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Podcast Transcription

Announcer [00:02:23] If you are looking for the skills and tools to succeed in real estate investing, you come to the right place. This show is about breaking through barriers, breaking through limiting beliefs and breaking through to the life that you want to live through the power of real estate investing. This is the Breakthrough Real Estate Investing podcast, and now here are your hosts Rob Break and Sandy MacKay.

Rob Break [00:02:54] Hello and welcome back, everybody. Glad you can join us here again today for episode one. Fifty five! So we’re getting up there, you know, excited to be back again. It’s been actually a little while. I don’t think it’ll show in how the how the shows are released, but I think we haven’t talked in about a month right now and it’s not like that.

Sandy Mackay [00:03:14] I know, I know it’s been a bit been a bit, which is a cool, cloudy to settle into a new home, it looks like or something new in Costa Rica. We don’t have the full view anymore.

Rob Break [00:03:24] No, no pool viewer inside right now, the pools out there, but it’s just it’s not ready yet. So now you get the inside view today. How are things with you?

Sandy Mackay [00:03:37] Yeah, really good. Really good. I don’t know if there’s anything to mention or anything, but, you know, working on real estate stuff and we just got back from a little vacation with some of the teams. So that was pretty fun. Not quite down your way, but Mexico. OK, nice enough weather. It’s pretty good.

Rob Break [00:03:56] I saw a few pics. Lots of fun. Yes. OK, guys. As always, go to Breakthrough REIT podcast. Okay, there you can hook up with all the guests that we’ve talked to in the past. All their other, all their info is there to contact them. And also you can listen to the episodes that they were on. So go over at our Breakthrough Aria podcast. Okay? You can also get our free gift.

Sandy Mackay [00:04:20] Yeah, the ultimate strategy for building wealth through real estates, which will. We’ll give you the gift. It’ll also get on our list of email updates and everything as we as we are releasing more. And I think we’re going have some cool updates coming soon around that. So probably going to want to want to get on that list if you’re not yet and hear more about what we have is some of some of the changes start happening as our show evolves.

Rob Break [00:04:41] Awesome. Yeah, absolutely. And what’s that?

Sandy Mackay [00:04:46] More to come on that soon. I’ll just leave a little teaser for that.

Rob Break [00:04:49] Sounds good. Also, you know, go over to iTunes, leave us a rating review. You know, that helps when we say it every time. If you haven’t done it yet, yeah, just take. Five minutes, whatever it is, and go over. Leave us a rating review, tell us what you think, and we’re going to do something a little bit different today. We’ve got we’ve got a market specialist. We’re going to do a market update, right?

Sandy Mackay [00:05:11] Sandy Yeah. We’ve got Mike Johnson here, part of our materials network team. And he’s going to he’s going to share with host the audience here, what’s going on and what we’re seeing in the housing markets here. What are we and November twenty one for those who are maybe looking back and listening to some shows, let’s hear you’re listening live. Obviously, it’s going to be a lot more relevant, but let’s chat a bit about the market. What we’re seeing, Mike, around the Hamilton area, what kind of trends are we seeing right now?

Mike Johnson [00:05:40] So we’re seeing prices skyrocket again. I know you and I chatted and we did some Sandy and I kinda was a little bit nervous because things softened up a bit. But we’re right back where we were back in February March, even more so in February and March, we saw prices in Hamilton get up to seven hundred and twenty grand. So we closed out last month just under 780. So it’s been a huge bump main driver that I think is inventory levels, which are lower than ever.

Sandy Mackay [00:06:13] We talked about lots of inventory levels and I think if lower and lower than ever, if you were to look at any instance and yet there it is, there’s a lot of sales happening too, right? So it’s not necessarily that there’s no inventory ever. There’s just it’s it comes and goes really fast. Is there any 100 percent?

Mike Johnson [00:06:31] Normally, since I’ve been in the business of growth for years, we see, say, in the month of October and who are these? Are markets sorry about twenty nine days? We’re we’ve been seven days across the board every single month this year.

Sandy Mackay [00:06:48] So it’s made a big difference, obviously with the opportunities that investors can pick up, right? There’s a lot of competition obviously for yeah, and prices are higher than ever. So making those numbers of cash flow and worked month the month and that sort of situation is challenging too. And obviously, we need to help the child find some decent opportunities in New Jersey. That’s to make it make things work. So but what about anything on the rental market that you’ve seen any changes in in terms of like rental rates? Is that still that pretty much the same or is that keep following with the price increases?

Mike Johnson [00:07:23] In my experience, I haven’t seen a big jump in rental rates. I do know or units turn over very quickly never takes more than two weeks to get something rented at this point in time. Rates have gone up a little bit, but I haven’t noticed a huge difference.

Sandy Mackay [00:07:39] Yeah, so I mean, when rates go up marginally, but property values go up significantly, we obviously get a little more a little tighter on the cash flow month. The month which is which has been that way around GTA for a long time. But definitely Hamilton has been getting tighter and tighter year right here, but it’s still something where we can find him pick up some good deals, but it takes a little more, a little more searching and hunting at times, right?

Rob Break [00:08:04] Mm hmm. And Mike, what kind of properties are investors looking at your way right now?

Mike Johnson [00:08:12] So our clients and myself and most of the people on our team, we’re focusing on downtown Hamilton Core. Your typical two and a half storey brick buildings that you can squeeze four units in. In the past, we could get away with putting three units in these properties and they would still cash flow. But now we’re basically forced to do four units, so we’re going to be in the Rob on a monthly basis. Mm hmm.

Rob Break [00:08:39] And I know you said that the inventory is low, but like, you know, when you’ve got investors looking for this type of thing, how in general, how easy is it for them to get into one of them?

Mike Johnson [00:08:52] I don’t find it any more difficult to get our clients into these properties, and I haven’t had any more challenges hearing myself into these properties. You just have to act a lot faster. If you’re not willing to pull the trigger and move very quickly, you’re going to get beat out and competition, and you do need to accept that you’re going to end up spending significantly more today to buy in. Then you would have had to the stand last year or the year before. But that being said, most of what I do, I renovate, refinance and pull my money out. I’ve still been able to pull my money out of every single project because it’s not just the inventory we’re getting into that’s gotten more expensive. The areas have gotten significantly more expensive. So what I could refi, I’d say eight, fifty nine hundred grand a couple of years ago is now coming in at one point two.

