Modern And Stylish Land Development With Blake Wyatt

Modern And Stylish Land Development With Blake Wyatt

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Georges El Masri 

Welcome to the Well Off Podcast where the goal is to motivate, inspire and share success principles. I'm here with Blake Wyatt and his office nice place, by the way, just so Blake is a developer, he works at his own company called White Development Group, which has existed since 2013. He's got several projects on the go very successful. And the good thing about him is that he's still really young. So he's got a long way to go. And I just want to welcome you to the show.

 

Blake Wyatt 

Thanks so much for having me.

 

Georges El Masri 

Great. So we'll start, what I like to do is just kind of talk about your personal life at first. So if you want to talk about where you grew up, and some of the experiences you had that have led you to where you are today,

 

Blake Wyatt 

I grew up in the Vancouver area, and I actually had a mother in interior design. So she did a lot of work with builders and developers. So I was around that side of the business from a young age just being with her on different sites and seeing the construction process and design. So that kind of inspired me, I think, from a young age to fulfill this, this journey. And not only that but be very architecture and design-focused in our projects. And I moved to the Toronto area in 2011. To grow the business and yeah, I really enjoy being here. I think it's a great real estate city. My Dad, I'm a golfer 34 years old, and I live in Oakville, Ontario.

 

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Georges El Masri 

Awesome. So when we talk about you growing up, you were in Vancouver at the time I was there, were you really into sports. Was that something that has that you've carried with you and brought it here into your life as a father?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, I was gonna expand and trying to get my son into the Canucks has been harder than I thought. him growing up in Toronto, all his friends really fan Yeah, they talk about the Leafs and it certainly helps with the Leafs are trending up and the Canucks are trending down, right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's, I consider myself still a big, big fan. I try to get to their game whenever they're there in Toronto, but I've kind of joined both teams now.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. So it sounds like golf and hockey were part of your life? Absolutely. Did you learn anything from sports that you've maybe the competitive nature of it that has helped you succeed as a developer?

 

Blake Wyatt 

You know, I played hockey growing up for a few years. My mom always told me that I spent more time looking at the rafters and how the arenas were constructed than I did actually play. Oh, yeah. I wouldn't say that. I'm a super competitive guy. I really am focused on my own goals. And you know, my biggest competitors myself, and I'm always trying to push myself to new levels and stuff. So that part of it's never really pushed me. It's about my own goals, not competing with, you know, what everybody else is trying to do. Right?

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. And I've read like I did a bit of research on your site, I noticed that you seem to have an attitude where you want to create win-wins, you want to help people, you seem to be very genuine in that regard. So it doesn't seem like you're trying to take or eat the competition, just so that you can succeed.

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, I'd say that's true I partnerships. And a win-win. Philosophy is a big part of what we do. I think a lot of developers in this city, you know, they maybe come from larger families who have been in the development industry for a long time. Because I'm not and I've started this company, my own and doing it our way, we really have had to build everything from the ground up and our partnership approach to how we work with joint ventures with homebuyers with, you know, trades everybody involved with the project. I think people value that and they really enjoy working with us because of that.

 

Georges El Masri 

And when you start it sounds like you were in your late 20s when you started Blake, or sorry, white development group. Yeah, I was 2929 years old. How did you have first of all the courage to do that? And also, how do you You must have come across people who just maybe didn't feel comfortable with your age? How did you overcome those objections?

 

Blake Wyatt 

You know, I was, I was involved in the family business, which is financial services for a few years out of school. And that was a situation where, you know, I was kind of thrown into the lion's den as a teenager dealing with CEOs and business owners and, you know, a wealthier, sophisticated clientele where I was probably out of my league at that time. But I've always, I've never made my agent issue. And I've always seen myself at a higher level and being more mature and being businesslike and being professional. So I never really saw it as a drawback. I just decided at 29 that the time was right to pursue the plan that I'd made for a number of years. And Previous to that I spent three years as a real estate agent. I spent a number of years financing projects for other developers. So I felt I had a good base and a good framework for doing this on my own. So I think there's no good time. You just have to eventually take the leap and know your story. And know your shortcomings well enough to know that this is a team game. And you have to build a group of people that can compensate for your strengths and bring sets of expertise that you may not have. And I knew that I was strong, kind of in the sales and marketing the deal-making the financing side, but I needed help on the engineering, the construction, the project management side, so I was able to assemble a group of people that that helped me do that. So that was a big part of it.

