All About Investing in St. Catharines with Maria Esposito

All About Investing in St. Catharines with Maria Esposito
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Table of Contents - All About Investing in St. Catharines with Maria Esposito

Podcast Transcription

George El-Masri [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to this episode of the Well Off Podcast, I had an opportunity to interview Maria Esposito from Elite Property Investments and we actually had a really good conversation about the opportunities that exist in St. Catherine's. So that's a market that's really booming. And I think that there are a lot of opportunities there. I know you guys probably always hear me talking about Hamilton, but I do see a lot of value in St. Catherine's because the prices are still really low. They're even lower than Hamilton. So you can get a pretty decent property like in the three, four hundred thousand range, and you're able to find good, good tenants that are paying good money to to rent. So we talked about like some of the different areas of St. Catherine's, what you can find and see the north end, what strategies would work there versus the south or the downtown area. We talked about areas for student rentals. We discuss different economic factors, the go train and such and St. Catherine. So a lot of good things there. I hope you'll enjoy the episode. And just a reminder, if you know anyone who's looking to invest, I'd love to help them if they're getting into the first, second, third property. I'm really looking for people that are still beginners and that there are people that I can really provide a lot of value to. So keep in mind with your friends and family, I'd love to help them and enjoy the episode. Welcome to the Well-off podcast, where the goal is to motivate, inspire and share success principles. Today, I'm here with Maria Esposito from Elite Property Investments. I met Maria a little while ago. We've had an opportunity to chat a couple of times, so I'll just give you a brief explanation or kind of bio about Maria. She was she used to have a government job, and she was she felt very unfulfilled at the time. So she left in twenty fifteen, kind of restarted, refocused. And she worked a lot on her personal development, actually invested a good good some of her fortune on on that part. So we'll talk about that a little bit later. And she also decided to start a real estate investment and personal development training company. So she founded that with her, her partner, Carlo. And she's been working there. She's the CEO. She's giving everything into growing this company in this organization. And her her focus is on creating off market opportunities, specifically in the multiunit and commercial space. So welcome to the show, Maria.

Maria Esposito [00:02:23] Thank you, George, for having me here.

George El-Masri [00:02:24] You're welcome. Maria is a little bit nervous. Yeah. So what I like to do to start is to talk a little bit about your childhood. So if you want to kind of tell me where you grew up, which I know, but maybe not everyone else does, and tell me what you remember from your childhood,

Maria Esposito [00:02:42] I guess, to start out. You know, my my background is Italian. So I grew up in the city of St. Catherine's in a very traditional Italian household. My parents were both middle class working. My dad has always been in trades. I'd like to consider him Jack of all trades, but he's a certified painter and has been doing that for for many, many years. And my mother was in the banking industry and now has for the past many years has been in retail. So, yeah. And at this point, so growing up, you know, in an Italian household, it was very, you know, work hard, save your money and, you know, do what everybody else is doing. So that was kind of the big learnings that I got growing up. However, as a child, I was a very curious little girl. So I grew up always getting you take us, you could say a little bit of trouble and just having that curiosity with life and trying different things, which led me to basically leave home at 14 years old. And from that point, we won't go I won't go into details, but I kind of had to fend for myself. So I guess you could say my teenage years were were typical teenage years where I had to work for a living and support myself, put myself through school and and support myself. So so that's kind of in a nutshell, my childhood growing up, you know, with very strong ties and telling community and having that background and and kind of almost as if resisting the things that I learned and the things that I was noticing with the world and how it was changing. And that's what kind of guided me to the life and where I live today and how I live today and being a full time entrepreneur and an investor myself with my partner and growing a business of, you know, success and service and truly just getting out there and and servicing the St. Catherine's community as much as we can.

George El-Masri [00:04:50] Great. So I have a question for you. How Italian are you from one to ten?

Maria Esposito [00:04:54] How Italian? Oh, that's a good question. I would consider myself more magicJack. She would say, OK, you know, I I liked the traditions of the Italian culture, however, I would say I do follow some of the traditions, but I kind of add a little twist of Maria into that where need being, especially in terms of being a person in the personal development area, the mindset focuses a little bit different than, you know, then I guess you could say so. I would say maybe a seven percent.

George El-Masri [00:05:31] That's higher than I thought when you said you're you're a monkey.

Maria Esposito [00:05:35] There's still quite a bit of Italian.

George El-Masri [00:05:37] You do your tomatoes.

