Certified Property Animator

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Dec 27

Real estate invention

I work with several hundred real estate investors to determine their residential or commercial property’s habu, highest and best use, how to differentiate themselves from their competition, how to boost cap rates and ROI, how to get tenants to pay more of the share of the costs of running a building, how to provide more paid services to tenants, how to densify and intensify their properties… 

I call this process: “how to animate your properties and your real estate portfolio.”

So I’ve just given myself a promotion–I am now a “certified property animator”, which is just as essential as a building inspection, plumbing inspection and structural inspection IMHO.

If you would like me to help you with any property you already own or, better, yet, assist you with a plan before you buy something, please let me know.

I’ll not only provide you with a plan on how to improve your ROI, return on investment, from your newest acquisition, I’ll also give you some design tips, help you focus in on your target rental market, and send you a spreadsheet laying out what you have to do to achieve your desired cap rate and IRR, internal rate of return. I’ll give you plenty of pointers.

Please contact me for a quote:

Bruce M Firestone, PhD, ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker, real estate investment coach, Ottawa Senators founder, txt 6137628884 bruce.firestone@century21.ca

For a residential property, I charge about what a good home inspector charges. For commercial, it’s more.

Here’s a bit more detail about what I look at:

-determining highest and best use, habu, for each

-adding in-home suites

-adding coach houses

-adding garage offices

-adding sheds and workshops/maker space

-adding tech packages/home automation

-adding airbnb

-adding backyard games, natural gardens, fruit
trees, mini forests, nature ponds

-adding micro suites

-adding additional frontyard parking (using where
possible grass parking mesh)


planting instead of grass

-adding differentiated value like standup desks,
bench seating with storage…

-adding more ingress/egress to the street from the

-adding walkout basements

-adding loft beds

-adding beds underneath workspace

light tubes

Soda pop bottle light bulb

-deleting corridors like old farmhouses

w/c accessible from outside and inside

-making residential leases more like commercial
ones (so that tenants pay more of the costs of running a rental property; eg, admin fee, property mgt fee)

-getting professional management

-selling more services to tenants like food
services, events, tutoring…


to roommates

saving LED lites and green for real

-adding micro

-back to
back freehold towns infill




samples based on not only comps but also cost to complete less depreciation and
income basis

privacy fences, front porches




plaques identifying building


local businesses to tenants


council ring



street tree planting




or roll-in shower

bedroom on main floor

renter market

marketing platforms to use to get to target market

-follow building code to make sure your buildings are safe

advantage of vertical rent gradients, eg two story “towns” at the base of a
condo tower with own private outdoor space and access

wow, windows on the world like Canadian Tire Centre

loaded corridors

buildings at + 3 feet to the street

2nd floor walkup space like ground floor retail space with own
access at grade

doors or subtracting them to make functional program change over time—similar
to Villager IV and Theodora designs

subterranean rights right to property line/one and two and even three levels
below grade

your buildings, eg, “Palladium”

plaques identifying building


local businesses to tenants





stay networks


housing (towns with garden levels, maker homes with backyard sheds, etc)


connected to thousands of residential units, office towers, maker space,
co-working spaces, learning and entertainment spaces

-push the envelope when it comes to zoning bylaws and ordinances so you can optimize returns from each property, and get as close to reaching its HABU–highest and best use–as possible.

If you would like to become a certified property animator yourself, ask me about my courses–I’ll teach you all you have to know to do this for yourself and for others…

@ profbruce @ quantum_entity

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.