Table of Contents - REI Isn’t Just a Man’s Game with Cora Cristobal
Dave Debeau [00:00:08] And other one is Dave Debeau, another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast. And today, zooming in with us, very special guest Cora Cristobal, a very experienced real estate entrepreneur and coach and a trainer and just a person that knows a heck of a lot around real estate investing. How are you today, Cora?
Cora Cristobal [00:00:30] I'm doing great. Thank you very much for having me. It's a pleasure.
Dave Debeau [00:00:34] It's my pleasure as well. So where are you calling in from today? And where do you do most of your real estate deals these days?
Cora Cristobal [00:00:42] OK, I'm calling in from Mississauga, which is a city in the greater Toronto area in Ontario, Canada.
Dave Debeau [00:00:51] Now, it sounds to me like you might not come from Mississauga originally, where you originally come from,
Cora Cristobal [00:00:57] originally come from a small country in Asia.
Dave Debeau [00:01:01] It's a very well known country, that's for sure. That's wonderful. So when it comes to real estate investing, what is your main focus? What what are your bread and butter kind of deals?
Cora Cristobal [00:01:14] My bread and butter kind of. This should be fast flowing. It should be cash, clothing. I don't focus on much of an appreciation, although it's a big factor when I decide where to buy, what to buy. But if I have to look at the property, they must be cash flow. What made this not make sense? They are not cash flowing, positive cash flow.
Dave Debeau [00:01:35] So you're a big believer in cash flow is king? Yes, that's a good fundamental. Now there's all sorts of different ways to get cash flow. Some people use single family homes with sweets. Other people focus on multifamily properties. Other people are looking at self-storage facilities or mobile home parks or lots of there's all sorts of different real estate assets, the cash flow. What is your main focus
Cora Cristobal [00:01:59] and focus on single family? At least two units.
Dave Debeau [00:02:02] Yeah. So like the burner type strategy, or do you buy properties that that already have suites in them you put suites in or do you buy them with suites
Cora Cristobal [00:02:11] already with suites or. There is a suite but it's a little bit of improvement.
Dave Debeau [00:02:15] OK, very, very good. Excellent. So Cora, when we were preparing for our call and I asked you what do you think would be a good title for this? I like the one you came up with. Real estate investing isn't just a man's game. Very good. So this resonates with me, Cora, because, well, I am a man. But my first experience in real estate investing was through my mother, who was a real estate entrepreneur when I was a kid. So as a single mom, working mom, working in the school district, raising a snot nosed kids, me, she built up a portfolio of about fifty rental units back in the 1970s and early eighties, and it definitely wasn't a woman's gain back then, typically. So tell me a little bit about that. Why? Because I know you're very, very passionate about helping other women get into real estate investing. So you still see that there is there tends to be a bit of a barrier there.
Cora Cristobal [00:03:15] Yes, I still see a barrier among women who are scared to invest because real estate involves a lot of money. So there's still that stigma or misconception that real estate is not for them. You know, it's very common for women to just focus on taking care of the family or maybe small business, but not real estate. And I really am really, really, as you said, I'm really, really passionate to encouraging women to get real estate. I can still see the ratio of more men against women. And I'd like to bring on more women to be involved in state investing.
Dave Debeau [00:03:49] Right. Well, I agree with you 100 percent. So why don't you tell us a little bit about your story, your background? Because we don't we don't know each other very well yet. But I can tell just from talking with you that I think you've got a pretty interesting back story. So what is it?
Cora Cristobal [00:04:08] Yes, I am a certified public accountant by profession, CPA, but in nineteen eighty seven and got married and I had two children in fourteen months, two babies. And my husband asked me to quit my job and having nothing to do. He asked me to take the real estate brokers examination and I knew nothing about real estate because I had been a career woman. No one in the family ever ventured into real estate. The only property that we own is our house. But I followed my husband because I was a little bit bored. So I took the exam and became a broker, became a member of the real estate board. And I had some money at the time and I showed up at my window and saw vacant lots. I started calling the owners of those vacant lots and I bought my first piece of land in three or four months later. I sold it four times.
Dave Debeau [00:05:03] So this was this was in Mississauga,
Cora Cristobal [00:05:05] not in the Philippines or in the Philippines or Philippines, because I came here only eighteen years ago. This was in nineteen eighty nine, some thirty years ago. Very nice. I started investing some thirty or thirty one years ago.
Dave Debeau [00:05:19] All right. So so what was your husband doing at the time that he that he encouraged you to get into real estate because
Cora Cristobal [00:05:25] it was a plant manager? He was a plant manager, but he is eleven years older than I. And so he already knew something about real estate. Yes. Started investing in state. So he knows. But I was eleven years younger, so I didn't know. So he actually was the one who taught me who exposed me first into real estate investing and my first venture. What's really very, very profitable.
