Alfonso Salemi: Hello, REITE club nation. It's another episode of The REITE club podcast. I'm Alfonso Salemi and I am here with my amazing co-host, Sarah Larbi.
Sarah Larbi: Let's bring in Robby Clark. Absolutely amazing. Has 200 plus doors, has done amazing. He's got a great story. Made it. Lost everything. Made it again. He's got businesses super awesome, determined, and has so much perseverance.
I'm excited about this one. This is super motivational and what do you say? Shall we play the recording?
Alfonso Salemi: Let's do it. You guys are gonna love this one.
Sarah Larbi: I am excited. Robby, welcome to the show. How are you?
Robby Clark: I'm doing very well. How about yourself?
Sarah Larbi: Good. So I've actually wanted to have you on the podcast for a while. You are super successful. You've really built a great business from the ground up. For those listeners, the REITE club nation that doesn't know who you are or what you do, gives us a 30,000 foot view.
Robby Clark: Okay, cool. I actually grew up in the entertainment business. When I was younger, I had nothing to do with business and didn't really have a formal education because of that Had about six or seven credits in high school and the first two were gym and art.
I had a late start into business in just the education side of it in general. So I had to go up and be a moderately successful Canadian actor and make a bunch of money and then spend all my money and lose everything in order to come out the other side, right?
At about 21, 22 I had lost everything and then really started my education and learning. In real estate and business in general at about 23, 24 years old. And then started out slowly, bought my first house at 25 or 26. It was a $127,000 property in St. Catharines. It was a duplex. And we went in there and kind of learned the ropes I'd learned from Rich Dad Port at, that's where I first got my start in and really having the passion for real estate.
That was about eight years ago now. And basically since then I've just been improving the craft of find, finding undervalued homes, renovating them, and then trying to recoup the value in the end and it's an imperfect science as anybody who invests, knows. And the first one worked out pretty good for us, which means the second one was obviously terrible, which is where we got most of our lessons from. You want to try to lose early because then you respect it a little bit more and then you treat it like a business or you quit.
Like most people do, if they have a really busy life outside of that, and then they get into real estate thinking it's gonna be easy. And it's not, some, sometimes friction can break some people, but if you go through that, you're gonna improve.
Then basically the past seven years has been improving on that initial model, which was always to try to find undervalued properties, renovate them and recoup some of the capital from increasing the value in that area.
Alfonso Salemi: Very unique to our REITE Club Nation and probably. One of maybe the only people on the podcast that maybe had a background in entertainment and acting and those kinds of things, and, not having formal education and all that kind of stuff. And then you made it sound really natural that you gravitated towards real estate.
What was the draw? What made you get started in real estate? Like you said, you had made money, you lost money, and then you had like a fork in the road to make that decision. So what was it that made you get started in real estate?
Robby Clark: I think mentally I was really spoiled as a kid. And what I mean by that is it's not even Like I had done well as a teenage actor in Canada and made seven figures, obviously taxed and all that fun jazz. But that working with crazy people like you, Woody Harrelson, Emilio Vez, Charlie Sheen, Olson twins, just a whole array of people who at that time were, nineties, early two thousands were just like, Everybody knew them.
You meet these people and then you realize that they're just people themselves, right? So even in entertainment, when I was younger, cause I wasn't really in high school, I went for a few semesters, but when I was there, it was just to, to show off. And, I thought I was, I definitely thought I was too cool for school.
What that did though has also changed my reality. I had always thought by the time I was 21, 22, and it was more of a conceited side of me at the time, was like, ah, I'll get a private chat. I'll be on this feature film, I'll do whatever. And I was always confident in myself, although I knew nothing about business or money or anything at the time.
I always had these high expectations for myself. So when, when I lost the passion for acting and lost my money with it and then had to go to serving tables, which was a huge pride hit to me. Even though I did it because most people still looked at me. You were in my school and were like, you were on tv.
What are you doing while you're serving tables now? And for me, although I was willing to do that, just like I was willing to put out door hangers, for years on doors and to try and promote my business and all that, I was willing to sacrifice and take that pride hit. I always knew where I wanted to get back to. And, I've started a few companies. I had a healthy vending company. I had a landscaping company, which is still running. I've got a meal prep company. But once I started getting into real estate, I realized if you build a scalable model, there's no market like it.
In Canada alone, real estate is a seven 8 trillion market. It's literally the dictator of wealth across the civilized world everywhere. It determines whether a city is middle class poor, upper middle class, everything is real estate, even though people don't always realize that, and it's very tough to get.
A lot of cash flow from real estate as well too, right? So long term, if you're looking at it, growing into a medium or large scale business, right? So anything I get into, I'm always setting the bar much higher than I even know how to get to. And I think not knowing those problems sometimes beforehand is what allows me to think that way.
Then, being ferocious about figuring out the problems when they are there, right? Because you can set boundaries and you don't have anything to stop you. I have a lot of smart friends who work with us and stuff who went to MIT t or worked at Goldman and did all these things.
