How to Develop Land with Charles Wah

Recorder 1 28

Podcast Transcription

Dave Dubeau [00:00:00] Again, Erwin Szeto here for a quick announcement back in December 2014, I started a charity with my wife and friends called the Hamilton based brigade, which has to date fed 765 families. Now we want to take our charity to the next level. So earlier this year, we applied to the government for registered charity status, and to do so, we to hire a lawyer. We started a new corporation, etc., etc. The costs were around $3000 for my wife and I, which is a significant amount of money to me, at least. Then just before Thanksgiving this year, we received a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency that they would assign staff to review our file in December. So we were bummed out. We can offer receipts for Thanksgiving, but we went ahead to raise over $10000 to feed 153 families. Fast forward today. Good news. Approved our application on November 9th, so we can now indeed move forward to the next level and can now offer receipts for those who don’t know. What makes our charity different is we are not a food drive. We fundraise so we can buy exactly what we want to go into our care packages for a holiday dinner, including a frozen turkey. Side note for you, real estate investors. The vast majority of our donations come from real estate investors, so keep that in mind next time someone calls you a greedy slumlord. Back to the best brigade, we buy all the groceries from two vendors to obtain volume discounts. Our baskets contain fresh fruit and vegetables, and we can do so because we pick up our groceries in the U-Haul haul the morning of the event in order to maximize freshness. We work with local schools and teachers to identify less fortunate children and in turn, their families also for fun. We don’t let them know we’re coming. Which leads me to the best part delivering the dinners to unsuspecting families in need and to best explain it or read to you a couple of testimonials that were written from, uh, from some friends. So here’s Stephanie and experience. Thank you for including us. We had an amazing time helping out. One of our deliveries was particularly touching a young mother and her daughter came to the door. She was surprised to see us and immediately started crying when she saw what we had brought. She said she had just returned from the grocery store, felt, felt defeated and worried because she wouldn’t be able to buy enough for her family. She couldn’t believe the timing. It was truly amazing to be part of this, and Morris wrote. What an amazing feeling. Three exclamation marks. Thank you for including us, Ian, and I just finished doing our deliveries. One of the families we delivered to really touched us in addition to the food from today in the toys from my works toy drive. We also gave her a $40 gift card. I was so overwhelmed with her reaction that I asked Ian to go back her husband. We went back after our deliveries and gave her an additional sixty dollars and gift cards. I’m sure we made her day. Her reaction was touching, but surely, she made mine. Um, my personal saying is that life is about, uh, on all about experiences, so if you’re on Saturday, December 17th and would like to like an experience like no other than please register at W Dot Hamilton Basket Brigade dot com. The event is done before noon. Bring your loved ones. Bring your kids. Show those kids. What a hero you are. Thank you. Advance to everyone who has or will participate. Never did I think that I would start a charity and never did. I think that after this Christmas, we would have fed a thousand families in raising $70000 to do so. The craziest part is I feel this is only the beginning of something great again. This W dot Hamilton Massacre Brigade dot com. You can register to be a volunteer or make a donation there. If you do donate, uh, just provide your email address and you will get a charity receipt in your inbox. It’s that simple. Finally, with Pride registered charity name Basket Brigade Charity registered number seven four one nine four nine three are zero one. I hope to see you December 17th. And if you can’t make it, then we’re going to do this all again for Easter. All right, participants. Hello and welcome, ladies and gentlemen, investors across Canada. This is Erwin Szeto., a.k.a. Mr. Hamilton, and welcome to another episode of The Truth About Real Estate Investing, where it’s my job to deconstruct exceptional investors, whether they invest in Airbnbs and none of it or four places in London, Ontario. Charles Moore is no different. Charles was born and raised in Hamilton, where he invests in many forms of real estate firm Rent to own student rentals, a commercial building and for today’s topic of discussion, land development. Charles is a full time entrepreneur and co-founder of the Gateway Group, his land development company. Charles was a finalist for Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine’s Newcomer of the Year. He’s a proud member of the Real Estate Investment Network. He’s a Rockstar VIP member, a member of the Hamilton Halton Builders Association and Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Charles is always looking to connect with likeminded entrepreneurs to network and raise each other up in his personal life. Charles is a sports fanatic, especially soccer. I believe he plays three times a week, and actually, Charles and I are carpooling to attend Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference final tonight to cheer on our local Toronto football club. And depending on when you’re listening to this, hopefully we’ve won. So without further ado, I give you developer Charles Wah. What’s keeping you busy these days, Charles?

Charles Wah [00:05:37] I’m working on the development with the approval process, then also working on our commercial building with some improvement that we’re planning. I’ve also been working on building a website and as well as selling one of our properties. So a lot of different things are giving me quite busy nowadays.

Dave Dubeau [00:06:00] Fabulous. Yeah, I’ve known Charles for a while, and you don’t really stop moving

Charles Wah [00:06:09] from the that filled up pretty quickly.

Dave Dubeau [00:06:14] Details for our listeners benefit. Can you tell us a bit about your family’s real estate portfolio and your role within your family’s real estate, business and investments?

Charles Wah [00:06:22] For sure. Yeah, I actually manage our properties and as well as work on the project family, we found we focus mainly in the Hamilton area, where our portfolio consists of a mix of rent owned long term hold properties. We’ve got that one commercial plaza downtown and then the two development projects that I mentioned, which we’re proposing over 150 townhouses.

Dave Dubeau [00:06:54] So I can see you’re busy, actually before we move on. Like, how busy are you? Because I want investors to know you’re busy your full time.

Charles Wah [00:07:07] Yeah, so I mean, as a comparison, they disclosed a computer engineer, you know what, the nine to five as far as nine to six. Now, as a real estate entrepreneur, I definitely work much longer. The days can go anywhere from eight hours, 12 hours or longer. It really varies. So there really isn’t a typical day for me. But you know, there’s no off button when you’re when you’re doing this. And I consider any entrepreneur. But the amount that I’ve taken on for doing both development and investment has been quite ambitious. And to be honest, it’s it is quite overwhelming, sometimes with the amount of tasks which is even more important to be organized like I have a giant whiteboard in my room. I’m looking at right now my own office and I write down all my country needs to do. And I try to prioritize them as well, which is very important, right?

Dave Dubeau [00:08:12] And you took a sizable pay cut in order to become a full time investor, did you know?

Charles Wah [00:08:18] Oh, absolutely. I haven’t even paid myself since transitioning craftsmanship three years ago, and all my money and everything is invested into the business. I guess it’s like a baby I don’t have to do, but you got to take it. And good, I guess you would know. And especially at the beginning of a, you know, you need to put a lot of time and resources into it. So that’s where I’m at right now. And definitely, you know, I’m still, you know, very happy with my decision where I’m at. There’s obviously pros and cons of going into entrepreneurship, and I do like the flexibility. I like knowing that the sky’s the limit and everything that I put towards into my business is, you know, there’s no limited growth. But at the same time, it can become not quitting that paycheck. And you know, my I had a lot of backlash to my decision to instead of just continuing going to find another orange engineering job to jump, jumpstart inspiration. I know my mom really wanted me to stick with a secure job as she was saying and be in the engineering. But I knew all along that, you know, I always have the entrepreneurial spirit, so this is really following my dreams out.

