Table of Contents - The Mindful Landlord with Terrie Schauer
Dave Debeau [00:00:10] Hey, everyone, this is Dave Debeau. Welcome to another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast. And today I have a very interesting guest on the call with me today. And it is Terry Schauer. And I pronounce your name properly, Terry.
Terrie Schauer [00:00:29] Yeah, it's perfect. That's good.
Dave Debeau [00:00:31] That's great. First time rock. Terry, welcome to the welcome to the podcast. Glad to have you on board. And if you haven't heard or if you haven't met Terry yet, she's a very, very experienced real estate entrepreneur. She's also a realtor. She's also a professional property manager. And she's the author of a new book we'll be talking a little bit about today. And as you can tell, by all the medals and trophies hanging around her. She's a she's a very, very accomplished athlete as well. So, Terry, great to have you on the call. And before you jump in, just tell us a little bit about what athletics you like to focus on. What's your what's been your focus?
Terrie Schauer [00:01:15] Yeah, so I actually have been in martial arts for a really long time, and I started with 10 years of kickboxing, so I ended up boxing semi professionally in Europe and then came back to Canada and was on the Canadian team for a couple of years. And then when I was a bit too intense, but I realized I couldn't just quit cold turkey. So I switched to Brazilian jujitsu, which is in a weird way, it's like a bit more children kick boxing because you're not taking all kinds of hits to the head. Something goes wrong. You could just
Dave Debeau [00:01:46] talk people out, that's all. There you go.
Terrie Schauer [00:01:50] If something goes wrong, you just happen. It's all over. And then so that's what I do most of the time now. I still compete actively and I teach now as well as I do.
Dave Debeau [00:01:58] And you're telling me off camera that you just won a pretty impressive title. Tell us about that.
Terrie Schauer [00:02:05] Yeah. So in the last December, I won the world title in Nogi. So that's actually just you can compete with the like the kimono and without it. So it was that world championship with the outcome on. Yeah. So I was very pleased to be able to have that experience.
Dave Debeau [00:02:21] Congratulations. Well that's that's very impressive. And as we're discussing, it comes in handy sometimes when you're dealing with tennis. But I hope you haven't had to choke anybody out. But I'm sure it makes you feel a lot more comfortable and confident with your technique. So let's start at the beginning. Terry, how did you first get inspired to get involved in real estate investing?
Terrie Schauer [00:02:46] So it did for me, it kind of happened a bit accidentally, like I when I moved out of my parent's house, I was 19, I went away to college and I ended up there wasn't enough space in the student dorms. So I ended up in this big informal kind of co-op style house which with no manager. And when I moved in, it was a complete mess. The person who'd been taking care of the property had left. And so my fellow tenants voted me house manager basically the next day after I moved in. And so my first task was to clean up the garbage and try to organize everybody. And then that started me down the path to being a property manager.
Dave Debeau [00:03:26] Yeah. Interesting. Interesting. Oh, yeah. That's definitely jumping in with both feet and. Yeah. And what at this point, I know you do a variety of things, but when it comes to actually investing in real estate, what is your main focus in your main strategy.
Terrie Schauer [00:03:41] Yeah, so I mean because I'd say my, my real talent is as a property manager most of the time I've done a buy and hold, like obviously I have a sort of a portfolio of clients who I manage for. So some of my money comes from commissions, I guess, for managing and brokering. But for me personally, usually I'm buying whole properties like I have sold one of my buildings. But the other ones I've really had them kind of since I started out as an investor and then acquire an additional property when I see an opportunity and when financing permits.
Dave Debeau [00:04:13] So are you focused more on single family homes or small ties or what's kind of your sweet spot?
Terrie Schauer [00:04:20] Yeah, so I mean, I live in Montreal where like in the Montreal area, there's really not that many single family homes and the tenancy market for single family homes is not awesome. And because management is my strength, I prefer to keep things kind of within a radius where my team can deal with it. So I've invested mostly in smaller properties. So triplex, triplex, duplex, duplex, that kind of stuff. I've been tempted lately to get into something a little bit bigger, but the market for bigger properties like six plus properties and material is so competitive right now that like the there's almost better deals in what gets qualified as residential here multiunit starts with a six and up and up that market super competitive. And somehow the opportunities I find tend to be smaller properties and interests.
Dave Debeau [00:05:12] Very good. So. I want to do our conversation a little bit differently today, Terry, because, again, you've you've just written a book and it's the primary focus of the book is all about property management. So tell us a little bit about the book and we'll look a little bit more at that.
