Buying Pre-Construction Homes with Jenn and Mike Richter

Buying Pre-Construction Homes with Jenn and Mike Richter

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Buying Pre-Construction Homes with Jenn and Mike Richter Podcast Transcription and audio.

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Georges El Masri 

Welcome to the Well Off podcast where the goal is to motivate, inspire and share success principles. I'm your host, Georges El Masri. In today's episode, I interview Jen and Mike Richter from Double E Properties. They're members of The REITE Club and REIN. And they currently own five leased properties in Milton. And they've got two more coming from Southern wealth. their portfolio is built on the foundation of buy and hold properties. Now they've been married for five years, and they have two little girls who happen to be the driving force behind their acquisitions. everything they do is for the kids. They started off that way, and you'll hear more about it in the upcoming interview. They believe that relationships are the foundation of long-term and successful businesses. And they are also avid travellers. Let's listen in. The first thing maybe I'll start by telling them a bit about what you do. You are a young couple, you've got two young girls, I won't do all the talking on your behalf. But you do specialize kind of in investing in pre-construction homes. Is that correct? That's correct. Yep. Right. And you've got the majority of your properties in Milton, Ontario. You've got five of them there. And you've got two that are coming up in golf. Yeah, Southern Gulf Southern golf. Perfect. Is there anything else you want to add maybe a little bit about yourself personally?

 

Jenn Richter 

So right now we're using the buy and hold strategies with all our new builds. Yeah. So as we purchase them, we're planning to hold them indefinitely for a long time.

 

Michael Richter 

Yeah, we do that. And so the way we have it structured right now, I'm still working a full-time job. So I'm still bringing in the cash flow, right? Jen's a stay at home mom. So I mean, Jen's Jen's managing the portfolio throughout the day. And the children. Yeah, the way we have it right now, you know, a lot changed in the last year, but I'm doing more of the, let's say, the right brain thinking I'm out,  I'm networking, I'm sort of looking at the bigger picture, what can we do? What relationships can we build? How can we grow our business, the overall strategy, Jen's getting right up to speed with me doing that too because her interest is just completely taken off, especially over the last year since we've been actively doing a lot more to brand ourselves. But Jen's awesome on the back end with all the details. You know, technology, the writing, I mean, the stuff, the paperwork, the stuff that I really don't like to get into the details. Jen's awesome with that it sort of gives us that that relationship. It's like the gym and jelly we come together. Yeah. Awesome.

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Georges El Masri 

Yeah, that's good. That's what relationships are. And therefore not just personal but a business relationship. Exactly. You help each other with your weaknesses. Yeah, yeah. So before we get into all of the business and all that good stuff, can you tell us maybe about where you guys grew up? And maybe how you got started in investing, why you did it and all that.

 

Jenn Richter 

So I grew up in Mississauga. And my entire investing background has always been in mutual funds, stocks, it was definitely my mother's generation that was pushing, you have to invest in mutual funds. When I was like, three, I opened a bank account when I was five, I got my first mutual fund. And I've always been investing that way until I met Mike. And he kind of introduced me to this whole concept of real estate, which was completely foreign to me and high risk.

 

Michael Richter 

And you know what, for me, the way I got started, I was, yeah, I got started. Milton, I grew up in Milton, that's my family grew up, you know, working-class family, I watched my dad work a lot. And you get our two weeks off a year. You know, we take a vacation, it was never anything crazy. It was family-oriented. But I realized something. If I kept doing the same things and follow the same footsteps, I'd be safe and secure. But it wouldn't necessarily apply to the goals and things I wanted to achieve. So but 10 years ago, I went to one of these weekend boot camp real estate courses. And before that, I knew nothing about real estate, I literally thought real estate investing was owning your principal residence. And I thought it was investing was apartment buildings, shopping malls. That's what I didn't realize there's a whole secondary market actual housing that people could afford, with very, very little money upfront. So after that weekend, that was in 2006. It planted a bug in me and I never really took action until 2007 when I purchased my own house to live in to get actually just not as an investment just to get away from my parents. It was my first actual home that had built by myself. And I did that I lived in there. And you know, I always had that edge. I didn't really have a big plan. But I knew I wanted to do it. But I knew nothing about investing other than what I sort of learned that weekend back in oh six. But what I did know about real estate and watching other people do it. I didn't have a big circle of influence. I didn't have a network, you know, you know, the odd person your friend's dad won't one for 20 years, he saw some people were doing what I did realize is that the people were doing it we're doing well. But it was always on a small scale. And I did realize that you know what, if I was gonna, if I was going to make a difference in my life, I was gonna have to own something more than just mutual funds. Just like a jet I was always told, you know, work hard, save your money, put it away.

 

Jenn Richter 

5% return

 

Michael Richter 

5% return and I can still go back. You know, I remember almost 30 years ago when my dad would sit at the table the way we are now with a financial planner, and up until almost the present time he was always disappointed with the results. And I was doing that since I was young. We're putting money away. And it just wasn't giving us the returns that I felt I deserved for all the work I was putting out. And I knew that you know, if I was going to keep doing this my whole life, I would never get the returns that I wanted. So I, at one point, I just became sick of it. Right. So what I did is I decided, you know what, I'm going to do something different. So when Jen and I got married, you had your condo? Yeah. We just so when we got married, we decided to sell the condo, keep my townhouse as a rental, the money from that condo, we use that as well as our own savings to buy our own property. But the difference this is and this is the story, one of the life-changing moments that changed my life, when we decided to buy a house that was well within our means and not look at our house as a big asset or primary residence, a big, big investment, which is, in my sense, it's a liability, we keep putting money into it, when we bought something well within our means that allowed us to keep the first property that I bought, and turn that into a rental. Now I knew nothing about investing at that time, I had no coach, I had no mentors, I had no network, you know, we had an agent that had never done a lease, a lot of googling, there's a lot of uncertainty. And I remember the anxiety I felt leading up to that we had nothing. And I mean, I came close to the point of failing and people, you know, friends, family, they try to talk you out of it. It's risky, and it was risky. I didn't realize how much risk we're in. But I'm like, Well, if I don't stick with this, if I don't stick to what I said I was going to do. I'll sell it, and I'll probably never do it again. So I mean, everybody, you know, thought it was crazy, but I did it. And after that was in September, in 2014, just a few months after that we bought our own purpose-built property. Right. So we did that. And that. That was the next big step we did. And that changed sort of everything in our lives. Right.

