Survey Trends For Small Landlords


Sarah Larbi: REITE Club nation. Welcome back to another special episode of The REITE Club Podcast. I'm here today. My name is Sarah Larbi and I'm here with Alfonso Salemi. 

I'm super pumped for today's episode and I know the REITE Club Nation knows and loves our guests today. And he's known as Mr. Ottawa. He's been on the podcast before. He has been on your podcast, Sarah, and he's just a wealth of information. If you don't follow this guy. Seriously you're doing something wrong, really, but I'm super pumped. Why don't we bring Tony right in.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely welcome, Tony, how are you?

Tony Miller: Hey, Sarah. Hey, Alfonso. How's it going, dude?

Alfonso Salemi: Very good. Yeah. So good to have you on. I know, we've met a bunch of times and the REITE Club Nation, you've been on our sustaining build series, our webinars, and giving so much information from, Eastern Ontario perspective and from a really, from a real estate investor perspective. A quick background for those of first time hearing or seeing. Tony, why don't you give us just a quick little background of who you are. We can get right into it.

Tony Miller: Sure. I'm a lifer in Ottawa for those who don't know, so I was born and raised in Ottawa and I don't think I have any plans on leaving unless 6.9 or something like that really kicks in. Then it might hightail it out here to Newfoundland. But really born, raised in Ottawa. Worked in the federal public service communication, security establishment for 24 years, almost 25 years. Perfect storm type of thing where you're in the government and things are going well.

You get paid well. You have a lot of benefits, there's a lot of security. But man, you know what you're exchanging for that. It's your soul. It's your soul, Alfonso, because you're really, you're like after a little bit in, there's really not much you can do, right? You can't go along and make things happen quickly, and you're stuck if you wanna put it that way, right?

There comes a point after a while in the government where if you're in there for too long, Then you have to keep going because of your pension, right? You wanna keep going for your pension. And I got to the point where, okay, I have to make a decision. What do I wanna do? And I said it's time to go. My mindset, the way everybody grows as time goes on, thing.

I just said, I'm ready to go. And the organization changed. I changed, heck, my wife and our kids were just entering my school at the time. So it was a good time to just make a change. And I'll do that again. There's no I'm not hesitant at all in doing something else. Right now I'm Ottawa's realtor and service provider for key fire in the Ottawa area. Longtime brand member investing since about 2008. More into private money lending out, just sold the property last week. We have an out east and also we're winding some stuff down. And yeah, that's some former Ottawa fund real estate investing writer. There's a bunch of other stuff. But yeah, that's it in a nutshell.

Sarah Larbi: Awesome. And guys we had Tony on before and we went through a lot more background and a lot more details, but that's not what we wanna do today. We just wanna, actually talk and share what's happening in real time and have more of a conversation.

Cause I think a lot of people get some great value from just having a conversation about what's happening in real estate, what's happening with tenants, what's happening in the market as three investors that have, a fairly good grasp on the market, whether it's, Ottawa, Brantford, GTA and Alfonso, you're all over the place with your 200 plus properties, I feel like. So Tony, what have you been up to in the midst of this whole I guess since March? Now we're recording this in July, but what have you been up to from a real estate perspective amidst covid and all the chaos?

Tony Miller: I think first of all, first and foremost, I've been involved in doing, I've been fortunate enough to be on the REITE club. The monthly one I forget the name, I'm sorry, but that one is Sarah's podcast. So I've been really out there trying to educate real estate investors. What's happening out there. In terms of covid, because there's so many things going on in terms of mortgage deferrals, property tax, deferrals, rent strikers, what the elected officials are saying and how that's impacting real estate masters.

I've been really paying close attention to those types of things, and I've been sharing them with investors and landlords. So that's been it. Primarily Bill 184 is something else that I've been watching quite a bit and more while I was telling Sarah before we hopped on that, I'm not really.
I haven't dove into the realtor stuff that much the last couple of months, just since Covid started. Not because there's not enough business or anything like that, it's just, I don't know I've been drawn or focusing on some other things and so I'm really focusing on trying to educate the investors that are out there on to what's going on in the city, provincially, nationally.

It's been cool from a personal perspective. We sold places out east and so that's really cool. And I think I mentioned it before, I'm getting more into private money lending and just RRSP loans and that type of thing. So I'm super happy with that. And you can't, I can't tell you, man, like how happy I am to have that property gone to the east Coast.

I'm just, I'm thrilled. Like it's like something off my shoulders, right? Something else ends, and so it makes me happy. But Sarah, I wanted to ask you, you mentioned you have a cottage, right? So where's the cottage at? Are you seeing a higher, more people actually interested in going to your cottage this year compared to last year? Are you scared about covid? Are you worried about any of that stuff?

Sarah Larbi: I will tell you, it's crazy. So since Ford removed the ban , my cottage has been like this for a week and a half. Was completely booked until mid-September. And I actually just had an inquiry from the end of September to October and everything in between, cause we always save the weekends that we want first before we release it.

It's crazy and it just flew by and then, because you're asking about the cottage piece, I'll tell you, there's a lot of demand still, like people asking me where else they can find cottages. And Alfonso, you, I know you've got a couple cottages as well, and I'll tell you, I wish I had a couple more cottages.

And ironically, as we've had a few friends over here and there within the limit and everyone that's come up. Has now decided that they want a cottage. So they started looking for cottages. And I'm telling you, it is the best thing I've ever done personally from a sanity perspective, because I've been able to be here since March and I decided to stay until, until it's rented essentially in July where I'll be making about five 50 a night.
I think if I had kept on some dates, I would've been able to rent it for more than the five 50 a night. Just because so many people are desperately trying to get out of their small spaces and the downtown core and where they're living just to get some fresh air.

Tony Miller: Have you seen property increases cottage wise?

Sarah Larbi: There's barely anything for sale. Barely anything for sale, but I'll tell you, we did well on the cottage, I saw one a year ago, and it's listed for 7 89 right now, and it is not that nice. So I'm thinking ours is probably worse. It's a little bit bigger, but I'm thinking we're probably at that price and we bought it for 485, like three years ago. Probably one of the best investments that I've done where I've enjoyed it the most. But what about you Alfonso? What are you seeing in the cottage industry?

Alfonso Salemi: Definitely. Tony brings it up. Like the prices. I think it was maybe a general overall theme with supply and demand in the market in general. With whether it's rental property, single family homes, and I guess, definitely in the cottages. With the cottages. Port Stanley cottages, it's just south of London, Ontario, or right near St. Thomas. There's now 10 beach cottages out there that we have and yeah, like really booking up quickly.

The times are pressed, like I'm even looking at the week I booked for myself, I'm like that's revenue. Now I'm giving away cause I'm going up. But again, back to the sanity point, right? I think there's a real supply and demand as we're forced to stay within our boundaries, within our borders here in Canada, the staycations or the short drives that are an hour or two hour away, but feel like.

You're on a different planet because you have a beautiful beach view. Or like I said, I'm trying to go to all these different beaches. I think that's directly impacted by Covid. You can't go anywhere. The people that are, they're buying paddle boards now instead of going on vacations to go to their closest lake.

I know Ottawa has a lot of beautiful spots and locations. What's a good little cottage community or beach town community like around in and around the Ottawa, greater Ottawa area?

Tony Miller: Before I answer that, Sarah, can you just tell me in your cottages you offer free wine and coffee? Is that included?

Sarah Larbi: I offer coffee, but you know what, I don't actually advertise it because if there is no coffee, I don't wanna be responsible. So I do stock it. And there's free coffee, there's free tea. I used to do like a bottle of wine for the first few guests that came and then we kinda got away from that.

Tony Miller: What do you think people would want as a gift? Do you think they'd rather have all you can drink coffee or all you can drink wine when you're in the cottage?

Sarah Larbi: Probably all you can drink is wine.

Alfonso Salemi: All You can drink wine. You're gonna get definitely a lot more value out of it. But I know, we had a few different presenters talking about vacation properties and wifi is probably the top amenity. Like people I think put wifi over, like running water in some cases, in cottage rentals. But yeah, just little gifts thinking like I know Sarah does a really good job.
She's got her. Her book and in all of our cottages we have it posted like rules and like garbage days and all the different things that you need to know, but even a little local treat and something up there it's always nice to, it's like a welcome, like the old school mint on the pillow, right at the nice hotels.

Tony Miller: Do any of your cottages have an outhouse?

Sarah Larbi: It has a sauna.

Alfonso Salemi: Have all the plumbing.

Sarah Larbi: I have plumbing, air conditioning, wifi. It feels a little bit like a home on the lake. And we just got the new dock as well. Which is awesome. But I would live if it wasn't so desolate in the winter, which, I like to have some action and people visiting me. I would love to live here all year, but our winters are just too long.

