Cracking the Rental Code in 2024 Montreal and Quebec

What’s shaking in the rental market as the new year rolls around?  

Going into 2024, it looks like markets are tight. Anecdotally, on the ground the effects of in-migration are translating into low vacancy rates and rising rents, at least in certain market segments. 

What does that mean for those of us who have rental units coming on the market?

In this episode we also look at the data sources that can help us assess what’s going on. Join Terrie as we decode the housing hustle, so we can all make smarter moves in the up-coming year. Let’s dive in, Real Estate Warriors! 

Key Topics:  

  • Rocketing Rents: Unveiling the Trendy Trajectory of Rent Growth
  • Market Mayhem: Dancing to the Beat of Dynamic Variations
  • Empty Spaces, Full of Stories: Decoding the Dance of Vacancy Rates
  • Breaking Boundaries: Conquering the Puzzle of Segmentation Challenges
  • Society’s Symphony: Unveiling the Impactful Crescendo of Population Growth
  • Migration Magic: Unraveling the Spellbinding Trends of Net Movements

Notable Words From The Episode: 

We know anecdotally that the vast majority of those incoming migrants are heading for the bigger centers.

 – Terrie Schauer

Timestamp:

[00:00] Podcast intro

[00:08]  Terrie discussed recent rental statistics, primarily focusing on the November rentals.ca report for the Quebec and Montreal markets.

[07:14] Terrie discussed population growth statistics and their impact on the tight rental markets in Montreal and Quebec

[12:41] Podcast Outro

CMHC Rental Report 2023

Rent Report by Rentals.ca.

December 2023 Rentals.ca Report

Net Migration Stats from QC government

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Master Your Mind for Real Estate Success

Terrie kicks things off by tackling the big question: “Mindset vs. Mindfulness – What’s the Real Deal?”

Get your thinking caps on as Terrie takes you on a journey through the three levels of consciousness – the Thinking Mind, the Emotions, and the enigmatic “Watcher.” It’s like a backstage pass to your own brain, and Terrie’s the tour guide you didn’t know you needed.

Tune in now and let Terrie guide you through the maze of Mindset and Mindfulness. It’s not just another podcast – it’s your key to real estate mastery! 

Key Topics:

  • Mind Games: Unleashing the Power of Mindset vs. Mastering the Art of Mindfulness
  • Elevate Your Existence: Navigating the Spectrum of Consciousness Levels
  • Mindful Magic: Transform Your World with Mindfulness Practices That Spark Joy
  • Watcher Unleashed: Dive into Self-Discovery by Identifying with the Watcher Within
  • Now Power Unleashed: Embrace the Present, Ignite Your Potential
  • Emotion Revolution: Conquer the Battle Within, Rise Above Negative Tides

Notable Words From The Episode: 

Understanding the nuts and bolts of how your mind actually works is incredibly powerful.

 – Terrie Schauer

Timestamp:

[00:00] Podcast intro

[00:08]  Terrie discussed the distinction between mindset and mindfulness in the real estate industry, emphasizing the importance of understanding and managing one’s consciousness

[07:14] Terrie explains the significance of mindfulness in contrast to mindset, delving into the three levels of consciousness—thinking mind, emotions, and the “watcher.” 

[12:50] Podcast Outro

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Watch THIS Before You Pay for Real Estate Coaching

Should you pay for Real Estate coaching?

How do you assess the price tag and value of events and coaching programs?

What’s the best way to get educated as you become more committed to taking action and closing on your first property?

Tune in for Episode 2 of our Mini-series with Real Estate investor Stehanie. Last time, we discussed her experience dipping her toes into the real estate waters, going from watching YouTube videos to mingling with the pros in her local real estate networking scene. 

Now, in this thrilling second part of her story, Stefanie’s level of commitment gets real. She pays for her first coaching event and begins assembling her very own real estate squad.

Get ready to challenge those self-imposed limits, folks! Terrie shares how beliefs can shape success and how Stefanie’s mindset got a serious makeover at that boot camp.

Buckle up, because this episode is jam-packed with real estate wisdom. grab those headphones and let’s dive into Stefanie’s journey in the ever-exciting world of real estate! 

What we learned from Stefanie and Terrie Schauer in this episode:

  • How to Forge an Unstoppable Mindset and Achieve the Impossible in Real Estate.
  • How to Handle Rejections with Unstoppable Grit.
  • Build the Dream Team for Real Estate Gold, Without the Fluff
  • The Secret to Profits? Non-Stop Learning and Market Mastery.
  • Crush Barriers Holding You Back and Claim the Success You Deserve.
  • How Bold Choices Shatter Norms and Propel You to Unimagined Success.
  • The Explosive Formula for Rapid Mastery by Mixing Education with Real-World Thrills.

