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Announcer [00:01:22] Tired of the 9 to 5. Tired of only dreaming about the things you want to do. Want to have more time for your family. More time for you. More time for you. This is the Breakthrough Real Estate Investing podcast, where we interview qualified guests in the real estate industry all across Canada. We want you to live life on your terms, and we want to help you break through to that life through the power of real estate investing. This is the Breakthrough Real Estate Investing podcast. Now your hosts Rob Break and Sandy MacKay.
Rob Break [00:02:02] Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Breakthrough Real Estate Investing podcast, as usual. Here with me again is Mr. Sandy MacKay. How’s it going, Sandy?
Sandy Mackay [00:02:12] Fantastic, Rob. How are you today?
Rob Break [00:02:15] Very good. Very good. Sunshiny here for now. So I’m super pumped about that. It’s been a little rainy for the last few days, so hoping to get out after this. And then I work a little on training up here.
Sandy Mackay [00:02:28] Yeah, well, you’re Costa Rica. You better look. You’ve got to look the part.
Rob Break [00:02:33] Yeah, that I’m fallen off in that department, that’s for sure. I just have to get up on that soon. How are things with you?
Sandy Mackay [00:02:44] Fantastic. Really. Summertime and can I complain. And also great market for buying real estate’s in a lot of ways. So as much as we talk about you know when people hear about the pain of whatever’s happening in the market, I mean, there’s lots of great opportunities right now. So I think from an investor standpoint, it’s actually pretty exciting time.
Rob Break [00:03:06] Yeah. So if you’re thinking of buying something in Hamilton area, maybe reach out to Sandy and get in there.
Sandy Mackay [00:03:13] Maybe, maybe. And then, you know, there’s so many there’s so much to talk about around that. It all depends on everyone’s goals and everything. But there’s just so much opportunity there. I want to I want to keep saying that because everyone’s all scared about where the market’s going and everything and right for some people, you know, rightfully so here and there. But there’s just so much opportunity in that, too. So it’s really an exciting time and. Yeah.
Rob Break [00:03:36] Well, everybody knows that they should go over to our website Breakthrough REI Podcast Dossier, and there they can look at all the episodes that we’ve done over the last over eight years now. And they’ll be able to connect with all the guests that we’ve talked to so they can just go into the show notes. And if they found somebody particularly interesting or they want to reach out to them for whatever reason, they all their contact info is in there so they can go over and listen to the show that way and get a free gift.
Sandy Mackay [00:04:05] For your gift. The ultimate strategy, really? Well, the real estate. So still, if you go pick that up, it’s breakthrough every podcast dossier. And as you do that, you’ll get on our list too. So you never miss out on the show and never miss out on any other great things we’ve got going on and events and that sort of thing, including Rob. They’ve already missed it probably by your Costa Rica tour. That’s coming up in a few months, I think. I think I heard all that right.
Rob Break [00:04:28] The investor event is sold out and we’ve got a waitlist now. And, you know, we’ll be doing more. We’ll talk about that more later. But yeah, there’ll be more coming up. And we did it in conjunction with Durham, REI This time I think we’re going to be reaching out to a few other people because I’ve just been getting so much interest in that. So after this one is over, then we’ll start working on the next one and people can come down and see what it’s all about here. But yeah, it’s been really interesting and hope to have many more awesome.
Sandy Mackay [00:05:06] Well, also, we got to talk about well.
Rob Break [00:05:08] They got to go to iTunes. Right. Was a rating review, obviously.
Sandy Mackay [00:05:12] Yeah. Obviously.
Rob Break [00:05:14] That helps the show get out there to more people and people that are looking for this kind of content that’ll be more readily available to them. So go over to iTunes, leave us a five star review, leave us some tips, maybe leave us a review, some something we want to hear about, a topic that we haven’t touched on, maybe a guest that you recommend. Whatever it is, go over there. Write us a rating. A review helps a lot.
Sandy Mackay [00:05:41] Absolutely. And it helps to share more great Canadian content and certainly got a great guest here lined up for today and I think let’s get to it right room.
Rob Break [00:05:51] Absolutely. Yeah, let’s do it.
Sandy Mackay [00:05:53] Perfect. Let’s welcome in here. Jeff Reitzel, welcome to the show.
Jeff Reitzel [00:05:57] Jeff Yeah, thanks. Great to be here.
Sandy Mackay [00:06:00] Awesome. I’ll give you a brief intro and you can you can share a bit more about who you are and where you’ve come from. But Jeff is a husband, father, mentor, philanthropist and real estate broker and mortgage broker and real estate investor. And he shared the stage with many other greats, real estate’s entrepreneurs and leaders Gary Keller, Dave Janks. He’s contributed Quantum Leap, which is a course for young adults. And there’s a lot more to talk about. I’ve got some cool stuff going on. And Ghana, we’ve done some doing some charitable work there, which is exciting. And really our purpose is to in life is to help mentor others. And today, while through this interview, you’ll get a glimpse into your passion for that and how you can make a positive difference in people’s lives. So I’m really excited to have here. Jeff, welcome.
Rob Break [00:06:49] Yeah, welcome.
