SPRING time is tax preparation time. April 30th will be here before you know it. I have created the habit of scanning receipts throughout the year and putting them into a tax folder so you don’t end up running around looking for stray pieces of paper, and PDF copies are easy to e-mail to your accountant. Easy Peasy.
TED IS IN THE HOUSE
Steve met Mavis at a private banking conference in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Here we are at the Cloud 9 Revolving Restaurant on Robson Street in Vancouver with breath-taking 360 degree views of the city and waterfront every 80 minutes. She had applied for and was accepted to attend the exclusive TED Talk in Whistler, BC from March 17-20. Only 500 people from around the world are accepted as attendees and she was one of the fortunate few. This was her second application. TED stands for Technology Education and Design. The speaking rules require the speakers to deliver their “ideas worth spreading” in less than18 minutes.
One of my favourite TED talks is given by Paul Stamets on 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World. He was given a standing ovation at the end for his brilliant and witty delivery of an amazing and incredible subject matter. Did you know that mushrooms get their energy from radiation, not from the sun? Did you know that mushrooms are natural pest repellents? Mushrooms can save the planet. Amazing insights. http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world
Steve and I made an agreement in 2001 that we would live within our means and not incur bad debt. The author of Rich Dad Poor Dad and Cash Flow Quadrant is Robert Kiyosaki. He taught us that your house is a liability if you have a mortgage, and it’s an asset for the bank. Good debt puts money into your pocket. Bad debt takes money out of your pocket. This was a revolutionary idea for us. All this time, we assumed the house was an asset for us. Not so. We rented until 2004 because we didn’t want to create a huge mortgage payment. Then we purchased the house with cash and 48 hours later took 85% of the equity out. This Home Equity Line Of Credit was invested in an apartment building. There are many households that are sitting on lots of unused equity in their homes. A line of credit should be invested. Another good book on this topic is The Richest Man In Babylon. You can download a free copy online. We completed the purchase of a 4-bedroom 3-bath house while Steve was in Fort St. John and I was in Thunder Bay. It was on the market for a long time because the owner did not bother to clean up after the renters moved out. It is competing in a market with lots of brand new buildings and at 7 years old, still looks as good as new to us. We purchased it for $36,200 below the assessed value because the owner wanted a quick sale. We will have the house re-appraised after the upgrades then apply for another Line of Credit to invest in more property. There is no need to sell the first house because it’s earning money. It actually pays us to live in it as written in the free e-report How To Turn Your House Into A Money-Making Machine: legally morally ethically. If you’ve lost your copy, shoot me an e-mail with “free e-report” in the subject line and I’ll send you another one.
PROACTIVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – PART 47
Concessions. When our office receives a complaint or compliment by phone, e-mail or letter, our standard operating procedure is to write up an Incident Report, and respond in kind within 48-72 hours where possible. When a tenant writes, it is a significant act. Therefore it requires respectful consideration. There are times where the nature of the complaint is such that it is challenging to resolve, such as second-hand smoke. Unless the source can be clearly identified, this is not an easy task for a landlord to enforce. An option is to offer a concession in the form of a Mutual Agreement To End Tenancy without penalty, or permit the tenant to vacate their premises with less than the required notification period, or offer to transfer them to another vacant apartment if available. In the case of second-hand smoke, most jurisdictions have adopted restrictions on smoking in public places. Distribute a No Smoking Policy memo to all tenants as proof that you have done your best to offer solutions. Then if your tenant still chooses to take you to a hearing for monetary compensation, you can prove to the adjudicator that you did your best to stop the issue and made a reasonable effort to provide a solution to the tenant. In both BC and Ontario, second-hand smoke has been identified as a breach of the covenant of reasonable enjoyment, and a smoker can be ordered to stop by the governing Landlord Tenant Board.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. – George Bernard Shaw
For my Valentine’s Day gift, Steve purchased a 2,650 square foot house, scheduled to close in 14 days at month end. Chris Veale is helping out with the renovations and we should be able to move into our new abode in 4 to 6 weeks. This house has been a rental for the past few years and is priced well below market. There were 16 Realtor cards on the kitchen counter and we were the only offer. There is nothing priced below $500,000 in the neighbourhood and the house has good bones. It’s amazing that people won’t look beyond the cosmetic deficiencies to save tens of thousands. It just needs a good cleaning, new coat of paint, new flooring, new countertops, replace the appliances and light fixtures. This house would be an easy flip but it’s home sweet home. I’d rather borrow the equity out to invest than sell.
If you’re a baseball fan, you know what this means. A batter will make a deliberate play to get tagged out in order for a team mate to make the run to home plate and score one for the team. This is a noble sacrificebecause even though a player is out, the team wins. It’s for the greater good. What sacrifices have you made lately to make another person’s life better, brighter, beautiful? Of time, talent, inconvenience, rescheduling, volunteering, taking one for the team because you can. Good investments also require sacrifice in order to stay healthy, viable and sustainable. Don’t think an asset can just sit in your portfolio gaining in value. Adding value takes time, effort and strategy. Success and wealth doesn’t just happen. It’s engineered, and sacrifice is just one part of the formula. T. Harv Eker said it best, “If you are willing to do only what’s easy, life will be hard. But if you are willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy.
WHAT’S IN YOUR FFA?
Do you remember these words: save up for a rainy day. My parents drilled that into me from childhood because they lived through the war and its deprivations. Unfortunately, when your goal is to save up for a rainy day, that day when you need money in an emergency situation, then that’s exactly what you create. You create emergencies that require you to use up your rainy day fund. T. Harv Eker teaches you to create a Financial Freedom Account instead. This money is only used to invest in assets that feed you on an ongoing basis. So when that rainy day emergency happens along, you’ll have the money in hand because it has been invested to work for you, before-during-after the financial requirement. One of our intentions for our FFA was to save up money to buy (a) an investment property or (b) a primary residence that was closer to our office. After the purchase, the plan is to refinance and take out the equity in order to invest it in real estate. Remember that in Canada, the interest on your primary residence is not tax deductible. If you borrow money to invest, then you are allowed to deduct the interest payments as the cost of doing business. That’s why a Line of Credit should always be invested.
PROACTIVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – PART 46
Mitigating risk from professional tenants. Yes, they exist and are the pariah of the residential rental market. These are people who know their way around the tenancy act and live rent-free until evicted by sheriff or bailiff. That’s why they are called “professional tenants” because their job is to find places where they can live rent free until the landlord finally catches up to them with the proper paperwork. To prevent this from happening in the first place, our application process includes running a credit check. This is the first deterrent in the filtering process. Upon approval, the applicant must then pay by cash, money order, certified cheque or TenantPay the First Month Rent and Security Deposit (in BC) or Last Month Rent Deposit (in Ontario). These professionals will intentionally bounce all cheques and this can take upwards of 20 days for the clearing house to notify you of insufficient funds.
Personal cheques are accepted from the 2nd month onwards. This is why your late notices must be served within the first 3 days of the month, whether the tenant has promised to pay or not. The date of delivery of these notices is very important because the landlord cannot initiate eviction proceedings until after the late notice has been delivered: 5 day cooling period in BC and 14 days in Ontario. That’s up to half a month where the tenant gets to live rent free before the landlord can even start the eviction process. By the time the Notice of Hearing arrives, it’s another 1 to 2 weeks and the hearing date is scheduled for next month. You can see how a professional tenant can easily live up to 3 months without paying rent. Guard yourself with an ironclad policy and procedure.
Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource is your time. – Brian Tracy.
It’s the start of a new year with lots of snow in the forecast in Fort St. John and Thunder Bay. Both cities have experienced colder than usual temperatures, dipping to as low as -54C. Thunder Bay has been in a deep freeze averaging -28C with -41 wind chill. My down-filled parka is keeping me toasty except for my ski gloves and UGG boots in these temps. Fort St. John is yo-yo’ing between balmy to chilly. The recent 10C melted the roads into slushy icicles resulting in tow trucks having to getting towed.
ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON, A NIGHT OWL OR …
My mentor T. Harv Eker polled an audience and asked how many in the room were night hawks and about half the room raised their hands. He asked how many people considered themselves an early bird and the other half raised their hands. Then he said these words: successful people aren’t early birds or night owls. They are do-whatever-it-takes kind of people. That struck a chord with me and this sage advice has benefited me and our investors profoundly. What kind of effort do you put out to get the results? I’ve worked until 2am, 3am and 4am, sometimes non-stop (not advisable unless you’re a freak like me) to get the job done. There are no excuses because the bottom line results are in direct proportion to the amount of effort that is put in. So what kind of person did you say you were?
The Yardi Voyager 7S program went live on January 1 in Fort St. John. It took 4 months of intensive work to customize and set up the system parameters. Now at the touch of a keyboard, tasks that used to take hours is completed in a few minutes. Information is in real time and the dashboard summarizes the key performance indicators at a glance. The OTBEC team is now working diligently on entering the Ontario portfolio into Yardi. This software program is allowing us to centralize a lot of the satellite duties so we now have a better internal control mechanism.
WINTER SAFETY PROTOCOL
With the advent of snow and ice conditions, landlords must ensure that parking lots, common walkways and stairs are safety certified in a daily snow removal log. The date, time and location must be marked down with the initial or signature of the person who did the work. In case of a slip-and-fall incident, the first thing the insurance adjuster will ask to review is the snow log.
PROACTIVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – PART 45
Adding value with amenities. Market rent is market rent because all things being equal, all apartments have square footage, fridge, stove, washer, dryer, utilities may be included or not. You can charge a premium for perks such as an in-sink or at-tank water filtration system, dishwasher, in-suite washer and dryer versus common area, ShawGo Wifi access (free install), video security system, furnished apartments with big screen tv and electric fireplace.
Here is an example of a newly renovated bachelor apartment in Fort St. John that has just been converted into a furnished unit. It rented even before being advertised. We are also looking at offering pick-up and return laundry service as another service. Take a look at your market and see what the local demand is. Become a solution to their problem.
Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare. – Japanese Proverb.
A sprinkle of stardust to wish you luck; A star alight to shower with love; May the joy of Christmas touch you anew; May all the hope be blessed on you; Merry Christmas! We are truly blessed to enjoy good health and to be surrounded by the abundance of your love and friendship. This time of year isn’t about stuff. In the busyness of our lives throughout the year, it is a time for us to reflect on the One Love that binds us all together. Let me count the blessings, all 5,077 of you. It is a privilege to have met and know each and every one of you. You have all enriched my life beyond measure. Gratefully yours.
In preparation for our Christmas on the road, we took a pre-Christmas get-away in Las Vegas. Here is a beautiful shot of a rainbow in the fountain mist during the finale.
YEAR END REVIEW
How quickly the year has gone by. It’s time to review your 2013 goals and track how you did. This will then set the parameters for your 2014 goals. Rate how satisfied you are with these 8 areas in the Wheel of Life. A lot of professional coaches use this to find out how their clients rate their life. The interesting thing is that once you reach your milestone, everything reverts back to zero and we start all over again. How are you doing?
MERRY CHRISTMAS – JOYEUX NOEL – FELIZ NAVIDAD
Our best wishes of the season from our family to yours: July, Joanna and Angela.
PROACTIVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – PART 45
TenantPay is a convenient and secure electronic bill payment service for your renters. People want, need and demand the convenience of online payment services. Pay by computer, smart phone or in-person. Tenants don’t even need a bank account. They can pay a bill at any bank with cash as long as they have their TenantPay number. The days of writing cheques is over. This option is more cost effective than credit card providers that charge a percentage on the gross amount plus transaction fees and minimum monthly fees. The cost to thelandlord is a flat $1.05 per transaction. The money is transferred straight into your bank account. Contact Tom Lennox at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.
Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare. – Japanese Proverb.
t’s been non-stop activity ever since we set the intention to double our business over the next two years. The transition to the Yardi Voyager 7S software is well under way and will take several months to completely integrate. Seven months ago Steve made a verbal declaration that we’ll be building apartments within five years, and a couple weeks later, a project to build a 130-unit mid-rise appeared. The power of intention is just that: powerful. When an opportunity like that comes along, you definitely take a look especially with a reputable builder and developer with an impressive track record. We are proceeding with extreme care to ensure the final product, a purpose-built rental apartment, is investor-ready.
SUPER CONFERENCE: TRIBAL LEADERSHIP
Darren Weeks invited me to speak at his annual conference and my topic was about your Unfair Advantage. In my experience, and from what you hear from a lot of other successful people, their unfair advantage has been adversity, and how they chose to respond to it. It’s not a glamorous topic. It’s downright painful when you think about it but adversity makes you stronger, more resilient, flexible, adaptable. When you encounter a problem, it challenges us to develop staying power, to be resourceful, to innovate, to create and (this is the tough part) we stay stuck there until we find a way out. Sometimes we can do it on our own but for big shifts that take us way out of our context, we need the help of others. Either a coach, counselor, mentor, advisor, these outsiders can see the tree in the forest so to speak. It’s not an easy thing to grow out of your box. Magic happens when you faith it. To help you stay positive, surround yourself with positive like-minded people, attend workshops that expand your context, learn a new hobby, support your inner soul with nurturing words. Every day the positive message from Joel Osteen helps put things into perspective. To get your daily spirit boost, Register at www.joelosteen.com
Whether you own real estate or a business, there is a strategy for taking the retained earnings out of a company through the Family Trust structure, in some instances, tax-free. Opco stands for Operating Company and Holdco stands for Holding Company. We enjoyed a lively 90-minute presentation by Faizal Valli of Facet Advisors (www.FacetAdvisors.com) at our monthly B.A.N.G. meeting.
mSUMMIT FOR MOMPRENEURS
This is CTV News Anchor, Tamara Taggart, one of the key note speakers at the Reinventingm Conference (m stands for mom) held at the Westin Bayshore. I consider myself a mom of sorts even though my three pregnancies didn’t make it to term. Tamara has three wonderful children and one of them is special needs with Down’s Syndrome. Tamara calls herself a modern mommy juggling work life and family. She shared that when opportunity knocks, you say yes even when you feel terrified or if you feel you aren’t ready. She has a blog at www.TamaraTaggart.com
A few hours later, Arlene Dickinson of Dragon’s Den, gave similar sage advice. There are opportunities bouncing all around you and the reason people don’t take action is due to fear. Her book “Persuasion” covers the mistakes, failures, adversity, and the wonderful lessons she learned that paved the way from poverty to CEO of one of Canada’s largest independently owned marketing firms, and one of the most sought after female entrepreneurs. How’d she do it? The art of persuasion.
PROACTIVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – PART 44
Boiler maintenance: what to do when the experts are stumped? It’s a sad state of affairs when the professionals who installed and repaired the boiler system in one of our buildings could not figure out why the boiler kept shutting off every night, leaving our tenants with no hot water in the morning. This meant maintenance had to get up at 5:00 a.m. every morning to re-start it. This has been an ongoing issue for a year. Steve finally figured it out by himself. He was tracing the pipes to explain to the next boiler expert what the problem was when he noticed the “arrow” on one of the pumps was facing in the opposite direction to the “arrow” on the pipe. (See the red arrow stamped in to the cast iron, it lines up with the gold arrow stamped into the side of the pipe) Whoever made the last repair installed the pump in the reverse direction of the water flow. A la Homer Simpson: “Doh!”
The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. – Thomas Edison
October is a special month showcasing thanksgiving for the abundance bestowed upon us. Oprah Winfrey keeps a gratitude journal. What are you grateful for? Thank on your health and the simple act of being alive. Thank on your wonderful friends and the peaceful community that you live in. Thank on your employer or business for providing an opportunity to add value to other people’s lives. Give thanks for the big and small blessings. Looking back over the last 122 months, I am ever so grateful for YOU, who have come to know me and have stayed connected with me through the months and years. You give me purpose and call me to continued growth. As the Vulcans say, live long & prosper.
YARDI VOYAGER 7S
This is a screenshot of the Yardi dashboard. The program is massive and takes on average 4 months to implement. Our team is go-live in less than one month. Kudos to Mike McLea, Joanna Bysterveld and Angela Schouten for bringing their A-game.
THE GUMBALL KID
This is Lucas Dinahan, a 15-year old author from Mission, BC. He started his entrepreneurial career at age 4. His father Lance decided to teach his son the principles about making money instead of spending money on toys. That’s way better than giving your children an allowance. It teaches them the value of money and how to create it. Today he has 80 gumball machines around the lower mainland. The business isn’t completely passive yet because he has to service the machines, or he could delegate it to his little sister to make it truly hands-off. At 7, she is following in his footsteps. What a great role model to have. Let’s support Lucas’ cause to spread the entrepreneurial spirit and get a book for your son or daughter at www.gumballkid.com
BLACK BELT MEMORY
Ron White, the Memory Guy, was featured at the Fast Track Super Conference. He memorized the names of 2,300 fallen soldiers in Afghanistan. It takes him 11 hours of non-stop writing to list all the names. He is the two time National Memory Champion. How does he do it? There are 5 rules: Focus, File, Picture, Glue, Review. He creates an association with furniture in your house. Here’s the link to my blog explaining how he does it at http://www.julyono.com/archives/4814 or check him out at www.facebook.com/ronwhite
This is Verne Harnish, the best selling author of Mastering The Rockefeller Habits: what you must do to increase the value of your growing firm. Verne works with business owners who have a minimum of $1 million revenue who wish to take their business to the next level. Verne espouses daily measurements, daily KPI’s (key performance indicators), not weekly or monthly if you want your business to stay cutting edge. One of the most notable stories he shared was how a lawn maintenance company shifted a 2-week closing period to get a new customer down to 5 minutes just by being unconventional. www.Gazelles.com
PROACTIVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – PART 43
Yardi Voyager 7S (the creme de la creme of property management software) is the latest version and we are one of 10 companies in Canada to have the 7S: a cloud-based platform so you can access the information from anywhere in the world on any device: PC, Mac, tablet, iPad, and from any mobile device. Information runs in real-time while you’re on the go. I’ve been dreaming of this for the last 3 years, and here it is. Our Yardi consultant kept saying what impeccable timing we have. Our wish list of items is available now when it wasn’t just a few months ago. The mobile maintenance app is going to improve efficiencies and tracking. In the event of a catastrophic loss of hardware, Yardi has 9 servers located around the world. The data is backed up every 2 hours giving you peace of mind. Mr. Yardi is still alive, running his private company and is about 93 years old.
There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. Bruce Lee – July Ono
Jose did not show up in court today but then again I wasn’t expecting him to. After all he is a professional con man and has no respect for the law, the courts or anyone for that matter. The judge issued a Warrant of Immediate Arrest. This is apparently different from a Warrant of Arrest that gives the defendant 7 days grace to turn himself in. An Immediate Arrest means there is no grace period, for all the good that will do considering Jose has been evicted from his last known address. So we start the hunt & chase all over again. You will note the last option left is Warrant of Imprisonment and that is what I will be pressing for.
So if anyone out there knows where Jose Cruz is currently residing, there is a Warrant of Immediate Arrest for him. All I need to do is send a fax to the sheriff’s office located at the Robson Law Courts along with the Registry File Number 1033596, to fax #604-660-7095.
On October 20, 2013 I had the privilege of attending the Fast Track Super Conference in Edmonton featuring Ron White, the Memory Guy. He is a two-time National Memory Champion. At first it was kind of creepy as he would prowl the room all morning with this intense look of concentration on his face. I wasn’t wearing a name tag so he stopped in front of me and asked me point blank “your name?” then off he went without anymore acknowledgement. A staff member saw my look of perplexity and explained that he’s “on the job”. Later that afternoon, I realized that he was the Memory Guy and was memorizing everyone’s name in the room, about 400 people.
The cool part is that he taught us how he does it, and that anyone can train their memory when you have the system. Your memory is stored in a house and you go from room to room that you have attached a “visually active” reference to a piece of furniture.
