Table of Contents
Sandy Mackay [00:01:36] Breakthrough Real Estate Investing Podcast Episode sixty-five.
Rob Break [00:01:59] Hello and welcome to the Breakthrough Real Estate Investing podcast. We put this show together to inspire you and help you break through to the life that you want to live through the power of real estate investing. My name is Rob Brake, and here with me again is Sandy Mackay. Hey, Sandy.
Sandy Mackay [00:02:20] Hey Rob.
Rob Break [00:02:22] I’m excited, I’m excited about going from that interview, we just finished.
Sandy Mackay [00:02:26] I know it was really good. Really good. Really interesting to learn about Vancouver. I only had a few guests on From Out West, so I was really interested and actually just genuinely interested to hear what they had to say about the area. And there’s some really cool stuff.
Rob Break [00:02:38] Yeah, I like those guys. We just finished our interview with Adam and Matt Salena, and they’re the hosts of the Vancouver Real Estate podcast and also active investors and real estate agents in Vancouver area. So that interview is coming up right after we do our intro here. So, Sydney, what advice do you have for the listeners?
Sandy Mackay [00:03:00] There should definitely, definitely right now go over to break through our podcast to grab our free download. There are three reports, which is a new report for the first time in a long while, it’s actually been up for a month or two now, right? And it is called the ultimate strategy for building wealth through real estates, and it’s going to really guide them down a path of creating wealth quickly and through some really cool strategies that we teach there. So go grab that report through our podcast.
Rob Break [00:03:31] That’s perfect and also go to iTunes and give us a rating and review, if you would, please. Five stars always would help us get the show out there to other people who might be interested in this kind of content. I’m always blown away by the number of new reviews that we have, and these ones are all five stars. It’s been a while since we’ve got any. No, it has been because I think like actually really the only complaints that we were getting was when the show was edited poorly. Or there would be a lot of, you know, arms and oz. Or maybe our questions didn’t come out quite right. But ever since we got that right, I mean, the content of our show has always been really, really good. We talked to people with just so much to share and nobody ever holds back. So, I mean, we just keep getting all these five-star reviews and I love them. So I’m going to read a couple of them right now. There’s been a whole bunch that have come in since last time we did a show, so I won’t read them all, but I’ll start here with this first one by Jamison L and I believe it’s, he says, Great Podcast Five Stars. I am a realtor in London, and so I’m guessing that’s London, Ontario in the London area and it’s been great listening to something Canadian. I don’t know. Maybe, maybe he is from England. I don’t know. This is a great podcast for new investors looking to break into the market or existing investors looking to gain some drive and momentum. Excellent content and guest keep up the good work. The next one is from Brian from Edmonton. Nice to know that people out in Edmonton are listening to the show as well. He speaks. Awesome podcast five stars. My business partner and I love your podcast. Listen to every episode and will continue to listen. This is the only valuable Canadian REIT podcast I have ever found. Well, now you will learn of one more after you listen to this interview. So anyway, tons of good information. I only wish there were more guests from Western Canada and again, after you hear the one today. Happy to know that we’re trying to hold up that side as well. Keep up the good work. Looking forward, all the future episodes are like that. Oh, that one was perfect for today. And why don’t we? Why don’t we throw it there?
Sandy Mackay [00:05:47] That, I mean, we do have people asking to come on the show. We have a lot of great guests that we bring on, like we actively approach people that come on our show. If you were someone out there listening and you feel like you’d be a great, great fit for it and you have some knowledge to share and you’re in, especially in some of the other areas that we haven’t tapped into before it, you know, like East Coast, maybe or out west. I like that one just said, let me reach out to us right in for a breakthrough our podcast dossier and let’s connect and see if we can collaborate in some way.