Jeff Reitzel [00:06:49] Yeah, great. Yeah. Again, thanks to be here. And you know, I always love the opportunity and thanks for everything you guys do to, in, in giving people the opportunity to hear from others that are investing and doing stuff. You know, we all do things so differently. And what I talk about today and how I invest in real estate is going to resonate with some people. And the guest you had two weeks ago is going to resonate with somebody else. So this platform really is amazing and it provides a lot of value to a lot of different individuals. So Ted, you know, you mentioned there that in my bio that, you know, first and foremost, I am a husband and a father and then I would say a mentor and a philanthropist, and that that really defines who I am. The rest of the stuff that you mentioned is not who I am. It actually fuels who I am and what I do. So I guess, you know, to go back to the beginning for me and how I got started investing in real estate, I was I was investing in the stock market. And I’m going to take you back to when I was 14 years old, I was I was actually investing $800 a month at 14. I was working at Wendy’s for $5.05 an hour. And one of the first books I had ever read and I’ve had the privilege of getting to know this individual over the years, was Dave Chilton, the wealthy barber, and in his book, he talked about saving 10% of your income. I just reverse that to 90%. I was living at home, you know, I was a teenager. Most of my friends didn’t have jobs. So if they could survive on no money, surely I could survive on 10% of what I was making. So I was investing $800 a month and did that for about a year and a half or so. And it was great. You know, I had $11,000 at the end of my first year. Markets went up 10% or 12% or whatever it was. But I went through there’s got to be a better way to accelerate things. I remember I’m really young and 15 years old and I learned about leverage investing. Where I could get in. The graph that I did at the time was I think if I invested $800 a month for 40 years, I’d have nine and a half million dollars at the age of 55. And I thought, well, that’s great. You could probably buy half of the country for nine and a half million dollars. So the amount of money was crazy to me, but the time frame was very daunting. You know, my grandparents were in their fifties and I believed they were almost dead. Now I go on that now because I’m really close to my fifties, but was there a way to accelerate it? So I learned about leverage investing, and if I could borrow $130,000 from a bank and make payments of $800 a month, well, over that, that same time period, I would have several million dollars more for the same monthly contribution. And that was kind of my first light bulb when it came into when it came to leverage. And again, I did that for many years and I knew I didn’t I thought I could get $130,000 loan at 16. The lady at Bank of Montreal, Kitchener, laughed at me. She thought it was some kind of school project. I was in my twenties uniform. Maybe I should have been dressed differently. I thought I was going to get this loan. I’m like, Look, I’m making it hundred dollar payments, right?
Rob Break [00:10:11] I got a job here.
Jeff Reitzel [00:10:13] Yeah, I got a job. It’s a pretty good one. And I’ve been making a voluntary contribution of 800 a month for 12 months. So I got a track record yet didn’t happen. And eventually I, you know, I got I got loans that size but not in the beginning. So I wanted to look, I thought, was there a vehicle out there that somebody else could make the payment? That was my that was the light bulb for me. I got to make this payment every month. I don’t want to. I want to use my $800 a month and maybe do something else or have fun. And I stumbled across real estate investing. So I would have been 16 at the time. I obviously wasn’t in a position and couldn’t purchase real estate. But it blew my mind that you could buy a piece of real estate and somebody else would pay for it. Like it blew my mind. I thought, Man, if everybody knew this, everybody would do it. And what I’ve learned over the years is the reason more people don’t do it is because these type of platforms didn’t exist and there was nobody out there showing people that it that it could be done. You know, the rich would teach their children and that would be kind of it. There was nobody out there really talking about it and just sharing free information because what you know, we’re all investors here. And we know once somebody really gets it and it’s explained to them in the light bulb goes off for them as well. Now, it’s not to say there’s not any risk, but all that and all that a tenant requires is a nice place to live, a fair rent, and a nice person to deal with. That’s really the magic to it, if you can meet those three things. The property if the property goes up in value, that’s all yours. If the property gets paid down, it’s all yours. You know, it was a it was a real light bulb for me. And in in investing was stumbling across real estate.
Rob Break [00:12:04] So you mentioned that the rich, you know, pass this information down to their kids. But who passed it down to you? Where did you where did you find the interest in it?
Jeff Reitzel [00:12:13] Well, I actually, you know, many would think that it would be my father because he you know, he’s been a realtor for many, many years. And it wasn’t I actually got my dad investing in real estate. And Gary Keller interviewed me. It was 20, 2010 or so. And he asked that question about, you know, he said, why don’t more realtors invest in real estate? And I said, Gary, I bet you if we did a study and this is going back 15 years or so, that the percentage of realtors that own real estate is going to be the same as the percentage of doctors and mechanics and so on. And we actually found it to be true. Just because you were a realtor didn’t mean you were more likely to invest in real estate. Now, that’s probably changed a little bit over the last 15 years. For me, I had nobody pouring into me about investing of any kind. I just had such a strong interest in investing from a young age and money and finances. I would actually skip school and go to the library and read books and kind of educate myself. So it would have the real estate thing would have been in a book that I would have read that that’s where the light bulb went off for me. I wish I would have had somebody like me to pour into me and somebody like the two of you to talk to me. Yeah, I wasn’t. And that’s good for people that are that are out there, you know, wasn’t like I grew up in a real estate investing family, and I had an edge. I didn’t I just read a book.
Rob Break [00:13:35] And as you mentioned, it is there is very little of this kind of education that’s shared in the school. Like, if you want it, you’ve got to go seek it out yourself. They’re not it’s not something that is taught in schools.
Jeff Reitzel [00:13:48] It isn’t. And it’s one of my. It’s why I’ve been involved with, you know, Gary Keller’s program, The Quantum Leap for Young Adults since 2015, was to bring more of this education to the quantum leap is more than just finances, but it’s a pretty big section in it because it’s just not taught in in schools. There’s more stuff today, but it really isn’t taught. None of this stuff is.
