Table of Contents - The Most Common Mistakes Real Estate Investors Make with Gary Wong
Dave Debeau [00:00:08] Hey, everyone, this is Dave Debeau and welcome to this week's episode of The Real Estate sorry, the Property Profits Real Estate podcast. That's a mouthful, isn't it, Gary? Yeah, definitely. And my guest today is Gary OINT, a very, very sharp young realtor based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. He's also a real estate investor. He's written books about both the Vancouver market. And he also works with high end properties and with real estate investors who are looking to grow their portfolio portfolio. So welcome to the call. How are you doing today, Gary?
Gary Wong [00:00:48] Good. I'm good. Thank you for welcoming. Thank you for inviting me to the show.
Dave Debeau [00:00:52] My pleasure. So, Gary, let's let's just get started. Tell us a little bit about your background, how you got in this this crazy game of real estate investing and what kind of stuff you do personally when it comes to real estate.
Gary Wong [00:01:06] So I got into the game in twenty twelve. I had done my business degree prior to that, so I did my MBA and then I got into real estate and I, I printed out like a 15 page business plan and I interviewed seven different brokerages and only one broker knew what I was talking about. So I ended up being with McDonald Realty, which I was still at. And I've been I've been being a realtor since twenty twelve, but I went full time in twenty thirteen and then since twenty thirteen, I've been award winning every year since then. And in twenty fourteen I met my mentor Dan Locke and he just took my entrepreneurial world all to the next level. And since then I wrote a book, I started doing YouTube, I started blogging and doing a whole bunch of other stuff. And then meanwhile I thought I knew what it took to be a real estate investor just because I was a realtor. And then that's when I bumped into a veteran real estate investor in my first or second year. And I had a 30 minute conversation and I realized I knew nothing about real estate investing, like a realtor thinking that they know they don't. So I talked to this veteran real estate investor who was a part of who had been part of real estate investment network, the largest risk investing group in western Canada. And I joined them and I learned there, like learned their system, learned what it takes to to build, to invest in cash flow and asset appreciation. And then from then on, I did other further study and self study. I studied like a program of investing in real estate in the states. And and then I started investing in condos myself, but not full time because I just couldn't because I was a full time realtor and building my realtor business, I couldn't leverage my time to be a full time real estate investor and fly out to Toronto or Michigan or Las Vegas. I just couldn't do that.
Dave Debeau [00:03:09] So you've got you've got condos, are they primarily in and around Vancouver?
Gary Wong [00:03:13] Yeah, I've got condos in Vancouver, Richmond, and that's where I'm born and raised in Vancouver. So I I'm quite familiar with the different neighborhoods for myself. Vancouver and Richmond are my preferences for now.
Dave Debeau [00:03:29] Understood. Yeah, makes sense. So let's talk a little bit about that, because at the time that we're recording this, Vancouver is kind of an interesting market. I mean, we we had the the craziness of that whole spike in values where where things just went crazy for a number of years, kind of plateaued and might be going down a bit right now. But when you're working with investors who are coming to invest in a market like Vancouver or Toronto or down in the states would probably be similar to Seattle or perhaps Los Los Angeles, those kind of markets. What are your investors looking for? They kind of speculating or are they looking for a place to park their money or or what are they looking for typically?
Gary Wong [00:04:16] Well, most of the investors that I work with, they're trying to invest in cash flow properties that provides a residual income. And they come here and they say, well, like I heard or I read somewhere or I watched some YouTube video where you can positive cash flow like a couple hundred dollars after all your expenses, mortgage property taxes, insurance fees. And I'm like, well, theory, that's the theory. But in practice, it's not like that, especially in Vancouver, especially in the downtown core or the urban areas and rural, a little bit better. But in the urban areas, positive cash flow is quite difficult to obtain. So I have to educate them about how it's not like Phenix, Arizona, how it's not like Las Vegas or Utah or Ohio or Michigan or Edmonton or Calgary. And we we usually settle with OK, well, I want something close to break even then at least break even or close to break even. And then we are usually able to get a compromise on that
Dave Debeau [00:05:25] because you have to do something pretty creative to get positive cash flow and focus on student rentals or Airbnb it or something kind of. Creative is something something out of the out of the norm makes sense. So why what why why do they choose Vancouver instead of some of those other places where they can get the positive cash?