Notable Words From The Episode: 

  • You can’t learn everything from books, you do need some on the ground experience – Terrie Schauer
  • And even if I don’t reach my goal, like that’s okay, because I’ll still be a few steps ahead of where I was before – Stefanie

Timestamp:

[00:00] Podcast intro

[01:00] Stefanie  discusses her journey from being a novice.

[03:27] Stefanie talks about the process she and her partner went through when deciding to attend a weekend training event

[07:00] Stefanie talked about their experience attending a course where the instructor motivated participants to establish ambitious objectives and confront their own limiting beliefs.

[08:39] Terrie highlights overcoming limiting beliefs for success and how pricing reflects the value of coaching products.

[15:41] Stefanie contemplated whether to invest in a $5,000 course for real estate, hesitating because she wanted to buy a property first to ensure her commitment.

[16:51] Terrie advises understanding coaching program value hierarchy and sales tactics.

[19:57] Terrie emphasized the significance of making strategic and timely investments in education.

[23:14] Stefanie discussed how she realized the importance of carefully choosing team members during the homebuying process.

[25:29] Stefanie emphasized the importance of establishing initial contacts.

[26:46] Terrie emphasized the importance of finding an experienced real estate broker who specializes in working with investors.

[29:40] Stefanie recounted her encounter with a real estate broker who falsely claimed expertise, while Terrie emphasized how many in the industry prioritize closing deals over offering specialized knowledge due to commission incentives.

[32:25]Terrie and Stefanie shared their struggle in parting ways with their first mortgage and real estate broker.

[38:03] Outro

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Ever wonder what makes a basement suite legal?

Want a checklist for risk-factors to help you identify an illegal unit?

Do you know the difference between a sublease and a lease transfer? 

In this coaching call episode with investor Chauntelle, we expose the pitfalls of renting out rogue units. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, this episode is your ticket to understanding the in’s and out’s of illegal (and legal) additional suites.

Tune in, level up, and get ready to make your real estate dreams a reality! 

What we learned from Chauntelle and Terrie Schauer in this episode:

  • The Ultimate Secret to Rental Success Lies in This Must-Know Legal Compliance
  • Your Guide to Mastering Zoning Regulations!
  • The Astonishing Power of Legalized Basement Suites.
  • The Shocking Impact of Illegally Rented Units on Your Property Value.
  • The Hidden Dangers Lurking in Master Lease Agreements – What You MUST Know!
  • The Unseen Dangers of New Rental Models Could Wreck Your Finances – Learn How to Stay Safe.

Notable Words From The Episode: 

The “severability clause” can determine how rent obligations are divided among multiple tenants on one lease.  – Terrie Schauer

Timestamp:

[00:02] Podcast intro

[01:14] Terrie welcomes Chauntelle as a returning guest to discuss the complex and potentially problematic issue of subletting and basement suites in the real estate market.

[2:31] Terrie discusses the checklist of considerations for landlords regarding basement suites.

[10:22] Terrie discusses the legal and practical implications of renting out properties with incorrect zoning and multiple tenants on a single lease.

[21:45]  Terrie discuss the financial aspect of renovating a basement suite and expanding the number of units in a property.

[25:20] Podcast outro

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Why You Should Build Habit-, Not Outcome Goals

It’s January. We’re all just back from vacation and doing our goal-setting for the year. Whether you want to purchase ten more doors or lose ten more pounds, how you approach that goal counts.

Here’s what I mean.

Progress isn’t linear. Life doesn’t have finish lines. If you set an outcome goal, every day you DON’T hit the goal feels like a loss.

Take dieting.

In a weight loss plan we have cheat days and we hit plateaus. Sometimes the numbers don’t move as fast as we think they should. It’s the same with investing. You can make lots of calls, be on top of your networking and even make a bunch of offers, and have frustrating numbers to show.
That’s why building winning habits is so important.
It’s why this year, I’ve only got habit-goals.
Look at it this way. I can aim to buy five buildings by the end of the year or I can aim to spend twenty minutes every day connecting with potential partners.
My goal could be losing ten pounds or it could be to stick to my nutrition plan, eat no sweets and drink 2L of water every day.
When I weigh myself at night, I may feel sad if the numbers on the scale don’t move enough. But if my “reward” is checking off boxes that say:
Today I :

√ Drank 2L of water

√ Stuck to my calorie goal

√ Avoided junk food.

