How do great investors keep going?

Patrick: You mentioned banking a little bit and getting joint venture partners with capital or qualify for a mortgage. How big of an impact from your perspective has the stress tests and the change in banking rigs, how much of the hindered real estate investors from your kind of in the trenches point of view.
Michael: 2018 was a really difficult year for my business. 2016 and 2017, I didn’t realize how easy it was, so I went through 2018, to use your Canadian analogy, it was like trying to put a push a sled uphill. That’s how 2018 went. It seemed like everyone was struggling. I could give you a personal scenario. I have my greatest network I’ve ever had in my life, I’ve got my best income I’ve ever had my life, I’ve got proven history of making every mortgage payment I’ve ever done, and my credit score is at the highest point it’s ever been, and yet I couldn’t get a mortgage. It was extremely frustrating.
I had to use some really creative ways to move forward whether it was maybe using a credit union that didn’t follow the stress tests or in our case we were able to get my wife to qualify because she actually had fewer properties in our name. In many cases, there is a solution, but it’s sometimes a bit more difficult to get there and I can tell you my business dropped 40%. I could tell you though that in 2019 a lot of the investors that were on the sidelines for almost a year have just gotten frustrated with being on the sidelines and now they’re figuring out alternative ways of getting their money. This year it’s been really active and I’m seeing here in Ontario property values starting to sneak back up in the lower-priced properties in the GTA.
Patrick: It’s really the case is stepping back from it and looking at the problem and then coming up with solutions. That’s really what drives great real estate investors, knowing that you’re going to come across problems and you have to step up and come up with a solution and you can’t let it shut you down.
Michael: Yes.
Patrick: Micheal, as we wind down a little bit– I’m not going to let you off the hook. I always do a little bit of a rapid-fire questions at the end of the podcast. Thanks for sharing all you shared so far. There are lots of just really cool takeaways in this conversation, so thanks for that. Warming up with a couple of easy questions, they’re all easy by the way. It’s all good. Tell me, you’re successful at what you do, do you do a lot of reading, Michael?
Michael: I listen to more of the audible books. I do read too, but I’ve really been following audible, Zig Ziglar refers to it as an automobile university, and I do that a lot.
Patrick: Cool. Do you have a favourite book right now that you’re reading or is there one that you commonly gift?
Michael: Well actually, one that I just finished was Jim Rowan, another one of the people out there that I follow really closely. I listen to him– I wrote it down because I thought you’d bring this up. The Ultimate Jim Rowan Library. It was like 17 hours of Jim Rowan and it was phenomenal. I’ve actually listened to it once and I was just about to start the second time. Hearing his messages over and over again has really been good. Before that, I recently read the Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. Total Money Makeover by David Ramsey. That’s a smaller book, but it was good. I enjoyed it. One I’m reading right now is The Brand New You by Julie Broad. And again, that upstart author John R. Campbell, I tend to read a lot of his crap.

Great investors keep learning from all kinds of places

Patrick: Julie Broad another longtime ago remember and has done very well she’s a great real estate investor, great coach. You’re an entrepreneur, you’re a realtor. Is there a job that you do that you only do it because you’re good at it but you really, really dislike it? What job do you do that you hate but you keep doing it because you’re good at it?
Michael: Actually, there were a lot of jobs that I used to hate that I would do and I’m going to tell you the honest truth is The Four-Hour Work Week is a recent book I’ve read a couple of years ago and the e-myth revisited. I can tell you that it’s been an identical bit of self-analysis as far as what I do and what I don’t like. I’ve really delegated a lot of that stuff. I was fairly good at paperwork back in the day, but I hated it. Hated it.
I like to be exact. I don’t like typos. I don’t like producing anything that was poor. I’ve got an incredible assistant. I basically, again, right from these books, they said, “Empower them, let them make the decisions and if they screw up, you offer some corrections and they’ll get up to speed. If they don’t, find somebody else.”
I found myself I was my biggest roadblock. I’ve been really doing a good job of delegating that. Honestly, I’ve been freeing up a lot of time not doing stuff that I don’t like anymore. I don’t mow my lawn anymore. I don’t shovel snow. I hated doing it. I was good at it, but I don’t do that anymore. I don’t want to do it.
Patrick: It’s interesting that you bring that up. I live in the country now, so I’m back mowing lawn but it’s because I want to do it and it’s all good. When I don’t want to do it, I hire somebody to do it. That’s all handled. If I had anything that if I looked back and said I wish I would have done sooner not that I have any regrets around it, I don’t. You nailed it and that’s when you said you hired an assistant. Now, I know as a realtor you need that assistant anyways.
35 years in business, I look back and say, “I should have hired an assistant 30 years ago.” It couldn’t make sense when you’re just maturing as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, you’re looking at cash and what does it cost and what does it cost. Oh man, if I had any guidance to give anybody would be, get an assistant sooner than later because your gifts are not best spent at your laptop typing out a Word document. Anyways, we digress. Thanks for that.
Do you have other favourite inspirational quotes?
Michael: Yes, I’ll give you it too. It’s Zig Ziglar, but I’m going to say:

You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.

