Table of Contents - Fighting Fires in the Streets and in Real Estate with Lee Strauss
George El-Masri [00:00:00] Welcome to the Well Off Podcast, where the goal is to motivate, inspire and share success principles, and I'm here with Lee Strauss, who is a fellow Rockstar agent. I've seen him around a couple of times, actually tried to to meet with you. I don't know if you remember a little while ago, but I know we've we've both been really busy, so I'm glad you're able to make it today. Yeah.
Lee Strauss [00:00:17] Well, thanks very much for having me today. I appreciate being here.
George El-Masri [00:00:20] Great. Great. So the way I usually start off, I'll talk a little bit about your where you started before real estate. And I know that you've got a different career as well, which is interesting. I always appreciate hearing people's stories. So do you want to talk a bit about where you grew up originally?
Lee Strauss [00:00:37] Well, I'm originally from Kitchener's or Kitchener, born and raised. I still reside in around the area of Kitchener, and that's where I do most of my business. But I also do it as far as well, just pretty much all around the GTA, like like Rockstar in a whole services, like as far as where we go Oshawa to Niagara Falls, to Windsor, pretty much comparable to London and then probably up as far as very
George El-Masri [00:01:08] well investors go wherever the opportunities exist. So that's great. So what was it like growing up in Kitchener? But which part of Europe did you grow up in?
Lee Strauss [00:01:15] Kitchener Kitchener's. Just just kind of Kitchener, I guess it's I was predominantly in the Forest Hill area. Still Forest Heights. I'm not sure how I you know, I don't know.
George El-Masri [00:01:27] Well, yeah, but what was what was it like for you growing up there?
Lee Strauss [00:01:31] It was good. We we lived in Kitchener for, I guess, my first 15 years, and then we moved just outside of Kitchener. So we still call it Kitchener, but to a small town called Mannerheim, it was just a little kind of country community. But yeah, literally it's five minutes from the Kitchener, like the kitchen or boundary. Right.
George El-Masri [00:01:48] OK, that's cool. And did you grow up in a family of investors of some sort, or were you kind of the first one to branch off and do that?
Lee Strauss [00:01:55] Good question. I I'm not sure that I would have ever gotten into real estate without some influence from my dad. Yeah. My dad. So growing up, my dad had a family business, Mr Transmission. Oh, it's a franchise. So I kind of grew up in a shop. I started working there from the age of eight years old, which is child labor. But but but it all worked out in the end. So I started working there very young and then just watching my dad run a business as well as manage rental properties. It's the lessons that that taught me are is just you can't compete with that. I like having that instilled in in in somebody at such a young age. It just becomes this is just what you do. Right. So fast forwarding from eight years old to twenty one, I bought my first rental properties, still lived at home with my parents and bought a property which I still have today.
George El-Masri [00:02:50] Oh that's cool. Yeah. And so with your with your dad, did he just have one or two or did he grow a big portfolio of rental properties.
Lee Strauss [00:02:57] He had a large portfolio. He did a lot of I guess it was probably would have been in the late 80s, early 90s, there was a real real estate boom happening. There wasn't as many regulations and restrictions on investors. It was it was a little bit more kind of freelance than it is now. He did a lot of preconstruction build where you could literally buy a property from a builder. And then sometimes, like even back then, you didn't even have to use that builder to build. You could just hold a lot for a bit. Now, most of the solutions that we see are MONAMI or Fusion, like like the big builders. Yeah. And when they own fields, as far as you can see, and if you buy a buy a lot from them, you're using them as the builder, of course. So things kind of kind of change from what they used to be about. Long story short, he used to be able to buy, buy pre like pre builds and sell it before it was even before they even put a shovel in the ground. Right. That was kind of one of the things that he did. But he did. Yeah. He had a large portfolio of portfolio of rental properties. And it was interesting as a kid, whenever somebody would move out, we'd go over and clean up the property and get it ready for showing, or I would just occasionally take along with them for picking up rent checks or dropping off Christmas presents or whatever, whatever the the task might have been. I was I was there. So it was it was early exposure for sure.
George El-Masri [00:04:26] And did you have any siblings?
Lee Strauss [00:04:27] I have sister, yeah.
George El-Masri [00:04:28] Yeah. And she was she involved as well?
Lee Strauss [00:04:30] Not really. That role. I guess it just just kind of the way it all worked out. Yeah, I was I'm four years older and older than her, so it just kind of made sense, I guess, for me to go. And that her and she's interested in it now today. Yeah. But she didn't have the same exposure as I did for sure.
George El-Masri [00:04:47] Yeah. So does she have any properties today, just out of curiosity.
Lee Strauss [00:04:50] Not, not now but she's she we talk about it quite often and she's she's working on she's working on finding something.
George El-Masri [00:04:56] Yeah. Because your dad invested your brother invested in her. She's she's. It's about the
Lee Strauss [00:05:00] process. Yeah, yeah.
George El-Masri [00:05:01] All right, so you get your first property at twenty one, still living at home. Do you remember what kind of. Well, actually, I. You still have it. So was it in Kitchener and was it just a standard
Lee Strauss [00:05:11] to get you to. It's in Kitchener. It's just a run of the mill single family to semi-detached. So I shouldn't say, I shouldn't say single family, but it's just a regular home. Nothing. It's not duplex thickeners. Yeah, nothing like that. It's just a it's just a semi-detached home soil and the one half of it. And then the six years I've had that property I've had, it's turned over twice. So from when I was twenty one I rented it to somebody that lived there for six years and then the next people moved in and they're still there today. Wow.
George El-Masri [00:05:44] Oh that's great. Yeah. And how long after that first property did you start buying more?
Lee Strauss [00:05:51] It was a while. Obviously in hindsight, if I would have been able to buy more at the time, I would have, but well, maybe I wouldn't have. But but I would like to think that I would have. Yeah. I'm not sure how many years it was, but that was my first property. I put everything I had into that property and then it took a few years, more than a few years to save up to do the next property. It was my principal residence that I ended up moving into. Yeah. So I mean, I was twenty one. I didn't have a career at the time. It was just money that I had saved my whole life. So it did take a while before I got into the next one. I guess really it was only five years.
George El-Masri [00:06:28] Yeah. And was in the savings. So you saved your entire life if you're twenty one years old and now you're in a position to buy. Was that something that your dad taught you to do and he taught you to teach you from a young age to somebody.