Maria Esposito [00:05:39] That's usually Labor Day weekend. So within the next month, Katherine's neighborhood. Yeah, usually we do Labor Day, but it depends on the weather. Hasn't been the greatest for tomatoes. So but within the next month, yes, we will.

George El-Masri [00:05:52] That's interesting because in in Woodbridge, everyone did them like last week or two weeks ago. And today it's a little bit different. Oh, it is. So for those that don't know Italians, they'll buy bushels of tomatoes and basically the family will get together and boil the tomatoes and put them through like the skinning machine and make sauce for the year and pass them on to all of their relatives. So it's something that I recently discovered. It's pretty cool tradition.

Maria Esposito [00:06:21] It is a pretty cool tradition. The best part is actually eating it afterwards and making fresh pasta with the fresh sauce. Nothing beats.

George El-Masri [00:06:29] OK, so I'll give you a seven on your Italian scale. If you're still doing your tomatoes, it's good for you. OK, so you left home at 14 years old, St. Catherine's, your you're in the jungle of St. Catherine's,

Maria Esposito [00:06:42] I guess you could say. I actually left St. Catherine's and lived in Hamilton for a year. Oh. So I was I guess you can say for a year I was a Hamilton girl. Wow. And then transitioned from Hamilton to Brampton. So I lived in Brampton, Mississauga for about ten years. So that's where I think in business, kind of knowing that market. Yes. At that time I was an employee, but I kind of got to know the market, the streets, the areas, the Brampton, Mississauga area.

George El-Masri [00:07:09] Yes, I grew up in Brampton.

Maria Esposito [00:07:11] Oh yeah. Good. OK, I wasn't aware of that. Yeah, we're

George El-Masri [00:07:14] both I grew up near Bramante City Center.

Maria Esposito [00:07:16] OK, see, I was Charlie and McGlocklin area.

George El-Masri [00:07:18] Oh yeah. Close to Shopper's World.

Maria Esposito [00:07:21] Yes, shoppers world.

George El-Masri [00:07:22] That's right. OK, that's interesting. All right. So tell me, what are I just since we kind of touched on this, what are the main differences, in your opinion, between St. Catherine's and Hamilton?

Maria Esposito [00:07:31] Oh, boy. First and foremost, I would have to say demographic just from, you know, Hamilton. I've got the pleasure to get to know on the investment perspective with, you know, even just looking at properties, getting to know the market. I would say demographic in comparison. Yes, we're both student communities. You know, you have big master down there and, you know, St. Catherine Brook University or college, you know, and they're going to take and well. And so, yes, we are both student based. But I'd say Hamilton has a very high economic development rate compared to St Catherine's where we've started shifting. St. Catherine's tends to have you know, we're more of a retirement community. We're also, I guess you could say, I guess you could say low income as well. So you're getting a lot of family oriented people, retirees, you know, in comparison, in Hamilton, you're getting a mixture of the younger generation versus, you know, people working class. So that would be the first difference. I would probably say that would be the biggest difference between the two in terms of demographics.

George El-Masri [00:08:45] Yeah, St. Catherine's is actually very kind of it's sectioned off into different areas. And if you just like, say, the W north of there, it's totally different from certain spots. So it's right. So in your opinion, since you know the area very well, where would you think would be an ideal spot to invest in St Catherine's? Like, can you kind of break down the different areas and maybe explain the pros and cons of those areas of St. Catherine's Church?

Maria Esposito [00:09:14] So if you're looking if you want to look in comparison, like you were saying north then to south of where the QE divides, you know what ultimately depends on the strategy? So in terms of investment, if you are a flip flopper or you're you're you're using the strategy or secondary suite conversions, your north end is ideal because ultimately this area is highly dense in residential bungalow style homes.

George El-Masri [00:09:45] So family friendly, family friendly.

Maria Esposito [00:09:48] So this is where you're getting. Yes. So this is what you're the strategies you would use and these would be the pros of of the north end. You do not. To say you do have some of the high rise and multi families, but those are kind of tucked off and hidden now when you're going south of the QE now, you're getting into downtown and south end towards Brock University. That's a totally different strategy. So now you're getting into students. So if you're a student rental investor, this is where you want to target. So the downtown highly populated with students. I also will say downtown is also targeting the lower demographic rates as well. But what I love about the downtown and this is kind of even our focus in terms of in terms of investments, is there is a huge transitioning happening since the general hospital has been torn down. There's a lot of development shifts happening in this area. So I think that this will be a great anchor point to what happens in this specific area of Queensland where the old hospital used to be to see what, because that'll be an anchor to how things shift. The great thing is now when you're going when you're going to the business district area of the downtown core, away from the residential, you know, this is now you're getting really in terms of price point now you're getting you know, you're getting prime real estate area. You're getting multifamily mixed-use once again, student rentals. So these are the great areas, you know, much higher price point compared to if you were to go closer to the hospital area where it's the residential tends to be a lower income demographic now going further south towards Brocky University. Now you're getting into more student in housing Thorold, which broke universities in the Thorold area. So now you're getting into the different student rentals. So you could even get into flip opportunities and, you know, in those areas as well.

