How Live-In Flips Led To A Successful Portfolio


Sarah Larbi: REITE club nation, welcome back to this week's podcast episode. My name is Sarah Larbi. I'm here with my co-host Laurel Simmons. Laurel, how are you doing?

Laurel Simmons: I'm doing great Sarah

Sarah Larbi: Awesome. Today's guest, Francois Lanthier he's really started it from really ultimately buying something, flipping it, living in it, starting from scratch. And what he's built is just, wow. It's just amazing. I'm super excited to have the REITE club nation meet Francois and listen to his great accomplishments and how he's been able to do it.

Laurel Simmons: He's a classic example of you don't really know what you're doing. You start with one and wow, he's just grown up immensely. He and his wife moved into the house and fixed it up and sold it. And from that, they took off. You're absolutely right. There's nothing special about it. They just decided to do it. They did it. And look where they are now.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. Laurel, what do you say? Shall we play the podcast episode?

Laurel Simmons: I think we should. Let's go.

Sarah Larbi: Welcome, Francois, how are you?

Francois Lanthier: Good. And you? Good.

Sarah Larbi: I'm excited to have you, first and foremost because you work with the REITE Club and have done so many amazing things. But you are an inspiration because I look at what you've been able to do in the last couple years and wow. Just wow. So before we dive into it, can you let us know who you are and what you do when it comes to real estate?

Francois Lanthier: Yes, for sure. I'm also very excited, first of all to be on a podcast. Very exciting for me and to be working for the REITE club. It's a dream come true and I sound like bad advertising. But anyway so what do I do? So real estate, a lot of people get into real estate for the investments and the freedom and all that. I agree. But my wife and I studied interior design, so we actually like bricks and mortar.

We actually go into the ugly old houses and look at potential and we don't like cleaning up the buildings, but we enjoy that part. And then, yes, the freedom to do what we want to do and teach our kids as well about solid investments. My kids are now quite a bit involved in our business, and it's only in the past few months, but now they're really into it. We walk past buildings and oh, let's run the numbers on this place. Things like that. Yeah, that's it in a nutshell.

Laurel Simmons: When you say that you were an interior designers That's one thing to look at a house and say I'd like to do it. But we know that there's a lot more to do with flipping houses. Cause I'm assuming that's what you're really talking about at that point. Just, some people understand that interior design is different from interior decorating, right? Interior design is very much very close to architecture and interior space. So what was your first deal? What made you do it and what did you do?

Francois Lanthier: Yes. Our very first house, that's how, that's where I started. It's about 15 years ago and we called it live and Flip. So the house had beautiful hot pink. Everything was hot pink. The trim, the doors, it had a blue tub. Everything was nasty. It was built in 1971. It was their raised ranch and it was just poorly laid out in the basement. They had cut out some of it and put it in a garage and it was just a mess. But we were a young couple buying the house and we're like, okay, we're gonna make money with this one.

It's on a good street. It had good fundamentals. It was a nice brick exterior with two fireplaces. The bedrooms were there, but it just needed a big refresh. So we moved in there with our young kids back then we just had a baby and A three year old and not three years old back then, but anyway, very young kids. And we just looked at the potential, how much could we resell it for in two years time. And we did all that. And that's how we made a little bit of cash on that first one. And it led us to our second one. And then after three of those, we started looking at multi-family.

Laurel Simmons: Did you actually live in a fix it up, sell it, and then buy another one.

Francois Lanthier: Yes.

Laurel Simmons: And how, so you did that for, what, three or four times?

Francois Lanthier: Three times in a row. So over six years we had three houses. And then the last one we sold we lived in Eastern Ontario, then we moved to Quebec City for a few years. And out there the houses were more expensive than where we lived in Ontario, which is unbelievable. But anyway. We made, then we came back to Ontario and did another slow flip, and that left us with a gap. So the mortgage that we had to break had quite a big penalty. So that penalty, we were able to recuperate it by buying something else. And that's where we got into multi-family and bigger deals.