One of the things I noticed with them is even if they're successful when they went to university and they're the smart guys in their class, they're still at the top 20%. Of people that they're around. So even though they're very smart, if they're getting an 80 and there's 15 people ahead of them and they're in a class of 200 people, they still feel normal.
They don't feel special. And at the end of the day, everybody's special if they just realize it, anybody can do anything. And I think that's a key factor that everybody misses in any part of life. No matter what I did when I changed away from acting and started training heavily in mixed martial arts, I know you can't tell now, but there was a period of my life where I wanted to be a UFC fighter.
That was my only goal. And I went to LA , I trained with Joe Rogan, I trained with UFC fighters, and I was like, I'm gonna be a fighter. And, my agents and managers at the time were like, no, obviously not. And there wasn't a lot of money in it. And I just loved the sport, but I always set a really high expectation for myself.
I thought that real estate was the vehicle. If you do it right, where if you really scale it, there's nothing to stop you. So even in my meal, I actually had this conversation with Sarah through Instagram like a couple weeks ago. I love the company, but for us to even approach a medium size business, we need to be in every province in Canada.
Like it's, the mark is just not big enough. So you're dealing with something where it's okay, I see a 200 million annual market, and then how many people are in it, this, that, this is nothing. What is the manufacturing industry worldwide, I think is 12 or 13 trillion. Canada's a tiny country, but we have 33 million people and just the real estate alone is over half the manufacturing industry in the entire world.
It's so huge. It's the vehicle for the middle class in general. This is what governments and societies and the people running this have decided. This is a wealth creator. A hundred and it's not designed to do it the way. It's designed for everybody to get in there, but if you understand the games, cause that's what you're playing markets, everything, it's a game. I think it's just an incredible way to grow passive income or if you wanna do it as an active investor, it's a great way to do that as well.
Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. So you've said a lot of stuff, we've gotta dissect some of it, but I will say it does take drive and it takes determination and it takes the ability to get back up and pick yourself back up because you've got business. And just as an idea, just so people understand, like what does your portfolio, like your real estate portfolio consist of, you're not like a small, you're not a small fish. At this point.
Robby Clark: We're about 250, 260 doors right now. But we're always renovating as well too, and I work with a few partners, so I'm basically the operating managing partner. So I'd done this by myself for years and was like, you know what? I don't need partners, or I don't, just bald headed to it. I ran my construction company a little loosely and a lot of projects did really well, but because we were doing well overall, I wasn't looking at the things that weren't working and that's started to build and build.
Then it came a time where you buy homes and then you have to sell them, to pay for your staff. Cause I always treated it like a business. Like I brought on a full-time property manager when I had six properties. Cause I'm like, I'm not dealing with tenants.
Sarah Larbi: I wanna take a step back though and because you've got a lot of businesses, you've got a lot of property. You're doing some great things like. And somebody that's listening to this right now, a REITE club nation is like, how does this guy do all of this? And it's pretty impressive that you essentially made it, then you lost everything, then you waited on tables. That's very humbling as well.
Then you got back up and you started again, and you've built it bigger, but how are you overseeing everything too, and I know there's gonna be some ups and downs, but are you delegating a lot? Are you, like you mentioned, hiring a property manager. Like what, how do you manage all that?
Robby Clark: We've got a really good team now. That's something I've learned a lot over the past year and a half, cause I almost lost everything again a couple years ago. Just with friction and then a legal battle from let's just say an unloyal employee, right? That happens when you're not paying attention, right?
It's not, you can give. It's nothing about that. It's just if you're not paying attention and dotting your cues and eyes, things are gonna happen. Yeah, delegation is key. And that's the one thing I've always been good at, maybe because I didn't go to school. I don't pretend that I'm good at anything.
I know what I'm good at, I know what I'm not good at and I don't do what I'm not good at. Like I said, when hiring a property manager, like we definitely, we have two now. We definitely need full-time property management, but, You don't need it at five homes, but I knew I didn't want to do it. And so we have, property managers, site supervisors, site coordinator, project manager, and recruiter. There's about 10 to 12 management staff, including a full-time lawyer who helps with everything we're doing.
Then we're always trying to hire more when we need to. Cause we've got about like 30 32 active sites right now, and we operate more like a management company than we do anything else. So I used to have 14 people in my construction company and then we'd realize, you get to the final two weeks and then they're there for eight weeks and now you're losing money on the project.
We found working with a good network of sub trades is much better. We do have in-house skies. But whatever our in-house guys do, we want them to do it cheaper than what a sub trade would do it for. And then it really just helps us with maintenance too, for ongoing tenants. If there's any issues we can call our guys to go do it, as opposed to, waiting on quotes for sub trades.
It truly is just working with a good team even on the engineers side. I don't pretend to do things that I'm not good at, and I will tell you I know you do a great job. And I've made jokes about it before without even knowing Sarah. I'm like, I guarantee you she's more organized than me to start.
I guarantee you a lot of people are in that. And that's a good thing. I make a lot of mistakes that I'm very honest about and I put so much trust into people that I work with. So I'll go all in. If I make a decision, I'm all in on that person, and then it takes them something really bad happening in order.