George El-Masri [00:11:49] Yeah. So to recap, if you're flipping if you're doing the strategy or even if you're maybe just doing a buy and hold and you want a high, high quality tenant north of the WS, probably ideal for that. If you're looking south of the W in the downtown core, you're probably either going to get students or you're going to get a lower class, kind of maybe like a C plus type of tenant.

Maria Esposito [00:12:11] Correct. You could say. That's not to say I mean, because of the shift in the business district area of the city and the private sector, investors coming in and really putting in their money like, you know, with the the first Ontario Performing Arts Center, the Meridian Center. So there's a lot of money going in into the city to to really redevelop and all these little cute, neat shops. Yeah. So that area that's on the cusp of where the transition is happening. So between, you know, being in the middle from where the hospital and the development that's happening and where the business district is, you know, that area within the next five to 10 years is really going to shift and change as long as people see the value and continue to invest in those areas, which is what our focus is, because we really do see the transition, especially to add that the go train is coming. So this is also now the go train is further south.

George El-Masri [00:13:10] Yeah, it's already. It's already.

Maria Esposito [00:13:12] It's already operating. Yes. It's only the one the one bus a day. One day. One a day.

George El-Masri [00:13:17] So and that leaves out what time.

Maria Esposito [00:13:19] I want to say something like eight thirty eight between eight thirty and nine o'clock.

George El-Masri [00:13:24] I thought it was before then. I thought it was early so that people can get to Toronto. So basically the, the, the go train is now there is one stop in St. Catherine's and it operates once a day and it goes straight to Toronto I believe. Yes. Yeah. So that's that's a big, big thing because the distance between Toronto and St Catherine's is the exact same, almost like almost to the dot as a distance between Toronto and Barry. And look at look at Barry like if you put it on the map and that's not going straight over the water into St Catherine's, that's going all the way around on the UAW. That's right. Yeah. It's incredible to think that the the average price in St. Catherine's compared to Barry.

Maria Esposito [00:14:03] What is the difference between the two? I'm not I know people that invest in Barry, but I'm not really familiar with that.

George El-Masri [00:14:09] I don't have like all the stats. But Barry's almost double like. Yeah, like the average price there is significantly higher than St Catherine.

Maria Esposito [00:14:17] Well, I will tell you this, since the twenty sixteen spike, I would say a lot of properties, I wouldn't say doubled, but they have significantly increased and I definitely foresee that happening. Once again, I see the trends happening very similar to what Hamilton has reached and I think every market goes through those cycles. St. Katharine's, you're still able to find cash flowing properties. You're still able to you know, if you're banking for appreciation as well. This is a really, really great time to be, you know, looking into the same CATHERINES.

George El-Masri [00:14:55] Absolutely. Yeah. And I just remember I worked on a project. Maybe two years ago, it was a project in Niagara Falls. This was a new condo development on a golf course, and it was like a luxury development. And just at that time, I was looking into the area and seeing everything, all the things that were happening. I think one of the things that I read about was a major hospital being developed in the area, which I think is part of the reason why the hospital that you mentioned was being torn down. Yes. Yeah. And the other thing, the other benefits of being in that area would be the proximity to New York, to Buffalo for people that want to go out, go out there for whatever reason, for flights. There's all sorts of like development happening in the area. I don't remember all the details, but I know that a lot of money is being poured into the Niagara region in general. So do you have any any information on on any of the economics of any aspects of the economics there,