My mother was actually my first tenant. So we bought a condo, which I don't recommend doing. And don't get your mother as a tenant. I love my mother, but she was very demanding as a tenant. Unbelievable. Come and plow the snow. Do this, do that, paint the walls. So it was quite a challenge, but we learned the ins and outs of tenant management and property management, and that came from the proceeds of selling all these houses. We were able to buy it.

Sarah Larbi: Very cool. So I have so many questions and so many directions that I wanna take this, but first and foremost I will say if you guys are buying property and you wanna sell it, work with your mortgage broker because there's a difference between open and closed mortgages as well As variable and fixed.

If you're planning on flipping, there's different strategies so you can avoid that penalty. And what Francois you're talking about is essentially, let's just say you go with Scotia, Scotia intended to have five years of interest payments, at least from you, right? So if you sell it within six months or a year or whatnot, all of a sudden you've got a penalty.

Again, you're paying taxes obviously on the sale of the property. However, if you're in it for more than a year and it's your primary residence, there are different differences there. However, when you are going into another property, if you can port that mortgage over, you can avoid a lot of those fees. Is that correct?

Francois Lanthier: Yes. Exactly. That's what happened. And there we knew about that. Like when we bought the houses, we did, we got a closed mortgage, but my father was actually dying, so I wanted to move back to be closer to family. And at that point I didn't care about the affordability or any of that didn't matter. But yes, absolutely. I did learn it the hard way. And it was in Quebec and that was our first time in Quebec. The laws are very different. You don't have a lawyer in Quebec. It's a notary. It's actually the seller's or the buyer's notary. So you're assigned the notary.

You don't even choose who you work with, which is very tough. And they don't tell you what the penalty is until the day it's too late. So that's what happened to us. We're like, Hey, $10,000 short. Oh, nice. Nice surprise. But we called it with td. And they said, yeah, you have 120 days to buy something else, and if you buy enough to fill that difference, then you're able to recuperate all of it, or most of it. That's what we did, and that kind of propelled us. So I was mad at the time, but now I'm very happy here I am this morning on this podcast. Because of this penalty.

Sarah Larbi: We're happy to have you and sorry to hear about your dad, but just to fast forward then, so you went to flipping, are you still flipping today or are you holding now? Walk us through your current strategy.

Francois Lanthier: We're holding now. I really buy and hold. Long-term wealth building. That's where you really earn your money. It flips, it's good to build some equity and get some cash flow going. Especially at a live-in flip. It's a pain cuz it's always under construction.
Like the house I live in right now, there's still some stuff happening, but yet now we buy Multifamilies and we just hold them. We clean them up, fix them up. We look for efficiencies. Can we add a room? Can we add a suite? Can we add parking? What can we do to make it more cash flow positive? And then we hold them for hopefully forever, and then our kids will inherit them. And that's our goal.

Laurel Simmons: When you say multifamily though tell us how many units, like what is it a duplex triplex? Are you going fourplex 6, 8, 12. What are you doing now and are you thinking about changing that in the future?

Francois Lanthier: Yes. I want to grow bigger for sure. Right now it's more duplex, triplex, and I have a fiveplex. I've tried the commercial mortgages to get larger. And that's great. But it's a lot more cash intensive than I know about using other people's money, but it depends on the market and all that.

I have properties in New Brunswick, I have some in Ontario, and I'm looking at Quebec again, even though I had a bit of an experience, but I still have a lot of people I know out there, so it might be interesting. But yeah, I live in Ottawa, I have a duplex I just bought a few weeks ago. And it's very good.

It's got a detached double garage in the back, which could be another unit. So that's why I purchased it. It could be a triplex and the neighbor wants to sell me their duplex that's right beside it. So I'm gonna be looking at that as well. Hopefully they'll do owner financing. That's what I'm hoping for.

We'll see. I have properties in Cornwalls. I have two duplexes there, one with a walkout basement that could be a third unit. So that one I enjoyed quite a bit. The other one, I use it as a cash cow thanks to Dalia Barum and her team because of Sarah Larbi's podcast. So I reached out to Dalia.
I'm sounding like an ad, but I reached out to her team and they helped me refinance the property and the product they got on it is insane. There's three lines of credit, so it's re advanceable. There's a secured one and an unsecured line of credit, and I got money out of it. And that property cost me initially $116,000. It's just ridiculous. But I pulled out more than what I put in and all of that, and I had used private funds to buy it. And anyways, just an insane view.

