Table of Contents - Creating Wealth with Real Estate and Mindset with Gary Hibbert
Dave Debeau [00:00:09] Hey everyone just another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast? I'm your host, Dave Debeau, and today it is my pleasure to be interviewing Gary Hibbert all the way from Durham, Ajax, Ontario. Gary, how are you doing today?
Gary Hibbert [00:00:25] I'm good. I'm good. Thanks for having me on the show. I appreciate it.
Dave Debeau [00:00:29] My pleasure. So if you haven't had the chance to meet or listen to Gary speak on stage or on a podcast or go to one of his real estate club meetings there, he is a very astute real estate entrepreneur, very experienced. He's a full time real estate investor. He's also a realtor. And he focuses on helping people create a plan around real estate investing. He's worked with hundreds of clients over the years. And I think that's really important there, because I find a lot of people get into real estate investing kind of ad hoc. You know, they're kind of winging it. They don't really have a plan. They don't have a target. So helping people with that is a huge, huge thing. So glad to have you on the call. And Gary, just to get things started. Why don't we start way back in the beginning and figure out what got you into this crazy world of real estate investing in the first place?
Gary Hibbert [00:01:19] Yeah, yeah. So again, thanks for I'm in the show. So my my journey started back in 2008, so I actually used to work for a financial institution. And if you remember back in 2008, what happened then was that huge crash. I took a big hit to the to the US prices. But in Canada, if you remember lease out here in the GTA, we didn't really have that big of an impact. You know, our real estate kind of did a little bit of a sideways kind of a role, but the jobs actually took some hit. And one day I went into work just a regular Monday, sat in on my cubicle doing my own thing. And I saw one of my coworkers get called into the office and he comes out and he has the infamous pink slip. So I'm like, oh, yeah, it's on. So all day long, people are getting called into the office and they're getting let go. And at that time, I just bought our property with my wife and we had two young kids and I really needed this job. I couldn't afford to lose this job. And so anyways, fast forward, at the end of the day, the manager comes out and goes, OK, that's it. We're not letting go of anybody else. So if you're still here, you got a job. So I remember driving home. I said to myself, never again do I ever want to feel like somebody is in control of my financial freedom or future. The problem was, is that I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to kind of get out of the situation that I was in. So I tried a bunch of different things like gun to stock market trading. That didn't work. I got into commodities. When you're selling like wheat, soybean oil, sorry, pork bellies. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I got into currency trading where you started selling. The US dollar became the yen. That didn't work. So what I'm trying to figure out, how am I going to get out of this nine to five job? I was put myself in a lot of debt. And so I go into the bank, sit down with my financial advisor, and for the third time I'm in there to take all my debt and put it into my mortgage. So I'm sure some of the listeners, you're going to be gone to this where, you know, you've had to put your debt to your mortgage. And so anyways, she leaves the office because she has to go get the papers for me to sign. And I'm sitting in there and this is what completely changed my whole entire life. So I looked up at the wall and there's this index chart. I know if you've seen it before. So it shows what the stock markets have done for the last fifty years, what interest rates have done for the last fifty years. And when I keyed in on that particular day was what interest rates are doing right now, interest rates, inflation. So I looked at and I said, well, hang on a second, if inflation is doing anywhere from two, three percent to as high as maybe 15, 16 percent a year. So if you after that, it's about maybe five percent. That took a look at what I was making at my job. And my raise is only a thousand dollars. And then I did the math really quick and I say, OK, I get it. It's mathematically impossible to outpace inflation because when I did the math, my raise was like one point six percent. And I get it. I can't do it as well. What if my home bail me out three times? What if I was able to have three or four properties that could help me get out of a financial situation? And that was the start of it.
Dave Debeau [00:04:36] That is very, very cool. The first time I've heard somebody have such an analytical start to the real estate investing career, that makes sense because he came from the financial industries as well.
