Why This Personal Wealth Coach Invests His Own Money in Pre-Construction Condos
Brian Bogaert is a personal wealth coach who helps people understand money and investing and grow their personal wealth. He invests heavily in pre-construction condos personally and now teaches others to do it too. Find out why on this episode.
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Andrew la Fleur: On today’s episode I chatted with a personal wealth coach to talk about why he invested his own money in pre-construction condos. Stay tuned.
Speaker 2: Welcome to the True Condos Podcast with Andrew la Fleur, the place to get the truth on the Toronto condo market and condo investing in Toronto.
Andrew la Fleur: Hi there. Welcome back to the show. Thanks again for tuning in as always. Your host here Andrew la Fleur from truecondos.com. If you ever want to get a hold of me, by the way, just give me a call or text me 4163712333 or you can always send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. The website, of course, is truecondos.com/podcast. That’s where you’re going to find the show notes for this and all episodes of the podcast. In this episode, I had a chance to sit down and chat with a new friend of mine. His name is Brian Bogaert and he’s a personal wealth coach. His company is called Next Level Success Coaching.
Andrew la Fleur: He’s developed this practice over years of basically teaching people how to grow their wealth and how to invest their money and understanding money. Again, that’s something that we share in common is that, we believe so strongly in education, financial education, literacy. It’s something that’s missing so much from society in general, but specifically in our education system. And it’s something that so many people struggle with. It’s a huge motivator for me and what I do with this podcast and helping people invest in pre-construction condos and for Brian, with his business, as a personal wealth coach. He’s been a very successful investor personally. Recently, he has actually started his own course, an online course where he teaches people how to invest in condos as well, so he’ll talk about that too. Yeah. Once again, here is my interview with Brian Bogaert, personal wealth coach. I hope you enjoy. Brian. Welcome to the show.
Brian Bogaert: Hey, man, how’s the going?
Andrew la Fleur: Great. Thanks for doing this. I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to chat with you here.
Brian Bogaert: I’m so happy to be on the show. Thanks for having me.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, so we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit lately and we have a lot in common. Yeah, I’m really excited to jump into this and share your story and your insights with the audience here. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your story, a little bit about your background? Tell us I guess what you do, exactly. You’re a wealth coach. What does that mean? What do you do? And, more importantly, why do you do this? Why do you do what you do? What drives you?
Brian Bogaert: Yeah, absolutely. I love showing others what I’ve learned and helping them create the results that I’ve created. It’s honestly my happy place in life. It’s always helped make me feel better about my own struggles when I can then utilize those to share and help somebody else in the future. I’ve jokingly been referring to myself lately as Morpheus from the matrix, flying around looking for the one so I can set them free, help them reach their positive potential in life and, obviously, money, and building wealth and investing is an entry level into freedom. There’s lots of different types of freedom, but financial freedom is a pretty sexy one, one that a lot of people are interested in. It often creates a lot of the other freedoms that we can then start to investigate.
Brian Bogaert: I’m all about empowering and educating clients specifically around money and investing, and teaching them how to be successful investors because I think a lot of people out there don’t have a clue how to actually be an investor, how to invest, and that keeps them stuck on the sidelines and so they don’t take any action around it. From what I can tell, the banks and the financial institutions are quite happy to keep you ignorant, because then you don’t ask any questions and then you have to take their advice because you don’t even know what to ask about. I’ve been working with a lot of entrepreneurs or people that are doing really well in their jobs.
Brian Bogaert: I’m clear that, when I reduce that money stress and eliminate the time and the energy that goes into that stress about money, that then frees up time and energy for them to start to share their gifts with the world and change it in a positive way, which through transitive property, means I’m changing the world in a positive way. That’s my why, what gets me out of bed and gets me doing this sort of stuff. Obviously, that’s been a lot of trial and error over the years to get there.
Andrew la Fleur: Take us back a little bit. What were you doing before you were a wealth coach? Were you always an investor and interested investing or how did you get to this and where were you? You have been a very successful investor in a lot of different areas and now you’re you’re coaching people with it. Were you born this way or what was the journey to get you here beforehand?
Brian Bogaert: I do joke with, my mom was the milkman real estate investor because my family was not entrepreneurial, my family was not into investing, my dad worked for the government. My mom just did part time jobs. They were very much the classic middle class family. I’ve always been a lifelong learner and I’ve been very curious about how things work and why certain people are successful and happiness and satisfaction. I didn’t have those things.
Brian Bogaert: I was in the corporate world and I had a great job. I was making good money, had a good health plan, all the stuff you’re supposed to be striving for. I was just super unhappy and depressed. About 17, 18 years ago, I was desperately searching for an alternative. There had to be something else. Like I said, I didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial family, so I didn’t really know about this whole, like, “Oh, go start your own business.” It turned out that the guy I was sitting beside at work was investing in real estate properties and I was living in Calgary at the time. I started going out for lunch with him, and picking his brain, and finding out what he was doing and then we did a property together.