Rob Break [00:06:16] You know, I think one of the things about this show is it only comes out once a month. So right now we’ve got four months’ worth of guests lined up already a bunch more, you know, who have been interested in coming on the show. But that is one of the things that sort of happens. I mean, it doesn’t take long for a couple of people to be interested and then their interviews are three or four months out, right? So but definitely if there’s anyone that’s interested or things that they could add to the show, then please let us know. I’m just going to do maybe I don’t know what, to surer. So this one is by Cindy. Not a nickname. I’ve binged through all episodes, and I’m going through them again. My husband and I have one property, two doors. So, so many great guests links and love the casual but passionate approach to the podcast. Thank you so much. Hope to meet you at some point from Cindy. And that was a five-star review from her as well. Well, let’s go one more. This one is from fire. It’s. He says not too shabby. Five stars. Hey, fellas, I’d like to tip my hat to you guys and your amazing guests. Their information and content that you provide is excellent. You leave no stone unturned. You ask the questions that the new investors need to know. I’m currently finishing up my third rental unit and hope to refi in the near future and pull all or most or more of my initial investment out. Keep the shows rolling. I look forward to another 60 episodes, at least. Brian Fitzgerald Well, well, yeah. So and there’s a couple of more, and I wish that we could read them all. But again, we had a really fun time talking to these guys. Here’s our interview with Adam and Matt Scalena.
Rob Break [00:08:06] OK, so we are here today with Adam and Matt Scalena, the hosts of the Vancouver Real Estate podcast and agents in the Vancouver area, so thanks guys for being on our show.
Matt Scalena [00:08:19] Hey, thanks for having us. Yeah, thanks.
Rob Break [00:08:21] And we had the pleasure, Sandy, and I both of being on your podcast just recently as well, so said he was interested. Look over and look into that one, which I think it’ll be out soon. I guess.
Adam Scalena [00:08:33] I think it’s actually released today, so we’re pretty excited about.
Matt Scalena [00:08:35] Yeah, so February 21st, this might not be out on the 21st, but that’s when it’s coming out on our end.
Rob Break [00:08:40] Perfect. All right. So if anyone’s interested in hearing Sandy and I be interviewed for once, then go over there and check that out. So guys, just maybe, maybe Adam, you start and tell us about yourself first.
Adam Scalena [00:08:52] Sure, we have a real estate team in Vancouver. There’s 15 people on our team, including support staff and our offices in Yale town in downtown Vancouver. We kind of service the Vancouver proper area, but we also have people on our team that service the Greater Vancouver area. And like you mentioned before, Rob were hosts of the Vancouver Real Estate podcast. I’m available also on iTunes and Vancouver Real Estate podcast Dot Com. And also Matt and I are both very active investors in the market. We’re always looking for opportunities for our clients and for ourselves as well.
Sandy Mackay [00:09:28] And what about do you have like family kids? What do you like to do? No, no, no.
Matt Scalena [00:09:32] Is it twenty-four, seven, 24 seven thing? No. Yeah, this is Matt here. I have a daughter. She’s six and the wife and live in East Vancouver. And yeah, what else?
Adam Scalena [00:09:43] Yeah, I like skiing. I also have I have a wife, no kids. But yeah, we’re both avid skiers,
Matt Scalena [00:09:51] avid skiers, family man.
Sandy Mackay [00:09:53] And you say you’re very active real estate investors. Then maybe tell us about how you got started and then guide us through your journey from then until now.
Adam Scalena [00:10:03] Sure. So the journey really started. Around 2009, Matt was out in New York finishing his Ph.D., and I was drinking beers in Victoria with my girlfriend at the time, her father, who was a very active real estate investor at the time. He had about sixty-five dollars or so in around there and probably has since doubled it. But he’s been very successful and that was kind of my introduction into real estate. It was, he was.
Matt Scalena [00:10:33] He was basically, you’re rich, you’re rich,
Adam Scalena [00:10:35] dad, right? He was my rich dad. He was my.
Matt Scalena [00:10:38] We also have a poor dad.
Sandy Mackay [00:10:39] What you’re saying is screw the VA, just drink beers with someone who got the Ph.D. and you’re the first best. Yeah.
Adam Scalena [00:10:48] Well, it was really, I mean, you know, we spent kind of many a nights whenever we’d go visit them in Victoria, we would spend nights where he kind of was willing to share with me how he kind of built his portfolio. Really interesting. Guy retired when he was in his late 30s and you know his lifestyle at the time. I mean, constantly kind of, you know, he’d wake up, he’d go to the gym. He’d spend most of the day kind of hanging out in like a silk bathrobe, almost Hugh Hefner style. He was enjoying life. And at the time, it was the first person I knew that had actually really successfully pulled off a, you know, building an empire.
Matt Scalena [00:11:25] And you would tell me at the time, and I wasn’t in my late thirties at the time. But you know, when you’re in school for a long time pushing into your thirties and then you hear about a guy who’s retired at thirty-eight, that’s a pretty attractive proposition. You start to
Adam Scalena [00:11:37] question your life choices.