Gary Hibbert [00:04:47] Well, here's a funny thing, though, is that even though I did come from you know, I was working at the bank, it was TD Bank. I can work in the financial industry. I actually was I.T., so I knew nothing about the financial side of things. My wife worked at Bank of Montreal. She was an assistant branch manager. But for myself, no, I was I was I.T. I work with servers and mainframes and even was so. Very, very different industry from what I'm in today.
Dave Debeau [00:05:11] Wow, very, very cool, though. That's that's an interesting revelation. That must have just been like a light bulb moment. A big,
Gary Hibbert [00:05:19] big time, big time. No change my life.
Dave Debeau [00:05:22] So fast forward to today. What is your your bread and butter real estate investing strategy? What do you do primarily?
Gary Hibbert [00:05:30] Yeah, that's a good question. So I'll kind of go back a bit and kind of talk to where I am today. So when I first got into it, I got into into multi faith, taking a single family home converted into a two minute for the first two homes that I did. And that's what they were. And it was just such such a headache. And it was the reason why, because I didn't know much about real estate investing. I didn't have a team behind me. And I remember a friend telling me about how risky was to get into it. And and I understood what he was talking about and I almost got out of it completely. So one of the things that I always say that there isn't a right or wrong investing strategy. Right. It's just one that suits your lifestyle depending on where you are. So then what I did was I took a step back and actually did a search, you know, looking for a better way to invest in real estate or the easier way. And then I came across rent to own. So I said, hey, this is interesting. So I did some digging into that and I loved it. It was just a really great way for me to get into it. I didn't have to do with too much of the headaches. You know, there was a vested interest with the tenants are moving in where they're going to buy that home the next couple of years and we're like a win win scenario. And then after that, I got back, I got into single family homes where the rent to own is like a long or short term flip. But now if I buy a single family home and hold it, now I'm creating long term wealth. And then from that, when the market started to shift again, the single family homes are really difficult to make work in the market that we were in. So then we go into converting and be single family homes into two units and then holding those. And then now we're doing some private lending as well. So it's sort of mix. But so again, I think the important thing is, depending on where you are in your investing career, to pick a strategy that suits your lifestyle,
Dave Debeau [00:07:24] if that makes it interesting. So you started out with kind of creating getting a single family home, turning into a duplex or went into rent to own. Then you kind of went back into that original strategy again, is that correct?
Gary Hibbert [00:07:40] And it was just again, it was just the education I lacked the education at the beginning. I didn't know how to screen tenants. You know, I didn't really understand working with the city and and the bylaws and how much parking spots you needed and the height requirements. You know, I just I just went in blind. And once I was able to take that step back and really take a look and understand the different strategies, that was when things really kind of went a lot better for me.
Dave Debeau [00:08:06] So with that in mind, if you were starting over again, knowing what you know now, is there anything you do differently?
Gary Hibbert [00:08:13] Yeah, the one thing that I would do differently is and that's the biggest mistake that I would say almost most real estate investors make, is not starting sooner. You know, that's a mistake. You just cannot correct. And originally, I was actually going to start investing in real estate in two thousand one. And when I was at work, I talked to a friend of mine who had an investment property. So I went to him and said, hey, look, I know you got a property. I want to get into real estate investing. How is it going for things like don't do it, it's a nightmare. You're going to have headaches. We're not going to enjoy your life. So stay away from real estate investment. And I went home and I told my wife about it and I went back to work the next day and I said, listen, thank you so much for for talking me out of real estate investing. But I didn't realize how much of an issue it could be. And so I sat on the sidelines for about seven years. Wow. So, you know, and I think the thing to understand from that particular story is that anything that you want to do in life, you don't just go to somebody who has the experience and is where you want to be. Right. And that was a mistake that I make, that I went to somebody who wasn't where I wanted to be. He was maybe on that path, but it wasn't where I wanted to be. And once I changed those asking those questions to the right people, you know, my whole life changed
Dave Debeau [00:09:36] very, very well because it's a little bit late, you know, for for a lot of people to say, well, I should have started. Yeah, we also started 10 or 15 years sooner, but the next best time to start is now.