Rob Break [00:14:16] So what? Which investment strategies have you focused on then? Once you got started, the light bulb went off. Where’d you go?
Jeff Reitzel [00:14:23] Yeah, well, I would say my. My investment strategies have been very simple and boring to most but have given me extraordinary results without having crazy risk. I have an eight figure net worth in real estate doing. I guess what I’m going to talk about now, the boring stuff. Now I started out with small multifamily, so duplexes and triplexes and I actually pivoted quickly and went down to single family homes, which isn’t what most people would do. Right. They’ll go from Triplexes to FIFO, plex’s or whatever. So I was doing condos, semis and townhouses and I liked the quality of the tenant in that type of product. And I don’t want people to get confused with the quality of person because I believe we’re all equal as humans. There are different quality tenants out there and people who invest in real estate understand that. And for me, the single family was I was also very I was busy and yes, I did have a property manager managing stuff. But the single family, especially newer single family at the time, the only thing that was really required on a monthly basis was to deposit a rent check. That was it. And I saw really good price appreciation in single family. So that that’s how I got started. And that was my strategy for I would say until the last four or five years, it was still single family. As time has gone on, for many of us in the markets that we’re in, single family simply didn’t work and doesn’t work anymore. Prices have increased so much and rents have not kept pace with prices. They will in time probably, and rents always lag prices. But it’s going to take a lot to be able to buy a townhouse in most of our markets and just rent it to a single family and have any sort of cash flow. It’s almost impossible. So I and I, so I had to look at my market differently and I encourage you to look at your markets a little differently, too. You might have been used to just walking into a builder and buying a townhouse yourself or selling a townhouse to a client. And that’s what I was doing in my market. And then I then as prices started increasing. You look at your market differently and then maybe you buy a bungalow and then you can then prices go up and bungalows don’t work and you convert that bungalow to a duplex and prices go up and numbers don’t work. And you had a tiny home in the backyard. There’s I say there’s always opportunity in every market. It can just be harder to find. Since, well, I actually had bought probably 15 single family homes during the beginning, so sorry, not they weren’t our homes. Most of them were condos during the at the beginning of Kobe. So there are still those opportunities out there. They’re harder to find. I’ve had to pivot now into more of the multifamily properties and now into developing of developing properties in other provinces. So multifamily now.
Rob Break [00:17:35] So before we go there, though, you talked about like what you were doing at the beginning, you quote unquote called it boring, I guess not easy, but in your mind, the path of least resistance. But there must have been some challenges in there, too. So let’s talk about, you know, some of the bigger challenges when you were starting out and how you overcame them.
Jeff Reitzel [00:17:59] Well, I think for the biggest challenge for me and I think for most people when they’re starting out, is thinking they have to find the perfect property. It’s got to have the percentage of rent to purchase price. It’s got to have a certain cap rate and so on. I think that that’s for most people and the way that I overcame that is I said next weekend I’m going to look at all the triplexes in my city and I’m going to buy what I think is the best one. And the next weekend, I want to look at all the duplexes, and I’m going to buy what I think is the best one. And were they the best investments? Maybe. Maybe not. But I was now in the market and taking action, I believe, has been the biggest key to my success. And I said this on a call with you a few weeks ago, but down the road, I believe people will say Jeff and Sandy and Rob are so successful investing in real estate because they bought properties when they were so cheap in 2021 at 22. Yeah.
Rob Break [00:18:59] Just when we entered the market. That’s all there is to it.
Jeff Reitzel [00:19:02] And. And you think properties are cheap right now? I’m going to say probably nobody thinks they’re cheap. Have they come down in price? Sure, but nobody thinks they’re cheap. Now, I’m not guaranteeing that people are going to say that down the road, but it’s been a. A very similar story with me over the last 23 years that people will say, well, yeah, you’re successful because you bought in oh eight or 2013 or 2018 or whatever. If you think properties are going to be cheaper ten, 15, 20 years from now, I think you’re going to be you’re going to be wrong. So for me, it’s been pulling hope.
Rob Break [00:19:37] Yeah.
Jeff Reitzel [00:19:39] It has. Now, there’s lots of other challenges, too. I could talk about, you know, financing issues and that kind of stuff. But I think the biggest challenge for most is thinking they need to find the perfect property. And having a property in the market is better than having and then waiting to find the perfect property.
Rob Break [00:19:57] Yeah, I agree with that. And I used to do investor tours in Durham and that would be the advice that I would give them. Like, look, you know, maybe this isn’t the 100% best property that you could ever invest in, but we’re taking five or six properties that we’re seeing today. We’ll pick them against each other. And one person might think that this one is better than that one. But all we’re doing is comparing what we saw today. It’s all we can do.
Jeff Reitzel [00:20:23] Right? Yeah.
Rob Break [00:20:25] And then at some point, you’ve got to accept the fact that maybe you’ve learned enough about, you know, how to get started. That you need to take the step.
Jeff Reitzel [00:20:35] Yeah. Mm hmm. Another one that I can think back to the beginning and one that I talk about a lot to people, is make sure the person that speaking to you is valid to speak to you. Because we often take advice from people that aren’t valid to give us advice. And my first experience in that was that first triplex that I bought was an I bought a condo before that that turned into an investment property. But that triplex was my first on purpose investment purchase. And I had a home inspector that we’d used in our business for years, and we sat down at McDonald’s on Highland Road and he said, Don’t buy this property. You know, just don’t you need to run. And so then what came to mind right away is I said, Well, okay, how many investment properties do you own? And he said, None. And I said, Do you live in your own the house you live in? No, I rent. And I instantly stopped listening to everything he had to say. Now, if he said the chimney needed to be pointed, why listen to that sort of stuff. But he was not valid to give me any advice on investing in real estate. We listen to those people over there; those naysayers is because they’re the only ones talking. So that’s why we listened to them, you know? Yeah.