Brian Bogaert: Of course, I had just read Rich Dad, Poor Dad., so I said, Hey, Rich Dad says we should start a company and start getting other people involved, because there’s probably lots of people out there that want to learn this stuff and we can partner with them. He said, “Look, Brian, if you want to deal with the people, I’ll deal with the properties.” He was a bit of an introvert. That’s what we did. We literally started our company about 16, 17 years ago together. We started sharing with other people and partnering with them to get them invested in real estate. We had a goal. We wanted to do 100 units. We did 25. The Calgary market took off, much like Toronto’s did a few years ago, so our 25 units did better than we were estimating for 100.
Brian Bogaert: Four years later in around 2008, we went to our partners and said, “We think now’s the time to liquidate the writing’s on the wall, that things aren’t going to stay wonderful forever.” They trusted us. From doing that and selling those properties, we both were able to leave the corporate world. I like to say I retired when I was 37 years old, and haven’t looked back. After that, I got more and more into investing. I moved out here to Toronto, tried my hand a little bit at some businesses, but investing was still my passion. Then finally, five years ago, five or six years ago, people were like, “Why are you not teaching people about what you know about investing? Why aren’t you coaching people?” I decided, “Yeah. Why aren’t I? I started my coaching practice, Next Level Success Coaching.
Brian Bogaert: I’ve been doing that ever since and I absolutely love it. It brings me a lot of pleasure, plus, I create a community of other investors by doing this and some of my clients I should say, have become my investment partners. I’m creating a community at the same time of like-minded people, which is really exciting as well.
Andrew la Fleur: Do you just do real estate? Is real estate the only avenue that you coach people in, in terms of wealth creation, or is it just one of the areas?
Brian Bogaert: It’s one of the areas. The truth is, the foundational concepts that I’ve learned about investing over the past 15, 16 years are applicable to pretty much any kind of investing. And that’s the thing that I was actually the most interested in is, What makes a successful investor? Or just what even create success versus not? It’s like, again, if you looked in the business world, how is it that some people can start multiple different types of businesses in all sorts of different industries and go and create $50 million companies like a Gary Vaynerchuk, or something like that? Right? It’s because he understands foundational concepts for building a business. And that’s what I’ve learned, and then I’m teaching to my clients, is foundational concepts about investing. Now, personally, I just find that real estate investing ticks all the boxes of those foundational concepts that I’m teaching people.
Brian Bogaert: That’s why I continue to be a real estate investor, but I don’t force that on anybody. They can go off and do any kind of investing they want. I do find that most of the people that reach out to me though, they obviously resonate with the real estate investing, they’ve wanted to get into it, or they’ve dabbled a little bit and they want to learn about other concepts. That’s usually the people that are attracted to me, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that.
Andrew la Fleur: You’re coaching people all the time in this area now for a number of years, so what are the fundamental obstacles that you see that people are facing that you’re talking to, that’s holding them back from investing in real estate specifically?
Brian Bogaert: Great question. There’s a fundamental thing I don’t think I know because I’ve read tons of articles about this. I know there is a fundamental obstacle that keeps Canadians from investing, period, nevermind in real estate, and that’s a fear of losing the money that they have now. Okay. It’s been a decade since the crash, but it may as well it happened last month. Canadians are still petrified of losing their savings, right, because they went through that crash, and they know what that feels like, and they heard about everything that happened in the US. Then the other thing is, most Canadians, the bulk of their money is tied up in their principal residence. They’re being told, “Oh, pay off your mortgage, get rid of that as fast as possible. That’s going to be your nest egg.” It’s like, well, if you’re going to live off of that nest egg one day, you’re going to have to access that money and do something with it to create cash flow. Instead of waiting another 20 years, why don’t you learn how to do that now, and start accessing that money now and build even more additional wealth.
Brian Bogaert: There, again, it goes right back to that, but I’m afraid of losing that nest egg, the money that I’ve built up in my house. That’s a huge factor that I find with people and it’s one of the earlier things that I address with folks is, how do you protect capital? How do you evaluate investments and raise the chances of keeping the capital that you have or being able to at least get the money back that you started with? It’s a concept that was taught to me by my mentors, which when I heard it, I was like, “Well, that changes everything.” That’s something that I’m passing on to my clients, to people that I speak with. Now, I want to be clear. You’ll notice I did not use the word guarantee, I used the word protect. Okay, we can’t account for everything, nor should you try, but it turns out that there are tons of things in our control that we can do, to raise the chances up to 95%, 97% of being able to protect our capital.