Lee Strauss [00:06:40] Yeah. And I pass on those same lessons to my son now.
George El-Masri [00:06:43] OK, great. So how does he save on his own now or are you setting up a fund for him?
Lee Strauss [00:06:48] I open him and I went to the the local bank to set up a bank account when he was three. Yeah. And yeah, it's pretty cool. I got some pictures of us walking in here, a little sport coat on and a fistful of money. So we open up a bank account in his name and we talk, we talk about it like he's at this point he's only five, so he doesn't have a lot to contribute. Still, like, yeah, we put that money in two years ago and there's only a little bit more to put in. But whenever he does get a full piggy bank or birthday money or whatever it is, we talk about putting it in the bank. Right. Rolling up the the the loonies in Tunis and just really trying to I mean, it's still he's still pretty young, right? So try to teach him the basics of, like, I can trade you a five dollar bill for a handful of toonies or a handful of pennies. And he he still sometimes falls for the the more like he'd he'd rather have one hundred pennies then than a five dollar bill. Yeah. So we're still working on
George El-Masri [00:07:53] and now he's five years old. Yeah.
Lee Strauss [00:07:55] Yeah exactly. But no I we talk about that sort of daily. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:07:59] What's your hope for your son.
Lee Strauss [00:08:01] Well I started, I started a business in the last few years called Strus Investments. So really it's just like fast forwarding all my my real estate investing experience. Sixteen years of it I figured I might as well help people doing it as well, coach people and and so on. So it's investments is is my company and we talk about him being becoming part of that company one day if he, if he should choose. Yeah. But just putting it out there as an idea. Right.
George El-Masri [00:08:32] OK, so we touched on that company. What are you doing today with with regards to to real estate.
Lee Strauss [00:08:40] So as of right now, as of today, I have two flips on the go. I've done a number of flips in the past. But this is this is these ones are a little bit different. They're a little bit larger scale, each of them individually. The renovation costs alone are over one hundred grand, each of them. So and they are on a more not a predominant street in Kitchener, but it's a little bit it's a little bit more of a higher end. A little like kind of upper middle, I guess I would say, to to kind of scale it for listeners. So we are we are renovating it to a higher level then than just a regular run of the mill kind of get in and get out now.
George El-Masri [00:09:30] And with these projects, are you managing the renovations yourself? Are you acting as the general contractor?
Lee Strauss [00:09:37] That's a long story. Yeah. Yeah. We'll leave it at. Yes, I am. I am currently acting as the general for one of the properties. Yeah. I did hire a general for one of the other properties. And so so I bought these two properties in the spring about I bought the first one. I have been interviewing contractors, trying to find the guy, the guy that I can lean on, the guy that I can look to, the guy that's that's going to get me off the job site. And I can just keep handing them projects and he's going to he's going to finish them on time on budget after about two months. I realize he's not the guy. I had already bought a second house. So obviously I can't hand it over to him because it's not going to work. And I started to see that very early in the process. But so long story short, I'm managing the one. I'm also managing the other, that one that he's doing. But it's kind of double the work because he's not doing what he was supposed to be doing.
George El-Masri [00:10:37] Were there any lessons in this that that you've learned that you can carry forward into the next project?
Lee Strauss [00:10:42] Definitely our lessons I, I would a crystal ball would be nice because I certainly this this contractor came very highly recommended. I went through all the proper steps to research him and kind of vadum. We met on various job sites and and talked about many things. He came across like a great guy. He still is quite a nice guy. But as far as work goes, him and I are very different. Efficiency is big to me and organization is very, very important, especially as a contractor. That's that's one of the most important steps are necessary qualities that a contractor should possess is efficiency and order organization. As it turns out. Like I said, he's not the one. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:11:32] So. Well, you said he came highly recommended. Was it a friend or a colleague of yours that recommended.
Lee Strauss [00:11:37] There were a couple of colleagues and I will be chatting with them when the time is right about what's you how did that how does this happen?
George El-Masri [00:11:48] So so to avoid a similar situation in the future, what would you do differently?
Lee Strauss [00:11:53] It's a good question because I feel that I did almost everything, like I can't think of anything that I that I left out. It's my first time. So it's just another it's just a string of bad luck. Or if you do if you do this enough times, it's going to happen. I'm trying to figure that out, like literally daily, trying to think about how where do I go wrong? What did I miss, how did this happen? And I can't come up with what the reason I really feel that I did do a good job of figuring this guy out. And it just as soon as the deposit started coming in, the work just started to slow down.
George El-Masri [00:12:30] So which is pretty common.
Lee Strauss [00:12:32] And unfortunately it is.
George El-Masri [00:12:34] And sometimes you just have to go through it yourself to figure it out because some people might have a good experience. And then just so happens that the way you're treated is a little bit different. So there's no way to really know until it happens.
Lee Strauss [00:12:45] True. Very true. So, I mean, if you find somebody good or when you find somebody good, hang on them for as long as you can. Yeah. And treat them right. If, like, I don't nickel and dime, that's it's not worth my time. Yeah. When you do that then the contractors start to kind of push back a little bit or that's where then they don't see you as a, as a valuable, as a valuable customer or a resource where it's just if I can find the unfortunate part is in this situation is if this contractor would have would have done what he was supposed to do, he would be getting work for years. Yeah, easy work. Like just here it is. We don't have to meet and talk about it and go over this and go over. That is just this is how I want it done. Do it. Let me know how it's done. Unfortunately, like I said, that's that that's not the case. And as time goes on, not to go too far into this whole situation because this is what we're, you know, what we're going on about. But I have been finding out that I'm one of many in this current situation with this particular. So whether this is just the way he operates, it's not not to say all contractors are like this because I've dealt with many good ones. And ironically, through the situation that men right now, I have also met many good new ones as well. Yeah. That I can continue to look at to work with over the years.
George El-Masri [00:13:59] Yeah, well that's the thing you hear about contractor is they they start off to do great work and then as they get more and more clients, their, their work rate slows down because you just have to disperse themselves and you just grow way too fast. So that might be something that you're running into as well. Yeah, definitely, yeah. So right now, are you primarily doing flips and over the last, say, two or three years at this?
Lee Strauss [00:14:21] Yeah, I would say primarily over the last couple of years. That's mostly what I've been doing.
