Counter-Intuitive Real Estate Investing

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Jan 02

Guest post by Brent Mondoux,
Founding Partner, Amplified Investments; CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive

been an entrepreneur for the last fifteen years of my life—my motto is ‘Once
Today is Gone You Can Never Get It Back’.

can a person ensure that once today is gone that their time was wisely invested
towards achieving their goals? Well, first they need to figure out what their
goals are before they can reach them.

People are capable of
extraordinary feats if they’ll just focus on completing one ordinary task at a

What are my long term goals?

want to achieve financial freedom so that one day I’ll be able to work because
I want to not because I have to. Now don’t get me wrong – I love my work.
Waking up every morning brings a smile to my face. My clients are great people
and I enjoy being able to help them grow their enterprises.

like most entrepreneurs, every time I get an opportunity to brainstorm about
new things, I get an adrenaline rush. I know that I have the chance to change
the world; I just need more resources to do it.

Why did I pick real estate?

estate is helping me achieve financial freedom sooner rather than later while
experiencing a relatively low level of risk.

How’d I get into it?

the last 15 years, I’ve invested thousands of hours and millions of dollars in
building and running an Ottawa-based web design and development firm,
N-VisionIT Interactive. My business partner, Reid Ivens and I have passed many
milestones along the way. We’ve weathered lots of challenges not least of which
were the dot-bomb bust, the US
banking meltdown and real estate market catastrophe. These challenges
reinforced something my father told me – ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one

evening in 2001, I was flipping channels when an infomercial came on. A fellow
by the name of Carleton Sheets was selling his ‘No Money Down’ real estate
course. I’ve never purchased anything from an infomercial but for some reason,
I decided to take a chance. I’m glad I did though—I finished his course in a
few weeks. One drawback was that all his materials were primarily geared for US
legal and taxation systems.

the next nine years, I worked forty to sixty hours a week growing N-VisionIT
Interactive into the company it is today. At the same time, I continued to
learn about real estate investing – I took additional courses by Robert
Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad), Donald Trump (needs no introduction)
and Don Campbell (one of Canada’s
leading real estate investment educators).

2010, I finally bought my first property. I simply realized that I’d invested
hundreds of hours in education so it was time. I gave myself an ultimatum, one
that gave me the psychological push to take my chances and buy my first
multi-res investment property.

Where do I invest?

While my real estate investments
are not tied to a specific geography, most of it is in Gatineau, Quebec.
My strategy is simple. I invest unemotionally in properties that havepositive cashflow. If it doesn’t cashflow, under no
circumstances will I consider purchasing it.

a simple concept and it doesn’t take me a lot of time to assess a property.
Less than 1 in 20 opportunities that I see get more than a few minutes of
consideration so it doesn’t negatively impact on my personal time either.

do I invest in Gatineau and not Ottawa? Don’t properties appreciate faster in
Ottawa? What
about political risk—like separation? Almost every investor reacts negatively
to the political situation in Quebec.
Consequently, they spend significantly more on down payments on their real
estate investments in Ottawa
before their properties will cashflow. Their weakness though is my competitive

How do I ensure good tenants?

no sure way to guarantee good tenants but you can minimize your risks. Even if
you’re under pressure because of an extended vacancy, don’t bend your rules,
you’ll regret it. So what are our processes? For every tenant who applies,
first we perform both a credit check and background verification.

also set up multiple viewings at the same time. It not only creates competition
but also weeds out bad tenants. How come? Well, they know that we will likely
receive multiple applications so they simply opt not to apply.

Moreover, our lease-signing process
includes an initial inspection that requires everytenant to sign off on the move-in condition of
the property.

also make sure that we take good care of our tenants. If you don’t have the
time to do that, find a quality property manager who will do it for you.

The Present

after only two years, my business partner and I have grown our investment from
a single multiplex to 18 units.

and every month that passes, our tenants pay down part of our mortgage for us
while our properties appreciate. All of them generate positive cashflow. They
are helping us build a nest-egg since we don’t require any of the cash we
generate from real estate for day-to-day expenses. Finally, in Canada, real
estate depreciation provides us with significant tax advantages.

My most valuable lessons?

If you let fear stand in your way, you will never achieve anything.

Educate yourself but don’t wait until a perfect time arrives—it never will.

Brent Mondoux, Founding Partner, Amplified Investments, CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive

Posted in InvestingReal Estate

Spread The Word

About the Author

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