Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here is great advice to get your price at sale

I've done a lot of ad posting for rentals in the last six month and the worst thing you can do besides not knowing your price is not putting up great pictures. If they look bad, under-lit or just messy you won't get the tenants you want.

I found a great article from the Canadian Real Estate Magazine on getting the premium price for a premium property. I dare say these tips would help you get the price you want for anything you've been trying to sell.

Basically if you don't....
*Price it right
*Show it in a great light (great photos)
*Fix what matters - know what improvements have the biggest payout
* Advertise where your buyers are

... you're not going to sell for the price you want.

You can read a portion of the article here or get the whole piece in October's issue of Canadian Real Estate Magazine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top 10 Things I Learned About Edmonton

Dear Friends and Partners,

Our friends and partners Steve and Leigh Anne suggested we do a 'Top 10 List' of the things we discovered since moving to Edmonton, and we thought 'Hey, what a cool idea!' so here it is in no particular order.

Top Ten Things I Learned Moving To Edmonton:

1. Edmonton is truly a vibrant and lively city - There are tons of festivals to see, music events, food fairs and outdoor entertainment. You've got everything from Dragon Boats to the Fringe Festival to The Grape Escape. Early this summer I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Italian Rudi Macaggi perform in downtown Edmonton.

2. Its tough to find a great restaurant - I can enjoy a good meal prepared and served along a dirty side street stall in Saigon or a posh Tokyo eatery. But, I admit I have had a hard time finding an all around decent restaurant here. I'm sure that there are lots, I just haven't found the 'right' one for me. I've had plenty of pretty good meals, but nothing mind blowing yet. The theme seems to be a more corporate style of restaurant and that's ok. I often go to places like these for lunch meetings. It is when I'm searching for the creative soul and palate of an artist that I've run into challenges.

3. Summer is hot! I heard this year's summer was pretty chilly but we enjoyed many days in the sun, barbecuing and swimming in the lakes. The days were long, hot and for the most part, dry. Yeah, I know what you're thinking.. But wait until winter. I'll tell you about that in a few months time.

4. There is an abundance of nature within the city - We were surprised to see big jack rabbits hopping about, the odd coyote and lots of prairie dogs all within the city roads and parks. In fact Edmonton has the most green space for a city this size anywhere in North America. Folks are active running, cycling and rollerblading all about. There are even a few magnificent buildings with classic brick and stone architecture to be seen. Ahh yes and the prairie sunset - a thing of unique and extended beauty.

5. Multiculturalism - I enjoy picking through baskets of fresh fruit at my local produce store. My fellow shoppers chat away in a variety of different languages and you can always learn a new way to cook eggplant while getting a different viewpoint and insight into other cultures.

6. The economy IS booming - Driving around I see more and more help wanted signs. The roads are busy with new construction and improvement. I get plans in the mail for proposed LRTs and see the upscale elegance of new neighborhoods like Rutherford, Summerside, Brintnell and Griesbach.

7. Friendly people - Albertan's are quite forthright and generally pretty genki, as we say in Japan. The general 'feel' is that of the entrepreneur with signs on trucks and lampposts coaxing potential customers to try the services for hire. People here also say 'Mnn-Mmn Bye' and 'Mnn-Mnn Thank you' here.

8. Coffee drinking - Well, not just any coffee, but Tim Horton's coffee. Folks line up everyday in the early morning to buy the stuff and scoff down the delicious donuts. This is more of a cult like appreciation than any Starbucks trend. Tim's makes some tasty sandwiches too.

9. Hot Deals - If you know what to look for you can always find a good deal. I'm talking about real estate mainly, but there is also an abundance of opportunity for those willing to create a business or service to a niche clientele. There are many potential customers here ready for you to serve.

10. Cheeses with names I can only pronounce when gesturing wildly - Yes, the Italian supermarket has an awesome variety of cheese along with meats, coffee and pastas. A great place to meet people for an espresso or black tea.

That's my 'Top 10' for better or worse. I'd like to hear your additions, so email them away!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Love Getting In My Car

"There are no optimistic or pessimistic personalities. There are only single, individual choices for optimistic or pessimistic thoughts." Steve Chandler

For the last 5 years driving long distances in my car is an absolute pleasure because I'm a member of In fact sometimes I'm sad when I have to park because I'm so captivated by the audio book I'm listening to.

Right now I'm into Steve Chandler's The Story Of You it is such a GREAT book. Basically the only one writing and telling your story is you and you can change it - to anything at anytime like now.

Your story is whatever the monologue you have in your head or the reasons you give for why your life is a certain way.

It's that simple. The book really sticks with me for a strange reason. I really admire Arnold Schwarzenegger - I read his biography once and basically he sets his mind to do something and does. Top body builder, A-list actor (with a thick clunky accent!), now Governor of California. It's clear this is a guy who knows how to achieve things that many people tell him are impossible.

Anyway, I saw an interview where he a reporter asked him a question about his alleged womanizing and if his wife was going to leave him. His response " That's your story not mine."

I couldn't figure this out FOREVER. Finally with this book I see that Schwarzenegger's story doesn't include a wife that will leave him or maybe some other interpretation I'm not privy too. All that matters is it's not his story and he's not getting sucked into someone else's story about him.

That's powerful!

Check out Steve Chandler's blog here

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Define Your Success

Wow! What a hectic few weeks. Ronan and I got to spend a delicious week with our family - what fun! He actually took the picture I've used for this blog - not bad for a two year old...

The only downside of holidays is the amount of work you come back to after one. I'm busy catching up still.