For typically for me to realize that it's not working right. But I just put a lot of trust and faith in people because that's the only way I can get to the next stage. And when I find that I'm doing too much of something that I don't want to be doing, it's always limiting. And then when I free up that time and get a little daydreaming time in I'm able to think about the much bigger picture as cliche as it is.
Alfonso Salemi: I love how you said that. And I think, that's something to make a point for the REITE Club Nation is that you're gonna go out and try something and you said, I don't need to know all the answers, or I don't need to have all of it figured out is that I have that big goal at the end, and I'm gonna find that path where you're gonna go up and down on the way there and learn along the way.
Not being afraid to make a mistake. Some people never achieve those great successes because they're scared of failure. Whereas versus your mindset is, Hey, I'm gonna go and try it. I know I'm gonna fail. I don't know this. I don't know that, but I'm gonna bring the best people in those particular areas that I need.
Like you said, property managers, lawyers, the different people that are on your team that you can go to put in the trust. Obviously you have to vet them and look at other people and interview and all that kind of stuff, but once you've given 'em that trust, it's here you go. Let's go and let's tinker along the way.
I think that's a big point for the REITE club nation to take back is don't be afraid to make that mistake because you think you're gonna fail. You're never gonna succeed if you don't try. And yeah that's awesome advice.
Robby Clark: You're absolutely gonna make the mistakes and that's the thing, right? It's don't change the goal, change the plan to get to the goal. Read any book. Read Shoe Dog, from Nike. Read one of Elon Musk's books. Read any of Richard Francis's books, and you're gonna see these guys have nothing but problems. And if you're going through a hard time, Read one of their books cause you're gonna feel like your problems are nothing. You're not dealing with anything wrong.
Sarah Larbi: Then here you get the bigger your problems become.
Robby Clark: A hundred percent right. And it's what have you done where you didn't make it when you rode a bike? Were you on a two-wheeler to start? Like you're gonna make a mistake in literally everything that you do and you're gonna get better if you keep doing it and that's it. It's just people and even the testing system in school, I'm sure you guys, understand this. That kind of deflects away from being able to make mistakes cause you're like, oh, I have to be perfect. It's no, you don't need to be perfect. If you try to be perfect, you're not gonna do well.
Sarah Larbi: Don't get me started on the school system. I think it's just so backwards. This is, but you are the perfect example. We probably all are like, I was not a student. Granted in university, I stepped up my game. But in high school I'm like, What is the point of all of this?
Where are you getting taught? How to properly not have to work for 30 years? Like they're teaching you how to be employees and how to abide by this little tiny square box. And it doesn't work for people that have bigger ideas and bigger dreams and bigger goals. If you just wanna coast and be comfortable in life.
Go to school and get a JOB. Like at this point, I've actually let, I've given my notice to my job. And it's because of real estate. It's because of the fact that I can thank you. But it's because of the fact that real estate came into my life that like I have that opportunity and you decide to step outta the box.
But those people like us that may not have had the best grades are probably ahead of people that had the best grades back in high school, because what are you gonna do with a plus in math? Sorry, not much.
Alfonso Salemi: I just thought of a question because you're very specific to your background too, because, you hear that, oh I'm gonna go be an actor in Hollywood, right? Or, Hey, I want to be a big real estate investor. I'm sure you've had A long list of the naysayers or the quote unquote, the haters. Why are you doing that, Robby? That's not how you're supposed to do it.
You're supposed to do it like this, right? So maybe for those people that are just trying to get started, or, they've found the REITE club or they found some real estate investing books and they want to get going, and their friends, their family, the people that are their circle of influence right now. Are saying, no, that's not for you. You can't do that. I'm sure you never heard that before Robbie?
Robby Clark: I don't really listen to what any, I have my own version of reality that I live in, which is, More of a simulation theory. And I think that helps me cope with my ideas. But I think anybody is just, don't listen to them. And again, people like to take advice from people who aren't doing it right because they don't understand, and those are the people closest to them. I've always had a really supportive family growing up. So that was one thing that was good for me.
My mom grew up in entertainment. My dad was in the Chicago Opera, so they like the artistic side, which is typically more supportive because it's, About creativity that was always there for me. So I was never shy of confidence because of that, which is good. But you can do that yourself. I think, when I first started learning I've always had a good group of friends. When I first started my education, my friends were, my audio books, my friends were literally, that's it.
I would plow through books, paperbacks or audiobooks all the time. Audiobooks were good because when you could drive, you could go there and that. That sheltered me. Those were my friends. So my friends were telling me to buy homes, build large businesses and try to see what the government can offer for large industries, whether it be renewables, anything.
That was what I surrounded myself with. Ultimately, you need to surround yourself with that because you will get that. Most people will think it's risky when, really the real risk is waiting for alternative effects or the economy to shut down like this, to really see what kind of situation you're in.