 

Georges El Masri 

So you talked a little bit about why you started investing and how you did it. So now that you have two young girls, are you investing to sort of maybe help them in the future? Are you thinking about all that? Or are you kind of going to let them do it on their own and figure it out by themselves.

 

Jenn Richter 

So the girls are actually pretty much the primary reason I got on board with the whole real estate investing. Because when we had our first daughter, she was only a couple months old, and we have the financial planner come to her house, she sits down, she's like, okay, you have a baby, you have to buy RRSPs and I'm like, great, do your presentation. And she's like, wow, you're gonna get 7% return. I'm like, Wait over 18 years, and you have control over my money. And you have a say when and how I take it out if I can transfer it to another kid if she doesn't go to university. And she's like, yeah, it's a great idea. And I'm like, Oh, no, no, this is a horrible idea. So after that meeting, I was just like, this is not good enough for our daughters like this is crazy. And like Mike said, we'd already had the one rental property. And I'm like, you know what, it wasn't as traumatic as I thought it was going to be. And we had a fantastic tenant, and it was going pretty well. So we kind of discussed, maybe we should buy a house for our three-month-old baby. It was kind of a joke in the beginning. And then we were like, looking at the numbers. This actually is way better than our ESP. So we went out and we actually purchased her, her first home. And the plan was to use the equity to pay for her University. If she's 18. And living at home, I have somewhere to put her now. Nobody lives in my basement. So that was really my big goal. And we had another little girl 18 months after that. And we're like, well, can't do second child syndrome. gotta buy her house too. And it was kind of so we had a third one-third house in it was kind of one of those jokes. Were just like, oh, we'll just get one more. Just one more. It's going well, it's not too bad. It's still affordable. And we're like, okay, so four is okay, let's just get one more. There's this big joke between us where it's like, it's just one more. It's just one more in next to no, we have the seven rental property portfolio. So but our thing is our girls are involved. We when we said we bought them a house, it is their house but is also their responsibility. We always say like, even though they're three and two right now, from the gecko, whether we're purchasing the house, they come with us whether we're designing the homes, they come with us they pick out really ugly carpet colour, but they're picking up carpet colour. They're picking out the knobs girls are at every meeting for whether it's lawyer's appointments, bank appointments, mortgage appointments. Our oldest is three and she loves signing paperwork is like a joke, she goes to the bank. She's like, can I have paper? Can I sign something? I'm like, all right. I think you've purchased a mall in China somehow by accident. So the kids are involved. They need to know when they go to school. They're not just getting cut a check because they're our daughters. Like that's not a reason it's not free money. They need to have a sense of the value of money and where it's come from. The oldest knows she has a home she has a nickname for all our rental units. And she goes and participates at the house whether it's cleaning up the properties for the next tenant, they go clean windows, they clean the floors, whether she's weeding or taking care of the pruning, obviously removing the branches. We don't give a three-year-old like clippers. They have to be actively participating. It is a family business. When we say it's a family business. We mean it everybody participates in everybody's learning. That is Not just nine to five jobs are an option school is not going to teach them any of this, they're not going to teach him to think like an entrepreneur, they're not going to teach him about mortgages. So they need to be in this culture early. This is when they're learning is when they're this young, you

 

Michael Richter 

know, and we want to, we want to teach them a whole concept that you have to learn how to build assets, I mean, to go to work, I mean, and do what my parents did a lot of people quote, my grandparents did this, my parents did this. But you know what the same rules don't apply anymore, because wages, you know, wages have kept nowhere near the pace of inflation of actual commodities and real estate. So if they're going to succeed, they need to know the value of the real estate, not that we want to shove it down their throat and say, Okay, this is your purpose, no, not force them to do, what we do want to do is teach work ethic, but teach them that instead of, you know, if you want to get ahead and all you're going to do is to trade your time for money, you're never going to be free. Like I'll be on the road, I'll work you know, I work in H fac, it's long, hard work. Yes, it is a fair income. But it's, it's tough work. And if you want that freedom, you can't do what I do and expect to get ahead. And that's one of the reasons why I'm doing this. Now I look at our portfolio, the way it's growing. I could never ever, I mean, the amount of money in equity that we've made, it would take a lifetime to work that just after we paid everything else and saved it. And we'd always be working, we'd always be exchanging time I get home, I'm exhausted, you know, I'm working with my body. I don't want to be doing this for my life. So we want to teach our kids, there is a way out, you can do real estate, but we want to we want them to grasp the concepts of real estate that you're building something you can use real estate as merely a tool, you don't need to love Jen, you know, you didn't love real estate, it's more of my passion. I like the business components of it. I like the people, I like the challenge, you're a little bit more passive, you're getting more and more, because you're seeing, I think it would be just seeing the value in the power level real estate does the component Exactly. So to teach them that concept of what it can do for you, you could apply that to any business, maybe tick, apply those same concepts, most business and concepts and the fundamentals are the same. If you understand marketing, salespeople, people are huge assets to us, leveraging the banks, forming relationships, raising capital, all of these things are valuable skills to learn. So if they see this along the way, our kids are going to learn valuable tools, and maybe they do want to do something different. But there's nothing for me, I see all of these people that, you know, they went to school for their passions, and I see them I meet them at work, you know, you meet them, and they're not doing their passion, when I asked them why it's all the same thing. Well, you know, if I just work at my job for another 20 years, I'll get my full pension or, you know, I'm, you know, they're in their 40s, I'm too old to go back and do what I love to do. But if you had real estate producing the income, maybe that might be the difference between you working the job that you love, not for money, but doing it in a passion, because you can use real estate to support you, you can't do what you love to do, if it doesn't support a family, because desperation is going to kick in, you're going to revert to just the conventional way of working for somebody else. So we want to teach them the whole concept of what we're doing. And they can go and we're not going to this isn't going to be like we raise all this money. And you know, when you say buy them a house, and here you go, don't you know, go, it's gonna be tough, they're gonna have to teach them because when they get older, they're going to see the back end of our results likely, will be very, very well off. The last thing I want them to think is that, hey, you know what all of this just happens. And it's there and it appears, right? So they're gonna have to work. But we're not just going to teach them how to work hard, we're going to teach them how to work smart, how to provide value, how to how-to, you know, innovate, how to find ideas, how to solve a problem, how to take, you know, pain points away, how to better people's lives, if you understand those concepts, you can take that business and you can run with it, that's what we want to teach them and they're gonna have to go out and work for that, too, we'll support them. But if they want a house, if they want a car, they're gonna have to prove that they can do it too. So the best thing we believe in to give them isn't money. I think that completely if he asked me ruins people's lives, and takes away all of their drive, if you give people money when people buy pair kids cars because while they graduated, we need to teach our kids concepts, we need to teach them wholly, a different way of thinking and teach them on a reward basis that when you put in X, you get y outright. And so that's that's