Dave Dubeau [00:09:53] So you’re having to be patient right before you’re investing your time and efforts and being patient for a future return. Correct.

Charles Wah [00:10:06] Exactly. It’s all about the long term plan. And you know, I’m not looking for any instant gratification over that, but I want building towards my future goals.

Dave Dubeau [00:10:17] Right? Right. I stress that point because I have a certain number of investors that come to me saying, I want to flip on a flip. I want to flip by some fast money. Whereas of the significant money in real estate made from what I’ve seen from my experience is usually playing the long term game versus the short term gain.

Charles Wah [00:10:37] So I completely agree with that. All our inventions are long term as well. And I mean, one of our main reasons why we have this article is, you know, that shorter term I do like it because it’s really, truly win with our current buyers. But you know, at the end of three years, you do lose your asset and it’s sometimes very difficult to redeploy your capital like in today’s market. But at the same time, we kind of miss gold in our business because we have the development side. So when we do sell off like a like a rental property, the kind of buyer benefits because they’ve got transition to home ownership. At the same time, we are able to use that capital towards our development projects. So if it works out that way. But in general, I completely agree with you that the long term approach in real estate is the way to succeed.

Dave Dubeau [00:11:35] Very good. So to go back into your bit of your story, like what brought your family to Canada? For those who don’t know Charles’s Chinese Malaysian and the weather is considerably nicer in Malaysia as it’s about, I think it’s about minus one right now as we talk. So I brought them to Hamilton.

Charles Wah [00:11:54] Well, I think it’s probably like 30 degrees Celsius in Malaysia right now. And then a few times it’s beautiful. There’s beach and I know that there. My brother and I were both born and raised here in Hamilton. But my parents, they happen to come from the same city in Malaysia, even though they actually met here while attending University of Toronto, like 40 years ago and then immigrated to Canada for school and for a better future. So my parents had very humble beginnings, especially my dad, who grew up as a poor chicken farmer. He grew up in a family with nine other siblings as well, so it was very difficult. I think I can relate to it. I don’t understand. But you know, you’ve told us so many different stories to kind of, you know, keep it so that we’re humble and we appreciate what we have here. And because my dad definitely did not have money, it was actually all about survival. Back then, he says, you and take food for granted. He didn’t eat all the time and even told my brother and I one story where him and one of his brothers actually went out and killed a 30 foot python. And that was. That’s not for security or to really be the chicken. Yeah, it was. It was purely for food, for them to put food on the table. So it really shows it was quite a difference in one generation from the way that he grew up to my brother and I growing up here in Canada, when I know when my dad came to Canada and it was also very difficult for him. He me, so I came with one pair of jeans. He worked at a convenience store for only $40 a month. And although my parents had taken the position, they were both so that they had limited job opportunities as immigrants with accents and whatnot. So it’s very difficult. And they actually had their own school, private school business. So, you know, that was pressure blood kind of runs in the family. And you know, we can get that from my dad.

Dave Dubeau [00:14:12] Right, so you get you caught the entrepreneurial bug from your parents. So what made you decide to become a real estate entrepreneur full time after you left a pretty good job that probably paid you pretty well as well?

Charles Wah [00:14:25] Yeah. So that came from a couple major events in my life. And the first one was working as a computer engineer. The office, like, suddenly shut down for political reasons in 2013. So two years ago, all of us are really shocked. Then I, including myself, I was. It was a dark period, but I tried to stay positive and view the situation as an opportunity. And I was very happy. I was an engineer and I got very good work. It was challenging, rewarding. It was here and a local environment, and so I could be there from Hamilton. But my long term plan was always to run my own business. So once the office shut down, it was the perfect opportunity for me to transition into entrepreneurship instead of finding another job which I thought was crazy. And she still does. But the second, which is the one that really, truly solidified real estate for me, happened long before even engineering and university. And that came when my dad was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer 12 years ago in 2004. During those years, if over the next three years after that, there were very challenging for obviously my dad as well as a family with the surgeries that he had to go through chemotherapy and everything involved. It was extremely dark, period. But in 2007, we were blessed to receive news that he actually it was a miracle he survived cancer. You know, he is a very positive mindset, which is very important, but also that he was mentally strong. Stay positive, but also his side investments. The real estate really helped him to generate enough income to enable my parents to sell off their private school business that they’ve been running for 30 years, and that really allowed my dad to focus on his health. And I truly believe that was one of the big factors that helped him kind of survive cancer, which is truly a miracle. And through that humbling experience, my brother and I were able to witness firsthand the opportunities that real estate can provide for a family. So getting into real estate was a natural decision for me.

Dave Dubeau [00:16:55] Right? And that’s probably one thing that investors miss about real estate investing. And I think the general public investment this is in general the importance of being financially secure. A friend, a mutual friend of ours to not only he has a similar story. It was actually advice from, I believe, his doctor. One of the questions that they asked him was, Are you financially secure or financially free, if anything, that term? And you said, like, why are you asking? They said one of the keys to beating cancer is that you can relax. You basically have to go on vacation while you’re on chemotherapy, and to do so means you have to stop working. And thankfully, not thanks to his very wise actions in buying real estate. Here he is financially secure and was able to take the time off and he beat cancer. So, yeah, can we go through these lives

Charles Wah [00:17:55] that show through? And I mean, we got to see it firsthand. Well, good friends. But they’re not and intimate with him as well. And now kind of dissecting what happened in the past. And my brother actually had a, you know, had a discussion. My dad just the other day asked him, You know, looking back, in hindsight, what would you have changed if you went back 10 years ago? What do you think caused some of the causes for the cancer? I didn’t drink or smoke, or that I always live a healthy life playing soccer and being active, and my dad responded to my brother saying that it was a stroke. It was a stress that that caused this illness. He. 20 years ago, you know, it came really from his beginnings when we’re talking about survival. Back then, you know, you don’t think about anything, you think about getting food and kind of when you kind of carry that attitude and carry along into his professional career as they were building their private school business, which was challenging up and down year, which is one of the things my mom, you know, wants to point out to me why she kind of wanted me to go to a more secure career path. But entrepreneurship is because she saw the ups and downs involved in entrepreneurship. It’s not as it’s certainly not as. As many people make it seem. But while during that business, my dad and my mom both worked extremely hard, like more light on the business, and it was stressful. So I knew there was an answer to my brother that he truly believes that stress caused was a big reason for his illness. And if we were to go back 10 years from now of 20 years before, he would have had more of a work life balance to stay healthier because without help, you really have nothing but doesn’t matter. You know, if you’re wealthy or not, you need to have help.