George El-Masri [00:14:25] Yeah. So so how many, if you don't mind me asking how many projects you typically take on in a year flips.
Lee Strauss [00:14:30] I will take on. I guess there's no real goal or number. It's just as many as as I can find. The deals aren't always accessible. Yeah, but I do put I like as a realtor as well. I put in multiple offers what I am looking weekly. Yeah. And that as many as I can get I work on them. Yeah. And I get them done.
George El-Masri [00:14:55] OK, so you're finding most of your properties on MLS, correct. Yeah. Yeah. And then when you find something you like, let's say you're looking every week you set a goal that I'm going to write X number of offers and you just throw them out there and see what you can get your hands on.
Lee Strauss [00:15:09] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. There was kind of funny. There was a couple weeks last last winter where I put out so many offers and I thought, like, I hope I don't get them all because this is going to be a problem. But but yeah, most of the time, you know, you can write offers all day and you may or may not get any or you might get some some signed backs or whatever it is. But the important thing to remember is that there are always properties available and there's always a seller, there's always a buyer, and there's always ones that fall through the cracks. And those are the ones that sometimes you want to look for and see if you can make them work.
George El-Masri [00:15:51] When you're writing your offers, do you have a certain price in mind where maybe other people would be afraid to put that on paper? Or you don't really work like that?
Lee Strauss [00:16:01] I don't work like that in the sense that I'm not afraid to put it on paper. Right. If the sellers don't like it, then. Right. It's no hard. It's business. It's exactly. It's take it or leave it. Yeah. And if you don't if you leave it, I'll come back next week and give it to you get.
George El-Masri [00:16:15] Yeah. Yeah. Because I have come across some people that say just I wouldn't have the courage to, to make an offer like that. But I think I agree with you and you're just providing an option. If the seller wants it, they can take it. There's no
Lee Strauss [00:16:26] yeah. It's, it's, I'm not hurt if they don't take it off. Yeah. And they shouldn't be insulted either. I've never understood that. Yeah. Yeah. It's just it's here it is. You want or not like it's not a it's not an insult and it's not, it's not scary.
George El-Masri [00:16:40] And what sort of criteria are you looking for with your flip. Do you have a certain goal, say, for your R y or a certain profit margin that you're looking for?
Lee Strauss [00:16:49] Not really. I know a lot of people worked like that. And I just look at it in the sense of because if you're if you're too selective, you're never going to buy any oh, this one's not this or this one's this one needs this or this one. It would only return X percent. It's just is it going to make money and can I buy it. Yeah. So the first thing to do is to run the numbers and see is it going to make money. What, what can I if I buy it for, for this offer price, how much would I be able to sell it for six months down the road. Yeah. If it works put the offer if, if they take it done deal if they don't keep looking.
George El-Masri [00:17:27] Right. But when you're analyzing a deal it's say it's going to take one hundred fifty grand or two hundred thousand of your your funds. Yeah. You don't say I've got to make minimum X amount on my investment to go into this project now. I don't know. So it could be like you can make 20 grand and you'd be OK with that.
Lee Strauss [00:17:45] Really. Twenty year is better than zero. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:17:47] Yeah. OK that's. Yeah that's I guess.
Lee Strauss [00:17:50] Yeah. Like I'll take it if it's, if it's going to work. Obviously I obviously look for higher gross profits, but if that's what's available right. It's better than doing nothing.
George El-Masri [00:18:00] Right. So it maybe depends on how busy you are at the time. Well yeah. If you don't have anything going on, any flips or any projects, then you might take a lower return for sure.
Lee Strauss [00:18:10] You never know. Sometimes there are ways and if it might be on paper a lower grossing property, there might be you might be halfway through the renovation and say, you know what, maybe to bump this up will we're going to do higher end fixtures or we're going to do some kind of addition. It doesn't necessarily need to go to like secondary suites or anything like that, but just something some something that catches the eye that might cost you a thousand dollars extra. But it might to a buyer, you might get an extra 10.
George El-Masri [00:18:44] Yeah. Yeah, well, that's great. So I know lately you've been focusing on on the flip's earlier on in your career. Where you buying and holding more often.
Lee Strauss [00:18:54] Yeah. And ultimately the flip's just in the current market if I see an opportunity and I've gotten more accustomed to and better at doing the flips. So if I see opportunities for for current income because like flips would kind of. Equal current income? Yeah, I'll take it and I will ultimately put those put that income into buying properties that are going to buy and hold by hold. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's that's where the money is. You can flip all day, but if you're going to be able to buy properties and hold them for years to come, that's where the true equity and wealth comes from. Mm hmm.
George El-Masri [00:19:36] So basically what you're saying is that you're fueling your buying hold properties through these flips. It's a source of income and you're funneling that money into a buy and hold. Exactly. Yeah. And do you think that now is a good time for Phillips? Do you think that the market allows you to make some some money on flips?
Lee Strauss [00:19:53] It's definitely not. Yeah, you know what? It's it's always changing. So, yeah, if you can find them or if you have somebody that can find them for you. Absolutely. It's there's never a time where you can't flip a property or rent on a property buying all the property. It just doesn't exist or the market's up for the market's down. It doesn't matter. It just it, it works period. It's just it's it's I try and keep my stuff very simple. A lot of people get caught up on the fundamentals and the technicals and the markets and the economy and so on. So I'm it's important to know that stuff. But in the end, it doesn't really matter. Just like we talk about all the time with the immigration that's happening in the GTA alone and the economy, interest rates have been going up a little bit lately, but it doesn't change anything. It really doesn't make a lot of my clients are concerned about cash flow. It used to be as simple as buy a property, put it up for rent and you cash flow a couple or a few hundred dollars a month. It just literally works like the first property that I bought six years ago. It was that simple. Yeah, today is different. But what I was telling everybody is is like even in the even in the last I'm sure you found the same even in the last four to five years, cash flows might only be one or two hundred dollars a month. Yeah. So my first question to everybody is, is twelve to twenty four hundred dollars a year going to change your life. No. Is twelve to twenty four hundred dollars a year. Why you're investing in real estate. I hope not because that's, that's peanuts. Yeah. But when you break it down and look at what's the appreciation, what's the mortgage pay down, how long I can hold this property for, now we're talking. That's where the money is made and that's the big dollars.
George El-Masri [00:21:40] Yeah. Well, even with that cash flow, oftentimes you can't pocket it because you've got to save it. Put it aside so that you can reinvested it for repairs or maintenance vacancies or whatever the case says.