Gary Wong [00:05:44] I think they choose Vancouver because of the economic fundamentals. There's population growth in Vancouver. I think it's about forty thousand come to Vancouver every year. Strong GDP, I think, is the strongest economy in all of Canada. And then the job growth is really high, the unemployment rate is low and the vacancy rate is really low. And then obviously they read the articles out there that says Vancouver is the top three cities in the world to live. And then you look at the schools, it's we've got like world class schools. I think UBC is probably ranked 40 in the world for their business programs and such. And then they look the you know, it's a very popular place for Asians just crossing the Pacific Ocean, the weather is very fair. They don't have to go to Toronto where the weather is super cold and then super hot. So a lot of people love Vancouver and of course, a
Dave Debeau [00:06:47] lot of people definitely love Vancouver. You know, that's no argument there. OK, so, Gary, when obviously you're a little bit biased because you're you're a realtor yourself, but let's say somebody is somebody getting started in there. They're in a completely different city and they want to invest in that city. What tips or recommendations would you give them about finding a good realtor?
Gary Wong [00:07:11] I think when when it comes to finding a good realtor, there's different types, one like if you're looking specifically for buying, then you want a realtor who knows how to do analysis? Well, they know their numbers. They know their economic fundamentals. They know which areas are great and which are not. And then they must have high, high level of customer service. Because when you're buying a property, if you're buying as an investment, it's a little bit different. But if you're buying for yourself, they should be. It's emotional. And so the buying agent or the realtor should know how to deal with people's emotions. They shouldn't be like rock hard and like the bottom line is. That's right. But for investor, you want someone who's pretty sharp. They know their numbers. They know that economic fundamentals, they know how to they know your risk tolerance. They're able to ask the right questions to analyze your needs, like they should be able to judge what your your skill level. And as a realistic investor, is this a sophisticated buyer or is this an entry level like first time, first time investor or second time investor? And then you should offer advice accordingly. So a lot of realtors out there, they offer and I was like that. I was guilty of that. I admit a first time investor and I pour out all the stuff I learned from Real Estate Investment Network, and I poured all the all these advance strategies and they just had no clue to confuse them. And then I said, oh, you can't do that. You have to help them according to where they're at. If they if they only have one investment property, you don't give them a strategy that helps them get like, you know, like ten properties or twenty properties. You help them get their second property. So that's important.
Dave Debeau [00:09:06] Obviously, there was a lot of great qualities, how would you find somebody like that? What steps would you take if you were that either, let's say, newbie or more experienced investor looking for a new realtor? Would you ask for referrals or would you interview a bunch of them,
Gary Wong [00:09:23] ask for referrals, but also interview them? And then I would do my my own due diligence. I find that realtors who are quite well branded online, it shows me that they take pride in what they do and that they're not just just helping their friends buy or sell real estate like they actually are doing this long term. So I usually they give off a good first impression. If they're if they have good marketing, it doesn't guarantee that they're going to be a great realtor for you. But it gives me a good first impression, like it's like going into a doctor's office and the doctor office is all like crummy. And I don't see them online or he has no online presence and his office is is really dirty and the first impression matters. So I think that that the first impression is a good stepping stone, but it doesn't guarantee that the realtor is right for you.
Dave Debeau [00:10:25] Yeah, that makes sense. So you're talking about Dan Locke being your mentor? Dan, the man's an old friend of mine. I've known him since he's. Two thousand and five or six or something like that. What what have you learned from Dan that you've applied to your your realtor business is really going to help kick things up?
Gary Wong [00:10:51] The funny thing is, when I met him in twenty twelve, twenty fourteen, I was already doing well in real estate. And then Dan has a saying where he's in the business of helping winners when more not helping losers become winners. So it's great that I was accepted to be his mentee. And so obviously he thought I was a winner, which was great. But then he took me the first hour, the first one hour phone call I had with him. I said, there goes my one year MBA. It was just totally different mindset. Being an academic to an entrepreneur and to a multimillionaire multimillionaire entrepreneur, the mindsets are totally different. So within a couple of months, he had gotten me taking taking massive action, studying a lot of material. And then at the end of twenty, fourteen, maybe like four months into my mentorship, he's like, you're going to write a book. I'm like, what is that? You're going to write a book. I'm like, how. What. And he was showing me like some realtor in Toronto wrote this book and he was like he, he told me to buy the book. So I read the book and I was like, this book Socks. And then I was and he said he explained to me the way that Realtor wrote the book was he just recorded his voice for an hour and then transcribed it and then got it, Ed and to to Patchogue or puzzle in the pieces and then put together and there was a book and I was like this, this sucks. So I'm going to like end. But the book was helping him get a lot of branding and positioning. And so for me, I like writing myself. I had already been blogging for a few years, so I took a lot of my blog posts. I wrote a lot of other reports and stuff like that. And I amalgamated together. I wrote extra material and I combined it. And then it took me while Dan was like one year, right, in two months. So I worked really hard and I did it in four months. And then I published my book in twenty 15 April or something like that, what's the name of your book? The book on Vancouver. Real nice. Yeah. So then that helped me in terms of positioning and branding.