Tony Miller: My grandmother had a cottage on the Ottawa River. Our parents used to take us out there, and it was awesome. I remember as a kid it was just terrific. There was no plumbing or there was electricity, but no plumbing. So we had to go to that type of thing and some really solid memories there.

My parents at one point said, okay guys, listen, we're five kids. They go, listen, we can keep the cottage. Or we can build a pool in the backyard. And so we decided to go to the pool. So they sold the cottage. But now I wish we had it. Hey, it's different times and everything, but Alfonso, if you're asking like the cottage country sort of thing in the Ottawa area, definitely we have the big RTO Lakes area west of Perth is really good.
Even a little bit north of Ottawa going towards Pembroke. There's so much, there's so many waterways and so many lakes. The Brito Canal people head over on the Quebec side also, and within an hour you can be out there, in nature, isolated whatever you want to do. And it's such a great location.

It's fantastic. I don't know if I would want to take on a cottage right now, like at least, even owning one and just going up. My wife is old. Speed up the trailer thing that she's trying to work up, fix. So once that's done, we'll probably go on trips and hang. But yeah, there's definitely a lot of locations in Ottawa that are campgrounds and cottages and things like that.

Sarah Larbi: You know what the other thing is too, cause I just, so I finished that Burlington BRRRR and then I'm like, what do I wanna do with this? We had it on the market and I'm like, the prices that I was getting, I'm like, I could, I might as well just keep it. And so I'm getting it refinanced and I'm like, do I want to rent it long term or do I wanna rent it on Airbnb? And even after the acquisition of buying all the furniture, I don't wanna deal with the RTA anymore at this point.

Like for a little while longer. Until we figure out what the delay might be like and what that looks like. But I'll tell you, when you look at the pros and cons, Airbnb and once this is all over, cause it will be at some point Airbnb just seems like the easiest solution in Ontario where we are so handcuffed to what the RTA says and the LTB is just a disaster.

Let's talk about that for a minute because you've been looking at what's been happening and all that. And you mentioned Bill 180 4 a while ago, and can I just take a step back and say for those of those people wondering what that even means, can you talk on what Bill 184 is and what that means for investors and landlords?

Tony Miller: Sure I can speak to it at a high level. I even forgot the name of the bill. I forget what it's called. I'll have to Google it or some, I'll check it out. But it's a bill that, of course, the government is saying that they're trying to benefit both landlords and tenants. And we were hoping that Bill 184 was actually going to concentrate on some of the things that are in need of fixing. We're talking about the N four L one process. There are so many things that need to be done. Heck just come up to, move into, come out of the dark ages LTB and allow emails to be sent and video conferences for hearings and stuff like that.

It really didn't touch on that. It really focuses on penalties to landlords for compensation. If you're selling a property, let's say Alfonso, and you're selling your own property and you're asking your tenant to vacate because you want vacant possession, or the buyer wants vacant possession, you would have to pay the tenant one month's rent.

That's not there today. So that's something new that's coming along. It's interesting because when I was looking at it and I noticed that tenant organizations like Acorn and I guess Parkdale and Toronto, lieutenant groups, they're up in arms, right? They're freaking out.
They're saying, oh my gosh, this is the eviction bill. Everyone's gonna be on the street bringing this on during Covid. At the same time, the Ontario landlord watched me and other people were up in arms, saying, what the hell do you do? And you didn't listen to us when you talked to us. This is not what we wanted.

It's interesting that both sides are saying hey this isn't right. So that sort of tells me that maybe the government actually wrote something balanced here. It's something that's actually working. I haven't gone through all of my stuff. You guys can't see it. I'm picking up a piece of paper.
It's bill 184. It has four parts to it overall. Part four has to do with the RTA Residential Dependencies Act. So over the weekend, and I'll be finishing it tonight, I'll be going to compare the bill, what's in the bill to what's existing in the RTA and see what those changes are. I'm doing a I guess a Zoom thing with Kayla tomorrow night.

We'll go over, some of the changes and Kayla knows, probably knows it inside out already. I'll have to study it tomorrow before I hop on the line with her. So that's pretty much what Bill 184 is. There's obviously a lot more to it, but it's going to be interesting to see what happens.
It's not going to change much. They did some hearings. The committee was in committee and it's being sent back to the house now. So the legislature for Royal Assent or Fold or whatever, and it's gonna pass.

Alfonso Salemi: Not to steal the headline, I'm just googling it here. It's the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act. So all of our landlords see that protecting tenants. Like how can it go further? Further when, obviously we all have that general sense that Ontario is such a tenant friendly or tenant skewed, in the landlord tenant, right?

Tony Miller: Like for how long, like what the liberals were in power for how long, and man, they just, it just skewed everything. Everything went towards the tenants. I won't say everything. That's an exaggeration. Many things went to the tenants, right? And they did updates and changes and Okay. But now all of a sudden we're, this bill comes along and, there might be a couple of good things for landlords.

Like the people, like the tenant organizations and tenant advocates, they're really on the upward. You should see the spin and the misinformation that they're spreading on social media. So it's good to see the needle Maybe change a little bit and I'm gonna make a prediction right now. Go bold statement Bill 184 initially I was like, oh my gosh, this is terrible. The arms flailing, the guy was in the air, you know the rubber band guy on the side road?

Alfonso Salemi: The used car salesman.

Tony Miller: Yeah. You guys, I keep forgetting that we're not on video, so people who are listening can't see me flailing my arms around. Sarah's looking at me like I'm nuts.

Sarah Larbi: No, that's fine. If you guys wanna see his arms flailing around, check it out on YouTube. Otherwise, you're gonna keep listening to it.

Tony Miller: I'm gonna say that it is, based on what I've seen right now and what I'm hearing it's really not that bad. But I'm gonna make that bold prediction. I haven't finished going through all of the reports and all the changes, but Okay. It's nothing that I'm going to walk away feeling all upset about or anything.

Alfonso Salemi: You know what it's timely that, through the midst of this pandemic, a lot of people worried about their current renters, their current acquisitions, when they're bringing on properties that they're either gonna BRRRR hold and they're gonna put new renters in there.
It's it now, not just because this new bill is coming out, but I think it. Anytime. If you're gonna have any rental portfolio, or sorry, any rental properties in your portfolio, you should be aware of these acts and be with those professional landlords or that professional housing provider that you know what you can and can't do, or have the team members that are gonna do that for you.

You work with primarily investors, mostly investors if not exclusively, and in, what have you seen that have these, the rentals these days that they're currently clients. Are they still paying? Are there more delays? Has it like, because of the serve payments, have people been able to collect that?

I know with your surveys you've been sending out throughout the covid that you've been polling landlords from small, medium, large size landlords. What's the general sense out there? Is it like, you know what, I'm gonna hold through, I'm gonna keep getting the rents on. I'm scared to fill my units because what's your general sense out there from all the people that you work with?

Tony Miller: It's a bit of everything. And I think initially when all of this started, when I started doing the surveys for the first one, for April, and we were all surprised at Wow, okay, everybody, I forget what the percentage was, but it was pretty high where people were getting a hundred percent of their rent and orders were being paid their rent.

Yes, there were some who defaulted. Mind you, that was at the beginning of Covid. So things hadn't really kicked in yet. And now I guess for the second month when we did it, so that would've been May. There was definitely a little bit more what's the word I say? Not fear, but just, okay.
Cautiousness maybe is the right word. A little bit of caution. And I find that now for this month, there seems to be a little bit of apathy. Just in general. And we'll get into that when we start going through the survey, but it was, it's interesting to see the waves and the emotions and how things have changed drastically a few times within a three, four month period.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. Every week it seems like there's something new and new headline. But it is interesting. And just Tony, with your personal investments and we'll go through your survey in a minute. But what about you? Has everybody paid you as a landlord?

Tony Miller: I've been really fortunate, even some tenants who, you may not. Really, they're not your favorite tenants. Good people.

Sarah Larbi: Everybody has some of those.

Tony Miller: Yeah but they're paying. And a couple of people were late. We had some people move in over the weekend, did some move-ins and some miscommunication perhaps within the first month. Apart from that, no I've been really fortunate. Everybody's been able to pay. How about you guys? That good?

Sarah Larbi: I've been good. There's one person that needed like three extra days this month to pay, and he paid within those three extra days, and that was like his first time that he had to be delayed a little bit. But everyone's been good. And I was able to do a rent increase while the tenant was fine. So it goes back to screening every time I've been able to screen my own tenants and pick my own, those tenants are great.