Sarah Larbi: Amazing. That's awesome. Yes, guys, I work with a mortgage broker. The mortgage broker will help you maneuver through your plan. Don't go straight to the bank for many reasons. So you've got a lot of small multifamilies and you talked a little bit about working with a mortgage broker, but also about private money. How are you and your wife financing all of these properties? Are you guys doing this alone? Are you working with partners, JVs, private money? How's that all happening?

Francois Lanthier: We do a bit of both. And at first we had more private lenders just through our networking local events, local meetups. Actually hosted my own meetup in collaboration with the REITE club in Ottawa, which has been amazing. Through that meetup, I met three private lenders and three joint venture partners.

I've just leveraged those relationships. Some people have lent me their down payments to buy the property and then I qualified for the mortgage, or we went to a more traditional joint venture and I got a partner to qualify and put down the deposit. I put zero money down in it. I was the beneficial owner of 50% of the property without putting any money in. But lots of work. I do all the work. So the working partner.

Laurel Simmons: You talked about vendors, like hoping that next year you might get a Vendor Take Back mortgage. Have you used Vendor Take Back mortgages before?

Francois Lanthier: No.

Laurel Simmons: Okay. So have you thought about how you're gonna approach the vendor?

Francois Lanthier: Yes. I've actually come close to getting a vendor take back on multiple properties, but always with the financing, that's usually where it gets complicated. Again, We need someone very experienced with some creative financing. And so far for me, it hasn't worked out. The vendor takes back. We had to go a bit more traditional, borrow the money, put it in an account, sit on it for 30 days, then get the mortgage and just buy it outright.

It's not a vendor Take Back, it's just a loan and then a second mortgage. But yeah, vendors take back. How do I approach them? So I explained them to the people, like all the benefits. Usually they own multiple properties, so there's less capital gains. They can still make more money with their property because they're selling it over a few years. All of these factors. I'll have to approach it that way with them.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. And you mentioned work with professionals, right? Get a really good lawyer. Yes. Get a really good mortgage broker. All that stuff is super important. And I will say in the markets that we've been, even just looking back and I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's been harder because a lot of people know they can put it on the market and they can usually get their price and they're gonna go into bidding words and they're gonna sell it.

There hasn't been. A whole lot of VTBs in the smaller multis, bigger multis. It happens a little bit more often, but I think there's gonna be a really good opportunity, once this whole thing subsides a little bit and people are more motivated to sell and maybe there's a little bit less, demand and a lot of supply and that changes, that's where you might have more people looking at those alternative options.

Francois Lanthier: I think so.

Laurel Simmons: I'm also wondering if too, rather than in the larger centers, there might be more opportunity in the smaller centers, like smaller cities and towns where there's not such a, like an insane frenzy on real estate right now, cuz I, right now I think it's over. It's just stupid and it's just, in the big centers, it's just ridiculous. It doesn't matter what city you're in this country, it's just insane.

Sarah Larbi: Everything's insane right now. Are you finding that as well Francois? Like where are you looking and where you're looking? Are there multiple bids all the time on everything that is investor friendly or what are you seeing on your end?

Francois Lanthier: Yeah, no matter the market, small towns, small cities, New Brunswick, Moncton is very hot. Moncton is insane. Maybe smaller towns in New Brunswick, I think you'd have fewer multiple bids. Even though I live in eastern Ontario, Ottawa, but Cornwall is super hot. Multiple offers, like we were one of eight on one of our buildings there. So it's not Ottawa. Ottawa usually there's 84 bids. Some property just went for 250k over asking Cornwall's more like 50K over asking so, But as an investor you can't run your numbers and this is my number and I, that's it. I'll wait. I'd rather wait another year to get one. And that's, they're at the right price.

Sarah Larbi: You guys, there's you have your number as an investor, right? Right now we're competing with a lot of homeowners. I was just putting it another offer in for a cottage and it went 275,000 over with no con.

