Average Joe in a Hot Real Estate Market

If you live in an expensive city breaking into the real estate market seem to be a dream rather than a reality. But as a regular guy with an average income in Canada’s most expensive real estate market, I was still able to do it. Here are the 5 reasons why!

I learned to save aggressively

With an aggressive savings habit, I was able to invest in a market where an average 1 bedroom condo could go for half a million dollars. To be able to save for a 20% downpayment on my first real estate purchase I had to learn what my income was in relationship to my expenses. I then had to save 75% of my income for 7 straight years. Let me tell you those seven years sucked donkey balls but it was all worth it in the end!

I got myself a great mentor

I convinced someone with an extensive real estate portfolio in my area to become my mentor. For the next year and a half, I then followed everything that my mentor did and said to learn what it takes to invest and grow a real estate portfolio. Not only did I learn to build my confidence as an investor but I also developed a robust network of real estate contacts that I still continue to rely on today.

I became more optimistic

During my first 20 – 25 years of life, I had a negative personality. The issue with a negative personality is that it can be a barrier to entry in real estate. Real estate is based on creating relationships with people. To succeed I had to develop strong relationships with the builders, contractors, strata councils and the property management company. With a negative personality, these relationships are impossible to build. I had to become more optimistic to gain the trust of the real estate community. There are countless times of bad tenants, huge repair bills and last minute issues with financing and being negative did not help resolve those situations. Learning to be optimistic and building a strong network of relationships instead helped me overcome these obstacles

I learned to do proper market research

Becoming a confident real estate investor is more than just aggressive savings, great mentorship and optimism. Understanding what rents are in the current area, how much an average condo sells for in the market and what type of demographics will rent in your area is what allowed me to break into the real estate game. When I first started I would use data from a combination of Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, MLS and Craigslist to understand where I can get the best deals.

I invested in myself

I used to be a terrible communicator, negotiator and repairman. However, to succeed in real estate I needed all three skills. I had to seriously invest in myself to grow my real estate portfolio. To do this I had to take classes in public speaking, negotiation and home repairs. I then had to immediately take what I have learned and apply it to my real estate business. In the business of real estate, you have to invest in yourself to become successful.


Here are the top (somewhat terrible) 10 ways to make dollar bills right now

  1. Sell your junk online – Figure out what you don’t really need (your SO?) and just sell it on Craigslist
  2. Teach English online – Become a virtual teacher on VIPKid and teach some random Chinese kid English ($20/hour x 5 = cha-ching)
  3. Donate your sperm – I said enough
  4. Cut your neighbours grass – You really hit two bird with this one. First, you make cash and second you improve the looks of the neighbourhood’s drug den
  5. Use Ebates – Earn cashback and go on a shopping spree? Count me in!
  6. Rent out your parent’s bedroom – Go onto Airbnb and rent it out while your parents are out of town. Trust me they will be surprised when they come back
  7. Car-sharing – Unless your in a hick town known as Vancouver you can join Uber or Lyft and drive around to make some extra bucks. Just don’t get accused of sexual assault while you are at it
  8. Start a business – And then close it because you do not know the first thing about running a business
  9. Become a freelancer – Go onto Fiverr and pick up some work that will actually pay you. Love to draw then Fiverr is there for you. Love to do makeup then Fiverr has your back. Love to become a fairy princess…. sorry Fiverr cannot help your there
  10. Take photos and sell them on the internet for a fee – Take a picture of your toilet and put it on Shutterstock. You would be surprised to see that there are people willing to pay cash to use that specific image of your toilet