JF2012: Six Steps to Leave A Legacy With Leslie Quinsay

Leslie grew up around entrepreneurship and investing in real estate. Her family invested in real estate when she was growing up, and she and her brother had to clean the houses and paint them. Joe and Leslie discuss how and what she plans to do with her family when she passes the torch to her son and she shares the six steps from her book Legacy “A guide to successfully transferring wealth from one generation to the next.” 

Leslie Quinsay Real Estate Background:

  • Has a real estate portfolio of around 30 properties, with experience in both commercial and residential
  • Previously owned and sold a 30,000 sq. ft. office building
  • Based in Toronto, Canada
  • Get her book at https://amzn.to/2Tka0XI 
  • Say hi to her at https://lesliequinsay.com/

Best Ever Tweet:

“At the end of the day your role is to be the captain of this team, so you pull all these experts together, but it’s really up to you to guide the team and make sure that the things they put together are things you want for your family.” Leslie Quinsay


TRANSCRIPTION

Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. With us today, Leslie Quinsay. How are you doing, Leslie?

Leslie Quinsay: I’m doing great, Joe, thank you. Thank you for having me on as well, I truly appreciate it.

Joe Fairless: I’m glad you’re doing great, and it’s my pleasure. You are the second Canadian I’ve talked to today, so what a treat. Two Canadians in one day, I’m looking forward to it.

A little bit about Leslie – she has a real estate portfolio of around 30 properties, with experience in both commercial and residential. Previously owned and sold a 30,000 sqft. office building. She is based in Toronto, Canada. With that being said, Leslie, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Leslie Quinsay: Absolutely. Joe, I’m actually a second-generation business owner, and also a real estate investor. In my family, over the years, what we’ve really had as our pillars of wealth has been business real estate, some paper assets, but the biggest part of it has really just been the knowledge that we’ve been passing along through generations.

For me, currently in life, one of the things I’ve come to realize is that as part of the sandwich generation, where we’re in the stage of life where — I have a young son who’s 17, so I’m still in the midst of raising my son… But my parents are also aging, so I find that there’s needs on both ends of the spectrum, which can be sometimes quite exhausting. And what it’s caused me to realize as well is that — I watched my parents come to North America from the Philippines, with barely anything to their name, and they built up a wonderful business. They were wise enough to invest in knowledge, in themselves…

Joe Fairless: What business did they build there?

Leslie Quinsay: We have an engineering company that’s called AMAG. We provide flow measurement equipment and services to the power and process industry…

Joe Fairless: Okay.

Leslie Quinsay: So I watched my parents grow that business over the years. But the other thing they always did was invest in real estate. So growing up, I was just really lucky that as a child I got to watch all of these things happening… And to be honest, when you’re young you don’t necessarily know what’s going on. For a long time, my brother and I could not figure out why on Earth our parents would drag us to these townhomes and have us clean them and paint them. We thought for a little while that  maybe they owned a cleaning company… And it was only later that we realized they were actually investing in real estate.

So I grew up really surrounded by entrepreneurship, by investing, by the positive attitude of investing in yourself and your knowledge… And as we’ve gone on through the years, I’ve begun to realize how important it is that as a family we try to figure out how we can continue to grow this wealth from generation to generation.

One of the things that really stands out for me – there’s a quote, it’s actually by Robert Kiyosaki, that goes “It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.” And I find there’s so much out there in terms of — when it comes to growing wealth, or investing, or learning how to invest, there’s tons of resources out there for those types of things, and it’s human nature to wanna continue to grow, and build. That’s all the fun stuff.

So we often don’t think about what’s next, because we’re not gonna be here forever… So you spend a lifetime building out this wonderful legacy, and I think if you don’t plan wisely, a lot of that can go to waste just from a lack of planning.

That’s kind of as a family where we’ve started to go, because we’ve had discussions around what’s gonna happen to the family business, or what’s gonna happen to the family investment company once my parents choose to fully step away, or should something happen to them, what’s the game plan for that.

For myself and my husband as well, it’s kind of just trying to understand where my [unintelligible [00:04:32].00] to figure out “Is this something that he’d like to continue?” and if it’s not, then what are the ways we can do things so that we can pass the wealth on, and not just the business, by transitioning the wealth so he can then continue to grow it in whatever way he is best at.

So that’s been a focus for me over the last little while, and it’s caused me to really just share my stories and my experiences with my family around that in the form of a book… Because I thought if we can create awareness around estate and succession planning, and just maybe shift the attitude about it – because it’s always seen as something that’s so negative, and depressing, and worrying. No one ever wants to talk about that kind of stuff, because death is not a fun topic, or illness. So we focus on the growing, the building, and we forget sometimes to figure out “How are we gonna pass that baton on to the next generation?”