 

Georges El Masri 

And do you feel more comfortable working kind of on your own and then having these partnerships where it's kind of a separate entity that's two separate entities that are working together? Or do you feel like you need to surround yourself with a strong team and have your own team,

 

Blake Wyatt 

I think a bit of a hybrid is a good way to go, I tend to be more project-specific, as opposed to building a big corporate behemoth that has, you know, hundreds of employees and at that time you become like a machine that you're you're interested in making sure your people are paid on time, you're interested in doing deals that you maybe wouldn't want to do because you have an incentive to keep the business operating and flowing. And I think a lot of larger builders may operate that way. By doing everything project-specific, most of our labour is brought to us by consultants and third parties, when the project is finished, then they'll have other projects from other developer clients that they may be working on. Or they may have other stuff with me, depending on the timing. But I like that approach because it allows us to be lean, it allows us to be adaptable. And I had a mentor in the business who told me, you know, he was able to, to survive downturns on the market, because he had a lean operation when a lot of his competitors were, you know, building infrastructure that they maybe couldn't service in all markets. Mm-hmm.

 

Georges El Masri 

Got it. So do you envision that you're gonna keep your company small throughout its existence? Or do you think that maybe 510 years from now, you're gonna grow it to that behemoth that you mentioned,

 

Blake Wyatt 

I don't think I ever desire to have a behemoth. I think, for someone in my position when you get to that scale, it becomes more about managing people. And like I said, keeping, keeping the group busy, as opposed to being creative, and creating great real estate development. And I think for me, I'd like being involved in the creation process of a project like meeting with the architects, putting the vision together, being really hands-on in selecting finishes, you know, design intent, like, those are all things that drive me. And I think if we got to a larger scale, it would be very hard for me to be involved at that level in those areas that I want to be. So I think the answer is likely not, I'd say we'll always strive to be medium size in terms of the number of staff. But that doesn't necessarily stop us from taking on large projects and building project-specific teams ever bringing in partners who can help us achieve that, for

 

Georges El Masri 

sure. And you touched on the design aspect a couple of times already. That was something that I want to ask you about. I know you said your mom was an interior designer, and that impacted you. When you look at projects today, most of the developers, they have cookie-cutter homes, all of them look the same. They all have, you know, the same shape and everything. What do you envision for your properties, and what makes yours a little bit different from the rest?

 

Blake Wyatt 

I think every project we do, we try to bring a different architectural vision to that project. It'll depend on the location, the buying demographic, the price point will all influence how we design it. For example, we have a development in Hamilton called marquee on the mountain that we're now selling. And that was one in an established location on Hamilton mountain where the neighbourhood has already been built up. The homes were about 1015 years old. And we felt that we could go in and maybe create something a little bit edgier, but maybe not on the extreme. So we had some traditional elements, but also added a lot of kind of what I call West Coast contemporary elements in terms of some of the lines and some of the finishes and the features that we were offering. So that was a case where we adapted to a neighbourhood but we also enhanced what we were doing so with the goal of being the best development in that community. We have another one in Oakville called water walk they're also currently selling that was a different one because it allowed us to capitalize on the waterfront location and also appeal to a luxury price point kind of in the 1.4 to $2 million range that when you're building something in that market, you're what you can invest in the finishes and the features and everything can be greater, right. So given our south Oprah location, that luxury buyer, they wanted to see great design, not just good design, we really strive to be by far the best not just in the community, but Across the GTA, like my goal was to make this one of the best-designed townhome projects in the GTA, we've actually been recognized recently by the International property awards for one of the best low rise developments in Canada for architecture. So I think people are recognizing that this design is very unique. It's a very, very special, and it's a what we call a cape cod, modern or contemporary look. So it's very, very unique, very specific to the demographic in our area, as well as the waterfront factor kind of brought that influence for, for the Cape Cod, the nautical feel that maybe it wouldn't have been warranted in another location.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, so when we're talking about this Oakville project that you've got, and I've seen the renderings, it looks really, really nice, what design elements to you make a project beautiful, or make a home beautiful.

 

Blake Wyatt 

So many things, I think just sometimes going back to basics, like just the open concept, I think, livable space, we worked with an architect called audax, in Yorkville, Toronto on this one, and what their philosophy is what they call Human Design. And they're all about how a development meets the street. That's a really critical, important, critically important item for them and how they design home. So we were aligned with them in that regard. I look at even how things are built in Europe and how things are connected to the street. And there's, you know, adequate opportunities for people to connect with their home and their neighbourhood in a way that I don't think we do successfully in a lot of new developments in North America. So, yeah, and I think so you start there. And I think if you add the right finishings, the right colouring, I think good design doesn't have to cost a lot more. A lot of it's just in colour selection and finishing selection, sometimes simplicity and actually dialling back features that might cost you more can just bring an element of cleanliness to a design. And that's what we've really strived for.

 

Georges El Masri 

And do you think that you'll be carrying? So it sounds like there's a bit of minimalism involved in your design? Do you think would you agree with

 

Blake Wyatt 

it a lot of ways? Yeah. Especially on our Oakville development, right?

