In this episode, Quentin talks with Jeff, a member who was a contractor. He joined DurhamREI to find new clients and to learn what real estate investing is all about. He was hesitant to start investing until he met some joint venture partners through networking. Now he’s already on his second property. He shares his journey and what his experience has been since joining DurhamREI.
Jeff is a contractor by trade, who owns his own business, and he closed his first property, a rental in Peterborough, Ontario in January, a JV partnership. He says that he partnered up with someone he met through DurhamREI, which has been a great experience for him. It has allowed him to network, find likeminded people and make connections. He adds that he was nervous, being a first-time investor, and this person helped him feel more confident. He shared his knowledge with Jeff, and they did a deal together in Peterborough to get him started. Now, they are closing their second property which will be a flip in Peterborough.
Talking about the first property, Jeff shares that it was an undervalued duplex, and the owner was having problems with the tenants. They were paying under market rent to start. After meeting the tenants, they realized that the tenants weren’t the problem, and they seem to be taking care of the property extremely well. They got it at a time when the market had just started to hit that point where everybody was out-bidding each other. They were able to get it $20,000 undervalue, so we got it for $380,000 instead of the $400,000. He adds that the property is cash flowing barely but they are working out some solutions to get tenants in paying more rent. In the meantime, they have also gained appreciation, and he is really happy with the overall experience.
Quentin adds that “the great thing is that you were able to come up to an event, you know, make some connections, also then build on those connections with actually going out and doing a deal together, and then figuring out what works, what doesn’t work and then gaining some confidence in order to, to get your, your own deals.” Talking about his contracting business, Jeff shares that he started his own business after working with his father for 15 years. He adds that his original intention of joining DurhamREI was to promote his contracting business. Being there, he learned about real estate investing, and as a great added bonus, he made connections with some investors who were also looking for contractors and now 75% of his business is actually investors.
Jeff further adds “when I joined, I was so unsure about joining a group of people, who obviously were at further stage in life investing, financially and it was really scary for me, but I did it anyway and I could not be happier.” He says that there was a lot of knowledge to learn, and he can’t put a number on the value. He gained so much value from being a member there and thinks that it the best decision he has ever made. As for his advice for investors when working with a contractor, Jeff suggests that you should always get more than one quote, because prices can range drastically, depending on the contractor and how busy they are. Try to work with someone local, it can be a little cheaper and more convenient, but do your due diligence when checking out a contractor.
He concludes by adding that check out the references and work of a contractor, and if you can, go to a site in person rather than seeing pictures do that. Try to build a relationship, as it’s not all about money. So, good contractors are hard to find, and when you find one, stick with them if they’re reasonable in prices. That’s kind of someone you can keep in your team.
Quentin D’Souza is the Chief Education Officer of the Durham Real Estate Investor Club. Author of The Action Taker's Real Estate Investing Planner, The Property Management Toolbox: A How-To Guide for Ontario Real Estate Investors and Landlords, The Filling Vacancies Toolbox: A Step-By-Step Guide for Ontario Real Estate Investors and Landlords for Renting Out Residential Real Estate, and The Ultimate Wealth Strategy: Your Complete Guide to Buying, Fixing, Refinancing, and Renting Real Estate.