We're competing against a lot of homeowners or people that are moving for themselves, or it's just tough. But I'm glad that you mentioned you have your number, you're an investor, you stick to it, and something else will come. It's not uncommon I make 10 offers for maybe one, may, if that I probably a lot more when you look at it and it's tough, but.

At some point, things will change, right? The market is a cycle. It goes up and it goes down, and there's more demand, and then there's more supply and vice versa, right? Whether it's a matter of two years or 10 years there's always cycles and everything. So at some point, You're gonna get something else up.

It's gonna make sense. I'll get something else That'll make sense. And so will Laurel. So you've got a, obviously a great setup with a multi-family, and you mentioned your kids in the beginning and how you're talking to them a little bit and talk to us about how you're making it, you're involving your family and you mentioned your kids, why it's important to talk to your kids about it.

Francois Lanthier: Actually we named our company FL Homes Corp, not for Francois Lanthier, but for Fami Lanthier Homes Corporation. So we actually have meetings biweekly with the kids and they sit at our board meeting cause it's a corporation. You're supposed to have meetings and meeting minutes and all that fun stuff, which they learn.

They actually get to vote on things. They're not directors yet cause they're 14 and 16, very soon to be 15 and 17. And Yeah they understand about the financials. We run all the numbers with them, okay, this property is gonna earn us this much cash flow and we need to charge this much rent.
Our son actually helps with one of our Ottawa properties because it's walking distance from our house. So he goes and mows the lawn. He's doing property management. So that's what we tell him. And he helps, he's fixed a few things. Their kids are great at removing carpet, so child labor, think about it.

They do get paid, so we pay them a salary. They have a time chart like where they check off their hours, what they've done and they see everything. So they know about the podcast this morning. They're like, yeah, you can do it, dad.

Laurel Simmons: Like I was at your home a week ago, and I saw the chart on the wall where your kids might write down what they're doing right. Or how many hours they put in. And your oldest one wants to, his son wants to buy his own property, right? As soon as he can.

Francois Lanthier: Yeah. He's thinking about all this covid happening, maybe not going to university. Yeah, we'll see. Or maybe doing it and investing all at once. My wife actually has a cousin who did that.
He used his student loan to invest. So anyway, that kind of planted a seed there. But anyway, we put somebody aside for him and some of their real estate is actually to help finance studies. But we'll see. I did most of my studies online, so even back. In the day, like I went to college in London, but university was Athabasca. Everything was virtual back in 2008. So there's great potential to do everything online.

Sarah Larbi: Here's the thing is university is not the be all and end all anymore. There was a period of time that, like, that's what you do in order to get a job, but, in order to become wealthy, the mindset is that you don't wanna be an employee working for somebody else. Like you could do it for, a short amount of time as you're, saving your money from your salary or what you can, and then you're investing that.

I actually don't think it's that bad of an idea. Because ultimately what you're gonna spend a hundred thousand, 50,000, and it obviously depends where they go for something that they may or may not use. I went to nursing school. I'm not doing anything with nursing. Yes, graduated, yes, I passed and but at the end of the day, I could have gone to school for anything.

I could have done it online, and I would've likely come and had the same results at the end of the day. I don't think it's necessary anymore. And I think you guys think you're entrepreneurs, right? So you think outside the box, it's not like you're like, oh, your kids have to go to your school. They have to go to university in order to get a job and become an employee. That is, sorry to say, but that mindset is old. It is old school. It's just, it doesn't work like that anymore.

Francois Lanthier: It is, and I just listen to a lot of things I'm not sure about in English. People that predict the future, not mediums or clairvoyance or anything like that, but people that look at trends and analysis. I really forgot the word in English there. But anyway the trends with all that's happening with covid, a lot of robots and like autumn automation will happen everywhere, even in retirement homes. If you look at Japan, they use robots for retirement homes, things like that, which seems very far-fetched in Canada, but it's not.

Give it a few years and that's gonna cut off a lot of jobs that people, university grads would've taken. So now you have to create your own job and I've been in that business, like creating my own job for years. So I see that for my kids, absolutely. But having a VA is always nice on your resume, but, No employer checks that very rarely, unless you're in a specialized field.

