Table of Contents - Cooperate with the Competition with Harry Samby
Dave Debeau [00:00:08] Hey, everyone, this is Dave Debeauwith another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast and zooming in from beautiful Waterloo, Ontario, my old friend Harry Samby. Harry, how are you today?
Harry Samby [00:00:22] I am brilliant. Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.
Dave Debeau [00:00:26] And it's my pleasure to have you as well. So, er, we've known each other for a number of years now and it's really fun to see how you have developed and grown as a real estate entrepreneur. And why don't we just jump into what is your main focus these days when it comes to real estate investing?
Harry Samby [00:00:46] Well, my main focus currently is multifamily investment, commercial multifamily investments. So like everybody else, I started with residential real estate investment, and then I took a major interest in the commercial investments. And now I'm working on new construction investments because I like more control. And yeah, so right now I'm focusing on multifamily properties both in Canada as well as in the US.
Dave Debeau [00:01:15] All right. So the ones you're focusing on right now, your your building from the ground up, is that correct? Is that what I'm understanding?
Harry Samby [00:01:21] Well, I'm I'm working with or I'm having in conversation with various different developers to see where we can partner up for the new construction acquisitions rather than
Dave Debeau [00:01:33] the old assets new construction acquisition. So you're buying stuff that's already built out of understanding. Yep. OK, fantastic. So why don't you tell us a little bit about your progression of real estate investing? Is there a single family homes you've got into multifamily properties? I'm guessing that you started off with some very well used properties in the past, and that's why you're wanting to focus more on the new build now.
Harry Samby [00:02:00] Yes. Yes. So, yeah. So I started with as as you know, no single family residential. So it was by buy and hold. So we bought a bunch of bungalows, then I converted them into duplexes. Then I was involved in a few rental homes as well. And I was also involved in a severance project as well as where we posted the mortgage. We converted a house into a duplex and supported the mortgage from a big lot to the smaller lot and have a free and clear lock on the site. And then I started investing in the commercial investing world where it is acquiring multifamily properties. So last year we completed three acquisitions in nine units, 11 units and 12 units. So I'm progressing in the right direction.
Dave Debeau [00:02:48] Definitely. Ah, so the properties that you you've purchased, the multifamily properties that you purchased, where are they? You say you're working in Canada as well as the US. Correct.
Harry Samby [00:02:58] Yes. So the acquisition was completed in Canada, but I started working, looking at properties in the US. Just so you know, right now my all my assets are in Canada. And coming back to your question, it's in Edmonton and the one is in Calgary and another one is in Saskatchewan.
Dave Debeau [00:03:15] So very impressive. You're in Waterloo, Ontario. That's where you're based.
Dave Debeau [00:03:20] But you're not buying properties in your own backyard. You're buying them across the country, out west. So tell us a little bit about your your thought process around that.
Harry Samby [00:03:32] And my thought process, actually, for any project, you know, there are three main components. One is the market, another one is the property, and the third is the team. So all three components has to be present. And my job is to ensure that all three are they are properly looked at it. So in Edmonton does that project, it was nine townhouses which we acquired. So those are relatively new and they're built in twenty, fifteen, sixteen. So and then they are all under one title. So under commercial investment. So that was that was a no brainer for me, I would say. And the second is also through our network. It's the eleven units at just close to Calgary and the other one is in, in Saskatchewan. It's in and they know.
Dave Debeau [00:04:25] All right. So Harry, why don't you guys, in your own words, why have you decided why did you decide to go from single family homes and rental homes and little bird properties up into these larger multifamily properties?
Harry Samby [00:04:41] Well, I first of all, I mean, the multifamily or multifamily apartment buildings, first economy of scale is there. You know, like if you are owning a single family, you know, and your tenant is out, so you have one hundred percent vacant property. Even if you have a duplex, then you have a fifty percent occupancy. However, if I have ten units and one tenant leaves, I still have 90 percent occupancy, so. That's one thing the risk is less. The second is also there is less competition as well. And now I think people have started to get into multifamily a lot. But I think once you establish a good business relationship with your team, your broker, your property manager, your leasing agent, everybody is on the team. Once you have a good relationship, it's like a well oiled machine. You know, I would say it's easier to manage and that is economy of scale is there as well.