I’ll get a dopamine hit every time I “succeed” at attaining my habit goals.

Think of hitting big targets this way. I must manifest behavior that translates into incremental improvements that stack up over time. Second, I must have faith that the outcomes will come. It’s my job just to stay on track with good habits and time will take care of the rest.
This year, can you set habit goals and have faith that the outcomes will follow?
Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

If You Quit Now, You’ll Never Know How Close Are…

Life doesn’t have finish lines.

When you race, it’s for a specific distance. In a Jiu Jitsu or wrestling or boxing match, there’s a time limit.
But in life, very few races come with a defined finish line.
You can spend years pushing—giving effort, time, money, sacrifice—and have no guarantee of when or, even if, your goal will ever happen.
That’s the trouble with life’s undefined finish lines and it’s why it’s really, really difficult to know when to throw in the towel and when to keep pushing.
We all have something in our lives that eludes us.
I can’t tell you if quitting now is the right choice.
But I can tell you this: if you stop now, you’ll never if one more days, week or month might be all it takes.
Every big thing I’ve achieved took a lot of years and just as much faith. Every successful person I’ve talked to (and with the podcast, I talk to a lot of them) says the same thing. You reach goals with cumulated actions, time and faith.
And, when the last little obstacle gives way, it’s almost always a surprise.
If you stop now, you’ll never know how close you are.

Terrie’s Predictions for the Rental Market 2023

Hold onto your hats. It’s going to be a long, cold winter for a lot of renters. In our office, we have a higher volume of payment defaults than ever before–and it’s mid-December! Usually, January and February are the months when most of our tenants have payment issues. They load their credit cards during the holidays and then have a hard time making rent early in the year. If we’re seeing defaults BEFORE the holidays, my bet is that the rising cost of living is hurting a lot of people’s pockets.

My advice: prepare to negotiate payment plans with your vulnerable tenants or else prepare for a hairy season at the rental board. Rents are marching upwards and vacancy rates remain low in many markets, so I don’t expect that renting units will be very difficult. It will be more a question of managing turn-over, or picking and choosing which tenants you want to help through a rough patch.

Terrie’s Predictions for the Market in 2023

Rate increases will slow, prices will come down some, and professional investors will start getting antsy in Spring. Jammed up markets will start moving.

Is it time to buy?

Prices of investment properties will come down a bit, but the interest rates will continue to be a problem for profitability for a while longer. I wouldn’t worry too much about long-term profitability of rental housing, though. Here’s why. Housing affordability is decreasing across North America. Interest rate rises have priced some buyers out of the market. Even with prices adjusting downwards, higher payments have actually made it HARDER for first-time buyers to get onto the first rung of the property ladder. This will put increasing pressure on already tight rental markets.

My advice – raise capital or liquidate.

Don’t worry about taking a small price hit if you’re selling. Fill your coffers – deal season is coming! And rising rents will offset this year’s rate hikes.

How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Find‌ ‌a‌ ‌Real‌ ‌Estate‌ ‌Agent‌ ‌that‌ ‌Adds‌ ‌Value‌

The first realtor I worked with latched onto me like a leech. I was twenty-six, inexperienced and looking at buying my first rental property: a triplex. The man was from a firm that (I later discovered) was known for fake leases, cash in suitcases and fraudulent financing. After I called to visit a property he had listed, he basically attached himself to me. He kept calling and calling, pressuring me to see buildings and to work with him. I didn’t know how to get rid of him!

After two weeks of searching, he pressured me into making my first offer. I wasn’t sold on the deal, but I was also insecure and after he kept the pressure up, he “closed” me and I signed on the dotted line. 

The property ended up being profitable and relatively trouble-free. I still own it today. But our relationship was very unpleasant. I can still remember the stained wall-to-wall carpet and fluorescent lighting in his office and the way he pressured me to make a decision I wasn’t ready for. 

When it came time for my next purchase, I vowed to do things differently. 


Do Realtors Add Value?

While Real Estate agents have a reputation for being sharks, I do believe they add value. 

When I buy and sell properties today, I work with a broker, even though I am a licensed realtor and have enough experience to manage my transactions personally. A second opinion—a professional one—and the second pair of eyes is worth the commission cheque. 

If you’re starting out, the value-add of a realtor—the right realtor—is even greater. Here’s why.


Negotiation

Realtors negotiate for a living. Negotiating is both an art and a science. Getting the best deal depends on knowledge of the market. Realtors see a lot and therefore know a lot. It’s their job to keep their nose in the marketplace. They’ll have access to comparable sales. They’ll know the reputations of other realtors—which ones are crooked, which ones ethical. Their knowledge is a value-add.


Professional Networks

Realtors also have a professional network behind them, including inspectors, contractors, lawyers, architects, etc. This team of professionals will advise both you and the realtor if there is any uncertainty. For example, when I have doubts about a transaction, I call the director of the brokerage firm I’m affiliated with. When I’m unsure how to structure a complex offer or build protection into a deal, I, unlike my clients, have someone more knowledgeable to speak to. All of this is part of the value-added by working with a competent realtor. 

And why not? For the buyer, it’s essentially a free service.


The Real Estate Board

In terms of due diligence, the real estate board heavily penalizes realtors if they don’t follow prescribed processes. Your agent will need to check the tax bills, any liens, the leases, the certificate of location, and so on. They will also be better at doing due diligence than you are. This is how they obtained their Real Estate license.


Professional Insurance

Realtors have professional errors and omissions insurance. If they overlook anything, are negligent, or jeopardize the transaction, there’s insurance coverage for you, their client. Working with a realtor offers you a certain level of security that private sales don’t.


Don’t Trust the Listing Agent

If you visit properties on your own and end up dealing with just the listing agent, don’t think you’ll end up in a better bargaining position. Many people think that the realtor will cut his or her commission to give them, the buyer, a good price. Don’t be fooled. The listing agent wants to do a deal and their first allegiance will be to the seller. This won’t put you in a position of strength in the transaction. You’ll also end up paying commission anyway (indirectly as part of the sale price). 

Get a broker in your corner. Being represented by your own realtor will likely add no cost to you. If you work with someone competent, it will almost certainly save you money through the negotiation process. There’s basically no downside to being represented by a realtor when you shop for a property.


Show Me The Money

One caveat: Real Estate agents make money at closing. From a business standpoint, their motivation is to make the sale. Your realtor wants you to buy a building. Preferably without too much lollygagging. You, on the other hand, want to purchase the right building. Notice the difference in motivation?

Finding a property that meets your needs can take time. No matter how ethical, realtors want you to choose any building in the least time possible. Their commission will be the same whether you visit one property or twenty. Consider the pressure this puts on them. When realtors push people to make a purchase, it can be because they’re simply motivated to close the deal. 

Then, factor in that not all sellers pay the same amount of commission. Realtors make between 2.0% and 3.5% on a sale. Do the math. On a property worth $450,000, that’s a difference of $6,750! This places realtors in an ethically difficult position. They’re expected to present properties neutrally despite vastly differing commission amounts. As a realtor, it’s difficult to avoid encouraging your clients to buy a building where the seller offers more commission, whether consciously or unconsciously.


Realtor or Investor?

Conflicted motivations aren’t the only thing to be aware of. How much do you know about the qualification process for becoming a realtor? It has nothing to do with investing. Many agents are great at making deals but they may not know whether a property is a good investment. While they can negotiate and fill out contracts competently, most residential realtors don’t know much about cash flow statements, leases, or tenant issues. 

When selecting an agent. You’re going to need to pick someone who knows rental property. Learn how to select an agent. 


Learn more about being a mindful landlord, get your copy now.

How to Manage Contractors When Investing in Real Estate

Who doesn’t have a horror story about dealing with contractors?

Getting gouged by greedy and incompetent construction men is almost a right of passage for investors.


The Mason From Hell 

My top debacle happened shortly after I closed on my third property. It was early in my Real Estate career and cash was tight. The building inspection report had mentioned an issue with the brick facade. I didn’t really understand the problem, but—I was sure of one thing—I didn’t have enough money to pay for expensive repairs. After getting three bids panic was setting in. Two quotes were for over ten thousand dollars! It was money I didn’t have.

The expensive firms gave me written estimates with technical drawings. They explained that to do the job properly, they had to dismantle the wall, install new anchors, and then rebuild the wall straight. “You can’t repoint brick that’s sagging,” they told me. 

The third guy gave me a verbal estimate that was a fraction of the cost of the other two. 

Which guy do you think I picked? 

We shook hands. I handed over my deposit and the cheap guy went to work.

He showed up on a Saturday with two guys in the dirty pickup. It struck me as strange that they were working on the weekend. Later I realized they did this to avoid city inspectors, who patrol job sites on weekdays. Of course, the “contractor” had neither a construction license nor a permit to carry out the work.   