Laurel Simmons: If you wanna take a course, you can do it anytime, right? There's nothing that says you can't, like education is great. You learn and it opens up all kinds of doors. So if you wanna take a course online or even in person, cause eventually we'll be doing it again. Do it. That doesn't need to be all at once packed into four years, as soon as you leave secondary school. But I wanna get onto another question about how you manage your properties. Because you have a lot of properties all over the place. So how do you, like, how do you do the property management? That's a big deal for people.

Francois Lanthier: Yes. So actually in New Brunswick of, obviously I can't go cause you'd need 14 day isolation and just the traveling and all that. And owning the business and the family and everything. So I have property management out there and they look after the property and we just hear back from financials and they send us videos and photos of what's happening, do we need repairs, things like that.

Locally, I do it myself, which maybe isn't the best idea for scaling. For scaling normally you want a team, but. I haven't found that team yet that I'm happy with. Same with New Brunswick. I just recently switched to a very good company. I had some very bad experiences right before that. So it's hard to delegate your properties.

They're a little bit like my babies, so like I said, the interior designer and knee. I just see things, oh, you're not doing the right way. You don't paint, you push too hard on the paintbrush. So I'm a little bit of a control freak, which is not very good for property management.

Sarah Larbi: I think, but I agree with you, right? I think if you, if it's manageable and you're not spending hours and hours on it, then I self-manage my own properties, but I'll tell you, it doesn't take a whole lot of time cause you have some good HVAC contractors, handyman.

Francois Lanthier: Just call them.

Sarah Larbi: Exactly. And so because, just from one person that manages to another, like how long does it take you on an average month to manage the properties that you're managing as an example?

Francois Lanthier: Most months, zero minutes. Because what I did, and that, that's the biggest tip is get good tenants, the good tenants will take care of the place. And then you just show up and have some tenants that call me. The grass would need a little bit more fertilizer. Okay. I send them some fertilizers and they just fertilize it for me.

That's it. Or the other person, oh, the porch needs some painting. I just called them up, Hey, would you like to paint? I'll send you some paint and some paint brushes. And they do it in the next few weeks. I drive past. Oh yeah, it's looking good. Thank you. And that's it. So good tenants that care about where they live.

Now, obviously this is a small multi-family, so that's why we're able to do that. Like a duplex triplex, if it's a complex, I'm not gonna get someone to start painting the halls and stuff. But they each have individual entrances, so they have beautiful gardens. So yeah, it's just a lot of months is zero minutes, actually.

Sarah Larbi: There you go. So you're gonna hire a property manager for, I don't know, five or eight or 10% a month off of your gross for maybe 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes, or just fielding calls. I think it's totally fine. And at some point, so my plan is at some point I'm just gonna take my portfolio and I'm gonna be traveling a lot more, and maybe at that point I'm gonna give the whole portfolio to somebody.

Who, when they have multiples and multiples rather than just a handful, you're gonna be much more of an important client. So they're gonna have, likely they're gonna pay a little bit more attention to it cause they don't wanna lose the entire portfolio. But if it's working for you, I love self-managing myself.

Like you said, tenants are super important and we have to control who we give the keys to as much as possible. If you can put yourself first. Have you ever had any bad whore, tenant situations?

Francois Lanthier: I have one currently, unfortunately. So it's a separation and it's just gone very sour and anyway, we're just working through the process of eviction. This one's gonna be tough though because she doesn't fit most of the categories in the landlord and tenant board, so their rent is always paid on time. There were some noise issues. But then the tenants upstairs moved out and they were the ones complaining and the new tenant doesn't mind the noise, so I can't get a complaint.

Then there's some damage, but then she repaired it and anyway, it's just ongoing. Everything gets fixed just as soon as I'm trying to evict the person. Then there's a new surprise. And then everybody gets one. I think it's part of the deal and anyway it's very hard. They came with good references, but I learned that.

Previous landlords lie. So that's a big tip. Everybody who's listening to this. References from a previous landlord. You have to take it with a big grain of salt and be aware. Sometimes they're trying to get rid of a bad tenant and just saying, oh yes, they're wonderful.