So that for me has been something that I’ve been really thinking about and focusing on, as I’m going through it myself in my own family. So that’s kind of where I’m at in life, and a little bit of my background in terms of my experience with business and real estate investing.

Joe Fairless: And I’d like to focus the conversation on this, because it’s something that isn’t talked about a lot, and especially isn’t talked about a lot from a real estate investor standpoint… If there’s a state planning attorney that I’m interviewing, they have one approach, but it’s gonna be a little bit different than how you and I would approach it.

Your book, “Legacy: a guide to successfully transferring wealth from one generation to the next” is on Amazon, and in many other places, so Best Ever listeners, you can go get it there. You said you have a son – how old is your son?

Leslie Quinsay: My son is 17 right now. He’s graduating high school this year, and hopefully off to university starting in September.

Joe Fairless: Okay. You know the cliché, and I’m sure your son doesn’t fit in the cliché… But you know the cliché where — I’m gonna butcher it a little bit, but the first generation earns it, the second keeps it, the third one loses the family wealth.  And the thought process, as you’re aware, in that cliché, is that the first generation – as you said, you saw your parents come from the Philippines, didn’t have anything, built an engineering company… You were seeing that first-hand, and you experienced the bad and the good. And then when the third generation, in this case your son – and we’re just using as a placeholder; I’m just talking about the concept, not your family, by the way…

So the third generation – they don’t see the poor part of it; they don’t necessarily see that. And I’m sure you were mindful of that, given how you are so self-reflecting now… So how did you prepare your son to have that mentality, that the first and second generation have, because he didn’t have the benefit of seeing what you saw when you were growing up?

Leslie Quinsay: Well, I think what was important for me in raising my son was always having him involved in what we were doing… Whether it was taking him out to meetings, or having him come see the properties we were working on… We always tried to keep him involved from a very young age. But the other thing for me that’s very important is that he follows a path that’s meaningful to him.

In my case, I went straight into the family business shortly after graduating from university, and if I’m to be completely honest, it was really more out of a sense of obligation. You watch your parents build this up, and they built this out of love… But it sometimes can  feel a bit like a burden when you suddenly have something to carry on that wasn’t necessarily something you wanted to do.

So for my son – I always tell him that we support him in whatever endeavor he chooses to take, and if he is interested in participating with us in the family business, or if it’s something that he thinks he’d like to do in the future, then we’ve always spoken openly with him about finding ways that he can buy into the business… Because we want him to have his own skin in the game, and I don’t want him to have a feeling of entitlement that one day something may happen to us and “This is just going to be yours.”

For us, obviously – I’ve only got the one son, so at the end of the day really whatever I build up, most of that is just going to go to him… But what we wanna do is make sure that if he has no interest in money and in the family ventures that are currently operating right now, then I would have to see it kind of transition and then just fall apart because of a lack of interest and a lack of ability to run it… So for me what’s more important is that we start the conversations with him now. If it’s not something he’s interested in, then it’s important for myself, for my husband that we position the business so that it’s sellable down the road, for instance.

So for us it’s kind of looking at what we’ve got and figuring out if passing a business on is not something that is likely with our son, then at least what are the things we can do to be able to ensure that we can actually transition wealth to him in a meaningful way… And then that way he can grow that wealth using whatever skillsets he’s got, and whatever he can bring to the table.

But for us, I think it all starts with communication, and I think a lot of the time we just skip that step. There’s just a lot of assumptions. I’ve got many peers who are also in family businesses, so a lot of the time you get into conversations and — the businesses are all different; different sizes, different industries, different products and services, but the issues and challenges that are faced during times of transition are all the same. And it’s really those who have actually started talking about it, who start planning early, that seem to have a much better time transitioning.

So for me that’s been very important – just keeping my son involved, talking to him about what his future plans are, sharing with him “This is how the business works, this is what it does, this is how it runs.”

And for me, a part of it too is — it’s not just the wealth, but it’s the knowledge in how to create wealth. For me, that’s probably more important than anything… Because I think if you can share the knowledge and pass that knowledge on, then the next generation has something to build upon. So that’s just sort of been my take [unintelligible [00:10:22].28] and how it’s been in our family.

Joe Fairless: How would he go about buying into the business? How does that work?

Leslie Quinsay: We’ve had really informal conversations with him. He’s 17 right now and he’s got some money that he’s saved up over the years… Some of it we’ve forced to save it; you know, on birthdays we’d tell him “You know what, take some of that, put it in the bank and go nuts with the rest of it.” So as a kid, he was kind of like “Aah…! I wanna buy all these [unintelligible [00:10:46].15] and you’re taking away some of my money…” But I think now he’s starting to realize the benefit of having had some of that socked away, because over time it’s grown.

We’ve just tried  to instill habits. I always tell him “Whenever you receive some money (whether it’s from some of the part-time jobs he’s done), sock some of that away.” Because right now he has no expenses, he’s still living at home with us, but we always suggest to him “Put some of that away, and do what you wanna do with the rest of it. But at the end of the day, if you sock some of that away and start investing it wisely, you’ll be much farther ahead.”