 

Georges El Masri 

And do you think that's something you'll be carrying forward into your next projects? Or is it case by case depending on the location, like you said, so you might have a more traditional design in certain areas, whereas you'll go totally contemporary and others?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, it really is designed, or it really is location-specific. So at this time, the two projects that we're working on warranted a more minimalistic design Yorkville more so but I think our next projects and where they are, will dictate how those are done.

 

Georges El Masri 

Right? And do you have a vision for maybe how you want to associate your brand with a certain design type? Or do you feel like, that doesn't matter to you're gonna, it's gonna vary again, based on the project?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, it'll vary. And I think as being the size that we are going back to one of our earlier discussions, it allows us to be adaptable. And we can really bring creativity, a new vision and something unique and special to every development we do instead of just duplicating a specific style over and over again.

 

Georges El Masri 

And what's your vision for your company, let's say for looking down five or 10 years from now, how what do you envision will happen with your development group,

 

Blake Wyatt 

I want to continue to grow at the rate that we are, which I think is a sustainable rate of growth, and just be recognized to be a leader in the GTA in the prototype that we're building. And then at that time to build a legacy with homebuyers is going to be critical. So after a few years, I want to be able to prove that our homes have stood the test of time and that people are happy with the quality. And longevity, I think is really important for us.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. Well, you're kind of touching on the answer to my next question, but what do you hope people will think about the homes that you're creating? And what can you say about that?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, I really, like we're not competing on cost. We're not a low buck builder, trying to drive down costs to maximize profit, even though you know, we have to be incentivized to, you know, have a sustainable business and be profitable. It's really about delivering quality for a fair price for the market for people. And we want people to recognize that we are a quality builder. We're going to be responsive to people like we're going to have a very strong after-sale service program that people can, could deal with. I think that's where a lot of builders drop the ball is once they have moved on from a project they've they've kind of moved on and they don't follow up and provide the infrastructure for people to deal with their, you know, any deficiencies in the homes, right. So we're going to be different that way.

 

Georges El Masri 

It seems like you're kind of modelling after the apple philosophy. So if you look at Apple products, beautiful design that's always at the top of their list. They're not the cheapest, they're actually quite expensive. But the quality is there, and the service is there. Whereas where you compare it to products created by like Microsoft, and they're spreading it across all these different brands, so lower quality lower price point, but Apple seems to be dominating the market. Is that kind of something that you're trying to go after?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, I'd say that's a pretty accurate depiction. You know, Steve Jobs was known for being, you know, very, very rigid on his vision. And he had ideas that you know, a lot of accountants and hire people in the company may not have agreed with. And I think sometimes I have that, those discussions as well with some of our team members, but I'm really committed to good design and being different. It's something that sets us apart. Mm-hmm. Sounds

 

Georges El Masri 

good. Are you the only developer that's kind of working on the type of projects that you're working on in Oakville?

 

Blake Wyatt 

There are a few similar designs in the area. I think what makes ours unique is just the location of it. The proximity to the waterfront is only two blocks. So given the area that we're in, given our design, I believe that there's no project like what we have right now.

 

Georges El Masri 

Great. And it's already for sale. Right?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, we just launched the sale just launched.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. Great. All right. So we'll move into the next topic here. I wanted to ask you, there is something on here on your website that I saw, it said that you were different from the ground up. And I just wanted to ask why you believe that your company is different and your design is different.

 

Blake Wyatt 

I think we've touched on a few points just in the discussion, customer service, design, the size, adaptability, responsiveness to people win-win partnerships, the partnership approach, we take in every interaction, I think makes us different. I think we were also recognized twice recently by the city hall. So we were dealing with in Hamilton and Oakville, we strive to build a good relationship with the community, and with the city councillors and planning staff and getting our projects approved. And, you know, a couple of times we were recognized publicly by those counsellors, saying, you know, we appreciate this developer coming in and being cooperative and working with the community and making the modifications necessary to allow us to support the project where a lot of developers might go in a little bit more aggressively, and try to pursue maximum density or whatever at all costs. So I think people respect us for that. And I'm really proud of that, because it's very, it's helped us a lot when we need something from City Hall. And they've been helpful. They've been cooperative, no special treatment, but just more responsive to us, given how we show we can work with them.

