Why You Should Work with a Real Estate Investor Lawyer


Sarah Larbi: REITE Club Nation, I'm Sarah Larbi and I'm here with Daniel St Jean. Today we are interviewing Ryan Carson from Carson Law. My personal real estate investing lawyer who helps close many deals, has worked with many of my students, have, has also helped with my JV agreements, corporations, everything in between. Before we get into that, Daniel, it's nice to co-host again with you. I think it's been a while. 

Daniel St Jean: Yes, absolutely. And so this afternoon we're going to quiz Ryan about things mis mistakes people make and talk a lot about prevention.

Sarah Larbi: Absolutely got lots of great points, lots of great talking points, what he's seeing in the market today and it's not all sad and gloomy. There are some, I think opportunities and there's some really great opportunities now to be able to negotiate a lot more than before. On that note, we are back in person here and there as well. So check out the Reite club.com, go to the events tab and see what we are doing.
We've got lots of online. Webinars and, but we also have some in-person that we're doing in Oakville and across other regions. So take a look at that and don't forget to leave a rating and review. If you enjoy this podcast. Now let's bring in Ryan Carson.

Daniel St Jean: All right, let's do it.

Sarah Larbi: Ryan Carson from Carson Law welcome. How are you? 

Ryan Carson: I'm good. How are you, Sarah? 

Sarah Larbi: Good. I'm excited. You're my go-to lawyer. You're definitely a valued team member helping us maneuver through a lot of closings. But not only that, a lot of corporation stuff like setups or business setups, JV agreements, all that good stuff in between. You actually even helped me put together a really good. Midterm rental contract as well. So you're like, you have lots of different arms to the business and and I think that's really exciting. But maybe you shared a little bit about what it is that your firm does little bit about you, and then we'll get into our questions. 

Ryan Carson: Sure. Thanks. Yeah. And thanks Daniel for having me on the REITE Club here. Sarah, thank you for that introduction. I appreciate that. Yeah, so Carson Law, I'm in my 15th going on 16th year of practice. Yeah, practicing law in Ontario.

And the firm obviously, like you said, works quite a bit with real estate investors and we really enjoy working with real estate investors. As a client sort of avatar they're an exciting client to work with. Not only do you have the, the excite of the transactions and the closings of the real estate deals but we get to work with them and help them set up corporate structure or business structure for them.

Whether it's starting out from the very beginning of just your first deal or, you've grown to a certain point and now there's certain things that you wanna do on a corporate or a business level and a tax level to, to become more efficient, save and make more money. And then ultimately, start talking about planning of like exit strategies and possible sales and transitions of your business, that sort of thing.

It's fun to work with real estate investors because they allow us to do all of those kinds of discussions and work on all those different types of areas of business. And it's doing the real estate purchase, doing the real estate refinance, doing a re real estate sale. But it's incorporating, it's doing JVs, it's doing shareholder agreements. It's working with the clients and talking to them. Maybe some best practices for some tax and estate planning.

So we get to work with their accountants and advisors about possible corporate restructuring and rollovers that can be beneficial to them help them make and save more money and be successful in setting themselves up for maybe an exit of a sale or, retirement or whatever the case might be down the road.

And then ultimately the final piece of the puzzle is helping them with that estate planning. Which I think is probably the piece that most investors kinda leave or forget about. And it's, pretty important when you think about all that you're, accumulating or amassing, if you had one property and now in a couple years you're at like 10 or 20, or you've got a whole bunch of JV agreements out there and so forth.

Without being on registered title, all these sorts of aspects it's pretty important to talk about and put together like a good estate plan. Wills especially if you're incorporated, you can take advantage of primary and secondary wills so that's gonna save you quite a bit of money. That will be beneficial to your estate. It won't be so much beneficial to you, but , that estate planning piece is pretty important for real estate investors and I think it's one that's often Maybe neglected or put on the back burner, which I understand cuz it's not the exciting part.

The exciting part is the acquisitions and the deals and that's what everybody gets excited for. But that corporate structuring, that planning, that estate work be, pretty important. And in the market right now, I think lots of people are They're doing a wait and see approach, or they've slowed down a little bit because of what's happened with interest rates and the volume of deals out there and so forth. So this is a great time. If you're not, flying as fast as you were the last couple years, this is a great time to, to sit down with your advisors and maybe. Do some more planning when it's not as busy or you're taking a bit of a hold if that's your approach at the moment. 