Brian Bogaert: Then we also talked about protecting ROI. If they say you’re going to make 10%, can I up the chances of actually making that 10%. Then there’s also protecting exit strategy, which means, how do I actually get my money out at the end and is there anything I can do to, again, raise the chances of being able to get that money when they said I was going to be able to get that money. That’s an example of those foundational pieces that I’ve learned, I practice. It’s the first three questions I ask of every single investment that comes across my desk and I’m showing other people how I do that. Now, specifically, with you and I, and what we’ve been talking about is, how do you do that with pre-con condos? Right? Is there ways to protect your capital, protect your ROI and protect your exit strategy, investing in pre-construction condos? The answer is yes. I’m showing people what I’ve done around that as well.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, so on that note, why don’t you share your specific story with respect to the condo market in Toronto. You said you started off in Calgary, you dove right in and you had some big successes 10, 15 years ago. Talk to us about your experience with the Toronto condo market. What have you done? What strategies have you employed? What have you learned? What mistakes did you make? Tell us a little bit about your journey specifically with respect to investing in Toronto condos.
Brian Bogaert: Yeah. When I moved here about 12 and a half years ago, I still owned physical rental properties in Alberta. I moved here to Ontario, and I started getting into the Ontario market, and meeting people, and joining groups and all that. One of the things that became clear to me right from the very beginning, is the medieval landlord and tenant laws that Ontario has, that are absolutely weighted towards the tenant.
Andrew la Fleur: There’s still no Alberta out here, is it?
Brian Bogaert: No, it’s not. It was bad enough in Alberta. I was held hostage a couple of times by tenants and had to deal with that. Then I came to Ontario and went, “Oh my god, it’s even worse here.” It’s one of the worst. I think Ontario, Manitoba and California are listed as the three worst places to be a landlord in North America.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. From a landlord-tenant legal standpoint. Yeah.
Brian Bogaert: Yep. Yep. Not to mention I was getting tired of that routine because as the people on this call who have been landlords know, it can be a bit of a grind in some months. Right? On some months, there’s nothing to do other than cash rent checks, but other months, it feels like a part time or even a full time job for a few weeks there if you’re fixing hot water tanks and going shopping for washers and dryers on Kijiji and interviewing new tenants and taking them through showings and blah, blah, blah. Right? It can be a lot of work. I really was searching for, well, what are the other options for investing, specifically in real estate, but I was looking into all sorts of different avenues where I don’t have to have this. I tried some stocks. After the big crash, Warren Buffett called it the stock purchasing opportunity of a lifetime. I went into some stocks, I tried some private lending, I got into some funds, I did mix, I did leads, I did rent to own. If there’s a way to invest in real estate, I’ve probably tried it.
Brian Bogaert: What I found was, none of them were as lucrative as good old investment properties. Right. I could not make the kinds of returns consistently that I had been able to produce investing in properties. Then, I had to go to pre-con condos.
Andrew la Fleur: In terms of owning the asset, you mean?
Brian Bogaert: Yeah.
Andrew la Fleur: Like you said you’re investing in real estate, in different means and through different channels, but direct ownership of the asset versus indirect or other ways of participating, you mean?
Brian Bogaert: Yep. The biggest reason is, because, of course, when you buy a property, when you do it correctly, you’ve got leverage. All those other things I mentioned, funds, and mix, and private lending, and stocks, and all that, typically you don’t have access to leverage. Right? You’re not putting 20% down, you’re putting 100% down. If it goes up by 5%, you’re making 5%. That’s it.
Andrew la Fleur: Why do you think that like for us as experienced real estate investors and a lot of people listening to this right now as experienced real estate investors, but for those who are listening, who have not invested yet, or those who are thinking about family and friends who have not invested yet, why is this concept of leverage, well, it’s so fundamental and almost magical to us, as people who’ve done it? Why is it such a hard concept do you think for the genera public to get or to not take advantage of? Do you know what I mean?
Brian Bogaert: I do. Totally.
Andrew la Fleur: It’s a subject that keeps coming up and you say it to some people and it’s like, it just goes over their head, and it’s like, you got to understand this. This is the beauty of it all, just if you can just point to one reason why it’s this.
Brian Bogaert: Between leverage and compound interest, I refer to those as the ninth wonders of the world. Right? It’s truly magical like you said. I think one of the things is, and every time I hear this, I get angry, like, of course, the financial advisors, and the people working at the bank, and the people in the financial industry, they love to quote this rhetoric of, “Well, if you look at the average appreciation rates of property over the last 25 years, it’s only been 3% to 5%, whereas stocks have gone up 6% to 9%. Obviously stocks are better. This has been repeated and indoctrinated so many times, that people just get this stuck in their head. Maybe it’s a fear of math, I don’t know what it is, but people don’t stop to realize that because of the leverage that you’re getting, when a property goes up 5%. Right?