 

Georges El Masri 

So you're sort of connecting with them, maybe in a different way than other developers might be? Absolutely. Great. Now that you have a great product, and it's all I can see the renderings, I can see you've got everything ready to go. How do you spread the word to let people know that this is available, and it's something great that they can be a part of?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, we've done a really aggressive PR campaign for water walk, we were in the Toronto Star, we were one of the top stories, or sorry, we were the top story, the front page for the new and home section. I believe it was in June, we've been in the Globe and Mail, we've been in a number of local publications to not just advertise the homes, but really tell the story. Tell the story about how the project was born. tell my story and my vision as a developer and what makes us different. And a lot of the things that we've touched on in this conversation have been articulated in those in those campaigns. So that's really been useful. We've attracted a lot of interest from people, not just in Oakville, but across the GTA looking for something like this. And you know, the first comment we always get is we love the design. So we're really proud of that. Great. And your marketing, is that something that you're taking care of in the house? Are you outsourcing that? No, we have a marketing company that we deal with who's renowned for? I think they do probably 25 to 30% of the new home sales across the GTA.

 

Georges El Masri 

Okay, great. Obviously, it's pretty intricate. It's not easy to develop a site to create to get the sales and do all of that. So in terms of your team, how did you gather all of these great people and get them together to work on this project?

 

Blake Wyatt 

You know, what it's just it's about relationships and connections, I think when I started the business, and I should prior to that I had started opening some doors in development. And what I found is that you, you meet a couple of people, you sell them on your vision, and they open up their network to you. And in this business, everybody seems to be connected to each other. And you know, there's only one or two degrees of separation with pretty much anybody in the real estate industry in the city is accessible through the networks that we build. So I think it's just the power of knowing how to lead people how to inspire them to want to work with you. And then building the right relationships. So they'll open those doors for you and allow your team building to be a lot

 

Georges El Masri 

easier. Mm-hmm. It sounds like you're so there is a degree of separation is between you and the other developers? Do you find that it's really competitive? Or do you find that developers or people in the development industry seem to be pretty supportive?

 

Blake Wyatt 

It depends, I think, most of that, that I've met, are generally supportive of the collective goal of creating housing and creating real estate for the population. I haven't really come across any situations where, you know, people have tried to go to war with me in development, or, you know, you have a competitor that's angry, or whatever. It may happen from time to time, but at this point, I've been pretty fortunate.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. And you and you touched on relationships, the importance of relationships, what do you do now to nurture the relationships, your business relationships?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, I'm big into just the basics, meals, golf, you know, events, and really knowing the people in your group, like, I probably got less than a dozen people that I really consider kind of my core network. And then beyond that, we have a larger network. But the 12 that, that I focus on are like our financial partners, our builder, for example, our sales team, and just get getting to know them as people and becoming like genuine friends with them, and having those types of relationships where you know, you know, who they are as people, what motivates them, what interests them, and, you know, creating an opportunity to give them something that interests them, whether it be this type of event, or the sporting event, or tickets to that or whatever, right? Just knowing that people individually.

 

Georges El Masri 

Sure. And as you're working on these projects, I'm sure there are times where you get really, really busy. Do you go out of your way to make sure that you're still working on these relationships? And if so, how often do you do try to see the 12 people in your core network?

 

Blake Wyatt 

It really depends we're certainly going through a busy phase right now is we're bringing two projects to market and we're going to be starting construction later this year. So it's an always-evolving process because at this stage, or at in this business, you need different people at different stages. So sometimes your relationship-building efforts might be allocated to three or the three of the four people too because you might be needed to work with them over the course of a few months, or maybe we're spending more time with them because of the dialogue that you're having. And sometimes they may fall off a little bit, but then you have to take take the effort A few months later and lift those relationships up again. So it's an ongoing process. But I think it's important that you make time no matter how busy you are because that's you that's my business development effort will come from those relationships. Right.

 

Georges El Masri 

Okay, well, that that kind of leads to the next question, what is the most important thing for you to do? So in other words, what's the highest and best use of your time? Is it working on these relationships? Or is it working specifically on some of the details of the projects,

 

Blake Wyatt 

I think it's working on the relationships, and it's finding and looking at sites, I think having a constant flow of capital and investors who are willing to invest in your projects and believe in you and managing those relationships. So if you find the right opportunity, that they're ready to go, and those relationships are fresh, it's not like you're rebuilding it every, you know, six to 12 months. That is combined with having a good deal flow, so we know which land we want to be looking at and which stuff you want to buy. And having. Being able to connect those dots having successfully and quickly is crucial to your growth as a developer, otherwise, you will stagnate as much as the project management side is important. A lot of it can be delegated. And I think, for me, that's been one of my bigger growth opportunities at this stage of the business is to know who I trust to delegate a lot of the day to day, right project administration to

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. Okay, so to recap, it sounds like you're saying relationships are number one, that's the highest and best use of your time. Number two would be finding sites. And number three, project management. Would you agree with that would agree with that? Yeah, it's interesting, because maybe I would have thought that at this point because you're so busy that you would have made your number one. Well, I thought that your number one priority would have been actual, like project management. But it makes sense that the relationships are key.