Sarah Larbi: That's great advice. There's a lot of people probably that don't have, or even if they do have their wills and power of attorneys, Set up, maybe it's outdated and they haven't done it. And so much has changed, right? Because yeah, now they have a ton more businesses and ton more corporations and different maybe kids, maybe it's, new spouses or whatnot.

So lots of changes. It is important to keep those up to date, but I do. So obviously you're, you do everything essentially that and a real estate investing type of lawyer almost. I think everything that that we would need. But I do wanna go back. You mentioned, things that are happening, things are slowing down. Like what are you seeing from a legal standpoint in the market right now? Let's call it fall of 2022. Anything we should be concerned about? 

Ryan Carson: I don't know necessarily if it's concerning. I think everybody just, when change happens. People are always nervous about change, right? And so obviously with the sharp increase in interest rates, that obviously got a lot of people, whether you're a real estate investor or just, buying and selling your own personal properties. Obviously it got people a bit worried, squeamish, nervous, et cetera. Whatever adjective you want to.

And so people I think naturally just stopped dead in their place, right? So the biggest thing I think everybody's noticed is there's a pretty solid decrease in, deal volume and so forth like deals completed and so forth. I think the Canadian average I read yesterday based on October data was something like 39% decrease, year to year comparison.

And I think a lot of the areas that we service around the golden horseshoe and everything I think we've seen as, as much as a 50% decrease in certain areas. So the volume has definitely have closed business has certainly changed your year to year comparison. But the interesting part I think is even with that sharp increase in the mortgage rates you can still, because the prices have correspondingly come down, obviously compared to February prices.

You can still basically have almost an identical monthly cash flow in some cases. I think some people, even though they're like looking at 6% interest instead of two people are actually having a better cash flow, right? Because they've they don't need to borrow as much money. Their land transfer tax costs are lower cuz the price is lower.

They saved, they saved more than they needed to because they were, originally starting to try to get into the real estate market or as an investor, like with February numbers, and now you're at October, November numbers, and so you've got more money in your pocket to maybe spread over two deals instead of one deal.

I think now that hopefully. The shock of the increase. Increasing rates has started to subside and it looks like maybe one more increase at the end of the year. But hopefully the beginning of next year has actually no increase. Or maybe even they're saying possibly a small decrease. Hopefully, people will. Will be, excited to get back into it. Because I think it's a great time for you to try to buy cuz you've got less competition, right? There's fewer people now out there buying because they're nervous or scared, even though there's a bit fewer deals possibly out there to look at.

You just have less people to compete against and you can still. As long as your business metrics line up, you can still, have the same cash flows more or less and maybe just have the same rate of return too. So it's not all doom and gloom like I think everybody was worried about, and I think they're the experience real estate investors are seeing this actually as more of an opportunity than it is a problem.

And so that's, I think the thing. To keep in mind, it's this, the whole investment strategy of, buy when it's low and sell when it's high, right? And if prices are low right now, and you can still make it work in your business model to have the right cash flow that you want, even with interest rates up, why not buy when there's less competition and lower prices?

Daniel St Jean: And the other thing too is that we have to remember last February, there were two kinds of people selling houses. There were people who had to sell a house, and then there were people who didn't really have to sell a house but wanted to take advantage of the market. And that's when you had the multiple offers.

And the offers without inspection or whatever. But right now, If I look at the listing, I'm thinking nobody would, in his right mind now would want to put a house in the market just because they feel like they're gonna be making a lot of money. So that, to me, tells me that most of the people out there selling houses are selling them because they have to for some reason or another. And that's usually when you can negotiate and you can even probably offer less than what the asking price. 

Ryan Carson: I think you're exactly right. That's what I mean, I think. Even though I think people are really fixated on interest rates, and I understand why, because it can have a great impact on like affordability and cash flow and I guess the rate of return at the end of the day, whether you're doing this as a personal acquisition or an investment acquisition I totally.

Understand the concern and wanting to watch interest rates, but because interest rates went up and prices came correspondingly down, so many there are so many different models out there where even though you're at 6% interest rate or something, instead of two, you're actually still around the same cashflow.

And as I mentioned before, with cheaper land transfer tax costs cuz the price is lower and you saved more money, so you don't need as much money down cause you don't need as much of a down payment. And the other great part is you probably have you have a smaller mortgage to worry about too.

