Updated: May 14, 2018
I’ve been interested in real estate investment for as long as I can remember. When most teenagers were watching MTV, I was watching Income Property on HGTV. It’s safe to say that I love both the show and Scott McGillivray so I may be a little biased in this review. To help bring some objectivity to my experience of the seminar, I attended the event with a friend who has gone to other real estate investing seminars and who didn’t know who Scott McGillivray was.
Real estate is the most effective way to build long-term wealth. That’s not something I learned from this seminar, it’s a fact. Most wealthy people have a strong and diversified real estate portfolio. If you follow business leaders or read books about finance, they will tell you that this is one of the best methods to gain wealth. That’s why I’m so interested in this subject and enjoy trying to learn as much as I can about it.
To review this real estate investing seminar, I’m looking at three key aspects:
Education: Is the information valuable and applicable to those who are attending?
Delivery: Is the presentation motivating and relatable to the audience?
Sales Method: Do you they pressure you into purchasing something you don’t want?
If all of these aspects are positive, then the seminar is worth your time.
Education: What you’ll learn about real estate investing
“Real estate is about time in the market, not timing of the market.” – Scott McGillivray
Real estate investment isn’t about buying low and selling high – like the stock market. It’s also not just about flipping properties for quick cash. Scott believes flipping is a more amateur form of real estate investing, though he does flip some properties himself. Instead he primarily follows a buy and hold strategy for building wealth through real estate.
4 ways to make money in real estate
A buy and hold real estate investment strategy is about securing monthly positive cash flow. Buy enough properties and you can replace the income from your day job with income from your investments. Scott had 25 properties by the age of 25 and 100 properties across North America by the age of 30. Investing this aggressively isn’t for everyone but Scott shares great advice about how to make money in real estate using a more realistic portfolio of three properties.
Positive cash flow (rental income – expenses)
Principle recapture (tenants are paying down the principle for you)
Passive Appreciation (market appreciation)
Active appreciation (renovations or adding value to the home)
Over time and if the investments are managed properly, each of these indicators will increase producing a very profitable portfolio of properties. You can focus primarily on cash flow or on appreciation but this gives a more holistic approach to anticipating portfolio growth over time. Scott also shows a great diagram to demonstrate the growth of the portfolio over a 10 year period.
Make money on the front end
One of the best ways to make money when investing in real estate is on the front end of a deal and not the back end. With that, you need to be diligent to buy the right property. Follow the numbers. The list price is just a suggestion so learn how to negotiate effectively. Properties that have been on the market for 90 days result in great negotiating power for the buyer. Sellers start to get nervous and magic happens. The real value is the sold price and comparables are also a valuable resource when determining how much to offer and how much you can expect to get in return. While the expected return from when you buy the property is a great indicator of success, don’t forget to save money on the front end. Do your research and don’t overpay for the property.
Flip to Yourself
Scott and his business partner, Michael Sarracini, have developed a technique for retaining money from your investment by flipping it to yourself. Without getting into too much detail, the concept involves transferring the title to yourself so you can retain the new equity and the positive cash flow from running it as a rental. With a traditional flip, you can only capitalize on the equity and have a number of other expenses that need to be considered before reaching your net profit. Personally, this was definitely the most interesting concept in the seminar and I look forward to learning more about how it works.
How to win in real estate
Towards the end of the seminar, Scott quickly covers 10 ways to win in real estate. Each has some great points so can you can start researching them on your own but if you’re interested, you can learn more about these topics at their three-day course.
Effective ways of accessing capital and creative financing
The art of negotiating a great deal
Asset evaluation and using leverage
Multiple investing strategies
Securing great tenants
Rehabs and renovations
Leverage a power team and network for the best results
Ownership structure for protection and tax relief
Joint ventures and how to structure them
Delivery: What you’ll learn about success and yourself
When you go these seminars or conferences, you’re not only looking for information but also inspiration. As anyone who watches Scott on TV knows, he’s a great speaker, is very charismatic and loves to tell a good joke. This is important because if you’re new to real estate investing, he keeps the audience engaged and finds ways to relate to everyone – especially the beginner investors.
The difference between average people and successful people
One of the themes that’s reinforced throughout the seminar is that there’s a difference between average people and wealthy people. Unlike average people, wealthy people worry about what they make and what they keep. Then Scott goes on to say that 70% of lottery winners go bankrupt within 3 years. I’ve actually touched on this in an article before about understanding your money blueprint. When people win the lottery, they don’t know how to make money or keep money like other wealthy people so they end up losing their money. It’s honestly quite sad but it stresses the importance of having the right foundation to support making money.