Maria Esposito [00:15:55] specifically St. Catherine's or the region itself? Either one? Yeah, I mean, you'd be surprised. It's really interesting. And getting to know the region itself, even though we specialize in in terms of market understanding the market in St. Catherine's, we've had the opportunity to get to know the region as well. And and the thing is, a lot of people really a lot of investors need to start connecting at the city level because depending on what the need is and depending on what they're looking to attract, whether that they're looking for more businesses to attract for economic development purposes, are they looking for more residences? So they're looking for, you know, people to invest on the residential aspect. Different cities have different grants. You know, the city, you know, the little town of fortiori. A lot of people haven't even heard of that area. But you'd be surprised of the the perks at the city level they're willing to do in terms of St. Catherine's. I do say they're really looking for as you can see, there's a lot of development happening in St. Catherine's in terms of, yes, affordable housing. That's a really big initiative. But they're looking for high density, high density residential is what the city of St. Catherine's is looking at. So how they what they bring of value to an investor or to a developer is bypassing, you know, the waiting times in terms of, you know, getting the permits, things like that. So they're becoming much, much more lenient. And as far as I'm aware of, I even think now is speaking to Mayor Walter Simsek. I do know that in terms of, you know, the secondary street conversion, which tends to be a very popular strategy with among at least a lot of our connections. I know that. I believe come come this fall, they're going to be bypassing that. Right now, there are restrictions with how large basement units can be, where they're actually going to be getting rid of that bylaw, you know, so that because there is a shortage of affordable housing, they're making adjustments to the bylaws to be able to accommodate the private sector and investors to be able to create these opportunities for affordable housing. So these are the types of things that investors could really take advantage of in terms of those kind of values at the city level.

George El-Masri [00:18:24] OK, do you have any information on the hospital as well that that's being built?

Maria Esposito [00:18:29] Well, the hospital has been built, so the hospital, as far as my work is probably been close to about five, 10 years. But that was a many year project. That one's been up and running. It's just it's only been the past, I believe, about six months that the old general hospital in downtown St. Catherine's own Quincy has been torn down. But that new hospital there has, you know,

George El-Masri [00:18:54] where is the new one,

Maria Esposito [00:18:55] West St. Paul area. So basically, if you're taking West Saint Paul would be like Fourth Avenue. So if you're going up, what if you're in the downtown core? Well, in turns into Fourth Avenue and if you kind of take it out to the country, almost you're almost in country land there where the hospital is.

George El-Masri [00:19:11] So maybe I misread at the time when I was doing the research because I thought it was something that was maybe there's a new house, maybe

Maria Esposito [00:19:19] there's something smaller that I'm not quite sure either

George El-Masri [00:19:22] way, but as a matter. But that's good. So are the new hospitals up and running? Do you have any I know you're not like you don't represent the city or anything. Not, but you seem to be knowledgeable with this stuff. Do you know if there are any any plans with the Gautrain to increase the number of trains or anything of that sort?

Maria Esposito [00:19:39] Yes, as far as I'm aware of, from just the research that is open to the public, I believe that they're going to be implementing the train is going to have its own track, because right now I believe they are sharing with via rail and that's why they only have the one day. But within the next, you know, they keep changing. The changing the the dates, but within that, I will say the next two to three years, the go will have its own, you know, its own line where it'll be able to come and go and have multiple times that they're coming in and going out. So great. But I don't have the specifics on.

George El-Masri [00:20:19] Right. Yeah, it's just the general idea. Where do you see the most opportunity in St. Catherine's?

Maria Esposito [00:20:27] That's a very good question. See, I'm a person that is open to all opportunities for ourselves, we're more of multifamily commercial, so that's kind of our niche. So depending on what your strategy strategy is, I see value in all areas because we are a vision based type of company and we want to contribute to the transformation in the downtown core. So I personally see value in the downtown in terms of investment, because when you're looking at the financial analysis aspect from the price point versus versus cash flow and you know, and then looking at growth. Yes, I guess you could. You might there's a high risk tolerance because now you're dealing with a more vulnerable demographic. So I mean, so it all depends on your comfort levels. I mean, for ourselves, I see value in the downtown, especially if you're looking at what is happening down there and where it's going north. And once again, the north end, I see value in that area in terms of price point. And if you're doing those the burners or the secondary suite conversions and then also the student rental areas purchasing a key note the in Thorold, it is licensed. So for any investors looking to convert any single family homes into student rentals, you might want to rethink that because it is a very intensive licensing process and approval process. So whatever investment you put in, you may need to put more investment into that in order to get it licensed. So so that's just a key things

George El-Masri [00:22:16] for those areas that license. Does it only apply to student rentals or is it any rental for

Maria Esposito [00:22:20] anything below four units and below?

George El-Masri [00:22:23] OK, but I've heard that it's very simple to get the license for rental purposes. I guess that's not the case.