 

Jenn Richter 

only gonna come from a family environment. schools don't teach that program. So teaches it's even then it's like, we're 1% that things like this. So

 

Michael Richter 

it is what we call ourselves. You know, when we go to these masterminds, these networking groups, we call ourselves the 1%. And it doesn't mean wealth is a result of that money as a result of that. But I mean, we sit in these conversations and my goodness, the way people think and know-how we how we teach our kids about money, that I mean, that's going to constantly change. And what I'm talking about now, a year later is going to be different as I learned more about myself, and what's possible. But I mean, you surround yourself with people like this. And you know, we call ourselves like almost like the 1% because most of society are consumers. They want a bigger house faster, fancier cars, and they look wealthy on the outside. But inside I mean, everybody's completely broken half a society lives the paycheck. So that's for us, that's not acceptable. We want a more abundant way of living. But we have to find a way to teach our kids you know, get there properly and learn how to do it smartly and safely. Yeah. And with integrity, right.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, and throughout The last couple of minutes, you mentioned the importance of relationships. So building relationships, how does that how do you find that that helps you in your business, not just in terms of maybe the relationships you have with your tenants, but also the relationships that you're building by going to these real estate investment events and meeting all these different people from my

 

Jenn Richter 

point of view that I enjoyed getting into networking just because when I first talked to Mike, I thought he was honestly crazy. He was going on about these numbers and I concepts, and I had never been exposed as my life. And I was like, there's no way you're drinking some weird Kool-Aid. And I felt we were isolated. Because all of our family, all our friends were like, Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. So when we decided to start networking, and going to different networking groups, and clubs and things like that, it was the first time I didn't feel like we were crazy. It was the first time that people were supportive of what we were doing. And just to feel that kind of love and support, it was really surprising. And it was providing me with an environment where I was like, I can grow in this. It took me a while to figure out how to network. And something that was still true to who I was because I like Mike was saying, I was not always the biggest fan of real estate, it took me a little longer to get on board. So to find my place in a room with people who are just like brimming with knowledge and excitement, it took me a little bit longer. But it was nice to be like I said around people that I was like, we can do this. Other people are doing this as I said, it doesn't make me feel like we're outcasts or the crazy ones anymore. And that's been pivotal, especially just being a woman being able to call another mom who's in me, like, how are you doing mortgage phone calls, because I'm hiding in a shower right now and love my kids outside, being able to bounce ideas off of other people who are in the same situation makes me feel like I can get through it. And it's a lot of pressure because we're married. So that means we are only each other's outlets, where he comes home has a new concept, new idea and wants to talk about mortgages. I'm the only person he can talk to continuously all the time, till midnight, every night. And so it does put a strain because we're married, you're bringing your business home with you to a degree. And so at least networking was wonderful because it gave Mike an outlet to go talk to other people that share his passion that shares his enthusiasm that he can call and talk to. So it kind of gave me a break to which made our relationship and my I guess most of my relation with real estate because becoming resentful for it. If I have to listen to it 24 hours a day, non-stop.

 

Michael Richter 

Well, it's not that way anymore now. But that's

 

Jenn Richter 

because we started networking. Yeah, I'm allowed to actually like real estate and I always like can see it because I'm not golf by all the time. So networking was really good from our partner relationship as well at home.

 

Georges El Masri 

And why did you choose to go with free construction, as opposed to other styles like flipping or, you know, buy fix refinance, or whatever else? I

 

Michael Richter 

can I can answer that. I mean, for our new construction, the way we started, it worked. We didn't have the plan that we did today to keep doing it. I mean, I'll be honest, when I did this, I thought and this is before networking, and this is before when it was all just weird. And all of a sudden, you're looked at like you're crazy for buying a couple of properties when Jen just got pregnant after we bought our first purpose built-in 2014. We so after that goal, we realized, Hey, you know what this works and something's working. So we sort of looked back and said, Okay, well, the numbers at that time just working area to that cover and just just just cash flow, but the numbers worked at 20% in right, it doesn't do that anymore. And Milton, now you have to think about more creative ways in the same area. But I always say with real estate now looking back from where we came from, we're doing this and that's our brand, we're doing this to align with our goals. We're buying new builds because it serves what we want. I mean, we can still travel, we don't have a ton of maintenance,