Brian Bogaert: Here, I’ll try and make the math as easy as possible. If I have 20% down on a property, that means that the bank has 80% dow. Well, 20 times five is 100. That’s a factor of five. Right? 20% down, factor of five to get to 100%. If the property goes up by 5%, that factor of five, five times five is 25. That means my money that I have in the property has gone up by 25%. When these folks on the media are talking about, well, property, has only gone up by 5%, the thing that seems to be missing is that, that means your money has gone up by 25%. I think it’s up to people like you, and me, and other investors to continue to balance that rhetoric that’s going on in the media with the financial industry pundits, and let people understand that, that that’s what’s going on with the power of leverage. Your money is actually making five times as much as it would be, if it was just in a stock, or a mutual fund, or even in a private lending or whatever making 5%. Right? Why that doesn’t click with people, I don’t know. I’m not sure. Maybe we just have to keep repeating it over and over and over again, like what’s going on in the media with why you should invest in stocks.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. I think a part of them maybe just goes to education. It’s just not something that’s ever talked about in education growing up. Also, just as you have alluded to this, I don’t know if it’s a Canadian thing, this mantra of, “Pay off your mortgage as soon as possible. Mortgage are bad things. Debt is bad.” It’s just, maybe somebody might understand, “Oh, yeah, leverage I get it. Yeah. You put it in this, you get more out. I get the basic concept of leverage.” But the other side of their brain, there’s this loudspeaker blaring, “Debt is bad. Mortgages are bad. Avoid at all costs.” It’s like, you’re-
Brian Bogaert: That was my dad. Honestly, like that. My dad was born around the depression. Of course, that’s what he had pounded into his head is, they watch family farms get foreclosed on and all the rest of it. That’s just it. That’s 50-year old, 70-year old thinking. Right? You’re absolutely right. I also have some friends who are in the financial industry who have quietly told me off the record that they get taught, as soon as somebody brings up real estate investing in a one of their meetings, they’re taught to say, “Oh, well, that’s risky. There’s a lot of risk there. What about this? What about that?” They’re actually going to training sessions where they’re being given scripts to share with the public when they sit down and have those meetings because, of course, they’re not selling real estate investments, therefore, they’re not making any fees and commissions off of that, so they’re trying to steer people away. Right.
Brian Bogaert: I think that, that combination like you said, the lack of education, and then two or three of these media messages that have been out there, “Pay off your mortgage. Stay away from debt. Real estate is risky.” Yeah, people will automatically have this emotional response. They may intellectually understand the power of leverage, but they’re having an emotional response. The scientists have proven over and over again, we make our decisions based on the emotions going on in our brain and not the logic side of our brain.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. Let’s go back maybe a little bit to another comment you said, which was very interesting and was you say, a lot of people say, “Well, my home is my nest egg and I want to pay my mortgage off as fast as possible. My dream is to be mortgage free and then if I get that, it feels so great, it’s going to be amazing.” Then, like you said, “My retirement plan, that’s my nest egg. I’m going to live off of that.” As you said, it doesn’t really make sense because that same person is… I even had this conversation with somebody just yesterday. It’s like, they paid off their house, mortgage free, which is great. They’re sitting on $600,000, $700,000 of just pure equity just sitting there. They are interested in investing, but they don’t have any cash. I’m trying to simply say to them, well, you’re in an amazing position. You’re in the driver’s seat. Just take some, you don’t have to take all of it. Just take some of the equity out of your house and put it to work. He’s was like, “Whoa, no, no, no, I can’t do that. No, no, that’s my nest egg. That’s my safety. That’s my feel good. That’s my warm fuzzy.”
Andrew la Fleur: Like you said, That’s counterintuitive because the reason why you’re paying it off is, so that you have this so called nest egg later on in life. The nest egg is useless to you, unless you’re saying, at some point later in life, you’re going to take that money and do something with it or whatever, like, think it through. If you’re going to do that later when you’re old, when generally as we age become more and more risk averse, you’re going to be less and less likely to ever actually do what you say you’re going to do with it, do it now. Right?
Brian Bogaert: Absolutely. Absolutely. Again, I’m missing pieces. They don’t know. No one’s ever shown them. They don’t understand how to turn that nest egg into cash flow because ultimately, that’s what we live off of. We don’t live off of a nest egg. The equivalent, I would say is, having the goose that lays the golden eggs, and never going and collecting any of the eggs because you’re afraid to spend them. Right? It makes no sense. I’ve got this goose sitting in the barn and the goose can lay golden eggs, but I’m not collecting any of them. I’m not utilizing any of them, but I have this goose. Well, great. What good is that?
Andrew la Fleur: It’s like protect the goose at all costs.
Brian Bogaert: That’s right, don’t ever utilize the golden eggs.
Andrew la Fleur: The goose’s in a locked room and you don’t let anybody ever touch it.
Brian Bogaert: No. Exactly. No one can see it.
Andrew la Fleur: It’s like you have the golden goose. Yeah. The golden goose is completely useless if it’s just locked in a room.