Gary Hibbert [00:09:47] Exactly. Exactly.
Dave Debeau [00:09:50] Definitely think so. A little bit of a different question here for great. You know, Robert Kiyosaki, I'm sure you're familiar with Rich Dad, poor dad, all that kind of good stuff. You know, he's got an expression. He says we all have an unfair advantage. Or several unfair advantages when it comes to whatever we're doing now. So some people call it an unfair advantage, other people call it their superpower. What would you consider to be your unfair advantage or real estate investing superpower?
Gary Hibbert [00:10:19] I would say that my unfair advantage would be I mean, I'm not jumping in and taking action. And I would say that I'm also very comfortable with making mistakes. You know, I think the more mistakes that you make, like I've made more mistakes in the last 10 years with real estate investing, but yet I've been the most successful. And I think people that make mistakes, they they think that it's a problem or they're they're they're not in the right path and then they give up. But the key is when you make those mistakes, there's obviously to learn from it and then to continue to keep moving forward, you know? So I'll give you an example. And we talked about this earlier before we started was I broke my leg about six weeks ago. And being a real estate agent, that is the last thing you want to do. And it's my right foot as well to say I came in drive and for that first week I won't lie. I was just depressed because I don't know how many get out of this situation. And there's no way I can't be out there with my clients for two or three months. But after that happened, I learned from it and said, OK, well, there has got to be some type of a gift in this and I just got to find it. And what it was, was it allowed me to really take a look at what I was doing, where I could cut out some of the things that I was maybe spinning my wheels on, put some new systems and processes in place. It also allowed me to launch a new business now, which were doing private lending. So it's always it's been a lot of great things that have come out of it. I've said don't want to break my leg ever again. But but but but what I'm really trying to say is that things happen for a reason and then just try to figure out what that gift is in that mistake or that issue or that problem.
Dave Debeau [00:12:07] What kind of answers my next question, which is I mean, you've worked with a lot of people over the years and I'm sure they you see people who are paralyzed by analysis paralysis. They're just just petrified of the idea of making mistakes and know, quite frankly, at times, so am I. How would you suggest people get over that fear and just kind of, you know, go forward knowing full well that they're probably going to screw things up from time to time?
Gary Hibbert [00:12:34] Yeah, I think the best thing is, is the mindset. So before that, I when I really jumped into real estate investing, I started listening. Listen to people like Jim Rollan, Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki. And when you understand the mindset part of it, that's the most important piece of that whole analysis. Paralysis is something that does hold a lot of people back. Or sometimes they'll say, well, I don't have the money and tell little stories that I'm huge on the whiteboard and writing things down. And I remember one year I wrote down that I wanted for investment properties to be in year. I didn't have the money. There's no way I could possibly buy for investment properties. And then at the end of the year, I had four investment properties. So I was like, I get it. It doesn't have anything to do with money, has to do with mindset. And once I understood that learning that, OK, those joint ventures like raising capital, there's so many different ways to do it. But it's about writing down your goals. And then and then once you do it, you move forward with that. Right. So it mindset. Such a huge, huge thing, you know, and learning from other people that that that I've gone through that journey.
Dave Debeau [00:13:47] Yeah. Clarity and focus too. Would you agree? I mean, having the right mindset then like you did you you put that down on the whiteboard and chances are that was in your face on a regular basis. So consciously, subconsciously, you're seeing that all the time. Mm hmm. I don't know. I find in my own life, when I get when I get that crystal clear clarity, then miracles happen.
Gary Hibbert [00:14:09] But yeah, big time. Big time, you know, and one of the other things as well to the I'm huge on this planning my day before I start my day to and that way, you know, 80 percent of what I'm doing that day, I know what I'm doing with. So whether it's having fun or whether it's focused on my business or whether it's going out and helping better, my day is usually designed. It's just not by chance. So now at the end of the year, I can take a look back and say, yeah, I designed this year the way that I want it to go. And then I was obviously, of course, was midcourse correction, you know, along the way. But for the most part, it's design. And I think anybody can design their life. But again, it comes down to those basics of the mindset and and learning from other people that are where you want to be.