We always shelter ourselves from reality. We get two, three takes at this life and we don't, right? Yeah. And so I think that's the biggest thing is, if you have that decision, don't let other people. Tell you otherwise, and then surround yourself with books.
That's the best thing you can do. If you have a great group of people around you who are already doing this, great, but you probably don't if you haven't done it yet, in which case, be religious to your reading, your books, your education, and surround yourself with those same people and you're gonna feel like them as well too.
Sarah Larbi: Hundred percent agree. That's how I got started into real estate investing. I literally started Googling how people get wealthy real estate, coming back over, and I started listening to podcasts and reading books. And that's because originally, I didn't even know other investors. So you gotta learn somehow.
If you don't have, if the people around you then step out of that box and just like you said, audio, books, podcasts, all that stuff. Right now, like you mentioned as well, like the economy, there's ups and downs. Like how, cuz you've got a lot, right? You've got businesses, you've got the properties. How are you?
Robby Clark: We just got a golf course too.
Sarah Larbi: The downside as well, like how are you doing that and what does that look like? Because we never know, right? Tomorrow. Things can happen. We can all get all locked down again. Who knows?
Robby Clark: How are you? Yeah. Yeah. So I keep it simple. As I buy pretty still, we have some commercial buildings, but a lot of small properties and do work on them. So my investment philosophy is the same I had when starting out, which I think is great for any investor starting out if I like to invest in flat markets.
You'll see what my philanthropy approach to investing is. But really, I like going into cities where the middle class is not there, where the markets have been flattened. It's been depressing for a long time because you're basically buying an undervalued asset, especially in a place like Canada where vacancy is low everywhere.
It's not a demand issue. We have incredible demand, and this is gonna increase it because a lot of people have been unable to build during this time. In Canada, you have this anomaly, which is, low vacancy, high cap rate cities, which doesn't exist in the states unless, you know you want to be collecting your rent with a gun or you're dealing with higher vacancy.
We have a beautiful city or country to invest in these small cities where you can actually make money. And you're protected from the upside, you're protected from the downside. I look at capital appreciation as the third form of wealth in real estate. Number one being equity pay down's always gonna be your biggest, but number one being your net cash flows.
What are you doing there? Then your equity pays down. I. And then the third is capital appreciation, because that's the gambling one. That's the risk. And if you look at the GTAE, like the difference between major metropolitan cities and the outskirts is they'll always go up to a spec price. It goes beyond the price of labor in lumber, now we're like, you know what?
This land is worth a million dollars because a lot of people wanna move here. And that is, A total disconnect from where the actual price of build is. Whereas if you go to the outskirts, you can't even get a new, the builders can't even afford to go out there yet. Because my take right now in Canada, if a duplex %2000 square foot duplex isn't $600,000 or more.
The city's not quite at a middle class state yet, because that means a developer couldn't go in there and sell it for a profit, which means the homes have less money, there's less equity flowing in the economy. There's less money going to the small businesses and that's just how it is. So I think going out to these outskirts areas where your cap rate is gonna be a little bit higher, where you know you're below the price of Bill.
If there's a recession in a flat market, what happens to the market? Probably nothing. It was a flat market, but the GTA in the upper middle class areas always went down first. The wealthy areas always go down first. In fact, in 2018, I think you guys remember when there was. Little stagnant, the competition rose up drastically in St.
Catherine's all of a sudden because people realized they weren't getting capital appreciation and they needed to rush for cash flow. So what was bad in the upper middle class areas where most people were like, this is a safe investment. We actually got a 10, 11% increase in the outskirts areas.
Again, if there was a recession right now, which you know, people are debating. What could happen? St. Catherine's has gone up in, in the outskirt areas still during this time. And even if it were to go down, I know it's not gonna go down as far as. Toronto and ultimately you shouldn't care because your goal is to be cash flowing on these properties so you can ride out those waves even and when they happen.
Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. And I, and that's why we are like, we always emphasize cash flow first, and it doesn't have to be an astronomical amount, but just make sure that your rents cover all of your expenses so that you can take that up and down. And this is why I'm a big proponent in those B markets as well.
You don't have to be. Five, six hours necessarily away. But like you said, St. Catherine's, there's Branford, there's Peterborough, there's a lot of areas that still are granted. There's a lot of investors and there's a lot of people looking at them at this point in time. But there's still a lot of areas even within a somewhat close proximity to big City that still make sense.
Cash flow first, mortgage, paydown, and then ride the way. But I'll tell you that a lot of those small markets have done better, in my opinion. When you look at the ups and downs, then. Like the Toronto's or the Markhams or the Vons or all of those highly priced places already. People will always need a place to live.
People will always need a place to rent. And I think the more that we have immigration coming in, we've got, population increases. People just need to move further and further out. So those areas, they're definitely gonna see that wave come through. And some of them are already there.
Some of them are probably a couple years away, five years away, 10 years away. But, get in there. Before it happens. And this is why when I was in Braford I'm laughing right now. I'm still writing it and it's still got room to grow. Some properties I was buying at two hundred, high ones.