Brian Bogaert: Completely useless. Again, I am a math guy, so let’s do a little bit of quick math. You gave the example, someone has a, let’s say, a $700,000 house or something like that. Right? And they probably didn’t buy it for that. Right? They might have bought it years ago. Let’s say they’re mortgage is $1,500 a month or even $2,000 a month. We’ll do easy math. They now have gotten rid of a $2,000 a month payment? Well, that’s a good thing obviously. You want to lower your expenses. $2,000 times 12 is $24,000 a month. That’s $24,000 less per month of expenses. But-
Andrew la Fleur: Per year.
Brian Bogaert: Yeah. Per year. What if you took $0.5 million of equity out of that house, and you went and invested it somewhere and you learn the concepts of protection? What if you even made 10% on your money, which by the way of my minimum return that before I even considered an investment would be 10%? I know for a lot of people out there 10% sounds like a lot. Well, $0.5 million at 10% is $50,000. You’re saving 24, but you could be making 50 and for a lot of us, an additional $50,000 coming in, could probably pay a good portion of our expenses or send the kids to school. Also, people don’t have to fret about that, university costs or whatever. The beauty of it is, with the way Canadian law is with helocs and things like that, I don’t even have to sell the asset to get access to that $500,000. I still have a $700,000 home, that’s going up in value every year, but I’m now accessing the golden eggs, and getting those to work for me, in order to pay for my lifestyle now. Again, that’s where the magic. When that starts to click for people and they start to understand that, that’s where the magic starts to happen, that’s where everything starts to change.
Brian Bogaert: As I said before, people are caught up in this, “I don’t know where to put $0.5 million so that I’m not going to lose that money.” That’s the fear that overrides them taking action. It turns out, interestingly enough, how do banks make money? Do they make money paying off their debts as fast as possible? No, they’re looking for more and more and more places to put out. That’s right. Mortgage money is the largest source of profit for the banks in Canada. They have understood for many, many years, that the more they put their money out and make interest on it, the more they’re going to grow. They’re telling us to pay off our mortgage, but yet their strategy is the complete opposite.
Andrew la Fleur: That’s brilliant.
Brian Bogaert: They’re the ones making several billion dollars every quarter.
Andrew la Fleur: Yes, yes. It’s so brilliant. Yeah. When you start realizing stuff like that, how, like the banks, Yeah, on the one end, like you said, the banks are preaching to us, to pay down your mortgage and “Here’s four tips to how you can pay down your mortgage faster and all that.” They’re, “Playing into that real estate is risky. Don’t do that. Buy some stocks with us.” Then you open up. They’re saying that to us, but then, internally, they’re like, no.
Brian Bogaert: They have a completely different strategy. Right?
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. It’s like boiler room in there and they’re just like, If they have money that’s sitting there, not invested, they’re losing their minds. It’s like, “Get it out, get it invested, get it moving, money never stops. Right? Then on the other hand, they’re telling us, “No, no, let your money stop. You’ve done your work. Let it sit there. Don’t invest. It’s too risky.don’t take it away.”
Brian Bogaert: Take it away 35 years from now.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. Meanwhile, they’re racing around like crazy, and just yeah. It’s just is fine.
Brian Bogaert: There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t get a letter in the mail for another line of credit, another credit card, another this, another that, because, yeah, the banks get it. Let me share with you. This was a story that someone shared with me a few years ago, and afterwards, I was like, “Oh, so that completely eliminates this myth that real estate is risky.
Brian Bogaert: I have $100,000. I walk into the bank and I say to the bank, “Hi, I have $100,000. How much will you give me to buy a piece of property?” As long as I qualify, and I meet all their criteria and all the rest of that sort of stuff, typically what they will go up to is 80% loan to value. If I have $100,000, they will give me an additional 400,000 in the form of a mortgage and I can go out and buy a $500,000 property. Correct?
Andrew la Fleur: Sure.
Brian Bogaert: Yeah.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. Something like that.
Brian Bogaert: A week later, I walk into the bank and I say, “Hi, I have $100,000, how much money will you give me to invest in stocks?” How much will they give you?
Andrew la Fleur: $100,000 minus fees.
Brian Bogaert: Nothing. They won’t give you anything. They’ll probably laugh at you.
Andrew la Fleur: They’ll let you buy $100,000 worth of that.
Brian Bogaert: They will let you buy exactly the amount of stocks with the money that you walked in with, but they won’t add to that. Now, some people in the audience will go, “Yes, I have leveraged funds.” Yeah. When you have a $5 million portfolio and you’ve been with a bank for 10 years and that sort of thing, then you will be able to get access to leverage.