 

Blake Wyatt 

Well, the order is right. But sometimes in practicality, it's not always easy to incur. Right, right. And I found myself lately and maybe investing too much in the project management side and not enough in the other areas. Yeah. So I think now, you know when we get our project sales programs really ramped up and we have some traction there, I think to ship back to my priorities has to be a critical, crucial critical task.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, cuz if you forget about your relationships and finding sites, then you're going to pay for it later. Exactly. Yeah. Great. All right. So to talk about you a little bit more on a personal level, do you have any because you've obviously accomplished a lot of goals from a business person perspective, do you have any really big personal goals that you're looking to accomplish?

 

Blake Wyatt 

You know what I really want to get my health back on track, I lost some weight this year. I think my fitness and my energy are generally pretty good. But I want to find a new level there. So I just I actually hired a trainer again, is going to get a program for me in place, and I just want to lean out and be my maximum health and energy, I think what would be my priority because you need energy, you need to be feeling good to be continuing success in this business every day requires a lot of you. And do you find it hard to make time to work out and to, you know, to take care of yourself on a personal level? It can be I actually, between about three and 5 pm, I find that to be the ideal time. So I just keep my gym clothes in my car. And if I can find a good life somewhere near the office or out on appointments or whatever, you always can take 30 minutes every now and then it usually it's to make the effort. The time is there

 

Georges El Masri 

between three and five. Yeah, that's an odd time to be working out. But I guess if it works,

 

Blake Wyatt 

yeah, it works for me, I can do it in the morning. A lot of guys can assist Not me, I value a good sleep. So I'd rather use that extra time and sleeping in Yeah. Because I find if you're well-rested, you're you perform better. And I just can't do it in the evenings because I'm too energized. And then I can't sleep right. For me, the afternoon is prime time I've had my meals. It's it's ideal.

 

Georges El Masri 

Mm-hmm. And are you typically staying up really late? Or are you more the type of person that wakes up early?

 

Blake Wyatt 

No, I'm a 10:30 to 7:30 sleep guy. And I'm always fascinated by a lot of people in business who say, Well, I can sleep 234 hours a night, sometimes I can't try doing it. And I realized that I'm much, much better when I am rested. I think I can do more in a day, a reasonable workday and have a solid sleep than pushing myself and stressing myself out and becoming unhealthy. I just don't think it's worth it.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, well, you talked about stress, obviously can get stressful being in your position, the CEO of a development company, what do you do to manage stress,

 

Blake Wyatt 

I actually meditate, the workouts help. Just good dive and good sleep patterns, I think make you be able to handle stressful situations a lot easier. Like this business can throw a lot of big, big problems at you. And you have to be mentally equipped to know how to deal with them. So that alone has really helped.

 

Georges El Masri 

Hmm, great. And another part of that you have a son. So how do you find time to spend it and build a relationship with your son?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, I have them. I make sure that Sunday's are our focus time. So we will go to a movie we'll do sports, we'll do whatever activity you know, kind of will enrich our relationship. And I really try to take a lot of focus time with him. Like we just spent 10 days in Europe together. We both are in a car it's like taking him to see like Lamborghini and Porsche and Ferrari and a lot of the car museums and the factories and the cities that are built around these car cultures. And that was really a good bonding time for us. So every summer we try to get a trip like that in. But yeah, it's not easy to balance parenting and building a business and all those things.

 

Georges El Masri 

How old's your son, by the way? Is 909 years old? Great. Do you think that he's gonna want to be like his dad and be in the business? Or has he told you that he wants to do something different?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Well, you know what he has said to me before, I'd love to be with you. Because I want to be with you. Like I want to work with you. Because I want to spend time with you, which is like it warms your heart. Yeah. But I've also I've come from a situation where, you know, my parents are quite successful in their family business, which is financial services. And I realized for me, like, for me to pursue my own passion, which is real estate development. I am 10 times the man that I would have been if I had pursued another arena that you know, maybe somebody else would have chosen for me whether it was a family business or something else. And I think I want that for my son. If it's not real estate development for him, I want him to be able to monetize his passion. And I want to nurture that in him because I don't think he'll be fulfilled and he'll be satisfied with his work until he does that if he wants to pursue a real estate development path for him. Because that's what he wants to do that I would fully support that with him but I'd also want to put them in a situation where he would be out in the market having to get jobs having to earn it with another operation or another developer to before I would even consider bringing him on in the family business. That's just my own philosophy

 

Georges El Masri 

on the on the issue. Yeah, makes sense. I agree with that a hundred percent. And do you think that your sons gonna have it pretty easy Are you gonna kind of spoon-feed him? Are you gonna make him struggle a little bit?