Dave Debeau [00:05:34] So so these multifamily properties that you've gotten into, have you got very deep pockets? Are you the guy that came up with all the money for these deals or have you brought on investor partners? Or if you don't mind sharing, how have you
Dave Debeau [00:05:47] structured these deals so far? So in terms of structure, I approach my family and friends and people who are in my immediate circle of influence and they have seen my progression from residential to commercial investments. So there was a trust that was built up over a period of time. And when I look at this property, that number made sense. The market made sense. I had the team so my special looking to put together all those aspects to make it a success project. So when I approached with my family and friends and people have no problem writing is as smart and
Dave Debeau [00:06:29] hairy because you're in Ontario and these properties are way across the country. How did you first of all, how did you find a good team in those areas without being there yourself, or did you travel there or did you mean how did you create your team in those three very different markets?
Harry Samby [00:06:49] Yes. So first of all, I mean, I work with people with very different mentors as well in different fields. So so that was a great help that helped me not to make those costly mistakes, because from residential to commercial, you know, sometimes those mistakes could be very, very expensive. That's one thing. The second is taking steps in those directions and coming back to question building the team. It's like sometimes when you talk to the seller, to that communication, you know what they have used to know what works for them. It's all about the conversation from there onwards. You know, you can you can find out what works for you, what changes you want to make. And usually it's a gradual process. You cannot have an ideal team right from the get go. Know, you start with the existing team and see what works for you. And later, over a period of time, you change what is not working for you. And then you make those small changes, those incremental changes. And sometimes it takes almost a year to 18 months, you know, for repositioning, decreasing the vacancies, increasing the operating income, or sometimes you have to change the tenant mix as well. So it's all a gradual process
Dave Debeau [00:08:02] and you're completely reliant on your property managers primarily to do that kind of work for you. So how do you because this is one of the big hassles I hear a lot of people complaining about is finding good property management. So how did you find good property management in these three very distinct and different markets.
Harry Samby [00:08:24] So first of all, communication is the key. And Zoom has made things very, very easy nowadays. So nowadays you don't have to be president where you do business. And every week we have a meeting with my property manager. So I have to be property manager so far. So I'll have meeting books booked like for half an hour meeting every week. And we just talk about it. You know, what needs to be done? Is there anything I can I can help you with? And my job is to provide them with all the resources to make their job easier.
Dave Debeau [00:09:01] So what does that mean, for example? So let's say we're talking about your property in Edmonton. You're having your. So first of all, smart. You're having a weekly meeting. You're not being reactive and just waiting for the shit. Hit the fan. You're actually proactively meeting with your property matters not once a month, but actually every single week, which I think that's very smart. That's key. But then in order for you, what resources besides money are you bringing to the table for them to help them with their jobs, correct?
Harry Samby [00:09:32] Yes. So I'll give you one example. So we had out of nine units, those are in Edmonton. So there were two vacancies were there. So I asked, you know, where we are advertising does all my property manager, he was he was advertising in Kajiji. So what I did here, you know, I become a part of various different Facebook groups here from Ontario. And I ran an advertisement on Facebook where his contact information was there. So I was just waiting for him to make his job easier. Not only that, I also made connection with other other owners of multifamily as well. So, yes, in the same area where OK, what do you see the market, you know, where do you look for tenants? And now if I have more application than I need, I pass it on to that person. And if he has more app, more application, what he needs, you know, he pass it on to me.
Dave Debeau [00:10:34] So not only that's a very smart area, because most of us would be thinking, hey, the guy with the apartment building down the street, that's my competition.
Dave Debeau [00:10:43] There's no way in hell I want to help that person out.
Dave Debeau [00:10:46] You've got a completely different. You on it, you're saying, hey, you know, if if you've got access applicants, if I've got access applicants, I'll send them your way and vice versa. So you're looking at each other for support when you need it.