Brian Bogaert: Any Joe Blow and Jane Doe off the street can walk in and as long as you meet the qualifying criteria, you can buy a rental property. In fact, a couple years later, they’ll let you do it again, and again and again. Banks don’t take unnecessary risks. That made it 100% clear to me, where they see the risk. They obviously see a lot less risk in somebody buying real estate than they do in somebody’s buying stocks, because they’re willing to add an additional $400,000 to my $100,000 in order to buy a property, because they’re clear that they’re going to get their money back. They’re not clear on that when it comes to stock investing. That to me eliminated that risk conversation. It went right out the window when I realized that.
Andrew la Fleur: Let’s shift gears a bit and let’s talk about the real estate market in Toronto today, how you see it as you’re talking to your clients, in particular. Again, we talked about fundamental things, people are scared of why they don’t invest. Then it’s usually people, what obstacles they’re facing is the market. The market is going to crash or prices are too high. The best time to invest was five years ago. I should have done it. It’s too late now. Prices are going to crash kind of thing, whatever. What’s your take on the Toronto real estate market today? Should people still be investing today or are the good times just all behind us?
Brian Bogaert: The funny thing about that comment, that you have heard a lot, all day and I hear this all the time, too, is all the best time to invest was five or six years ago. Well, guess what I heard five or six years ago when I was getting into pre-con condos in Toronto. I heard the exact same thing. Oh, you missed it already. The best time was five to six years ago. I’ve been hearing that for the 18 years that I’ve been investing in real estate. Yeah, it is true. Obviously, if you look back typically prices were almost always cheaper before and it’s easy to point and say, “Oh, look, see, but the major gains have been now. It’s different now, blah, blah, blah, blah, which is like, you’ll never take any action, if that’s always what you’re focused on. Okay.
Brian Bogaert: The first thing I’ll say is, real estate, like anything else does have its ups and downs and we’ve seen that in the last few years in Toronto. Right? For about two or three years there, it was going like hotcakes, and then things corrected. I don’t believe that there was a bubble and I don’t believe that we’re in a bubble now, but yes, things go up and things go down. You have to have a strategy. You have to have a plan. You have to use these foundational investing concepts that I talked about earlier, that wealthy people have been using for centuries to understand how this works. I’m not talking about trying to time the market. I don’t believe in that in any way, shape or form.
Brian Bogaert: Warren Buffett has a famous expression, “Be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy.” Okay. What is everybody right now? Everybody is fearful. Right? If I’m going to listen to Warren Buffett, possibly the greatest and most well known investor in history, then I should be being greedy right now while others are being fearful and there’s all this talk about bubbles, and the good times are over and all that sort of stuff. Because what that means is, there’s less people out there for me to compete with, for the great projects that are still available. Now, I’m not going to say that every single project out there is amazing and wonderful, and you’re going to make money on it. I still believe that you got to separate the wheat from the chaff. I have a process to do that, which is, what I’m teaching people is well, I’m sharing with them, how do I identify the top 5% projects out there that I believe are going to make money and how do I very quickly dismiss the noise, the other projects where it’s like, No. That ship has already sailed or I don’t think it’s going to do as well or it’s not in an area that I’m interested, whatever. I have a process for doing that, so it makes it easy.
Brian Bogaert: Now, to answer your overall question, it’s bottom line economics. More people continue to move to this province, then leave. More businesses continue to open up. We are very fortunate to live in Ontario, and especially in the GTA, where every single year, the number of immigrants that move here blows away the government’s predictions. Right. You see more and more people moving. I recently just posted in social media, TREB is saying that in the last 12 months, there was an 11% gain in the real estate market in Toronto, and they’re predicting that this next 12 months, it’s probably going to be 10%. Well, the example I gave earlier was, if real estate did 5%, you’d make a 25% return.
Brian Bogaert: If it does 10% times a factor of five that’s a 50% return. Okay. Now, is all real estate going to go up by 10? No. That gives a pretty good indication of what I think about the real estate market going forward. Friends and mentors of mine are always putting out studies and reports and all that that show that, relatively speaking, to the other major cities across the world that Toronto compares with, Toronto is dirt cheap. We are at the cheap end of the spectrum. Now, I know that for a lot of people, they’re like, “What? Cheap? Are you crazy? Housing has gone up.” Yes, I understand that. I’m saying relatively speaking, to the London’s, the Tokyo’s, the LA’s.
Brian Bogaert: Other comparable cities, metropolitan cities like Toronto across the world, we still have very, very cheap real estate and that’s exactly why so many foreign investors, they see what’s going on here and they’re like, “I’ll take 10 units.” They don’t even have to put tenants in them, they don’t even have to fill them, they’re quite happy to just let them sit empty, because they understand that we still have cheap real estate compared to other places in the world. All these economic factors, what I see going on, the fact that I’m very picky about the projects that I will go into, I sleep at night with the investments that I have in continuing to invest in the GTA marketplace because of this sort of information that I’m aware of.
Andrew la Fleur: Now, there’s lots of different ways to invest in real estate, as you’ve alluded to some of them and you’ve had experience in a lot of them yourself personally. What is it about pre-construction condos, specifically that you find so attractive personally, and that you help your clients with as well.