They're not that price anymore. And granted, like you could still find some decent stuff regardless. Today's dollar or price in 10 years from now, even if it's four or 500,000, In 10 years from now, it'll be a lot higher. Start planning now and just get a little bit of cash flow. It doesn't have to be thousands of dollars of cash flow, but a little bit. It'll accumulate over time.
Robby Clark: If you start it's a funny part. Once you start, you're good. Like you don't have to, I talk to people all the time about how to passively invest. The first thing I recommend is if you're getting a property, find a really good property management company if you're not gonna do it in-house.
Cause that's important, but it just builds, it's like an automatic savings account with equity, if you do get the appreciation, you can borrow against tax. Re there's just so many advantages to that. But you're absolutely right. Like what Canada needs is a hundred, 200, 300 million people. We are a hundred, 200 years away from being able to do that. We're the second largest land mass. We are the most sparse developed country in the world. So the most underdeveloped developed country in the entire world, period. There's, can't argue with it. So we know what the government wants and that's more people here.
We're immigrating not during these past few months, but immigrating more than we're building. And you know how long it takes to build something. So if we got 250, 200,000 units scheduled to be built and we got. 270,000 legal immigrants coming in, not to mention probably 50, 75,000 illegal immigrants at the same time, and we're already under 2% vacancy. We have supply and demand issues. That's it. And we will for a long time.
Alfonso Salemi: Absolutely. And you guys mentioned like the secondary markets and with our rent to own programs, we work in those markets as well too, and see the growth in those and the number of people that want to own their own home.
I think even before the pandemic and all that kinda started, it's more self-employed. The people in the population are becoming more self-employed, not reliant on an income or doing their own jobs. And now the other factor that's adding to that is, like you said, Robbie the land mass, we have so much, people don't necessarily wanna be on top of each other anymore.
They want their own little space. They want to, they're willing to go further out because maybe now they are gonna be able to work from home or one or two days a week only, that they'll have to go into a certain office or location. Yeah, a lot of attractive features. So when you go into a market, like you guys were talking about, what are some of the things are you looking for?
What's the closest big city? What are the economic drivers? What are maybe the top three things that if I said, Hey Robbie, I'm looking at this city, and you would look at it right away and say yes or no. What are some of the determining factors that you would look at for a specific area?
Robby Clark: I would as a beginning investor, I'd say yes to any of the cities that Sarah just mentioned. But mine, honestly, I was in St. Catherine's cause that's all I could afford at the time. I knew the gist of it. I knew that. Robert Kiasaki says if you buy a home and you can rent and make money in cash flow, you can do well. So I was actually looking in Hamilton initially, but I saw a lot of the lead piping and things that I wasn't familiar with there, and I was like, this looks like he's gonna be too expensive to renovate.
Alfonso Salemi: Again, if I came to you, if I'm a new investor and I'm going and looking for a market, right? And now you're presented with the things that you would say. Would give you the thumbs up or would say, no, you know what, maybe let's look for another city because it doesn't have these features or factors.
Robby Clark: In Canada, you're pretty fortunate. If you want to be super simplistic about it and just look at the cash flow, right? Because the rest of the factors you can go, okay, is there crime here? What part of the city am I buying in whatever. If you can manage to at least pull about $600, Per a hundred thousand dollars in property, and this is not the metric I use for all, because Subbury should be much higher. St. Catherine's areas will be, but $600 per a hundred thousand dollars in property. Meaning if you have a million dollars in property, you're gonna bring in $6,000 a month. You know that comfortably, as long as you're not on huge privates and whatnot, that you're gonna cash flow relatively well.
It's a generic guideline. It's not something I use, but for beginners going in, look at that number cause I get approached by so many people being like, I can buy this. In Oakville. It's a new build, it's 1.2 and I think I could rent it for 3,800 a month. And you're like, Okay, we'll run your numbers cause you're losing money.
I don't know what to tell you. And so even just looking at that first, because in Canada you're pretty safe. Like Branford, Oshawa, you can sometimes, if you have a good agent, again, maybe stay away from certain areas. We go everywhere just because you're playing with the numbers in that area.
Make sure you're cash flow first, because in Canada you have a pretty safe environment for investing. You really do. And the further away you go, if you're focusing on cash flow the less increase you've had, but the less fluctuations you've had. You're already buying into something you couldn't possibly build it for.
Make sure that the cashflow is there and that'll already mean that you're outside of the GTA. If that's the case. And then from there, you gotta do your research on where you're buying. Try to find a good agent in the city if you don't have one that you really trust. And do your research and get after it. And don't be afraid to make a mistake. Get that first one done, and you're gonna learn a lot from there.
Sarah Larbi: Absolutely. And that was a quick rule of thumb, but I wanna go back to the 600 for every hundred thousand dollars a property is worth. So in the US you hear about the 1% rule a lot. I'll tell you, it's very hard to get the 1% rule in the GTA or within Ontario, unless you're doing student rentals or you are doing some conversions and you're setting your own rents and you're putting in your own tenants. Yeah.
