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REIN A.L.I.F.E. Weekend in Review

by Andrew C. MacDonald on October 6, 2009

How I Invested My Weekend

When I nearly cut myself off from the outside world for 3 days at a time, I inevitably get a few questions about where I went. This past weekend was one such example as I immersed myself into The Real Estate Investment Network’s A.L.I.F.E. weekend. Although the acronym stood for Advanced Landlording and Investing Fundamentals Expo, as Don Campbell said, the event was more about "getting a life."

Friday

Beginning on Friday night with the monthly REIN meeting, myself and the other attendees of the event got a glimpse into what we were in for. Here I’ll offer a brief overview of Friday night’s main events.

Friday evening started off with Gregory Klump offering the crowd an update on Canadian economic fundamentals. As the Chief Economist of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Greg was able to share some great insights into the current economic slump and offer an expert opinion on where interest rates might be heading and when.

Kieran Trass of TellMeTheTime.com was the next presenter, and offered some insight into where Canada, and more specifically the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) currently sit in the real estate cycle.

Russell Westcott followed with some motivational antics which were quite enjoyable, and Peter Kinch provided a fantastic update on some programs Canadian banks are offering for investment property financing with plenty of details for everyone in the room.

As the final presenter, Don R. Campbell released the newly updated Top Ontario Investment Towns 2010-2014 for the first time at the Friday night meeting. The new top 10 towns for 2010 to 2014 are:

  1. Technology Triangle (Kitchener, Waterloo & Cambridge)
  2. Hamilton
  3. Simcoe Shores (Barrie & Orillia)
  4. Brampton
  5. Durham Region (Whitby, Pickering, & Ajax)
  6. Ottawa
  7. Brantford
  8. Toronto
  9. Vaughan
  10. Whitchurch-Stouffville

The research focuses on the economic fundamentals that drive property values. These towns are selected based on their ability to create positive cash flow, rather than price appreciation alone.

Saturday

The first full day of the event kicked off at 8:30am on Saturday morning. To get the energy level up, Steffany Hanlen (an inspirational speaker) spoke to the group on winning. She encouraged us to set our intentions for the weekend and outline some action steps to ensure we get what we intend from the event.

Next up, Patrick Francey finished off the morning with some valuable insights as he spoke on "Treating Your Real Estate Investing Like a Business."

During Saturday’s afternoon session, Don R. Campbell provided a wealth of landlording tips to help investors market their properties to the right tenants, filter those tenants, and keep the good ones. This was followed by a Landlording Panel in the evening which fielded audience questions related to the topic.

Saturday evening featured an Overcoming Obstacles panel where some veteran REIN Members shared incredible stories of the obstacles they’ve overcome to get where they are today.

Sunday

Sunday morning began with a punch as Philip McKernan delivered a stunning presentation on "The Power of Confidence". I really enjoyed Philip’s talk and captured some ideas to apply in my own life. Others in attendance seemed to enjoy his speech as much as I did, and we ended up sending Philip off with a standing ovation.

Patrick Francey followed with a great presentation on Time Management. The presentation was tailored to the specific needs of real estate investors, and again, I gained some valuable tips to manage my own time better.

Sunday afternoon was my favourite part of the weekend as Russell Westcott addressed raising capital. As most real estate investors soon find out, finding funds for the next deal is usually a limiting factor on how quickly they can expand their portfolio. Russell presented material from his own Joint Venture Secrets program with a lot of practical tips for everyone in the room.

Peter Kinch provided some additional mortgage industry updates, followed by Mark Garrett of Right Side Capital Corp who spoke on "Raising Capital in Canada". Mark discussed some of the methods of raising capital, and which would be considered "securities" and be subject to regulation. He also shared some tips on how everyone can stay out of trouble while raising capital to expand their real estate portfolios.

The event was concluded with the Raising Capital panel where another set of veteran REIN Members fielded audience questions on the subject. The stories and tips shared by each member of the panel were quite valuable, and I’m glad I was taking notes.

My Thoughts

The first thing I was impressed with was the networking opportunities. I’ve always tried to surround myself with like minded people, and those who have done what I’d like to do. As I met several REIN members, I realized that most of them owned not just one, but several properties. I’ve never seen a group with so many people walking the talk, and that left an impression.

Some people aren’t big on personal development "fluff" as they’d call it, but in my opinion it is as important, if not more important than the specific investing knowledge shared during the weekend. Believing in yourself, and having the confidence to go after your dreams serves as the foundation on which to build a successful real estate investment portfolio.

At any other real estate event I’ve attended, I’ve been ambushed with sales pitches for books, CDs, coaching programs, and all kinds of materials I don’t want or need. After REIN’s A.L.I.F.E. weekend, I actually came home with the knowledge and contacts I need to buy my first investment property.

The whole weekend, I managed to push my comfort zone. One of my intentions I set on Saturday morning was to meet Don Campbell. After taking a photo for another member with Don, I used the opportunity to introduce myself to Mr. Campbell. Maybe its just a coincidence (although I have a feeling it wasn’t), but by setting that intention on Saturday morning, an opportunity presented itself and made it extremely easy for me to take action at the right time. I’ve now set some clear intentions for my investment goals, and look forward to the opportunities which will present themselves as I work towards those goals over the coming months.

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