Table of Contents - Edna Keep: Under Promise, Over Deliver, and Win
Dave Debeau [00:00:08] By the way, everyone, this is Dave Debeau, welcome to this episode of the Property Profits podcast. And today it is my pleasure to be talking with EDMC Keep and Ednas, someone that I've known of for many, many, many years. I've known for many years. And she is a phenomenal real estate entrepreneur and coach. And this is definitely a lady who walks her talk. She and her husband Warren, have been focusing on multifamily properties for quite a few years, and they've now built up a very significant portfolio of I believe was over five hundred and twenty doors in your portfolio at this time, is that correct?
Edna Keep [00:00:51] That's correct,
Dave Debeau [00:00:52] yeah. All right. So you definitely know what you're what you're talking about, especially with multifamily investing in. The very cool thing about this is that the vast majority of those properties have been purchased with investor partners, joint venture partners. So and then her husband bring their expertize to the table. Their joint venture partners bring the money to the table and they share the profits. So I'm very excited to be chatting with you today
Edna Keep [00:01:17] and I'm excited to be on this. Sounds like a great podcast.
Dave Debeau [00:01:21] Excellent. So let's rewind a few years and tell us a little bit about how you first got excited and inspired and motivated to take action with real estate.
Edna Keep [00:01:36] Well, my background as a financial adviser, as a financial advisor for 15 years and I sold mutual funds. All my investments are in mutual funds. And I just got tired of all the ups and downs in the market and I thought I needed to diversify. So we actually signed up for a course with Rich Dad, for dad. We went we went the traditional route, the evening class and into the weekend class. And at the weekend class, we knew that we wanted to do more about it. And so we spent twenty seven thousand us and and signed up for the coaching program through them. That was in June of 2007. In September, we bought our first condo. We actually did use our own money to call the equity out of our own home money. And we have our third property. We did. We did with other people's money. We ended up buying up-down duplex with the seller, actually left her all her money. And so that the down payment. So all we had was the closing costs and we still own that property today. As a matter of fact, we very seldom sell. We mostly just buy and we're still actively buying today. Just closing on forty one units actually today in northern Saskatchewan. So we were very excited when I understood how real estate worked. I couldn't even sell mutual funds anymore. I sold my practice within two years of learning about real estate and never look back. And, you know, I was making good money doing that at that time. I was probably making, on average, twenty twenty five thousand dollars a month. A lot of people thought I was crazy to give up what I built. And when I started, I never planned on giving it up. But like I said, when I got to understand how real estate worked, it made no sense for me to sell mutual funds anymore. I just couldn't even do it.
Dave Debeau [00:03:26] Yeah, well, that makes sense. And I've heard that a lot. I remember when I first was trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do when I came back to Canada after living overseas for a long time. My big brother at that time was a financial planner, a mutual fund salesperson
Edna Keep [00:03:42] that maybe I'll
Dave Debeau [00:03:43] take a crack at that. So I went through and actually took the did the course, passed it by the skin of my teeth. But as I was driving and looking at this stuff in this mutual fund thing, just didn't really didn't click with me. It didn't really sounds good. But by the time you take into account all the fees, the expenses, all that kind of stuff, I don't think most people do very well with those kind of investments. So I'm glad you came. Came over from the dark side.
Edna Keep [00:04:07] You did. Well, I always say it's it all depends where you're getting your education from. Yeah. It's like a doctor. The reason we get prescriptions every time I go to the doctor is because they're trained by the pharmaceutical companies and I was trained by mutual fund companies. And so I drank the Kool-Aid and I hundred percent believe that, believed in them, focused on it and and was very adamant at the beginning that everybody should be in mutual funds. You know, it just made sense to me. And I put all my own money there so it was easy to convince other people to do the same. But yeah, I took the blinders off and took the step out into the unknown and learned some pretty good stuff.
Dave Debeau [00:04:48] And you haven't looked back since, that's for sure. Now all wonderful. So you and Warren started off self financing like most people do at the beginning. And then I don't know if it was a case of running out of money for down payments or running out of credit. But eventually I had to start working. Is joint venture partners are investors, how did that come about? Now, obviously through years of financial planning. You're kind of comfortable talking with people about investing their money. But how did you make that transition at one point?