 

Georges El Masri 

you have great tenants,

 

Michael Richter 

the tenants, I mean, it attracts triple-A tenants and you got to remember this is these are new properties. These are purpose-built. I mean, it's not like an apartment building. We've got great tenants. So for us, Jen doesn't want to be through the day I'm working Jen doesn't want to be dealing with evicting tenants, I

 

Jenn Richter 

deal with two babies at home I don't need any more babies to deal with

 

Michael Richter 

is our new property. So we can defer an entire maintenance budget and capital expense budget to basically to the point where the maintenance is very, very little I don't The last thing I want to be doing is fixing toilets and dealing with old properties that are rundown, even if that means me you know running around doing all these things. The last thing I want is a second job when I get home. So these properties once we have the systems in place. Once we have an actual you know, once we got our business plan in place, it's more or fewer hands-off when everything runs smoothly when you pick the proper tenants. When you have the right mortgage in place when you're in the right area. Everything works very, very well for these rights. And the reason why we bought new build to one of the tricks is you can put money down and defer your closing so the last I think four we bought, what we did is we bought them and we had no means to close on these properties. I mean personal finances credibility, money, I mean these are all limited resources, right? So what we would do is we'd say, Okay, look, the closings are anywhere from it was anywhere from six months to 18 months out. So we could buy a property with about 10%. And it was about 40,000 at the time, okay, come up with that, whichever way you could wait that year, year and a half, and then close on it. But you've got a big window of opportunity, working with the banks working with brokers to say, Okay, what do I need from now until then, to close on these properties. So that gave us the ability to put down the money at the property right up on the market the whole time that whatever, whatever the typical inflation rate was in the area. And then what's good too, is that you're also walking it into equity. So when you buy it on spec like that, and you have a year and year and a half, remember most of the competition that you're competing with the by the homes, I'd say what 95% of them are, are homeowners, right. So what do they have to do to attract homeowners? Well, they have to reduce the prices, they have to give you a deep discount, because no homeowner very, very few people want to say, Okay, I'll put money down, and then wait a year and a half to close for homeowners, they're competing with the resale market. So we'd come in and say, Okay, great, we can do this, we can put the money down. So what they would have to do is they'd have to discount the price. So right away, as soon as you put 40 down, they're usually roughly about $50,000, under what resale value would be. So we'd put down money, it would walk into instant equity would wait a year and a half, and then it'd be worth even more. But you got to be careful. We don't A lot of people think this is speculating, it's not speculating. Because we're not buying these and saying, okay, we're gonna wait three years and then flip them or sell them. That's just pure speculation. When we buy these properties, we're buying them as if the price stays the same. They debt cover, we're not, we're not I mean, cash flow isn't our target, they debt cover. And that's it on day one with the current mortgage rates with interest rates that we run higher. So when they do come out, and interest rates have gone up. If they do go up, and when the rent has gone up, that's just gravy. But there is that room where if things go backwards, we still have a window, a bubble to work with, to say what's the worst case that could happen, you have to have a contingency in place.

 

Jenn Richter 

Also, your end-user is a homebuyer. So when we first got started, it was one of those Well, what happens if it's all those fears that you always have in your first second one. So we thought, Well, if we buy a new build, we could always sell it to the home user and especially in Melton, they'll sell within two days. So they were easy to offload if we had to. So that gave me a bit of a security blanket to pick a new build.

 

Michael Richter 

And we're also looking at a big, big misconception that people think I mean, everybody you know, people reach out to us people call us people to contact us the first thing almost all investors say is, I'm looking for cash flow. Or they'll say, well, what's the cap rate? Well, I mean, cap rate, I mean, it's not even a term we use in our properties, right, we use debt coverage ratio, I mean, banks respectively, they have their criteria of what to lend on. But what we're looking at too, I mean, if you take away the cash flow, I mean, all of these, they've got a debt cover. So when we factor in the mortgage when you factor in insurance, property tax, it's got to cover that and then some, but we're not looking for large amounts of cash flow on these because I'll give up a couple of hundred bucks in cash flow to have something close by to have all the things you mentioned, to have a class tenants to have a perfect property and offload for security. I'll give that up. But when you factor in the overall returns when we buy property, we'll look at the overall return we're putting out, say $100,000, on average, what are we getting back, okay, and we look at the cash on cash return. So what we're looking at to is we're looking at, so if we take away cash flow, we're looking at capital appreciation. And then you have to look at mortgage pay down to so when we factor in those two elements, and we look at, you know what the current values are, and then we look at what we put down the I mean, the capital, the return on investment is tremendous. So that chunk of equity, like I'll take that over cash like I've got my job for, we're not living off of these yet, remember, our means we align these, according to our means. So we've got a lot of equity, and we're keeping these as a foundation. This strategy for us works now. It's very young because we have young children, this isn't, this isn't a black and white strategy. I mean, this is gonna, this is gonna as our needs change, as our experience grows, as they start to scale back from my job, which I can do now. We're going to start a, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna evolve into different strategies, right? And we're going to take that on as our needs change. But right now, I mean, we don't want to overload ourselves, because our priorities are family, it's travelling and spending time with our kids. We're using real estate to do more of that. And we're looking at the overall wealth creation. For us. It's wealth creation, it's not so much cash flow that will come in the future. But that'll come when we decide to go in that direction. Or it could be flipping it could be assigning and just many, many different ways to make an income as a skill back in my job. And so

 

Georges El Masri 

you just mentioned travelling. Can you talk a bit about that? How often do you travel? You mentioned Africa, Greece. Do you tickle Germany? Yeah. Are you going on multiple trips a year and you're taking the girls with you? Is that sort of where you're at right now.