Terrie Schauer [00:05:33] Yeah. So, you know, I guess over it's been 20 years that I've been managing properties and sort of being in real estate. And, you know, the book is marrying a little bit my own mindset journey with some of the nuts and bolts stuff that you need to succeed in investing. So as time goes on, I have observed my way of doing business changing and also seeing some of the mistakes and pitfalls that the investors that I manage properties for run into. And so really, it's I'd say the books are like about a 50 50 split between half is just really nuts and bolts of like, what do you need to do to manage a property effectively? And then the other part is really two aspects of mindset. So the first one being, how do you in the beginning get out of your own way, get over your fear just to make the moves that you need to make? Because at the beginning, very often we kind of don't trust ourselves and we have like a lot of mental obstacles in our way. So that's one aspect. And then once you start succeeding, then that becomes its own kind of problem. Because is the is your purpose in real estate to have as many doors as possible? Are you going to be happy when you get to one hundred a thousand, or are you in real estate maybe to get to a certain level of cash flow and then say, I'm interested in playing other games with my life? So it's a little bit to kind of examine the science of success and think about, you know, you're not trying to everybody doesn't have the same goals. And if you really want to do it, do do your investing in a meaningful way. It has to be something that fits with what it is that you're trying to get out of it, not as a competitive sport, necessarily try and outdo the next guy.
Dave Debeau [00:07:13] So, yeah, and I think being an athlete, you bring a unique perspective to things because, you know, especially having been a professional athlete, you've worked with coaches, you've done a lot of a lot of work on the mental game of things that the rest of us who are not athletic or haven't been involved in sports like that probably aren't aware of. So, yeah, I think you'd probably bring out a lot of value from that to helping the rest of us get focused on our goals as realistic investors now. Terry, what do you think is the biggest mistake you see us mom and pop landlords making when we're self managing our own properties?
Terrie Schauer [00:07:55] Yeah, so there's a there's a few of these. I'd say one of the big ones is nickel and diming.
Dave Debeau [00:08:02] So what do you mean by that?
Terrie Schauer [00:08:04] So, you know, like you're in investing, right? You need to spend money to make money. And sometimes I work for clients who have a hard time paying 50 bucks to get the hallway cleaned or have the grass cut or just do really little minor jobs either. Either they will try to do everything themselves and kind of burn themselves out. And really, unfortunately, it ends up being a lot of opportunity cost because you only have so much time to invest into what you're doing is as an investor. And if you're spending that time cleaning stairways and mowing the lawn, that's not necessarily the highest leveraged way that you can use your time. So I'd say that's one thing like being really mindful of of how you're investing your time. And the other thing I would say is really it's like sweating the small stuff. A lot of the clients that I get come to me when they're up to here with their tenants and they just can't deal with another phone call. They can't deal with another fight over rent check. That's a couple of days late. And so I would really say, like some of it is also just getting perspective. And this is again, where for me some of the mindfulness comes in that, you know, in terms of how we interact with the world, like it's possible to be in reaction mode or it's possible to be in sort of let things come to you mode. And let me really focus on what's the salient point here, what's the most effective way of dealing with things and not just be in reaction mode all the time. So.
Dave Debeau [00:09:38] Yeah, yeah. Well, so now what do you what would you say to somebody if they said, well, that sounds good, Terry, but I find with my tenants I've had experience where if I give them an inch, they take a mile. What what where's where's the happy balance there.
Terrie Schauer [00:09:51] Yeah. So definitely and I and I feel like a lot of people struggle with their roles or they're kind of like seesawing between those things. Like on the one hand they tend to let things slide that they shouldn't let slide and then come down super hard on stuff that maybe they could come down a bit less hard
Dave Debeau [00:10:07] on times like me with my teenage son.
Terrie Schauer [00:10:14] So like the flip flopping back. And so what I do is I mean, I assume the first thing is that I always treat my tenants in a professional relationship. So because I work a lot in French, it's kind of easier because we have in French we have like a politeness form, like it's called zoo. And so you create a little bit of professional distance for sure. In English like that can be a bit more difficult. But definitely like if you call them, just address them as mister and don't get into rude text messaging battles. Just if you interact with them in a way that's professional, it's going to encourage them to react to you in a way that's professional. So I would say treat your treat your tendency like your your your management as if it's a business. If you only have one condo, it's not like the tenant needs to know that. Right. You can say it's our policy to do this or you can dictate to them like me, for example, I actually have one like I have two phones. I have a personal phone and and a business phone. And on the business phone I tell people how to interact with me. So let's say I answer the phone from nine to five evenings and weekends. You can send me a text message in case of emergency or else please send me an email and I will be able to deal with it on Monday morning. So you can very easily, like, channel that communication in such a way that it's not frazzling you and getting to you at a time when it's inconvenient. Because I think that's one of the other things that generates a lot of stress for people is this kind of constant, unpleasant influx of information when you don't want it. And so if you educate your tenants on how to speak to you, then really it's it's much better
Dave Debeau [00:11:43] now that I was a writer down or what you gave us right there. Yeah. Yeah. And on the business phone, you yet you have your regular office hours, 9:00 to 5:00, whatever it is. Then the message educates your tenants on how best to communicate with you. Worst case scenario being send you a text right now if it's if it's emergency.