So there are lots of, I think, perks about it and yeah, exactly like you said. Daniel, I think people who are listing right now, They're listing cuz they're motivated sellers. And so there's maybe a, for the first time in several years an opportunity for buyers to kinda get a bit of a better deal and it, and definitely make sure they have a well-written deal.

Like you can have conditions and. Inspections and possible, or not possible proper finance approvals. I've even seen for the first time in I don't even know how long, at least three or four years people have like conditions of like sale of other properties, right?
Like you never saw condition on sales in the last couple years. Yeah. Buyers are really having an opportunity to have a balanced negotiation for once or even maybe a bit of a weighted negotiation in their favor. Like you said, get a little below list price or get terms in there that make you feel more comfortable to do the acquisition. So it's it's a good time to buy even though interest rates are going up, I think. 

Sarah Larbi: Yeah, agreed. Like you said, prices are very similar. So now that we're buying and we're buying with conditions what are some good clauses that you would recommend, before somebody goes firm? Removing all the conditions, what are good clauses to have in contracts and agreement of purchase and sale contracts?

Ryan Carson: I think, going back to something we just said a moment ago, I think making sure you've got, conditional on buyer, having financial, like approval and review with their mortgage or their bank reps. Getting that satisfactory financing squared away before they firm up is a must property inspections, like making sure you've got the opportunity and because.

You're not probably dealing with multiple offer situations. You definitely want to take the time and have a proper inspection done to the property. Don't get the condition in there and then just not do the inspection, like actually inspect the property. Make sure it's done properly and thoroughly.

Sarah Larbi: And that inspection now can be used to reduce the price even further. And I've seen that re recently actually take back in the day, they'd be like, screw you. You're not even getting an inspection regardless. But now you can actually take that back and you can go back to the seller and say, oh, there's all of these additional issues that we didn't know about. Like recently I've seen, $15,000 $20,000 decreases from the agreed-upon price originally. 

Ryan Carson: You're absolutely right, Sarah. You would've never you would've never been able to make an offer with conditions and then if you were fortunate to be able to do that, you would've never been able to have done the inspection and then like claw back the price or something or ask them to fix it.

They just go to the next buyer. So yeah, absolutely. Not only can the inspection give you a better lay of the land and know what you're buying it can also. Allow you to do future negotiation as far as oh yeah, no, this roof is, visibly, we knew it was aged, but like it's got one year left we gotta factor in a $10,000 or, $20,000 decrease, because we're gonna have to do a new roof or something. 

Sarah Larbi: And you might as well, and you might as well try. The worst thing you're gonna say is no, but I think right now a lot of people are eager to sell. Not everybody, but a lot of people are. What about like vacant possessions? Because there's, a lot of talk on the news right now where people are taking possession over their property, thinking they're gonna be moving in, or just even investors thinking they can get the tenants out. There's some stipulations around it, but taking, getting something an offer put in with a tenant in there. What are some things to consider. 

Ryan Carson: Yeah, so it all comes down to, how you want to use it, right? And so determining ahead of time. Do I want to do, I want this and I want it tenanted because I want the tenants and I want the cash flow. 

Sarah Larbi: And I have to jump in here? Most of the time though, the tenants are not paying market rent. And you probably could do better with the tenants. Yeah. The like of your own placed. At the time of closing, just putting it out there. 

Ryan Carson: No and so you definitely leapfrogged right to the next thing I was gonna say, which is do you want the tenants in there because you want to buy it as a cash flowing property like immediately and you don't want the hassle of finding other tenants and you've got no intentions to do renovations or whatever.
If that's the case then you're just making sure in the agreement that you've got proper like rent roll disclosures le like transfer of leases, assignment of leases. Proof of record keeping for what is the current month rent and any prepaid deposits, like all of that sort of stuff should be flushed out as part of the terms of the agreement if you're just taking the current tenants and, assuming and taking them over and moving it along as cash flow and rental property.

However, to your point, Sarah, if the intent is. This property and as many people listing might know already or agree, not only do we see increases in like mortgage rates, but we see a massive increase in spike in most areas for rental, right? Like the rental rates are through the roof because the big problem is really supply.

It's not really. It's a supply issue, right? Canada's and Ontario's problem is supply. There's not enough housing, right? And so like most people's, rental rates are quite high. But to your point, could be maybe even higher, right? If you do a little bit of touch up and work on the property or maybe you do significant changes and like you build out more units or whatever the case is.