Three hours after he’d started the job, the guy called me. “Re-pointing won’t solve your problem,” he said. “Brick is separating from the house. We need to take down the wall and rebuild it.”

He now wanted triple the price: the exact figure the other two contractors had quoted me! This guy had chucked in a low bid, knowing full well he wasn’t quoting the real price. With half my money in his pocket, the crooked mason was suckering me for more cash to do the job right. With no written contract, I couldn’t even argue about what was involved.

“Get lost,” I told him. “I’ll get someone else to finish the job.”

“I’m not leaving without the rest of my money,” he said.

I drove off in a huff. A few hours later, I found the mason and his two buddies parked in front of my house. As I tried to get in, they blocked my path. It was a bad situation.

In the end, after a shouting match in the street, I paid them for three-quarters of the job even though their work was useless. After calling back one of the more reputable guys, I paid for the job twice. The expense went on my line of credit, and it took me a year to pay it off.


Do It Right The First Time

Dealing with contractors can be a major challenge. Maintaining and repairing properties is expensive, and therefore anxiety-inducing. Construction attracts all sorts: from the expensive and highly competent to the fly-by-night and dishonest. Add this to the fact that at least initially—we, the investors—don’t fully understand the work we’re subcontracting out. 

Who fully grasps plumbing, electricity, masonry, roofing, drainage, and HVAC the day they close on their first property?! 

For me, the main issue when dealing with repairs has been the learning curve of knowing whether the intervention proposed is the right one. Often, different contractors propose slightly different solutions. If we don’t know fully grasp the principles at work in maintaining something, it’s hard to know which intervention is the right one.

Don’t despair! There are things you can do to minimize the headache and uncertainty and to educate yourself before you award expensive contracts. 


How Not to Get Hood-Winked

Here is a list of do’s and don’ts that will save you from the mistakes I made early in my career. 

  1. Always get more than one quote. Make sure the estimates are detailed and that each line item is properly explained. You’ll want to compare pricing, but you also want to understand the solution being quoted.
  2. Consult Uncle Google. If you want to know the state-of-the-art way to repair something, do a little research. Many construction firms post blog articles that explain the proper way to repair and maintain building systems. Do your homework before awarding a big contract!
  3. If you don’t completely understand the construction principles behind the work being done, make the contractor explain them. Get technical drawings. Make each contractor walk you through the proposed solution. Asking questions also serve to gauge overall competence and willingness to take time with you, as well as the quality of the proposed solutions.
  4. Compare the quotes. What are the differences? Are all the contractors quoting the same solution? Are you comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges? Be aware that the cheapest price might not address the whole problem.  
  5. Make sure the contractor is licensed. (The license number should appear on the quote.)
  6. If there are any changes along the way, make sure the contractor amends the original quote in writing. You always need to have up-to-date documentation reflecting what’s been done. This will serve not only to guarantee the work but also to protect you if anything goes wrong.
  7. Define your payment terms. This is a big one! Insist that an amount be paid on completion (ideally as large an amount as possible). This ensures the contractor doesn’t get fully paid until everything is done to your liking and all the debris is taken away. 
  8. Get referrals when you can. Consult other landlords in the neighbourhood or fellow investors before you ask Yelp or Facebook. What specialized firms have your investor colleagues used? How was their experience? Networking is a great way to find honest, reliable contractors.

Take Your Time

Whatever you do, don’t rush the process of awarding big construction projects. 

  • Focus on getting it right, not just getting the best price.
  • Take the time to understand what’s getting repaired and how. 
  • If you’re ignorant of the construction principles involved, learn about what you’re paying for. 
  • Get a feel for how contractors respond to you. Do they take the time to explain things properly? Return your phone calls? Show up when they’re supposed to? Is their paperwork in order? 

Construction jobs can be unpredictable. You might know where certain repairs start but not where they end. Make sure the person handling the project is honest, polite, responsible, and easy to deal with.  Treat the quotation process like a job interview: let each contractor show you who he or she is.

And, a final word of advice, always gets everything in writing!


Learn more on how to become a successful landlord. But The Mindful Landlord Book here.

Related articles:

Do’s and Don’t of Selecting an Agent

How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Find‌ ‌a‌ ‌Real‌ ‌Estate‌ ‌Agent‌ ‌that‌ ‌Adds‌ ‌Value‌

How to Manage Contractors When Investing in Real Estate

How to Make A Multi-Year Maintenance Plan For Your Buildings

5 Secrets of Effective Networking for Real Estate Investors

Should I Purchase A Single-Family Home?