“When your job becomes an option, your whole world changes.” - Scott McGillivray
Introducing the idea of building legacy wealth, what people who want to be successful really need to do is to stop trading their time for money. It’s important to have two or more sources of income to diversify your risk. Many people think the risky career path is to be an entrepreneur but it’s equally risky to rely on one source of income from an employer who can end your employment at any time. Wealth doesn’t happen by accident and rich people aren’t lucky, they’re calculated.
Learn from successful people to improve yourself
There’s a lot we can learn from other successful people. They all seem to have a few key traits. So why are successful people so successful? Scott has three important characteristics:
1. Goal Setting Almost anyone can tell you that goals need to be SMART. Successful people begin with the end in mind. They inspire people to help them achieve their goals. And they understand that people want to help them once they have a plan in place.
2. Continuous Improvement Kaizen simply means change for the better. It’s a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality. What this means for us is that we can’t stay in our comfort zone because nothing changes from there. You need to move out of your comfort zone and into your performance zone. If this is a topic you’re interested in, have a look at some other articles on Global Ambition – the philosophy behind this blog is that successful people become successful by becoming uncomfortable.
Scott goes on to say that most successful people become successful by simply showing up. In fact, 80% of success comes from just showing up. He gives the example of attendance to this very seminar. 720 people signed up but of course not everyone who registered attended the event. My mom was actually the prefect example of this – she bailed right before the event but in all fairness, I told her she didn’t have to come if she wasn’t interested. Scott cites that we have a 50% show rate in society and because of that Keyspire allows for 200% of the room’s capacity to register. The reason for this is that people can’t break the normal patterns in their life and that’s what holds them back. So don’t let good get in the way of great. Don’t let you get in the way of your own success. Show up.
3. Use Optimism & Practice Positivity Happiness is a choice. It’s one that we make everyday. If you choose to have a good day, you will. If you choose to have a bad day, you will. Stop being negative and believe in your own ability. The more you believe in your own ability to success, the more likely it is that you will.
Sales Method: What they’ll try to sell you
All of these seminars have a desired outcome in mind. They want to make a sale. For this free two-hour seminar, tickets are either $25 or free if you register in advance. At the end, they offer anyone who’s interested the chance to sign up for their three-day training course. They offer a discount for people who attended the free two-hour seminar in person but at no point do they pressure you for the sale. Scott mentions the course, I think a total of three times throughout the presentation, and they don’t follow the traditional high-pressure sales techniques. I even spoke with my friend, who’s more familiar with these seminars, and he really appreciated that they didn’t try to force a sale for the course.
I really appreciated that as well. They gave me time to think about it. I waited around after the event to talk to my friend and to get a photo with Scott McGillivray. After around 30 minutes or so, I called my business partner, who also happens to be my mom, to discuss whether we should register for the event. I was one of the last people in the room and had to wait to speak with a representative to fill out the form. I’ve been to one of Keyspire’s seminars a few years ago and had no issues with saying no to the course. Now that I’m actively looking at investing in real estate I decided to give the course a chance. Scott has invaluable experience in real estate and I look forward to learning as much as I can about a business model that’s been so successful.
After the three-day course, I am aware of the fact that Keyspire sells a membership for around $15,000 per year. Keyspire promotes a path to results or success that follows a three-step approach:
Information (determine level of interest)
Education (get the training needed to succeed)
Implementation (take action and get results)
As a company they try to take ownership of every step of this process. First you attend the free seminar to get information. Once you’re interested, you need to get the education or training to succeed so you enroll in the three-day course. After you’re finished the course, it’s time to buy a property. They help you with the implementation by registering you for a yearly membership so they can support you through the process and connect you with a network of like-minded people. It’s a great concept that works for many people but it’s not something I think I’m interested in right now. However, it’s also something I’m not stressed about having to say no to.
Conclusion: Is it worth it?
Attending the free two-hour seminar is absolutely worth your time. You learn a lot about real estate investing and what’s made Scott so successful. He also gives you enough information, that you could go do a lot of research on your own, instead of registering for the 3-day course, and still be successful. All of this information is delivered in a way that’s engaging and relatable. It’s also very inspiring and motivates you to continue pursuing real estate investment. And from someone who’s been in a sales position, they don’t pressure you for a sale. They really let you take the time to make up your own mind and if you don’t want to purchase the course then you don’t have to. I’m looking forward to learning more from Scott McGillivray and Keyspire at the three-day course and will definitely be posting about the experience. Stay tuned.