The other thing we’ve suggested with him – he’s got a bunch of it saved right now, and about two years ago he was really excited about possibly buying an investment property. So we let him go through the process… At the time he had maybe less than $10,000, so he had it in his mind that he must have had enough to buy a property… So we took him to meet our mortgage broker, and he ran the numbers — my son at the time was 15, and he didn’t really have a job, and he realized “Oh my gosh, this is not nearly enough to buy a property, nor am I qualified for a mortgage…”

So at that time he started thinking about  “What are other ways I can grow my money?” So that’s where we really started conversations around “You can put it in the standard things you see the bank offers, you can maybe do some private lending”, which is what he’s seen us do in the past… And we gave him all these ideas. We also suggested “You can invest some of that in our family business.”

So we opened up all these options to him, but for us it’s really important to see that he works through the process and goes through the exercise of seeing the pros and cons and the benefits of whichever he chooses to invest in.

So for him to invest in the family business, our thought process was that he’s got some of this money socked away, and if it’s meaningful enough to him, then he’d be willing to put some of his own money into the business and buy some shares in our family holding company. So that’s kind of like the gameplan and the lesson, if that’s something he’s interested in doing.

Joe Fairless: That’s so helpful. And by the way, I bought your book, so it’s being delivered in two days… So I’m the most recent purchaser of your book. I’m very much looking forward to reading it.

Let’s talk about the lessons that we can learn from your book, “Legacy: a guide to successfully transferring wealth from one generation to the next.” How do you have it organized?

Leslie Quinsay: Well, basically what I’ve done is I really just shared some personal stories, not only my own, but peers that are also in family businesses or who invest… And just stories of transitions. Some that went well and some that didn’t go so smoothly… Just to kind of create awareness around why this topic is so important. And then what I’ve tried to do – because it’s a topic that’s kind of dull, and boring, and something that no one wants to address..

It’s very hard to get attention around it, so I thought  if I could begin to just shift the mindset around it and have people perceive it as something that’s a little more positive, as a way to make a meaningful difference, and a way to ensure that all you worked so hard to build up in your life is actually going to continue to make a difference for the generations to come… That’s kind of the gist of the beginning.

But then what I also realized is that when you give people a framework, it’s easier for them to actually get started on doing some of these things that they may not necessarily feel like doing. So I thought I would outline just six steps in terms of things that you can do to begin actually just thinking about transition, and what that transition might look like for yourself and your family in the future. I actually use the word LEGACY to do that, just because I thought it would be easy to remember… And I’m actually not that clever, and it was completely unintentional.

When I called the book publishing company, I told them the title of the book, and they said “Do you realize that some of your chapter titles start with the letters in LEGACY?” and I thought “Oh, that’s really cool.” [laughter] It didn’t really dawn on me, but I took credit for it and I said “Oh, that’s cool! If we tweak it a little bit, we can make it work.” So I did. I’ll give you the steps really  quickly…

Joe Fairless: Please do. Yeah, thanks.

Leslie Quinsay: The L is for “Lay the foundation.” That’s really just taking a look at your state of affairs today as a business owner, as an investor. The year just ended and we’re in a new one, so for me, one of the things I do is I update my net worth statement regularly, just so I can see where I am today, but I can also compare the progress I’ve made from last year.

So laying the foundation is really just figuring out where you stand today with your finances, with your business, with your investments, but also where you stand with the documents you have; what insurance do you have in place, do you have a will, and if you do, is it current and up-to-date? If you’ve had major life changes – maybe it’s something that you might wanna examine…

So the laying the foundation is really kind of just getting your bearings… And I know everyone always thinks they know exactly where they are, but when you start digging deeper, you realize a lot of people really have a fuzzy picture of where they actually stand. So I think it’s important to get all that out on the table and take a look to see where you are, so you can see where the gaps are and begin to fill them in.

Joe Fairless: Wonderful. Okay. Two?

Leslie Quinsay: The E is for Experts. Just as within real estate investing, when you’re ever going into something new, you wanna surround yourself or build a team of experts that can support you in doing this. In this case, I’m talking about estate planning consultants. Depending on your family situation, you might wanna call someone in that can kind of give you a bird’s eye view of what you’ve got going on, but you’ll also need an estate planning lawyer. Your accountant needs to be involved, your insurance agent – all these sorts of things that you wanna pull together, so that you can make sure that you capture all of the aspects of estate planning that you need to.

Some people actually now are big on doing funeral prepayment; they’re making their own funeral arrangements, so as not to burden their families… So if that’s something meaningful, then making sure you have the right team of people to support you in setting all of these things up.