Sometimes you just acquire them, right? And you don't really have a whole lot of say in it, and also sometimes some slip through the cracks. Luckily all of mine realize that just as important as buying food and buying other things. That rent is just up there with what they need to make sure that they cover. What about you, Alfonso?

Alfonso Salemi: At the point of that April 1st date, I remember, cause everybody remembers April 1st, April Fool's Day. So everybody was like, oh no, this is not gonna be a joking day. On April 1st. There's gonna be no humor when nobody gets sent in their rent. And surprisingly, yeah, like it was in the probably upper eighties that everybody had paid in full and that's with, let's call it about 110 rent to own under management.
At any point at the beginning of the rent to own the first or second or third year. And now we were again, we're back up into the high nineties of, there's only a few, maybe less than a handful that are on like a payment plan making up for. Missed rent. And that's including the higher down payment savings as well too.

Now that was through see through unemployment all the government programs that were offered and now obviously with people getting back to work or working from home kind of becoming a little bit more of a normal thing. I think that just reinforces the strength of investing in real estate.
Sarah said, the screening process we're like I have other normal rentals in my portfolio and the way that we screen them versus our rental. And I'm almost like we're not doing enough. But then in comparison to other rentals and other rental properties that people come with a handful of cash, Hey, I can move in tomorrow.

You're like, oh, okay. So with the rent to own screening process, you're getting to know a little bit more. About their motivation, their long-term goal, because they're gonna eventually own this house. So the screening process is so important, like Sarah said and even now I guess I'll ask both you guys this question.

If you did have it, and this is a situation where I have a duplex in East Hamilton. I've rented out one of the units, done the background check. The screening really looks good. So I have one more unit looking to rent out. I have it advertised. I have it up on there and I'm like, oh, let's get somebody really good in there.

What do you say to those investors that have that fear? I'm like, oh, if they, okay, they gimme their first and last and then if they stop paying, but everybody's fearing. It's like a year and a half maybe before we get in front of adjudicators or meetings. What's the approach? I know there's not one perfect approach, but what are you guiding your investors with Tony and then Sarah, how are you managing it with, I know you have tons of students and clients that have rentals as well too.

Sarah Larbi: I think with screening they just have five steps and it's very thorough. And some of it is actually inspecting what's currently happening with our current landlord since March. And asking for proof of funds having been sent to them. And sometimes if it doesn't check off, I would suggest that they just leave it empty for a month or two until they find the right tenant. But this is not the time to take chances. First and last, I've filled the unit in May.

There was somebody that was getting divorced and sold their house. So they checked all the other boxes, and went through all the other steps. And I would just say don't trust your gut. Don't take a chance just because you need to fill your unit. I would say leave a vacant seat until you find that right person.

Cause yeah, it can take many months if you have the wrong one. Absolutely not. That would just be, that's just what I tell them. And I've started helping them with screening tenants and they send me some examples of certain ones, all of the stuff that worked and then the red flags. And to be honest, if there's red flags, you're passing. That's my advice. Because at the end of the day, this in Ontario prior, it was not a time to take a chance. And in Ontario especially now, it is not time to take a chance. So that's my stance.

Tony Miller: It's interesting that before Covid here in Ottawa with the super low vacancy rates, we had the pick, right? We could afford to say, yeah, sorry, we don't want you, even though it was really good. We're gonna wait it out and pick somebody even better job wise or, personality, whatever it was. Now it's changed a little bit, I guess to say now with Covid. Just have to be a little bit more careful.

Here in Ottawa, I always go back to the tenant profile that you're looking for. Many times it's students. Many times I'm filling a place here in Orleans and I asked the property manager, okay, I want government workers, I want federal government workers. They're gonna get paid.
They're not losing their paychecks. Pretty secure. We haven't heard of anybody being laid off because of covid at the federal level. No talks of wage freezes or anything yet. That may come, but it's really, it's pretty simple. I just say government worker, go find me some of those,

Alfonso Salemi: Those safe, secure jobs that are gonna go back to the restaurants. And again, that was a big part of a clientele for rent to own, right? Those people that weren't claiming their full income, that were service workers or making a lot of money in tips, right? And now those types of industries, not to say one more than another, they've all been impacted. But, the service industries and where group large gatherings and things like that, if that was your job, that's gonna be tough. And I still think we're a far cry away from a normal and second wave and all that kinda stuff.

Sarah Larbi: Alfonso, the other thing I would just say is you guys just have to be careful if you're listening to this, not to discriminate because they've lost their job on their own, whatever your criteria is fine.
Just don't give them a reason why you are not choosing or moving forward with them, cause you guys can get in a lot of trouble. You can't discriminate on how they bring in their income. Serve included. So have your preferences. Keep them to yourself. Don't let them be known and do not give that as a reason. Just cover your butts.

Tony Miller: You don't have to give a reason.

Alfonso Salemi: That's great advice, right? And as all housing providers and small to medium, large landlords and those types of people, we all run our individual businesses in parallel and sometimes it intersects with each other, but we all have to make those decisions for ourselves.
Whether it's your investment if you wanna be passive active, right? You have to make those choices for yourself. And that's why, conversations like, the three of us sitting around here talking, getting different opinions, and you take the best of making it your own, right? It's never gonna be exactly the same.

You can do it exactly like Sarah, but you're gonna have different apprehensions. Sarah has a different comfort level now at a certain point, same with Tony, right? You're gonna have to get up to that level and feel comfortable before you just go ahead and say, okay, yeah, I feel your gut. What does that mean?

I've never interviewed somebody. So yes, work with those people that have walked through those steps that have blazed the trail and now make it your own and put your own spin on it. Where now this is my little niche.

Tony Miller: For sure. And Sarah's got a kick butt. Type of programming. So yeah, any questions?
Contact Sarah, she'll walk you through.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. Tenant screening, pre covid, but also enhanced with Covid so Tony, you've put together. Really great results, PowerPoint presentation of what's been happening with tenants during Covid and specifically in June. So can you walk us through, and I know a lot of people are, I would say 95% of people, maybe 90%, listen to this.
Out of everybody that does tune in, a big majority is still in Ontario and they're still investing in Ontario, or they're from Ontario. So it's gonna be really relevant. So if you guys are curious to see who's paid, who hasn't paid, why Tony's gonna be able to share the survey results that he did. So take it away.

Tony Miller: Sure. Alfonso, would you be able to bring up the shared screen? I'm sorry, I should ask Sarah to tell you what to do again.

Alfonso Salemi: Hey, Google. Pull up the survey or Hey, Alfonso, pull up the survey.

Tony Miller: If we can go to the first page there. That'd be great. There we go. Awesome. Okay. Yeah, so the background with the surveys is really been, I really wanted to find out what was happening out there Because of Covid, there was a lot of uncertainty and I wanted to get some certainty. I wanted to grab onto something firm and find out what's going on, so why am I doing the surveys or is it really just to find out what's happening during, I wanted to help. Educate or at least inform other investors and groups like what's happening, or at least what we're seeing based on surveys.

Cause there's been some interesting trends. And the last thing is that I wanted to share with local or provincial officials. And, I'm not a lobbyist. I advocate for landlords, but at least share the results with them. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I might influence them in some decision down the road. Who knows? But that's what I've been doing here in the city to share with a few counselors. And I've been sharing it on social media as well. I guess the first thing I want to touch on is when we talk about the, how many different waves we've seen since covid started in terms of changes, right?

There's been so many changes. And so April, 2020 is when we did the first survey. I had 173 responses In May, it jumped up to 226, and I'm like, Woohoo, this is awesome. Great. It's picking up steam. Let's go, let's make it happen. And then all of a sudden June hits, we get 108. What's that? What's going on?

Sarah Larbi: Why do you think that is?

Alfonso Salemi: I know, Tony, I think you have your reasons. I'm, maybe I give you my best guess. When this first everybody called, it was like the novel. Coronavirus, like it was a novel, it was something new, something going on. All this information. And I think in human nature, we're always adapting, changing, getting used to our surroundings, whatever they are. And I think more people are taking a step back. Oh, okay. Not all Corona. This, oh, Corona. Oh yeah. It's normal, right? You don't hear about toilet paper anymore. Anyways, right? I dunno, what are your thoughts? That's what I thought. Maybe you could just take a little bit more of a step back to it.

Tony Miller: I think it's more I think that you're that's a really good point. I think that's super true. I think people over time have become maybe immune to information overload about Covid and maybe the survey and the groups that I've been targeting, maybe they just got tired of it.
That's possible. Like it's maybe they still wanna take it. Overall though, what I've seen or. Last two, three years, I believe that small landlords just aren't as passionate, just aren't passionate enough to get involved in big issues many times. We'll get on Facebook and Twitter and we'll tweet and we'll post and we'll bitch and complain.