Rob Break [00:21:48] The water cooler conversation was, does the place have toilets? You go, Yeah, it’s run.
Jeff Reitzel [00:21:53] Yeah, I know. They had a friend who had a cousin that knew somebody that, you know, Lloyd had a client that whatever the.
Rob Break [00:22:03] House fell down on top of everybody that lived in it.
Jeff Reitzel [00:22:06] Just make sure they’re valid to talk with you.
Rob Break [00:22:09] Just ask.
Jeff Reitzel [00:22:10] You know, ask three questions deep. It’s not that the person needs to own 20 investment properties if they’ve owned one. I would listen to that person, you know. But if they if they’re 57 years old and they’ve rented their whole life, they’re not valid. To give you advice on real estate investing.
Rob Break [00:22:30] And then you talked about obviously the financing piece being a big challenge as well. But we’re going to sort of shift over because now you’ve you’re still investing, but you’ve sort of made a shift into the mortgage space.
Jeff Reitzel [00:22:46] Well, so I I’ve been a mortgage broker and a real estate broker since 1998. So I got into both at the same time and the story behind the mortgage broker piece. For me, I always loved numbers, so math was my thing. But my dad was in real estate and I was working in his office just doing office stuff. And one of my roles was getting the offer and the MLS listing over to the to the mortgage person for financing. And I was just so frustrated with how long that process took and how think how long things just sit it on sat on someone’s desk. So I said, I think I can do this. And I actually got licensed in both of them at the very same time.
Sandy Mackay [00:23:31] And then. And then. And then you did. Is it right to say kind of went down the mortgage broker path a lot more than the realtor side over time? Or did you choose one or the other? What was the because you had the opportunity, I would assume, like to get into the realtor side. Pretty, pretty, pretty heavily too, if you wanted to.
Jeff Reitzel [00:23:51] Yeah. And, and there aren’t enough that that’s a fair statement. I would say that the, the mortgage end of things has been much bigger for me than the real estate end of things. Where am I now saying that, Sandy, I, I’ve been the number one Keller Williams agent and guy in Canada I think once or twice. So I do. I there are times where I do a ton of real estate as well. It’s kind of I’ve never looked at it as two separate things. It’s I’ve always done I’ve always done both. So my role on our on our team, on the real estate side would be more the mentoring and coaching of, of, of investor clients. And then we have buyers agents on our team. And then I still am a support on the, on the listing side. So there are there are listings I will do on the buyer side. We have we have buyers agents for that. But financing has really been my forte. There’s no question.
Sandy Mackay [00:24:55] That helped you in your career, either one of those roles that I was that helped then affected your investment side because we mentioned already realtors generally don’t invest in real estate. You’re right. You’re different than that. But how does yeah. How has that affected things that helped you?
Jeff Reitzel [00:25:11] Yeah, it had the financing house having a good understanding of that because I, I know where to go to get deals done and I say that to, to, to, to agents and clients all the time. Make sure you have somebody on the financing end of things that can look at your situation right now and put you in a position to do what you don’t even know you want to do yet. Where most of us will just walk into our bank or walk into a broker that we’ve been we’ve been dealing with forever. Well, odds are they might finance one investment property a month or one a year in a lot of cases. So getting the expertize is very important. And we you guys know, it’s a big piece in succeeding an investment fight or an investment real estate is being able to get deals financed because you reach it. You reach a ceiling. Right. With most lenders, if you’re just looking at things like CDs and CDs, well, for most of us, we’re going to own one or two properties and that’s it. So it it’s helped me and it’s also helped a lot of our clients to having somebody on board that that understands investment finance.
Sandy Mackay [00:26:22] Yeah. How do you how do you how do you end up doing that? You mentioned buying 15 condos a couple of years ago. And, you know, so most people are like, oh, I can’t even qualify for one more. How do you end up doing any of doing that? What type of financing are you looking into for that?
Jeff Reitzel [00:26:38] Well, the way you qualify for, you know, if you’re doing one or two or three properties, it’s going to be based on gas and deeds and a lot of percentage of the rental income to your income. And, you know, you’re going to qualify for anywhere between zero and three properties. To go beyond that, you need to deal with lenders that that deal with debt coverage ratio and rental offsets and that sort of thing. So if you’re if you look at somebody that’s buying, you know, five or ten or 15 properties or somebody that’s buying a thousand unit apartment building, the way those deals are financed, just based on the strength of the property. So, you know, in a normal deal, if you’re buying a condo, they look at you first and the property second, when you’re buying bigger stuff or multiple properties, they look at you second. It’s just the property work and then always the borrower. Okay, that, that that’s how in simple terms the bigger stuff is financed if the property has to have enough cash flow to support itself. Yeah.
Rob Break [00:27:40] So in, in something like what you were talking about, that would have been like a portfolio loan over those like that was a, you know, a, like a, a group of properties sold together.