Dave Dubeau [00:19:54] Right, and then I think how investors what they can take away from that is investing is work there. It can be time consuming. But then you look to strategies such as the ones that I’ve implemented. So Charles, who is active in his own business, including property management, I on the other hand, I prefer to delegate to a property manager, to paralegals, to pretty much anyone that I can pay to do work for me, landscapers, everything. And in order to protect my time so I can spend more time with my family. Chances are, have kids yet, so he doesn’t know what the meaning of.

Charles Wah [00:20:29] Is it yet? And so I need to learn how to delegate like you because the way that I am, you know, running the business, I don’t think it’s sustainable for the long term. Definitely not if I had a family or not. But even now, like I said before, it’s easier for me. It’s overwhelming. I feel I can take on a lot of task, but unfortunately sometimes it feels overwhelming. So one thing that I definitely want to learn and improve and get better on is the guaranteed water. Mm-Hmm. Mm-Hmm.

Dave Dubeau [00:21:08] OK, so can you tell us about where you’ve been educated on real estate in terms of like programs and networks, anything formal that you’ve done? A. Tell us a bit about your experience because. We don’t have to talk about if you don’t want, but when I first met you, it rained you were doing some additional other training outside of rain before that as well. Can you talk to them as well at all?

Charles Wah [00:21:31] Yeah, for sure. So it started about the few years ago, right around the time when the engineering office shut down, I went out to the few real estate seminars and took a few courses from an organization called Jungle Academy. There also called Farmer Logic. And the person who started their name is Ralph Nader. He was the head trainer for Richard Cordray training in Canada. And he was an excellent coach and mentor to get us started into real estate. At the beginning, it was. It was weird for me to like buying into courses and coaching and all that stuff because I hadn’t paid for a course in its university, but it was something that I got out there and wanted to do. So it was it was a real eye opener, and from there it led us to joining other network such as rain and rock star. And I also joined hands and called them Home Builders Association. And all of that work has been absolutely instrumental to our growth. And without them, we definitely wouldn’t be where we where we are today in terms of, you know, our portfolio, our knowledge. And above all that it’s really the connections and the relationships that you make from these networks and events that are truly invaluable. I’m extremely grateful and fortunate to have met people such as yourself and so many others that have helped us so much along this path. And if it wasn’t, I look back and I see that so people that we’ve connected. And if you trace back, it’s crazy the power of network. But I met you and that Donato through you and we connected us eventually with our builder partner now. And it’s a small world is really, really important to get out there. Do things get involved, engaged and join networks with likeminded individuals? So I, you know, I highly recommend anyone interested in doing the development or investing or any real estate doesn’t go there and doing that work. Get involved.

Dave Dubeau [00:23:46] Very cool. Very cool. So you do you’re involved in quite a few strategies in real estate investing, but where you stand out from above from others and also where you said you have significantly more of your capital invested in your in your time is invested in land development. So tell us about the day you get to decide to start pursuing that development.

Charles Wah [00:24:12] Yeah. So I’ve always been interested in land development ever since I was a kid in that video game in 2008, where you build your own series on a computer game in yourself.

Dave Dubeau [00:24:28] I’ve played, I played SimCity. It wasn’t 3000,

Charles Wah [00:24:33] although

Dave Dubeau [00:24:33] maybe it’s within or it was SimCity 10. I don’t know. But yeah, sorry, go on.

Charles Wah [00:24:38] I don’t. I don’t remember the exact one, but three thousand definitely ringing the bell for me. But yeah, no, I. I decided to fully pursue land development in March 2014, and I was following several months of brainstorming my next steps, so I heard the engine of the shutdown. I took some time to really think about my plan and what I want to do next. Everything got going back to real estate, but for some reason I kept trying to think of that like, you know, million dollar idea. It didn’t work, though I don’t think it works like that. There’s no such thing as that light bulb that goes off, and it just kept going back to real estate. It really made sense. So in March 2014, I remember the day that I told my parents I was going to move forward with development. And literally, the next day, we received a call from a neighbor from one of our old one adjacent parcel that was vacant. I said that we wanted to buy the land. It was honestly the craziest timing, and I believe everything happens for a reason. But it was literally the next day after I told before we commit to development. So it was very interesting how things come along.

Dave Dubeau [00:25:55] And so for people who aren’t used to buying land, how do you finance it by down payment mortgages, stuff like that?

Charles Wah [00:26:04] So with that first property like that, the neighbor that called us, I was really fortunate that that owner was alive. I met with him several times. It took it, took two months of negotiations, but he was very he was aligned with my vision and my future. And they wanted to help, quote unquote young guy like me. The owner was retired, and so they were willing to offer a vendor take back mortgage, which made the deal possible for us because I don’t have the capital that we’re going to buy the land. And I definitely, you know, my family doesn’t either. So. However they did, I wouldn’t want to borrow that from them. So, you know, it was it was. I think it was. It was. It was. I was lucky that first one about they called on, and even though the opportunity is there, the owner was willing to kind of work together with us to make it happen.

Dave Dubeau [00:27:05] Do you do you describe to our listeners what events take back mortgages?

Charles Wah [00:27:10] Sure. Then to take back mortgages where a seller offers some or all of the mortgage financing to purchase the property so you don’t need to go to a bank and get a mortgage from them for the land. And in fact, most banks will not lend. All banks will not lend on the potential of the land and banks. New lenders are risky. So ever pay back the mortgages is very common or purchasing the land. And as a tip to the listeners, are going to take backs. When you’re when you’re negotiating a deal with the landowner, it can truly be structured in a way that win for both the buyer and seller. And some advantages of other benefit by mortgage for a buyer are that you don’t need to qualify with a lender for a mortgage. You have the ability to purchase properties that lenders would provide you save on the cost and time associated with traditional financing. And this is the biggest one for me and my family is to manage your cash flows, so it’s quite common for the vendor. Take that mortgage that the payments will be interest only such that the principal do at the end of the term. So, for instance, for a four hour drive is due in five years’ time. So as I finish my project within that five year time, hopefully some profit at the end pay out the principal and that helps me keep my, you know, help to run the project and manage cash flows. Without that, it wouldn’t be feasible. And then some other advantages of being for sellers that you can discount. So when you’re trying to negotiate with the owners, is there get monthly cash flow and often they’re able to obtain a higher price for their property. As you know, most investors or in any negotiation, there is a tradeoff between price and terms. So if they weren’t offering you favorable terms for me to have granted me, the price would be a bit higher. Another thing that some people may not know is that you always can defer their capital gains taxes through the VTB deconstruction and many different ways of structure. So for instance, let’s say you have five year term, you might pay some of the people down. You know, when you’re one, you’re trying to split it up, but that the owner doesn’t get a massive capital gain rate from Streitfeld. So that’s another advantage. And then if they have any existing mortgages, you can structure so that they can avoid any prepayment penalties under the mortgage or any existing locked in loans. And another reason is don’t apply to the market nowadays because the markets are hot. But if the market was a slow market, VTB could help owners sell the parcel. The more attractive to buyers

Dave Dubeau [00:30:15] were your sellers living on the property or at the time.