You're essentially saying you're looking at least a 0.6 above, and then you're, there's other calculations and stuff like that to do, but as a very minimum, you just take, say something is worth 200 grand, you'd expect 1200 as the rents minimum, as an example or more, is that what you're saying?
Robby Clark: Correct. So listen, if I go to Sudbury I'm looking at 1%, right? And, but a lot of people don't wanna go that far and I don't want to discourage people who are looking and being like, oh, I went to Branford. It's a prime example. Branford is not gonna be $10,000 for a million in property. You might do seven. It really depends on what you could be less.
Sarah Larbi: Like between seven and eight, like the 0.7 to 0.8 is, And again, there's still other things that you wanna factor in, right? If you're paying utilities, not paying utilities. There's a lot of things we just as a basic rule of thumb you're probably not getting the 1% in Branford anymore unless it's something that you are creating.
Robby Clark: St. Catherine, seven, eight years ago. Definitely not now. So I'm only saying that to not discourage people because they're gonna be looking like, they'll have to look at something in between Windsor and wherever. Like I want the people, cause St. Catherine's is still a St. Patrick's, an amazing market. I don't want anyone buying there, but I would still recommend it if I'm not biased. Niagara's great. Wellens great. Branford is great. These are all great areas and if we do the 1%, they're gonna be venturing out further.
I don't wanna discourage people from investing because these markets, even at that rate, typically there's more factors to it, but still under the price it costs to build. How much would it cost me to buy this land, pay the development fees and build this property and then resell it for a profit after I'm paying taxes on it? That's a true cost of what it should be on the market and those markets. Branford and them still aren't there.
Alfonso Salemi: Great points. And I think that's the thing. I think the key that we're trying to underscore here for everyone is that we need to treat it like a business. If we were selling coffees, okay. And there's certain companies that sell coffees every day and if you're sell, buying your coffee for a dollar and you're selling it for 50 cents, how long can you be in business? How long can you do it? How long can it sustain it? I know, in real estate we're lucky cause we have equity, paydown, appreciation.
Those are the things that we can't control. Appreciation is something we can't control. We can indicate, okay, there's more population coming, we can predict that it's gonna come, that no one has that crystal ball. But if you're cash flowing and you have a property that even if you're making a hundred bucks, 300 bucks, 600 bucks, whatever that is, that's a profitable business.
Over time, that's going to duplicate and repeat. And I think that's where you are able to be successful is that you said, Hey, I did the first one. It went really great. We tried a second one, then go as well. We learned a lot. And then as you get that knowledge base, now you're gonna be a little bit more lean in moving forward and being more confident in what the type of projects or deals that you're working on.
Robby Clark: One quick note I wanted to add there. That's why I do tell people this all the time. I can teach somebody how to become a millionaire and wealthy in real estate much easier than I could try to teach 'em what I'm doing. I've tried to create a business out of it because I wanna have over a billion in holdings I want to create, and it's not even for.
I want a billion in holding because of money. It really isn't about the money because I've overspent on staff my whole way through. I've always been tight, even when trying to grow. It's about growing something large. So it's not Hey, I want this figure because I want x amount of money. I don't have a target of money that I want in my bank account.
In fact, less is better. I would feel more anxious having a few hundred grand cash just sitting there for a long period of time than I would a few hundred thousand in gold and silver or artwork or other things. Cause that's just my philosophy on cash in general.
I think that if you can, anybody can be passively very successful in real estate, much easier than trying to even, you don't need three, four companies and 30 people to do it. You don't, Hey, a good partner like Sarah, she could do it all for you and you'll be successful, or you could try to do it on your own and you'll still have success.
You'll have some roadblocks. You might want some coaching to get your way through it so you can understand, because that's really what you're doing, whether you have a partner or coaching or anything, if you're paying to get past those roadblocks that you would not have. We're working a deal right now where we're looking to go with a VC who's very familiar in the industry and just worked with companies that have done 10x,20x what we've done. And it's what's the value in it for us? All those roadblocks that he had we're not gonna have to go through.
That's huge in itself. You could passively do it through hiring a good property management team, whether you're taking coaching on the side or reading yourself. You could be an active investor if you wanna have a business around it. But there's many ways to get in and it doesn't have to be as complex and so I don't want people to think, ah, this is how you need to set them up. Cause you don't, it's just the way I choose to run it.
I've got a buddy who has on roughly, I don't know what he has, but he does very well and he's the opposite of me, where I work with a lot of people and he likes to automate everything and he is, A marketing guy, and he is online, he's super analytical and that's amazing. And it works for him. It doesn't work for me, but all roads lead to Oz, right? So just find out what's in your comfort level and you can make it work.
Sarah Larbi: I would say too, it is just not an overnight thing, right? So if somebody's listening and thinking, oh my God, I wanna be, like Robby or Alfonso or Sarah and be millionaires. Like it took time, right? That first property, that second property, you're not gonna get there overnight and it's just one day you're gonna look back and you're like, you're gonna have spent 3, 4, 5, 6 years.