 

Blake Wyatt 

You know what, it's not The easy thing to do because you you want to, you want to build a life for your kids to have a good life. And the irony with that is if they have things too easy, they become entitled. So I think that's probably a big growth area in my personal life right now is just ensuring he has the right balance of having his needs met versus him being inspired and being motivated and having a work ethic that'll equip him well, later in life.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, and where do your work ethic and drive come from?

 

Blake Wyatt 

My, my dad is, you know, he's quite the worker, and he comes from a family of farmers in the prairies. And He always talks with pride about how his uncles and, and people, his family, they still in their 80s, and 90s, they still farm and they still get up early. And they work the farm every day, and they just don't stop. And that was the work ethic that he was around. And he's applied that to his business. And I do the same, but I think I'm also very lifestyle-focused like I probably take off more time than most people in the business by also when I work, I work hard. And when I'm off, I generally try to, you know, play hard, but the Phone Rings and Things happen, things come up, you have to deal with it. But I really believe in balance. I really think if you're spending time on yourself, you're spending time pursuing your personal goals, whether it's travel, your hobbies, I think life will be more fulfilling. And I think I've been willing to sacrifice a little bit of what I invest at work hours in order to have that level of balance in my personal life as well. I think it's important.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, for sure. Just out of curiosity, what does a typical day look like for you? What are you normally doing? It varies so much.

 

Blake Wyatt 

It really depends on what stage we're at in our projects. Usually, it's up and you know, answering emails, answering phone calls, a lot of discussions right now with our suppliers, we've got our construction guys that we're talking to quite frequently, just planning for the construction period is coming up. My sales team and I have a lot of dialogue right now because they're selling the home. So discussing pricing and activity, dealing with the marketing company, it's really, it's all managing about 10 or 12 different categories of the business that have to be managed. So for me leading those teams of people having a dialogue with them, seems to be most of my time. And then yeah, beyond that, it's just you know, making decisions that might impact the project, whether it's, you know, something technical, or whether it's pricing or, you know, what supplier to use for this or that it's probably about 20% of my time. Got it.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. And I think last time we spoke, you mentioned that you knew at a very young age that you wanted to be a developer. Do you remember how old you were? When you knew

 

Blake Wyatt 

I was going back to when I was spending time with my mom on the sites? I was probably 789789? Yeah. So she told me I was actually drawing houses and drawing plans by age aid. Oh, yeah. They always thought I'd be an architect. But I realized drafting was not for me. And I'm more of a deal maker. Right, which I think I'm in the right. The right business for that.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. So that just made me think of something because right now you're basically the Oakville project that you have. It's a higher price point. So you've got probably an older, older crowd that's attracted to that sort of thing. Do you ever think about creating housing for younger people? Because obviously, that's a big topic now, how people can't really afford to get into homes? Is that something that's on your mind?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, we're always planning for the future. And I think for me, my next evolution will determine which type of developer that we want to be long term, you know, condos are sexy. Everybody in the game generally evolves into that. I mean, you're seeing, for example, like Madami homes have been a massively successful single-family developer for years. And now they've evolved into a high rise developer as well. So I think if you're appealing to the to younger buyers, that's really in the GTA, the only direction that you can go is up in terms of height, to jump from a low rise townhouse developer into a high rise developer a pretty big jump. Yeah. So I want to be able to do it responsibly. I want to make sure that we had successfully completed the projects that we have, I want to make sure that we have the right team members that had experience with a high rise and certainly, we need stronger Capital Partners who can you know, back those types of deals, but it's potentially in the works, but in the meantime, I'm quite happy building the type of homes that we are.

 

Georges El Masri 

Okay, great. And then maybe just one more thing about that. So have you thought about creating green buildings, maybe like using new technology that's available to create energy-efficient buildings?

 

Blake Wyatt 

It's something that we would explore down the road. I think we generally try to be environmentally responsible as much as possible, but you know, like the Le Ed type of development hasn't really been on our radar yet. Again, I think it's something that we would explore potentially down the road in ways that we could innovate. But right now we're, we're probably not doing enough, to be honest. What about Tiny Homes? Tiny Homes? Yeah, like laneway housing, that sort of stuff?

 

Georges El Masri 

No, like, you know, those, they have them Texas and stuff. They're like five 600 square feet. Okay. Have you ever thought about that?

 

Blake Wyatt 

I haven't even thought about it. No, I would. I mean, if a deal made sense, and there was a market for it, and the economics made sense, and the planning merit was there, and you know, City Hall would get behind it. You know, maybe it's something we would think about what I've never, it's never really been in my room.