The bottom line is, You're targeting the property to acquire it, so you can renovate whether it's, modestly or substantially, and you want to get those tenants out. And then new tenants in that are paying at than market rates that are much higher or at least somewhat higher. That's where it gets a little trickier and you want to make sure you've.

You've got proper negotiations and clauses in place that would hopefully see the sellers. If you're the buyer the seller properly terminating all these people prior to the closing. I've usually said to realtors that are working with investors or clients that want to buy properties. Have current tenants, but they don't want them, either because they want to move in personally or they want to do what you're saying.

They wanna get all the tenants out, fix it up, and then put new ones in with, higher rents. You want to make sure that. All the paperwork's in there to say who's responsible to terminate the current tenants, and most importantly, that they're doing it on the proper forms with the proper notice of the Land Landlord Tenant Board, and Residential Tendencies Act, because as you guys both know the regime of tenancy laws in Ontario is heavily weighted to the tenants.

The LTB will almost always side with the tenant. If there's, a wrong form or a wrong notice or both, or just other little procedural like oversights, they're always gonna just be like that's your problem. Tenant stays right? Putting in all these different proper terms about who's serving the N four notices making sure they can serve those notices.

That's another thing we see with these deals. People haven't looked at the leases properly and they think they can give them the notice to get them out. But they're not at the end of the fixed term of the lease, right? 

Sarah Larbi: Perhaps that's why go month to month in Ontario. No fixed terms, cuz then you're like tied, right?

Sarah Larbi: And like your tenants can stay there forever. You technically, , but tying yourself into a 12 month lease when you don't necessarily need to. Just gotta put it out there because of, this is like conversation I have with a lot of newer investors. They wanna do these 12 month leases. And I know the banks like them, but they're not good for investors and landlords in Ontario.

I can't speak about the rest of the provinces. But it doesn't do, it doesn't add anything for us, it just creates, I think, more handcuffs along the way. So the other thing, Ryan, I would just say and let me know if, you disagree, but. If you are expected to get vacant possession, make sure to leave like one of your three or four additional showings for like prior to closing to check to make sure everything is gone.
Because what happens if you go and then the tenant hasn't even started packing yet the day before? What would happen in that case? Ryan? 

Ryan Carson: Yeah, you're exactly right. Give yourself a buffer. That's a great point to bring up. Don't make like the closing date of the deal. Like the day you want to put new tenants in or have your trades start working on renovating the property or something. And so to your point, yeah, I have. Have a buffer so that not only do you have a couple of viewings left, maybe seven days from closing and then like a day or two from closing, but have a buffer of that closing date to like when you actually wanna start working on the property and be able to put your new tenants in if that's what's happening.

Yeah, because absolutely. Nothing good comes from that. Sarah . Basically, if you get to the closing date and everybody's, everybody said yeah, all these people are gonna be gone. They got all the right notices. Everybody signed off. Like whether it was like, the actual notice forms with the LTB and everything, or you did an agreement to terminate the eight, the tendencies, cash for keys arrangement.

Even if you've done one of those different options and those people are still there, it is just, it's gonna be a nightmare. It's gonna be very stressful for you as the buying investor. Depending on the selling investor, it's probably gonna be very stressful for them because, Like they're on the hook for this because these people aren't gone and everybody agreed they would be, and everybody was given proper agreements and notices and everything.

So just it's really a stressful situation and it's actually maybe a proactive thing that I usually talk to the realtors about when they're acting for Owners that wanna list like determine ahead of time, is this property more valuable to list empty or tentative? Who's gonna more at attractively want to buy this?

And if your answer is overwhelmingly one or the other, and let's say the answer was, oh, it's better to sell it vacant cuz then they can come, they're gonna get new tenants in and that's gonna be, that's gonna be more attractive, right? Or no, it's better to keep it, tentative, like people aren't gonna, this is a student housing, right? Like it's a McMaster student housing in Hamilton. No one's coming in and doing any work on this thing. They're just literally pumping the kids in and bringing them out, right? And so like you just gotta determine what's the more marketable way for this property to hit the market.

And we've always tried to encourage the realtors and the owners who are trying to list and sell these kinds of properties. If it's determined it's better and more marketable at a higher price to have it empty, then get rid of those tenant tenants before like you close. Because the problem is once they know you're negotiating with a new buyer coming along, like depending on if you get a really professional tenant who's gonna put the screws to you, they'll just stay.