 

Jenn Richter 

So I have a massive truck, travel bug. So right now since we got married, we typically do two European countries. A year and then somewhere in Canada, we usually go out nice to visit family. And so when we had the kids, I refused to give up travel. That's one of the things I told Mike I said of real estate gets in the way of travel, I'm dumping it. And so when we had the kids, our concept is kids have to join your life. You can't revolve your entire life around the kids, they have to be a part of your family, a part of your life, and our lifestyle is travelling. So as soon as they were four months, they're on airplanes with us, we put them in the backpacks, they go climbing mountains with us. they've travelled everywhere, they go on every single trip with us. And we typically go for about a month to each country at a time. Because I don't want to go for one week, you're not going to get to see a culture experienced the food the people in one week. So we go for a month. And because we've started the kids travelling, since they were so young, they don't know any different. They love airplane rides, they have no problem sleeping in different rooms all the time. Even just the concept of meeting different people, different cultures trying different foods. Yes, they may not remember the trips, but it's changing and impacting who they are and how they view the world and things like that. So this is pretty much the big reason why I want to do real estate is that now it's allowing Mike to take time office work so we can travel as a family for months at a time. We just literally think for six weeks out of those five we were in Vegas, and Scotland just got back from Scotland. Yeah, so but that allows my time with his girls, I get to spend all day with them. But now he gets to go and spend every single day with them and they get to know him better he gets to see them as they're growing up. And this is why I'm doing real estate it's to spend time with my family is to get Mike away from his job in this his entire outlook and I love to travel.

 

Michael Richter 

Yeah, I mean I love it. I mean travelling real estate at the end of the day, it's about what you want to do. The last thing we want to do is I mean, you know, the last thing I want to do is say I've got a ton of properties a ton of doors but you know I'm swamping my life with work just because I can say I've got a certain title or certain amount of doors. I mean, that's not why you do it. If you're just doing this for money, it's not a good enough reason. When I'm travelling, I feel alive. Like I mean travelling with the girls in our back. We're looking at each other thinking this isn't. We weren't back. Yes, this is a vacation for us. This is our life. This is a lifetime vacation for my retirement. I mean, I don't even like using those terms. I feel fully engaged when I go there. And I know hey, you know what, I'm getting closer and closer and closer to freedom. Gotta love it. Because going there isn't like these once in a lifetime things go on this travel No, like, for us. I mean, it's individual, it lights us up. Because it's like Jen said, we get to spend time with the girls in different places we get adventure from that the people the food, the surroundings, the scenery. It's awesome. Yeah, so you got to have a reward, you can't, you can't I mean, sure, we could come back and you could be doing deals, you could be saving money and all the travelling you've done, we could have bought more properties, right. But if you don't have anything, you know, the fear drives me enough from just being in the middle class forever. And you know how I was raised. But at the same time, you have to have I mean, you have to have some honey to chase, you got to have something pulling you along.

 

Georges El Masri 

Enjoy your life.

 

Michael Richter 

Right, you got to live life now. And I mean, I see people there and it sounds like the majority 90 90% of them. They're all 65 Plus, and I'm like, I'm so grateful the fact that we're doing this now, if I didn't have the real estate and I just had a job to go back to vacation time, it would be a different experience. If I didn't have the confidence that you know, if something happens, if you know I want to retire early, it's more life on my terms. I have that I've got that nest egg working and with the direction, we're going in this like this, this, that's why I said sonification this is going to be the reality. Do we want to travel for the whole year? No, but I mean, it's, it's having the freedom to have a choice. That's the best feeling when you're there to have unlimited choices. That's a pretty cool feeling under there. And of one of the things we do, I realize it when it hit me why real estate was going to work for us. It was I think two years ago in Italy, we're sitting in the balcony, that's just when you could take out your phone and start cashing checks to the throne, I brought my checks with me, I'm cashing them when we're on the balcony, looking over this, this spectacular view of the beach in the mountains, I realized oh my god, I'm gonna be going back to one check for my job, which I've always done. But the real estate, you know, I'm doing almost, I think at the time was three checks we brought, right, but as your portfolio grows, we can do this more and more and more and go further and further. Because the tenants don't care where you are in the country, as long as you're providing a clean, safe property. That's the whole point you're providing them with an asset,

 

Jenn Richter 

but that's why you buy a new build, you're not trading

 

Michael Richter 

your time. So you're doing what you want, you're providing with a valuable product and those checks are gonna support you wherever you want, as long as you want to be provided you have enough,

 

Georges El Masri 

right? So you're kind of talking about great experiences that you've recently had. What does the perfect life look like for you?

 

Jenn Richter 

Never been in Canada in winter, whenever you retire, want to be a Snowbird like now,

 

Michael Richter 

for me the perfect life. I think it would have to be 100 million dollars when it's no you know what, it's not

 

Jenn Richter 

tickets.

 

Michael Richter 

Yeah. Why buy lottery tickets every day and that's my strategy. No, you know what, it's The perfect life for me, oh my goodness, I mean, and that, you know, this, this will change. But it's, I, I always ask myself what brings me the most amount of joy. And you know, that definition would have changed from when I was 21. And going on dates, you know, when I bought my first car, you know, to getting my first job and thinking that was the best thing, I've got this new thing going on. But now you know what, it's the thing that makes me happiest now is my hell. I mean, being healthy, being strong, always growing, focusing on felt growth, not just physically, mentally and physically being in shape, growing who we are as a couple as a person. I think that's the best lifestyle. So many times in my life, I'd overwork and you get lost in just being an employee, being a dad, you know, you get sort of carried away, I think for us, it's having a good sense of who you are, knowing how you're contributing to society, having you're having your place, being able to give back, you know, seeing friends, seeing my family, having that having two girls that love you are picking them up. I mean, that gives me so much joy, the fact that I've got two wonderful little girls and a wife that that sincerely says, I love you. I mean, those are the best things. I mean, it's so simple. But I always ask myself, you know, if I were to remove money, or job titles, or anything else, what what is the most important and for me, it's relationships, it's having those people that are going to be there, right until the end,

 

Jenn Richter 

wow, mine sounds so shallow. I just want to live in Africa for six months, a year. That you say Africa is what we talk about, like, our passions and stuff. Africa is my passion. That is my heart and soul. That is what makes me excited. And I have my Master's in conservation and wildlife education. So I've spent five years in Africa every year working with orphan baboons, a little bit with the large cats like the lions, cheetahs and leopards as well. But most of it is the primates. And I had to stop when I had the babies. But as soon as those kids are old enough to go back to Africa, I want to take him back immediately. They need to see this. It's just it's such a, it's such a change of who you are as a person. It's like a soul-shattering. And I hundred percent would want to go back six months out of the year, take the family live there. That would be my absolute dream.