Rob Break [00:09:45] OK. Yeah. And well, Mike, thanks a lot, I appreciate you coming on here. If anyone wants to reach out to Mike and get investing in Hamilton area, how can they do that?

Mike Johnson [00:09:59] So the easiest way is probably email. It would be Mike McQueary LTE network icon. Or you can contact me by phone. It’s two six seven nine two six three eight five.

Sandy Mackay [00:10:12] Wait, one more question before we go. What’s the what are you and the team doing daily to find deals maybe off market to some of these investors can find because I know the MLS is hard, but we still do a lot of business to that. But what else are we doing to find and hunt for deals?

Mike Johnson [00:10:26] So one methods to the most popular method we use to hunt for deals for calling every single day. Our agents are cold calling city prospecting for inventory for our investor clients also doing a lot of door knocking, just getting out in the community in general. One of the best deals we got, most recently with someone we met at an open house and that person wanted to sell their house and we were able to sell it to one of our investor clients.

Rob Break [00:10:53] Hmm. OK, awesome. And one more time. What’s your email?

Mike Johnson [00:10:59] Mike McKay and McQuay Realty Network dot com.

Rob Break [00:11:04] Awesome. Thanks, Mike. Appreciate you coming on and sharing all that with us.

Mike Johnson [00:11:07] Yeah. Thank you, guys. We’ll talk to you soon.

Rob Break [00:11:10] Have a good one. Yeah, I think that’s good. We’re going to have a little bit of a market update on different areas of, I guess, southern Ontario, mostly with the with the beginning and sort of the next few shows anyways. And I think it’ll be helpful. And it’ll also even if somebody, even if somebody is not listening to it right at that specific time, I think that they’ll be able to use it as a basis of where the market as went as well since then. Right. So it’s grown.

Sandy Mackay [00:11:41] Yeah, the Sun will be fine if we would have had that back in like five, five years ago or six years ago.

Rob Break [00:11:46] Yeah, yeah. I mean, probably some of the people that we talked to touch on where the market is, but we in the past we tried to sort of stay away from that as like as like the focus of the entire show. But I think to have a little update on where we’re at from somebody in the market is good thing at the beginning. So that was good. All right. Well, without further ado, we’ve been trying. I’ve been trying to get these guys to come on and talk to us for quite some time, and they finally agreed. I know they’re super busy, so I’m surprised to get them both in a room at the same time to talk to us, but excited to have Marten and Michelle win here on the show with us.

Marten Wind [00:12:28] Thanks for having us, guys. Yeah, we appreciate it. We wanted to be here earlier, but it is definitely a new ball game for us as well, and we’re pretty much kind of doubling ourselves right into this kind of way of living now and looking at real estate, investing around, obviously the property management side. So yeah, we appreciate you wanting us to come on the show and chat and looking forward to it. Couple of unfortunately delays that we’ve had or a few times that you’ve chatted with us, some more of our end, but we really appreciate that

Michelle Wind [00:13:00] we appreciate your patience and excited to be here.

Rob Break [00:13:03] Thank you. No, we’re I’m really happy you guys have decided to come on now. So thank you.

Sandy Mackay [00:13:10] Yeah, it would be totally would be really fun. And for those of us who don’t know Martin himself, they are real estate investors and on our options of builders and property managements currently managing eighty doors in Peterborough and Durham region markets. And they enjoy building relationships, partnerships with others, investing real estate and we’re certainly interested to learn about how they’ve grown their portfolio and their management company. And maybe we’ll touch on the market there and prepare to Hampton exemptions a little bit different.

Marten Wind [00:13:40] Sounds good. Absolutely.

Rob Break [00:13:42] Welcome, guys. We go, we go back and we’re personal friends. So I’m really happy to talk to you guys. And I remember when I first met you, it wasn’t even really that long ago. But you know, we’re coming up to retirement. Police officer calls me and says, Hey, we need to sit down and talk about this investment stuff.

Marten Wind [00:14:06] I thought it was an ankle bracelet I was checking in on for you. First, back to you.

Rob Break [00:14:12] And so, so I guess, how did you? Let’s talk about how you got started.

Marten Wind [00:14:17] So basically, I came to a kind of retirement age period. And before that, you look at retirement, you think, well, you’ve got a pension and that is all fine and traditional. But as kind of I was hit my thirties and I’m like, Oh, it’s got to be better ways to look at retirement wealth. I’m no, I’m going to retire early at 50. The opportunity came up in the mid-2000s, actually to look at buying real estate in the market of India, a region and specifically in the Durham College area. And you realize in that Durham call Jerry that a growth from going from Durham College into the university. So there’s a couple of neighborhoods through there that were very close to Durham College. And so I was working with a York officer and on a couple of projects, not so much a criminal based projects, more of a kind of redefining. Space and how people use the space and how we can help the city manage and direct people’s movements from away from some of these homes because of what was happening, these new homes were being built and some students were accessing these back of these properties. So what they do is hop a fence and move over to the college. So. But as we’re going through it, I’m talking to all these owners. They’re single family owners and they’re going through some of these issues and thinking many of them are sort of for sale signs up because they’re like back and right on to the university. So it was an opportunity. I think it will be interesting to be able to look at some property there. But of course, with being kind of geared to stay policing in that fear of actually jumping it into the real estate, it stops at that time to be able to do that. So jump ahead. I’m at a retirement seminar and as I’m at the retirement seminar, they’re talking about their assets being 51 percent in real estate and it kind of hit me again. So that’s when I started looking at exploring, talking to a few of the fellow worker coworkers, and this one person I was chat with had done several of her own deals. And so it made me kind of look at doing some podcast and some research on the internet, and your guys showed that actually come up as one of them for a local flavor. Explosive stuff that I was listening to was kind of American or I didn’t know it was kind of based more of a local area. And so I kind of binge watched all. I listen to your podcasts while working out and driving back and forth. And yeah, so I thought to get up the nerve and call Rob because Rob was the closest. And yeah, we sat down and had a good conversation about real estate investing and how to get involved. What’s kind of the ups and downs and where should we start? So I kind of started that journey of getting those two words you used to do up in Peterborough and those kind of walk around and seeing the properties and we’ll chat with other investors. So I think those are kind of like that really insightful piece is your podcast and then tying it in with those kind of lives wondering on the property, discussing what you can or what you can’t do if it’s a good investment or not and what kind of investment you’re looking at doing. So yeah, that was kind of our start of it.