Charles Wah [00:30:19] No, this is a very good one. There’s actually a small, tiny house, but it’s boarded up, it’s not livable. So this is a vacant land and the owners lived elsewhere.

Dave Dubeau [00:30:32] OK. OK. So how is it? However, is it like starting out as a young land developer on your own? How old were you? I don’t talk about that yet. Do you tell people how old you are?

Charles Wah [00:30:47] I thought, I do some pets by naming SimCity two thousand. But I started developing it officially. The whole thing. Twenty eight, when the Beijing office closed and I branched off into real estate, I was 27. But when I really jumped in and committed to development was too early to actually. Yeah, actually, no. I was 27. It was three years ago. I was 27 years old. Sometimes times. Sometimes I don’t remember how old I am. Yeah, it was. I’m not going to lie. It was it was really difficult and challenging, mainly because I started out knowing nothing about development. I didn’t have a team. I never know what a development team consisted of or what steps to take. And I even know sometimes what questions to ask, and I wasn’t aware. So I basically learning development on the fly, which was difficult and led to many mistakes. But like anything, you learn the most from your mistakes. And I think one of the things that got me through the initial startup phase from knowing nothing. Understanding some of the basics was simply asking tons of questions, and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions from consultants or other people that I asked to meet in the industry. I highly recommend for anyone looking at lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to, you know, to let them know that you don’t understand something. There were tons and tons and concepts, terms and interest in. And if someone’s not willing to be patient with you and you’re the culprit, then maybe that’s the best fit. But it was a mean is a huge way and very important for me to learn was through others who had experience in development. I may have been injured if I, you know, read a book or something. I do have a book about development, but actually just learned from experience just by doing that. There are many courses out there that teach a development. So really the only way, though, to, you know, read, you know, the textbook or Georges do and go there and ask people and ask questions.

Dave Dubeau [00:33:12] Lorraine’s me like one of my favorite questions to ask is, are there any questions I should be asking? Inspectors. In the end, like you mentioned, there are no courses for this, but I did read an article just a few months ago how for MBA programs, Master of Business Administration programs, especially in the States, there’s been a significant shift from finance to real estate. The challenge that all these schools have, including, like Ivy League schools challenge they have is they have no one to teach them. They don’t have enough people to teach them. So if you’re looking for a job, you can do that.

Charles Wah [00:33:51] Well, I know you’re in Canada, UBC University of British Columbia. They apparently have a really good real estate program that focuses on land development at the school. This is called Souder. And actually, the textbook that I bought is from that school. This is if you haven’t, I just don’t. The thing is, I get so busy. I don’t have time to go back and actually read the textbook you really are doing. And I think you have similar challenges and you seem to like to do and take action rather than read books and be prepared. Sometimes it would be better for the worse, I guess.

Dave Dubeau [00:34:33] Like for me, I’ve been lucky enough to be around enough people that do what they say and have seen success. They’ve already tested what they’re saying. So often they find it’s just more time efficient just to jump right in rather than going researching it.

Charles Wah [00:34:50] I agree. You know what, if I were to go back in approach to advice then right now saying that, I mean, I would say go and just meet a lot of people like meet up with people that have development experience. I really jump in because, like I mentioned the day I committed to it and sort of committed many of it. It was literally the very next day that we got that phone call. So it started immediately and obviously I was learning as I went and did the negotiations. And even though the DTV was all that up on the fly. But if I had the time to prep and all that stuff, I would recommend to people that have the Rob Break said and picking their brain before you make the jump, right?

Dave Dubeau [00:35:34] What was the name of the textbook? And where do people get it?

Charles Wah [00:35:38] It’s called the real estate until I think about it. I mean, it’s called real estate development. From the University of British Columbia, and it’s from there, Souder says you are school of business real estate division that handles just real estate development.

Dave Dubeau [00:35:59] People can just Google and find it.

Charles Wah [00:36:01] Yeah, you can find that online. I purchase it online and got it shipped over here. The author of this book, his name is Jim Whitehead.

Dave Dubeau [00:36:12] And I don’t like it, Amazon, or as I’d like the universities bookstore,

Charles Wah [00:36:16] I used to buy it from University Bookstore and I would recommend investing from a friend to another experience. And I’ve read I have read a few other chapters and it’s from what I’ve read. It’s very informative, insightful book, so I’d recommend anyone looking for any development areas to look into that book.

Dave Dubeau [00:36:35] Mm-Hmm. Mm-Hmm. What is the tape, what is the range of ROI return on investment as someone new to land development should be looking for when they’re screening projects?

Charles Wah [00:36:49] I would say it’s a concept for some of risks involved with development and obviously development in general, development is riskier than investing in a single family, home or family. And so to compensate for that, I would recommend proceeding on the project unless the projected return was at least 15 20 percent. And it’s really okay for, you know, all your budgeting. And when you’re going through your content development, it’s important to include contingencies in case things don’t go as planned through the process. And quite honestly, things often don’t go as planned in development. So it’s very important to include cushion. So you know, when you’re talking with 18 20 percent, if things don’t go as planned for the worst, but that could easily get you up and drop down a bit. Which way, why you want to kind of aim higher at the beginning as a minimum and you’re seeing a project.

Dave Dubeau [00:37:55] How does those returns compared to the rest of your portfolio?

Charles Wah [00:38:00] You know, the returns on our development, the potential return, I said I just stress potential because a lot of things he could line up for a project to be successful. I would say that it’s certainly much higher than other industries that we have in our portfolio. But of course, that gets to compensate for the risk as well because there are other investors that the single family homes are not as risky.

Dave Dubeau [00:38:33] How does your family feel about because we’ve had discussions about how easy some of your other investors are compared to this? And we’ve talked earlier about like, you know, being patient and whatnot, but you’ve actually done quite well with a lot of your other investments as well. I just wanted to paint a picture for investors and our listeners because a lot of us suffer from it, myself included. We suffer from shiny things syndrome. And they, Oh, look, there’s a shiny thing over there. I look over there. Oh, this is the shiny thing over there. I’m going to go over there, right? So I want people to have, you know, to get a full understanding of where development might fit into their own, their own business.