Harry Samby [00:11:02] And property manager does get paid regardless. You know, I'm saying, you know, it's so you are managing it. You know, you will get it. Whatever we agreed on, it's just, you know, if if we can have tenants right from the get go, I mean, right when the vacancy starts, you know, it's way better than waiting for a month and then waiting for the property manager to fulfill the vacancy.
Dave Debeau [00:11:24] Yeah, I know. But again, hats off to you, my friend, because
Dave Debeau [00:11:28] that is very proactive. Most people, myself included, unfortunately, at times, you know, we assume, hey, we're paying this property management company to take care of business for us. Let's let them do their job, which is fine. However, what I'm seeing that you're doing, which is really smart, is let's not completely rely on them because you understand that you're just one of their customers. They've got a crap ton of other buildings that they're managing. Their their focus is not one hundred percent on Harry Sabby, but Harry Sammie's focus is one hundred percent on Harry Sammy. So you're doing everything you can to make their job easier. And bottom line, it's not even about that. You're doing everything you can to help them fill vacancies, because that's that's really all you and your investors care about. Right. Is keeping that place full.
Harry Samby [00:12:21] Yeah. And I want to add something here as well. Not only that, also how you add value to their business as well. Now, my resident caretaker for that building, that other property owner and myself, we shared the same resource.
Dave Debeau [00:12:38] Now, interesting. Right. So you kind of partnered up with your competition?
Harry Samby [00:12:43] I partnered up with my competition. And then based on how many units he has and how many units I have, see what is the overall cost. We shared it on a monthly basis.
Dave Debeau [00:12:53] Smart, very, very smart. There you always all this cool stuff that you're doing. All right. So that's really, really smart area. Again, hats off to you for thinking outside the box and and taking responsibility and not leaving it all on your property manager and and also looking at creative ways to share costs, lower your expenses and work with your competition. I love it. That's that's really, really smart. Good. Thank you, Harry. We're going to wrap up here pretty quick as time flies when you're having fun. But what would you say have been some of your biggest lessons or. Aha moments throughout your journey so far with real estate investing? What really kind of sticks out to you as as something you really understand? Well, now?
Harry Samby [00:13:46] I think my aha moment, I would say in one word, is mind set.
Dave Debeau [00:13:52] OK, what does that mean for you?
Harry Samby [00:13:54] What that means for me is where I'm spending time to create awareness for, you know, I mean, wherever I spend my time to create awareness for me, that's the direction I'm moving in. So what it means is let's say I want to invest in the US. Let's say I just mentioned to you, you know, so I'll have to increase my awareness in that direction. So right now, I may not have all the necessary skills. So I need to look at my box. You know, what I have in terms of resources with me and what I need. And every single day, you know, I should put my mind to it to make some incremental improvements in order to reach that goal. So I have to rejoin program from Bob Parker as well. And on mindset. Yeah. So that was really, really helpful and very eye opening as well. And that's why I think I was able to text my portfolio in one year.
Dave Debeau [00:14:54] That's amazing. That's wonderful. Harry, this has been great. I want to thank you very much for your time. And people want to find out more about Harry Sanday and what you're up to and perhaps even reach out to you. What would you have them do?
Harry Samby [00:15:07] They can reach me out at Harry at Villamil Capital dot com. It's Harry, my first name, HRR. Why at Milenio? It's my L and L dot com Beattyville.
Dave Debeau [00:15:20] Very. Thank you so much. It's been a lot of fun. Thank you. All right. All right. Take care. We'll talk to you on the next episode. Bye bye. Well, hey there. Thanks for tuning into the Property Profits podcast. If you like this episode, that's great. Please go ahead and subscribe on iTunes. Give us a good review. That would be awesome. I appreciate that. And if you're looking to attract investors and raise capital for your deals, that may invite you to get a complimentary copy of my newest book right back there. It is the money partner formula. You got a PDF version, an investor attraction book, dot com again, investor attraction book, dot com ticker.