Even if they've signed all the right stuff and got the right notice what are you gonna do? Call the cops. It just doesn't work, right? You gotta go in front of the board and that emergency hearing takes time to get too. So they, they know how to play the game, right? So if you can get rid of them before, because, selling this is gonna be better empty.

It's gonna, you're gonna get more buyers, you're going to attract higher offers because they. Fix it up and get new tenants in at higher rates than the existing ones, then I think it's better just to proactively get rid of them and then list it so they're gone. So you don't have to even worry about those terms in the agreement.

Sarah Larbi: So can I ask just a quick question? So like, when you do the n form to do the renovations as an example, so if it needs work, cuz the place has been trashed and then like your reasoning is that you're gonna sell it. What are the chances of so let's just say you can't sell it and then your tenant's gonna come back and say it was in bad faith or whatnot. I guess you have to try to sell it, but what happens if you can't sell it and then you end up having to re-rent it? 

Ryan Carson: Yeah. So I guess in that case, like I, it all would depend on what kind of notices you gave, right? I guess if you do. Like the cash for keys arrangement, as opposed to saying oh, we're trying to do substantial like renovations.

Then you don't, like if you do the cash for keys scenario and you just tr do an agreement to terminate the tenancy, then they can't really come back because you've, come to an agreement and everybody's moved on. If you go the route of giving them the notice for. Renovation substantial renovation, and then your scenario pops up that you just mentioned, Sarah.

That's where it gets a bit trickier, right? Because yeah, you do potentially have a bit of an issue there. They might demand to come back or be compensated because you didn't re-rent it at the proper rates or whatever, right? So I think you'd probably go the route of Notice to terminate the tenancy if you want.

That route of this is gonna be way more valuable if I list it empty so that people can get new tenants in at market rates or do a little bit of renovation and then bang, they put new people in. Whereas if you terminate them just through the normal course of the N forms, whether they came to the end of the lease or you're doing the renovation, notice.

You always run the risk that they could potentially try to come back. So if you just do a cash for keys, yeah, it might be a little bit more expensive to do it that way. But if you're the seller, you know they're gone and you don't have those headaches it'll be a cleaner purchase in sale.

Sarah Larbi: So cash for keys, N11? 

Ryan Carson: Yes. I think that's the N11. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah it's the official name. An agreement to end the tenancy. Okay. It's the catchall agreement one. As opposed to the end form for ending, ending the tenancy cuz it's end of term or ending the tenancy cuz you're moving in for personal use or ending the tenancy.

Daniel St Jean: Tenancy because you're doing renovations right. 
So Carson, I would like to change the direction of the next questions, if you don't mind. Sure. I heard you a couple years ago before Covid do a brilliant presentation about JVs and can you give us two or three top tips for setting up good JVs with partners?

Ryan Carson: Yeah. I think the number one tip is. Talking about and making sure you have documented in the JV first and foremost, like what happens if stuff goes badly? It's really easy to flush in and talk about and having the agreement, all the good things like, okay, you and me are working together, Daniel, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna be the one on title and go on the mortgage and I'm gonna chip in, 50 K and then you're gonna be the Octa partner, handle all the trades.

Everything else behind the scenes and, everybody's expected rate of return is, X, right? That's easy to put in and obviously needs to go in the JV, but I think it's really important and not enough people spend enough time on the what ifs of we don't like each other anymore or what if this project doesn't succeed, right? Because maybe that's a little bit more possible in today's world, right? Like the market is not such a potential shoe in if it's like, hey, do the burr method, and you're trying to exit in a couple years, right? And get that guaranteed institutional loan and get the private off, right?

Like it might not. As easy to do that now as it was, a couple years ago. So I think the first thing I'd always co suggest and encourage investors to do is document the problems, right? What could happen? What could cause us to hate each other, not want us to work together? And if these situations happen, how do we exit, right?

And if all those things are well documented, And signed by everybody at the very beginning or at, in the first stages of the joint venture, then I think it's a lot harder for people to try to successfully turn around and argue that they're not gonna they're, they don't have to be accountable to what they've agreed to.

I think another thing I would suggest is Going to like the accountability and like the reliability of the document. Make sure each party has independent legal advice. A lot of people try to do it themselves or, they have a lawyer drafted for them, but then their investment partner doesn't get it reviewed.