Sarah Larbi: Current. So current landlords live. Past landlords that are, have already got rid of them. Likely don't have a reason to lie, but I agree with you the current one that they're living in, if they're bad and they're trying to get them evicted or whatnot, they're, take that with a grain of salt. A hundred percent.

Laurel Simmons: How do you find your tenants? I know we're soon gonna be finished talking, but if you can quickly just tell us how you find your tenants and what do you look for in tenants?

Francois Lanthier: Yeah, so we advertise on, well in Ottawa it is very good. The Facebook marketplace is amazing for Cornwall in New Brunswick. It's my property management. So yeah, just free ads. Kijiji depends on the market, but I find Ottawa, zenger is the best place and. Like I said, Cornwall, Facebook marketplace. And what do I look for? I wanna see strong financials that they're able to actually pay for the rent. Like they're, it's not if their rent is a thousand dollars a month that I want them to earn $3,000 a month, like about 30% at the most.

But if they're earning 2k and they're spending 1k to rent it, they're putting themselves in trouble. So I care about the tenants, I wanna make sure they're okay. And that they do well and maybe this is not the right place for them. That's all. It just becomes a bad situation if you don't, if it's too expensive.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. So again, it sounds like you've got a good process. You've got a lot of steps you go through just to make sure that your information is in fact correct. So what's the next step for you? Where do you wanna take real estate investing to the next level? What does that look like? And when?

Francois Lanthier: Yes. So just a few weeks ago I was bidding on a 14 unit building and it had land to double in size. So I'm looking at redeveloping, looking for bigger projects like that. Larger multi-families that have more like 20 units and up more commercial mortgages and just focusing on the markets where I have investments, I want to buy more in Ottawa.

I want to buy more in Cornwall and more in Moncton. I like building nodes, so I have about at least three properties per area. And then you have a team around it, cause you need a lawyer, you need a mortgage broker depending on the market. New Brunswick, I can't use the same people as in Ontario. So time consuming. Great potential though, like 3% rule instead of 1% rule. So it's. It's very rewarding.

Sarah Larbi: Can you explain that for those that are wondering what that means?

Francois Lanthier: Yeah, so like the 1% rule, let's say you buy the property for a hundred thousand, then you want a thousand dollars in rents per month. Just an easy number. So my, so far New Brunswick and Cornwell for me have been more like 3%. So if I pay a hundred thousand, I get 3000 advances. Not exactly, but somewhere around that.

Sarah Larbi: The cash flow in comparison, but maybe not as much appreciation as it.

Francois Lanthier: Yeah. Appreciation. Forget it. That's not the GTA or Ottawa. So that's why I like Ottawa for appreciation. And the other ones are for cash flow. But believe it or not I've managed cash flow in Ottawa, which is, it's very good. It took me a year to find the right property and probably 40 offers and a hundred visits, but I found one, so I'll keep looking.

Sarah Larbi: What is the one? Is it a duplex? A triplex?

Francois Lanthier: Duplex.

Sarah Larbi: Did you create the duplex or did you buy it?

Francois Lanthier: Bought it as is, which is crazy because normally to get that money you need to buy a single house and add a basement suite, get the zoning and things changed. But here it was ready made. It was an el elderly gentleman that was moving to a retirement home, so it was just perfect and it was on the market, with multiple bidding offers. I paid more than asking, but it was still way underpriced even after that. So it's just a great deal.

Laurel Simmons: Francois, I have a question for you, and this is a little bit of a, just a little bit of a left turn for what we've been talking about but still on point and that is that why are you doing all this? What is it that you and Jennifer, your wife, eventually want to do? Because real estate, and you and I have talked about this, real estate's just the vehicle, right? It's just the vehicle. So what is it you wanna do?

Francois Lanthier: We wanna probably go back to what we enjoy is the interior design. So probably we will get more properties, more houses that we enjoy and have fun with the design, like being able to afford changing the floor, oh, it's going one way and then the next year or the other way. And herringbone pattern. I just love the herringbone pattern. I want it everywhere on the walls. Drinking wine like you do Laurel. So we bought a small cottage with our, made some money from our investments in Prince Edward County.