Dave Debeau [00:05:53] Yes, just like your first venture was a cash flow prop., it was a it was a vacant piece of land that you turned around and did very well. So what did how did you progress while you were still in the Philippines? How did you how did your whole real estate investing career progressed there?
Cora Cristobal [00:06:12] So I became a member of the board and I was exposed to rich people, really rich people. Right. Who really landed. We had lots of property. So that's how I get exposure. And I did I did trade in real estate. I just buy and said several times. So every weekend I was still employed as an accounting manager and every weekend my husband and I would just be driving, looking for properties. Very nice. And so I was investing at the same time. I was helping people buy real estate. I want people because I personally benefited. I said lots of people, people should get into real estate. Of course, not everybody has that mindset. And and then when we moved to one dealer, I joined a big realty company. I started from a sales rep and went up there until I became an area sales director. I actually had a good track record in selling real estate in that large company. So I had really a better equipped I gave up my my profession as an and went in the state.
Dave Debeau [00:07:19] Yeah. So when, when and why did you and your husband and your family decide to immigrate to Canada?
Cora Cristobal [00:07:26] Oh, we had a sad story. I was stunned. I was stunned. And there was a syndicate who played a game with us and I lost almost all my savings, my own savings
Dave Debeau [00:07:42] in the
Cora Cristobal [00:07:43] Philippines. In the Philippines, I was scum. And because of that, I had already four children. And I said, I don't I don't want to raise my children in that kind of environment. So that's why we decided to migrate to Canada, because I also have a brother here. I also went to the United States. I really wanted to get out of the Philippines for a better environment,
Dave Debeau [00:08:05] for yourself and for your family, for myself
Cora Cristobal [00:08:07] and for my family.
Dave Debeau [00:08:08] So you got you went to the United States first?
Cora Cristobal [00:08:11] I went to the United States first because I applied for Canadian immigration and I was not getting any response. I thought it was approved. So I went to the U.S. and it was easy for me to get a job. I had two jobs that it's so easy in Los Angeles, California. I was there during the nine it eleven. But after the 9/11, I got an e-mail from the Canadian embassy. They have been sending me letters that they want to interview me. But because I was in the United States, I was missing all of these letters. So I was given a deadline to go back to the Philippines for interview. And during the nine eleven, the flights were canceled. But when they were issued, I flew to the Philippines and our immigration was finally approved and the whole family immigrated to Canada in 2003. I think 9/11 was two thousand.
Dave Debeau [00:09:02] Yeah, yeah. Two thousand one. I think it was
Cora Cristobal [00:09:04] two thousand and one. Two thousand and one. So that's that's a little bit there was a twist in my story.
Dave Debeau [00:09:10] Yeah. Oh that's that's for you. And the family arrive in, in Ontario and Toronto and whatever. Two thousand and three. Twenty two. Twenty three. Brand new country it sounds like a little bit, a little bit of family. But you know, most of your savings had been scammed from you from the Philippines, or were you kind of starting all over again?
Cora Cristobal [00:09:37] Yes. Yes, I well, I still have a little bit of savings, but more what they can they can buy this commerce. Right. But I have just a little bit of savings, just enough to start because of the time I would like you to show. Six months. Yeah. Survival income, so to speak. Right. Six months. And now you have to show up at the airport. But I have that. I have the money. I had a little bit of money, but then I started this. I don't think you can be a real Thorpedo. I think it requires two years of precedence as so I have to start from an accounting back. I work with a large ingredient company and when I got bored again with my full time employment, I started to get my real estate license, the full time job. And then I was thinking the state sources in six months I got my license.
Dave Debeau [00:10:31] Very nice. What you what you understood was working in the Philippines, you eventually transported to Canada. So what did you find were the major differences between investing in real estate in the Philippines versus Canada?
Cora Cristobal [00:10:47] Well, really very big difference. The fundamentals. And be the same, but in Canada, you cannot get a state without license in the Philippines. Anybody can just treat them and there's a lot of unethical and immoral transactions here. You cannot do that. I am bound by the code of ethics and I'm bound by certain laws. And if you misbehave in this country, you will lose your license, right? So that's one in the Philippines. I was not dealing with house and land, mostly in land, mostly high end subdivision, land, road, land and good shares go upstairs. So I myself was a real estate investor. Up to now. I have properties in the Philippines and I really did very well then. In fact, now I am I am selling one of my properties that I know.