Rob Break [00:17:22] And I mean, well, we’ll get into more detail too. But I thought I was just so impressed, you know, because you wanted to get going and you had this idea of where you needed to be by the time that your retirement, which is which was coming up, you know where you want it to be and once you took action and you guys just took off. So and we’ll get into that a little bit in a bit. But Michelle also is sort of in the same position, right?

Michelle Wind [00:17:47] Yeah, basically, it hadn’t quite hit us yet at that point that when I worked for General Motors at that time, that that plant was going to close. Now, obviously, that’s changed again. But to leading up to what Martin was saying at that point, I really honestly thought the real estate investing was a bit hokey. To be honest with you, I didn’t really believe in the whole thing. So we got into talking about it. And then once I went along with some of your tours that were mostly in Peterborough, actually at the time, I really started seeing the value in it and then kind of looking at different performers and what the potential was. That’s really what got me going. And then later on, we’ll obviously talk about the property management company, but with the change with my workplace, that really created a totally new mindset for both of us, really. So yeah, it’s been a really good, you know, so far, it’s been great.

Rob Break [00:18:59] Go ahead, Sandy.

Sandy Mackay [00:19:00] What strategy like to use Denver? Does that change over the years to her? What’s your favorite strategy? And maybe if that’s change, how has that evolved?

Michelle Wind [00:19:09] You don’t mind. Well, that’s basically a clear first. Like, our first property was a legal duplex. I was the first property. But then when we got more into it, we started getting to enter the more student rental property strategy, mostly because at the time, it was kind of a quick way to get into something that was a solid investment that would be cash flowing because obviously rents on your Sandy rentals would be a little bit more than a typical safe duplex rental at that time. So that was really appealing, and it was pretty much an easy way to get in with not minimal work and investment. So it got us kind of going quickly. Martin might have some more to add to that, but

Marten Wind [00:20:00] I think we were looking looked at all the strategies and said, Well, we’re not ready flippers and the buy and hold kind of sat with us. So that was kind of what we’re looking at. But then as we started going through and. Listing some of those podcasts, reading some information on it and going through some of the tours that hold bird models became kind of prime model to be able to put your money and spend the time, have it renovated legally and then pulled out most of it, if not all of it back out again. So we started, we thought we’d get into at least starting with a duplex or student, but we felt kind of thought that a duplex might be a better fit for us at the time. So that’s what was a first buy. And then, yeah, we got kind of got in the market with that one there. And then we were also curious with students. I know Michelle had a bit of an idea that she would like to be able to kind of help the students. I would be providing a good clean housing and whatnot for them. So that was kind of where we kind of picked up. That next property was it was a student place, but poor Rob got a few tours with us and many, many, many questions

Sandy Mackay [00:21:06] or some of the challenges that came up as we were, you know, going through, you know, initially. And then as things evolved, what are some of the main challenges that stick out?

Rob Break [00:21:13] And I know you and I know your story and you guys impressively too. I mean, investors are investors, so they learn to sort of have that resilience. But you guys have definitely been through some challenges and worked your way through them.

Marten Wind [00:21:30] Yeah, absolutely. Actually, it’s funny with the initial check in and chat on some of it as well. So dealing looking at this as a business and looking at providing housing, this first duplex we had was kind of our make and break style of our project. We had picked up a student. We picked up two or three places at that time anyway. So we had a tenant in this one duplex upper level inherited tenant. We got that place at a very good price and a good location close to downtown and Peterborough. So we in turn, we did the initial conversations with the tenants and chatted with them regards to, you know, our expectations, their expectations and what have you. And it was all great at first and then it slowly went downhill. I don’t know if Michelle wants to chat about some of that stuff, she was doing with some of it at the same time.

Michelle Wind [00:22:22] Unfortunately, a little bit of a side story to like, just obviously some mental health issues with the tenant. These things come up and unfortunately it is sad. But I think the biggest thing for us was getting into that mindset that it’s right away. You have to look at this as a business. You can’t look at this from, you know, it’s good to feel sorry and bad for four people, but ultimately, we’re there to provide housing and run it as a business and the mindset has to be there. And also the mindset to not take it personally. And that’s something that we learn through different podcasts. Also attending some workshops and different things is one of the biggest points of interest that I’ve found.

Rob Break [00:23:17] So you’re talking about not getting payment, you know, like that’s what it is.

Michelle Wind [00:23:22] And take it personally that when things go wrong or you get a difficult tenant, kind of work through it and follow your policies and procedures, basically.

Marten Wind [00:23:33] So it does a lot. It did. So we were going on vacation and we were sort of having some struggles with the occupants of this upper unit. And again, just try to be professional and courteous for the same time. They paid a fairly good price for four for rent on the on the lower end. And but we’ve had some problems. There are noise complaints problems with the dogs. Some of the issues with how they cared for the property. So we started soon learning they may not be the easiest way to deal with, but so we’re going away on vacation and we received a phone call, unfortunately, that the daughter had actually, who was in her 20s, had actually passed away from an overdose. And so we again, in turn kind of change things turns things, turn things around from our vacation scene we can do to kind of help out. And then from there, we started having obviously rental issues with the other occupants in the building or in the in the unit. And so it took about 10 months before we actually were able to evict the person out of there. And some of that eventually got to the L.A. Tenant Board with it. And from there, we were able to get the notice that they would be evicted from the property a certain date. Unfortunately, COVID happened at that time, and so the sheriff’s office was also closed. So we had to endure another probably a month and a half or two months anyways before it started to alleviating that pressure to say, You know, we can’t keep going on with this with. And chatting with Tennant and her family members. And from there, we were able to actually come up with some amicable and which she was able to actually leave without going through the sheriff’s department. Once everything was all said and done, the first part was open again. So it was good. But it was it was testing for us. It was definitely a challenge to deal with some of it. We had a couple of weeks where we were called by neighbors and again, we went out and provided our contact information to neighbors who lived in the area for the some of the owners of the properties. And instead it had left their dogs in the unit for a couple of weeks and apparently there was somebody coming to check on the dogs. But when we went to check the place out, it was full of dog feces and the place was trashed, garbage everywhere. There was one of those worst, worst nightmare scenarios that you didn’t want to have, and it was actually a challenge for us to kind of say, Do we want to continue with this or we want to stick with a like a student rental style of use? Or where do we want to go with our with this portfolio? But as we started looking at some of the values of where the place had gone up, the value of that house had actually gone up. Even though we had lost, I would say eight to ten thousand in easily in rent or more. Our renovation costs, I would sit there. It was our own, our own time as well, who we put in for cleaning of it and everything. I bet you were at fifteen thousand plus to have the tenant removed all through the whole process, and I would say it was probably in total 11 months for it. So it was definitely a make or break time for us. And that’s where we started really thinking what we want to make sure that other owners don’t kind of have these kind of challenges as well, and you’re going to have it anyways. But we definitely were able to learn some strategies on time, chat with many people again. You were a good person to chat with as well. Definitely having a network of people to reach out to and help through those challenges. We’re definitely an asset at that time, but it really helped us look at how we are writing up our pulse procedures and moving ahead with at that time was our starting over property management company.