Lee Strauss [00:21:51] Yeah. Even even if you did cash flow two thousand dollars in a year, one repair that's gone like you're already in the negative. So don't not buy real estate because it doesn't cash one hundred dollars. It doesn't make any sense. It literally makes no sense. So people are getting scared now and and kind of not turning their noses at it, but saying I'm going to hold out for something better. And it's just to me is just you're you're wasting time. Like the clock is ticking, the years are going on and the longer you wait, the harder it's going to get. If people think it's hard now and it might break even in two years, it's going to be cash flow negative. Two hundred dollars. But if you have that property for for between now and those these these coming two years, it will by that time be cash flowing. You're going to be up how many percent in equity and appreciation those dollars are? Are you're leaving them on the table for sure? That's right.
George El-Masri [00:22:52] And when you're looking so for the most part, let's say that lately you've been doing flips. Are you looking for specific property type for Flip?
Lee Strauss [00:23:01] Yeah, yeah. I definitely like the I guess for lack of a better word, I would be kind of like the mid century type home. Yeah. So I call Grandma's house, it's nineteen fifty five to nineteen sixty five say nineteen seventy and it's, it's original, it's, it's got the old mahogany brown doors, the brown trim, all kinds of layers of wallpaper. Yeah. And some have asbestos in the floors and, and asbestos wrapped pipes and all these different things that, that we don't use today. But they're solid houses, they're often in good areas, they're often in central areas. The city that that, that you may be in, which is close to amenities, close to everything, because those were the cities years ago. Everything is just built around that. So if you're in those areas, you can usually get wherever you need to go in a matter of like ten, fifteen minutes where in the new builds of cities that I'm referring to, Kitchener, everything's on the outside of Kitchener. So if you're buying a new build not to invest, but just to live in and I, I think about this stuff, what I'm what I'm looking at. Because where are my buyers that I'm flipping this house for going to come from, and what are they looking for? Everybody wants to be close to schools, amenities and nicer established areas, big trees and all that, all those kinds of things. So when you're in the new areas, it's just it's just field and then houses. Yeah. And then dirt. And, you know, there are new schools, which is which is a plus, but there's no trees, there's no grocery stores usually around or they might be building them, they're coming soon. But to get to the highways, to get to different things, it, it's an extra 10, 15 minute drive. So finding these older homes, the better that are dated but aren't they're not like they're not destroyed by any means. They're just they're just old. They just need somebody to come in and make them new again. And you can do a lot of big changes and like major improvements on these houses.
George El-Masri [00:25:08] Mm hmm. Yeah, of course. And like you said, you're in a great area. You've got good bones. Yeah, it's the foundation solid. Everything is decent. Then you can just go in there and give it a facelift and make some money on that. Yeah, for sure. And you're you're doing something good for the community as well by by making these changes.
Lee Strauss [00:25:25] Absolutely. The neighbors, which are typically older, like older people, are always walking by and they're always commenting on how good the house looks and how how they can't wait to see the finished product, to come to the open house and all these different things, because you are like renewing that that that street, house by house or whatever it may be. It's obvious it's going to take a while or it's sometimes it encourages them to make some changes, too. And it's the snowball effect before, you know, the street has has turned over.
George El-Masri [00:25:58] Yeah. And are you doing major renovations in these homes in the sense that you are potentially taking down walls, changing the layouts, maybe doing additions?
Lee Strauss [00:26:09] Yeah, both of the ones that I'm doing right now, no additions to the property, but additions as in adding adding bathrooms that weren't there before, taking down walls, putting up walls is just strategically making them more appealing to to our current stand and our current buyers.
George El-Masri [00:26:26] And in your opinion, for Flip, what's the the thing that adds the most value?
Lee Strauss [00:26:32] Probably it would be between, like curb appeal and and interior layout and furnishings. Yeah, values are an interesting topic because there is there's a difference between value and perceived value. So people like to see things that perceives value. For example, one of one of the items that I'm using in both of these current flips is a nest thermostat. Yeah, it's you can buy a thermostat for twenty five bucks, actually, usually with with a new furnace furnace installed, you get a free one. It just comes with it. Yeah. But when you put a nest thermostat on there like it looks, it looks cool and you walk by it and it lights up and turns on and you can do it from your phone. People like that stuff so they cost about two hundred fifty dollars apiece. But when somebody walks in and sees a nest it's just like, oh wow, this is this has got a nest. And they actually get caught up and almost sidetracked with with the bells and whistles as opposed to looking at some of the important things. Obviously I take care of the important things as well. New plumbing, new electrical.
George El-Masri [00:27:40] Everything's all like furnace AC.
Lee Strauss [00:27:43] Yeah, yeah. Like a nest. In reality, those people if I didn't put it in, they could put that in any time. Yeah. But putting in it for it's pretty new AC roof, windows, siding, all these different things. Those are, those are big deal. Yeah. And that's what you should be looking at. But they don't catch your eye. Yeah. A roof is a roof. A furnace is a furnace. Who cares what when you've got light switches that are controlled by your phone. Yeah. Or or a thermostat. That's cool.
George El-Masri [00:28:13] Yeah. Because it's a it's more unique. It's gives the home a bit of character. That's right, yeah. Do you stay in your homes when you, when you flip and are ready to sell. Yeah.
Lee Strauss [00:28:23] Yeah, yeah. It definitely not. Doesn't does, it doesn't have to be every room but yeah. But absolutely. Absolutely for sure. Yeah. And people have a very hard time visualizing. Yeah. It's quite a, it's quite a skill to acquire actually to walk in. It's, and that's, that stands true for, for flipping as well. Exactly. When you're walking into a house that's looks like you're in a time machine from nineteen sixty five. Yeah. It's hard to visualize. What am I going to do. I'm going to take this wall down, I'm going to remove this bulkhead, I'm going to you know, open up this, close this change. Let's do that. And man does it ever stinking here like to get past those things. It's, it's a trained, it's train quality for sure. And it's the same with with with buyers that are looking at properties. Yeah. They walk into an empty shell. Doesn't matter how nice it as they can. Figure out where is the where are they going to hang the TV? So if you do it for them or you have a couch there, whatever it may be, or a couple of bottles of Perrier on the counter, it looks it looks again, it looks it looks cool.