Terrie Schauer [00:12:04] And then I would just add one other thing to that. And I think the other one is that I really I'm a big, big believer in personal responsibility. And I always try to make my tenants sort of as responsible as possible. And that even happens in the way I communicate with them. So let's say I'll give you example. I had a building that needed to be treated for bedbugs. And so I had one tenant who didn't want to let the exterminator in. He had a cat, I don't know, whatever. So I could have screamed and yelled at him, but I just presented the facts to him very calmly. It's like, look, you can choose to refuse the exterminator access to the building. Then the city inspector will come. You will get a fine. Really, it doesn't show no skin off my nose, which one you do. But if you don't collaborate, this is going to be the consequence. And now you make your decisions, like, here's the easy road, here's the hard road. I don't really mind what you do, but this is what's going to happen if you don't do what I tell you to do. So there you go.
Dave Debeau [00:13:01] Nice. So you took the emotion out of it and it was just a businesslike conversation and you didn't get all ruffled.
Terrie Schauer [00:13:09] Exactly. And amazingly like if you if you talk to people that way, it's not only is it respectful, but it also makes them kind of come back down and be like, oh, yeah, wait a second, I do need to take responsibility for whatever is going to happen. And you want to pay your rent. Wait, no problem. Will, I'll see you at the tenancy board and then you're going to get a fine even if you pay because you paid late. And DataDot doesn't make a difference to me. So.
Dave Debeau [00:13:32] So tell me where you are. Time flies when we're having fun, that's for sure. And we're just about at the end of our interview here. So I know you do a variety of different things. But if somebody is interested in. So first of all, what's the name of your book? What's your book called?
Terrie Schauer [00:13:48] Mindful Landlord.
Dave Debeau [00:13:49] Mindful Landlord. That's that's a great title. And if people are interested in getting a copy of the Mindful Landlord, what should they do?
Terrie Schauer [00:13:57] You can just go on Amazon and type in my landlord. You can also check out my website, ETCs, shower dot com. Actually, just there's also for the next couple of weeks I have a promotion running that you get to have an action plan, sort of a practical exercises that go together with the book to kind of get people acting out some of the stuff that I'm talking about. And so you can find that also on the website.
Dave Debeau [00:14:22] Yeah, excellent. Very good. And I know you do a variety of different things. So you're a realtor, you're a property manager, you're a you're a mom. You're an athlete. You're a real estate investor the whole bit. So I know you also do some coaching. So who who's kind of like the ideal person that that you work with as a coaching client?
Terrie Schauer [00:14:44] Yeah, so really, people who are at the beginning of their investment journey and I guess part of what made me want to write the book and also I'm just I have also an online property management course that I I'm watching the next couple of weeks was because I kept getting kind of the same questions over and over again. And I felt like, you know, instead of selling like an expensive coaching package, why not create sort of cheaper resources that people can access in a very easy on demand way? The online course, people kind of can watch videos like as as it goes for the as they can integrate into their life. They don't have to show up and physically be somewhere. So, yeah, excellent.
Dave Debeau [00:15:27] And again, they can visit your website to find out more about that. Correct. And we'll have the website link in the show notes below. Terry, there's been a lot of fun. Thank you very much for sharing some of your insights. Very, very good tip there. Just I mean, it just popped into my head that the two phones and the educating people about how best to interact with you, that is so smart. I'm going to I'm going to really try to remember that. What if I could do that with my teenage son?
Terrie Schauer [00:15:55] Definitely the personal, you know, thing. One hundred percent that's going to work. A hundred percent.
Dave Debeau [00:16:01] Thank you very much. It's been a lot of fun. OK, thank you. Bye bye. All right, everybody. See you next week. Take care. Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast. You like what we're doing here. Please head on over to iTunes. Subscribe read us and leave us to review it. Very, very much appreciated. And if you're looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom Ticker.