I think that's really important. I am relationship based. I'll nurture a relationship and and work on that rather than transactional. And I think that's the key to long term success. Yeah. I mean I just got a whole bunch of them in my head, but consistency and relationships.
George El-Masri [00:46:07] Cool, as you say, that I feel like I relate to what you're saying, so it makes sense that we're doing this right now. OK, so before we finish things, do you want to tell us about what services you offer and how people can reach you?
Danielle Chiasson [00:46:22] Well, there's a multiple like there's multiple different ways that I work with people. And again, it depends on what their goals are and how they fit in with mine. I work with lenders on my flip's, so they essentially become the bank where they lend money to me and I in exchange, I give them a mortgage. So it's secured. Their money is secured by an asset. That's one of the safer ways to invest in real estate and get a better return than what you would get at the bank. So that's one of the ways I work with lenders. Ersoy people another way, as I do JBI partnerships, I'm buying holds and that is transactional based on the unit and then we grow from there. I also do education and coaching. So I as you know, I host seminars and workshops. I got one coming up in February and yeah. What else do I got going on. Hmm. Coaching and I also do consulting to. So like what I'll do is I'll help, especially with secondary suite conversions. A lot of people who've done it or not done it, I just walk them through. What I do is I want to teach you how to fish. I don't want to give you the fish. I want to teach you how to fish. I don't want to do it again with you. Like and it's not because I don't want to help you or don't want to work with you or I don't want your money like of course. But at the end of the day there's only one to me and I'd rather help you grow as an investor. And so like recently, what I've done for a couple of clients is I will help them go through the process of drawing and designing, explain to them why I do the layout, the way I do it, go to the city with them. I don't go to the city for them. I go with them and then they see what kind of what kind of questions I ask and what the things I look out for. And I've done a minor variance recently with a client and that just gave her peace of mind, you know. And I kept saying, and now I've returned. She's like, oh my God, they said this, we're not going to get it. And I said, calm down. Yes, you will. It could be a hiccup, but we can work with it, you know. And so at every turn, I think I was kind of like her voice of reason to kind of help her sleep at night, because it can be very stressful when you've not gone through it. But now she's gone through with me and that now she can be like, OK, just because they're throwing stuff at me doesn't mean I'm not going to get the variance or get the permit approved. Right. So and I love doing that because it's just I don't know, it's just really rewarding to be able to give her the confidence to do it again, right on her own. And and again, because I'm relationship based, I always make sure that I'm available for my clients. Like, it's really important. I think it's like I think it's just like a security blanket. Kind of reminds me of a security blanket.
George El-Masri [00:49:06] Yeah. For the people out there that are interested in consulting or whatever other services you're providing, how do they reach you?
Danielle Chiasson [00:49:14] You can reach out to me in multiple different ways. Probably the best way would be to email me at Danielle, to email me at Danielle at Strategic Success Consulting Dotcom and or in social media. At the end of the day, it's probably easiest on social media. I'm really quick to get back to you through direct messages. I don't like email. I don't know, but your inbox. But my inbox just gets a whole bunch of stuff. I don't want to say junk. It's not all because it's there for a reason and I want to see it. But, you know, because I want to see what's going on. Like, I get news articles. I mean, you get them all to write, so I want to see it. But emails that I need to reply to get lost in my inbox. And so I direct messages work way, way better for me. I think you've emailed me and it's been like days and then you're like, hey, she's ignoring me. And I'm like, no, no, no, no. Just sent me a text text.
George El-Masri [00:50:11] You're you're pretty quick when it comes to a text message. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Very cool. So. Well, that was great. I think there's so much in here for people to take. And I appreciate your time once again.
Danielle Chiasson [00:50:21] Well, I'm honored. I appreciate you had me on. Thank you so much, George.
George El-Masri [00:50:24] Any time. So I look forward to staying in touch. And once again, thank you very much.
Danielle Chiasson [00:50:29] You're quite welcome.
George El-Masri [00:50:32] Thanks for listening to this episode, I hope you enjoyed the content and as a valued listener, I'm giving away a sample letter of intent. This letter is used once your potential CO venture expresses interest in working with you. It outlines the general structure of the deal and intentions of both parties. You could visit w w w well off dossie forward slash letter to receive your free copy w w w well off dossie forward slash letter.