Sandy Mackay [00:11:40] Well, it’s one of those things that always sounds like a gimmick. It sounds like it’s too good to be true. It’s made for the guys who actually make the infomercials and get people to sign up for their courses. Those exams are actually in that place, right?
Matt Scalena [00:11:53] Or you kind of I remember thinking about hearing this story and being like, OK, but you know what kind of you know this guy was born into, you know, the lap of luxury with moneybags, you know, around his baby carriage or whatever, right?
Adam Scalena [00:12:07] And that’s the thing is, he actually came from very humble beginnings. And, you know, that was my first exposure to the idea of passive income, the idea of kind of building a portfolio. And that really triggered me to get my real estate license. And when Matt visited, I think later that year, so he had a much more to give up than I did at the time, but I kind of encouraged him to come back to Vancouver and get licensed as well.
Matt Scalena [00:12:33] And never looked back.
Sandy Mackay [00:12:35] So what about your first investment? You want to tell us about that?
Adam Scalena [00:12:40] Yeah. Well, my wife and I had a condo in in East Vancouver that we bought kind of really, really early on in an area that kind of was at the time, a lot of people didn’t want to spend much time there. It was kind of known as a bit of a scummy area, which now it’s one of the most popular areas in the city and trades that, you know, one of the highest prices per square foot in Vancouver proper. We bought that kind of as a. Primary residence, and I always tell my clients, you know, we always tell our clients, you know, invest in a primary residence first, it gives you kind of the best opportunity for you when you are ready to sell. You know, you don’t have the capital gains and you do need a place to live. So that kind of worked out really well for us. We were able to pull the equity out of that condo at the time, and we purchased our next place, which was in East Vancouver, a detached house that was a project house that we ended up. I think we bought it for eight, thirty-eight or in around there in and in one and a half years through about $50000 worth of renovation. We came back on the market and sold for one point four. So it was a pretty good return. I mean, the market was very helpful, but also
Matt Scalena [00:13:52] it was a good buy.
Adam Scalena [00:13:53] It was a good buy. But we were very strategic at the time. And kind of since then, we’ve always been looking for investments and imat, your first place was a duplex lot, which now yeah, I mean
Matt Scalena [00:14:04] a duplex lot with a basement suite, right? Which is crucial for Vancouver. But I know you guys are big on basement suites in out where you guys are. So that was my focus. It was our SE single family zoned, but it was in the in the air that it was going to be free. So that was an attractive feature. And, you know, getting basically half that mortgage paid every month by my tenants in the basement was a pretty attractive feature of that one as well.
Sandy Mackay [00:14:31] Did you guys invest it all together or you guys separate out everything?
Adam Scalena [00:14:34] You know, we haven’t yet, but I think it’s it depends on cards.
Matt Scalena [00:14:38] Yeah, we’ve been in our business. We’ve been investing together for a long time. But yeah, it’s probably we’re a ways away from, I think, joint ventures together.
Sandy Mackay [00:14:48] Cool. I think that’s a great point to be buying your personal property in a way we always tell our clients and partners everything buyer, first property, but buy it in an area where you can see yourself holding that and not necessarily having to sell it, even buy it and make it something that’s a good investment property. Hmm. The duplex style they were, I’m assuming, would have worked that way, and they can always get that right. But if you don’t, you don’t have to. It can help people that portfolio up.
Matt Scalena [00:15:14] Yeah, exactly in the in value in the land, right? Once it gets resold, it’s much more attractive to a larger market, for sure.
Sandy Mackay [00:15:21] Totally. And then so do you guys get into podcasting? That gives them great following that on Vancouver Real Estate podcast. How did you start that?
Matt Scalena [00:15:27] Yeah, you know, it’s funny because Adam and I were both huge podcast fans. I feel like I was an early adopter to the podcast landscape, you know, over a decade ago, for sure. And we were we were sitting around in Vancouver. I don’t know how well you guys know the city, but I mean, there’s a few things people talk about all the time. You know, the weather, the knocks. At least they used to talk about the Canucks. But real estate is like the topic of conversation. It’s kind of like New York in that way. And what struck us was we were sitting around, you know, a couple of times a week, have a couple of beers and all we do is talk about real estate. And there was nothing out there, right? Like, I was like, Man, don’t you wish somebody was putting out a podcast about Vancouver real estate and kind of covering every facet of it. And you know, it didn’t dawn on us super quickly that we should be the guys that do it. But so we started, you know, we put up the first episode by some mikes, and yet it took off pretty quick and started, you know, we started. We were surprised that people were actually listening to it.