When you really need to hit the pavement and when you really need to make a statement and get involved, most won't, it won't get involved. Honestly, I really do believe that Ottawa, for example, we had the short term rental regulations and long-term rental regulations thing going last year for several months.

I was shaking my head like, where the heck was everybody? What we'd go to, I go to meetings like public consultations for the paper, and there might be two or three of us. The rest were all homeowners and maybe a couple city staff, a couple of 'em, a couple of other ones, had a lot more investors.

Overall it was really disappointing. So I just think that overall, I think I don't think that we're hurting as small landlords, right? I don't like the RTA any more than anybody else, and I totally agree with Sarah that's lousy. But take away the RTA and the LTV . It's really, we're in it for a reason and we're profitable. So I just don't think that small landlords are hurting enough to actually jump out and start making their voices heard. Anyways, that's just my bold statement for today.

Sarah Larbi: It's interesting, and I agree and I also think that in April there was more worry about what was gonna happen. And even in May, and now there's been a big bit more of a trend and summers happening and the weather is out there.

Tony Miller: People are at cottages, Sarah, they keep going to cottages all the time.

Sarah Larbi: I know, right? I've been at the cottage myself, but I'll tell you that, it's one of those things because you're right, we're not, most of us are not in a situation of, I'm gonna lose my property because of this tenant. Maybe you can actually. Go through the survey results. Cause I think part of it will show how much, how many have paid versus how many have not paid. But I do agree and maybe there's something smaller that we can see. Okay, what can landlords do? That's not necessarily how, like going out to a meeting cause maybe that is good for some people and maybe it's an uphill battle to get more people out there, but what's something small that we can say, okay, like this is a little, a step in the right direction or a small step in a direction of trying to unite us.

When there's always gonna be people, Tony, and we know this, that are gonna be more active in anything and there's other people that are gonna be, accepting, but they don't wanna add more workload to what they have already.

Tony Miller: Yes, a hundred percent. So speaking of small I asked, I did the survey for small landlords. That was the focus really. And so I asked How many doors in Ontario do you own? That was the second question. And 68%. I didn't ask that. In April, by the way, so we'll jump right to May, 68% landlords had between one and five doors. 66% had between one and five doors in June 16% had between six and 10 doors in May, 21% between six and 10 doors.

There was only roughly 5% who had 20 plus stores at the end. So you know the great majority of at least going by the survey, a lot of small landlords own fewer than six doors. I don't know how you guys define it, but in general, like my definition of small landlords is anybody who owns rental properties and has 19 or fewer doors. That's generally been my definition. And maybe that's too high. Maybe that's too much. Maybe it should be something like less than 14 or something.

Sarah Larbi: I don't think there's an actual, by the book definition, just like when you say like A, B or C property or A,B,C,D area, it's all defined a little differently. We all speak a similar language. That's right. But it's not like in stone, black and white.

Tony Miller: I wish this was on a video because this is a very, are you a Toronto Nap Leaf fan alfonso? Okay. Anyways, I, the question is in which Ontario cities or towns do you own investment properties? And of course number one on the list is Ottawa Carlton. Because that's my hood. That's where I was born and raised. So a lot of my network is here in Ottawa. So anywhere between 31% and 37% responded to the survey and they're from Ottawa. And then the GTA came in second at about 20% 21%, 17% Eastern Ontario had good representation.
Other areas in the province included, like Northern Ontario, Windsor central Ontario, that type of thing. But fire and Away Ottawa was the winner.

And that's why you can't see it on the screen. But, there's, on my slide, it has the Ottawa RedBlacks hoisting the Gray Cup, right? Because they won and Ottawa's first here on the list. So do you see what I'm trying to do there, Alfonso?

Alfonso Salemi: I love it. I can't say I'm a Red Blacks fan. I bleed gold and black with the Thai cats here.

Sarah Larbi: I was gonna say, Tony, you're smart cause you know not to ask me. Cause I unfortunately, and I hate to admit this, but it is the truth. I know nothing about sports especially.

Alfonso Salemi: Again, even leading up to, before the pandemic hit and in the last, don't know, maybe year and a half, two years, Ottawa was red hot. It was such a strong market where you said we had our pick of the litter. Of the type of clientele, the type of renters that you wanted in your properties. And I think that still rings true and maybe even more as, like you said, the jobs probably are gonna be coming more back into Ottawa and supporting the government.

Tony Miller: It's interesting. They just released the stats today and did a quick review and there's 52% less listings year over year for residential properties. 52, that's insane. For condos, it's 42% year over year. So there's absolutely nothing out there. And the ones that do come up and at their well priced they sell very quickly. You're absolutely right. It's pretty crazy.

Alfonso Salemi: I know everybody, we talked about it and Sarah mentioned a couple different cities across Ontario that a bunch that we work in 25 million in Ottawa, Sarah in the Brantford, and, Peterborough as well market. That doesn't matter what that market is, know what your fundamentals are, know what those research or why you wanna be in that area. And it's not just because Tony told you to or Sarah told you to. That's your only reason. Dig deeper guys. There's sometimes I look at a city or a little township outside, I'm like, I've never even heard of this place.

Okay, let's find out, let's get to the fundamentals. What's there? Why do the clients wanna be there? What's gonna happen in the worst case if we need to, refill this vacancy, put somebody else in long term Doesn't make sense.

Tony Miller: A hundred percent. Don't take my advice for anything other than Ottawa. I dunno. It's hard enough to keep track of Ottawa. I don't know anything else outside of Ottawa, even across the river in Quebec. And Alfonso like I don't. I have no clue what's going on there and it's just, short stroll across the Bridget. My advice for anywhere else.

Sarah Larbi: All markets are so different. Even this is why there is no such thing as an Ontario or a Quebec or an Alberta market. And then even in Ontario, there is no such thing as even a GTA market. Like every small pocket and even Branford, you can divide it. And so just be that specialist. Pick one or two markets as you're getting started and just learn it. Over And over, get really comfortable in it. Run all the fundamentals. I have a free fundamentals checklist on my website. You guys can go and download it for free. And it has all the stuff that I look for before I pick a city. Do that before you. And it's the wrong one.

Tony Miller: Becoming a neighborhood specialist right? Before you make that leap, pick the city, pick the neighborhood and the property type, all that stuff. But you really need to know in your specific area what you're doing. And that gives you an advantage over everybody else because you know what type of properties are sold in that area, what they sell for what the issues are, what the bylaws are in that area. You know who the city polls.

Politicians are gentrification, upcoming projects, jobs, all that type of stuff. It's critical. And sometimes I don't know about you guys. Sometimes I say that to people I'm working with and it's hard. They don't really always take it to heart. Like they just say, go find me a property in Ottawa. And I go, don't you want to focus over here. Ottawa has a million people for crying out loud? It's a big city.

Sarah Larbi: And strategy will differ too, right? Depending, if you want, if you're doing a basement conversion or you need multifamily or single family it all depends on where you're gonna go guys.

Alfonso Salemi: A lot of the people listening to this, we always talk, oh, real estate, it's passive income and work on your retirement. But it's any, I don't know, the people that are doing it and grinding it, I don't know. It's everything but Right. Like you really need to dig deeper and pull more information than just grabbing the headlines. There's so much news, there's so much info. You could be reading stuff 24 hours a day, seven days a week, nonstop, and bleeding from your eyes.

Reading all the information, watching all the videos and everybody's hot take on what's going on, but you have to turn it back onto what you wanna do and how it's gonna, in fact affect your strategy, your area. And like Sarah and Tony said the specific markets that you want to be in and why.

Now we got this slide up here of the tenants that have paid rent in full or paid rent in part or in full. So I want you to walk us through how Yeah, I see those red arrows pointing down for those that are watching, but I'll let you kinda, I'll let you go through the April news for sure.

Tony Miller: We asked what percentage of tenants paid rent in part or in full? That was the question to landlords out there. And the first answer choice was a hundred percent. And that's of course what we're aiming for across the board. And in terms of April, May, and June, we started at 74% for April, it dropped to 71% in May, and then it went to 67% in June. Now that's not good. At the same time, I think the, in Ontario, Sarah, you might remember the average is something like 84% in Ontario.

Sarah Larbi: I think it was 80, 85 from CMHC.

Tony Miller: Was it 85 overall, you compare that's a big drop, man. That's a big I don't like that red arrow there, but what's interesting is that, even between 90% and 99%, they're single digit numbers, so they're not terrible.
Hey, it's not that bad. But really what concerns me is the number of tenants. That is not paying in part in full, that number is dropping. And at the same time, the number of tenants that have paid 59% or less than 60% of their rent in part are full. That's also dropping, and to me those are the two extremes that are most worrisome. Right 18% of tenants didn't pay rent in part or full in June.