Dave Debeau [00:13:21] And so how how did that help you in terms of positioning and branding, how do you use your book to to get more customers?
Gary Wong [00:13:29] Well, I use my book as my business card in real estate. A lot of people just hand out their business cards. And you and I know that business cards often get thrown away. So I slow down with time. When you have a book, it gives you the authority status. People aren't going to throw away your book. So use your book as an authority like as a business card. So that's what I did. And I was handing out the book for free in on Facebook and paying paying my friend to do Facebook ads. And I was bringing leads to my landing page and I was paying for shipping and I was paying for the bulk and everything. And I got a bunch of haters saying that I supported the the housing unaffordability and the mainland Chinese and all that stuff. But I got a taste of what it's like to to add value and get a lot of pushback. So from then on, I use the book where every time a client, I give them a copy of my book. I just want to educate them whether they want to use me as a realtor or not, that's fine. But at least it's a way to leave a lasting impression.
Dave Debeau [00:14:41] So what's an example of the the biggest impact the book has had directly on you?
Gary Wong [00:14:47] I think it gave me the confidence. It gave me the self-esteem that I needed. Like, I am an author now. And it just and I know that the the book gave me authority status, but it's one thing to get to know it and then it's another thing to really know it deep in your heart. And I think the book gave me the confidence what I could write a book, what else could I do? And so it gave me the self-esteem to do other projects that then assigned me to do and then took me outside of my comfort zone. And little by little, I kept challenging me with more difficult projects that that took me outside of my comfort zone and with me taking out of my comfort zone, my income started to go outside of my comfort zone, which is that's awesome.
Dave Debeau [00:15:40] So what else besides the book has worked really well for you. I know you do YouTube videos, your blogs, you do all sorts of stuff. What what's kind of the that if you could only pick one, which one would it be? I know.
Gary Wong [00:15:52] I think it would be YouTube. So funny. End of twenty fourteen. Dan was like, I also want you to do YouTube and I don't know how to do you to just shoot any videos by yourself. And then I was asking him questions like oh which I should use which like videos. And he was like just do it. And then so I got the camera, I started shooting videos and I had no clue what to talk about, but he gave me some ideas and then I started shooting them. And in the beginning, I assume, you know, with my cell phone during a like a selfie video. And then later I, I got a Tesla and I put on a tripod. Later I added some three point lighting and I started just shooting more and more videos. And then I think now I have about five hundred videos. Why is it like a lead generation machine? No, it's not. But it's more of a way to add value to the public and just get people to know who I am.
Dave Debeau [00:16:48] Now and all of these things combined have really helped to kick your business up.
Gary Wong [00:16:54] It has it has no choice but to YouTube the book. And then obviously that's the other things like the website and the podcast and all that
Dave Debeau [00:17:03] social media type
Gary Wong [00:17:04] stuff.
Dave Debeau [00:17:05] Now, that's awesome, actually. Well, like I told you, time flies when we're when we're having fun here. So why don't you tell us a little bit about if people are interested in finding out more about you're getting all of you. What's the best way to do that?
Gary Wong [00:17:18] I think the best way is to go to my website at Garhwal Realty dot com, also my YouTube. You can find me at Gary Wong Realty on YouTube, or they can go to the big Vancouver real estate TV.com. It just redirects to the YouTube channel. I think that's the best way. They can also find me on Instagram. Khary in Vancouver.
Dave Debeau [00:17:41] Excellent. Well, Gary has been a lot of fun. Thank you very much for sharing your your experience, your insights and your advice and appreciate it.
Gary Wong [00:17:50] Thank you so much.
Dave Debeau [00:17:52] All right. Thank you, everybody. Enjoy. Enjoy your weekend. We'll see you next week on the next episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast. Take care. Talk to you soon. Thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast. And you think 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.