Brian Bogaert: As I said earlier, when I got here, I realized I didn’t really want to become a landlord, and I didn’t think it was such a great idea based on the laws, but I couldn’t find anything else that offered the same sort of potential returns. Then I heard about pre-con condos. It wasn’t popular in Alberta, so it wasn’t until I moved here that I really started to hear about it. Alberta is just a different marketplace. It’s starting to pick up a little bit there more now, but not 15 years ago when I lived there. I started looking into pre-con condos and a light bulb went off. I can enjoy leveraged depreciation of real estate without having to actually own anything or doing any work for the first four to six years. I can still potentially make 20 to 25% returns and I don’t have to deal with the three T’s, tenants, toilets and turnover, most of the time. It was a dream come true. It was like chocolate and peanut butter were put together again. I was flabbergasted that this was possible.
Brian Bogaert: Then, I also learned that a lot of these builders will offer rental guarantees for the first one to two years. I’m like, “I can even close on the property and still not have any risk or any work to do?” I was sold. Right? It was the merging of the two things I was looking for. I wasn’t going to have the headaches, I wasn’t going to have all the work of being a landlord and yet, I was still going to be able to enjoy those leveraged compounded returns, obviously, because of the kind of market we were in here in the GTA that’s not available everywhere, but you still get leverage everywhere. If you were making 15% for years, that can make you happy. It’s pretty tough to find 15% these days. When I ran the numbers six years ago, I was looking at, 20% to 25% is what I could make. It turned out I did even way better than that because of what happened in the Toronto real estate market over the next three to four years, but I would have been ecstatic to have made that 20 to 25%.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. Yeah. Obviously, yeah. The last five years, the returns have been far above normal, historically speaking. However, as you said, if you take a broader approach, if you zoom it out further, you look at the condo market over the last 20, 30, 40 years even… Well, the condo market’s really only about 30 years old, really, but even when you zoom it out that far, and you take out the exceptional gains we’ve seen in the last 3, 4 or 5 years, you’re still, yeah, as you said, it’s-
Brian Bogaert: It’s still a very lucrative.
Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, it’s hard to get less than 10% if you sort of know a little bit what you’re doing, you take a thoughtful approach, you get good counsel and you make good decisions and you have a minimum five to seven-year time horizon, it’s very hard, I always say, to make less than 10% returns.
Brian Bogaert: The national average over the last 30 years for condos in Canada has been about 3% appreciation. Well, again, with a factor of five, that’s a 15% return. That would mean that we would have to do below the average, here in Toronto, for the next six or seven years, for you to be making only 10% on your money and for practically doing nothing on a daily basis. Right? If anybody else can find me an investment that offers that with the other advantages that come with real estate, I’d love to hear about it.
Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely. Yeah. Well said, so which leads us to your course. You have a course that you are teaching your clients, how to do this, how to do what you’ve done in terms of your approach to investing specifically in pre-construction condos and I think it’s such an awesome idea. Tell us about this course and people are interested, what should they do?
Brian Bogaert: Well, you hit the nail on the head a couple of sentences ago. Andrew, you were talking about doing it correctly, getting some good advice, understanding, having a process for it, Right? You were describing exactly what basically I’m offering people in the program that I’m running which is called How to double your money buying pre-construction condos. It’s pretty obvious what I’m doing here. On my condo investment journey, it was clear that there were very few experienced mentors and people out there to teach me how to do it correctly so that I would make money. I went to the seminars, and the evening presentations, and almost everything involved a pitch and was basically just somebody trying to sell me something, which I’m clear on. It’s still valuable, but it’s not just objective learning. Right? They have an agenda there. It’s difficult for me to completely trust everything they’re saying, when it’s honing in on and I’m going to sell you a project at the end.
Brian Bogaert: I wanted to learn to avoid making rookie mistakes. When you’re investing between $50,000 and $100,000 of your own money, I’m not interested in rookie mistakes. Over these past six years that I’ve been doing this and then the 10 years before that as a real estate investor in general, I’ve learned a lot of things. I’m very good at creating processes, repeatable, successful processes. I created this program to basically teach people exactly what I’ve done to be successful, buying and selling pre-con condos. I don’t have a project to sell them in at the end. I’m not pushing a particular project. There’s nothing else for me to sell in that sense. The focus is empowering and educating, where people can learn from an experienced investor, which I think I always wanted a mentor.
Brian Bogaert: I know there’s a lot of people listening right now that have been looking for a mentor. You can use this knowledge whether you’re purchasing one unit or you’re going out and purchasing 10. It’s the, teach a person how to fish not just offer them one fish. Right? Honestly, Andrew, I think this is why you and I hit it off when we met in the Summertime. As I’ve gotten to know you, and listen to your podcast, and seen your style, it was clear to me that you’re also passionate about empowering your network, and educating them and that that is very important to you. That’s why I love what you’re doing around this and why I was excited to be on your podcast and like I said, Why I think you and I connected.