Adam Scalena [00:16:25] Yeah, it was. It’s funny. I mean, we kind of put out the first episode, you know, left for the day, woke up the next morning and realized that we were kind of showing up in the ranks on iTunes. So that kind of indicated to us that there was a huge gap for local content in Vancouver. And obviously, like Matt mentioned, people like to talk about real estate in this town.
Sandy Mackay [00:16:44] So well, I think that there’s a huge gap as far as just relevant actionable information for Canadian investors. You know, for sure. So people are hungry for that. And so when, like Sandi and I put something out to where I mean, especially at the beginning, I really like, yeah, we were interviewing great people, but I think we had a lot farther to go when we first started, and I was really surprised to see that people were sort of gravitating towards that as well. So, yeah, I am really happy that there is more stuff out there and I keep seeing more new stuff pop up. So you guys just keep doing what you’re doing and it’s great.
Adam Scalena [00:17:25] We appreciate that. And we actually we looked at your podcast. There was one of the early inspirations for us. And like we said before, when we had you on the show, where were fans of your guys? And yeah, I guess your four years were about half the amount of time that you’ve been doing it. So that’s impressive.
Sandy Mackay [00:17:40] Yeah. Well, you guys, you still what do you guys have a hundred and a bit shows about?
Matt Scalena [00:17:45] Yeah, yeah. One of the things we did, right well, and we kind of fell off it right at the beginning. But one of the things we decided early on was we’re going to put out a show a week, no matter what type thing. And we stuck to our guns there for, well, for most of the time we’ve been doing this. And it’s yeah, I think it’s really people like to see that, oh yeah, it’s Thursday morning. There’s going. Be a, you know, a new episode that comes out, right?
Sandy Mackay [00:18:08] Perfect, good. I was going to switch gears to the podcast of Mesa, and everyone should go check out the show. Absolutely. Especially if you’re in the Vancouver area. So you’re also real actors out there, as well as a big team and all that doing a lot of business. What is your approach to real estate investing with clients or on your own personally? How do you guys look at it?
Adam Scalena [00:18:26] So generally speaking, I mean, the first thing we like to have been options available when we’re considering an investment. So we like to have minimum three options. So that might mean, you know, is there an option to add value? You know, we’re constantly looking for the crime scene property that we can, you know, go in and renovate and add value. Is there an option to redevelop or to repackage a property and to sell to somebody else that wants to redevelop? You know, is there latent value in the land or a third option might be? Was there the ability to hold the property and either cash flow neutral or cash flow positive, which is becoming increasingly challenging to do in Vancouver? But like you know, we’re also big on following kind of the direction of the city following developers. I mean, developers have huge budgets for advertising and for rebranding communities. So Matt and I often see on our podcast, you know, especially for our clients, don’t buy the presale project, buy the newer building in the area close to the pre-sale project.
Matt Scalena [00:19:28] Yeah, as the neighborhood gets rebranded to X,
Adam Scalena [00:19:31] right, right. And it’s I like that.
Sandy Mackay [00:19:33] That’s great.
Adam Scalena [00:19:34] And developers are constantly pushing the bar with re-creating the price per square foot in an area. So I mean, and everything rises with the tide. So I mean, let them basically rebrand the area for you. So we’re constantly looking at where developers are going. We’re looking at where major changes are going. Are happening in the city. Exciting new communities. But Vancouver is an interesting market. I mean, we’re landlocked here, right? Which is different than a lot of Canadian cities. I mean, we have the mountains to the north, ocean, to the West agricultural and reserve to the east, and we have the U.S. border to the south. So there’s not much places to go. Basically, we can kind of push east, but we’re dealing with limited land and limited supply here. So we’re kind of always looking for the next kind of affordable area because we’re also chasing affordability here like you guys are in Ontario, so.