Sarah Larbi: That's actually increasing from April cause April was 10% of people that didn't pay less or they, so it's actually it's increasing, which is actually a bad thing cause now we're at 18% of people that are reporting that their attendance paid 59% or less.

Tony Miller: Yes, at a hundred percent we want those numbers to go up. But when you're in the 59 60, you want those numbers to go down, but they're going up. I know it's hard to talk about this, I find when on a podcast.

Sarah Larbi: Basically to summarize it is people are paying rents less and less as the months are going on. It started at 74% of people paying a hundred percent. Now it's at 60%. That's bad, that's unfortunate. It's not good. It's not trending in the right direction. Less tenants are able to afford rents than they used to the months prior.

Tony Miller: At the same time though we'll get to the slide where the number of, I think it's in this survey where, there the number of tenants who are receiving financial assistance has gone up. So how can those numbers be contradictory? If the number of tenants who are receiving financial assistance is going up, then the number of tenants who are paying rent in part are full, should also go up.

Alfonso Salemi: And that's the part, like you have a few different reasons why tenants aren't paying the rent. And I really wanna encourage people that are listening to this. Maybe we can, we're gonna put this up on the forums on We want more people to do these surveys. Tony's gone through the effort, the time to put these questions in and to pull all of us landlords all together, right?
The more data, the more people, let's get that number up guys. 105 people, that's not enough. We need more information, we need more data. So this next time we'll probably maybe have 20 back in a month or so or if not earlier, and we'll talk about results in July and make sure.

Sarah Larbi: Alfonso, we should put the poll on the REITE club online site now that it's up.

Alfonso Salemi: That's right. Absolutely. We're gonna do that. If you're listening to this, we're gonna have it as a separate forum page on there. We're gonna call the Tony Miller survey. And we're gonna get this information out there because I honestly think that this is important guys. And the more information that we have, the better that we are gonna be able, prepared to, to combat that or to, to at least find solutions as we work together.

Tony Miller: Amen. It's in the slide that we're looking at here, why didn't the tenants pay is really important. To know as well. And you know for sure there are, COVID sucks. You know it's strip businesses are closed, people lost jobs, lost income. And so those are legit reasons, right? You can't, if a tenant comes to you, Sarah, and says, I can't pay rent right now because my job hours have been cut in half, you can't, okay, I'm sorry.
You can't be angry about that. You can be, you can be upset or whatever, but you can't. It's covid and what are you gonna do? So you have to work with those tenants because it's a legit excuse, they're not someone who's trying to rip you off.

Sarah Larbi: Payment plan and try to work it through. And at some point, hopefully, you get paid back.

Tony Miller: There we go. And the, so those are legit reasons why people can't pay. Then we get into the reasons where, you know I group them all as rent strikers. That's what I do here. There are, I just group them all together, even though there are different reasons why they may not be paying.

I just group 'em all together as rent strikers because they're all in a position to pay part or full of their rent. But they're choosing not to for different reasons. And some of those reasons are they're rent strikers. Like you see you've heard like the Parkdale reference I made earlier.
Ottawa has its own rent strike chapter that's going on, and those are people who just believe we're not it's a cause, right? It's their belief system. And they're using Covid as a way to further their cause and not pay rent at a time when the government is giving everybody, Thousands of dollars to help survive and giving us cash flow to keep moving forward and pay bills and everything.

These yahoos come along and say, oh no. We got government money, but we're not passing it on to the landlords. Cause well, we're anarchists and far left leaning anarchy anarchists. Sorry I went off on a tangent there for the rent strikers.

Sarah Larbi: They seem like they're increasing as well. So basically 10% of tenants that cannot pay rents are for legit reasons. And the rest, yeah. Of those, that percentage is for they just know they can't get evicted and they're utilizing the system, unfortunately.

Tony Miller: That's right. The biggest reason for June is because the tenants know that the landlord tenant board is closed and they can't be evicted during the emergency. That's 22.

Sarah Larbi: Pick your tenants very carefully. And I know sometimes you guys just buy something and you can't always get rid of everybody in the building or everybody in the units, but this goes to show you in the good times and bad, you wanna know who your tenants are, and you wanna make sure that they're gonna be, in the 10% of the legit reasons as much as possible.

Alfonso Salemi: That's why, at the REITE club, we always remind everybody you have to, yes, this is real estate investing and you're investing and you're buying real estate. However, we have to treat this like a business who is your customer, guys, if I had this great idea to go start a VCR company today, right?
I'm not sure how many people would jump on borrowed and invest in that. Not a huge market for VCRs. Maybe there's some collectors, there's some really unique ones out there. But guys, you have to know who your clients are, who you're selling to, who's buying your product, who's renting your units, right?

And really be, like Tony said, be picky. Don't settle, screen them through and really understand that. And getting to the point where if one for two months, you have to build in that vacancy. I know vacancy levels were at an all time low in Ottawa. Tony mentioned like 2% in the Ottawa region.
Other areas were really great where you can do rent increases and people are flipping over. But what's that long-term? Stop looking at those little blips and look at that long-term. Who's the client? Who's the clientele that's gonna be in your rental? Is it young professionals?

Is it per, is it students? Is it young families? What is it close by? You have to know that in your business, if you're selling burgers and you don't know what kind of meat in your burger guys, your burger place is gonna close up pretty soon. So be aware of that. That's a huge part of that. Who your customer is, for sure.

Tony Miller: All right, so the next question that we had on the surveys, are any of your tenants receiving financial assistance that is being offered by governments? And in June, 39% said yes. 26% said no. And 35% of landlords responded by not sure. 39% I really don't know what the stats are out there in the general public world. I don't know. I didn't check that out. Do you guys know roughly if that's on par, or is it.

Sarah Larbi: I don't know. What I would be interested in knowing is of the 39% of the tenants receiving financial assistance, are those the tenants that are not paying rents versus are those part of the tenants that are paying? And I think that is gonna be interesting to figure out as well.

Alfonso Salemi: Yes. So I don't watch the news a lot and I had it in the background as I was working. And I think the big thing that I grabbed from that was that there's so much uncertainty. Like even the government announcing their financial plan, what their outlook looks like in the next six months years, when governments are usually putting out those economic forecasts. But between the serve and the wage subsidy, approximately 40% to 50% of the workforce was on either one of those. And that doesn't include government support for government workers, like federal and provincial support as well too. So when we're talking about those numbers that are in some type of support, almost half the population, right?

This, and 35% the number that I grabbed, 35%. People don't know. Why don't you know? No, you gotta ask your tenants, you gotta be in contact with them or talk to whoever's managing your properties. That's the big number that I drew.

Tony Miller: That goes back to what you were saying before about, knowing what your tenants are, who they are speaking with. Communication has been key during covid, right? The government has been hammering us as landlords to go and work out details, pain and plans with tenants, find out what's going on and work with them and to see. Yeah, it's a great point. Alfonso, like bringing, how come 35% of you, you don't know? It's crazy.

Alfonso Salemi: You're gonna have to be like, I don't know, returning beer cans for rent. We have to understand, right? Why? What they're doing. And that's, again, guys I can't stress it enough. Let's get more people taking these surveys and getting more information out there and going and really self-reflecting and looking back on who your clients are and why you're doing this. It's a big part of our business guys.

Sarah Larbi: Tony, where can people go and take the survey? Like where can they go for the July survey results?

Tony Miller: I'll be sending them out. I'll send you the link for the results. The Survey Monkey that I'm using. And I'll send you the link. And what would be great too is that anybody in the REITE Club Nation who has an idea of what kind of questions they want to ask or find out, what kind of information are they looking for that they're interested in. I'm asking a set of questions, but maybe, I know there's a lot of other questions. Just let Sarah and Alfonso know.

Sarah Larbi: Actually, you know what would be really cool if you can do, here's my delegation task for you. So if you can go to and now that we have this whole online platform, go to the forum and start and post it there and ask the question and guys listening to this answer Tony's question at the forums on

Tony Miller: Cool. I'll be happy to do that. Thank you.

Alfonso Salemi: This is just, yeah, another example of why your network, the people that you associate with, that you worked to, that you spend the most time with, talk the most time listening to. That's why it's so important. Let's get together because of one question as we get back to this survey and you mentioned it a couple times and people are a little bit less apathetic.

The last sat there, 35% of people don't even know why. Maybe they're not paying on time. I think what can we do? How can more people get involved taking the surveys, the first step, getting involved, getting onto the REITE club website, interacting with other small landlords and other investors. But what else can they do to get Tony to really control their businesses?

Tony Miller: I think one that, that comes down to a really desire that, I think that's what it really comes down to. Some people, whether they get into real estate investing and some people will get into it because they love the idea of it and not because they really, and then once they're actually in it, they realize, Ooh, what did I do?

It's really not for me. But I think it's, if people have a strong desire and you guys know exactly what I'm, what I mean when I say this is that there are people who will get into the business, who we work with, who are new. And they're just gung ho and they listen to stuff and they go and they take the bull by the horns and they're going, those are the people who will remain active, right?

They'll get involved in different clubs and they'll actually participate in different things. Then there's other ones who are just more no I'm good. I'll get a few properties and know a little bit of the slower going type of thing. But I really think it's just a personality trait.

It really, again, what will really get people involved is if they're starting to feel the pain. That's just my opinion. Like you nowadays there's. No reason why people shouldn't be involved in real estate clubs, and especially with the internet. Now, there are clubs, all REITE clubs are, first and foremost of course, but there are clubs out there in Ottawa, across the province.
People are always interested in talking about real estate and so there's lots of opportunities to get involved and there's really no reason why they shouldn't. But I guess it comes down to. Do they want to, do they care enough? That type of thing. That's just my take, Personality.

Sarah Larbi: Especially now that everything has the ability to be online and virtual and webinars, so you could do it from your home. So I'm just thinking people that are fairly remote that would have to drive 4, 5, 6 hours to go to the club that they would want, they can do it virtually too.

Tony Miller: A hundred percent.

Sarah Larbi: Just be careful cause there's two types of clubs. There's the ones that will try to upsell you and they have things that they want you to buy versus the educational ones. So try to really find those educational ones that don't upsell you, but they wanna help you.

Tony Miller: Yeah. Stick to Canadian cleaning content.

Alfonso Salemi: We touched on the list a little bit about how they handle vacancies, but Tony, I'll let you re-reference this slide and a little bit of the results from the questions that you asked about vacancies.

Tony Miller: Sure. So how are you handling vacancies right now? That was the question. And the answer choices. Choices are I'm filling or attempting to fill vacancies. And for the month of June, that was at 39%. The next answer was, I'm leaving some or all units as they become, I'm leaving some or all units vacant as they become vacant.

Did I write that right? Anyways they're leaving them vacant 14% and the units are not ready to be occupied or under renovations, therefore, they can't be tenanted. That's at 6% for June. There were a bunch of other reasons that we'll get into the next slide. That was at 6%, but if you remember the first.

Time I asked that question was in April and it was more just a yes and no. And we had something like 70. No, how many, how much was it? 30 some percent of landlords were leaving their units vacant. But I think it was just a poorly worded question and I didn't give the options and that's why it was so skewed for that month. So 39%, they're attempting to fill vacancies but 14% are leaving them vacant. What do you think of that, Sarah?

Sarah Larbi: I'm not really surprised. I think if you are not wanting to take a chance, I would not take a chance unless you can find that perfect tenant with no red flags. Just keep it empty if you can carry it, because it's going to be less headaches in the long run.
And the other thing is, In there, how many Airbnbs are short term, right? And so there might be a little piece there as well where maybe people are, and I know there was a ban on Airbnb for a while, but now that it's back up, I still think that there's a great opportunity for, some investors to say, okay, I can take, and careful cause they're hard to finance and there's pros and cons to them.

I can take some of the units that fits in an area where you could do well in Airbnb and I'm gonna go do that because I don't wanna deal with exactly what we're talking about. And that is, in my opinion, a possibility for many people.

Tony Miller: For sure. In Ottawa they're writing the regulations now for Airbnb, right? They're banned. Banned Airbnb. But the bylaws aren't written. They're not in place yet. So if you're worried about finding the wrong tenants, like Sarah says, right? If you're not comfortable doing the long term rental thing. There is a demand here for midterm rentals, especially like 30 days plus, there is some demand.

Sarah Larbi: I'm gonna make a prediction and I usually don't, but I think that is where the next big trend is going to be.

Tony Miller: Is it? Yeah. Why?

Sarah Larbi: Because I think so, because there's a lot of bans from Airbnb into the short term thing, and there's a lot of people that don't wanna have long term tenants, but they might wanna accommodate people that are renovating their properties, that people that are waiting for their property to be finished being built.

People that are going through divorces and don't want a permanent solution, but they're in transition. And those people, yes, may be less at risk and they will create more cash for many. Granted, you might have more vacancies than usual because you've got people coming in and out, but, I think that could be a good niche market for a select amount of people.

And I would just be careful to talk to your mortgage broker because there's some rules and regulations. If you wanna refinance, it's gonna be hard. But I think there's some upside, and I think, so for me personally, that's what I've decided to do with my Burlington property. And it's short term, but I will gladly accept somebody that wants to stay, that has good reviews.

That is one criteria I've rejected somebody that wants to come for like September and I said, sorry, no, you don't have any prior reviews. That is, a big important piece. But I'll tell you that there's some good positive aspects to that.

Alfonso Salemi: Yeah. You know what? I don't know if it's just me or even human nature. I think people are much more transient. I don't know Tony, like back in the day people would say, okay I'm gonna live here. Even if you rented, you were there for years and you set your roots now with tech. Technology and Covid bring that to light, that you can work remotely, you can work from here, you can work from there If you have an internet connection, right?

Sarah's a great example of the cottage. I've been able to work remotely from my own home or other places outside of the office, right? So people want that constant change. We need to be stimulated, we need to be, so when people don't see themselves, like even signing a one year commitment to a rental, like people are like, Ooh, one year. Wow. Okay. So those mid, those short to midterm rentals where you can change things up and have a different decor, like changing your shirt, changing where you live, right?

Tony Miller: For sure. And even you take it to a next level higher level and that back in the day. We used to get a job and we'd be there for five years. You wouldn't choose positions or you'd stay in an organization and maybe move a little bit, but you'd be in there for your career. Nowadays, you might be in a job, but I forget what the stats are. I don't know what they're, but people nowadays are gonna be changing jobs much more frequently than what we've done before.

There's gonna be a lot more movement and change, and that's where midterm, even short term comes into play, especially here in Ottawa where we've got the military staff moving in and out, right? Talking about people who are changing jobs and the frequency of that and the industry that supports the government. There's a lot of change over there. CVSA, the diplomats, all of that type of stuff. Yeah, there's definitely a lot more movement in terms of jobs too, which of course impacts.

Alfonso Salemi: Real estate lot more changes. As we kinda round out the survey here, so the last couple or second last question is why are you not filling vacancies? And there's a few different reasons here, but the biggest one, I guess first place is I'm concerned the tenants won't pay because the landlord tenant port is closed. And I know we've talked about that and that's people's biggest scare.

Maybe some tips or takeaways of in the midst of all this, yes, we do one day see it opening back up and there's gonna be a backlog and we're hoping and wishing, but what's realistically that to, to address that concern and say, Hey, I'm not, they're not gonna pay, what's, should you just never fill the vacancy?

Like you can't, at some point you have to, right? You can't be holding on to empty vacancies for months and years. That's not why we're in this business, but maybe what are some things that can calm people down, or you're recommending? I'm gonna defer to Sarah on that one.

Tony Miller: She's the expert when it comes to tenant screening.

Sarah Larbi: Get a coach, find a program. I know I hate selling stuff, but I will tell you that I have a really good process and my students really enjoy it, and they find good tenants. But aside from that, if you have to leave it vacant for two months, I would prefer to leave it vacant for two months at some point.

And I hate to say this, but tenants are still a dime a dozen. There is still a lot of demand and there's still low vacancies, and that'll probably keep going even if our borders are shut. And even if immigration stops for a little while, until covid resumes the covid, ban and everything like that goes away.

Things resume back to normal, but I don't see it happening for a year. Put your ads up, do it correctly so that you're still anonymous. So you don't have to respond to them and you're not hounded, but at some point you'll fill them. But I don't think it's a matter of months and months. I think it's a matter of a month or two. And you'll find somebody. Yeah. If you keep doing the right steps and you keep advertising, you'll find the right tenant at some point.

Tony Miller: What you just described there is exactly what we've experienced here, at least me personally here for the last couple of agencies. Exactly. That, it's taken a little bit longer and we actually received a lot of interest from people who may not have been able to pay, just because, we're talking about the loss, lost jobs and things like that. But yeah, they're definitely out there. There's definitely still the high demand. Ottawa, that sounds like your place too.

Alfonso Salemi: Oh, that's great advice. And yeah. How's living, like what is it like running water and housing? It's not gonna go outta style, right? This isn't something that's a fad. And providing housing and rental units are definitely a long term.

Tony Miller: This is a good one too. I like this one.

Sarah Larbi: Who is this? Do you know this person in this picture?

Tony Miller: No. I dunno. I don't think so. I don't know what kind, I don't know. Like she's holding for people who are listening, she's holding maybe a cleaner sanitizer. She's got some wipes. She's wearing a mask. She's about to enter a property. And the question is how have you made the decision to sell? Or are you currently selling any of your investment properties as a result of. And more than 70% said no, heck no. We're holding on. And I'm gonna say about 27% of the respondents based on that chart said, yes, they are.

They either are selling or they will be selling. And I believe that just really, I know a lot of landlords out there are pissed off, frustrated, angry without, because we haven't had a lot of support from the government. And boy, the media is just ripping us apart. If you go ahead and Google Bill 184 right?

Just check the first two, three pages and find out how many pro landlord articles there are for Bill 184. And it gives you an idea that we're really it's, we're David and Goliath type of thing. So yeah it's difficult and I can see why people would wanna sell.
We don't want people to sell out of fear, out of, making knee jerk reactions sort of thing. I want you to hold onto your properties. I think we talked about that before. Sarah. Don't sell. There's ways you can hold onto it. Let's work it out. I'd rather see you hold onto it, make more money, build some wealth instead of selling. Because. Things are changing because of Covid for sure. And you might find it tough right now, but brighter days are ahead.

Alfonso Salemi: Can I play devil's advocate because I do agree with you, Tony and at the end of the day, it's better to hold that property, but how about the people out there that, oh, there's a lack of inventory out there.
I'm gonna sell it now because there's less competition, I can get top dollar for it. So I'm just playing devil's advocate. But what's your kind of take or your response to something that would say I'm gonna sell it now. I can get top dollar for it. Everybody's looking for property, looking to buy.

Tony Miller: Yeah. If it meets. When you get into real estate investing, we always have our goals and our objectives. And if selling the property today helps you reach your objective or bring your goal, Then, okay, maybe it's something to consider. It's it, no one piece of the puzzle doesn't make sense, you shouldn't make that decision based on one piece of the puzzle.

There's a whole bunch of things you have to consider. So when somebody, when I'm talking to somebody, it's okay, you do really wanna sell. Does it help you get to where you want to go? Here's the expected sale price. Here's what we expect profit-wise. You got capital gains, selling costs and what are you gonna do with the money once you get it? Can you make more money in your next investment? If that's the step than what you're currently getting today. That's really the big question.

Sarah Larbi: I agree. So here's my take on it. If you're gonna sell in the next 12 months, I would probably try to sell now, be strategic. Don't sell in a panic. And I will say, Tony, you're a good real estate investor because, Thank you. This shows how greedy you are because some of the time, the industry can be a little bit greedy, but the fact that you're telling people to hang on, I think I would say the same thing. But as a realtor, thank you for doing that.

Again, don't sell. If you're in a panic sell, if it's strategic and you're doing it for a specific reason and sell if you think that the market is going to be more volatile come fall in winter, which is potentially what's gonna happen and you think that you wanna get top dollar because you wanna sell within the next 12 months, probably now is a good time.

If you're not gonna sell and you're gonna keep it for five years, why are you selling it right now? Just because all of a sudden there's covid, this will pass, it'll take time probably a little bit longer than the prior, who knows and whatnot. But it will come back to some type of normal and things will move on at some point.

So don't sell just cuz you're panicking. Worst time to sell. And I will tell you, hopefully we go back to the fundamentals. If you buy, the fundamentals will help you carry yourself through the good and the bad and the cashflow where you're not gonna make your riches off the cashflow.

You're not gonna become wealthy on the cashflow. But the cash flow is what helps you in the bad times. Continue and keep on that property so that you can make the profits in the better times. But you can handle bad times.

Tony Miller: And that's an important point cause so many people say what do you mean buy for cash flow? You know I hear that a lot and I go, I tell them the exact two reasons that Sarah just described. One is one, you know you need that cause the market will change, it's cyclical and it's gonna go up and down and that's going to happen. So when the market goes down, you can want to have that cash flow there.

Number two is the cashflow myth where people are able to just. Okay, I'm gonna buy 10 properties. They're all gonna cashflow. I'm gonna retire. I'm gonna live off the properties. After I stop giggling, I say, listen, all that money that you're saving cashflow wise, or that you're getting will eventually be put back into the property.

At some point in time. You're gonna have capital cost, capital repairs, you're gonna have a flood, you're gonna have a fire. If you're in the business long enough, it's going to happen. I'm not trying to scare people, but that's just the reality of the business. And you wanna make sure you use that money to save up on your reserves.

Sarah Larbi: You know the other, so this is the other thing, and I don't know why more people don't talk about this. But the true cash flow. So there's really two strategies that I think everybody needs to have. And this is probably a whole other podcast that can last another hour. But you've gotta have your nest egg strategy.

Those are the properties you're gonna hang onto that you're gonna wanna pay off. And that's where your cash flow is gonna come when you're really pay them off. And then there is your accelerator properties, the ones that you're accumulating, that you're gonna have a shorter timeframe on, that you're gonna then liquidate at some point to pay off your nest egg properties that will generate the cash flow, cause 2, 3, 4, 5, $600 a month, per property is not gonna create your wealth.

When you can pay six properties that are generating $3,000 each and they're paid in full. That is amazing. So what is your nest egg strategy? And this is what I get a lot of my students to do. What is your nest egg strategy and what is your accelerator strategy? And it could be two different things that are gonna help you get to that goal, what's your timeframe? And then you work it down backwards to figure out how long it's gonna take you and how many properties you actually need to get.

Tony Miller: And it's also those, the rapid cash type of strategies or tactics like Alfonso's involved in with rent to own and I imagine that some people use that to whatever profits they make while they put that aside, or they're saving up to buy a property or to pay down a property, or what do they tell you?

Alfonso Salemi: Absolutely. Yeah. It's absolutely being additional revenue or putting that aside so that they can buy the next property for some, their goals. As simple as, I wanna save up enough, make enough on this property to have, saved for school, for children or an extra vacation.
Not thinking about scaling, but just having additional income. Because they have, they want to be more of a passive investor, where they have that additional income flow that's, but RSPs are still cool too. Yeah. But you know what this is, it reminds me of a saying, it makes me laugh that

I'm gonna say this, but my grandfather always used to say this to me in Italian and he says, if you want tomatoes, Don't plant potatoes.
That means you have to know your strategy. If it's the BRRRR, like you said, if that's your accelerator, if it's your nest egg, if it's the BRRRR strategies, if it's the flip, if it's renos, really stick to that and then have your exit strategies ready. That inner worst case. But really work through that plan and follow that through.

Because if you start shifting year one, and then year two is another strategy, year three, you're never gonna, you're gonna get really wide, but not really deep. Yeah. And you're gonna get distracted with the shiny penny or the squirrel syndrome and you get really distracted and you're not gonna build anything long term. You're gonna be chasing your tail.

Tony Miller: And I think the one word that, or two words that you said were exit strategy. And I think, new investors, intermediate ones and even advanced ones, man, some people just bypass it, they don't think about it. That's something you need to have thought of when you're buying the property. And because that's a huge piece. If you're buying it and you don't have your exit strategy and there may be heck, there may not even be one or, one that's suitable sort of thing then you could be planning yourself in a whole lot of trouble.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. Hey, you know what, Tony, I know, like we said, like this podcast was gonna be 30 minutes and I think it ended up being like an hour in 30 minutes. So we gotta, we will have to have you back cause like literally we can just keep talking and it's awesome to have you on.

Tony Miller: Guys. You look all you know, Sarah looks all brown and tanned and relaxed and Alfonso, you look awesome too.

Sarah Larbi: Tony, we're gonna do a quick lightning round with you. Here's what I think we'll do cause you've already been on once. I'm just gonna make up my two questions.

Tony Miller: Okay? I have to tell you, I'm already married, okay? So don't pop the question.

Sarah Larbi: Sorry. Alright, here we go. Question number one, what is the one best thing that real estate has done for you?

Tony Miller: Without real estate, I wouldn't have done it, I wouldn't have had the ability to do so many different things. But I'm, there's so many, I'm going to pick one that when I started out, I wouldn't be doing this podcast.

I wouldn't be able to, I'd be too nervous, I'd be drenched in sweat. I'd be stuttering, I'd be nervous, scared. So definitely by getting out there and networking and little by little, just growing, reading, getting up on stage a little bit at a time, and growing that way it's gotten much easier.
I think I'm most thankful for that, that I'm able to actually do that. And, I'm not gonna dazzle anybody with my verbal gymnastics. I'm not gonna blow some professional speakers off the stage, but at least I'm able To adequate, adequately get up and function right and to do what I have to do, jobwise. So I'm really thankful for that.