George El-Masri [00:29:23] It's one less thing for a person to think about. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. In my opinion and in my experience, only about maybe 15 percent of people have that eye where they can walk into a home and say, OK, it looks terrible now, but I can imagine what it's going to look like once we do a little bit of work.
Lee Strauss [00:29:39] Yeah, I, I haven't been able to put it into a percentage, but that's probably about right.
George El-Masri [00:29:43] Yeah. Yeah. And OK, let's say this was we rewind two years ago. Did you work on some flips back then. I did. Between two or three years ago. The market was going crazy, multiple offers on everything. And in Kitchener I know prices shot up quite a bit over there. Did did you ever come into a situation where you bought a home, spent a lot of money, and then when there was the downturn last year where maybe you were ready to sell at that point and you realized that prices have come down, did you come across anything of that sort? I didn't know. Have you ever been in that situation where you didn't make as much as you thought you would? On the flip, potentially not yet.
Lee Strauss [00:30:17] OK, maybe we'll interview again in a couple of months. I wonder if we can see. But but yeah. Not as of as of today's time.
George El-Masri [00:30:26] No, you always you've always had some sort of profit. Yeah. Where was it worth your while. That's right. Do you plan for a potential situation like that.
Lee Strauss [00:30:35] Well, yeah. I mean if you're flipping is flipping is a dangerous business. It's not for just anybody. Just just, you know, all the TV shows. Yeah. It's TV. It's that's the important thing to remember. It is TV and it's not necessarily all accurate or real. So when you're buying a house, we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. You're you're actually betting hopefully you're an educated gambler and I'm not a gambler. I go to Vegas and I'll spend fifty bucks max. Yeah. Because it's it's not I can't like I can't predict it. Yeah. Real estate. I will, I will gamble five, six, seven hundred thousand dollars knowing that when I'm finished I'm going to get a million for it. Right. So I haven't been in a bad situation yet. I imagine it's the same as anything. The more you do it the, the higher the chances of that happening. Yeah. You can always budget for things, you can always account for things, but things will happen. So it is a dangerous business where you have to know what you're doing. It's to know how you're going to do it and you have to get in, get it done and get it sold. That's that's the thing. I always tell my clients that that I do like like consulting, coaching with for flipping or just real estate in general. Is that flipping in Canada or really anywhere is a volume business. You flip one house like people think, oh, well, I got to do is flip one house. So you walk away with let's even say 30 or fifty thousand dollars. Is that going to change your life? Not really. It's going to make a difference maybe right now, but 12 months later, you're in the same boat. Right? So if you're not if you're not developing relationships with contractors, realtors, mortgage brokers, investors, whatever it realtors, whatever it might be, and you don't have a system planned out and an exit strategy, and how are you going to do it at a plan like how am I going to get in, orchestrate this whole this whole business and then get get it done multiple times a year? It's not going to greatly change your life. It's going to make things a lot more stressful and busy. I agree to that. Yeah. But it's not going to put a huge dent in your in your lifestyle. Right.
George El-Masri [00:32:56] Right. Well, I guess it depends what the person is looking for. Yeah. So if they have a full time job and they do a flip where they make that extra fifty thousand, maybe that helps them with some of the
Lee Strauss [00:33:08] extra fifty thousand for the standard dual income family. That's a that's a big you might
George El-Masri [00:33:14] be maybe 30 percent of your annual income combined income. That's fifty percent or whatever the case may be. Yeah.
Lee Strauss [00:33:19] Yeah. So you don't have to. Yeah, I shouldn't say that. I guess that way you don't have to create a business sort of flipping out. Yes. But if you do one one year or even even one every two years. Yeah. Extra fifty thousand coming in that that can be a big change for somebody. Yeah. It's just full time I guess it's just kind of what I'm saying if if it's your full time job. Yeah. You need to really nail it down, get it figured out.
George El-Masri [00:33:45] Yeah. So I'm just curious to know if we go back to that situation where you buy place multiple offers, whatever, and then the market goes sideways, what would be your plan B in that case? What would you do if you can't get what you thought you would sell the place for if it
Lee Strauss [00:34:00] was so after that, after I finished the renovation, if I couldn't sell it for what I was like, maybe even I mean, I'd break even if I if I could. Yeah, because it is what it is. You win some, you lose some, obviously, you educate yourself to win more
George El-Masri [00:34:15] because it is a gamble to a certain extent.
Lee Strauss [00:34:17] That's right. Yeah, that's right. If it was going to be a loss, I mean, ultimately, I've been doing it long enough that I can afford to hold the property. Maybe it takes a few extra months to sell it for what you need or you just turn it into a rental and added to the portfolio. It probably at that point, speaking of these, to just just to keep it current, the ones I'm working on right now, if I was to not be able to sell one of them or both of them, they wouldn't be good rentals because there they are done higher end. And the rents that I would collect for them would have to be fairly high, which is obviously going to be harder to get. Yeah, even if you did get it to have that consistency where you can continuously get that higher rent for X amount of months until you can sell it or whatever it might be, is going to make it more difficult. But there are always options. So obviously holding it and renting it would be the go to. Yeah. Taking a loss or a small loss. That's also an option. Obviously, that's not that's not the goal. And if it's never happened, but worse if worst case scenario again, like I said it, it is what it is knowing that going into it that can happen. Yeah, yeah.
George El-Masri [00:35:34] Yeah. And obviously you you've been doing this for a while, so you must have systems in place for your flip's. Do you have. I forget what the word is, but it's like basically a sheet where you put down all the finishes that you want. And I know some investors do this where they use the same flooring, the same cabinets, the same everything in every project. Do you do something like that or is it always a case by case?
Lee Strauss [00:35:57] It's case by case. Yeah, definitely do things a little bit for lack of better words. I guess it's it's more custom, nothing really custom about the House. We don't use the same colors all the time. It's just this one is going to look good with this one and this one's going to go with this one. Yeah. Yeah. Fortunately for me, my wife is very interested in design. Yeah. And I guess decorating and that type of thing and what looks good with what. So I bring her in to figure out what color do you want. This will personally doesn't make that much difference to me. I just, I need the answers. So pick up the countertop, pick up the paint color, pick out the backsplash, pick up the tile. That one's too expensive. Let's let's find something cheaper and let's just get all picked out. So we so we what we do is will we kind of do it in stages. We're depending on what stage of the of the flip is happening right now, we will literally drop the kids off at the grandparents houses or babysitters and we'll go to Home Depot, Lowe's and a couple of other other independent stores in town. And we will narrow down the light fixtures, the flooring that the the trim style. What doors are we using? What what countertop? And I just make a list of it. And then as needed, it gets dropped off or we go pick it up. So I don't have to be scrambling on site. We're doing backsplash today and nobody knows what what we're using everything as far as the as far as the growth colors are picked out. So she can she can visualize that, she can pick it all out for me, get it all lined up, and then as I need it, I just draw from that list.