Edna Keep [00:05:20] Well, we knew after our second property that we wanted to keep spending some money on education. So we knew we needed to start raising capital right away. Like I said, we did that for a third property. But what I found is we actually joint venture partner with somebody who had about two years more experience than we did. And that took a lot of our fear away. You know, we learned about this couple at one of our Robert Kusaka events, the very first one. And at the end, when it came time to make the choice, do we just walk away and do whatever we want to do with what we learned today or do we want to continue our education? We just decided, well, who did we want to be like? Do we want to be like people who now own 20 doors two years later? Do we want to be like the people who never did anything and we wanted to own something. So we actually met them within the next year and got to be good friends. And so we actually brought money to the table and we brought their joint venture partner and they were property managers. So that helped us because we were always terrified of tenants and just never wanted to deal with that kind of stuff. And that's where I really found my niece, which was I like dealing with investors. And that was where my value came into is, is I was very good at dealing with investors, both bringing them in and looking after them through the full term. And so shortly after that, we started doing our own joint ventures and bringing in the in the investors. And we still don't like to be the managing partner. We like to bring in investors and a managing partner. And so then that way we can just focus on what we like to do best,
Dave Debeau [00:06:53] which is finding the deals and finding the investors very, very smart. So you actually kind of have a three way kind of a set up with most of your deals. Is that what I'm understanding?
Edna Keep [00:07:03] Yes, exactly the same interests. You know what? I think that's the biggest thing that's allowed us to grow, because I see people getting stuck in property management and they are so busy that they can't do the stuff that they need to grow. Plus, they're so frustrated dealing with tenants and doilies all the time that they probably lose all will to grow. And we've stayed away from that. And right from the start, never, ever I mean, I don't even my oldest daughter does most our property management and I want to hear about it from her. I tell her, just send me the Reagan bill because it makes me mad and because I can't imagine I rented for years as a single mom. Never, ever Mr. Rent Payment could not even imagine missing a rent. So when that happens, it absolutely drives me crazy. So I need that arm's length. So I don't think
Dave Debeau [00:08:04] that's really cool. So getting getting off a little bit of a tangent here, but a very, very curious. So do you and your husband focus on finding the deals or do you also have the managing partners kind of coming to you saying, hey, you guys have found a really good deal, but I need some hand hand raising the capital for it? How do you typically come across your deals? Noted?
Edna Keep [00:08:25] Well, when we started, our joint venture partner brought most of the deals to us. And then then when we stopped working together, another actually couple of students that we met at our very first training, a father daughter couple, they approached us and the very first department deal we did, they had an apartment building and they said, Edna, we'll give you seventy five percent. If you bring the capital to the table, that's a pretty good deal. So they want to keep twenty five percent. And it was my first foray into that. So I took 10 percent of the deal and gave the investor sixty five thousand. And then I learned real quick that it wasn't worth it for me to do that. So from then on, it's 20 to 30 percent. Then I'll take a big deal if I get a raise all the capital for it. And I always tell my students, even nowadays, they say I'd rather own twenty five percent of four buildings than one hundred percent of one. Because you know what? We own a couple buildings here in our city. We thought what we smart. We raised all the money. Why would we why don't we just manage it? It doesn't look that hard. We'll just manage it ourselves. And you know what? Those are my two most least favorite properties I own because I hate managing them.
Dave Debeau [00:09:33] Well, you've got your daughter to do that stuff for you. All right.
Edna Keep [00:09:35] Well, she's she still does all the property management. But I got to oversee the reports. I got to oversee and I got to have the conversations with her. If we are experiencing vacancy, I got to have the conversations about buying the boiler, you know, different stuff like that. It's not my strength to work in those areas going forward. I don't want to buy any more buildings unless they have enough.
Dave Debeau [00:09:57] So it sounds to me like now and correct me if I'm wrong. The managing partner gets somewhere around 30 percent of the deal, you and your husband getting somewhere in the 20 to 30 percent of the deal for for raising the capital. And then your investor partners are getting roughly a third to 40 percent of the deal at about outworks, roughly.