Alfonso Salemi: We're lucky and the REITE Club Nation is very lucky and fortunate that you're part of our community. You've been so kind with your time and being on many webinars with us and coast to coast panels and giving your expertise. So we're fortunate that what the public and government sector have lost the real estate community has gained in the REITE club community.

Tony Miller: Thanks, man.

Alfonso Salemi: The question I got for you that I Sarah put me on the spot too for my questions, but who or what has had the biggest impact on you, if they weren't if it was, if it's a person or if it was an event or a thing, had the biggest impact on you that, made you even more convinced to leave the government, private sector or public sector to come into real estate investing.

Tony Miller: Don Campbell number one, probably I'd say Don, just overall for everything. We could talk about his books and everything, but just what he represents and what he does and how he does things and his knowledge and I definitely look up to him and yeah he's definitely the number one when it comes to real estate stuff.

I think, I'm just gonna guess I'm gonna, I'm gonna go out on a big line here and say a lot of people probably think the same thing. Same. And it seems like an easy choice, but it's true. And I know Don, I don't, we're not I'm not saying that we're close buddies or anything like that, but throughout the years, we've talked. And seen him and and just, yeah I really dig the guy and what he stands for and how he does things.

Sarah Larbi: Awesome. All right, here's the next question. I'm literally making off the top of my head. And I've got regular questions here. But I'm just curious if you can download somebody's information, not necessarily real estate, but what they know. What do you not know today? It could be about any subject that you'd like. You'd be like, I wanna know all about this particular topic, and who would be the person teaching them?

Tony Miller: I would, does it have to be real estate?

Sarah Larbi: No, not real estate necessarily.

Tony Miller: Okay. It would be Philip Rivers, who used to be the quarterback of the Los Angeles Chargers, San Diego Chargers. I'd like to download his brain information because he's a fast talker. He talks smack, but he's always clean. He never swears, it's, gosh darn it, he's getting pounded by 400 pound lineman and he just doesn't swear.

He talks a lot. But most of all, it's his thinking process because when you're playing football, like he's reading defenses and he's doing everything. He's the quarter and the colonel, the sergeant to general and how you process all that. So I would like to download all of that stuff so that I could have a sense of what it's like being an NFL quarterback.

Alfonso Salemi: Cool. Love that answer. Love that. That's pretty cool. All right, so the last question here, we'll end off the lightning round. This impromptu lightning round. What's the thing that you're most proud of? When you're, I don't want the standard athlete. Oh, when, I don't look at the stats or I don't look at the standings. I'll look at it that way.

When you're leaning back and you're like, 150 years old, because modern medicine and technology has allowed us to live that long, and you're on your rocking chair and you're looking back currently, what's the one thing that you're most proud of? Whether it's personal, whether it's professional, what's the investing career that you're most proud of?

Tony Miller: There's a few things that are pretty personal. So I'm not gonna touch on those, but I'll touch on probably Leaving the government and becoming investor focused realtor in Ottawa and what I would call success, for myself.
It may not be a success for other people, but that's what I wanted to do. And I've been able to accomplish a lot of those things that I wanted to do when I started out. And after a couple years, I wanted to own and dominate the market, not only as a realtor, and by dominating, I don't mean by, Hey, look at me.

I've won the gold a lot. Whatever the gold award for most sales this month and everything like that. Cause I've never been like that. That's not me. It's not what we've done. We're very boutique-ish and holding people by the hand and saying, okay, here, this is how we do it. So I don't give a crap about how many sales that we do, how many people we can help, build wealth, get out of a nasty situation, that type of thing.

But making that conversion from the government corporate mindset over into real estate. It didn't happen overnight of course, but obviously, okay I'm gonna take your advice off on, so I'm not gonna talk about other stuff, but just being able to make that move and be what I call have some success I'm pretty proud of.

Sarah Larbi: That's really great. Tony, where can the REITE Club Nation our listeners, reach out to know more about you?

Tony Miller: Hit me up on Facebook. Just Tony Miller. Yeah, hit me up on Facebook. I hang out there, sometimes I'm on Instagram and I think I've seen Alfonso hanging out on TikTok quite a bit. And but I'll. I don't think I'm on Twitter once in a while, but usually just Facebook's. I don't know from a business perspective that's where I get a lot of interest and reactions. So I'll hang out there.

Alfonso Salemi: Tony's page is one of my favorites. He's got some really hard hitting, interesting facts, but then he just got some lighthearted observations and opinions in his everyday life. And more and more you're gonna see him on the REITE club community as well in our forums reaching out through there as well as we continue to get more people on there and talk about the facts and the, and the matters that are important to all of us investors and business owners out there.

Tony, thank you so much for your time Sarah, amazing interview with Tony here as well too, and amazing facts and information to share with everybody and we look forward to doing it again, Tony.

Tony Miller: Thanks guys.

Sarah Larbi: Thanks Tony. Awesome. I'll have you back again for a fourth time.

Tony Miller: See you guys.

Alfonso Salemi: Wow. What a conversation with Tony. That was a great chat. We talked, we covered a lot of things. He's a great survey, polling a lot of the REITE club nation, a lot of his network of people and getting some good information. I made tons of notes and I think guys the biggest takeaway, and I'm gonna ask Sarah for hers and in just a second, but let's get more involved.

Let's work together here, become that professional landlord, that housing provider and really get involved guys is we're no one's out there giving us help, right? No one's feeling sorry for all the big bad landlords, the rich landlords guys. We know all of us, the REITE club nation. We're not sitting above anybody else.

We're hardworking investors just like everybody else out there. So let's bond together and get involved and help each other out. And I wanted to throw it over to you, Sarah, to see what your biggest takeaway is.

Sarah Larbi: For me, Tony's amazing. He's been on my podcast, he's been out on our podcast. He's sharing his insight. I think the biggest takeaway is we all need to step up a little bit if we can and create that stronger community. And so he's a perfect example. Like he's pulling the audience. And I'm not saying that we should all be pulling audiences and sharing that information, how can we get a little bit stronger together?
I would say if you guys can take two minutes and just go to Tony Miller on Facebook, do his survey for the month, and I think it would just be able to get some, like better data so that we can all share and figure out what's happening in our markets. Cause unfortunately the government's not gonna do this for us.

Some of the stuff we've gotta learn on our own. But, I think Tony is super humble. He's super fun, he's just absolutely awesome. Another story of how real estate has successfully helped somebody create that freedom for themselves. And, I'd love to have him back again, who can keep talking about real estate over and over. But the biggest thing I would just say is, how can we unite and how can we do a better job of just supporting one another? And so it was like really one big takeaway, but I think it's just like an overall theme.

Alfonso Salemi: Absolutely. And it's what we've been talking about and what we've been discussing now for months, our online community up and running, it's ready to go at your fingertips. Guys, I know we have such amazing loyal listeners. You guys support us and help us so much our show up on the webinars. Listen to the podcast, give us the feedback. Now we have something that's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Put on your opinions. We wanna know what's going out there.

I know sometimes I even get caught in that oh, I'm not gonna, who wants to know that? But guys, this is the thing. These are the people that are actually doing it. We're out there every single day. We're not watching the news in some town that nobody's ever heard of. And there's one news story that gives that this is, or everybody's got this, a voice.

Everybody's got an opportunity to share their information, ask questions, and see what's going out. They're getting the best opinions, asking the best of the best, what's going on out there. And again, making it your own. Putting those strategies, putting those systems, putting those things in place makes this whole real estate investing better experience for everybody involved.

Get onto, check it out. We have amazing pro add-on features as well too, that we have the professionals that build up your power team, people that are actually doing it, conversations that are going through. Reach out to me and Sarah there, as well as Daniel and Laurel and the amazing REITE Club Nation that is all on there.

As the numbers continue to grow and share that info, we have so many different topics, so many different varieties of things where you can go there and get that real estate fixed or even a business mindset. Everything that you need to do and run your business is all on there. And Sarah and I are constantly messaging back and forth. Another way for us to stay in touch and get in contact with.

Sarah Larbi: Listen, send us a message thereiteclubcom. Find me, find Alfonso and let us know how this podcast has either helped you or given you some insights, or if you just wanna share some stories. We definitely love to connect with our REITE Club Nation. On that note, Alfonso, what do we say?

Alfonso Salemi: Next time REITE Club Nation, "come grow with us".

Sarah Larbi: Awesome. Until next time, guys.