 

Georges El Masri 

And so travelling to Africa, does that give you a certain perspective and a certain feeling of being grateful towards having the life that you have now?

 

Jenn Richter 

Oh, yeah, there's no way I've spent time in Africa, spend time in Indonesia, and live in a third world country. So many first world problems that we talked about that are sonar problems. And it you come back completely different every trip, I don't care how many times you have been to Africa or Indonesia, it changes you every single time you go whether you speak to a certain person or you've worked with a different animal that time or you've spent more time trekking through the jungle mountains, it changes who you are every single time, even some basic stuff, you can come back and be like, we have too many lights in Canada. But these are things I want my kids to see when the kids turn 12 I am shipping them all to a third world country and they will live there for a month because the first time they complain about not having the latest iPhone off they go well years old. Oh, you should hear what the kids are doing. I'm nipping this in the bud, I need parenting to be easy. You can make parenting easy or hard. I want to go the easy route. And the kids need to see what hard work is to see the other side that you are so blessed to be born in Canada, you didn't do anything to deserve this, you were just simply born in a great country. So I think a lot of us travel, especially going to like Africa and Indonesia. UCL everybody lives in everybody, his sense of community out there is incredible, everybody's so loving and welcoming. But then you come home. And we're so grateful that we do have these opportunities to buy more properties. And that's a big thing with as many properties we buy. I always have to go back to Africa and I call it my first babies or six baboons. So those are like my first kids, those are my tailed kids, and I have my Taylor's children at home. So giving, having real estate allows me to give back more, I can be more generous with money, I'll be more generous with time because I can stay longer. I can bring Mike and two little helpers with me each time. So these kinds of things are funnelling my true passion, my true excitement for stuff. So

 

Michael Richter 

what I find when you get back from these countries, I mean, it doesn't necessarily mean Africa, but we take it for granted because we see that everything we have here is made for us like I mean computers, roads, I mean, stores, security, police, military, all of these things are in place for us to succeed. And when you go to Africa, if a road fell apart, there wouldn't be money to fix it would just be you know, you're gonna have to drive around, you'd have to get out and walk or you just have to turn around right so you don't have a roommate and so you don't have the things we do. You can't just open up the refrigerator like my god-like after you come back, opening up the fridge and taking out food and turning on my watch chicken a month in

 

Jenn Richter 

Indonesia split amongst four people

 

Michael Richter 

you turn on the water and our taps and we have instant water there to take shower water to wash your car, right all of these things. You could go on and on but we take it so for granted that for me when I come back. I'm so much more humbled and I'm so much more grateful. For everything we do have, so my excuses for not getting ahead. I mean, these people live and maybe a couple of Canadian dollars a day on a soul level. So when we come back here, and I see the opportunities, the technology, we have the people the context, like what we're doing now sharing information, I mean, getting together and just driving down the street without any fear. And, you know, taking care and leveraging everything we have, it's so good here, I have no excuses. And you know, you forget that when you don't go to these countries for a while, but when you get into the really poor parts, that's been the biggest growth for me, because I have no excuses not to achieve what I want. There are people here to help us there are resources to do whatever you want. So when I look back, if I don't do this, and if I don't do something really big that makes you know, make a difference in society, or share my knowledge with somebody or change other people's lives are changed my family's life, at least, I don't want to look back and say I could have done this. And then you know, have all this travelling under my belt and look at the pictures and say, oh, my goodness, I had everything right in front of me. But I never took action I never even tried. You know, I never, I did it. And it's beyond what we do. You know, when we get back here, it's not so much about us. But it's about our family, too. It's about you know, learning this, but now there are more people to come to us, like, come here. And we can come back and share, you know, what we've learned the way we are now and then share what we've done to maybe inspire other people. If that can change somebody's life if that makes one difference in somebody's life. I mean, in a sense, that's a purpose, right? Changing and helping others. I mean, I wouldn't be where I am right now, if it wasn't for all the wonderful things and the ability to, you know, record messages like this, write books and have all this, I wouldn't be writing out here where I am. If it wasn't for other people doing the same things, because we live in a country like this. And because we have the freedom to speak and share information we all have, we all have almost that say, equal ability to get ahead, if we're willing to tap into enough resources and build the relationships is one, it's all right here in Canada, this is one of the best places and the best times to get ahead. There are no excuses. And if you don't believe it, go to these countries and see, oh, my goodness, and then come back here. people that come here, first-generation immigrants, I work beside them, they push so hard because they see what they can achieve with hard work. And they see the opportunities here, right. So it's, it's an awesome experience. For us.

 

Georges El Masri 

It's a great perspective to have seems like you're both very grateful. And you've had a lot of experience through travelling and you bring that back with you. So that's a really good thing. And I think that's going to help carry you through your careers here. And just life in general. So just to kind of move forward into your next segment, I do a thing called the random five. I'm sure you probably noticed it from the last one. So I'm just going to ask random questions. If you feel uncomfortable answering them, just let me know. Let's get to the next one. No,

 

Michael Richter 

  1. Excited. Yeah. challenges. Okay,

 

Jenn Richter 

you're gonna regret this question.