Edna Keep [00:10:20] Now, we've done anything from 30, 30 and 40 for the investors. This deal that we did actually because we had vendor financing and we had CMHC financing, which means we only have 15 percent down. We had to raise just a small amount of capital. So we own forty five percent of the deal. Our managing partner owns twenty five percent of the deal. And one of our other partners who's going to oversee the books and stuff owns 20 percent of the deal. So between us, we own 90 percent of the deal
Dave Debeau [00:10:54] and the investors have 10 percent of the
Edna Keep [00:10:55] deal because we didn't have to raise very much money because we had a really good chunk of vendor back. So you get some of those deals that work really well that way.
Dave Debeau [00:11:04] Yeah, definitely. That's that's very, very smart. And with that, with all those years and financial planning, I mean, that was awesome training for you and meeting people and talking to people and the sales process and all that kind of good stuff. And I know now you're really out there as a coach. You're very, very popular coach, very successful coach. And that's because you do a really good job with your clients as well as your trainer and you run a real estate investment group. And Regina, what do you find to be nowadays the best way for you to meet new joint venture partners or investor partners? How do you how do you find money partners for your deals?
Edna Keep [00:11:47] You know what? Right now and this kind of surprised me, but in the last year, we've actually attracted a lot of our investors right through my course, called 90 days to five K, so we advertised the course. We do strategy calls with people. Sometimes people go, you know, this totally makes sense for me, but I think it's too much work for me. Can I just invest with you? And I do a lot of podcasts like this where people get to know me a little bit and reach out and say, hey, put me on your mailing list and then from there things start to happen. So, yeah, surprisingly so. A lot of them from the students.
Dave Debeau [00:12:22] Interesting. So do you have like a minimum amount that you want to have from investors? I mean, when I'm talking with my clients and my students, I'm kind of saying, you know, the fewer investors involved in a deal, the better, because you got so many chefs in the kitchen kind of thing. What are your thoughts on that?
Edna Keep [00:12:40] Absolutely. We go for a minimum of one hundred thousand. We the all time we'll let somebody in at a lesser amount, like fifty thousand or something. And usually the reason we will is if that person we think is going to bring something good to the table, like maybe introductions to other investors. Student I just really want to work with. I admire immensely. I want to give them a break to get started, stuff like that. And in those cases they only have fifty thousand. It's worth it to me because it also and this is just happened for us. We learned how to sell joint ventures by being in a joint venture. That's one of the things I say to my students. If you sit on this side of the table as a joint venture partner, then it's going to be easier for you to sell, sell, sell to somebody to become your joint venture partner because you've done it and you've seen the reward.
Dave Debeau [00:13:34] Right. And you can do it with integrity. Right. You've been in their shoes literally. Yeah, very, very interesting. So I know neither one of us are lawyers or security, while you're definitely more of a security specialist than the average person, because you've got a lot of background in that. What do you what is your take and what are your suggestions for people to stay on the good side of the they're not so friendly local Securities Commission?
Edna Keep [00:14:01] Well, there's three exemptions that we stay within. It's either accredited investors, a minimum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollar investment friends, family or business associates. Those are the three exemptions that we stay within at all times. So it's that's that's the part. And just the joint venture keeps you in safety. Like our our clients are usually on the mortgage, on the title, everything with us. Not always. You know, as we're getting bigger sometimes now they don't even ask us for everybody else to be on mortgage and title this metal. I feel only myself and one other major partner have to go get personal guarantees and all that kind of stuff, which was nice in that joint venture partnership is a big protection, too.
Dave Debeau [00:14:48] Definitely. Definitely. OK, well, thank you very much. That's that's great. So let's rewind a little bit. And when you were first bringing on, I mean, now you've got your podcast, you've got your coaching, you got your courses, you've got all this good stuff. But back in the day, two thousand seven, when you guys were first getting started, you didn't have any of that? I don't think so. What did you do for getting your first few investors on board? What was what was the trick there?