George El-Masri [00:37:39] OK, and when you're looking to get quotes from contractors, do you have your list prepared where you just get say you want to get quote for labor using the materials that you've already selected? Is that how you would do it?
Lee Strauss [00:37:51] Not really, because they don't really care what. Let's just say, for example, tile. It doesn't really matter what tiles you're putting in. Yeah, just say bathroom floor. This is what they'll say. This is what I charge a square foot and have the materials on site so that I can I can have everything there. They show up. They put it in.
George El-Masri [00:38:11] Yeah, but how do you compare one contractor to another if you don't have the specific list of the things that you want to get done and type of materials that you want installed?
Lee Strauss [00:38:20] Well, typically I would supply the materials. So like I said, again, they don't really it doesn't like whether you're using one hundred dollar light fixture or a thousand dollar light fixture. The installation is the same.
George El-Masri [00:38:32] Right. But there's a there's a difference between installing, say, hardwood and ceramic tile or laminate flooring.
Lee Strauss [00:38:38] Most most contractors have. This is my price for four tile install. This is my price for hybrid. And so this is my price for a limited install and so on. It's my price for vinyl install. So then that I know what it is going into it and it's just perfect. I've already done the measurements. I have the square footage and it's just plug in the numbers.
George El-Masri [00:38:57] Right, right. So you are pretty involved in most of your projects. It's not like you hire someone, you let them just go to work. That's right. You're there on a regular basis. You're overseeing most of the project.
Lee Strauss [00:39:07] That's right. That's right. Yeah, I am. And the goal is to get away from that. The situation I'm in right now is a bit unique. Yeah. And that's that's going to change. It will it will come to an end and the lessons to be learned and things will be different next time. Right. But my goal is eventually is is to be more offsite. Yeah. Still providing the the finishes and this is what we want and these are the styles, this is the skewes, whatever it may be. But as far as that, like being there consistently, the goal is to get away from that, right?
George El-Masri [00:39:40] Yeah, right. And something that we haven't really discussed. But you're also a firefighter, right? And that's pretty much your your career right now.
Lee Strauss [00:39:47] That is my current career.
George El-Masri [00:39:48] Yeah. And how does that how does all of that tie in together? First of all, how did you get into firefighting and then how did you started investing at twenty one? Were you thinking about becoming a firefighter back then?
Lee Strauss [00:40:00] I was. I was, yeah. So at the time of twenty one I was still working. So I graduated high school. I was in the local college with the firefighter program, working at my dad's business during the day, going to school at night for, for fire and then yeah I guess just it took is like getting into being a firefighter is quite a competitive process. So it took a number of years to to get hired with the kitchen and fire department and then moving forward. Yeah, I just I am a firefighter. The schedule it was one of the draws to me was because it allows me to do other things while I'm while I am a firefighter. So being a realtor, being a real estate investor. So those are two busy jobs. But my schedule allows me to do that. Yeah, it it's challenging. It's busy because although firefighting might only work out to so we do a 24 hour shift and get your it might work out to eight or nine days a days, a month at work, but you are at work for 24 hours. So it's a juggling act. And then having a family, it's it's a busy times. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:41:15] Yeah, yeah. Because if you think about it, that's the equivalent of three work days for most people that you're doing in one shift. That's right. Right. So you're doing eight or nine times three. So it's almost like twenty four shifts basically. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Interesting. And then do you find that more and more people in your field are getting involved in real estate investing?
Lee Strauss [00:41:36] There are a number of people that are interested in it. Some people go go kind of more on the the beginner side where they might get one or two properties. And just that's kind of it. And that's that's fine because people get very interested in retirement and pensions and such and having two properties that you that you have for 30 years. That's a pension right there. Yeah, exactly. Totally right. So that's there are I wish I could say I say that more people got involved. I wish I could say that. But there's a lot of holdbacks. I like getting into real estate. It's it's you don't hear the good stories. You hear the bad because the bad stories are exciting and interesting. Yeah. My tenant left and middle of night, they left the place a dump, right or whatever. But when someone says, well, you know, like this past year, my equity grew by X percent. That's just not exciting. It just sounds like a big deal. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, I wish more people were getting into it. It's not as bad as everybody thinks it can be and not everybody thinks that. But it has its ups and downs and and just like we always say is you just have to get it and hang on, make it work. Right.
George El-Masri [00:42:51] Yeah. So I guess in your downtime that's when you're looking for properties to purchase or you're overseeing your projects and potentially helping some of your clients get into a project themselves. That's right. Yeah, well, that's right. And you plant do you have any plans on potentially retiring from from being a firefighter? I do, yeah. Yeah. And do you want to when you do that, is that in the near future? And do you think that really focusing on really.
Lee Strauss [00:43:17] Yeah, I definitely definitely focus on focusing on real estate. Real estate is as I guess like to put it bluntly, I've always I've always been interested in business. Again, like I said, I started working working for my dad and with my dad as early as eight years old, brought up with with with an interest in like like with a an upbringing around finances and saving and planning, investing. It just it sticks, right. Yeah. Hence why I do that with with my son. And I'll start that with my daughter too, which is when she's older. But getting into firefighting was something that I was interested in at the time and I still am, but I've been doing it for eleven years now. And after you're in something, it's not exactly what I what I thought it was going to be. And as a person, I've grown over the years and I see a lot more electricity like like I, I turn on when I think about real estate, it's it's exciting. It's a passion. Yeah. I love working with clients. There's kind of a newer client that I've been working with recently. Then he's just he's a sponge. Everything I say, he's, he's taking it in and he's acting on it and he's been super successful in the last twelve months. It's. It's been life changing for him, and I'm sure you'd agree, buying one, too, properties for your family's future. It is going to change. It's going to change everything. Not not overnight. It's going to be a while, but it will change their legacy greatly for years to come. So that is exciting. Like, I love seeing that and sharing. I've been doing this for like I've been in this for 16 years at different capacities, but I still I still have so to be able to to pass on knowledge and share that with other people and literally show up and walk them through. This is how you find tenants. Show me your ad before you put it out there. All those different things. Coaching, right. Coaching them. Yeah, it's it's I quite like it. Yeah. So that's something that I'm really interested in doing. And you have one life, right. So if you're if you're like I would never I would never do a job just because it's a job and it's just like, well, you know, when I worked hard to get here and and I'll stick it up for 30 years, that's I can't I just I cannot do it.