Jeff Reitzel [00:27:52] It actually wasn’t. So these ones were all purchased individually on, on different closing dates, but it was still underwritten the same way. So it’s not a blanket mortgage on, on those 15 condos. They’re actually all individual mortgages most of the time. It’s not going to be done that way. It is going to be a blanket or a portfolio blend. But there are there are cases where you can do them individually. And then I would just add a new one to the portfolio as they came up and actually to talk about those condos. Because when we say opportunity and markets, this this particular building that I purchased these properties in in Kitchener, most people looked at this building and it’s an it’s an older building downtown condo fees are extremely high. And I was buying these properties for 175 to 205. I think that’s the highest price I paid. And people looked at these at the beginning in March 2020, and when they were selling for 125,002 years ago, like 200,000 is crazy. I don’t ever care what something used to sell for if it used to be last. That’s actually evidence to me that it could be more. I don’t get caught up in what I used to be able to buy it for. So these didn’t have any cash flow, none of them. So you have to you had to be able to service that negative cash flow on these properties. Where I saw the upside on these was actually was price appreciation. They were the bottom of our market. While fast forward to January, February, March, they’re now selling 325 to 380 a unit and do the math on that times 15. So yeah, I had a negative cash flow but I probably had, you know, a million and a half to 2 million in upside in terms of price appreciation. Even now, with things softening, they’re still selling in the threes.
Rob Break [00:29:45] You know, I do think that that mentality is interesting, too, because a lot of people have that the. Well, what did it sell for last year? How much did they buy it for? Right. And I do get that question quite a bit. And it is difficult to try to try to help people understand that that doesn’t matter. But if you’re looking at you’re looking at what it is here and now, not what it used to be. Right. Maybe the improvements on it, you don’t know, you know, but how markets increase, all of that stuff. And I have just a little bit of a personal story here, but I recently purchased something and then a friend of mine who happened to know the seller contacted me and said, you know, I’d hate to tell you what the person bought that for. You know, I hope they’re giving you a good deal. And I went like, Do you think I actually care what they bought it for? I hope they’re doing well. That’s the whole reason they bought that property and sat on it. And now it’s appreciated. And they’re and they’re making money off and on the on the sell side. That’s what we all do. Why would someone think that, you know, that would bother me or I should try, you know? Oh, really? Like, maybe I’ll back out. Maybe I’ll try and haggle a couple more dollars out of this. Like, I think when the deal looks good on paper, it looks good on paper when you agree to a price and everybody’s happy. I think that that that says a lot, too.
Jeff Reitzel [00:31:07] Oh, and all those condos I bought people double or triple their money when all of those sellers made double or triple what they paid for them. And I think that’s awesome. So I bought condos in a particular building at 49,000 at 141. At 275 and at 414, all for the same in.
Rob Break [00:31:24] The same.
Jeff Reitzel [00:31:25] Building. And I, I don’t I act or I do care what it used to be worth because it provides me evidence that it could be worth more in the future. Right. I don’t go. Oh, I missed the I missed, I missed out on it. No, I didn’t miss out on it.
Sandy Mackay [00:31:40] It’s that that’s proof that it’s, there’s a good chance that it, you know, it’s in a location that’s really attractive and it’s going to, you know, whatever reason, it’s valuable. It’s probably going to keep being valuable. I mean, there’s a lot of other factors. Sure. But yeah, that’s a that’s a really good mindset on those. That’s it definitely goes against the norm of how people impact on things. And that’s.
Rob Break [00:32:02] It. So you have leaned sort of more heavily over to the lending side of things. Yes. So why did you do that?
Jeff Reitzel [00:32:11] Um, I think from a personal from a personal standpoint, you could, I could get a lot more I could get a lot more done so I could arrange 20 mortgage. I don’t but I could arrange 20 mortgages in a day. It’s impossible in most situations to take 20 buyers out in a day and sell 20 buyers homes. And I felt I was a greater value to the clients in being able to figure out the financing end of things that I was that the real estate and I still do real estate as well but I, I could just get so much more done on the financing side than I could on the real estate and more control over my time. You never have to put a mortgage client in your car and show them houses.
Rob Break [00:32:59] So when you’re working with investor clients, for the most part, these aren’t people. Well, they’ve probably got good jobs, but they’re but they’re not buying the higher end properties for the most part were buying entry level of properties. And the financing is a little trickier. So you sort of put yourself in a position where, you know, you’re not going to make as much money on the transactions and you’re not going to it’s not going to be as easy. It’s not the low hanging fruit. But you chose to do that just in order to be able to help the clients on that.
Jeff Reitzel [00:33:32] Yeah, I’ve, you know, I’ve really enjoyed in my career helping the average person become wealthy. That that’s really meant a lot to me. It doesn’t mean I haven’t or won’t do like I’ve sold $50 million apartment buildings to billionaires like that, but that.
Rob Break [00:33:49] Sounds fun.
Jeff Reitzel [00:33:51] Yeah. Oh, yeah. It’s a funny story. So I’m doing a I think it was like a $30 Million mortgage for this client and this is 15 years ago and I’m like nervous sweating to come into the office to sign it for me, hopefully to sign the documents. And he walks in my office, he sits down, he says, I got 2 minutes, show me where to sign. That was my that was my biggest mortgage ever. And it was that it was crazy investor clients and you guys have probably experienced this are very loyal to. And as a as a realtor or as a mortgage person, you know, you can do multiple pieces of business every year with, with the same individual. Um, they’re very, they’re very loyal when you do right by them.
Sandy Mackay [00:34:36] When our people make money in general, in life, when the people make money, they’re. They’re appreciative and loyal. Yes. Yeah, definitely. We mentioned you mentioned Kitchener budgeting. This is Kitchener Waterloo. Is that your only focus is that we’ve bought all of your properties, just the majority of them. Or have you ever been in any other markets.