Rob Break [00:27:34] But I also remember and we’ll talk about the property management company for sure. But I also remember I would just like during some of the beginning of that and just you like calling you up to talk about something and you would just say, Oh, yeah, like here’s a challenge that we’re having. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, yeah, I know almost like kind of feel a little bit responsible for it in a way. I’m like, help them buy this house and that kind of thing. But then like, you guys are always so, oh, you know, but like, no matter when or what was happening, you were always like, Yeah, but you know how much stuff we’ve learned? Not much we’ve learned from this. I was always so impressed with that attitude of, wow, look, look at all the information that we’ve gathered. Look at all that we’ve learned now that we can overcome this and we can pretty much overcome whatever else can come our way, too.

Marten Wind [00:28:26] So I think that was that was key for us is to have an outlet to realize we’re not alone on this. There are challenges with it, but there are solutions and we would really be at that time as we went through these become solutions, right? Taking them from problem solving. Some stuff that I had learned through other work education was problem solving and helping communities problem solve some of those problems and really to be able to utilize that in our own business to sit there and say, How can we help this tentative? How can we help at that time also of making this a successful unit? We were able to rent the downstairs with it came some challenges with that too. We still have the property actually is a very good cash flowing property now. We were able to put some students. It’s actually having the 100 year old building and we were able to. It had five bedrooms upstairs. The main floor had a one bedroom unit. And yet once we were able to kind of make the changes clean, the place up painted new kitchen, lots of drywall patching and new drywall put in, you know, just some to rising, changing of flooring and whatnot. It was it was actually a nice, clean unit. And it’s been rented ever since we had. It’s had the tenant leave. We’re on to clean up and rent in that person that actually a group of people have been there for some time now, so it’s been pretty successful and on that side of it. But yeah, it was there was there is definitely, definitely some challenges and learning pieces for us, but we also realized. There’s an equity piece that even though we lost money at the time and we’re kind of banking into our line of credit, we knew that there was value in that place and we’ve been able to pull the extra cash flow back. You’d pay up the last kind of money over time and move ahead with that. Look that we bought that one. I don’t know which numbers wise, but you know, we bought it for three fifty and it’s in the downtown and it’s definitely north of five hundred in that area, if not five fifty, right? So that was that power of real estate, and that’s even kind of looking into quality time times. We looked at refining it, but we’ve kind of kept that’s not an option yet, but we do have some equity in there to do more purchases down the road.

Rob Break [00:30:55] And so since then, you guys have done you guys have created secondary suites like legal secondary suites. You’ve done a bunch of student rentals and you working with partners as well, right?

Marten Wind [00:31:06] Absolutely. Yeah, we’ve. So we actually had a picked up a duplex. So that was a great find in the east end of Peterborough. And so it was actually a very simple bungalow, side entrance, main floor, fully done, very minimal to be done with it. The downstairs needed to basically a couple of bedrooms, kitchen to go into it. So we went through the whole application process of it. Pick that up with a joint venture partner started. That was actually a very first joint venture partner, a good friend of ours. And so we kind of went through that process with what is it going to look like? How are we going to design it? A lot of learning on our part, too, because it was a brand new for us to kind of get into that BR model. So after the applications construction happened, it probably took us. I, I want to say, nine to ten months to finish said some of it were some delays from City. Some of it was trying to figure out who can get our contractors. And actually eventually what we did is we did the conversion ourselves. So instead of going out with the contractors, it was kind of the one we thought, OK, let’s see what this looks like and what it looks like to frame it. What does it look like to go through with the with the inspectors through the framing stages, plumbing stage electrical? So what we did is we changed. The upstairs is a separate meter from downstairs, so we had that switched as well. So it’s a pretty clean unit and it’s been rented ever since it went onto the market. So that’s over. It’s got to be just over a year now.

Michelle Wind [00:32:45] You’re I think what was great to that process is we were able to take it right from the beginning stages, right until the like. We manage it to this day. And that’s part of kind of giving us the whole experience of each and every step of the process. So now that we’ve kind of created systems for that, doing it again, obviously, and we’ve done it again, it’s just becoming obviously easier and more efficient each and every time. So.

Marten Wind [00:33:19] And we’re enjoying it. Yeah, definitely, yeah. So we did that one, and then we also did a joint venture partner with a couple of young fellows who were able to qualify for the mortgage on a student resident in the bit of the Northeast and in Peterborough. Actually, we were looking at the property and, you know, sending some messages to Rob to view it. And so we were able to kind of join up with the current fellows who are looking at who we’re looking for a bit of a money partner on that side. So we’re able to kind of join into that one and kind of split it like on a third basis. So that one’s also ongoing and has been fully tenanted for the last year and a half since we’ve had it. And it’s done well, too. So we it’s kind of our initial joint venture partners on what we’re looking at. We’re definitely looking to increase what that looks like for us recently, learning about what our joint venture kind of avatar or who’s that person we’re looking to invest with. Definitely helping with friends, want to help with friends, with family. But if we’re looking for people, we’re looking definitely for someone who wants to be in that real estate market. But in that market, you know, they’re not able to put their time into it. They are not sure where to find that property. With property management company, we’re able to able to find those deals, know that we can rent the units out for a decent price. We like to be competitive with what’s out there. Some of our most of our units are very clean, a quick rate of everything that kitchens have been done, bathrooms have been done and whatnot. So we were able to see what tenants like to see. And with the demographics of Peterborough and the kind of that tenant I would love to, it has allowed us to say, Okay, this is kind of what they would look at for a quick rental for either owner or for ourselves. Sorry, sorry about that. No, that’s OK, I wasn’t sure I could keep talking about that.