Brian Bogaert: Now, you’re a realtor, and obviously you do have projects to sell, but it’s obvious to me that, that’s not your only priority and you are as much about education and empowerment as I am. I really, really appreciate that. Yeah. I’m about to get started with the next group of lucky people that want to learn how to protect the money that they’re starting with, so they don’t have to make an $80,000 rookie mistake, how to choose those top 5% unicorn projects that have helped me triple and quadruple my money over the past six years and get a backstage pass to find out what successful investors, realtors and builders know that 99.9% of the people buying pre-con condos don’t know and it can hurt you to not know.
Brian Bogaert: I actually had a woman who called me like two weeks ago and she told me a story about, she bought a condo but then in the 10-day cooling off period, she freaked out because she realized she didn’t know if this was a good project. She didn’t know if this was a good deal, a good builder, and she felt completely exposed and at risk, so she canceled in the 10-day cooling off period. She got her checks back and canceled the deal. When I told her what I was offering in the program, she’s like, “That’s what I need to feel confident and be able to go back and actually complete the sale, the next time the next project comes up.” It was that confidence, it was that process, a proven process, being able to ask questions as somebody who’s done it before, that’s why I created this program.
Brian Bogaert: Quite honestly, it was because I was taking somebody else through it in my coaching, and they’re like, “You should create a program about this.” I think there’s lots of people out there who want to buy pre-con condos, and have no idea how to do it and so that’s what I did.
Andrew la Fleur: That’s great. Yeah, I think it’s a fantastic idea. Just from chatting with you, you’ve already helped a lot of people with this program and you’re refining it and it’s continues to get better. If people want to get ahold of you or they want to learn more about this specifically, what’s involved, the investment involved for them and everything else, what’s the best way for them to get more information? Also, I think you want to offer listeners to the podcast as well, a little bonus as well.
Brian Bogaert: Yeah. Yeah. I’d love to do that right. I’m a big fan of rewarding people for taking action. I have my coaching company, Next Level Success Coaching and people searching my name, they’ll find me on Facebook and LinkedIn, I’m sure you’ll include that in the show notes. My cell is 647-802-4769 and that’s my business line, so people can text me or give me a call and leave me a voicemail. I’m always answering that. My email is brianb and that’s Brian spelt with an I, so brianb@n, as in Nancy, nlscoaching.com, so email@example.com, which, again, I’m sure you’ll put in the show notes. Fire me an email, send me a text, if I know, and make sure you mentioned that you heard it on the True Condo Podcast.
Brian Bogaert: What I want to offer people today is, if they enroll and pay for the course, I’m going to offer a bonus for the folks listening, of a one-on-one call with me. Normally, when people come into the program, it’s a group program, we’re going through it, it’s 12 weeks, we’re on zoom calls, and we’ve got assignments and all that. I also understand that the one-on-one people creating their specific plan, that’s important. That’s a bonus that is not available to the general public finding me, that I’d like to make available to these folks is, they would also have that one hour one-on-one call with me, where they can really customize their plan and just accelerate that ability.
Brian Bogaert: The group that I’m just winding up with, half the people have gone out and pulled the trigger and bought a unit and we still have two condos left, so I continue to tell them like, “Guys, well, we haven’t finished the program yet.” The confidence level is through the roof. They finally have a process for being able to do this. That’s really exciting for me to see that they’re taking action, and they’re getting the results that they wanted, which was to go out and get that unit and feel confident about that. I’m excited for the next group of people that are going to be in the program, some of which may be listening on this call, who are also going to have that opportunity.
Andrew la Fleur: Awesome. Great. Yeah. Excellent idea. I love the course concept that you’re bringing your knowledge. As you said, there’s a lot of content out there, this podcast included, but there is not that same perspective from somebody. As you said, you are not a realtor, you’re not a developer, you’re not selling condos, but you’re coming at it from an experienced investor who’s done it, and who’s been successful at it and you’re coaching other people how to do what you have done yourself. Kudos to you for that and it’s a great idea. Yeah. Everybody listening, if you want to reach out to Brian and learn more, he mentioned his phone number and email there. You can go back and grab that and you can also find it on the show notes for this episode, of course too, which is always show notes for every episode, truecondos.com/podcast. Brian, thank you so much for your time today, and we hope to have you again on the show soon.
Brian Bogaert: Ah, thank you, Andrew. I really appreciate being here. I also really appreciate that you are a part of my first pilot program that I did with this and I definitely want you to be part of that in the future as well. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, and experience and I love collaborating with you on this type of stuff, so we can educate and empower even more people about this amazing opportunity that’s out there right now.
Andrew la Fleur: Awesome. Love it. Great. Thanks, Brian.
Brian Bogaert: Take care man.
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