 

Georges El Masri 

I think they're kind of cool. They're like, they have it's one storey with a loft. Okay, but I don't know, because you need a lot of land for that. So it would depend on the area, I guess all

 

Blake Wyatt 

all look into it. That's a big takeaway from

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, sounds good. Okay, maybe we'll jump into the next section, which is the random five, I warned you about this part. I'm just gonna ask you five questions. Let me know what comes to mind first. So if you weren't a real estate developer, what would you be?

 

Blake Wyatt 

A National Hockey League general manager? Oh, General

 

Georges El Masri 

Manager. Okay. Is that something you think you might do in the future?

 

Blake Wyatt 

likely not. Maybe I would get involved in investing in a small sports team, like a junior team or something. But I don't think professional sports is the career for me anymore. The doors

 

Georges El Masri 

shut at one point you thought it would be

 

Blake Wyatt 

everybody has a dream, right? Yeah. Whether it was something that I was prepared to execute enough to be successful probably wasn't the case. Because I applied my efforts to real estate. That was the path that I chose. I'm very happy with it.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. All right. Well, that's kind of I think I'm gonna know the answer to this. Would you say Leafs or Raptors Leafs? Leafs? Yeah, or the Raptors although your connection?

 

Blake Wyatt 

I'm a Raptors fan now as well. I grew up in the 90s with the Vancouver Grizzlies. I don't know. Oh, yeah. They were horrible. Yeah, they were terrible a basketball but I remember going to those games with my dad. I was a teenager and it was always about the visiting team. You know, Michael Jordan the bowls. Yeah. The Houston rockets are pretty good at the time, the Lakers. So I'm getting back into basketball the last few years now that you know the Raptors have been doing well. I seem to be a bandwagon basketball fan.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. Well, I was just curious about that. What was it like having the Grizzlies and Vancouver?

 

Blake Wyatt 

They were bad. Like I think they only won like 11 1213 games preseason seasons. And they came into the league the same time as the Raptors and the Raptors started getting better and the Grizzlies didn't. And then they had a new owner come in and he said he wasn't going to move the team and he ended up moving the team so I became bitter about basketball I think for

 

Georges El Masri 

a while. But were there a lot of people in the stands as a lot of people watching the games at the beginning.

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, I remember the first few years the arena would befall people really good end to it. But I think you know, people will tolerate an expansion team being terrible for a while. But after your three, four or five, you know, they want to see some progress, right? They just never progress. So the stands got thinner and thinner.

 

Georges El Masri 

It's really sad because we only have one Canadian team now in the NBA.

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, I think there's a case that Toronto is the only Canadian city that has the market of the demographic to support basketball probably. I think the Raptors have stock and the Grizzlies didn't stick for a reason.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. Do you think it would work if they went back now to Vancouver? adult? No, no, you don't think so? No. Well, what sports were big in Vancouver? hockey, just hockey. Nothing else soccer?

 

Blake Wyatt 

No, no, Toronto's a more diverse sports city. Yeah, I grew up I had a little bit of interest in baseball. I was a mariners fan, not a Jays fan. Okay. And then, even with basketball before the Grizzlies came, the Seattle Sonics were kind of big. There's always that, yeah, spill off. A lot of my friends would be SEO now all of a sudden become Seahawks fans where football was never on anybody's radar when I was growing up, but I think in Vancouver, you because you only have the one high-level professional sports team in hockey. People will kind of hang on to Toronto or

 

Georges El Masri 

Seattle teams. Right. So that's it just hockey. like not even lacrosse or anything.

 

Blake Wyatt 

No, I think the Whitecaps are doing okay. They're on my flight back from Vancouver. Oh, yeah. Last week and people seem pretty excited about it. So.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah. All right. Okay, we'll jump into the next question, which is what was your favourite cartoon as a child?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Oh, man. I watch Bobby's world. Do you remember that? Now if you don't worry about it. I don't think so. No, it had Howie Mendell and his son had this big head that looked like a football, okay. And I liked Bobby's role because he was like, he was scheming and he was creative. And he had this big imagination that was like bigger than the world itself. Right. So I just liked kind of that big imagination like the kid with a dream right that to me, I guess looking back Probably spoke to me in a lot of ways that I didn't realize at the time.

 

Georges El Masri 

Oh, was that like a show from the 80s?

 

Blake Wyatt 

The early 90s, early 90s. Yeah.

 

Georges El Masri 

Might be a West Coast thing because I don't think I've ever heard of that.

 

Blake Wyatt 

No no's. Yeah.

 

Georges El Masri 

Okay. And which sport has been the most difficult for you to excel in?

