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Dave Debeau [00:00:08] Hey there, everyone, this is Dave Debeau with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast. Today, it is my pleasure to be interviewing an old friend in a very, very astute real estate entrepreneur, Mr. Barry McGuire. Barry. How are you doing today, Dave?
Barry McGuire [00:00:24] I am just ducky, even though I’m living in Alberta and we’ve just come out of a pretty big cold snap. I’m still alive. Still here. So glad to be back to be on the podcast. That’s.
Dave Debeau [00:00:34] Well, I’m glad you’re still alive. Still here and that you’re on the podcast, that’s for sure. So far, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Barry, Barry is a very experienced real estate investor in his own right. Not only that, he is a full time lawyer who focuses on primarily on real estate transactions. And he’s been doing that for a lot more years. And his youthful appearance would play so very. It’s great to have you on the call. And like you said, he’s calling in from Alberta. I’m here in Kamloops at the time that we’re recording this. It’s still a Nipe February kind of weather scheme there. So, Barry, to get started with, why don’t you tell us how you got involved? What’s been your path for getting in into real estate investing as an investor?
Barry McGuire [00:01:19] You know, that’s a that’s a good one to have. And it goes back a long way to when I was in university and I had a summer job and one of my coworkers was always running off to his lawyer to sign paperwork to buy another house. Now, he was just a student like me. And I finally said, you know, I don’t get this. Don’t you need money to buy a house? And what’s going on now? He was buying properties in the Gamel area of Edmonton, which is right near the university. That turns out this was in the days when you could assume mortgages in Alberta without qualification. And so he was going over and paying two or three thousand dollars in those early days of much lower prices, taking over somebody’s mortgage. And so he said to me, Barry, you should buy a house. I’m in second year law school. And so I went, OK, fine. So he hook me up with his realtor and we found a three bedroom, two story house. And Gano, my brother Mark was a plumber and so he had the income qualification. I use my student loan for the down payment. We bought this two story house. We put three more bedrooms. So we had six bedrooms in the basement of the of the property. So now we have six bedrooms and we rented them out to other students and had a positive cash flow property that when I sold the two and a half years later, I made two and a half times on my money and I was hooked, I would guess so
Dave Debeau [00:02:47] fast for the. Five or six years, 10 years, it might have been since then, what is your main focus these days?
Barry McGuire [00:02:55] Well, over the over the next few years, I did what I started out doing, which is I bought properties using and the buy and hold strategy. So I’m looking to buy a property, rent it out, keep it for a long time, let my tenants pay down the mortgage. And so that was my that was my strategy. For a long time, I’ve done some joint ventures with other people. But in the last, I would say, 10 years, I’ve been focusing more on different creative real estate strategies. And in the last seven to eight years, my wife Donna and I have been teaching courses on how to buy real estate creatively. And so I’m very interested in that way of doing things. It’s it’s a lot of fun. It opens up a bunch of different areas for people who maybe are tapped out at the bank can only buy so money under today’s really, really, really restrictive financing rules. What started as kind of a. Sideline hobby 10 or so years ago, guess what, in 07, the federal government started restricting creative strategies are way more useful than they were even 10 years ago. So I’ve been focusing on that along with my regular real estate practice.
Dave Debeau [00:04:07] So when you’re talking about creative strategies, I know there’s a whole bunch of them out there. Can you give us maybe your top two or three that that you do most often in Alberta?
Barry McGuire [00:04:18] The talk strategy at the moment is something called an agreement for sale, which is a seller financing technik. Joint ventures are very popular because any entrepreneurial person runs out of money. And whether you’re doing a buy and hold or whether you’re doing a creative strategy, you often need to do a joint venture with someone to get you the money to do your deals. So joint ventures bolt on to all of the regular creative strategies like agreements for sale or rent to own is popular in more in rising markets across the country. But it’s a great exit strategy for sellers who have a property they might want to prune and move along. Assignments are also something we do a lot of people who have a good marketing funnel. And I know Dave, you know what a marketing funnel is.
Dave Debeau [00:05:02] I’ve heard of it.
Barry McGuire [00:05:03] You heard of that. And listen, folks, if Dave hasn’t talked to you about how to attract investors, then you should ask. So a lot of people who really get going on the on the marketing side of things attract more opportunities than they can deal with. And rather than abandon an opportunity, they sell that opportunity or assign it to another investor. So that’s quite popular. If you’re a good marketer and fix Flip’s, we do a fair bit of work on the fix and flip side of things. So yeah. So those stores sell rent to own assignment’s or wholesaler as it’s sometimes called, and fix and flip all with joint ventures as a as a bolt on to get you the money to actually buy a property tax.