Matt Scalena [00:20:24] And just to add to that, if you’re looking at Vancouver from kind of a to cash flow, it’s very difficult. But one of the things we’re seeing here with the kind of explosive nature in the market over the last four years is that a lot of neighborhoods that were and this goes back to my properties, own single family are being up zoned right to multifamily and the changes. It’s just such a dynamic place right now. And I think there’s still a lot of opportunities here, not necessarily to be cash flow positive, but the opportunities are everywhere once you start knowing where to look.
Adam Scalena [00:20:55] And, you know, we should mention like it’s very much a market where people play the cap gain, right? Very much similar to Toronto, where, you know, investors are looking at seeing a huge percentage increase on their investment in a short period of time. And, you know, years ago, when the west side of Vancouver was very busy, we were huge proponents that people should be looking on the east side where everything there seemed to be in just a huge, huge gap in the market where the East Side was trading at a much lower price than the West Side, and tons of our clients made a huge, huge amount of money by going into the East Side. And when the East Side became unaffordable, you know, we were pointing people in the Greater Vancouver areas of areas like New West Port Moody, Brentwood and again, our investors made a lot of money by going to these areas. But now they’re very, very expensive areas as well. So it’s kind of, you know, you’re chasing affordability in this way where you constantly have to be staying on top of the market and understanding where the next area is for people that are just looking for more space and better value.
Sandy Mackay [00:21:59] Tell me about this rezoning that’s going on there. So does that actually scale up like from the higher use zoning as well? Like if something was zoned like b R3 to allow triplex say, right? Right. So would they take those areas and up the density on that as well?
Matt Scalena [00:22:19] Yeah. So what’s happening here basically is the city. I mean, everybody’s been calling for supply and it’s got, you know, it’s been the last couple of years, it’s been the yellows have become increasingly louder. So the city in November came out with a plan to add, you know, over 80000 units over the next 10 years in Vancouver, proper. So just the city of Vancouver, which is actually geographically quite small, and the province just announced a bunch of new housing yesterday. So what we’re seeing is along the main arteries, especially is where it’s amazing to still see single family homes on all these main arteries. So those are getting up. So to, you know, we’re starting to see condo complexes all over the city where there used to be single-family, but inside those main arteries? Yeah, we’re starting at like a. Again, where I bought Single-Family two Duplex, but there’s also the ability for infill houses like laneways. Basically, what they’re calling gentle density and the city now is going after some of the areas that are like the sacred West Side areas that are all single family. And we’re expecting that push for at least gentle density. But along some of those main arteries, it’s all in the process of getting up zoned.
Sandy Mackay [00:23:30] Okay, that’s interesting. Yeah.
Adam Scalena [00:23:32] And just to give you a sense of just how much value the latent value in the land is, you know, some of those houses that were on busy arteries they went from with land assembly selling for about. They would be worth about one point five or so in our marketplace, and now they’re selling for close to about three million bucks. So it’s basically doubled their value just with the latent value in the land.
Sandy Mackay [00:23:52] Oh, that’s interesting. That’s interesting. Yeah, I’d like to see something similar go on out here just like a blanket rezoning to allow more density. That would be good. Oak Ridge, for sure. Mm hmm. I’ve heard of stuff like that going on in like a really where they were just like and they don’t even consider what the property was used for before, though. Just like, for instance, a client of mine was buying an apartment building there, and they had zoned this portion of the land as a hotel, actually. So they’re buying the hotel, and then the city came along and zoned the entire area just indiscriminately. So there are no longer allowed to use the property for what they were planning to buy it for. It’s really, really weird.
Matt Scalena [00:24:37] Yeah, that’s funny. A lot of people here are calling for that kind of indiscriminate zoning in areas of the West Side where, you know, we have a guest from UBC, an economist on all the time, Tom Davidoff. And you know, what he points out is in some of those areas on the west side of Vancouver, the best use for that land is a 50-storey tower and not a single-family home, right? So right. Politically difficult, though politically difficult.
Sandy Mackay [00:25:00] It’s going to be interesting going forward, though, for sure. So you guys interview a lot of people on your show. Go back to the podcast a little bit. What do you think has been one of your biggest takeaways from speaking to all these different investors and industry experts over the last couple of years?
Adam Scalena [00:25:18] Yeah, you know, I mean, it’s interesting, I mean, Matt and I are kind of forever astonished at how just by asking people are so willing to come on our show and share with us and collaborate people that, you know, we didn’t think we’d have an opportunity to chat with.