Rob Break [00:35:21] Well, they I was waiting.

Marten Wind [00:35:22] I’m six feet tall, so and my last name is win so I can tend to be long winded.

Rob Break [00:35:29] I remember we were kind of thinking of if we were to partner up with what the name of our company might be.

Marten Wind [00:35:35] Yeah, that was pretty bad at all. I don’t even know how to say that whole. Very weird thing. I don’t know if it goes off the tongue very well.

Rob Break [00:35:44] Yeah. Oh, I cracked up when you told me that you’re like, Guess what? I just thought of.

Marten Wind [00:35:49] Yeah, it was pretty bad and shared I had to share it.

Rob Break [00:35:52] So like, you guys are still looking for partners, right? I mean, you just said. So anyone interested in in partnering up with these guys, I mean, they’ve got a ton of experience now in the property management company, which I guess we should find out a little bit more about right now. So what’s the you guys? And that’s what another thing that I find so impressive, Michel is just like, I don’t think you really knew what you were going to do right with GM sort of shutting down, right? And then almost this almost hit you on the head, I guess, as

Michelle Wind [00:36:25] basically so the whole idea was. We could have gotten some we could have hired out for property management, but we didn’t have that and we did consider that. And but the whole thing was what were we going to learn? Really wanted to get right into doing every aspect of the real estate investing. And that includes property management. And so initially it was, as you know, we’ll just manage our own properties and that that will be great. But what happened was General Motors released. You know that that my job there was going to be depleted and I was going to have to find something else to kind of reinvent myself. So I really wanted to start taking on the property management myself. And what we realized was there wasn’t another company either that had our kind of core values in mind. So basically, we wanted to be able to provide great product to our tenants, a great home, something that was safe while maintained something where people really wanted to live and have some integrity and respect and be caring with our tenants. But also, think of it again as a business and obviously kind of built diligent around that. And that’s kind of how it all started.

Marten Wind [00:37:58] So close to with her being kind of finished up before I was able to retire, it was she was coming up to Peterborough to check on our properties and it was nice to be able to have people kind of come out and say, If you’re going up, do you mind checking on our place? I know, you know, we’re able to be privileged to look out for. What are your places as well? And that was a great start for us to be able to understand that whole tenant peace going through the whole application process through being able to qualify what the tenants, what that looks like. So we had to have all those things kind of in place as we started moving into the property management as we kind of started going and it just started kind of rolling through. We had conversations with other investors, learned lots of the time. We’re able to be able to decide what is it that we want to offer to clients for the Peterborough area, what is their strategies? So we really kind of look at those student residents and duplexes as being the strategy that we felt we could manage quite well knowing that I was finishing up in a few months. So it was great to be able to kind of say, OK, let’s see what this looks like. So over time, we were able to get a couple of properties under management and then kind of steadily grew after that where we are able to, you know, I think we’re accepting the bios. We’re up to 80 plus stores, but 150 plus tenants and definitely learning our systems. Developing our policies and procedures have been important, you know, having that software in place and whatnot as well. So that’s been quite the learning curve. But we’re able to do full time and it’s able to provide a big end goal for us. And we’re still young. Or just even though we’re kind of at plus 50 mark, we’re still able to get easily 10, 15, 20 years. If not, we just continue to work through in this investing. You’re right, and it’s important us to be able to build relations with people, and it’s important to be able to hear when their needs and wants are, especially if they want to get into this field, some of whom, you know, just want to be able to invest into real estate but not have that whole tenant and toilets, the other problems. So we’re really kind of doing ourselves in to say, OK, what does a bird look like? What does family look like? What does the investor look like? What does a property manager look like? What does it look like to have tenants and change toilets and do all these things? And we were very hands on at the beginning, and we’ve kind of slowly grown that to goal is obviously to be pretty much working, not in the business, but working on the business. And we’re getting to those stages now through, you know, through coaching and through mentoring and through our own development at the same time. So it’s it has taken some time, but we’ve definitely jumped in with both feet and are able to grow at a pace that we’re able to help our investors and our clients, but also our tenants.

Rob Break [00:40:56] But I was definitely impressed watching guys build this because you have always been very policy driven right from the beginning. I mean, to have like procedures and everything in place and build on it consistently and properly the entire time. So like you guys, I’m just I’ve dealt with lots of property managers and you guys are by far by far the best property managers out there that I could ever recommend to anybody.

Marten Wind [00:41:29] We need. Thanks.

Rob Break [00:41:30] Just like on top of everything as it comes up and resolving everything immediately. I mean, it sounds like I just I can’t speak any more highly of what you guys offer.

Marten Wind [00:41:43] So while we appreciate that we also in the story, we also we do definitely enjoy the real estate. We’ve got the bug for it. We’ve kind of decided, where is this going to be shaved out for us? And we definitely really enjoy having a property management side of the house. The whole investing is definitely we’ve kind of missed out on a few things over this whole period of time and definitely on that market analysis that was provided earlier by Mike there. It is unbelievable some of the prices, but there’s tons of places that are still doable and you still have lots of investors who are going out and actually making it possible and being creative and doing that. And it’s nice to be able to kind of be part of those creations that people are doing, whether it’s going to be off market. Even we’ve picked up one on MLS and we’re in the process of having that converted, right? One of the new strategies we’re looking at is kind of a flip to yourself kind of thing, right? So we do the whole project ourselves and then look for that joint venture afterwards. And so you kind of go into that project, right? So there’s already tons of left out there, but definitely it’s just a different challenge than what it was, say, pre-COVID times.