Dave Debeau [00:05:50] Excellent. Very good. So it sounds like you got to start off on the right foot way back in the day. I mean, with your very first property and positive cash flow and you made money on it, you made good money on it after a relatively short period of time, plus probably ended up having a free place to stay while you’re in school. Yeah, so that worked out well. But looking back, if you were to counsel your younger self, if you’re starting over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
Barry McGuire [00:06:18] The one thing from as you look back in hindsight is wonderful, isn’t it? You know, as I look back, I was a little too passive about my about acquiring my real estate knowledge. So in the early days before I was a lawyer and I was just, you know, working summer jobs and in law school, I let my friend lead me along. And that worked out really well. Didn’t two and a half times your money in a short period of time? That worked out really well, but I didn’t really investigate how it all worked or why it worked. And I kind of followed that trend as I as I got my law degree and moved along. I had a little more disposable income than people and got into advising on on real estate a little bit. And so I would run across people who were who were doing things. And if I liked them and trusted them, I go, oh, yeah, sure, I could do some of that. And I didn’t really take the time to educate myself, to do some diligence on my own, to to do near as much of that as I possibly could. Going back, I would have done way more investigating and educating myself. I would have. Found better mentors, I think, would sit me down and go, listen, buddy, you’re just throwing money at stuff you’re not you’re not really thinking about your what’s the plan? What’s the plan? What’s the goal? Where you trying to get to? In what period of time? Because without the plan, if you fail to plan, if you plan to fail, as they say. And so I guess, you know, as I look back at it, in summary, I would have spent a lot more time educating myself. I wouldn’t have I would have done more planning. I would have found a mentor to help me plan somebody who would have grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and said, what’s your plan? In what time period? How are you going to achieve that? And I never really did that until much later on in my career. So more diligence and more planning. More education early on.
Dave Debeau [00:08:11] Very well said. So since then, you definitely got educated and you’ve done a lot more deals and you helped. I mean, the beautiful thing about Dubarry is not only have you done a bunch of deals, but you have transacted a lot over the years in your in your practice. So you’ve pretty much seen everything under the sun when it comes to real estate investing, especially in Alberta. So I know I can’t remember how long ago, but you you’ve been working a lot with rain over the years. You’re definitely their number one legal counsel in Alberta, that’s for sure. And pretty much in Canada as well when it comes to real estate investing. So over the years, what are what are some of the biggest or what’s the biggest mistake? You see newbie real estate investors making over and over again?
Barry McGuire [00:08:57] There’s lots of mistakes that people make. And I have seen a lot of stuff. We were counting up transactions and I think I’ve probably done about twenty five thousand transactions. And I’ve been with rain since nineteen eighty six. Probably the, you know, like I’m the honorary member now. So, you know, as to mistakes that that newbie people make, it’s kind of funny because I just said that people should do more diligence and and plan a little more. But there’s that old thing called the analysis paralysis and there’s a there’s a line between doing so much research that you can never see the end of the research and you just have to keep doing it and barging in without doing anything. So I think the mistake I see on balance, I see the mistake that people make is they carry on too long with research. If if someone said to themselves, you know, I’m pretty interested in real estate, then once they take some time to get some education, read some books, join a group like Rain or other educational real estate groups, talk to some good realtors, find a mentor and and work all that into a plan. We shouldn’t take that long. I don’t think you should take people more than a couple or three months if they’re on it, to to get in there and gain that amount of information, then you have to take some action. I have got a list of clients who who come to some of my courses who’ve been it rain forever, who’ve been my clients forever, and they still haven’t bought a property now. And so in other words, I support so the analysis, paralysis, analysis, paralysis, so that the way I kind of kind of some that up in the end, when people have done two or three months worth of stuff, I say to them it’s way more important to get started than be perfect. You’re not going to be perfect. If people will understand that that first property is an SLB, it kills you. It’s stressful, it’s hard, it’s this, it’s that. But get that one done and the next one is twice as easy. And the third one you’re just selling so nice. Don’t wait too long to get going is my best advice to newbies.
Dave Debeau [00:11:03] The ducks are never going to be perfectly lined up.
Barry McGuire [00:11:06] True enough.
Dave Debeau [00:11:07] Yeah. OK, Barry, I know you and your lovely wife Donna are I’ve been teaching and training people for years now about real estate investing. Who’s kind of your ideal student or client for what you guys focus on?