Maria Esposito [00:22:30] Or so it depends on the property. So, for example, if you're getting a really good deal on a property that, you know, in order for it to be a legal rental, it may need more income up, it may need more financial compensation up front to to get it to safety code and to get it licensed properly. So for an investor that has well maintained and has been already licensed, then it'll be very simple for you. Now, if you're if you're acquiring this property and has it been licensed and you want to convert it into a multifamily or convert into a student rental, whatever your strategy is, you'll have to abide by what the right what it is that it to get it licensed, you'll have to really focus on those requirements. So so it all

George El-Masri [00:23:22] depends, you know, what happens if you don't have it licensed and you get caught?

Maria Esposito [00:23:27] Yeah, I don't know what the finance, but I hear it's pretty hefty. I do hear it's pretty hefty. And I know that I foresee them implementing, you know, the databases that they need to figure out where these rental properties are. Knowing that St. Catherine's was considering it licensing St. Catherine's, which is off the table now, I definitely foresee and how we're in close proximity to Thorold. I definitely see over the next few years that the city will probably end up implementing some sort of system to systematize OK, which are residential, which are which are rental units. So it may not affect you now, but, you know, in the future could negatively impact. So just do your due diligence and, you know, comply. That's what I say. Just comply to what the city wants. And if if that's part of your investment, then you'll just have to reject the numbers and make it work. That's what we do as investors. Right.

George El-Masri [00:24:27] Just make it work. We just throw in the towel and do whatever the. OK, so when we're talking about multi units now, let's discuss a little bit of St. Catherine's, what kind of pricing we're we're looking at per door, for example. And if there is anything else you want to share but your multiunit off market strategies.

Maria Esposito [00:24:46] Oh, so price per unit. Oh, boy, that's a good one because you'd be surprised. St. Catherine's is a very, very unique city. Price per unit per. There's even pockets that vary from one pocket to another. I see. Because we're we don't really focus on North End. I'm getting more familiar now being getting into a bit more property management and kind of seeing what the numbers are like, you know, in terms of those BER strategies and understanding. So if you're looking at multifamily price per unit, you could be getting as low as I used to be able to see. I'd say within the past year we've had. The opportunities that were from seventy five thousand to one hundred, but right now you could go in some pockets from say, we'll say a hundred a hundred thousand per unit versus some areas you could be paying two hundred. But it's funny, I was talking to one of our developers and they just sold their duplex in kind of the north and it's at the cusp of North End and downtown. But Morsal North End and he sold his legal duplex. I'd say it's probably about 15 years old. Very nice property, but significantly in the below market, below market rent. And he sold for four seventy eight, which I thought was outrageous. But later when I was speaking to a more I see how he got that price point was he ended up getting back in possession. So, so there was some strategies there that the seller protected himself, you know, and was able to vacate. So in that sense, yes, I could somewhat justify. But you know, I still can't believe looking at for that particular area, almost 250 a unit, I think is really

George El-Masri [00:26:38] well, it's a little bit different. Duplex or a two tier property versus a 20 unit building.

Maria Esposito [00:26:45] Yes. Yes. So the larger the larger the property, the less the price per unit. So in a duplex, normally the duplex, as I could see in the downtown north end kind of core, you could be looking at around one hundred to one hundred and fifty. To me is what the norm of what the market has been doing. So like I said, at 250 was really, you know, it was good for the seller, you know. So it's so definitely it's interesting how the market has shifted and change, but that's usually the norm. Not to say I mean, it depends as well. We're looking right now at a student rental property that is in the Montebello Park area that we're working on right now. And it's a student rental, but it's it used to be an old mansion and it has eleven, eleven rooms in it. And it's a legal duplex. So that one there, you know, what you know is asking for more than eight hundred. Now, once again, that's Montebello Park area. So now you're getting into prime real estate area anywhere around that Ontario Street, Weland, Montebello Park, you know, and even getting into the business district area, you're going to be paying a larger, significant price point because of the area. So once again, like a duplex, you know, over a hundred thousand, you know, that's what you're going to expect for that area. But for a house that's forty five hundred square feet, you know, and solid structure. So once again, you're getting different price points and depending on what what it is currently. But these are the different types of price points that you're going to see, more so in the multifamily and boarding lodging like student rentals.

George El-Masri [00:28:32] OK, so you we touched a bit on the multi the larger multi units. Are there a lot of multiunit buildings, let's say like 15 plus unit apartment buildings in St. Catherine's?

Maria Esposito [00:28:45] There is quite a bit without me knowing the exact numbers, I would have to say yes. You know, there is there is a fair amount of your larger, you know, high density multifamily in the area, of course, that a lot of them are owned by, you know, by a lot of the larger companies. And, you know, and once in a while, I mean, I haven't seen any go on the market. I had a colleague that was looking at a larger one in St. Catherine's and but we didn't have the opportunity to take a look at that. But we've seen larger multis, you know, go like in the Niagara Falls area and other areas sometimes go in the market, but usually the larger ones you rarely see on the market.