I remember watching a Sherlock Holmes show on Netflix featuring Benedict Cumberbatch during the episode “Hounds of the Baskerville”, and he has a memory palace.
I am impressed because seven days later, I can remember all ten items that the room memorized. You can see how this is extremely helpful for speeches and tests. This is how it went.
From the stage, Ron pointed to the big screen behind him. He asked us for feedback on creating a visual anchor with action involved. The picture cannot be static. It has to be moving. There was a logo of the event on the screen in the shape of a tree with hands for leaves. Someone shouted out “money tree”. Ron described the money tree so we could imagine seeing the dollar bills falling off the tree. So now we associated the “Screen” with “Money Tree”. That was Bullet Point #1.
Ron proceeded to go clockwise around the room. He pointed to one of those tall speakers. Someone shouted “grandfather clock”. Ron described the grandfather clock with a cuckoo bird that came out and “cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo”. That’s the moving picture that we anchored. “Speaker” with “cuckoo clock”. Bullet Point #2.
Bullet Point #3: Computer anchored with Darren making a phone call
Bullet Point #4: Couch anchored with a huge plant growing over it
Bullet Point #5: Camera on a tripod with a Wanted Poster with $1 Million Reward for one of Darren’s co-horts in the room
Bullet Point #6: Door at the back of the room, anchored with a football goal being scored and the referee’s arms going up for the A-OK sign
Bullet Point #7: Table with books for sale at the back, anchored with an efficiency room. Ron described how he was in a room so small that he could stand in the shower and use the microwave at the same time.
Bullet Point #8: Light Stand anchored with holding a calendar/organizer up to the light
Bullet Point #9: Projector anchored with a movie about chandeliers (okay there were two people who shouted out 2 things at the same time, so Ron used movie and chandelier and combined the two for a weird combo)
Bullet Point #10: Steps to the stage anchored with your favourite sports team coming up to the stage to give their acceptance speech
The majority of the room was able to memorize all ten items. Ron then proceeded to use the ten bullet points as part of a speech to close the demonstration.
Put a Number on a piece of furniture.
Then put a moving picture on the furniture.
You Focus on the furniture.
You create a File.
You create a moving Picture.
You then Glue the furniture to the moving picture.
These are the five steps involved in creating a black belt memory.
This is the technique Ron used to memorize the 2,300 names of the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan. It takes him 11 straight hours to write out all 2,300 names. He’s done it several times and every time he has, someone stops to ask what he’s doing. When he tells them what he’s doing, they ask him if so-and-so’s name is on the list. He takes them to the name. The connection to a name is very powerful. There is great power in remembering someone’s name.
The next time you would like to remember someone’s name, remember that you must create a Moving Picture to help you memorize that person or else it will not make an impact. See the wind moving their hair. See the moustache growing handles. See the forehead shining like a lighthouse. Whatever it takes, you need a moving picture to glue it to that person’s name.
Ron has created a Black Belt Memory system to help anyone and everyone achieve an incredible memory.
You can see his work in action at www.BrainAthlete.com where he videotaped a 6 year old who used his system to memorize the Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Barack Obama.
Find him at www.Facebook.com/RonWhite
We have secured this phenomenal group rate to attend Sanoviv in October 2014. Our original band of 6 expanded to 11 this year. We are all looking forward to our return trip. For those of you who would like to experience a detox week (no wheat, no corn, no soy, no dairy) at Sanoviv, you will find attached the Healthy Living Program October 6-10, 2014. This is my invitation for you to join us and enjoy healthy living. Cheers.
This Order shows that Jose Cruz appeared on a Warrant of Arrest before Justice of the Peace P. Boyer on Sep 18, 2013, and that Jose must appear in court on Tuesday, October 29 at 1:30 PM Robson Square Law Court, 800 Hornby Street. Here is hoping that he will finally show up and pay me the $5,923.63 owing to me. The sad part is that if he does, it means he has most likely conned someone else out of those funds. Really wish there was a way to incarcerate repeat offenders like this.