And so last thing you want is to be expected to rely and Yes, think that this is gonna be a document that you can count on, and then somebody gets it pushed aside by a judge because they didn't have independent legal advice and so they win some sort of argument with the judge that or the media mediator that, hey, there wasn't independent legal advice, so they didn't really know what they were signing. 

I think, dealing with the problems that could happen and like how you exit, as we call them the exit strategies of the JV. Those are two important ones, and I think the third one would be because it might be more, again, plausible and possible to happen in today's market.
How do you do like additional capital calls and contributions to the JV? So what's the expectation to the parties on there needing to be more money? How does that work? Is there like a dilution or anti-dilution clause in the JV? If one party can put in and the other party can't what happens then, right?

Because you might find projects go over budget now, or you don't get as much money like on the refinance or whatever. The costs on the projects could go up or on the opportunity could go up and you need more capital. So I think those would be three tips or suggestions I would recommend. Whether it's a JV or a partnership agreement or other that's probably something to consider between real estate investors.

Daniel St Jean: And  then when I'm reading your description of services, there's a line there that says to us, prevention is less expensive than recovering from a trial and error approach.

All those things that you described there would fit in the prevention category and. I wanna add one more thing to this. So we had our rent, own contracts done by a law firm, but at some point, and I don't remember the circumstances, but I needed to add one paragraph and maybe it was a question of time.

Certainly, it was not a question of money, but it was a question of time. I needed it quickly, so I added one paragraph and it sounded really good. Yeah, it really sounded really good. But three years later the tenant leaves the property and there's about $6,500 of repair that need to be done to the porch. I go to court with that. I take them to small clean court. And to summarize here, the judge, look at the paragraph where it says the tenant buyers will be responsible for blah, blah, blah, blah. The lawyer, the judge said it's if it said the tenant, buyer shall. Yeah, I would've gone, I would've made 6,500 bucks cuz he was gonna run in my favor. But Will he said is not a strong enough word.

Ryan Carson: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Shell is always the best word to use. . I don't ask. 

Sarah Larbi: It's crazy how sometimes it's one tiny word that makes it. 

Ryan Carson: Yeah. Now there's a famous case that they took. 

Sarah Larbi: The comma, right? The comma case. 

Ryan Carson: Yeah, the comma case. Yeah. So it cost, it was a million dollar comma, basically.

Sarah Larbi: That's crazy. That they lost, I think they lost the deal. A million dollar loss. 

Ryan Carson: Yeah. There's in a sentence, the, that's right. The awarded damages were in the millions, and it was because of the misplaced. Or lack thereof of a comma, and there needed to be one for the proper interpretation in the sentence and so forth.

Sarah Larbi: Yeah. Hopefully that doesn't happen to you, so get your legal lawyer to really find. 

Ryan Carson: Yeah, we just don't have any, we don't have any conjunction, tune, whatever the contract is. Just a run on sentence.

Sarah Larbi: There you go. Awesome. Awesome. So the next part of the. Sorry. Go ahead Daniel. 

Daniel St Jean: I was gonna say before Sarah gets into the our set of lightning wrong question. I have one, one last question from me. What is the one mistake real estate investors make over and over when they're hiring a lawyer to work on their, to real estate transactions?

Ryan Carson: Yeah, that's an interesting question. I would say, One thing is that we're left to the very last minute of the transaction itself. And we always try to encourage, Sarah I think, knows this cuz we work with her quite a bit personally and her students and investors and stuff. Even though we might not do anything right away at the very beginning, this if we can get roped in and introduced to everybody at the very beginning of the process. There may be things that we can help you, add into the negotiation, which will potentially save you big headaches, down the road if you don't bring us in when you're negotiating the deal or just even talking to you ahead of time and knowing more about the deal. 

So that it's on everybody's radar and we're working on it more in advanced. I think when lawyers get brought in at the very end and there's only two weeks to go and this kind of thing, it's a lot harder for us to learn what we need to know about the deal, the history of the deal and the negotiations like the intentions of the property, and then just in a short time, processing it.

Like we have to with, title searches and off title searches and dealing with financing and signing documents and so forth. The earlier you can bring us in, I think the better. We certainly appreciate being involved earlier in the process. We think we can. The investor client more value that way.