Dave Debeau [00:14:56] So, Gary, you work with with people, you help people out, like we talked about at the beginning, where you're helping them get some clarity on what they're trying to do and come up with a health plan. So what what would you say is the biggest problem you help solve people help solve for people that you're working with?
Gary Hibbert [00:15:13] I think the biggest problem that I help you know, with with in real estate investors that are getting into it is one, I think, just believing in themselves to putting them in through a process and systems so that they start from a and then they complete when they're done. Right. So, you know, we'll start off with a fast start class where it is the basics of real estate investing helps them kind of crunch the numbers so that they understand. Yes, this is a great way to get into real estate investing. And here are the systems on how to do it. Then from there, we assign them like a real estate agent who's also a real estate investor as well, to sit down and kind of go through a strategy with them. Then from there, we send them over to the mortgage agent to work out a financial plan to see where they can get the money. And then from there, we go back to the agent, go start taking a look at the home after they figured out what strategy that they want to deploy, getting them in touch with our team, whether it be a home inspector or the lawyers. So the whole system is a whole thing for every investor that comes to us to put them into a system. So at the end, they're like, I can't believe it was that easy.
Dave Debeau [00:16:23] Right. Well, it sounds like you don't you don't just offer training. You like to offer training mindset. Plus you offer them all the tools, resources and time they need to actually put properties.
Gary Hibbert [00:16:34] Exactly. Yeah. So so we're there for them that it's not. OK, here's here's how you do it. Go and figure it out. It's OK. We're going to walk you through the whole entire process. And if you slip up or if you fall down, we're there to help you get back up again. Right. And even after the purchase a home, we're still there.
Dave Debeau [00:16:51] Right, because you're there for the long term. So if people are interested in finding out more about you, Gary, as we wrap things up here. All right. What would you have them do?
Gary Hibbert [00:17:01] So the best thing to find out more about myself and my team and what we do is go to our website, which is smart home choice that. Okay. And if you go there, we got some free books there that you can download, sort of a guide that I wrote on tenant screening, how to how to, how to screen your tenants. And then in a couple of days, you'll also get another book that I wrote, which is a smart guy to real estate investing. And it's a strategy on the rent to own strategy that I actually implemented when I first a couple of years after I started in real estate investing.
Dave Debeau [00:17:31] Fantastic. And just as we wrap things up here, Gary, so to leave people with an actionable tip or an idea that they can actually start doing if they're, let's say, somebody who's just kind of thinking about getting into real estate or they've been stalled for a while now, what would you suggest as a as a tip?
Gary Hibbert [00:17:47] I think the best thing to do wherever you are, whether you're out here in the GTA or another part of Canada, is to is to attend meetings, to go out there, listen to some of the experts that are in the industry, in your local market, talk to other real estate investors that are in your in your area and do that for about two months, three months tops, and then pick a strategy and then implement it. Right. And don't again fall into analysis paralysis. You know, a lot of times people will keep going out and thinking, OK, well, I need one more class or or maybe this is a better strategy. Just just pick one, take it, run with it and master it.
Dave Debeau [00:18:28] Very well said. I know you you run some clubs as well. What are what are some of the clubs or do you run one. I can't
Gary Hibbert [00:18:34] remember. Yeah. It's just the one that I run which is Smart Home Choice, which is a real estate education company.
Dave Debeau [00:18:41] Perfect. Very good. Gary, thank you very much. All right. Thank you.
Gary Hibbert [00:18:45] Thank you, Dave. I appreciate it. All right, Doctor. They're sorry to hear. All right. Bye.
Dave Debeau [00:18:50] Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast and you like what we're doing here. Please head on over to iTunes, subscribe read us and leave us to review it. Very, very much appreciated. And if you're looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom Ticker.