George El-Masri [00:29:32] So, OK, so these are off market opportunities are definitely often you are specializing in finding these types of opportunities. So can you kind of tell us a little bit I know you probably don't want to give away all your secrets, but can you tell us a bit about how you're finding these off market, high density apartment buildings?

Maria Esposito [00:29:49] Sure. Well, it's not so much finding. I like to look at it as creating. We create the opportunities and that's what we have built our brand around, is creating those opportunities through relationship integrity, authentic relationships. I guess you could say I've been kind of labeled as a networker. I consider myself more of a connector. I like to you know, if people come to us and we're at the point now where I really we started out hitting the streets, you know, doing the doorknocking and things like that, doing those, you know, the fliers. But we're at the. Point now where we have built such an incredible resource team in a team of connectors from the investment side as well as the trade side as a service provider, so so with all the connections that we have, you know, we have created a lot of the opportunities, more or less come to us. And I would say a good chunk of them are also really great realtors. You know, some realtors like working with MLS, they see the value in there. But we see a lot of the realtors we work with see more value working off market. So we've built over the past few years that we've been in business with realtor. Is that see more value in that, you know, connecting with, you know, service providers like us that have the pull of connections and are continuously building our network resources of investors and working with them creatively on a win win win manner. So so the best advice and the key thing is, is building those relationships. And yes, it takes a very long time, you know, so it's always it's building that relationship, keeping in contact, kind of like you, George. I mean, I received your really nice cards in the mail and and that always. And when I'm receiving those, that is a key thing to building those relationships. And, you know, we were working on that a few opportunities, you know, in Hamilton and well end and these are the things is is I keep telling Morsal our investors, you know, I'm not going to be chasing you, build the relationship with us, keep in contact with us. And, you know, when opportunities present themselves, who's the first person we're going to connect with are the people that built those relationships with us. And we put that time and effort in creating those. So that ultimately would be the biggest way we have created these off market opportunities. And we're at the point now where some of our elite investors are coming to us wanting to offload their properties off market. And we create that, you know, and we create those strategies in a different way, in different ways, whether we bring in our realtors or we you know, if it's in the same Catherine's area, chances are we're going to be looking at that ourselves. But what we like to do is, once again, it goes back to the service aspect. So even if it's something that we're looking to acquire ourselves, we still open that up to our investors and give options. Now, they have the option to work with us passively and, you know, as a joint venture partnership. And it's completely passive. And we take on the operations or we give the option if they want to, for us to assign that. And if they want to take over that property, then they could take over. And we charge a very small consulting fee on that. So so we like to give options to our investors. And that has allowed us to now, you know, they come to us and see the value in offloading their opportunities to us as well, which has been a blessing to us. So, so. Well, for those of you listening, thank you very much.

George El-Masri [00:33:36] Yeah, well, that's great. Yeah, I think networking and relationships, I just keep hearing it over and over and over again. That's how most successful people are building their business. And I will throw something out there if you come across a good opportunity. Single family home in Hamilton, they need some work. I'm looking so OK. Yeah, I

Maria Esposito [00:33:54] would. Yes, I will keep that in mind.

George El-Masri [00:33:56] Thank you. OK, so that's that. So we figured out how you're able to find these off market opportunities. Just out of curiosity, how many relationships do you have, like how many people are in your database?

Maria Esposito [00:34:09] Well, without me disclosing that kind of information you don't have, I guess you could say, OK, so we have two different groups. So this is this is for those that are listening. We have our opportunity knocks community, which which you are definitely a part of. That is our bigger community. Eventually we'd like to build this. Yes, it is our second second touch of what opportunities we have within the company. So they get basically what's left over from that first group.

George El-Masri [00:34:38] So I'm part of the second group that gets a look like,

Maria Esposito [00:34:41] you know what, hey, you could definitely you know, you could definitely be part of our lead investor group as well, OK? That one will definitely become more of an education platform as well. And there'll be a huge value to those that aren't part. But I'm slowly starting to transition some of those opportunity knocks, you know, community partners into our elite. So our lead investor group, the perks and those is that these are people that spend the time and energy with us. We send out an initial investor survey that they fill out with basic information on where they're currently at and where they want to go. Then we we basically set up a thirty minute call to go more in depth and long. Term, short term goals, vision strategies you're open to, but may or may not have experience in and, you know, capital and things like that, so we get a very clear picture. And the great thing is, is that when we we qualify opportunities based off of our needs and that group's needs. So so we work really closely with that group. And and it's very simple. You know, I could definitely provide you the link of that survey and get you part of that group, because sometimes opportunities don't get filtered down to the opportunity knocks and that group get kind of first right of refusal to any opportunities that come through.