There's different strategies and stuff like that. And then you'll look back and be like okay, now that wheel is getting bigger, that snowball is getting bigger. You're gonna start to feel it, but it's not gonna happen the second you close onto your first property. There's definitely gonna be some things to do to get to that point.
Robby Clark: On that point, like that's a really big factor that people don't understand. That was one of the things where I say I was spoiled as a youth because I had the feeling of being rich and being able to go to bottle service and do whatever I wanted so that I know what it feels like to have a bunch of money and that doesn't do it all right. And I know what it feels like to have, certain levels of success and everyone's oh my God, you did all this.
When you look from your vantage point, you're like, yeah, but there's still a lot to be done, and it's not all sunshine and roses. You know what I mean? We have cash flow issues just as much as anybody else. And That's one of the things I say. We do set our goals higher, so I think ultimately that changes our brain to think about problems that solve different problems. But at the same time, just not putting those mental barriers up for yourself is gonna be A huge push forward. If that makes sense. I don't know if I got everything in there.
Alfonso Salemi: Exactly. And I think whether it's our own life journey, whether it's our real estate investing journey, our business journeys, our family journeys, we all individually have our own goals that we want to accomplish and set them. I think that's where really the start is what does it want to accomplish? Whether you're doing the birth strategy rent to own commercial investing, all the different. Aspects of this or, starting your own business, like you mentioned, landscaping, all these different things, right? What is that goal?
What does that ultimately, what does a day look like for you? That's gonna say, Hey, I'm happy I can look in the mirror. I did goodbye to people, people are happy with me, I'm working with people. And then work it backwards from there. Because, going and buying one property or five properties, or, 250 doors, that's not the goal.
That's not gonna be like, Hey, I got 250 doors. That's not gonna fulfill you. It's what all that does that's gonna allow you to say, Hey, I feel great. I've helped people. I've provided homes. I've returned and I've provided a good return for investors. We've created a good business, provided income and jobs for your staff and the people that are helping you grow.
I think that's the goal. People sometimes forget, and it's just about acquiring the next one and the next one, and oh, I got wrapped up in that. It was just about more, and now we got 50, now we want a hundred, and now we want 500. But it's like, what is it all gonna accomplish? What's at the bottom line doesn't show up on a balance sheet.
It's that feeling of, Hey, I've helped people, I've done good, and I'm able to do the things that I enjoy. And everybody's different. Everybody has different things of enjoyment, whether it's travel, whether it's charitable work, all different things that they can help other people. It's part of that human experiment, right?
This is exactly why we do this podcast, to talk to amazing people like you, to share those experiences so that you're not only getting it from your own perspective, but everybody else that has had it along those journeys. And if we can help people advance even just one inch forward from where they are today.
That's the whole goal of this, and we really enjoyed the conversation, but I think it's time that we get to our lightning round. What do you say? Are you ready for the lightning round, Robby?
Robby Clark: I am. Let's do it.
Sarah Larbi: All right. Awesome. Robby, first thing that comes to mind, question number one, what is the best advice that you have ever received from another investor or at a networking event?
Robby Clark: Reading audio books. That's first and foremost. Coming to your guys' events are great. You just said helping people. You guys help a ton of people. I was there I think a year or two, a couple years a while back, and I remember the growth that I saw in one year was ridiculous. And all of these people are just venturing in, but it's like setting off a bomb.
It's like crowdfunding, like you might be a guy doing your own thing, but setting off 10 people to do one or two who talk to somebody else to do one and one, you don't even know the impact you're having, right? It's incredible and even going to these areas, they're helping it.
I'll quickly trail on, I had this one area facer in St. Catharines. We once bought seven properties. Just to give you guys a quick example of how much help. What do you do when they invest here? The homes were averaging about 180. We wound up, getting a gross profit of say, a hundred thousand on resale.
Because at the time I was selling to pay for staff, we wound up almost doubling the area and had one of the neighbors come up to us who had been living there for 15 years. And it's Rob I knew you guys did seven homes on a few roads. Sold a few homes. Our home increased 150,000 in value. We just sold it.
We're retiring, we're moving to Florida, and I didn't do math. There's 500 homes in that area. I'm like, if each one raised by a hundred grand because of a couple home sales, a few home sales. Look at how much capital we just unlocked for everybody. So you guys don't even, I'm sure you're aware, but the intrinsic value you guys are doing by sharing this with people in the cities that need it most, because it's not Toronto that needs it. There's enough money there, right? In these cities that's unlocking capital that was never there before is really the most philanthropy thing that you guys can do.
Sarah Larbi: That's really cool. I actually have never thought about it that way, but thank you that is a really great way to put it.
Robby Clark: Yep. You're a philanthropist.
Alfonso Salemi: Awesome. Alright, so question number two of the lightning round. What is your favorite real estate investing resource?
Robby Clark: You know what it's like to skip realtor.ca. I know that's generic, but I'm there quite a bit . And it shades zillow.
Sarah Larbi: And Zillow. Okay, cool. Number three, what is the one attribute that has made you most successful?