Matt Scalena [00:25:33] Yeah. Like, for instance, we’re big fans of Terry O’Reilly’s under the influence that CBC show. Right? So we just asked Terry O’Reilly to come on. He was like, Yeah, sure. And he was
Adam Scalena [00:25:43] on leave the next morning. Yes. So yeah, we’re always surprised. But we’re huge fans of just picking up the phone and calling people and basically asking, Look, you know, we share an interest. Would you like to collaborate with us, or can we pick your brain about something that you’ve been very successful at? And you know, another takeaway for me is just how many people that we’ve interviewed who have been very successful in real estate come from very humble beginnings. And you know, I think Matt and I have kind of we’ve said it on our show several times. But I mean, real estate is one way for, I think, regular people to really, in many ways just become rich.
Matt Scalena [00:26:20] Well, yeah. And improve your lifestyle or
Adam Scalena [00:26:22] improve your lifestyle in a way that you know you don’t have. It’s not rocket science, you know, it definitely takes an education, but it is a way that you can get out there and it’s kind of with concrete advice, go out and start investing. And even if you just make a small investment at first with good strategies and good logic, you can climb your way through the market, which is great.
Matt Scalena [00:26:44] Just adding to that, you know, one of the things that goes back to the rich dad that Adam used to have the odd drink with his old girlfriend. There is you meet these guys that have started so early, right, that had the foresight to get into the market. And, you know, it’s one of those things. It’s just like, Man, I wish I could go back 15, 20 years and have started this along this path a lot earlier.
Adam Scalena [00:27:06] Right. I’m so jealous of the early 20s people that buy their first property.
Matt Scalena [00:27:11] Yeah, even some of the guys on our team now, it’s like, good to have that 10 years and you have.
Sandy Mackay [00:27:16] Exactly. Yeah, it’s a love hate thing, isn’t it? Yes, I do. Because I know, like whenever I go to a real estate group, usually they say, like, you know, they have a little contest at the beginning or stuff like you came from the furthest away to come to that group or who bought their property at the youngest age. And like people would be like, I’m 19 or just
Matt Scalena [00:27:39] start crying, you know?
Sandy Mackay [00:27:41] Yeah. At least we were smart enough to start at some point, you know, being better off than ever. You know, guys, maybe specifically the cougar guys, I know it’s a challenging market pricewise. What advice would you give younger people, millennials, maybe looking to get into the market for the first time?
Adam Scalena [00:28:01] Yeah, I think the biggest advice I’d give would be, don’t be passive. Be active. You have to learn the market. And really, you just got to get involved as quickly as you can and get in. That would be my first piece of advice, and my second piece of advice would be, don’t think about it so much as a place to live. Think about it as an investment because in expensive markets like Vancouver and Toronto and Canada, really, you have to climb your way through the market through strategic thinking.
Matt Scalena [00:28:27] It’s not going to be your forever home, it’s
Adam Scalena [00:28:30] not going to be your forever home. And you got to make a good decision to make sure you know, and that might take some sacrifice. You might have to live in an area that is going through transition, or you might have to live a little bit further away than you wanted to, but you got to get into the market. You got to climb your way through the market. If you want to live in a metropolitan city, if you want to live in a metropolitan city, then buy the home that you maybe love, that works for you perfectly well.
Matt Scalena [00:28:53] Yeah, you know it’s tough, right? Everybody in Vancouver finds it tough. It’s a tough market to live in and to buy in. But the idea that it’s going to get much cheaper, I think, is not something that I am believing in.
Adam Scalena [00:29:06] So people have been waiting a very long.
Matt Scalena [00:29:08] Yeah, yeah. So you know, it’s by hook or by crook, get in. And even if that means buying out and, you know, somewhere like Chilliwack and kind of working your way back in, there’s ways to do it. And one thing I would say about that is that and this goes back to the education that I wish I had before. I mean, everybody has people in their lives that can point out reasons not to do something. And you know, we have people like that in our lives, too. And you got to at least if you’re not going to stop hanging around with them, you’ve got to at least shut them out and start talking to people that are finding ways to get into the market and to move their way through the ladder or up the ladder, I should say. Mm-Hmm.