George El-Masri [00:45:40] So I agree with you. One hundred percent. And it's funny because Tom just earlier in our meeting was talking about how if 30 years ago, you, your parents or whatever, they save ten thousand dollars for you. That's right. And they gave it to you today. What would you do with that? But yeah. Yeah, but if you invested that ten thousand back then into a piece of real estate or something, what would that be worth today.
Lee Strauss [00:46:00] Yeah. Yeah. Like yeah. Exponential rate. Yeah. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:46:04] It's totally different. Totally different. Absolutely important for us. Just the problem is that most people, they're not focusing on putting aside money so that they can invest it into their families, into into themselves basically. And they're just paying all their bills off or living beyond their means. And that's it's important for people to share that message that you've got to invest for your family and for for the people you love and for yourselves.
Lee Strauss [00:46:31] You really do. It's and it's not easy. Like, it's it's you know it. I know it. Everybody here knows that. It's not easy getting off off the hamster wheel like the everyday grind. Like we've got a family with two young kids and, you know, I work, my wife works. It's busy like finding that extra drive, whether it's like just physical time or physical energy to OK, it's kids are in bed and lunches are made. And it's like, what do you do? It's like, I'm going to go to work. Now that's. Yeah, that's hard. That's hard. So you don't have to work hard. Like I'm obviously doing it at a different a different caliber than, than most people. But I've but but I worked, I've worked up to it. So as a bit like advice to a beginning investor will be to find somebody that they can work with. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Why. Like like that's like take what I know, take what you know, take what whoever else knows and implement that. And you're leaps and bounds ahead of where you would be. Yeah. So doing that and then just say every Saturday morning I'm going to you know, work with my coach or I'm going to go with my realtor or whatever it might be and turn that into a habit. Yeah. And then once you once you do that for, you know, maybe you'll find a place your first time out, who knows. Yeah. But a lot sometime and you like obviously the more the better. But if it's the typical hamster wheel which unfortunately that's how it is for most people, you have to have to allot some time to do something different. Yeah, it doesn't matter. Like if you want if this is your goal, if you want to, if you don't, you're always putting out fires. You're always just doing the day to day stuff. So you have to set some some a little bit of time aside to do some research on properties, do some reading, just some learning, take part in some coaching, listen to Podcasts, whatever it may be. You need to do that.
George El-Masri [00:48:32] Yeah. Yeah. And one thing I got from you earlier is not to overanalyze deals. Yeah. You find something, you make it work, obviously study it and make sure it works, but then don't like look for every little tiny thing so that exactly. You can find a way out, you can give yourself an excuse to get out totally.
Lee Strauss [00:48:49] The last two properties that I bought were both properties for sale as is and the like. Obviously to the investors, it's not the season investors. It's it's not scary. It's not it's not a thing to the the average home buyer. They're like, well, what if what if what if this what if this with us and it's just like what if who cares. Like it doesn't matter if you're renovating the house top to bottom anyways. Who cares if it's an extra five thousand or extra ten thousand or maybe it's not like maybe you don't need that. Whatever it might be, it just those things don't matter. We're dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars and everybody I would say everybody people get commonly caught up with the. Little what ifs like. Well, it might it might be an extra. It might it might need a roof. So who cares? It's five thousand dollars. It's problem solved. We're telling you, you're putting an offer in a house for four hundred thousand. What's not? It are five doesn't even it doesn't even translate to like a percentage like it's just. It's so little.
George El-Masri [00:49:52] Yeah. I guess people sometimes look for a reason because they're afraid. It is scary. It is scary to invest, especially if you've been saving a long time or if you're using equity from your home. That's right. It could be a scary process. So people have to kind of work it out in their minds. But then that's why if somebody like yourself or me come along and we we walk them through it, then it can help ease it because we've we've been through our own renovation. That's right.
Lee Strauss [00:50:14] Yeah, yeah, yeah. To me, investing is it's an interesting thing. And if you're going to invest, let's, let's just call it for her. Four thousand nice round number in a property versus let's say a mutual fund or a stock. To me, buying that property is way less scary than buying the stock or the or the fund, because if the if the prices go down or whatever, you've got a piece of paper. If you buy the buy the fine or the stock, it's garbage. I've I've done it. I've done that. I was a stock. I was I was quite a in the stocks years ago and they're when they go down they die. Real estate might go down, it might blip, it might go up doesn't it. Doesn't matter. You have you're holding an asset. It's something it's you can't hold it in your hand. It's not a piece of paper. You can walk through it, you can renovate it, you can force appreciation. You can do all kinds of you can you can hold it. Just weight. Obviously, you have to have deep pockets to hold it. If if that's if you scrape you ask a couple of dollars to buy it. But there's often a way to make it work and figure it out.
George El-Masri [00:51:26] Yeah, of course. Great. So let's go into the next section, which is the random five. I'm going to ask you five random questions and just answer whatever comes to mind first, OK? And they are going to be totally random. Like the first one is who is your favorite superhero and why or who was OK if you don't?
Lee Strauss [00:51:44] Yeah, I watch them, I guess, out of being a father. So that's funny you ask that because my son asked me that almost every day. Dad, who's your favorite superhero? Mine's Iron Man or the Hulk. Yeah. So I always answer with Superman. Superman. I just think that Superman could fly. And that's that's just cool.
George El-Masri [00:52:05] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I, I was actually thinking as I was coming up with the question, I thought Magneto would be cool because he can fly. Oh yeah. But he also controls anything with metal. Right. That would be awesome. Yeah. All right. Who'd you look up to as a child.
Lee Strauss [00:52:21] I guess the best answer would be my dad. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:52:24] Yeah. He set the example of what you should be striving to become.