Patrick: Popular one.
Michael: I’m a big believer of that. I’m not going to be able to say it in Jim Rowan voice, but I’ll give it to you anyway. “Work hard in your job and you’ll make a living. Work hard on yourself and you’ll make a fortune.
Patrick: They’re so good. Wise words. What profession would you want to try if you weren’t going to be a realtor?
Michael: I wasn’t going to be a realtor. This was my fire after. My body type wouldn’t allow me to be a professional baseball player, but that would have been my goal. Actually, in all seriousness, I always thought that I’d be a baseball executive and that was something that I would have loved to have done and I didn’t take that career path. Another thing actually in all seriousness that I would love to have done is be involved in equities and stocks and be a broker that way. That would have been really cool.
Patrick: On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?
Michael: I’m a five.
Patrick: That’s pretty conservative. That’s fine. Most of my guests are always a little bit above 10.
Michael: [laughs] By their own?
Patrick: By their own. That’s not my judgment of them. That’s their own self-assessment. Five and seven are pretty cool. That’s it. That’s a good view of yourself. That’s all good. Room desk or your car, what do you clean first?
Michael: My desk.

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Patrick: I went to see my lawyer the other day on a deal that we’re doing. We walked past this partner’s office who I know as a partner. It was just exploded in there. There are files piled up all over the place, yet my lawyer’s all neat and tidy and everything. It’s all in place, yet his partners were all blown up. It was just such an interest and they’re both brilliant lawyers, by the way.
Michael: I’ve decided that my wife if you met her you’d never know this about her because she comes across as she’s this HR mindset person, but her office is shockingly bad to the point where we no longer have discussions in there anymore because I just start getting frantic. I make her come into my office, our home office because I can’t talk to her there. It just bothers me too much.
Patrick: Stephanie’s that way as well. That’s always been her thing. That’s how she does it, but she knows where everything is. I’m not particularly neat freak when it comes to my office, man, but that chaos makes me crazy, but they do it, they do well.
Michael: My shampoos and soaps and all of my bathroom, I have everything in the exact right spot and she’s not allowed to move any of my stuff because if it’s not in the right order, I’ll forget to use it, especially in the morning. I’ll actually go into our cupboards and, my old retail days, I’ll go into the pantry and reorganize all of the cans and front face them and stuff like that from time to time.
Patrick: You’re a little OCD.
Michael: I never used to have that.
Patrick: I think it’s healthy, along that way. You’ve got a favourite tune?
Michael: To be fair I did listen to one or two of the podcasts before that you asked that question and I had a hard time answering this, one because it depends on what mood I’ve been right now, but I have a Bohemian Rhapsody is one that if it’s ever on the radio I can’t change the channel, it’s going to be there. Sweet Child of Mine, Margarita Ville. I’ve been the right mood for that, but that would be one of my favourites. Girls Just Want To Have Fun with Cyndi Lauper that’s–
Patrick: That’s a classic one.
Michael: And if you want some Canadian content, Summer of 69. A little bit of 70’s and 80’s stuff is my thing.
Patrick: If heaven exists, what do you want to hear God say when you get to the gates?
Michael: “You made it,” like, “You’ve accomplished a lot, you’ve made a difference.” That’s something that I’d like to be able to have him some say.
Patrick: What are you grateful for, Michael?
Michael: I’m grateful for a lot of friends and the journey that we’ve done over the last number of years. I’ve been able to do and see so many things. Actually, as I’m hitting my 55 to 65 years, there are many more things that I want to do, but the fact that I’ve had really good health and the fact that I’ve now had enough wealth that I can do what I want to do and create my goals and I’ve been able to knock off my goals. I’m grateful for that.
Patrick: Nice. I’m always grateful for my guests. Today I’m particularly grateful for living in the Fraser Valley and beautiful British Columbia on a nice sunny day and the poolside studio, and enjoying and grateful for the opportunity to use this thing called podcasts to share other people’s stories and their lessons. Thank you very much, Michael, for your time, your energy, and the lessons that you’ve shared here today.
Michael: Thank you. I really appreciate it, I enjoyed this. This is fun.
Patrick: Thanks, Michael. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening. If you found value in the podcast please take the time to rate and review and share with others, share with your friends. As it is my goal to always improve and to provide the highest of value for you the listener, if you have any comments, suggestions or questions you’d like answered, please email me at ceo@reincanada.com. That’s C-E-O-@-R-E-I-N-CANADA.COM. I look forward to hearing from you and until next time.