Because hopefully we can review and talk to them about the deal while it's still being negotiated. Or if we're not involved that early, then at least we're brought in like right after the deal's firmed up so we can start our process early to make sure we don't run out of time doing. Title searches and requisitions and document prep and so forth.

I think that's one thing that I consistently see is. People leave us to the end. We're a little bit of a last minute thought and it's, but it's funny cuz you need us to close the deal. Like we're the closer, if you like, a sports analogy. So it's bring us in early, even if we don't do a lot of stuff right away at the beginning. Hopefully we'll give you some input that will be of value. Otherwise, we'll start our process earlier, giving us more time to be ready for closing. 

Daniel St Jean: And, and that goes right along the again, your philosophy of prevention. 

Ryan Carson: Yes. Absolutely. 

Daniel St Jean: Now, one more thing I'd like to add to that. And I don't wanna put words in your mouth because you're the interviewee. But one thing also that I would like to offer as advice, and you can shake your head this way or that way, is Picking the lawyer who's going to help you. Your family lawyer is not necessarily the best guy to help you build a portfolio and neither is your the guy who gave you a divorce last year.

And even I saw a case a couple years. One of my investor went to talk to a lawyer who lives nearby and it says real estate. So he goes to. And then the in, in the ne in the talks, the lawyer said, you cannot put R S P mortgages on property. It's illegal in Canada. Yeah, so what happens is that he found out that this lawyer in the la in the four years since he's been practicing law only buys only deals with people who buy their own house.
He is never be dealt with an. An investor buying a house, therefore, you gotta pick the right guy. You gotta pick the right people. If you deal with somebody who's never, ever heard the word vendor takeback not good. 

Ryan Carson: Yeah, no, I would agree a hundred percent with you. Just I would never. Take on for a client like doing like a separation or a divorce for them. I don't work in family. Same sort of thing, people who are listening or, working on doing investor deals, definitely wanna work with a re, like an experienced real estate lawyer.

But I would even take it a step further and say, deal with an experienced real estate investor lawyer, because I know there's quite a few real estate lawyers out there that have more experience than me, but their focus is almost a hundred percent with personal acquisitions, right? So personal, buy and sell, refis title transfers for like other estate purposes or something like that.

And one that I like to share. We always get people saying do you know how to do an assignment or a wholesale deal? Because my real estate lawyer has never even heard of it before. Yeah. Or they're nervous about it, right? Like they're, they don't understand how this can be done, right?
So that's just an example of, yeah, it's, you definitely want to work with a real estate lawyer, somebody who's experienced with real estate, but even more probably somebody who's experienced dealing with real estate investors and is hopefully maybe a real estate investor themself, right?
Because then you know that they're not only knowledgeable of the law in the area, but they're going through some of the same stuff that you've gone through as well. So it's more you can have a better relationship and be relatable with your counsel.

Daniel St Jean: All right. So to summarize, you don't want your ophthalmologist to do dental work in a month? 

Ryan Carson: No, probably not. 

Sarah Larbi: Awesome. Great insight. And Ryan, it's been a pleasure, getting to know you and working with you over the last few years and your team. They're awesome. So the next part is the next part is our lightning round.

Sarah Larbi: So under 20 seconds or less per answer, there's four questions and every yes gets the same answers. You ready to play? 

Ryan Carson: Okay, I'll do my best. . 

Sarah Larbi: All right. Here's question number one. What is the best advice you've ever received from another investor or at a networking event? 

Ryan Carson: Make sure you have a strong power team, so make sure you've got great advisors starting with your real estate mentor and coach finance rep, tax advisor, lawyer make sure you've got a strong power team. They'll save you headaches down the road.

Sarah Larbi: All right, Daniel next question. 

Daniel St Jean: Yes. And I'm gonna go personal here because I'm reading your biography and you say you're considered the office philosopher, and you talk a lot about perfect work-life balance. So for our listeners here, what does that look like Ryan? Perfect work-life balance?

Ryan Carson: For me personally, I've got younger kids, I've got a 12 and a 14 year old. So I like to be able to balance working hard and being in the office and servicing our clients with being able to still be a dad and be at their events.
I like to coach their sports and go to all their games and practices. And then I also my wife and I have been happily married for a number of years, so I still try to make time for her and I as well, so not just spending my entire time in the office all the time, but. Just a nice balance of making sure you're giving it a 50 hour work week or whatever the case might because that's what we need to do to get our job done. But at the same time, still being at all those events for the kids and spending time with wife and family that's balance for me. And I know it's different for some of my other associates cuz they don't have the same family dynamic to to be involved with. But that's balance for me.