Sandy Mackay [00:29:44] Well, I think a lack of knowledge creates fear, right? Or just when people don’t know about something, they tend to just shy away from it. So that was always, if you would ever in my early days of investing when you would talk to anybody about it, it was always, oh boy, you know, you’re most likely going to lose your shirt. Yeah, yeah. So that kind of hanging around with those kind of people definitely isn’t going to help you at all. Or at least like you said, you need to tune them out if you’ve got to be around them, right?
Matt Scalena [00:30:12] For sure, at least be aware, right, that there’s certain people that are going to be, you know. You can come up with 10 ideas, they’re going to be able to poke holes in each, each one of them. And you always can write it’s about trying to find people that are actively searching out opportunities and taking them, you know? Well, it’s
Adam Scalena [00:30:28] interesting because Rob, you mentioned like your part of a real estate group. And, you know, I think that was one of the most enlightening things for Matt NIO’s is kind of getting a seat at the table, right? And I mean, when we got licensed, we got to hang out with a lot of real estate agents at our office that were investors too. And I mean, you know, you have lunch with these people. You learn a lot. You know, you see him around the office. You get to pick their brains and you get that inside information that inside knowledge that you need as an investor. So I think again, for millennials that are out there that are looking to get into the market. Surround yourself with people that are interested in real estate. Go to that real estate group or that investor group, learn as much as you can and network and create opportunities for yourself.
Sandy Mackay [00:31:10] And like you both said, and I can speak for Cindy and me as well. I mean, we didn’t come from a whole bunch of money. None of us did. So it’s just a matter of going and being creative, finding a way to make things happen and then doing it. Exactly. Absolutely. And inevitably, there be mistakes along the way. Big and small, maybe. And hopefully the smaller ones, the better. But what mistakes you guys made and the economy overcome them, or what mistakes to see other people making a lot in this game? Any advice around that?
Adam Scalena [00:31:42] One of my biggest mistakes was selling properties along the way. I think especially if the numbers made sense, there’s one condo in particular that I often think that we should have kept, you know, like Matt had kind of alluded to before. I think not getting into the market earlier was a mistake that, you know, if I had a time machine or I know we’d both kind of want to go back and invest earlier, but there was another one, you know, I was thinking about this question before, and I think one mistake that people make when they’re looking for real estate or when they’re doing renovations or when they’re developments or whatever, is that often they work with friends when their friends might not be the best person for the job. And I’m not saying, you know, maybe you have an uncle who’s a realtor who might actually be an excellent realtor and maybe you should work with him. But often people have, you know, the part time realtor uncle who they feel like they should work with because of a family connection or a friendship. And, you know, I think that’s a mistake. And I think in past times when I’ve kind of went with a friend because I thought it was maybe the right thing to do. It’s often, you know, it’s resulted in one of two things. I’ve been treated as an afterthought, or I make a deal with
Matt Scalena [00:32:53] the serious clients first and then
Adam Scalena [00:32:54] deal with the serious clients and then I’ll help you. Or potentially I wasn’t necessarily dealing with who I thought was the best person for the job, which in real estate you have to take it very seriously. I mean, we’re dealing with huge amounts of money, huge investments, life changing money. And I think you have to, you know, at that point, take an objective approach and use the right professional.
Matt Scalena [00:33:17] Yeah. And we should say here, like when Adams says realtor, it’s realtor, but that can apply across the board, right? That’s mortgage broker, electrician, contractor,
Sandy Mackay [00:33:27] architect broker for me is like, if not the biggest, at least the second biggest after realtor, for sure. Because if they don’t understand what you’re doing in your long-term game plan, it’s just somebody that’s in your family that happens to work for a bank or whatever. They’re not going to be able to set you up properly to continue to move ahead. He’s saying, Yeah, you guys, that’s a really good point. OK. What about rhino mistakes?
Adam Scalena [00:33:54] Yeah, rhino mistakes for me right now, I’m actually going through a project, so we often move into our renovations beforehand. Well, we’re kind of organizing because there’s always a bit of a period where, you know, there’s a wind up, especially if you’re in a city where the permitting process takes a long time. In Vancouver, the permitting process takes about six to eight months, which is an exceptional amount of time in terms of all lined up. But, you know, rhino mistakes that I’ve made is not staying on top of the permitting process and letting it drag out longer than it has had to. In other mistake I’ve made is not having our material selected and making sure that we can keep the pace of the contracting team that we have in place. You know, it’s horrible, like when you break down the timelines and all the potential bottlenecks in a renovation, you know, there’s still a lot of potential screw ups that can add a long period of time to each renovation. So just making sure that everybody’s pulling their weight and I’ve been the bottleneck before, you know, I’ve gotten busy in my own business and I maybe haven’t selected the tile or the flooring or whatever else, and they’re ready for it and then have realized, you know what? It might take six weeks for this tile to actually come in, or there might be, you know, out of this supply or whatever. So I guess just being organized, staying on top of timelines, actually having deliverables, and keeping like really micromanaging yourself and your teams.
Matt Scalena [00:35:20] Yeah, making sure it’s the right team, right?
Sandy Mackay [00:35:22] Yeah, good point. So the permitting process that for any sort of permanent general timeline, six months or more of a bigger project or going, you get any more specific on that.
Adam Scalena [00:35:32] Good question. You know what? I think if you’re just doing kind of a light renovation, it’s a lot quicker. It can be, you know, eight weeks if it really depends on what kind of permit, you’re pulling. But if you’re doing like a deep, like a full studs, all kind of renovation where you’re doing electrical and plumbing and opening up walls and that sort of thing, yeah, you’re looking at probably about six months
Matt Scalena [00:35:52] when you’re also doing a heritage house right now, which I’m doing about
Adam Scalena [00:35:56] as complicated as it gets right now, I’ve kind of bitten off more than I can chew. But that said, I think it’s going to be a great kind of finished product. But the reality is that, yeah, we’re not only are we doing studs, we’re doing like we have a heritage streetscape that we’re dealing with. We don’t have any heritage, real status, heritage like designation, proper designation. So that’s good. But I mean, you know, quite frankly, it’s easier just to buy a house that you can tip over and rebuild, right? Once you start renovating, you open up. And especially if you’re doing an extensive renovation, you always find something. It always adds extra costs and potentially months to your timeline. You know, one of the things we’re doing is we’re reporting the foundation, and I’m sure you guys have maybe dealt with that in your lifetime. But it’s not an easy process and a lot can go wrong. So.
Sandy Mackay [00:36:44] So that was that was interesting, that it’s pretty long. Regardless, I mean, we’re in Hamilton. We’re like three weeks or less generally, even for some of the bigger stuff. So well and people complain here. So I got to that’s
Adam Scalena [00:36:56] nothing to complain
Sandy Mackay [00:36:57] about. The designation is a huge pain in the ass. I mean, for the most part, I mean, I’ve noticed some really, really seasoned investors that have, you know, we’ve been looking into some projects and once you find out it’s got that designation, this is no thank you. Yeah, move on and find something else, for sure.
Matt Scalena [00:37:16] Well, I think Vancouver, this is the big debate that seems to be forever raging here is about whether we deal with demand or supply. And the huge bottleneck for supply is the city. I mean, from an investment standpoint, it’s fairly positive because, you know, the idea that they’re going to overbuild there, you know, that there’s going to be too much supply anytime soon is just it’s hard to imagine because the city just moves so slow, and everything is so time consuming and calculated. And, you know, but anyway,
Sandy Mackay [00:37:45] well, this has been really fun, guys. Almost as much fun as when we came on your show
Matt Scalena [00:37:50] and a close second, for sure,
Sandy Mackay [00:37:54] a close second. So that’s great. How can people get in touch with you guys?
Adam Scalena [00:37:59] so you can head over to our website, Vancouver Real Estate podcast, dot com or find us on iTunes, or you can try me at home at seven seven eight eight six six four five seven four or Adam at Vancouver Real Estate Podcast dot
Matt Scalena [00:38:12] com. Yeah, and this is Matt seven seven eight eight four seven two eight five four or Matt at Vancouver Real Estate Podcast Dot Com, but I do think, you know, heading over to our site, we’ve got some big buttons to get in touch. So if you’re if you’re keen to push the huge buttons, bright colors perfect.
Sandy Mackay [00:38:28] OK, well, we’ll put the link in our show notes as well. So thanks again, guys for coming on. I really enjoyed that. This is a lot of fun. Hopefully, we’ll be able to collaborate another time in the future.
Matt Scalena [00:38:39] Absolutely. Yeah, thanks for having us on that.
Adam Scalena [00:38:41] Those great. Yeah. Thanks, guys. A lot of fun.