Robby Clark: Perseverance. Yes. I won't quit.
Alfonso Salemi: Persevere. It's not, you know what? I just read it, I read a quote this morning. It's not the strength of the water that cuts through the rock. It's the persistence of it. The continual going at it, and not giving up. And you're a great example of that.
Robby Clark: So that's everything. That's all it is. Don't quit digging in China. You know what I mean? It's, that's it, that's everything. If you have the goal and you don't quit, you're gonna get it.
Alfonso Salemi: That's awesome. Last question of the lightning round. You're sitting in your backyard, you've got a nice sunny day. But, on a typical Sunday morning, what's, what are you doing to on a typical Sunday morning, what's Robby up to?
Robby Clark: On a typical Sunday morning, I am probably going to, in the summertime, going to Starbucks for a cold brew. And listening to an audiobook for an hour and doing some daydreaming, and then research and planning. My days are not very structured the way that most people would think. I need time to thank and do things and be open for appointments when I need them.
That's what works for me. So yeah, mine's pretty open. If you want to go to a barbecue on Sunday, I'd probably be there. But a lot of my morning routine is typically having coffee, getting my audiobook time in, even if it's a book I've already read coming up with some crazy ideas and then trying to implement from there.
Sarah Larbi: Absolutely, The wisest people say planning and thinking is the most important thing that you can do.
Robby Clark: I would think so. Yeah. It comes more and more true when you think about it, like I realize that more every year, I think.
Sarah Larbi: Awesome. Robby, where can the REITE Club Nation reach out if they want to find out more or contact you directly?
Robby Clark: I'm somewhat active on Instagram, so at Roby w Clark I do post some tips on videos and whatnot. A lot of people reach out to me there just for real estate advice. And so I connect through there. I've got a few different companies, but siddevelopments.Ca is our hub. We're starting to upload stuff onto, which gives a little breakdown of some of the managing companies involved in what we do. And those are probably, yeah the best ways.
Alfonso Salemi: Awesome. Robby, it's been a great conversation and thank you so much for being such an amazing supporter of the REITE club. Are there any last words of advice or anything that you want to share that maybe you didn't cover today with the REITE Club Nation? Because again, you are very successful. An amazing guy. Just a good all around person. Anything that you'd like to share with the
Robby Clark: REITE club?
I appreciate that. First off, I think you guys do an awesome job and you are great hosts here too. You guys did a great job. But then I would say again, for the people who are struggling right now, persevere for the people who haven't started, and for the people limiting themselves, put your goals higher because that's all it is.
You're gonna work just as hard to make a hundred K as if you want. You set the goal to a hundred million. That's just the truth. You're gonna get stressed. Your emotion levels only go to certain boundaries no matter what you're thinking about. So get after it. Don't quit. And raise your goals.
Sarah Larbi: Amazing. Great advice. Robbie, thank you for being on the show. It was a pleasure having you on. And thank you for sharing your knowledge and insights.
Robby Clark: Thank you so much guys. Have a great day.
Sarah Larbi: Robby is great. He's just super determined, super just driven. And you can see that, he is going, he's already doing big things, but like this is going to be somebody that I can see on the Forbes list at some point. He is going to make big things happen and he already has. But super motivational.
Alfonso Salemi: Yes, absolutely. And for those of you that are listening and you have some excuses or reasons why you think that this is not gonna work, or some hurdles that you've come up to and say, okay, this is hard now this is difficult guys. That's when the work starts. It's never easy. Everybody talks about overnight successes and yeah, overnight successes take 20 years, 30 years, even longer, right? And this is the real estate business. There is no getting rich quick. There is no instant money, fast money. This is work.
Then your passive income and real estate and all that kind of stuff. It takes the work, the systems, the knowledge to get into there. So we hope this podcast really inspired you to get to your goals and get to the dreams that you want to accomplish, and whether that's through. Whatever strategy, whether in hopefully real estate, is one of them because it has helped so many people. Really enjoyed that conversation.
Sarah Larbi: It's like that iceberg, when you think of the iceberg and then there's like successes and money and wealth at the top, and then the bottom of the iceberg, which is like way more stuff has all the problems, the uphill battles the, all the stuff, the time that it, you took the sacrifices.
People don't make it overnight. They will make it eventually in real estate. You hang on for long enough, you'll do okay. On the fundamentals of course, and buy on the cash flow. Just make sure your stuff covers itself. But at the end of the day, to me, this is the best type of investment in vehicles in order to create the most amount of millionaires, the most amount of wealth.
We're in a great position in Canada. It's a great country to be able to do that, so hopefully you guys enjoyed the podcast. Alfonso, thank you so much for being an amazing co-host. Again, week in and week out, REITE Club Nation. Thanks for tuning in. And don't forget, we are now online, thereiteclub.com. Check it out, add us, send us messages. Let's communicate there. Find me, I'm Sarah Larbi, and you can also reach out to Alfonso Salemi. Thanks so much, Alfonso. What do we say?
Alfonso Salemi: Absolutely, you can see you till next time and come grow with us.