Daniel St Jean: And you think that it's actually achievable? 

Ryan Carson: I think if you don't try to do it and make it a priority, then it won't happen. If you don't I know Sarah likes to work out a lot and so she's always said, Hey, if you don't put it in the calendar, then you won't do it. I try to do the same thing. I try to basically get up early in the morning and be. Okay, this is my time to work out it. If I don't do it here, then it won't happen. So it's the same sort of thing with work-life balance. You just have to say to yourself yeah, I could keep working till like midnight every night, but I've gotta stop at, five o'clock.

I gotta go to the kids' activities, sit down and have dinner with my wife after. And and then I'll start again early the next day. I'll start at eight, eight or seven in the morning the next day so I can make sure I'm out when the kids are finished and the activities start. So you just have to and I think the important thing too, making sure clients understand that about you, right? If they want to have a lawyer that is working 24 hours a day, then I'll just have to be honest and say that's not gonna be us, right? I think we can get this done for you, but if you want me to be working all the time and respond to all your emails and your calls at 10:00 PM at night, that's probably not the right.

I think if people know that and you gave them that expectation, then they can make the choice to see what fits for them and likewise me as a professional, I can choose whether it's a good client to work with? 

Sarah Larbi: Yeah, for sure. Awesome. Okay, great answer. Next question. Ryan, in your opinion, that has made you most successful?

Ryan Carson: I think lots of people say I'm personable, I'm approachable. Like a lot of times I get the comment of, you're not, you don't really seem like a lawyer. So I don't, I never know if that's good or bad, right? Yeah. But I'll take it as a compliment. I think I just enjoy the relationship.
I enjoy talking with people and at least in my areas of practice, I think you, you need to have that approachability, you need to make people feel comfortable that they can talk to you and be open. And don't want them to be intimidated or scared of you, and you certainly don't want them to feel like, oh, I can't call him because he's gonna send me a monster bill.

I think people need to know that they can talk and be approachable with their lawyer so that the. Can, gather all the important facts and give all the proper advice. So I think just being approachable and personable has probably been something I've heard from clients and others that has made me I guess good at what I do.

Daniel St Jean: Yeah. My last question for you is and again, in your introduction, you say that you talk about work-life balance and you talk about spending time away from the office and on whatever beach you could find. So if I could wave a magic wand right now and get you and your family to a beach right now, where would you wanna be?

Ryan Carson: We always have enjoyed when travel was something you could do, which we're going travel for the first time at Christmas again, so we're really excited about that. So we usually would make our trips down to Mexico or the Caribbean. I've never been to Turks and Caicos. 
I would love to go there with the kids in the family or we have family that live in Australia and so we, I have not personally made the trip down there and I would love to do that. My wife and daughter did and they raved about the beaches that existed there. And so it would be fantastic. I think if I could just be teleported somewhere, would be one of the, one of those two spots.

Daniel St Jean: Nice. Oh, that's because teleport. 

Sarah Larbi: It's a long flight. It's 24 hours . 

Ryan Carson: Yeah, it's pretty long. Yeah. I think they live on the Indian Ocean side. So they live up in Perth. So you can do a direct flight where you go, not a direct flight, but you go Toronto to Dubai and then Dubai into Perth. So you get one layover and it's 27 hours of air. And then it's just a question of how long is your layover in Dubai or something. Yeah. Got, got it. 

Sarah Larbi: I dunno, we have good good beer or wine or Caesars on that. Ryan and his Caesars. Awesome, Ryan, that was great. Where can our REITE club nation reach out and find out? 

Ryan Carson: You can follow us on any of our social media or look us up online at carsonlaw.ca. And we'd be happy to talk with anybody whether you're just getting started or you're in growth mode, or you're trying to plan for, sale or the future. We'd be happy to work with any of you investors that are out there listening. So take care out there and good. Awesome. 

Sarah Larbi: Ryan, thank you so much for being on the show.

Ryan Carson: Thanks guys. Thank you for having me. 

Daniel St Jean: Thank you, Carson. 

Sarah Larbi: Awesome. Thanks Ryan. 

Ryan Carson: Thanks guys. Always a pleasure. All the best.