And with experts – I mean, there’s tons of great technical experts out there, there’s great accountants, great lawyers, but for me it’s really just finding the people that are fit for you. So going out there and interviewing them, and making sure that they understand your family situation, what your goals are and what you’re really trying to accomplish.

At the end of the day, your role is to be the captain of this team. So you pull all these experts together, but it’s really up to you to guide the team and make sure that the things they’re putting together are things that you want for your family.

The G stands for Goals, because obviously, becoming ill or dying is not something that we are hoping happens tomorrow. This is kind of like a long-term thing for most of us. Many real estate investors, many entrepreneurs – they’re very adept at goal-setting. They have their own systems and processes to do that; so the intent wasn’t to really talk too much about how to set those goals, but the point of it was really to begin including aspects of estate and succession planning into your goals.

Just as a quick example, for instance in our case we have a family business — my dad had a heart attack a few years back,  and that’s why I came in and I took over the family business… But had we not had that plan in place, the business might have suffered and struggled for a little while.

So recognizing that if your plan is not to necessarily pass a business on to the next generation, then you need to make sure that you start putting systems and processes in place so that your business is sellable and is something that you can exit from down the road.

So whatever your goals are – they’ll be unique to each individual and family – but including aspects of estate and succession planning in there, so that you’re already talking about it and already communicating that to whoever is going to be involved.

The A stands for Articulate, which is really just having some personal clarity around your own vision. A lot of the times – because like I said, we’re so hyper-focused on just the growth, the building… And I’m guilty of that, too; I love going out there and finding the next deal, and figuring out what we’re doing next, in what we’re gonna grow — because that’s the fun part of life; what we’re gonna do when we’re gone is not fun, and for the most part many people just don’t care, because you’re not gonna be here to care. But I think sitting down with yourself and just really being clear on what it is you’re trying to accomplish… You’re building this, and why are you building it, and what do you expect it to look like when you’re not here? So having the personal clarity.

Then the C actually stands for Communicate, because in addition to being clear on it, you need to start communicating that to your family members, the people in your team of experts. You need to be able to share all this knowledge and direction with them, so that they can support you in this growth…

But it also allows you to start to realize where maybe you thought things were gonna go one way, and you might realize that your children have no interest in working with you on a family business, so you might have to shift or change the way you structure things. So the Articulate and Communicate go hand-in-hand.

The last part of it is just Yield, because obviously, as I mentioned before, we’re talking about an event or things that could happen in the future. But in the meanwhile, your goal should always be to be able to maximize your return on whatever it is  you’re growing.

So it’s just structures on — if it’s a business, understanding what is the value of your business today, and what things can you do to make sure you maximize the value of that business. Same with your real estate portfolio – what’s the value of it today and what are the things you can do to improve that or make that better down the road over the years.

So it was really just a way to set out a structure that people could follow to get them thinking about the process, or at least begin communicating with their family or the people that are important to them about what they wanna see happen down the road.

Joe Fairless: It’s not something that’s talked about enough, and I’m really glad that you wrote a book on it. I’m very much looking forward to reading it. Anything else that we haven’t talked about as it relates to these six steps that you think we should before we move on to the next part of the interview?

Leslie Quinsay: No. As I mentioned, I was pretty much just sharing an experience that I had gone through. Our family had some bumps along the road with estate and succession planning, and I realized we’re not unique, and I’m sure other family businesses or other families of investors go through these things as well, so why not shed light on a topic that people usually choose to ignore, and show how important it can be to actually just get talking about it.

Joe Fairless: Based on your experience in business, what is your best advice ever for real estate investors?

Leslie Quinsay: I think the best piece of advice I can give is that if you want it to last and you want it to grow and last through generations, then you have to spend some time building a solid foundation for it. So instead of just focusing solely on growth and acquisition, take the time to stop and think about what you’re building and why you’re building it, and how you’re gonna be able to transition all of this wealth and all of this greatness that you build down through the next generation.

Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Leslie Quinsay: Sure!

Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do it. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:21:07].03] to [00:21:57].29]

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever deal that you’ve done? I know yo’ve got around 30 properties, so – best ever deal? I’m sure you’ve sold some other ones, like the office building.

Leslie Quinsay: Yeah. I think honestly the best ever deal I’ve done – probably for many reasons – was the office building. They came with a lot of bumps and things along the way. Huge learning curve. But at the end of the day, it generated a great amount of cashflow, and when we exited at the end of the period, we were happy with the return we got from that. So I think that was probably the greatest that I’ve had.

Joe Fairless: What deal have you lost the most money on?

Leslie Quinsay: I can tell you it was intended to be a fourplex, something I had bought out West, and it was meant to be this great property that was gonna cash-flow and be phenomenal, and it ended up being more of a nightmare. Tenant problems, bed bug problems… All kinds of problems; I can’t even — it’d be a whole other show to tell you what happened with that, but it was a complete disaster.

Joe Fairless: What is the most challenging part of building out a succession plan that you’ve come across?

Leslie Quinsay: I think the most challenging part is just communication. Communicating with your family and your loved ones, and trying to figure things out when you’re not always on the same page. I think a lot of the times we just ignore it, because the conversation can be awkward and uncomfortable.

Joe Fairless: What’s an example of having an uncomfortable or awkward conversation? What’s that topic and how does that go?

Leslie Quinsay: I’ll just use an example… Parents – maybe they’ve got two children, and in their minds they’re just gonna leave their business to their kids, 50/50. But maybe you have one child that works actively in a business and one that doesn’t really support the business very much… And you might have different dynamics in terms of communication with the family, or how things are gonna go… So at some point, the kids may have to start having the conversation with the parents about “Does it make sense to have this split?” Do you wanna go for equality or do you wanna go for what’s fair?

And it’s just having conversations like that, because it can be really awkward to bring that up and to suggest you want more, because it does come across sometimes as quite selfish, although really all you’re trying to do is make sure that the contributions you put in are being recognized.

So there’s conversations around split, around fairness, around duties, around who’s doing what… I think that’s just an example of the awkwardness that you can have when you’re discussing family business.

The other thing is just having differences of opinion in how to grow the business or when to take it to the next level… Differences of opinion on whether it should carry on in the family or it should be sold… These are all really conversations that can be hard and awkward. Often founders sometimes get offended when their children don’t wanna take over… So it just leads to a little bit of awkwardness amongst family members until you start getting it out there and really hammering away at what the issues are.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing?

Leslie Quinsay: I think the best way is really just to pick up a copy of the book. That shares really (like I said) a lot of story-based experiences on what can go really wrong and what can go right if you take the time to plan it out. The book can be found on my website, lesliequinsay.com. I think that’s probably the best way to learn a  little bit more about estate succession planning, and some suggestions and ideas around putting a framework in place for it.

Joe Fairless: Thank you so much for sharing your six steps, how they conveniently start with the acronym LEGACY in this case, and shedding light on a topic that’s not talked about enough. I appreciate you talking about your experiences first-hand, and then also educating myself at least – and I’m sure a lot of the Best Ever listeners – on different things to think about.

Thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you again soon.

Leslie Quinsay: Great. Thank you so much, Joe. Take care.

Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show Podcast

JF999: World Class Author, Coach, and Thought Leader Sheds Light on Why the Successful RE Pros are Succeeding #SkillsetSunday

Have you ever asked yourself what elements make up a successful real estate investor? This episode is about to unveil what exactly makes an individual excellent in whatever they do, especially in real estate!

Best Ever Tweet:

Kim Ades Real Estate Background:

– President and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching & JournalEngine™ Software 1995-2005 President of Upward Motion that unveiled the Real Estate Simulator, web based assessment tool
– Recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 most influential women in real estate
– Author, speaker, and mother of five
– Based in Toronto, Canada
– Say hi to her at www.frameofmindcoaching.com/
– Best Ever Book: Ask and It is Given

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Kim Ades and Joe Fairless

 

 

Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluff. With us today, Kim Ades. How are you doing, Kim?

Kim Ades: I’m great, how are you?

Joe Fairless: I am doing great as well, nice to have you on the show. A little bit about Kim – she is the president and founder of Frame Of Mind Coaching and Journal Engine software. She has been recognized as one of North America’s top 50 most influential women in real estate. She is an author, speaker and mother of one, two, three, four, five kids, and she’s based in Toronto, Canada. With that being said, Kim, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on?

Kim Ades: Sure. Right now I coach people, I coach the highly-driven population, those people who typically have four things in common – number one is that they are highly driven and they have incredible goals that they wanna reach. Number two is they’re good people, they wanna make a positive difference in the world, they tend to get involved in charity communities, they donate, those kinds of things. Number three is they are big livers, so they wanna have the best of everything: they wanna have a nice home, they wanna have a nice car, they want to travel to nice places, they want to have great health, great relationships etc. And number four is they’re frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted and find themselves bumping up against the same problems over and over again. That’s what I do, I work with those people.

Joe Fairless: Sweet. Well, let’s talk about your real estate background, and perhaps that will bring to life the coaching stuff in more context. Tell us about your real estate investments from beginning to where you’re at now.

Kim Ades: Real estate investments are very simple – I used to own property, as a landlord. That was years ago when I was first married in my first round of marriage, when I was 20. I started young, and over time I’ve still just been purchasing my own properties, without mortgage etc. But my involvement in real estate is not really so much focused on my real estate investment; I’m not anything extraordinary more than any other average person, but I was really interested in what is it that makes a real estate professional better than any other real estate professional. That’s how I got involved in the real estate industry – I studied what makes a top performer. That’s where my career brought me to really getting involved in the real estate career and going out to all the conferences and events and learning what drives real estate professionals.

Joe Fairless: Alright. I certainly want to get the answer to that question, but I do wanna back up a little bit… You said you have been buying properties without mortgage – why without mortgages?

Kim Ades: I’m not a big fan of debt. I prefer to purchase and be clean and clear, and then whatever it is that I do with those properties in terms of rental income or my homes over the years, it just has felt a lot better. I love living debt-free, it’s a good way for me to live without any additional stress or headaches.

Joe Fairless: Okay. And you’re an active real estate investor now?

Kim Ades: Yes, absolutely.

Joe Fairless: And are you investing in Toronto or other areas?

Kim Ades: Primarily locally.

Joe Fairless: What’s the last deal you did? Not necessarily when you did it, but just what are the numbers on it?

Kim Ades: It’s a little bit personal; it involves some players, so I’d rather not get into the details, but I’m involved in some family investments etc.

Joe Fairless: Okay. You told me before we started interviewing, you’re like “The harder the interview, the better”, so I’m bringing it.

Kim Ades: You’re right… I didn’t think we were gonna go into my financial situation [unintelligible [00:05:43].09]

Joe Fairless: Every interview I ask the guest “What’s the last deal you did? Tell us the numbers on it”, and 99% of the time they tell me. How about a deal that wasn’t the last one, but maybe a previous one, just to give us the numbers so we have an idea of what you’re buying.

Kim Ades: A while ago I bought investment property in Ottawa; they were a single vendor of apartments, and at the time we had mortgages, but low mortgages, so they were covering the mortgages. Then we sold them for about a 20% profit. When you own a few over time, it kind of adds up.

Joe Fairless: Alright, I can tell by your short responses when I ask those questions that’s not a territory that you wanna focus on… So I do wanna know – and I’m sure the Best Ever listeners are curious – you mentioned you were studying what makes a real estate professional better than other real estate professionals, you went to conferences… What were the insights that you got from that investigation?

Kim Ades: Well, normally you would think that a really great real estate professional is one who has really strong real estate related skills – maybe they are good at building rapport, maybe they are good at closing the deal, maybe they’re good at identifying different options available on both the buyer and the seller side of the equation… Well, what we discovered is that all of that is very important, but it’s not critical. Really what’s critical is if a person has a high degree of emotional resilience. What does that mean? As a real estate professional, if you lose a deal, what do you do when that happens? And even as an investor, what do you when you lose a deal? What do you do when a deal goes south? What do you do when you’re actually losing money on a deal? What do you do? How do you bounce back from that? And the person who has the ability to bounce back with greater speed and agility, that’s the person who’s going to be much more likely to succeed.

Very often when we interview possible real estate professionals to represent us, we wanna know about their wins; my recommendation is don’t only ask about their wins, ask about their losses and what they did with those losses. That’s interesting – people are uncomfortable with that? That’s okay. But the losses are where we really learn how a person has the ability to take a bad situation and turn it into an advantage.

Joe Fairless: On that note, let’s talk about a deal for you that didn’t go according to plan, how did you handle it? Can you tell us a story of it?

Kim Ades: Absolutely, I can tell you a personal situation; it wasn’t real estate oriented, but I mentioned to you that I used to own property when I was young, with my first husband (I’m remarried now). One of the things that happened to us is we owned a company together, and as our marriage unfolded, I ended up selling my shares. I didn’t know much about tax law or anything like that, and I made a huge error in the way that I sold my company, and a couple of years after the sale I ended up getting a call from our government (CRA) letting me know that I owed them $300,000 in taxes… So not quite the real estate story you wanted, but still, definitely an investment that kind of blew up on me, and it was a scary time. But luckily, I had the money, so I just paid it off and right after that I just really scaled back. I stopped going to get my hair done at the hairdresser’s, I learned to color it myself. I just took care of things a little bit differently and stopped living very frivolously, and just kind of scaled back until I recalibrated and kind of felt more comfortable again, but it took me a couple of good years until I got back on my feet after that.

Joe Fairless: I know we have some Canadian listeners; in fact, it’s about 7% of the audience that lives in Canada – what was a specific mistake that you made, so that they don’t make it?

Kim Ades: There’s a way that you sell your company where you get a $500,000 tax exemption from the sale of a company, and I didn’t sell it that way, so I didn’t get that benefit, so all of it was taxable. I didn’t know, and because I didn’t pay that on that amount for a few years after that, not only did I incur a tax bill, I also incurred a bill on the money that wasn’t paid.

Joe Fairless: Alright, so your recommendation would be to speak to an accountant before you do that?

Kim Ades: Yeah, speak to an accountant, and even a tax lawyer would be really helpful. Don’t just sell your shares… Understand what you’re getting into and make sure you’re taking the right steps from a legal standpoint and understand what the tax implications are. Taxes are a big deal.

Joe Fairless: Taxes are our number one expense.

Kim Ades: Yeah. The other thing I would recommend on the business side of the equation – we’ve been audited here, and I was so happy about how squeaky clean our books were professionally speaking, that the revenue agent – she took our books for close to nine months and just sat on them. We would kind of review and say “Hey, what’s up? What’s happening? Can we get an update?” and finally she came back and said “I don’t see anything wrong here, it’s all clean.” There was not a single adjustment that had to be made… So really, keep clean books – that’s another recommendation.

Joe Fairless: Congratulations on that, by the way, the squeaky clean part; that’s a challenge of most investors and just most entrepreneurs in general.

Kim Ades: For us, there’s two things: pay your bills fast, and make sure to be on top of your collections.

Joe Fairless: I wanna go back to what you said – you said the difference between real estate professionals and the best of the best real estate professionals is a person who has a high degree of emotional resilience. That reminds me, just simple stuff – it’s gonna be a little ridiculous, but I’m on a softball team, and when someone has an error in the field, I can tell the people on my team… I don’t even have to know them and I can tell which ones are successful in business and which ones are not, because the ones who are not successful, they moan, they complain and they let the error that someone else made just upset them for about seven or eight more pitches, whereas the people who are successful in business, they’re like “Okay, that happened. We can’t do anything about it now, so let’s just move on to the next pitch”, and it’s such a metaphor for what you’ve just said, emotional resilience, because we have to just be resilient enough – as you said in your $300,000 example – to just take your lumps, get it done and then move on.

Kim Ades: Yeah, you have to move on, and the faster you move on, the better. I will also say that if you can do something with your experience, turn it into a positive, somehow then not only are you just moving on, you’re leveraging it, you’re winning from it. You’re not just losing and learning a tough lesson, you’re actually winning.

Joe Fairless: So know what just happened, identify what you can do to mitigate that from happening again, and find an empowering meaning within that learning experience.

Kim Ades: Yeah, and again, not just find an empowering meaning, but use it to your advantage somehow. The idea is there’s always a silver lining, but a lot of people aren’t used to looking for that; a lot of people just assume it just simply doesn’t exist, and I will tell you that that’s not true.

I’ll give you a perfect example, it’s a business example… Years ago, we used to own this software company, and we went to our first ever trade show and FedEx didn’t deliver our booth. We were a little bit upset, because it was our first trade show, so how do you show up to a trade show and have a booth with no actual booth? There was nothing there. So what we did is we went to Walgreens in the states and we bought a Bristol board and some markers and some tape and we made a sign; the sign says “FedEx didn’t deliver our booth, so now we’re forced to give you 50% off just to attract your attention.” Man, there were line-ups at that booth…

Normally, when you go to a trade show, you go just to show up and say “Hey, we’re here”, but we didn’t do just that. We sold product right there on the floor, and that was unheard of in that scenario. So don’t only just take your blow, say “How can we turn this into something good?”

Joe Fairless: Boy, I think you’re gonna find a lot more booths that say “FedEx didn’t deliver our booth. We’re offering 50% off” after this episode airs. [laughs] I think everyone’s gonna conveniently forget their booths and just knock on FedEx and UPS, those poor companies, after hearing this. That’s a great idea.

Kim Ades: Right. And if you do and it works, please send me an e-mail and let me know.

Joe Fairless: [laughs] Take some pictures. Kim, what is your best advice ever for real estate investors?

Kim Ades: Best advice ever is don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal, that’s number one… And really, don’t be afraid to walk away from anything, because there’s another opportunity right around the corner. Don’t think this is the only thing and the only one, don’t get attached to any particular outcome. Now, that concept is related to all of the coaching that we do, whether it’s a particular outcome in a relationship, in a business arrangement, if it’s a particular outcome with a real estate investment or a product that you’re building – whatever it is, don’t get attached. When you remove your attachment, all of a sudden you’re able to think of grander solutions, you’re able to solve problems with greater ease, and you’re able to see new opportunities as they arise, instead of really keeping your eyes peeled on this one idea. That would be my greatest piece of advice.

Joe Fairless: How do you know that there’s another opportunity around the corner?

Kim Ades: There are so many of them you can’t see them. You don’t have the capacity to see all the opportunities that are coming at you every minute of every day… So it’s not “How do I know?”, it’s “How do you open yourself up to what’s coming at you?” That’s really the question. There’s an unlimited amount of opportunities, we just don’t have the capacity to see them and embrace them.

Joe Fairless: And how do you have someone embrace that philosophy? Because it’s still not a “Okay, I got it”, it’s still “Believe me, there is more opportunity!” How do you know “Well, you can’t see them, but there’s more.” How do you have someone embrace that?