Charles Wah [00:39:13] Yeah, that’s a really good question in terms of chasing same things. I think so. First of all, entrepreneurship is one of those shiny things that people think is all gold and everything that it is very tough comes and sacrifices. Same thing as development. For some reason, many people think that development equals rich. Then you’re going to get, you know, super wealthy. The returns are super high and whatnot. If the countries are on a work like I, development has been the toughest thing I’ve taken on ever in my entire life. And like I know, developers either experience developers, they’ve been in the industry for 20 or 30 years and they’re still learning if you’re constantly learning. So if you’re not, you know, if you’re not willing to learn and Rob Break company knocks out where you work, where you want to go. But, you know, given some of the risks involved, I would definitely recommend people, you know, look into what are some of the costs and risks and involved with development before they go into it, because sometimes it may not be the right fit. I know within our family there’s been there’s stresses within our family because some of the difficulties with development, there’s certain risk that we can’t control, such as ordinance does not control, such as approvals with the city. What happens if we don’t get approvals for what we’re proposing and whatnot? The other thing is development is quite capital intensive. So it’s not abstract too in terms of you’re always you always have cash outflows to pay your consultants for the further studies and reports and all that stuff that you don’t see any return until potentially the end. And that’s only if your project successful. So, you know, it’s definitely not for everybody. You need to. You need to build. You need to understand the costs and risks that are involved before jumping in. And that’s, you know, I think that’s I think that’s the main thing I would recommend.

Dave Dubeau [00:41:34] That’s my family, you can hear it in the background in case anyone’s wondering. What is the investment horizon for land development? Land developer,

Charles Wah [00:41:46] oh, you know, that’s a that’s another thing to kind of goes on from your previous question. So who ended up in? The timeline can greatly vary depending on the specific site, the municipality. But in general, a reasonable timeline for like a typical project is three to five years and in development like something if something doesn’t go right or whatever, or let’s say even, you know, there’s an election and the new councilor or whoever doesn’t, you know, their views are the same as the previous, then that could increase your timeline from three to five years. You can easily add one two years. So that’s not an expression for people to think about in terms of when they’re investing in development versus investing in a single family home. There’s a castle right over and over. Your money can be potentially locked up three to five years or longer. So that’s stuff that I something that people need to consider before going into development.

Dave Dubeau [00:42:56] And there’s some risk as well as we’ve talked about before on the show, obviously. But what about some risks around the greenbelt? Can you share those that story?

Charles Wah [00:43:07] Yeah. So you know, the greenbelt is being reviewed right now and

Dave Dubeau [00:43:14] it is being reviewed. The review never ends.

Charles Wah [00:43:21] Yeah, no. The reason around the of every 10 years. But you’re right, the review never ends. And so the rest of that is if you’re if you are well, it’s near the greenbelt, it can. I don’t want to scare anybody, but you know, you can have a voice in and go out there, have a public consultation about that. But there has been cases where they end up being proposed to get added into the greenbelt, like not removed or added in. So if you were planning to develop your land and it got added into the greenbelt, you would be completely out of luck there and your land value and your own potential would pretty much go to nothing. So if you have a castle within the greenbelt, whether it’s one acre or two acres, 20 acres, 100 acres, you can only build one house on it. You can’t separate. You can’t even get it for your kids or whoever. It’s just one house, so obviously it’s severely limited your development potential, if that were it, that it would happen. Mm-Hmm.

Dave Dubeau [00:44:30] And to go back to our conversation about terms like investment horizons, I haven’t heard about a project several acres. I forget how many were assembled and way wasted with Hamilton and the that developers planning on sitting it for 15 years before doing anything with it.

Charles Wah [00:44:53] It will happen. There is no different strategies like from some of the huge companies they’ll land back. So, you know, they can afford the Land Bank, and that means they’ll invest their money in maybe a rural property or a property that’s not near the prime areas, so they’ll get the land much cheaper per acre. I don’t know if they’re going to for like 15 20 years until maybe there’s urban sprawl or whatever. At that point, they develop in manage the work way more typically, though, like, you know, an average person or a small family like us who can’t afford to any kind of money and need to grow your money. And then the other thing on the other side, I should mention that I mentioned a typical project three to five years. You don’t need to really, you know, start off with a, you know, a large development. I know when I got into when I first wanted to get into it, my initial plan was to just do a simple seven, find a large lot. Mm-Hmm. I then split into two, three or four lots that’s considered the is sort a much smaller. And if you do something like that, it would be. That’s a lot more manageable. If you are going development, start off with something, a small project like that and then work your way up from there. And if you do that, then you’re looking at, you know, it could be as quick as six months, but still unlikely. But, you know, six months to a year. So it’s a lot shorter time horizon than then, like a full subdivision or we’re not in.

Dave Dubeau [00:46:32] We’ll actually have a future guest the way Rob brothers come on. That was their strategy. They’ve done a couple of those in the tobacco and it’s a pretty common strategy, a strategy in the GTA, you look for something like a 50 foot, like 50 frontage that is by, you know, 100 120, and then they divide it into the tear down the and divide it into two built either semis or very skinny houses.

Charles Wah [00:46:55] Not getting it. Well, nowadays they’re considered like 35, 35 foot frontage of executive, right? So yeah, it’s getting it’s not it’s not the same as before or you get the 50 60 foot it.

Dave Dubeau [00:47:09] No, it’s not even where I live in Burlington. There is outrage on social media that the development just across the highway from me was there. Selling for a million dollars would get you a 2400 square foot house with a one and a half garage and a thirty six foot frontage. Well, a million dollars in North Burlington. And it’s right up against the former seven of them. And again, there’s outrage. So the plan sold out. Phase one sold out. Tell us a bit about how the market’s how it’s behaved since you started. They what was like the price of an acre like when you started versus like, what’s the cost of an acre now? And then tell us about how to what different types of acres writers like develop the land, is it? And then there’s land you can’t give up on?

Charles Wah [00:48:04] Yeah, that’s right. So the market, obviously, like anyone who’s stayed in tune with the real thing and what was appreciated a ton over the past few years in terms of the price per acreage that is really highly dependent on the specific site you could arrange, everything is all over the place because you’re in rural areas, it could be five to ten thousand dollars an acre. If you’re in prime areas within the urban boundary, you can be for four or five six hundred thousand dollars per acre. So it’s really, really is dependent on the location and the specific site. And now, as you mentioned, there is a difference between, but you have to be careful when you’re looking at a particular parcel for those parts of the bay, you want to be looking at the developable area. So for instance, if there’s any, let’s say, woodlands or watercourse, there will be setbacks from there that you can’t develop, but you need to take that into account when you’re personally responsible so that you’re not overpaying, you’re paying for the area that you can actually develop on.

Dave Dubeau [00:49:15] OK, so let’s talk more about development, so let’s start with the what the parcel of land so what are what are you looking for when you’re identifying a piece of property to purchase for land development?

Charles Wah [00:49:30] So something that obviously is similar to investments, we are looking at a single family home or whatnot location. You want to look at the nearby transit infrastructure, schools shopping, other amenities if the area is a surrounding area mature or is it being developed and sources of noise? There is a major highways or airport nearby any commercial industrial access to a highway. Those are all things that I think about in terms of location, the right size and level. Is it a square rectangle patient? Irregular zoning, zoning and the lenders initiative is absolutely key. And those are some of the first things that I look at when I’m looking at a parcel and there are some. Every municipality has their own tools and resources. Hamilton has a really good one. Content and maps at that map dot Hamilton dossier. And on there you can look at the zoning for a parcel. And as well as looking on that tool, you can also look at the infrastructure. You can see where the senators want and water is. And that’s another thing that’s really, really important. When looking at a parcel, it’s ideal for the municipal services. I want it to be available right at the street if you need to extend down the road. It’s extremely costly. So but typically, if you’re looking at a small site, it won’t be worth it unless the municipal services are right at the street. Some of the other things that talk about our look at the official plan. What is the land designated? Sometimes the designation is different than the zoning. Los Angeles Rob is the zoning is out there created. So for instance, our proposal there, some of them are as old as agricultural. So that’s come back in the day. If you look at the Amazon Urban Official Plan, they’re designated as residential. So as long as you know the designation is correct, which is what the vision for what they want, think about, then it’s okay to move forward with. I definitely would not recommend purchasing any parcels that are don’t have the proper designation and there is a zoning for what you are proposing. What you’re looking at a very complicated and risky process. And then within that designation, in the official plan, that density is allowed. And what the existing in the surrounding area. And the reason why I say that is because it’s much easier to get your site approved if you are hitting the perimeter of the existing neighborhood. So for instance, if you have a whole bunch of single-family homes and you’re proposing, you know, like a high rise, you’re probably going to get a lot of backlash and appeals, which can lead to a very lengthy and costly appeals process up to the Ontario municipal board. Right. So those are all that you would try to avoid at all costs.

Dave Dubeau [00:52:48] What about detail versus townhouse versus stack townhouse?

Charles Wah [00:52:53] You know, people, people, people that are always people seem to be always against walls or against development. It’s just it’s just human nature to kind of be against change. But what I find is that people definitely are a lot more open to intensification of. It’s the provincial mandate to promote intensification. That’s to reduce urban sprawl. And you know, that’s where the green bubble that came from. So, you know, it’s becoming a lot more common when you see single family homes mixed with townhouses and even stacked townhouses or back to backs. People are getting more used to having kind of mixed communities. And kind of that’s the way it should be. You want you want variety. You want to be able to have different products available for four different income and whatnot so that, you know, I think people are becoming more open to different densities within communities.

Dave Dubeau [00:54:01] What are the stages in the development process?

Charles Wah [00:54:07] So something that’s the first step, I would recommend that when you’re looking at land, is it think about your plan, including your stakeholders, such as your family or anyone that call the property. You need to make sure that everyone’s in alignment with the plan before going forward. So some questions you might ask like what are your goals for the project? I didn’t even want. Well, here at home, I think these will help provide direction for the project, and it will also dictate how far along the development process to take it. So I’m not going on right now. I’ll answer questions only after. But in the development process, there’s different stages where you could take it. One person may want to take it all the way, you know, from all land, all the way to building the houses. And that’s fine. The farther long you take it, obviously, the more potential Profits there are, the bigger the reward. Obviously, that also comes with more risks. Now someone whereas somebody else may want to sell off once they get their state approved. So, you know, they go through the approval process and they do all the reports, so they get approved and then they don’t want to pay for any of the servicing or any construction, which are where the concept quite large. You got the option at that point; you can sell off to a builder.

Dave Dubeau [00:55:33] Right? How easy is it to sell at that point?

Charles Wah [00:55:38] is it would depend on where you are in the location. So for energy in today’s market, especially if you’re in a prime location, there is extremely high demand for developing land, especially just that approved site. So you would definitely get quite a bit of interest from builders. I don’t think it’d be very difficult to find somebody to buy it, to sell to or another option is you can partner together with the builder, which we’ve kind of done in arteries that they were buying from us. But they’re also they do. You know, I mentioned we have there’s so much more to that where they help mentor and me and they have all the experience. It’s just it’s a main day compared to working on your own. But another option I want to mention was that you can also contact a builder or a contractor to build the houses for you. So there’s many different options. But again, I think the first step is to think about your plan and your time is really the one that will help kind of figure out your plan moving forward and how far along you want to go. Now, once you do find land and you don’t need to acquire land at this point, it could simply be partially interested in. To find more information about your first step would be to review the zoning and then prepare for the next concept plan. What is your idea? What do you want to build? Is it single-family homes? Is it a mix with townhouses? How large or whatnot? This planner concept plan doesn’t need to be really anything too crazy. It could even be a paper trail you run, or it could be on a computer using overlaid onto the wall or whatnot. But eventually you will want to get something done up with the mention of that by either an engineer or an architect, because the next step would be to consult the city planning department, as well as the private plan and actually to so that you can get feedback on what development they believe is possible, what they what the city will be willing to support. And as well as through the private planner, you get ideas about what is the highest and best use case of the parcel that you’re looking at. And at the end, I think that that’s something you should definitely investigate. But you know your options before you have a formal submission to the city, then the next step, once you’re ready and you you’re confident with your initial plan is to request a formal consultation of the city. So cities obviously pre quantitation or pre-concert, and this is where you get feedback on your content plan from various city departments and the commission, and you’re able to provide for the city the most effective way they can provide data back to you. So is there a minimum you want to be providing that preliminary contact plan as well as a service plan to the city? But again, if you can even give more information, the more the better and the more feedback you get. So as an example in Hamilton, the cost one thousand sixty five dollars to for the formal consultation application. If you decide to proceed onto the next step of the development or you formally apply, this 10:55 gets credited back to your appearances and as part of some competition or council meeting you receive, you get a report from the city with comments from other departments and as well as a list of all the required reports and studies and the applications that you need to make, as well as the fees involved. So this will dictate which consultants and, on your team, and also help you to give you an idea of how approvable your plan is, whether the city wants to make changes or not. And it will also give you an idea of kind of your budget because then you can see that and then the studies you need to do, and it was the applications of fees that evolved then from there. If you’re, you know, find a formal consultation comment. If you want to proceed from there, you go ahead and complete the required report and the studies with your consultant. And then from there, you submit your required formal development application. Once those get approved and I mean, I’m going high level, it’s not that simple. Really clear that the other work on it for three years. But once you do get approvals, my next step would be detailed design and engineering. So, for instance, creating a plan, stormwater management and servicing. Following that, then you would actually go ahead with your state services. But when you break ground? And then finally on construction. So that’s kind of like an overview of the development process. Very high level overview of the development process.

Dave Dubeau [01:00:59] So for yourself, for your own, for your own investments, what is the term? When do you think? When do you expect construction to be completed?

Charles Wah [01:01:10] We’re looking. We’re looking at approvals being done over the next year and then servicing beginning at the end of next year or the beginning of 2018, and then the houses being constructed through 2018 and possibly 2019 as well. Right.

Dave Dubeau [01:01:33] Who pays for the servicing side? Who pays the service, the light, the sewers and the hydro,

Charles Wah [01:01:43] that sort of thing you would like, typically what you would do is developers. You would go to a lender Rob Break and get construction financing to do the service because again, like I said before, you’re the difference between soft cost, soft costs like professional fees at the beginning of the report. Study hard costs are when you’re actually breaking ground in the states servicing and construction. That’s when obviously the cost escalated quite a bit. And that’s where you really need the construction financing. Now that’s the part of the process where our building partner, they have all the expertise. With that, we’re going to be facilitating and helping us through that process because I mean, that is the that’s a major step that we haven’t gone through yet. We are just we’re still in the approval process at this point.

Dave Dubeau [01:02:35] Right. From what I’ve been hearing for many builders is one of the biggest issues they have is actually labor. There’s not enough skilled labor to build everything that’s out there, like even high-rise condos in Toronto to building houses in St. Catharines or Niagara Falls. So yeah, that’s another that’s another reason why you need your builder.

Charles Wah [01:03:01] But some things pop up sometimes. So I have some friends that recently purchased some new builds on the person, and there was there was a bit of a strike by the others. And so I won’t go through the summer that caused the delays for these new builds. And so, my friends, they didn’t move into their place until a few months, delayed again, you. So as a labor or maybe raised the spirits and whatnot that’s up, that going to rise, that you don’t bankruptcy at the beginning and that’s where your contingencies are very important to have in your budget.

Dave Dubeau [01:03:43] Mm-Hmm. Which costs are borne by the government like any of the roads or getting servicing to your lot? And, you

Charles Wah [01:03:54] know, personally, not

Dave Dubeau [01:03:56] you at the pay for the roads to get to your lot,

Charles Wah [01:03:59] you need to pay for the internal lost internal road network if you’re doing OK. So for instance, if you have a traffic study and it being that you need to increase the number of lanes or more realistically, what it could do or say, but or for a small site in the city, maybe like a left turn lane they need so you don’t impede traffic, you need to pay for that. And not only do you need to pay for that, you have to provide it called a letter of credit, and that goes for all the servicing such that if you if you and your contractors do not do the job properly as outlined in your plan, your money. The money from your letter of credit to finish the job for you.

Dave Dubeau [01:04:52] You know it financially with credit.

Charles Wah [01:04:55] No, I think that there are a few things where you can get credits from the city to help out. Now there’s something called development charges. If you have an existing any building on your on your land redeveloping. When they demolish that, you get something called a DC credit so that you really that the development charge credit for one house or one building or whatnot, and that comes back to you. And that’s it. Another thing is if you’re if your site is large enough, you’re a storm water management pond that you know it is large enough. Service is enough land that could be owned by the city and then they would maintain it and help with the cost of that. Otherwise, it’s if it’s private, you’re paying for the construction and the maintenance of the Swinburn,

Dave Dubeau [01:05:53] we call it. Mm-Hmm. I’m afraid to ask, but what are the costs involved with development?

Charles Wah [01:06:04] Is it with development in general and it comes with this cost timeline is also extremely specific to the site, so it’s hard to give numbers, but in terms of the categories. One, the one of the first categories would be the land acquisition cost again, highly specific. Then from there you have your staff costs and professional fees. You have lawyers, planners, architects, possibly tax consultants, maybe environmental and within environmental extremes, you go up for studies like birds, prepare little trees, fish and whatnot. So it could be the other environmental when you’re dealing with environmental side effects to deal with, to see if there’s any contamination on the site and whatnot. There’s geotechnical consulting you might need for soil tests and, you know, maybe monitoring releasing groundwater, doing groundwater studies or whatnot. Noise, vibration, archeological, possibly. If your site is deemed of potential native and then they watch for agricultural study. And there’s, you know, that’s just some of the categories for the smart car. And it’s tough for me to give numbers to them without knowing, you know, if a hypothetical plane Dubeau know how much it costs to these categories.

Dave Dubeau [01:07:45] But Park, can you like as a percentage or anything?

Charles Wah [01:07:50] Well, it’s impossible because for instance, one site, if you have contamination that could be hundreds of thousands or millions or potentially, I don’t want to buy, but there are folks out there that are extremely contaminated. It could cost millions in the extremely well when to look for those things. Yeah, there’s

Dave Dubeau [01:08:14] a site that the city’s been trying to sell from the Northwest End as an industrial waste. You went and looked at that and you,

Charles Wah [01:08:21] I heard about it. I know about it, but never seen another cost that that could very, you know, by a ton is earthworks. And I know that works as a soft cost, that the hard cost and earthworks meaning they are digging, excavating. And that’s another thing to look at when you look at potential site is a slope or is it flat? Now, ideally, you don’t want it to be too flat because your cemetery relies on gravity, but you don’t want it to slope as long you don’t disclose. There could be some sort of physical constraint there but depending on the amount of fuel you might need to cut and remove, that could make or break project, you could be talking about a site that might need, you know, very little. Grading the rest of the site that needs tons of grading could be easily hundred-thousand because, you know, like you said, labor is expensive, so you’ve got to pay for the cost of dump trucks, excavators, all that stuff and to move from your site to another site, which is close because it reduces the cost. But if it’s fine that you know you’re great, experts say that. So this is another example of how you know, it’s also the ballpark the cost of first, without knowing the specifics of a particular site.

Dave Dubeau [01:09:54] Wow. I saw your list on your costs, and it’s what?

Charles Wah [01:10:02] It’s quite long. I didn’t want to get a hold of it, but

Dave Dubeau [01:10:05] 50 items, I think on your line items for.

Charles Wah [01:10:08] Yeah, and that’s just to give an idea. So for anyone, it’s okay to let go on to our website. Look at the blog post for the for the question. There’s other questions that I answered. And in there, I think, yeah, I think there’s like 50 items and that’s just like a snippet. Of course, I don’t want that to scare off anyone. That’s just to give people ideas not always necessarily pertain to a given site. There could be a lot of those that are unnecessary. Right, right.

Dave Dubeau [01:10:42] But it’s kind of if you kind of provided like a checklist for people to, you know, at least ask the question.

Charles Wah [01:10:48] Exactly. That’s exactly what it is. Yeah.

Dave Dubeau [01:10:50] So like, hopefully no surprises. So I’ll share I’ll share these lists on in the show notes on the website. So what skills should a land developer develop and is it any different than regular residential investor who buys single-family homes?

Charles Wah [01:11:11] Some of the required skills are complementary between being a developer and a residential investor. But overall, the inland developer is much different than a residential investor. As a developer, you’re basically a project manager, so you need to be extremely organized to be able to direct your team of consultants. And although you are the expert in any one field, you’re not expert in engineering or environmental ideology or planning or whatnot. That’s why you have to do need to know a bit of everything so that you can provide valuable feedback on the draft reports and whatnot. Because at the end of the day, your team consultants provide, you know, they do. They’re the expert. They complete, they prepare their draft reports based on your site and whatnot. But then it’s up to you to go through it and make sure it’s, you know, it makes sense to what you’re proposing and you need to review it before it goes out to the city or to the public. Everything, everything should be congruent to your, you know, your vision. You don’t you don’t want certain things in one report to conflict with another one. And it can happen because your consultants are very busy. They have a lot of different other projects, so mistakes and typos definitely happen. And it’s up to you as the developer, the project manager to review all these reports. And you know, you have to understand the terms on that to give them suggestions or feedback on if anything has changed or not. Mm-Hmm.

Dave Dubeau [01:12:59] So we’ve talked about tools already. So here comes a good one. What advice would you give investors who are interested in pursuing land development?

Charles Wah [01:13:11] It’s a good question. Sometimes there’s a preconceived notion from people that only those with the most experience and millions of dollars can get in development. And if that’s not true, it helps, obviously to help with any business venture. But it’s not required for you to get into it or even be successful in all. So, for example, like I started out with absolutely no experience and no knowledge involvement, the completely opposite from, you know, what I did before, which is computer engineering and my family definitely doesn’t have that money truly was, you know, come quite a long way over these past few years. And although the Rob Break can seem really daunting, especially the beginning, it’s clear to any other business in that I believe I strongly believe it’s possible for anyone with the right mindset, drive and determination to succeed. So, you know, as long as you’re happy, you’re getting it for the right reasons and you have the attributes to make mind driving determination. And I think honestly, the sky’s the limit. I just go there, like I said before getting engaged, join network, meet up with people who have development experience and you never know what can come up. You know, we have to develop projects. And now our first one came kind of out of luck when I never called in. The second one, though, came through looking. I met and I look at you, presented to another person and you go down the line. An opportunity came through there. I would never I honestly would never have guessed that we would be working on two development projects. But again, you never know when opportunities can arise. And it’s definitely possible for anyone with the right mindset to get involved in these succeed.

Dave Dubeau [01:15:11] Right? I think let’s get networking tip as well. You just gave there’s this to tell people what it is you do and maybe even tell people what it is you need help with. Because if you never told me but wanted to vomit, I would have made an introduction to you would not Denardo.

Charles Wah [01:15:24] That’s a good point. And you know what? Don’t ever be afraid to let me know you know what you need or what? You don’t know what you’re looking for it. There’s nothing wrong with being vulnerable. Like I said at the beginning, when it and I let everybody know that, you know, I was green, I was a rookie. I didn’t, you know, I don’t understand things. But it was it was really helpful for the, you know, my learning process. Whereas if I, you know, had pride or whatever and, you know, try to pretend I knew everything, it would have been way more difficult to we’re more of a struggle. And so would it have been way more costly to bribery? They’re probably way more with a lot more mistakes if I deal with that attitude. So definitely go there, ask questions. And yeah, our networking is key.

Dave Dubeau [01:16:15] Mm-Hmm. Mm-Hmm. So if people want to reach out to you, how can they do so? Are you on Snapchat, Instagram? What were the kids doing these days musically or what?

Charles Wah [01:16:30] You know, three thousand? I’m not. I’m not that young. I don’t. I don’t have an answer to that. And I’d be happy to answer anyone else’s question. Best way to respond would be through email, and my email address is Charles and Gateway Group. That’s.

Dave Dubeau [01:16:53] Excellent. And your website as a group that’s here ready yet.

Charles Wah [01:16:58] No, I’m working on that. But you know what? I’m taking my time because I want to. I want to make sure he has it has the right content and whatnot. So I really have been taking my time. And I like you and I have discussed before, it’s more important to actually go out there and do than to have these other materials, such as the website. And I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why I don’t have a website. I’ve always wanted one from the beginning, and it really was one of those same things. When you want to say things for me, I would be happy, but I never really. I found that I never had the time to come up with the content or come up with a vision or the website because I was so busy doing other things, actually working on the business and growing it. So it’s something that was kind of hoping to get it in the new year.

Dave Dubeau [01:17:49] So is there anything you need help with now? Like, what are you looking to? Is there anything you’d like to promote? Are you looking to start joint mentoring more with your land or your current investments that?

Charles Wah [01:18:01] you know right now, the with the development? We kind of have a clear path and working together with our consultants in our building partner. So I think that we’re pretty stable right now into the investment side. Like I said, there’s two sort of business development and an investment. We invest in single family properties. I would like to get eventually into some multifamily, but I’m not saying we’re not that we can’t expand right now because we’re so invested into our development. I am interested in looking for joint venture partners for that side. If people are interested.

Dave Dubeau [01:18:39] Okay, very good. And again, Charles, the contact information will be in the show notes in case you want to reach him. All right. With that, we’ve gone pretty long, pretty detailed, even though it’s a beast of a of a topic to cover, but I think you do a wonderful job of it, Charles, and this is about roughly 90 minutes or so. So Charles, yeah, it’s been a while. Charles, I want to thank you for your time and your knowledge, and I was thinking this for a couple of times during this during our conversation, as you should probably write a book.

Charles Wah [01:19:14] You know, that’s on my bucket list. I would love to write a book I’m going to work on over the next year or two. You could be my father’s partner next year. I write one. Have a couple of years,

Dave Dubeau [01:19:27] maybe the job your brother and make him your ghostwriter.

Charles Wah [01:19:33] You know, I do. I do. I write a book. Thank you so much for having me on your show. It’s been a pleasure.

Dave Dubeau [01:19:39] Happy to. Thank you, Charles. Just. Even before you go, if you were like other investors, you enjoy hanging out with likeminded people. But where do you go? When I started out, it felt lonely being a real estate investor because my friends, coworkers and family were not much help. And what they had to share was often negatives, such as You’ll be a slumlord or the estimate questions like Why does the bubble burst? So I went to meet us but stopped soon after as attendees didn’t take things seriously enough or lack experience to share. It was like the blind leading the blind. Later, I started these monthly networking meetings in Oakville, Ontario, called the Mr. Hamilton Inner Circle, where we have an incredible guest speakers. Like the ones on this podcast, I share the latest economic fundamentals that apply to our investing and best practice lessons. You can only learn from being an investor if you want to be a real estate insider. These meetings are for you, so if you want to come, learn and share, go to you. W dot Mr. Hamilton dossier slash inner circle the register soon as I kid you not. We have a wait list each month for these meetings and for listening, and I hope to meet you soon. TV.

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