Just enjoying the beach of course. That's my other goal. So I'd like to be in Canada six months and probably six months of the year if I do want some winter. So I'll probably need a third property for winter somewhere. Just, yeah, have fun with that. Traveling. Financial independence, doing some silly things and for fancy furniture.

Sarah Larbi: You actually got my mind thinking about that. And we're like, oh, you know what, maybe with the REITE club we just have a little headquarters there or something. But just for those people wondering, okay. Where do they go down the road for somewhere warm, cause my goal as well is to be a snowbird too. What is it about Kirasel that drew you to that country?

Francois Lanthier: It's just the financial situation, the politics and everything. My realtor in Ottawa that's her retirement plan. So in about four years time, she's retiring there and, but, actually, she's gonna be selling real estate over there cause it's very hot and it's just self-managed.
There's condos and resorts. There's no hurricanes or anything like that out there. Healthcare is quite good. And it's mostly in English, so it's easy. It's not, there's no language barrier. Yeah, and it's part of the Netherlands, I think, so that's also very good politically to invest just that in the weather. It's beautiful and it's fairly affordable, so just very positive. We just need to be able to fly out there soon.

Sarah Larbi: That's awesome. All right, so we could keep talking about so many things and one day we'll have to have you back cuz you, you have tons of great insights to share. But we're gonna do our next part of the show, which is called our Lightning Round. So we're gonna ask you a series of four questions. Laurel and I will take turns and you are gonna give us the first answer that comes to mind. Are you ready?

Francois Lanthier: Yes.

Sarah Larbi: All right, so question number one. What is the best advice that you have ever received from another investor or at a networking event?

Francois Lanthier: Action precedes motivation. That's actually from a podcast. But anyway, action proceeds, motivation. It's like when you want to work out, you have to get up and get moving. You're not usually motivated, so just take action. And then you get the motivation, you get the tools and all that. So it's just something I see everywhere in my life. And I think it's the biggest thing, best advice. It's very simple.

Laurel Simmons: In other words, do it first, see some results and get motivated from the results, and then that, and then do more. So that's a really good way to do it. All right. So now question number two, what is your favorite resource for real estate investing? And that can be anything. Book training, personal event.

Francois Lanthier: One book I wrote down, it's actually in French, so it's similar to Don r Campbell's investing in Canada or something. I forget the exact name, but it's very similar. I read both books. That book what's nice about it? It's very it's 120 pages and it goes through all the real estate investing techniques. So you, they talk about JV using other people's money, vendor take backs most popular techniques in a super short format.
I love reading, but usually with everything I do, I have five minutes per day to read. So that book was just perfect. And also 40 Days to Success in Real Estate Investing by Robert Shemin. I'm not sure how you say it, but great book. Again, a great summary, very short, easy to read.

Sarah Larbi: Awesome. All right. Very cool. I think you're the first guest that has recommended a French book, but for those people that speak French, it sounds like a great option. All right. Question number three. What is the one attribute that has made you most successful?

Francois Lanthier: Remembering my why? So that actually comes from Laurel. It's why I love working with the REITE club is Laurel always says your why has to be strong. Yes, cause some days. You wonder why am I doing all this crazy stuff? And when you have a bad tenant or complicated transaction the money's coming in like an hour before the closing, things like that. Having that strong why, so that's kept me going and very important to me.

Laurel Simmons: I know. It really truly, if you don't have the strength why you're dead in the water because it can be tough sometimes. And we all know that. That's just the way it is, and you gotta pick yourself up and keep on going. And if you're wise, what gets you going? All right. Question four, what do you typically do on a Sunday morning?

Francois Lanthier: I'm Christian, so Sunday morning is for church. That's actually a big part of my life. And yeah I'm Pentecostal, so we believe in prosperity and building wealth through God's gifts. So anyway that's what we do. We go to church. Our church is very modern. Everything is filmed. It's broadcast on Facebook and YouTube. There's podcasts. It's very similar to the investment world. So I use that as an analogy. And our pastor is actually an investor himself, so we're very investor friendly. That's it. Time with the family. We review as well what we do, and sometimes we are swiping through MLS for properties.