 

Blake Wyatt 

My golf game is always a work in progress. I've golf for 21 years, okay, and I should be way better. Given that I played for 21 years, I get, the way my golf game goes is like what I start the season in May, I'm shaking off the rust, it takes me a good couple of months to get my rhythm back. And then by September, October, November, when the season's over, I'm generally playing the best I played in a long time. And then winter comes and I'm starting over again in May, that's been my cycle for the last three, four or five years. So I just got a golf membership last year, and I'm really trying to get more use out of it at least once a week during the season, get out and play, and then be able to measure my game against one course that I know Yeah, makes a difference as well. Because if you're always jumping around to different courses, if you don't know how to play it, you can sometimes lose five to 10 strokes again. So I'm trying to really become dedicated to improving my game and doing what I tend to be a better golfer. But it's a work in progress.

 

Georges El Masri 

Yeah, sure. I'm not a big golfer. But is it normal for someone to take that long to get into the rhythm of things?

 

Blake Wyatt 

No, I know guys that have played a lot less time than me that are quite a bit better.

 

Georges El Masri 

So and they do they have like, are they rusty and may like you're saying and then it takes them a couple of months to get

 

Blake Wyatt 

depends on the player. Yeah, my short game needs improvement. I think a lot of guys can strike the ball the same way that I do but produce a game that's, you know, five to 10 strokes better just by virtue of being better Potter's or, you know, better chippers than I am. That's probably if I could work on that one area. I'd probably be a much better player. Got it.

 

Georges El Masri 

Got it. Okay, and last question. Toronto or Vancouver? Toronto?

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah. Okay. Not even close. Really? Why do you say that? The energy in this city right now in Toronto is beyond anything I think in the world in terms of the growth potential that we have the diversity, the well-roundedness of the city, I think is the best way to explain it. Like I was actually with a friend that I knew from school in Vancouver, we had lunch the other day, and I hadn't seen him in 15 years. And he moved here as well. We were just talking about and Toronto does everything well, as a city. It's safe, it's clean. The weather's pretty good. by Canadian standards, there's a tremendous business opportunity, like every sector right now seems to be doing well, whether it's real estate or tech or finance. You know, you've got 80 to 100,000 people a year from all over the world moving here. I think that says a lot about what we have to offer. Vancouver. I enjoy growing up there I love visiting. But I just find it's not the city that doesn't have as much depth as we have here. It's beautiful. But the substance that we have here I think is beyond anything else. It's just it's an exciting place to be and I think you can come to the city and be whoever you want and there's something to offer you. The lifestyle is not you know put putting you in a box in terms of like Vancouver's if you're outdoors IE you hike. You ski it has so much offer. It's probably the best city in the world. But beyond that, the lifestyle options, in my opinion, are somewhat limited. I think Tron was just it's a little bit of everything for everybody.

 

Georges El Masri 

Mm-hmm. Gotcha. Yeah, that's sounds fair. I've never been to Vancouver. So I don't know. But I know that it's beautiful like in terms of landscape,

 

Blake Wyatt 

and I'd highly recommend visiting. It's a fantastic city with great restaurants, beautiful scenery has a lot to offer for visitors and residents, depending on what your objectives are.

 

Georges El Masri 

One day, I'll have to head out there. Alright, so to end things, is there anything you want to share about maybe some of the projects that you're working on or some of the cert Well, you probably don't offer a service but you offer, you've got your projects on sale. So if you want to tell us a bit about that.

 

Blake Wyatt 

Yeah, we're really excited about both we have right now marquee on the mountain is a 14 home development in Hamilton on Hamilton mountain. So there we're appealing to a lot of first-time buyers younger families at a price point that starts at 530,000 for a three-bedroom 16 to 1700 square foot town. And again, there we went west coast design with some traditional elements to fit into the community. So that's for sale now. And then we have water walk here in Oakville which is our landmark Project 2200 square foot, three-bedroom towns up to 3000 square feet, and our price point is 1.3 9 million to 2.1 and we're two to three blocks from the waterfront. We're right in Bronte harbour and this is our contemporary Cape Cod project. So the design is exceptional. features are exceptional. And it appeals to anybody at varying stages in their life. So if you're downsizing, there's a floor plan for you. If you're a younger family, there's a floor plan for you. So we're really excited about both and if you want to get more information, you can go to our website. It's Wyatt dev group comm wyattdbgroup.com. And you can register on our website for either project.

 

Georges El Masri 

Well, good luck, I've seen some of the renderings. It looks really nice. I'm sure you're gonna do well, and I wish you all the best moving forward and we'll definitely stay in touch. Awesome.

 

Blake Wyatt 

Thanks so much for having me.


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Georges El Masri

Georges El Masri

Toronto born, I spent my early childhood in Mississauga. My passion is to help your family become "well off" through real estate investing. I always work with the idea that your needs come first and I'm here to guide you. You can trust that my opinion will be a genuine one! I look forward to connecting with you soon if we haven't already.