Jeff Reitzel [00:34:55] Yeah, I would say it is it soon actually won’t be the majority but right now it is the majority are in are in Kitchener-Waterloo and I’ve always had a buy and hold mindset. I’ve flipped properties too, but it’s always a buy and hold. I never try to time the real estate market. I just I buy and hold. That’s where wealth is created in buying and holding. I have started doing some stuff in in other provinces in in Nova Scotia and Alberta. And, you know, people say, well, why did you pick those two provinces? Well, it isn’t because I think they’re the two best places to invest in Canada. Outside of my market, I just have individuals that I’ve known and mentored over the years that happened to be in those in those provinces. And that means a lot to me to have somebody I know an interest there rather than just randomly picking somebody and investing. So in in Nova in Nova Scotia, we’ve purchased land that we’re now building eight flexes on and in in Alberta, it’s there’s a couple of apartment buildings that that I have under contract condo apartment buildings and then a bunch of duplex semis and duplex townhouses. And it’s just it’s just math. The numbers the numbers make sense. You can buy a duplex townhouse in a 315 or 800 square foot brand new duplex semi in the four hundreds where you just you can’t do that in in my area anymore.
Sandy Mackay [00:36:27] Well, which markets in Alberta that you mentioned is Calgary? Edmonton.
Rob Break [00:36:31] Yeah. I was going to say which markets in Nova Scotia.
Jeff Reitzel [00:36:35] Yeah. There’s a there’s a they’re smaller they’re smaller communities. So the major centers there, the math still makes sense in the in the major centers. I like the small communities like Camphill and Wolfville that, you know, about an hour, hour and a half from the major centers, the rents are about the same. Land is really cheap. There’s not a lot of rentals in those areas. And there’s a huge demand. There’s lots of opportunity, lots of opportunity out there.
Sandy Mackay [00:37:11] Cool. Yeah, it’s I see I see people going out east a lot more of late from Ontario primarily and venturing out that way. I think COVID has definitely played a bit of a factor in that and people just migrating that way.
Jeff Reitzel [00:37:25] Yeah, in general. Now, I still always say to people, look in your own backyard first. So look for opportunities where you are, I think, especially when you’re first starting out. That’s always been my advice is look for something where you are first.
Sandy Mackay [00:37:41] Keep it simple for sure.
Jeff Reitzel [00:37:42] Which is which.
Sandy Mackay [00:37:43] Is often the easiest way to take action is if it’s as simple as possible when you start overcomplicating it, generally, if you go to different places and you know there’s a lot more variables, you don’t as comfortable. It’s usually a little bit of a deterrent towards taking action.
Jeff Reitzel [00:37:56] Yeah, yeah.
Sandy Mackay [00:37:57] Versus in your backyard. It’s easier to get in the market, like we’ve said already on this on this episode about how important that is. And so, yeah, that’s one of the things I like. You were talking about single families and like this, the simplicity of those are just it’s so much easier to just jump in and do it because there’s a lot less to work through.
Jeff Reitzel [00:38:17] And yeah, once.
Sandy Mackay [00:38:18] You do one of those, you know, you can decide if you can go on to something bigger, bigger or more complex and everything, and you decide from there. But yeah, early on, keep it as simple as is really beneficial for the most part. Kellen Mortgage, Canada. Let’s talk a bit about that because I’ve you’ve transitioned in a way to your mortgage business and you know a bit more and tell our listeners more about what that what that means and what that look you know, what the benefits or what the difference is compared to your traditional mortgage brokers.
Jeff Reitzel [00:38:49] Yeah. And it, you know, it definitely isn’t something that, that I needed to be a part of, but it really aligned with who I am. And there were really, I guess, three main reasons that I decided to be involved in bringing in a mortgage candidate or a mortgage to Canada. And the first would be to have a positive influence on kind of you realtors lives to protect their businesses and keep their clients in their ecosystem and helping keep that client, you know, their client for life next would have been to create opportunities for those around me and for K to be associates across the country as we grow. Creating opportunities for others has always been a big thing for me. We all come from different circumstances and different opportunities and helping other people succeed is really important to me. You know, it’s like I, I, Gary Keller, like, I really, I, I admired Gary Keller and I had lunch with him a couple of weeks ago in Austin in his office. And if you know Gary, Gary will have the word realtor on his gravestone. He’s actually said that you’ll have realtor on his gravestone. Yeah. Gary Keller doesn’t need to go to work every day. He’s a billionaire and he doesn’t need to go to work every day and do what he does. The reason he does it is his caring concern for realtors and protecting realtors businesses. So for me to be a part of that and to be in business with him, I think it was it was an absolute no brainer. It and I don’t know this, but I’m going to guess that the majority of Gary’s income does not come from Keller Williams, yet the majority of his time is spent on Keller Williams, which is just amazing. We’re very lucky to have him, you know, still heavily involved in this organization. The last would have been to be able to give back more and to support that the causes that are very dear to me and primarily are gone. A love initiative with the work that I do in in going to Africa that I’ve done for the last 12 years or so. But to just take that to a to a whole new level was another reason that that I wanted to get involved.
Sandy Mackay [00:41:02] Cool. How does that how does that happen? How does that how is that tie in? Is there you know; I think sounds exciting. How does that affect how does a consumer or an investor or an agent out there, how does that actually work?
Jeff Reitzel [00:41:14] Well, so people could make a donation to it Got to love dot org if they wanted to make a donation to the to the charity but on the mortgage end of things for every even just simply a referral to their mortgage. We plant a tree in Ghana and plant a tree in Canada. But on every funded mortgage, a month of schooling is provided as well to a child in in Ghana. And then we give a large sum of money as a as an organization every month to that initiative as well. But yeah, people range in financing it. It’s really we wanted a mortgage to be a company that makes a difference and doesn’t just arrange it doesn’t just arrange mortgage loans.
Sandy Mackay [00:41:59] Cool. That’s definitely different then than working with a traditional lender. And yeah, I hear.
Jeff Reitzel [00:42:06] Well and you know, Killer Mortgage, U.S. and Killer Mortgage Canada are the only two mortgage companies out there that were not built to do mortgages. It isn’t. The purpose behind them is to grow a mortgage business. It’s to grow and protect realtors, real estate, businesses, which is really it’s really cool. And that need to be a part of.
Sandy Mackay [00:42:29] Awesome question, because I think maybe some listeners probably would want to understand that a bit more is. Can a regular consumer go to a mortgage, can afford to arrange a mortgage, so they have to work with the Keller Williams agents.
Jeff Reitzel [00:42:45] In that sense, they don’t. So anybody I guess we’re an equal opportunity brokerage. There are certain perks that are available to borrowers if they are using a Keller Williams agent. And those perks would not be available if they weren’t got it.
Sandy Mackay [00:43:02] Yeah, well. We talked a lot, but it’s just recent. I’m sure there’s the tie in with Ghana and all that. But what motivates you? Not what inspires you? What’s exciting about everything you’re doing with all these?
Jeff Reitzel [00:43:16] Yeah. What motivates me each day is being able to have a positive impact on someone’s life. And I actually get up each day and I ask myself that question, Whose life can I make better today? You reach a point, and I’ve been there for many years where it isn’t about the money. You’re not going to work every day so that you can put food on the table or buy another car. It’s for me, it’s just, you know, who’s who, whose life can I make better today? Who can have a positive impact on? That’s really what motivates me day to day.
Sandy Mackay [00:43:51] That’s why you get thousands or tens of thousands here today with the show. So that’s a that’s awesome. So it’s so there’s lots of value and people are taken away here.
Rob Break [00:44:01] You wrote a book, is that correct?
Jeff Reitzel [00:44:04] Yeah, I did. I would say I wrote that book when I was a teenager, kind of. So I was keeping track of the things that I was doing, mainly financial from the age of 14. And I did want to write a book at 16, but I didn’t feel I was valid enough. So I kept taking notes and in my late twenties I was ready to do that. I wrote the book is The Millionaire Father. I wrote the book first and foremost, for my kids to have some sort of path to follow. Now, they were they were two and three years old at the time. But although I am just their dumb dad, so and many of us have experienced that I was on a call recently and I didn’t know my son was listening. I was on speakerphone. I didn’t know he was home. And when I hung up the call, my son said, is that blah, blah, blah from that TV show? And I said, Well, yeah, why? Why would he call you? You’re the dumbest person I know. Now, you know, he’s joking. But there’s also some truth to that. You know, people will listen to other people’s your kids will listen to someone else more than they’ll listen to you. So it was to give them some guidance. But for all of the parents out there to give them some guidance on how to thrive and not struggle on a day to day basis, if the book focuses a lot on wealth, but it’s really about being a great parent. And money can help you have more time to be able to spend with your family. It is the way that anybody in your life measures love is by the amount of time you spend with them, not the amount of money you spend on them, I guess unless you have teenagers. Yes.
Sandy Mackay [00:45:43] There’s a window there where the money is there. Does a little.
Rob Break [00:45:46] More money equals love. Yeah. Yeah.
Sandy Mackay [00:45:48] Oh.
Jeff Reitzel [00:45:49] Totally. Yeah. I know there is a period of time where or where it does, but in my you know, when I say I define myself as, as a husband and father first and foremost, then see if you if you if you clearly know who you are, then everything just falls into place. So if Sandy, if you saw me at a dinner party, which you wouldn’t, because I don’t go to dinner parties, but if you did and you said, hey, Jeff, you know, what do you do? I my answer would be, what do I do about what I would never say I’m a realtor or a mortgage broker because it isn’t who I am.
Rob Break [00:46:22] Yes.
Jeff Reitzel [00:46:23] So where do you think I am if my son has a baseball game Friday night at seven? Well, you know where I am because I know who I am, so that’s where I am. I wouldn’t be at a function; I wouldn’t be speaking. I would be at my son’s baseball game. So I challenge people out there to just, you know, come up with who you are, identify who you are, and then and then live your life that way. It’s easy to make decisions once, once you’ve defined who you are.
Rob Break [00:46:50] That’s awesome. I love that. I think that more people should try to live that way. I mean, I know that not everybody necessarily has that has that freedom or at least they have a perception that they don’t have that freedom. So I encourage people to follow that. I think it’s great advice and we only have this one life. So, you know, to be where you’re where to be support there for, you know, your loved ones is really important.
Jeff Reitzel [00:47:25] Yeah, it is.
Rob Break [00:47:27] So where do you see your business going in the future now?
Jeff Reitzel [00:47:31] Yeah, I’ve actually.
Rob Break [00:47:33] I shift from family to just let’s go document.
Jeff Reitzel [00:47:36] It.
Rob Break [00:47:37] And I’m it’s the next question.