George El-Masri [00:36:04] I'd love to be part of that group. Great. All right. Sounds good. OK, why don't we jump into the next section unless there is anything else. Is there anything you want to share, any last message before we get into the next section?

Maria Esposito [00:36:16] Well, no, I think I've shared quite a bit,

George El-Masri [00:36:20] maybe a little more than you wanted to. OK, so the next part is the random five, or I'm going to ask you five random questions and you're just going to tell me the first thing that comes to mind. Oh, nice. Cool. Yes. What was your favorite 90s TV show?

Maria Esposito [00:36:34] Oh, baby, 90s TV show. Oh, boy. Hmm, I'm going to have to think about that one. I want to say full house, but, you know, it's funny because I've actually started watching that on Netflix with my kids. Yeah, they're watching the Full House series, but that's the one that popped in my head.

George El-Masri [00:36:52] OK. OK. Yeah, that's a good point with it. How is that, by the way? Because I was thinking about that the other day, like with my kids. I don't know if they're going to be interested in watching any of the shows that I used to watch. So how is how do your kids like.

Maria Esposito [00:37:04] You know what? My oldest, Erica, she is 11 years old. I have to say, you know, Vitória, she's into it, but not as much. She's into the full house, but she also likes the fuller house. So that's kind of the, you know, the sequel to Full House. So so that she kind of goes back and forth between the full house and but the little one, she's only nine Vitória, so she's not as into it as much as your sister.

George El-Masri [00:37:29] I was just thinking like it must be so different because the way they dress their hairstyles, just the things that they discuss, sometimes they'll make references to things that were happening at that time, which are no longer people don't really know about. So. OK, cool. Well, the second question is kind of tied to the first one, which is who was your favorite character on friends? I'm assuming you watched friends because your

Maria Esposito [00:37:53] friends is

George El-Masri [00:37:54] another good. Yeah, don't worry about

Maria Esposito [00:37:57] friends, OK? Everybody loves Joey. I love Joey because

George El-Masri [00:38:03] he's Italian,

Maria Esposito [00:38:04] you know. I know. It's just funny. It's funny and quirky. You know what, Rachel? But I like I didn't really have Rachel. I really like them all. I never really played favorites at different times. I like them in different characters. But Rachel, Joey, Monica, I kind of could relate more to Monica in terms of analysts when it comes to cleaning. I think that's an Italian trait. And I'm a little bit fanatic. And it's funny how I brought that a little bit into our investments as well, is when I go into a property that isn't very well maintained and I'm like, God, you know, how do people live in here? And without it, even on the investment and not maintaining their properties, that's definitely something that is very important to me as well.

George El-Masri [00:38:54] Well, that's a good thing. Keeping it clean helps with so many different ways. OK, what was a turning point in your mindset? Not a very clear question, but you can make what you want with that.

Maria Esposito [00:39:06] I'd have to say the turning point in my mindset was when I transitioned, when I went through the transition from quitting my my day job working for the district school board of Negron, the Niagara Catholic, I was working long term contracts with the DPN and I was kind of filling the spots in between my contracts through through the Niagara Catholic on administrative capacity when I transitioned. Believe it or not, my transition before getting into full entrepreneurship was actually network marketing and was the personal development there. I would have to say that first year was a huge transformation of my mind shift in terms of developing my own mindset, releasing from the traumas that I went through as a child and as a teenager that I wasn't even consciously aware of and just spending time on getting to know myself and my needs, my wants, and just healing myself from the past, which that was probably really the pinpoint. And then getting into the training, the trainer, a board designated trainer, after all my courses, that was another shift and change in terms of mindset to to be on the flip side now, to be able to guide others to their own transformation and their own releases from adversity that a lot of people aren't even consciously aware of, you know, and they're just going through life, either spinning and going through the same occurrences of life and events. So those were probably the two biggest and those were probably from 12 and 15, 16 and two thousand and 17 and 18. So that was probably the biggest, biggest, you know, transformational time for me in terms of mindset. Right.

George El-Masri [00:40:52] Interesting. And that was the time that you said that you committed all of your saving towards personal development.