Dave Debeau [00:11:39] How did you start getting into investing in cash flowing properties here in Canada? Where did where did you make that switch from raw land to cash flowing properties?
Cora Cristobal [00:11:49] Yes. So I have to study that. And my first property that I bought was a condo townhouse by square one, a median in Canada, in Mississauga. And yes, I Cash-Flow there around not a lot because at the time I already divorced, I had a some sort of my salary, but I divorced and I went through a crisis that I have to divorce. I will step on my own. So I needed to to become an investor so I can go beat up on the gross income of my husband. So I started buying condos, OK? And then during the recession in the U.S., I found my mentor and started buying in the United States. I invested in Florida, in Ohio. Really cheap.
Dave Debeau [00:12:32] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So is that where is that where you focus these days is investing your base in Canada, but you're investing in the states or do you kind of invest.
Cora Cristobal [00:12:41] No, but countries know I am doing preconstruction.
Dave Debeau [00:12:46] So I guess one of the questions I have for you, Corra, just because you've got a much more international outlook on things and myself as well, I actually lived overseas for almost 14 years. So you come back to Canada and you realize what opportunities there are sometimes Canadians don't realize we have. So, you know, I know your focus is on women and helping other women realize that these opportunities are there. And I just notice it seems like so many newer Canadians are first generation Canadians get it born and raised. Canadians have a harder time understanding it. Why do you think that is?
Cora Cristobal [00:13:29] Well, it depends on their background right now. Everything starts from the mindset because I was exposed, if not for my husband. Imagine if I got married to somebody who does not believe in real estate. So who are you hanging out with? It's very important who you hang out with and they hang out with my husband and people who are will be in real estate. So a regular person who does not have that exposure, it's very hard to switch that mentality. So that's one. And number two, I became a real estate broker in the Philippines, the real estate agent. I have the education, so one is exposed to it. Who do you hang out with? And I got a mentor in real estate or a millionaire. So those are the factors that are really very important for you to have that kind of attitude, because it is what you believe. It is what you believe. So that's what I can tell you.
Dave Debeau [00:14:25] So we've just got a few minutes left. And I want to get back to our focus on helping more women get into active real estate investing. So when you're speaking at a group or you're speaking with a group of non real estate ladies or women, what's kind of the message? What's what's the core of your message that you'd like to get across?
Cora Cristobal [00:14:47] Yes, my message is for people to keep growing themselves, to keep growing, to keep investing in yourself and be careful with the people who you hang around with, because education will come not only from reading books or going to seminars, but also from the people that you that you normally associate yourself with whom you are talking with. Right. Because if people will tell, you know, you're crazy, real estate is very dangerous, then that's what you get. But the people who will encourage you to say go in real estate, that's the best route to becoming wealthy. So that is my best advice. I can give everyone
Dave Debeau [00:15:26] an excellent car. All right. So I'm sure there's going to be people that are watching or listening to this who would like to connect with you. What would you suggest they do? Do you have I know as we're filming this, we're still going the whole covid lockdown situation. What what are you doing? Are you still I think you have a club in Toronto for focus on women and real estate.
Cora Cristobal [00:15:47] Yes, I do. Regular events. Still, but now it's Bertolli because we cannot do it again, but in 2020, I have done nine events, one in eight Berthelot, and on Saturday I have another event, which is the last for 2020.
Dave Debeau [00:16:05] So there like I mean, this is probably going to be showing up in twenty, twenty one. So people want to connect with you in twenty, twenty one. What should they do.
Cora Cristobal [00:16:15] They can check my website. Toronto Women's Club that seet. You can see me in baseball or a crystal ball. I have my beach there and I have my Toronto Women's Club page as well and real estate agent page as well in Facebook and also in in as well. You can email me Achara, Toronto Women's Club. That's C C and you can just go online and punch in my name. Caught up with somebody to lead you to all my social media pages as well as my website.
Dave Debeau [00:16:44] That's wonderful. Bokhara, thank you very much for your time and and your inspirational story. I appreciate you sharing it with us.
Cora Cristobal [00:16:51] It's my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
Dave Debeau [00:16:54] All right, everybody, take care and we'll see you on the next episode.
Cora Cristobal [00:16:57] Thank you. Bye.
Dave Debeau [00:16:58] Well, hey there. Thanks for tuning into the Property Profits podcast. If you like this episode, that's great. Please go ahead and subscribe on iTunes. Give us a good review. That would be awesome. I appreciate that. And if you're looking to attract investors and raise capital for your deals, that may invite you to get a complimentary copy of my newest book right back there. There is the money partner formula. You get a PDF version at investor attraction book, dot com again, investor attraction book, dot com ticker.