Sarah Larbi: Very nice. Awesome. Fran, where can the REITE Club Nation reach out or find out more about you?

Francois Lanthier: Yes, so I love social media. I used to do that as a hobby and then a business. So I'm on Facebook, Francois Lanthier or FL Homes Corp as well on Instagram, fl_homes_corp. And on LinkedIn as well. So I'm very active on LinkedIn. I love dealing with other business people. That's actually a great place to get fellow investors and Twitter somewhat as well. And on My goodness. Let's not forget about that. Go on You have a wonderful LinkedIn for real estate investors, so let's use it.

Sarah Larbi: Awesome. Francois Any last final words of advice for the REITE Club Nation?

Francois Lanthier: Whatever you think is possible, and whatever you think is not possible. And that's actually so true in everything you do. So if you think you can't do it, you're not gonna do it. If you think you can, you will. Just do it.

Sarah Larbi: Just do it. Awesome. Thank you Francois. It's been a pleasure having you on and congratulations on all your success. It's so motivating to see.

Francois Lanthier: Thank you.

Laurel Simmons: Sarah. What a story. Francois, so much experience and he started with one house that he moved into with, into, with his wife and two small kids.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. I think it's really cool how he's involving the kids in his board meetings and having the kids participate in the property management stuff. And it's actually really cool that they're both into it as well. Cause sometimes you've got kids that don't want anything to do with it and then maybe down the road they change their mind or maybe they never do. But it is really cool that he's got, this is like a family thing that they do together, they spend family time doing and educating their kids and it's actually really awesome.

Laurel Simmons: It really is. And as I said in the interview, I was actually at their house and I saw the chart on the wall. And, the kids are really interested and they were in, wanting to know why I was there. We were doing some REITE Club business and the they're really involved and they, the oldest one wants to buy a house and he's really anxious and, he wants to do more and more work so that he can, bring in the money and it's really cool because as a family, you said, like you said they're doing it together. But those kids, you think about it when they're 30 or 40, think of the wealths they're going to have because gosh, they started when they're 18. I wish I'd started when I was 18.

Sarah Larbi: It's a great thing and I'm also happy to see that like he started with flipping cause he was building the cash and then he turned into buying and holding and doing some renos, but holding for the long-term wealth creation. And I think the kids are learning from some really experienced folks.

Yes, he's been doing it for 15 years, but I think this scale happened in the last two years where he re you know, did his strategies in his processes and procedures and it is really cool and I'm excited to see his progress as well. Because if he's done what he's done in the last, really it's been the last two years he's going to, he's gonna do really well and he's a guy of action. And the kids too. And, the kids are learning and absorbing it, which is awesome.

Laurel Simmons: Sarah, what's one thing that really struck you out of that interview?

Sarah Larbi: I really like the fact that he started from nothing, did it, and took action. And like he said, if you think you can, you will do it. And if you think you can't, You won't do it. And it just all goes back to just taking action, just learning enough, not having analysis paralysis, understanding what you need to do and going out there and getting it done. That's really cool.

Laurel Simmons: The other way I've heard it put is if you think you can't, you're right. And if you think you can, you're right. So it comes down to what's in the real estate in your brain, right in your head. That's what counts. One thing that really struck me, I started to laugh and I even wrote a little note about it. It was, don't rent to your mother.

Sarah Larbi: We could through a whole different way. I will say I had a similar experience where we were renting to my sister-in-law, like renting to family usually 99% of the time is not a good idea.

Laurel Simmons: Don't rent a family. Really Not a good idea.

Sarah Larbi: If you've had a good experience renting to a family, though, we'd love to hear from you because you are likely one of very few.

Laurel Simmons: Yes, exactly. If you'd like to reach out to us, Sarah and I, we're really easy to get hold of. It's or We'd love to hear from people. Join us. Please join us Connect with us there. There's lots of information, there's lots of resources, and lots of other people too. So it's a really growing community. So please join us. We'd love to see you.

Sarah Larbi: That's it. And REITE Club Nation. Until next time, don't forget, come grow with us now online, Have a great evening, Laurel, and we'll talk soon.

Laurel Simmons: Okay, good bye everyone.