Yesterday as I was driving I heard Andre Agassi on CBC radio. I was only able to hear a short clip but what I heard was wonderful. Andre was asked how young people can be successful and he said by defining what your idea of success is.

Before you take any step in any direction you must decide what YOU require to feel successful. Not your mom, not your dad, not what anyone else says is success but what you determine. By doing so you will save yourself a lot of frustration, disappointment and perhaps feelings of failure.

What great advice!

So what is your definition and have you reached it? Maybe you're there and you don't even know yet.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

This and That

Harper Government Strengthens Canada's longterm economic plan - "Our government is investing in science and technology to strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians,"

"This significant investment will help develop, attract and retain the world's best researchers at Canadian universities while strengthening Canada's long-term economic competitiveness." Minister of State Goodyear

"Tomorrow's prosperity depends on our ability to compete within a diverse, global economy — to get there, we need to start with competitive infrastructure," "World-class facilities are a magnet for global talent, and these funds make a tremendous difference in researchers' capacity to conduct leading-edge interdisciplinary research and discovery learning." Dr. Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta

Our government's efforts to attract the best and the brightest will not only improve our economy but also quality of life through research and discovery.

Alberta deficit predicted at $4.7 Billion - "The province says faltering markets, a stronger Canadian dollar, lower prices for natural gas and fluctuating oil prices continue to be factors contributing to the deficit.

"There is some good news," Morton said. "Canada is doing better than any other Western nation. Alberta is doing better than any other province.

"But we are an export-based economy, so what happens in the global economy affects us here at home."

That is good news that even with a deficit we a poised and ready to excel when the world economy regains it's balance. The one thing you will hear over and over again is that Canada and Alberta are in the best shape of the western world. Where else in the world would you put your money?

Fifteen Edmonton Districts Picked for Upgrades - "Fifteen Edmonton communities are scheduled to get new sidewalks and roads over the next five years, a city report shows."

"Initially, when we mapped this out, costs were still rising very quickly because of the boom"

“The good news was that costs have come in lower, because the economy slowed down and because we have a dedicated pool of funds we know will be there in future years, so we can enter long-term contracts” at a lower price. Councilor Don Iveson

Everywhere in Edmonton I see road work and improvements to infrastructure all this commits to a city growing for the future.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

3 Days of Head Stretching

Dear Friends and Partners,

This past weekend was the opposite of spending time in the jungle getting your head shrunk, it was investing your time in the city getting your head s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. I was at the REIN Multi-family investing event with many of you and had a fantastic time. For those that didn't get a chance to attend, you missed out seeing many dynamic speakers and some timely information.

We took a bus trip around Edmonton, St. Albert and Beaumont where we heard the local mayors speak about the economic fundamentals of the towns. Even if these areas aren't your targets, it is always good to hear what is happening and get your feet on the ground.

As the bus weaved its way through Edmonton, there were many neighborhoods we passed where our properties are within a minute's walk away- a testament to the diligence and system we use to select our properties for you.

Highlighting Saturday's event for me was Derek Lobo's presentation. Derek is North America's leading multi-family lease and marketing specialist. He touched on methods he uses to scour the market and pluck investment nuggets from. Thomas Beyer of Prestigious Properties (owner of a 1200 unit portfolio) also shared his insights into determining value and the stress involved in owning real estate. 

Topping of the weekend was Terry Paranych - one of the most engaging, dynamic and off the wall folks in the real estate industry. Terry is a phenomenal marketer and salesman. He has created a portfolio of Edmonton properties that generate in excess of $100K positive cashflow per month. Read that last line again if you didn't catch it.... $100K per month positive cashflow. Terry gives back a lot and is a great guy to boot!

North East Edmonton: Cashflowing 6-Plex In Gentrifying Neighborhood

Turbo charge your portfolio. In the slow and steady neighborhood of Eastwood you'll find a good mix of suites in this apartment building. There is 1 X 3 bedroom suite, 3 X 2 bedrooms, and 2 X 1 bedrooms. Suites have had new flooring and some upgrading. Each apartment is separately metered and there are six individual, energized parking stalls. The suites are legal, conforming and well located near shopping and the LRT. There is a shared coin laundry down generating extra revenue. These pictures show the front and side of the building, with additional care the curb appeal and value can be increased. 

Comes fully tenanted making this a totally turn-key property for you. Convenient North East area with easy access to LRT, Downtown and Ring Road. Working class neighborhood that is desirable for renters and potential re-salability value. HUGE upside potential due to the great purchase price, strong economic fundamentals and the proximity of this property in relation to Edmonton's improving North East-side.

Produces $1665 positive cash flow per month using an investor's mortgage plan - taking advantage of current low rates.

Poised for massive growth. These 6 suites rent for top dollar and have everything arranged, including financing structure and incredible tenants. Your investment includes: financial analysis, professional inspection, insurance, financing set-up, legal fees, basic accounting, reserve fund, CMA, bi-annual statements, strategic market planning to ensure successful entry and exit, plus much more!

Purchase price: $650K Total Investment: $161K. Your Estimated 5 Year Profit $117K. Your pre-tax Total ROI is 72% or 14% per year + $1665 Cash Flow in Your Pocket Every Month

“Get into action and realize secure, long-term profits” 

Already producing a great RETURN. Visit for the full FEATURE sheet and call 1-888-780-5940 to get started.

-Please remember: All investments carry RISK. Be sure to seek your own independent legal advice-

"Begin today, so that tomorrow you are no longer dreaming you are achieving" -Don Campbell

Kind Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar