I’m weird … well, at least I’m different. I have always thought of myself as being different from other men. Well, I certainly hope I’m different from women … well most women anyway.
I don’t enjoy watching team sports (maybe the occasional tennis grand slam tournament). I prefer a hamburger than a steak. I always thought to eat a steak took too much time and effort.
I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. About the only bad habit I have is I like my wine gums or any type of candy like that.
In grade school, I had the longest hair and I used to get beat up by the school bullies on the way home from school because I was different. In high school, the principal singled me out and told me I had 24 hours to get my hair cut. I didn’t.
I discovered gymnastics and become a member of the high school gymnastics team where I made some good friends and had a lot of good times. I also played volleyball and high-jumped for the track and field team. Basically, anything that involved me jumping, I was good at it. My buddy used to place bets on how many times I could touch the basketball rim, which at 5’8” was a difficult task. But I would always surprise everyone and would get it 10 out of 10 times.
I was also an A-student and would get really good marks. And for some reason, I used to hang around with all the cool kids in school. So here I was … a jock, a nerd and one of the cool gang. My high school reunions were great because I had lots of friends from all my different groups and teams. And the funny thing was I was super shy.
But I found myself migrating between groups on a regular basis. One week I would hang out with the smart people, another week with the nerds, and then get invited to the cool parties on the weekends. As a result, I had lots of friends but no real “best friend”. Well, maybe 1 or 2 but not like a BFF. I was different.
But I always had this desire to be different and to be great. I remember my teacher in Grade 5 or 6 going around the classroom and asking everybody what they wanted to be when they grew up. There were a lot of future astronauts, hockey players, and doctors in the room. I was the only “mechanical engineer”. I didn’t become one. Not sure when my interest changed.
I went to university and got a Computer Science degree. It took me 2 tries because I partied too much my first time and got expelled. When I went back, I was in a hurry, so I enrolled in 8 courses in my first term. I was also working 3 jobs to pay my way. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much. People said I was crazy. I was different.
When I graduated I got the highest paying job in my computer science class. Over the years, I worked my way up through a bunch of IT-related jobs at various governments and companies. I even worked for a big six consulting firm until I realized I didn’t want to make partner.
My whole life changed when I found out that I could be or do anything I wanted to do once I put my mind to it. I guess it was from all those years of reading and listening to self-help books. I was always looking to do something better for myself. I always wanted to improve myself.
I left a corporate job working as a high priced consultant to go off on my own and become a higher-priced independent consultant. My specialty was IT Project Management. Everyone thought I was crazy to leave the corporate job. But, I was different.
Twenty-some years ago, I was in Moncton, NB and I was to be the emcee at my niece’s wedding. Before the wedding, I saw this ad for a house for sale. It was for a duplex for sale and the ad said “Live in 1 side and rent out the other”. So in between the wedding ceremony and the reception, I went over the check it out. My proposal to the owner was to rent both sides. What I would do was use the profit from each rent and use it to build up the down payment over time. After 3 years, I went to the bank and got financing and used the money I gave the owner as a down payment. That was my first real estate investment, which I found out later, was actually a Lease Option, or rent to own. I think I gave the owner $1,000 down.
I remember everyone telling me not to do it because it was a scam and because I wasn’t on the title. The owner was ripping me off. But I was different.
I ended up doing 3 more deals with the same owner over the next couple of years for 3 more duplexes. I also had done a nothing down deal with this other property, where the owners took back a second mortgage and I got conventional financing for the balance. So now I had 5 duplexes or 10 doors. I thought I was quite the real estate tycoon.
I started looking for more properties to buy. But I ran into a roadblock. The properties were over financed and the banks thought my total “loan to income” ratio on my combined properties was too risky. I tried many many different mortgage brokers looking to get financing, but no luck.
At that point, I was living in Ottawa and investing in Moncton. I lived in New Brunswick between 1997 and 2000. During that time I took and passed my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. The studying process for this exam was brutal. I have a Computer Science degree so I thought I would build an online training program to over this PMP certification training. I sunk all my money into this venture and took out a lot of loans to fund the development. Keep in mind, at this time Google was brand new, there was no WordPress so I was coding everything in HTML. I was also building my own software for the course. I had a designer and 3 coders. Bottom line, I lost about $1M when I wasn’t able to complete this project. I had been doing some private Project Management consulting which was funding this but the PM opportunities had dried up in small-town New Brunswick.
In 2000, I moved back to Ottawa, just after the survival of Y2K. I was still looking for something different. I was attending lots of real estate seminars. I ended up signing up for this Real Estate Investing training package. In the package was a Lease Option training and there was a group coaching included. I was still not able to get funding for my investments from the bank. My mentor kept pushing me to look at Lease Options. I resisted because I couldn’t see how anyone would want to signup for a Lease Option. He finally convinced me to try it out.
About that same time, my brother had moved back to Moncton and was looking for a job. So I suggested that he become my Property Manager for my rentals and that we start looking into Lease Options. I did all the marketing and he did all the sales, I would pay him a sales commission and I would make my money on the monthly spread and in the backend when we sold.
I couldn’t believe what happened next.
Within 1 year, I had over 30 new properties. We grew the portfolio to almost 100 at 1 point. Once people heard about us they were lining up at our office to give us their deposits and to give us their properties, depending on whether they were a tenant buyer or a motivated seller. I used to have to turn off my advertising so we could catch up on all the potential clients coming our way. We were using a sandwich lease option strategy in Moncton. When we started out, we made a lot of mistakes. We had properties that no one wanted. We had tenants we should never have rented to. But we learned from our mistakes. I even had to hire an assistant and open an office.
I also started doing some Lease Options in Ottawa. The challenge in Ottawa was there weren’t as many motivated sellers so we had to use a Purchase Lease Option strategy. So I went looking for investors to buy properties to put into my Lease Option business. I also found a few motivated sellers who were actually investors who had their fill of bad tenants. But what I found was that a lot of these investors preferred to do more passive investing, where they invested in mortgages, which is where I started to branch out. I felt I had done my thing with Lease Options but I liked the mortgage investments better.
A couple of years ago, my local real estate club asked me to help teach a rent to own workshops. I couldn’t believe how much information I had learned doing over 100 Lease Option transactions. Everything from marketing, to finding investors, to finding tenant buyers, to contracts, and much more.
The education bug was about to bite me again.
Since I wasn’t able to build my PMP training platform, maybe I could do some Real Estate Investing education. And my focus would be on Lease Options. I have all the content and tools ready to go.
Over the last 20 years, I have probably spent over $250K on education programs and books, mostly related to Lease Options. I can’t say I liked any of them or that any of them “taught” me how to be a good real estate investor. Sure, I might have learned a couple of things along the way. I remember 1 instructor I had said that only 5% of the people in the seminar he was teaching would ever implement what he was teaching. I looked at him and said, “you’re not a very good teacher than are you”. He didn’t understand my point.
The goal of any instruction should be to provide the student with the right information in the right way so that they execute and get the same results that the training promised.
What I encountered from these courses was mind-blowing. Remember, I studied instructional design when I was working on my PMP certification training.
First of all, most of the instruction was NOT instruction, it was just information. And it was bad. I received manuals with photocopies from other manuals. There were recordings of classroom/seminar sessions. Tools and information were gobbled together. There was a lot of “what to do” and some examples of how they did it but there wasn’t a lot of “how to do”. There was no step by step implementation. There was a lot of strategic talks but very little tactical talk. And why not? Because that would take a lot of work, and cost money. And these courses are still being offered in the same way today.
Secondly, most of the information was provided by people with just a little bit of experience who have done only a few deals. There seems to be this theme in real estate investing … people do a couple of deals and then they go and start teaching and coaching. And a lot of times, what they are teaching is wrong. They teach what others have taught them.
My 2 books, “Real Estate Investing with Lease Options: How to Invest with No Money Down” and “Real Estate Investing Strategies: The Secret to Financial Independence with Real Estate” are good examples of an implementation approach to teaching real estate investing. Check them out. I use my proprietary methodology.
At this point in my real estate career, I am now focusing on creating coaching and training that will transform anyone into a successful real estate investor. I don’t just want to teach. I am different. My goal is to create a movement of successful real estate investors. And I feel I’m the most qualified of any real estate investor instructor out there to do just that.
I have a Degree in Computer Science. I studied Instructional Design. I have over 30 years of experience as a real estate investor. I have read over 700 books on all topics related to real estate investing, sales, marketing, and motivation. I have written 2 books on real estate investing. I have studied online marketing and in the process of launching an Internet Marketing company. This is my calling. This is what I was meant to do.
I was told by someone that I should focus on selling my courses and don’t worry about who uses the material since most won’t use it. Here’s the catch, I am only interested in working with serious people. People who are serious about making a change in their lives. If that’s you, then great. I want to help you. Together we can make you a successful real estate investor.
If you would like more information about my movement and how you might get involved, send us a quick email and we will send you more information once the program has been set up. We are looking for a few good men and women who want to make a change in their lives.