Edna Keep [00:15:17] We offered a really high rate of return and we delivered that. That was the biggest thing. So when we started out, it was friends and family. I had given up my mutual fund license so that I could get into this because I couldn't do both conflicts. So when I very first started, it was only family. Like I have some brothers and some cousins and stuff that had money and they could invest with me. But shortly after that I gave up my license and then I could go with business associates and stuff. They also had a few clients that were interested in the estate from my mutual funds, and so we started working with them. But the biggest thing we did is when we offered a return in the first bit we did, it was a percentage interest. And when we paid that out, we got referrals and people kept coming, coming back to us and even to today. That's a big source I like. I don't do advertising or anything and I don't do much for marketing for investors anymore. Like I said, a lot of them that are coming through us are students because mostly I advertise for my coaching and my training. But all repeat investors like when we were at about four hundred dollars, I calculated it out and I believe that we had built it to there with twenty one investors and invested with us again and again, and they would find money even after they said they had no money, they would find money or they refers to people and stuff like that. So if you can keep your investors happy and I have my own unique way of doing that, I think because I had 15 years of dealing with that already, then I think you don't have to be chasing for investors all the time that, you
Dave Debeau [00:16:54] know, once you get the trades, you started the snowball right
Edna Keep [00:17:00] telegrammed and they tell a brand and that's that's really nice. And, you know, I still prefer dealing with with that inner circle, because the time I do get approached by people who know somebody, who knows somebody who knows somebody, and I just don't find those people easy to deal with, like I'm I'm not a detail person. And big picture kind of we talked about that a little bit this weekend. Like you, I have big picture. So when I get approached by people who need all these details, it kind of drives me crazy. And I just don't think we're a good fit because don't get that from me up front and you won't get that from me in a year and you won't get that from me in ten years. So if you need that, I'm not your best person. I have a lot of people who are analytical, but I also have a lot of team members who can handle you know, I have a cousin that is so analytical I refuse to talk to him anymore. Not that I don't love him, I do, but I actually refer to him over to my business partner, George, because I go, you got to deal with this guy. He asked me way too many questions. And it's kind of funny because I just I just I don't enjoy it. I don't enjoy, like, I know my numbers inside out, but I don't enjoy delving into all that with with everyone. Yeah. Yeah. Well, sense, I just tend to I always say I like to keep my life easy. And if I think you're an investor, that's not going to be easy and won't deal with you. I don't need to order.
Dave Debeau [00:18:33] It is too short. If they ask to start with, they're just going to be a bigger pain in the butt the longer you deal with it.
Edna Keep [00:18:42] And I have fire clients before too. For me, when they started out being nice people and they turned out to not be nice people, I just fire them because again, I don't need that shit by
Dave Debeau [00:18:54] preaching to the choir here. So you've been around a lot of real estate investors for a long time now between your your real estate investment group that you run and Regina, all your students and your clients and people that you meet through your courses and whatnot. What would you think, looking back? What do you think are some of the biggest mistakes you see people making when it comes to raising capital for their deals?
Edna Keep [00:19:18] Well, one is people get to understand that the return that they get on real estate, so they start sharing that with investors. And it scares a lot of people off because the numbers are so high. And so you have to really tone that down. It's better to under promise and over deliver. And and a lot of people, a lot of investors will not even sign on, because if you tell them we're going to earn 40 percent on this deal, they will think automatically that there's something wrong with it or it's too high risk. So you have to be really careful there.
Dave Debeau [00:19:53] Makes it well. And it's it's actually a very good thing because then that makes it so much easier for you to over deliver. So if you if you thought them out a number that they're comfortable with and then you exceed that, that's how you keep getting those referrals, right?
Edna Keep [00:20:07] Yes, that's exactly
Dave Debeau [00:20:08] what people offering. We're talking about percentages that are just out of the context of the average person. Any other big screw ups you see people making like I see sometimes people advertising on Kajiji or things like that guaranteed, you know, 10 percent return on your money. What kind of things like that? Do you see that big red flags?