Sandy Mackay [00:42:55] And given your recommendations that a lot of a lot of people ask me, this is when they’re going through building their portfolio or they buy maybe one or two or and then they start to realize they probably could use property managements or they know it’s they already do or they could use it soon. Any advice as to when someone should actually should it be right away or should it be a certain amount of doors or where they should really look to bring in

Marten Wind [00:43:18] the property management company? Well, I think they really do. You want to be handed on or do you want to be handed off? Do you want to learn your art, want to learn? And I think it is important to have that conversation with an investor. Do I see importance on both sides we do in and did the hands on the whole time right? And then realized, OK, let’s start looking at what does it look like if we’re not into the business and we’re working on the business, not in the business? I think property management has an vantages that you wouldn’t necessarily have when you’re doing it yourself because your new picking the right tenant is obviously hugely important for your asset. Having someone who is able to be in your tenant long term, who will care for it, to look at it and look at it like a home. So it’s good to have that perspective. We do like even speaking with investors who just have general questions about what that looks like to them. Some who are new getting into it may just want to contact us to get their information property management. We are open to that because we do want to make sure it want to make sure that other investors receive that information. Sometimes we’re an hour, hour and a half on the phone with them to prop up to provide that information. But at the same time, there’s lots of value of doing it yourself and being hands in. Some people only want one or two or three places. I think if you’re going to grow yourself to be more than that and you still have a full time job and you’re still out, you’re still have enjoyed what you do and you want to stay there for many years, especially for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, then you know, that is another way to look at it is to find out who that property manager is. And we also recommend I make sure you recommend people do to fool around and chat with other property management companies. See, what do they offer? But really, it’s about building that relationship with that person. Can you communicate with them? Can you talk with them? Are they willing to listen? And on a side note, sometimes I talk too much, but I am also willing to listen as well. So, yeah, so by doing so, I probably has a few things to add as well on that.

Michelle Wind [00:45:20] Well, basically, we just really want our investors to be successful, and that’s part of our why. And that’s probably why we do a lot of what we do is because we want to build that relationship. We want their investments to be successful and we want to build successful relationships, essentially. And part of that is going back to the team that you felt like it was huge having been having the opportunity to work with you, Rob. And then through you, we learned about a lot of different things out there that we could reach out to, like Durham REIT and went into program his property management course and workshops, and which tools and all kinds of information and different relationships and networking that you can do that way to kind of see what else is out there, who else is out there that you can talk with? It’s always good to do as an investor anyway.

Marten Wind [00:46:19] So it’s also it’s that actually feels right and you have to be not afraid to kind of get into it and realize that if the place is your property, you have certain vision. For that property, we can go into a house and we’ve done it before where we’ve gone and said all the upstairs, the upper level, really, you don’t have to do much to it, but they had ideas of changing how the kitchen looked, the flooring, the paint colors and those are all great options and are great for appraisals. So again, that also depends on what you’re looking to do to increase the value on that property as well. But at the end of the day, we look at tenant profiles and we look at who, what’s the word and what’s the price range we can get for this unit. And by adding this extra, are you always getting the extra value you need or are you looking to increase and have a tenant specific look for your property? And sometimes it can take a little bit longer to, but it’s definitely figuring out what does the owner want? What does the investor want? And to be able to share our experience in the market and to kind of know what kind of what that tenant demographic looks like for, especially for the people area. It can be a little different elsewhere, but there is they do you know, you do have to know your market, you’ve got to realize that there is a there’s a certain rent range that people are able to afford, right? And kind of going through that whole background process and application process definitely provides some good insight about kind of where that market is at.

Rob Break [00:47:50] That’s a good point that you just made there. And I think that many people do make that mistake where I mean, if you’re if you’re going to refinance the property after and you’re doing like a big project, a big renovation project that it makes sense to basically do everything right up front. But when you’re looking at it, when you are not, I mean, obviously you want everything to be functional, you want to be clean and working. But there is those people that go, Oh, I, you know, I don’t like these kitchen cabinets. Let’s change them out, only to find that it didn’t increase the rent that they were going to get for it because they were clean and nice. They just weren’t in the style that person would want if they were living there. But it was so good. A good rule of thumb is if it’s not going to increase the value of the rent, then don’t do it.

Marten Wind [00:48:41] Yeah, absolutely. And I really think, you know, having a place, you know, and not just jumping in and actually taking is great, but we’re definitely have been action takers. But it’s we’re definitely learning and over time, we don’t think we quite understood of it. You definitely have to have that. Why would you have to have where you’re going? Like, if we’re trying to take a trip to California, it’s not just hopping in the vehicle, right? You’re going to have a plan that, Hey, where are you staying? Where are you going? What are you doing? Same with kind of a real estate. If you’re looking to purchase real estate. What market do you want to be in? So some investors are investing from other provinces. So what is it you need to do? I think networking and making those phone calls, having a checklist and having a bit of understanding what you want, what you can handle or what you want to do, maybe you want to be a half hour or 45 minutes to an hour from your product. And that’s good, too. But it’s I think it’s good to reach out. We’re able to reach out and chat with people and ask a bunch of questions that we thought were silly, but they were definitely, you know, I think they were definitely responded well from who we spoke to and provided us a lot of encouragement as we move forward. And I think that’s kind of all we want to do with other investors, too, is to provide that, provide that for our, our landlords, but also to make sure that we’re able to care for and look after the tenants as well for that. So I think that also depends on kind of what finishes you want for certain market, right? So some furnishings in downtown. We’ve had a couple of places that have been finished and we’ve got great and returning to student residences and we get great student clientele because of the east of location for the downtown bustling transit, shopping all those peaks, right? So I think you just have to go around with a with a focus mindedness where we were able to have and I know Sandy, you guys do the same thing where you’re focused, minded investor. It’s not just a real estate agent going out and show you places, but they actually have the knowledge to apply to address areas like ceilings and being at a six 11 or passageways, being at a six five when you put egress windows in all these portions that we had to learn. And here you are, trying to take measures showing us what you’re doing, what you’re doing, what you need to have and why this doesn’t work and why that would work. It’s all beneficial. I know we’re just we’re happy to be able to kind of share that with other investors. When you look at it from other places.