Barry McGuire [00:11:20] And, you know, we’ve got a whole bunch of those graduate students who are now part of a really fabulous private Facebook group. They’re so community minded, Dave, and they and they work out to this whole group. Turns out to be the kinds of people that would be my perfect client. And there are people that are entrepreneurial. They’re forward looking. They’re always looking to the positive. If something went bad, they go, OK, what happened here? What can I do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? And they’re they’re always moving forward. And from my perspective as a lawyer, there are people who want to work with me, not fight about why the document is this length or why it will take this amount of time. They just want to know how to get the job done and do it positively and most expeditiously as you can. And they work with you. So there is my ideal client.
Dave Debeau [00:12:10] They’re not fighting against you, fighting with me. So what what do you think is the biggest problem you help people solve when they come on and they take one of your courses or they get coaching with you guys? What’s the biggest problem you help them solve?
Barry McGuire [00:12:22] Well, there is no one problem that people have, I think, to a large. Extent it’s helping them with their confidence around whatever real estate strategy or venture they’re trying to put forward. Everybody’s looking to everybody’s looking to to get some information and get enough information to pull the trigger. And and lots of times people just don’t have enough confidence. So I think it’s it’s been available as a resource, whether it’s on a straightforward real estate deal or on a on some of the creative courses that we teach to be there, to be that calm, reassuring, as Donna likes to say, people think your Uncle Barry, they look at your Uncle Bear, help us out here. So I’m able to in a way that I think reduces stress, help people just get over some of those some of those confidence issues that they’re having, keep them moving in the direction of let’s get a property going and let’s keep the plan going.
Dave Debeau [00:13:24] So if somebody is listening to this and they kind of recognize that analysis paralysis in themselves and they’ve been hanging around real estate groups forever, but they haven’t pulled the trigger short of actually signing on board and being a client of what would be a tip you could give somebody about how to get off their rusty, dusty and actually start taking action.
Barry McGuire [00:13:46] It depends which way they were heading. If they were just doing a basic real estate transaction, I’d say, do you have a good realtor? Do you have a good banker? Have you worked out a plan for why the heck you’re doing this? And if they went no, yes. No, I’d go work on those no’s so you can actually buy a property. If they were moving off into the creative side of things, I’d say, you know, you could move off to our website called One Damn Deal. That’s all. One word, one damn deal dossie. And we’ve got a you know, we’ve got a thirty three page how to manual on that site that talks about creative real estate. And if that’s where you think you’re heading, that would be a great way to get started without paying me five hundred dollars an hour to teach you nice and without without going off to other people where you don’t know whether they know what they’re talking about.
Dave Debeau [00:14:45] Fair enough. So that one we’ll we’ll have that link included with the resources with podcast. So Barry, we’ve got about a minute and a half here left my friend. So as we’re wrapping up from all your experiences, all your years of experience in real estate and work with real estate investors. What would be like one really big tip you could give our listeners to help them get to that next level, whatever that is that they’re looking for?
Barry McGuire [00:15:14] You know, at a at the risk of being repetitious, you know, I think it’s taking action way more important to get started than be perfect. And one damn deal, when we say to people when we’re teaching our courses, I’m evangelizing at the at the front of the room saying, I want you to do one damn deal, which is really take action. It’s way better, way more important to get started than be perfect. One damn deal. Those are all the same things. It’s me saying three different ways. Great. Do a plan, get some advice, find a mentor, find a broker or find a realtor. Find a lawyer, but pull the trigger and take some action.
Dave Debeau [00:15:53] Exactly. You know, and inadvertently, that’s exactly what you had back in the day when you first started your had your buddy that was actually doing it. And he kind of was your mentor to get started with. At least
Barry McGuire [00:16:05] he was. Yeah. When I. Yeah. When you say it like that, I might have I beat myself up for not being as honored or as diligent about it, but really he said this works and I took some action. So lucky for
Dave Debeau [00:16:16] me. Very good. Thank you very much. Very it’s always a lot of fun chatting with you. Seventeen minutes runs by pretty quick so I think we’ll probably have to have you on the call again sometime.
Barry McGuire [00:16:27] Happy to do that Dave. Any time.
Dave Debeau [00:16:29] Thanks a lot. All right, everybody, take care. Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast. We like what we’re doing here. Please head on over to iTunes, subscribe read us and leave us the review. He very, very much appreciated. And if you’re looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom Ticker.