 

Georges El Masri 

So the first one would be what is the most influential book for you? for the two of you can answer individually. I come

 

Jenn Richter 

from an English major background. So I know everyone's like, oh, it'd be real estate book or something like that. But not gonna lie. I have never read a real estate book. I will be the first to admit I've never read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and I can hear you all guests being in shock. It is on my goal list. I probably will read it at some point in the years. One of the things I'm like, I probably should read it everybody else has. I have I love Shakespeare. Honestly, when I did my English major I did every course on Shakespeare possibly could take I love his work. I love Old English. I love the language. I love hidden meanings and metaphors and all that foreshadowing he Oh, I love Shakespeare. I know, which is kind of weird to say in a real estate podcast. But

 

Georges El Masri 

no, that's fine. It's not the most influential real estate book just a book in general.

 

Michael Richter 

It's influential Rich Dad Poor Dad

 

Jenn Richter 

stereotype.

 

Michael Richter 

You know, and that that gave me that divide. If I didn't read that, that gave me the divide between being a consumer and being an investor, good debt and bad debt. I mean, those four things right there and the whole cash for the whole Cash Flow Quadrant to realize, you know, what, what, what do you want to put the most amount of effort into it made me switch gears and think about why I was doing it. And what I wanted to know if I was just going to be a consumer, I was always going to be working for a paycheck. And I was always going to just be getting by, but if I bought the assets that clarified and fortified everything for me, and the book that influenced me, I'd say another one where I remember like I can get a measured return from that is, is Thomas J. Stanley. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, I read that and I think the problem I got all the solution I got from that. And one of the biggest points I can take away from that book is when you go and you look at a job, you got to look for opportunities in the economy, where other people are seeing problems, you have to see an opportunity, right and you have to fix that problem. And I remember doing that I applied that to my job and my income shot right up because now is serving the company actually solving problems and not just working for a check so that was very influential.

 

Jenn Richter 

Imagine where our business is going to go when I read Rich Dad Poor Dad, if I'm already there, I'm just gonna make that much higher.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, so maybe you'll be fine. double the number.

 

Jenn Richter 

Oh, yeah, I'll be like, who buys two properties or buying eight at a time? This is crazy. You're gonna regret making me read it.

 

Georges El Masri 

Alright, so next question Who said I love you first? Ah,

 

Jenn Richter 

I know the answer to this. Does my

 

Michael Richter 

do is Jen.

 

Georges El Masri 

Okay. You don't have to go into

 

Jenn Richter 

it at first.

 

Michael Richter 

I'm pretty sure it was you.

 

Jenn Richter 

I said it in Afrikaans when he was sleeping first hundred percent made Mike say it out loud in English first You made him see it? Well, I bought them, you know, this leaves some open air. Silence. They got to feel the silence.

 

Michael Richter 

You said it's I want to sort of Yeah. And then I sort of just rolled over And I was like, Okay, I'll let you wait.

 

Jenn Richter 

No, that was the request. I said, Do you want to go? I said, Do you want to make this official? make it official? And you're like, yeah, and you're like Sabanci just went to sleep. I was like, Oh,

 

Michael Richter 

cool. Okay, yeah. So like I turn around, give you a taste of your recording process. Right. So see,

 

Georges El Masri 

that's why I made him say it first. So we'll just agree that both of you said, that's fine. Okay, who's your favourite artist? Music Music

 

Jenn Richter 

Music-wise, art-wise was like as a general question.

 

Michael Richter 

I couldn't say I have a particular artist. I mean, it's

 

Georges El Masri 

all Is there a song that you enjoy listening to? Are

 

Jenn Richter 

we allowed to say backstreet boy, yeah, and show that I'm the 80s. Child.

 

Georges El Masri 

That's a 90s thing. I thought, Oh,

 

Jenn Richter 

no, you think you in the 90s. I was born in the 80s. I think

 

Michael Richter 

is I mean, the most memorable song that I had. I mean, I went when that brings me back to my time is I think it's when you say nothing at all. Bye. Bye, Allison Christ. I think it's Kevin Hines or Kevin little. I remember listening to that song on a road trip. And that brought me right back. And it was meaningful enough where I remember in my first house, I remember me, you know, I made this special evening, and we danced, we

 

Jenn Richter 

first sat

 

Michael Richter 

in my living room and that probably, you know, when I hear that song, that's just all those memories come back. Right. And

 

Jenn Richter 

I've made a road trip right.

 

Georges El Masri 

Now, the random finding. Yeah, the random five questions turn into like the wedding games, you know, exactly. These questions. We said I love you first, whatever she was

 

Jenn Richter 

sleeping on the couch tonight.

 

Georges El Masri 

Okay, so what's your favourite podcast? Girl?

 

Jenn Richter 

I love Pat Flynn.

 

Michael Richter 

That's the passive income podcast.

 

Jenn Richter 

Yeah, I love him. Just because like I'm surrounded by real estate all the time, whether it's our business or networking events, and things like that. So I love to listen to somebody who's teaching me the same things, but not using real estate as an example. Because sometimes you also know you need to be jarred, sometimes when you're so in the same thought process the same way. And all sudden, he's teaching me something new. But it's about cookbooks. And like, well cookbook, so I kind of tune into every second. I'm like, wait, that's marketing. I can use Wait, this, these are good tips I can use actually. So I love listening to him.