Jeff Reitzel [00:47:39] So I guess the business and business to me is, I guess two separate things. You know, my real estate investing business is one and I clearly know where I want that to go. For me there now it is all about affordable and accessible housing. So all of the stuff that I’m looking at, building and constructing has a big component of that to it. And you see it in building affordable housing in Ontario is very difficult to do in other provinces. It’s actually pretty simple to do. So my returns are going to be less there’s no question. But it’s not always about, you know, more and having more. If I can have some sort of return and give somebody a place to live that is actually affordable, that’s the future of real estate investing for me 100%. It’s not about the returns. There’s got to be some return. You know, I don’t want to be shelling 30 grand out of my pocket every month. But so that’s I guess that’s where I see my real estate investing business going, my personal business. Yeah. I’m I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately and lots of different things I’m thinking. So I’m not clear on that yet. My personal business exactly how I want that to go. Yeah. Not just being honest.
Rob Break [00:49:06] That’s cool. Well, it’s interesting. I mean, I’m sure it will follow that same path, right? Of life first sort of. Right. And being able to help people. I think I think I like the idea of what you’re saying there is just because, again, it’s sort of like affordable means something different in Ontario than it does in Nova Scotia or Alberta. So to be. To have more of an impact, you do sort of need to go. I shouldn’t say that. I shouldn’t say more of an impact, but I guess it’s less resistant to go over there and have an impact. Right. And you’re able to do it easier. So that’s great. I like that. Okay, let’s end with what’s the best piece of information, advice that’s always stuck with you and how can you help?
Jeff Reitzel [00:50:03] Well, it’s a piece of advice that I actually always have given myself. And it is that more is not always better. Now, more doesn’t mean that it’s worse. We often just get caught up in having more or more without really knowing what it is for and can get caught up in that that illness and really not enjoy what life has to offer. So when it when is enough, enough? I think it’s a good question to start asking yourself. We’re taught that more is better. And I’m here to tell you the truth is that that it isn’t always better. So it doesn’t mean that you don’t strive for more. But I know an individual in my life right now that that their goal is to be a billionaire. And they don’t really know why they want to be a billionaire. They just want to be a billionaire. And they’re four years old now. They work 6000 hours a week. They never see their family. They have more money than anybody needs. And. They just want more and more and more and they don’t understand why, why they want more. So identify what why you’re doing what you’re doing. And then when is it? When is enough? Enough. Yeah. So more isn’t always better is something that sits with me all the. All the time, you know. Yeah.
Rob Break [00:51:23] Or at least the compass of what that more is pointing towards, right? Like. Like taking it, steering it away from material things. Yes. Pointing it more towards time with family or.
Jeff Reitzel [00:51:34] Yes.
Rob Break [00:51:35] Or. Yeah. Yeah. Don’t want more help for people because money is always good. But I think it’s just where you point it.
Jeff Reitzel [00:51:45] I agree. Yep. And your money is money. And happiness is happiness. They’re separate. And you don’t believe that? Go to some third world countries that they’re separate now there’s happiness here in money to it to a degree. You know, if you’re making 80 to 100 grand a year as a family, there’s no more happiness in $1,000,000 a year. This isn’t Geoff talking. This has been highly studied. So I’m not saying don’t make a million. You should if you could, because you can do lots of great things with it. Just don’t think that you’re going to be happier if you made another $50,000 next year. Happiness is happiness. And for most of us in the part of the world that we live in, happiness is a choice.
Sandy Mackay [00:52:26] As awesome advice. And I always think of the people that the people that succeed financially and are not happy is often because they don’t have any purpose. Minor. They go and make that million dollars and they go. It’s like the most status day in their life because they go, Oh, I thought this and feel so awesome. And it’s really pretty minimal. Or if it’s anything, it’s like 5 minutes of, of, of fine their enjoyment and then that’s what they act now more and more and more as I like you call that an illness. It definitely can be an illness. It’s a very it’s very impactful on someone’s health even. And in so many ways there’s so many, so many there’s so much stress and then there’s so many things that that that are a byproduct of that. So it’s great advice. I love.
Rob Break [00:53:09] It. It’s and it’s something that’s very dominant in the society that we all live in, right. Like to strive for that it’s ingrained in us. So, yes, I mean, even just us coming here, there was a totally different way that we had to think because life is just not the same here as it is there, you know? So it’s, you know, we knew it was going to be more minimal, but the extent of how much more minimal, you know, was actually discovered along the way. Right. And then and. And I think in a very positive way. So I appreciate all of that. I agree with you. How can people get in touch with you?
Jeff Reitzel [00:53:56] I guess Instagram is fine at Jeff reitzel. So Jeff R E I T Z E L. Dot COM or sorry, not dot COM. It’s a group that Jeff writes over.
Rob Break [00:54:07] Okay, cool. That’s the best way.
Jeff Reitzel [00:54:09] Yeah, that works.
Rob Break [00:54:10] Awesome. Well, it was really. What really appreciated you taking the time to talk to us today? I think we learned a lot.
Jeff Reitzel [00:54:18] My pleasure.
Rob Break [00:54:19] And Cindy, how can people get in touch with you?
Sandy Mackay [00:54:23] Instagram works to its Sandy MacKay or Sandy at freedom reps dot com.
Rob Break [00:54:28] Okay. People can reach me at Rob. Mr. Breakthrough dot CA. And thanks for joining us. Everybody will see you next time.
Announcer [00:54:37] You’ve been listening to the Breakthrough Real Estate Investing podcast. We hope you’ve gotten some useful and practical information from the show, and we hope you’ve been inspired to take control and live life on your terms. We’ll be back soon. But in the meantime, make sure to like, rate and review the show. And don’t forget to subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. See you next time.