Edna Keep [00:20:31] Well, I've seen a lot of that. And maybe because I we were that was so candid and it was when we were sold mutual funds, you can't say guarantee on anything. But some of the other things I think is a lot of people don't know how to structure a deal to make money for everybody. That's another big one. I see. And they don't know how to present a deal. So and I've done this I've done this with people. I do a three day event in my town, my city. And at that event, I have a Dragons Den panel, but all in real estate. Right. So I put some of my students up there or some of my speakers. A lot of times it's my speakers that are the Dragons and they understand real estate. They've been in it for a long time. And the students will come up or people from the audience will come up and present a deal. And just like on Dragons Den, some of them don't have a clue how to present a deal. They ramble, they go on and on. They don't have their numbers down pat. And that's another thing I see as a big time issue. And then and then the last one is I'm broke. You got money? I just signed up for a real estate course one. And so that's another big one. You've got to be on the team. And then if you don't have the experience, your team has the experience. So going it alone, trying to do things on your own, I mean, would you invest if I said it? I'm broke. I got the money, but you got money. You won't invest with me. I just do this
Dave Debeau [00:21:59] and I'll experiment with your money.
Edna Keep [00:22:02] With your money. Yes.
Dave Debeau [00:22:03] Yes, we're together. Yeah, I know. That doesn't sound too appealing. Very, very interesting. I know. That's fantastic. There's a little question for you. I mean, you actually didn't do this, but pretty close. So let's see. We took everything away from you, OK? Except for your knowledge and you were starting all over from scratch. And let's even make a little bit more difficult that you don't even have your current contact, so you kind of just have to jump like new city, new new everything. If you had to raise five hundred thousand dollars for a deal, and that's, let's say, fairly quickly within 90 days. Keeping within the parameters that we've been talking about here, what do you think you do to to accomplish that? I'm kind of throwing you on the spot there, but you have just to get your your feedback.
Edna Keep [00:23:01] You know what? I would go to a networking event. I would go to a networking event that caters to real estate investors like rain, like our wedding. And Regina Craig, I think you guys have something closer to like there's there is real estate investment groups in every single city just about out there. I would start there and I would see who the players were. I would I talk to the speakers. I would talk to the ones who had already done what I wanted to do. And I would get around them and I find out things and and I start looking for deals. I network with the right with the right mortgage brokers, the realtors. I build a power team very, very first. And then from there I'd start sharing the deals and the networking groups.
Dave Debeau [00:23:47] Yeah, exactly. And then probably do what you're Dimo, which is where you give a good chunk of that first deal away perhaps. And very good return on people's money just to get back in the game.
Edna Keep [00:24:01] Absolutely. That's one of the things I tell a students. You know, the very first department deal it came to me, I gave away a bracket brought to me saying, I'll give you seventy five percent, raise the money. I gave away sixty five percent of it. And I still own that building. And I and it's a reminder of why I would do that again. But I got my first one, you
Dave Debeau [00:24:22] know, now go under your belt. And this has been a blast. I really, really appreciate chatting with you and you sharing so much of your experience. Look forward to talking with you again in the future, because we're doing kind of different episodes on different things. Today was more focused on on capital and investor partners. But if you have a chat with you about because you've got a plethora of experience, but how you find deals, you find your power team members, those kinds of things. So if you could for that sometime down the road, love to love to chat with you again.
Edna Keep [00:24:57] Absolutely. I love sharing my knowledge. That's one of my things.
Dave Debeau [00:25:01] Yeah, exactly. So if people are interested in finding out a little bit more about you perhaps having a chat with you, seeing if your courses are something that they they'd be interested in, which, again, I'd highly recommend, what's the best way to reach out to you? How would you like people to contact you?
Edna Keep [00:25:18] Well, my website is and I keep my email address is Edna at Edna Kim Dotcom. And those are probably the best ways. And all you do is remember my name. You can reach out to me on Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn. I think I'm the only admin out there.
Dave Debeau [00:25:33] So that's that's a nice easy to spell name. Right. So there you go. So I highly recommend that if you're interested in especially you're interested in getting into multifamily properties. Ednas got a very, very good training program. Check it all out and reach out to Edna. Keep dot com. And thank you very much for your time. Today has been great.
Edna Keep [00:25:56] Thank you, Dave. You're a pleasure to talk to. Take care.
Dave Debeau [00:26:05] Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast, and we like what we're doing here. Please head on over to iTunes, subscribe read us and leave us a review. He very, very much appreciated. And if you're looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom. Take care.