Lee Strauss [00:52:28] Yeah. As a as a family man, as a as a father, as a husband, as a, you know, community. Like being active and just like a contributor. Yeah. And financial as well.
George El-Masri [00:52:43] Yeah. Yeah. It's funny you say that because throughout our conversation I feel like the money's not really a huge thing for you. It's more, it's more about your family, it's about being a good person and then obviously building wealth for yourself and for everyone else. Everyone else involved in your family.
Lee Strauss [00:52:59] For sure. For sure.
George El-Masri [00:53:01] Right. What was your favorite movie of all time?
Lee Strauss [00:53:04] Top Gun.
George El-Masri [00:53:04] Top Gun?
Lee Strauss [00:53:05] Yeah, I named my son Maverick.
George El-Masri [00:53:07] Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Wow. That must have a huge influence.
Lee Strauss [00:53:12] Oh, it's just it was just a cool movie. Just I guess at the time, like it's just, you know, it's all guy stuff and fighter pilots and just it was just kind of cool. So yeah. That and I guess the American Pie is I always I always got a good laugh for those. Yeah. Those are pretty funny. Those are good.
George El-Masri [00:53:29] Yeah. A lot of childhood questions, but what was your best school memory.
Lee Strauss [00:53:34] Oh, man, that's that's coming back. We're reaching into the dark corners, the good ones. Yeah, yeah. Um, I'd have to say so. My best friend Mark with this, this just comes up in our regular conversations that there was a it's a funny story. We were walking down the hallway at our elementary school and I remember it was just totally normal. There was nothing, nothing out of the ordinary. We were we're walking and talking. And he stopped and put both of his hands up on the the office, like the principal's office. The door was open and I kept walking, not not knowing that he had stopped. And right when right when I looked back, he just threw up. So it's just he just stood in front of the office, a dispute on the floor. And yeah, I bring that up to him all the time because if was just
George El-Masri [00:54:23] did he get in trouble for that.
Lee Strauss [00:54:25] I guess he was just he felt sick and he just stopped. And like I said, I kept walking not knowing that he wasn't even behind me. And when I walked in there, fifty feet turned around and just right at the right time, I just saw him puke right there.
George El-Masri [00:54:38] That's fine. And that's your favorite?
Lee Strauss [00:54:40] I think so, yeah.
George El-Masri [00:54:41] Yeah, yeah. And you're still in touch with Mark.
Lee Strauss [00:54:44] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
George El-Masri [00:54:45] OK, if you had to eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life and that was the only thing you can have, would you choose South American or Italian food?
Lee Strauss [00:54:56] South American, I don't know that I've had much South American food, I'm I'm interested in like like are we talking like like real stuff like papacies or are we talking like like tacos?
George El-Masri [00:55:07] I guess both. Yeah. You can have any South American cuisine or Italian cuisine, and that's it for the rest of your life.
Lee Strauss [00:55:13] I think. I think I love Italian. I love pizza and different pastas and basil and such. But I think Mexican or I should say Mexican, South American is more maybe a little bit more options like you got there, the enchiladas and you got molé sauce and it's just maybe a little bit more diverse. Yeah. And I'm kind of a foodie, so I think I would probably go with the South American. Yeah. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:55:42] Have you ever been to another in South America?
Lee Strauss [00:55:44] No, no. No.
George El-Masri [00:55:46] Have you been to certain places in the states where there's a lot of South Americans?
Lee Strauss [00:55:50] No, but I've recently it's kind of funny you ask that I've been looking at at Arizona. Oh, yeah. I haven't been I've been to like Las Vegas, Nevada, California a number of times, even Texas. But I haven't been in Arizona before. But some of the real estate being as we're talking about real estate here, it's there's some really nice options there. As I grow older, I understand why older people used to always not like the winters and I never understood it. And I can see that in my kids. They love it. They love the snow and the cold. I hate it. It's horrible. So looking at Arizona, it just looks it looks so cool, like to look out the window. There's there's cactuses there. And some of the architecture is really, really interesting. I'm hoping to plan after after these projects that are currently on the go take some money and go down to Arizona. Right. For a couple of weeks. And I just got to check it out. So that's something that I've kind of been looking at coming up and coming
George El-Masri [00:56:49] up at twenty nineteen. Goal for
Lee Strauss [00:56:51] you. Maybe, maybe. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:56:52] Yeah. All right. Yeah. So that pretty much wraps it up before we end things, do you want to tell people how they can reach you and maybe what services you provide?
Lee Strauss [00:56:59] Certainly, yeah. I so as we discussed, I am a salesperson here at Rockstar Real Estate. You can reach me, VMI, my office email, which is Lee Lee at Rockstar Brokerage Dotcom. Alternatively, you can look me up on on Instagram, on Maestro's Investments page. So just Strauss Investments. I think that's or at investments I guess is it is. Yeah. So those are probably the two best ways to get a hold of me as far as what I provide. I am a realtor. Yep. Also like I said, so what I offer is part of my part of using me as a realtor to my clients. I offer them consulting services. I guess for lack of a better word, I, I don't just I'm not the regular kind of run of the mill where it's just here's the keys and here's your here's your Christmas calendar in the mail. I don't do I don't even do Christmas. Yes.
George El-Masri [00:57:58] You're too young for that.
Lee Strauss [00:57:59] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But, um, it's it's I like to keep an open like an open means of communication going at all times. People can get a hold of me all the time regarding a landlord problem or a question or a tenant problem or question or a construction problem or question whether whether they are just buying them to hold and like long term buy and hold tenants move out or how do I market to tenants. I'll help you or I want to flip. How do I do that. Let's let's get started. Yeah. Or rent to own or certain rentals or whatever it might be. I've done it all and I love to, to, to help new people work through those problems.
George El-Masri [00:58:42] Great. Yeah. Great. Yeah. I'm sure you, you do a great job for your clients. Good luck with your two flips. Thank you. That goes well. Good luck with Arizona as well. Yeah. Yeah. And yeah I'll see you around.
Lee Strauss [00:58:53] OK, George, thanks so much.
George El-Masri [00:58:55] Thanks for listening to this episode of the Well Off Podcast, if you enjoy the show, then I'd really appreciate if you left us a review on iTunes and let us know your thoughts in order for us to get a larger audience. It's really important to have reviews. So your support is extremely appreciated. And also, don't forget to share the Podcast with your friends and family. Until next time. I'm George El-Masry. Have a great day.