Rob Break [00:51:10] Yeah, that’s really cool. And I think that I just want to go back and to answer Sandy question. Unfortunately, what I’ve seen or any way in my own experience, if an investor doesn’t start off with property management right away. Then usually the person that’s calling for property management is someone who’s hit, I hit a wall or it’s like, you know, they’re handing off some troubles. And typically, you know, that’s when it is. Even for me, like I, I manage a couple of my own places. But then when problems arise, I get on the phone. I’m like, Hey, Michelle, think it might be time for you to take over this place because you know you’re better at managing it, and I can be. So, you know, that’s probably typically what the story is. I would imagine

Marten Wind [00:52:06] most of it is we do have people calling. The most of it is, you know, we’re getting busy in life, you know, we don’t want. We’ve had a bad experience with a tenant or we’re, you know, just the life has changed for them. So they give us a phone call to say, OK, what does he offer? And he’s going to spend some time with them to just make sure that it fits for them. And potentially they may want to stay looking at managing their unit for a little while longer because they just were unaware some information that may actually help them to, you know, keep it under their management until they decide, you know, we’re growing, whether we’re buying another property for our portfolio. Some have actually left the province and moved elsewhere, so we’ve done full management of their place. And so, yeah, it really depends on their market and what they want. But most of it is people who are just they want to be handed off now and they want to grow. Or there’s an obvious change in life

Sandy Mackay [00:53:08] as one of the top three always difficult people, depending on what their you know, what their plan is and everything. There’s no right answer. I don’t think it’s just the case, but you certainly will give up some learning by hiring, probably as a cover, like if you are to one right away, you might not learn some of the tricks of the trade, but you might also save yourself a lot of money because those lessons, those lessons temporary are not free.

Marten Wind [00:53:30] Absolutely, yeah. And we learned that definitely the hard way at the beginning. And but it does. It can attest to what are you willing to do at the time to write? And sometimes we look and thinking, maybe we should have hired property management company in the beginning, but we’re glad

Rob Break [00:53:47] that a lot of people don’t want to know the answer either. They just want the problem solved. Tell me it’s solved. Don’t tell me how you did it. I don’t care. Just tell me it’s solved, right?

Marten Wind [00:53:57] We really look at it as we’re another tool. The toolbox for people, right? They want to invest, how they want to invest, and they can be able to reach out and use whatever strategy they want and they can call us to help manage it. Or, you know, another company out, another location they want to do. That’s definitely totally up to them. But there are options. It’s never a, you know, you have no solution. There’s always ability to solution lies the problems at hand, and then you can keep growing.

Rob Break [00:54:27] So what’s going to be next for you guys? Big plans, do you have then you’ve got that road map, Martin? Yes. Where are you guys headed?

Marten Wind [00:54:34] These big, hairy, audacious goals that we got going on, but definitely acquiring more properties joint venture with some people who want to get into involved into real estate, but maybe are too busy looking for something else to add to their portfolio and have a conversation with them or a property management side. We’re definitely looking at increasing the systems that we have. And right now we use building stack and a sauna. There are some programs out there that people can do using that have mostly done a lot of their work through using So we’re kind of looking at those areas with a project management side of the house for the property management, but definitely having a good software program is beneficial. And yeah, we’re pretty happy with that. And obviously increasingly looking at hiring property manager, we have a right now team. We’ve got a couple of fellows where we have it’s kind of our repair guys, but growing into a construction area, so diligent your property management will have kind of that to offer for our joint ventures. Second suite conversions. And so that’s kind of down the road and to stay hands on for a little while, but definitely kind of work off and start into more of the real estate investing side. But you have to have open conversations with people love to get into multifamily, too. Those are some of some great ones, and the market is definitely a different market to go in and some different knowledge. So we’re pretty busy with what we’re doing now, but we definitely have that roadmap to what time when is it ready for our for us and our business to be able to not be working in the business, but definitely be more on that kind of working on what we can offer for other people. It helps our growth, but also helps our growth rate.

Rob Break [00:56:24] Yeah, I noticed you guys have been looking in multifamily quite a bit lately.

Marten Wind [00:56:28] Yes, we definitely like to see Etsy and find the right one. I’m happy to pull the trigger and make it happen at the same time, right?

Sandy Mackay [00:56:38] Is there much of that and Peter Rob or is that is that something you need to spread out, just expand their horizons a little bit in the search geographically?

Marten Wind [00:56:47] Well, I think it’s both. There are definitely opportunities here. It just depends on how you want to get into that multi-family stage of it, right? So if we’re looking at that five plus units, a lot of our below rent on their own market rent, right? So there’s a big lift on that side. But at the same time, look at the prices and that whole debt coverage ratio piece is important for the investor sees what is my what is my exit plan to that, right? So if you’re working with either going to do it with your son by yourself or have a joint venture partner or a group of people on there, you’re going to want to know what you’re what you’re doing from A to Z. And what does that look like in that two to five years? Are you holding on to or are you just looking for Lyft? You know, as people change over in those units where you can definitely allow many of them that we’ve gone through any means that are for two to 10 units. Kitchens are a big thing. Bathrooms are a big thing to be updated. So there’s a lot of opportunity, but it’s price point. We did look at other markets in and around the GTA to the Belleville area, and there’s some great properties, but it’s going to take some work and it’s, you know, we’re happy to kind of get involved. But if you look at a multifamily, I think it would be well worth partnering with somebody at the same time or and or going out and make lots of tours, a lot of networking and jump in with some definitely some good knowledge, right? Because it can be risky at the same time. That’s my fear based side of me that happens as well. So I always like to throw caution to the wind, but for everything that there is or solutions out there as well.

Rob Break [00:58:34] And then, Michelle, what about personally, what do you guys, what are your goals personally like, what life?

Michelle Wind [00:58:42] Honestly, right now, it’s about the kids and what we feel like we’re doing right now is setting up a basis point, a business for them, some investments for them down the road. That’s just going to help our family and obviously give them lots of opportunities going forward. And the other part of it is it’s really teaching them of this how to be in business and give them, you know, basically those type of opportunities. But going back to your years, also with regards to the property management company, I think one of the biggest things we’re trying to do right now is build our team and then obviously with a virtual assistant that we’ve team member that we’ve hired, Jose now has really helped us to kind of push that forward. And so it’s really about the business right now and then creating that basis point for our family.