Maria Esposito [00:40:58] Yes, 100 percent. That was the hardest part, going from an employee mindset and being able to account for every single penny and knowing where it was going and when it was coming in to having to say OK and investing on a belief, not that I've replaced my income, but just on the development that I've built within myself in the belief that I could do it was probably, you know, and not receiving that paycheck that that create you need to have a certain mindset to be able to.

George El-Masri [00:41:30] I like the saying you're in a place now where you eat what you kill. OK, the last question is what success principle do you live by?

Maria Esposito [00:41:42] All the success, principal. I would say the one the one common common thing that I say continuously, I mean, in terms into investors and even at a social platform like this, is invest in yourself first because there's no greater investment than that. You know, that would probably be and this is an I base that off of my own personal learnings. You could go and invest in, you know, your next up level up level your portfolio. The thing is, is that, you know, it may take you 10 years to get to that point and you may be spinning your wheels. And like we say, you know, it's not an easy task to be able to go and create those financial wealth opportunities. And it takes time. The thing is, is that if you want to get to that destination quicker, enjoy the journey, invest in yourself. So not only would that, you know, decrease your time in getting there, you know, it will also give you some peace of mind because you've you have that belief within yourself. And I think that really takes time to develop that skill.

George El-Masri [00:42:55] Got it. So your answer is invest and believe in yourself.

Maria Esposito [00:42:59] Invest in yourself.

George El-Masri [00:43:02] OK, perfect. So before we wrap up the episode, do you want to tell people what services you offer and how they can reach you?

Maria Esposito [00:43:10] Sure. So basically, we could be reached. So the services we provide first we have the simplest three ways. We service the

George El-Masri [00:43:20] simplest, the three way,

Maria Esposito [00:43:22] you know, we're we're consi we're constantly evolving. So which I mentioned earlier, our new division that we've just implemented, looking to grow as well. So the first area is, you know, if you're looking for off market opportunities. Yes, we specialize in St. Catherine's. However, we have built an incredible team of affiliate partners that also have off market opportunities in other markets, not just in the Niagara region. So if you're looking if you're, you know, up north kind of investor, if you're looking in the Chatham area, you're looking in different markets, GTA, London, sometimes Windsor, sometimes Kitchener. We have built those affiliates that, you know, we work with in other markets in terms of multifamily commercial off market. So if you're a buyer, we could help you there. If you're looking to invest in the Niagara region, St. Catherine's specifically, this is our market specialty. You want to be a passive investor, because the funny thing is I've learned with investors, people tend to think when you become a landlord, you're a passive investor. Actually, no, that's you're actually receiving that's reoccurring income. That's not passive income. Passive income is when you're not putting your time energy into it. Whereas if you're receiving money but you're still managing the place that's reoccurring income, which a lot of investors tend to not see that. So if you want to be a passive investor and let us, the professionals, take care of the opportunities and force appreciate and do whatever and maintain that and grow that asset while you enjoy your life, this is another way that we could work with you. And the third way, which has come to us unexpectedly, we have now started implementing and I wouldn't say property management, but in terms of if you have a vacant unit in the city of St. Catherine's and you don't want to go through the hassles of screening tenants, we have a system in place that we have been working on, I mean, within our own units and now, you know, going out there and servicing other people that don't want to go through the screening process with in terms of occupying the vacancies we could help with, they're at a competitive price compared to other service providers in the same Katharine's area. So that's kind of our third way of working.

George El-Masri [00:45:58] And finally, the best way to contact you,

Maria Esposito [00:46:00] best way to contact me is contact me by phone. Email Infl at elite property. I envy dot com. We also have our own Facebook page. We also have an Instagram page I believe is elite property I envy. But I will tell you this. I am not very active on Instagram. I'm more of a Facebook user. And so and also through our website, which is at least property in TV.com.

George El-Masri [00:46:30] That it. Yeah, perfect. Well, that's great. Thank you so much for your time. I hope that you guys have found this useful and her knowledge of St. Catherine's was helpful and and kind of breaking it down for you. So hopefully we'll have a chat. To reconnect soon, and it's always nice chatting with you.

Maria Esposito [00:46:47] Thank you very much for having me here.

George El-Masri [00:46:50] Thanks for listening to this episode of the Law podcast, if you enjoy the show, then I'd really appreciate if you left us a review on iTunes and let us know your thoughts in order for us to get a larger audience. It's really important to have reviews. So your sport is extremely appreciated. And also, don't forget to share the podcast with your friends and family. Until next time. I'm George Elmasry. Have a great day.

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