 

Michael Richter 

So I break it down. There are a few different categories. I mean, to be real estate, you, you know, there's breakthrough real estate, there are bigger pockets. I mean, that's there's a lot of great real estate stuff in there. But you also have to look at Okay, well, what's going to get you there? What's going to get you to invest? I mean, it's not I mean, the fundamentals are great, the strategies are great. But if you don't have the mindset for this stuff, you'll never be able to apply it if you can't think unless like I wasn't an innovation podcast, because it doesn't apply to real estate. It gets me thinking in different directions, sales and marketing guys, we're all selling ourselves. I mean, it doesn't matter if you're a real estate agent or car salesman, we have to sell ourselves to our team members, to everybody else to people to work with us to Joint Venture Partners. We're always thinking ahead. But I mean, so for that, I'll listen to just a few sales and marketing podcast you just listened to. But I also listen to Tony Robbins. I love the way he speaks. He's had a big impact on the way I handle certain situations and the meaning I make of certain problems. Like I'll walk into a problem now, because of his podcast and say, You know what, this is happening, not to me, but I'll say it's happening for me. I believe everything, we wouldn't be where we are now if it was just an easy skate in the park, right? So I know that every challenge that hits me, I look at it. Okay, what am I going to take away from this one? If I'm going to learn from this? How am I going to build myself stronger? Where am I going to look at where I went wrong, so I can build myself up a lot stronger to tackle the next set of problems. And that's, you know, that's just shifted my mindset so much that I can be a lot stronger going forward with whatever we do.

 

Georges El Masri 

Tony Robbin's podcast is amazing. I listened to it all the time as well. Alright, and the last question, what's the one skill that you wish you had?

 

Jenn Richter 

That's a skill. I wish I had more natural excitement and passion for real estate. Was that To be honest, we're gonna be honest here. Um, I love the marketing stuff. I love the legal stuff. I love creating websites and business cards. And I love the concept of how do I brand something? How do I convince somebody to purchase what I have? I love that stuff. I love what real estate does. Do I love, like being a landlord all the time? No. Do I love talking about real estate? 24 hours a day? No. And I think sometimes it would be at least from my point of view, easier to network or easier to participate if there was a natural excitement for it. Mike is like I always joke like Mike is 100% the engine of the car. He is just going 100 miles a minute and I'm the brakes. I'm kidding. Like, we should think about this, or I need to see some numbers or what does the legal aspects say of this? So, I mean, in the long run, it worked out better for us because we both can have the same strengths and weaknesses, our business wouldn't be where it is today doing that. So in the way, I guess not at scale, but I wish I had a bit more natural excitement for it, I think it would make what we do a little easier sometimes for myself.

 

Michael Richter 

Yeah, I think I think for me, you know, there's, there are different things. I mean, we gotta admit, there are only a few things we're good at. And I mean, you got to learn how to delegate the rest of the things to people that can do it so much better. I don't want to be like, I don't want to be a master at any one thing. I want to be running the business, I'll be growing the business, I want to be getting the best people in place to do what I'm not good at. and master those skills. Right. So I'd say one thing if it was a skill that I could be better at is, you know, I look at some of these guys the way they can sell. And I'd love to have those sales abilities, you can just read people know exactly what they want. I think that's a total science. And I think that's something that I want to work on and become a lot better at. And just finding what makes people tick. What makes some salespeople so successful over others, right? I think that's an area that we all need, we all need to become better at sales. And that's an area I want to dive into shortly.

 

Georges El Masri 

Well, I'm in sales, I'm a real estate agent. So I can say that having a quick conversation with you, I think you've got a lot of the skills already. Because you seem like a genuine person. And one of the keys to selling is connecting with people. So I feel that you'd be good at that. There's no need to look into techniques and closing and you have to be authentic. Exactly. Be authentic, and the sales will come. So I think you're already there. That's good.

 

Michael Richter 

It sounds like you guys hiring positions. Maybe a second career now. Very hard to get in here. Oh, thank you. Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

 

Georges El Masri 

For sure. That's pretty much it. Jen and Mike and we've got them from w properties. Would you have any services that you offer? Is there any way that people can reach out to you and connect?

 

Jenn Richter 

So we have a website? That would be my third child? It is double e? So the word Do you BLEE properties.ca? What services do you offer if you do at all? Oh, so right now we're starting a YouTube channel ourselves. We're just getting that off and running right now we're kind of in the filming stages, that is as well. So we're starting that we're doing a lot of presentations at different networking groups, we're doing one tomorrow. So we like doing a lot of speaking events, we like to connect with a lot of people. And like we said, we've been so blessed by other people helping us and teach us along the way that we want to reciprocate the same thing. We'd love to go out and talk to people and encourage people. I especially love couraging women, especially in real estate or moms that are stay at home moms be like there are things to do other than Avon out there.

 

Michael Richter 

I encourage people to reach out to us because you know, I've made good connections for from other podcasts we've done from other interviews from just networking and people are valuable. I mean, you know, call us to connect with us. There's a lot of people out there who are going to be in the same situation that we're in. And you know what I enjoy giving back, I enjoy helping people, I obviously can't work with everybody. But if you come and you have a lot of drive a lot of passion for this. I mean, that's going to take you places and we can perhaps work together, I can suggest different solutions because a lot of people are usually so close to being able to get what they want that first deal. But usually, it's just they're missing a few key elements or they just can't quite pull the puzzle together. So you know what if I can bridge that gap, and if we can, you know, have a conversation? Feel free to reach out to us and let us know if there's anything we can help you with. That's awesome.

 

Georges El Masri 

That's a great attitude to have. I appreciate your time and definitely, we'll stay in touch. I'll see you at some of the upcoming events. So if anyone's interested in joining you guys are part of the so write club. Yep, and a couple of other ones. So maybe I'll put post a link to that and then people can meet you at those events as well. Okay, so thanks a lot.

 

Michael Richter 

Okay. Thank you for having us.


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Georges El Masri

Georges El Masri

Toronto born, I spent my early childhood in Mississauga. My passion is to help your family become "well off" through real estate investing. I always work with the idea that your needs come first and I'm here to guide you. You can trust that my opinion will be a genuine one! I look forward to connecting with you soon if we haven't already.