Kim Ades: How do we teach people to look at things that way? Number one is we look at their history. So there’s a philosophy; the philosophy is this – we always look for evidence to support our beliefs, so when we believe there’s just one opportunity and if we blow it, lives get blown out of the window, then that’s the belief we live by and that becomes true for us. If we believe that there are lots of opportunities, then they just show up. But one of the things we do is we help someone look backwards and we say “Look at all the things that have happened and let’s look at how they showed up.” We’ll start to show people that they have been involved in a huge number of opportunities over time, but they never thought of it quite that way.

We start to show them the evidence of the opportunities in their own lives up until this point. And opportunities can look like “Hey, where did you meet your spouse?” It could look like “How did you end up buying that car?” It could end up like, “How did you meet your best friend?” or “How did you start this business?” or “How did you buy this house?” or “How were you introduced to this particular idea?” or “How did you get to this dentist who really did a great job for you?” and you’ll notice that oddly enough a lot of things are lined up for you perfectly and serve you with a million opportunities. We just don’t think of it that way.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, unless we’re forced to look back and then reverse engineer how we got to that point. That’s really interesting.

Kim Ades: Right? The other thing is look at how so many awesome things happen to you all the time, every single day, that we just take for granted. Like this morning – did you have a hot shower? You probably did, and you don’t kind of stop and take notice. Or if you go into a building and you go up in the elevator, do you know how much planning went into that elevator for you, how many people were involved in creating the building, creating the structure that allowed you to get into that elevator that day? We don’t think of getting into an elevator as an opportunity, but it’s pretty massive.

Joe Fairless: Great perspective, that’s for sure. One thing that I do with my fiancée before every meal is we mention something that we’re grateful for, so that it triggers that in our mind; it would be something like a hot shower, or an elevator, although I haven’t specifically mentioned those two things. Now I’ve got two more things to add to my list.

Kim Ades: I can give you an endless list of lists.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, I hear ya. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning round?

Kim Ades: Let’s go.

Joe Fairless: Alright. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:17:57].11] to [00:18:51].00]

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever book you’ve read?

Kim Ades: It’s a book called “Ask and it is given”.

Joe Fairless: Best ever personal growth experience and what you learned from it?

Kim Ades: Coaching. I learned that I am responsible for the way I feel and everything that happens to me.

Joe Fairless: Probably my number one takeaway from attending Unleash The Power Within with Tony Robbins – exactly what you just said. We are in control of the emotions that we have; it’s very empowering to think of it that way.

Kim Ades: It’s a game changer.

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever deal you’ve done?

Kim Ades: Best ever deal I’ve done… This house, the house I live in.

Joe Fairless: Why?

Kim Ades: I was supposed to buy it, and then it got pulled out from under us and we ended up buying it afterwards at a lower price than our original offer.

Joe Fairless: Did you have to wait a couple of years, or was it in bankruptcy or foreclosure?

Kim Ades: No, it was a matter of maybe a month or so… A month or so later, with a new agent. Things had changed, and we found a bit of a loophole that allowed us to get us a lower price.

Joe Fairless: What’s the loophole?

Kim Ades: The loophole was the size of our balcony. Our balcony is oversized, and apparently because it’s oversized, it had to be ripped down, so we asked them to pay for the tear down theoretically, and they took that amount off the top of the price.

Joe Fairless: Do you still have your balcony?

Kim Ades: Yes, I do.

Joe Fairless: [laughs] What’s the best ever way you like to give back?

Kim Ades: Coaching. It’s just what I do.

Joe Fairless: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on a particular deal?

Kim Ades: Yeah, I mentioned that one. The biggest mistake was not knowing tax law.

Joe Fairless: Where can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?

Kim Ades: Best place is FrameOfMindCoaching.com. There’s all kinds of information there, there’s audios, there’s blogs, there’s testimonials, and best of all, there’s an assessment that you could take that will allow you to assess your frame of mind right here, right now.

Joe Fairless: Kim, thank you so much for being on the show. Thanks for talking about and educating us on what makes a real estate professional better than other real estate professionals, that is if the person has a high degree of emotional resilience. We have to learn from it, find an empowering meaning and use it to our advantage somehow. You gave the perfect example of the FedEx delivery – it didn’t come to your trade show booth, so you have a sign on the booth that said “We’re offering 50% discount to attract attention because we didn’t get our booth delivered by FedEx”, as well as if we are second-guessing if there are other opportunities, then let’s be honest with ourselves and take a look at how we got to this point, how we have accomplished certain things that we have in our lives, whether it’s a significant other or some sort of business thing, or as you said, maybe how did you get your car, or your best friend… And then look at those through reverse engineering as opportunities.

Thanks so much for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever weekend, and we’ll talk to you soon!

Kim Ades: Thank you!

 

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JF684: 3 Steps to Turn an OPEN HOUSE Into a ROCK CONCERT!

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– President of La Vella Nightlife and Events
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– Based in Toronto, Canada
– Say hi at http://louielavella.com

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