Marten Wind [00:59:49] So yeah, and we’re very and that’s kind of part of it too. And our kids get to see what this looks like and they get to be involved in it. But they also get to see kind of give or talk that financial management piece to it. Like we’re yes, we are putting the time in. We’ve cut our own job, you know, but as we move forward, our money actually starts working for us instead of us working for the money. I think that’s the ultimate when you’re an investor is to have that money working for you, right? Is to be able to know that when you’re sleeping at night, it’s still producing. Money is still being invested and still stuff coming back. And I think owning a bigger portfolio helps with that. But I look at when before I was going to retire, if we bought something at twenty five years old by almost 50, they could be you paid for it, right? And that just added extra to retirement. So it really depends on the investor. It also depends on what their goals are. And it’s the nice part of talking to people is every has some different goals, but it can be all related to that investment risk investing side of things, right? And we definitely want to be able to have that opportunity for our kids because the prices are crazy for them to be able to jump in from a job standpoint. Like we also have a lot of people who are still working, selling their main residence and going into a rental here because, you know, they want to have some money on the side to be able to help out with for family. So yeah, it’s definitely an interesting market change. For two, they get to hear conversations all the time they’ve been part of. They are picking up garbage and junk, and we had one student resident that quick, quick story about a student resident and we had a cleaning cleaners lined up for four for the May intakes and we had actually just been into this property. I would say about six weeks beforehand, clean it all up, made it all look nice and we thought the cleaner would be. It would be good for them to go in and kind of tidied up as soon as they kind of went through it. And yeah, we walked into with the with parents and they kind of left everything and they were kind of, I think, happy with leaving school at the time and may have, you know, she passed a few parties know so and those things do happen, but you are just your solution is a right. You work with others, you move through, you talk with the tenants, mostly the parents, because you do. You are. When you’re doing student rentals, you are really kind of marketing to the parents at the same time, right? So, you know, help them out with where it’s going to be discounts or whether it’s going to be some gift certificates for the house again spent about 12 hours and they’re cleaning it up to make sure it was a good place for them and clean, right? So that happened. So yeah, those are part of it. There’s tons of success stories because there’s tons of properties that we have under management and hardly any incidents because if you place the tenants property right, so

Rob Break [01:02:52] cheap child labor

Marten Wind [01:02:54] can help.

Sandy Mackay [01:02:56] And that’s negative rates are going up. But no, it’s nowhere near the pace of properties. And so it’s getting them now and having that generational.

Rob Break [01:03:07] Well, I mean, look to help us clean. Help us manage these properties now. And there’s maybe a house in it for you later. No, it’s not.

Sandy Mackay [01:03:16] Yeah, not at all. Exactly that that they actually get paid to super well. In that case, they do. You go inside to see if they earn it. I suppose that’s right.

Marten Wind [01:03:26] It is sweat equity. There’s nothing wrong with it, but they realize the goal at the end, right?

Rob Break [01:03:32] Well, guys, I mean, I’m very happy that you guys found the time to come on and talk to us today, I’m sure there’s going to be a bunch of people that are excited to reach out and talk to you now. Hopefully, you don’t get inundated too much with people looking for management, but I think they’ll be a couple of calls anyways, and I’ll have to implement some more systems in there and keep on growing. Absolutely. But thank you. Appreciate all your knowledge. And hopefully some investors call to talk about, you know, picking up some bigger units with you guys.

Marten Wind [01:04:07] Absolutely.

Sandy Mackay [01:04:08] That area is like, we got, you know, last being out the other side, West End, primarily GTA. We always hear about Peterborough in that area and being an option. That’s always, as we heard earlier, the numbers in the Hamilton area are pretty. You know, they’re a little higher now than they were, for sure. Peterborough is always a great option for that. I see at least as a market that’s just really attractive. So it’s and it’s not, you know, it’s way, way North Ontario, either. It’s actually in a in a still striking distance of the GTA and everything around it

Marten Wind [01:04:43] helps out the, you know, the growth there that they had. The city has a new business plan moving forward, with lots of growth expected for Peterborough. There’s a new development happening on a hundred and thirty five acres here, where some of these are single family houses, twenty seven hundred square feet and they’re going between nine hundred to one point five million and that’s in the north end of Peterborough. So there is expectation there’s lots of growth needed. There’s tons of bungalows like people. There’s got lots of bungalows. About 60 percent of the properties are that. We believe in Peterborough enough that we’ve moved up here not just to manage but also to invest. So we wanted to be kind of a local in this area as well for that investing side. But it’s convenient to hold to the 115 for one easy to hop on, you know, GTA where we’re there in a half an hour, right? 45 minutes. Depends on where we’re going. And so it’s not a big jump either, or it’s conveniences to it. And then being able to do things through Zoom, right, have a phone call. We’ve got a couple other phone calls today on Zoom, and it’s just a great tool to have. So, you know, it’s definitely exploring what options that are out there and using the tools like the cell phone is probably the best features that we can set up, right?

Rob Break [01:06:03] So if anyone out there doesn’t have a cell phone goes to pick one of those, I think one of those devices up, it’ll help you have some more.

Michelle Wind [01:06:12] Always open a chat with anybody, any questions we love to chat.

Rob Break [01:06:18] Awesome. OK, guys, thank you again. Appreciate it. Oh hi. How are people going to get in touch with you?

Marten Wind [01:06:25] The best way would be through welcome at diligent PMC over property management company dot com or a phone number seven or five nine eight six zero five one three. And they can call us on either ext seven zero one four Michele or seven 10. For me, or just the options that are there for just operator. We have someone who is able to address the phones Monday to Friday, so that works during the business hours. And if not, leave a message. We’re happy to get right back to you, OK?

Rob Break [01:06:57] We’ll have all that contact info in the show notes, so people can reach you any time they’re listening to this, they can just go into the show notes and you’ll be able to contact Martin Michelle Sandy. How can people contact you?

Sandy Mackay [01:07:11] And for out? We can’t the network dot com or two eight nine three eight nine six eight four six

Rob Break [01:07:17] and you can reach me at Rob at Mr. Breakthrough Dossier. Well, another great show and hope you’ll join us next time.

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