Have you ever been unemployed? My first and only experience of unemployment was when I was 20 years old while working at the Calgary Zoo constructing a primate pavilion. At the time, I believed that my job was super secure; in fact, I had asked my boss a month prior to my layoff about my job security since I was looking to buy a car and get my first car loan. Wow, what a surprise that cool fall Friday when four other fellow employees and I were pulled into the boss’s office and given an envelope with a layoff notice and the last cheque from Calgary Zoo.
I was officially unemployed! Hmmm, now what? No problem, I will find a new job, a better job, a job not outside in the cold, rain, snow, or heat of the summer. The following Monday I was determined to go and find that new amazing job, even though, I was not prepared. I had no resume, little experience, no clear direction of what kind of a job I wanted, and most importantly, I did not know my “why”. Regardless of not being prepared to hunt for a new job, I was determined and told myself I would make more money than my construction job at the Zoo. However, the real question was, how much was I willing to sacrifice to make more money?
After number weeks of job hunting without success and receiving my first EI check I began to wonder how much money I was going to make. In addition, I was really beginning to search for my “why”. Job-hunting all day was hard, not physically, but hard emotionally. Rejection, doubting myself and my abilities, and not having enough money for things. I joined noon hour hockey to break up what seemed like days that were 48 hours instead 24, and found others just like me. People laid off from their job, unemployed, collecting EI, and trying to fill some of their day with a spark of joy.
Months went by and still no job, but at least I had a group of buddies I played noon hour hockey with three times a week. Life was ok; I had settled into a routine, living with two other roommates, sharing the expenses and making due with the $378 I received every two weeks from the government. My roommates were both students and working hard to graduate with degrees while I was now playing hockey, hanging out at the gym, and making sure dinner was ready for my roommates at 6pm.
Settled was my life at 20, but what was my why? What was I willing to sacrifice to find my why? What were the others that I was spending time with willing to sacrifice for their why? My roommates why was crystal clear, study as long and as hard as they needed to graduate with a degree. Meanwhile, my noon hour hockey buddies why was definitely not about working hard. Their why was to beat the system and abuse it. They were not interested in making a great deal of money, they were comfortable just getting by, they were ok being settled in life and were not willing to sacrifice to make more money.
Did my hockey buddies want more money? Absolutely, but they were not willing to do what it took to get it. Did my fellow zoo construction workers want more money? Absolutely, but the majority of them also were not willing to do what it took to get it. You must be willing to go and get it. The obvious ways of making more money are working longer hours at your job, working smarter, being more productive with your time, getting a new job. Or, going back to school and getting a new degree that pays significantly more than your current job.
So where does real estate investing fit into this? Income investing or real estate investing is where the real money is made, making money in your spare time. If you do it right, you are cash flow positive. You can leverage your time, your money, and over the last few years, leverage the market. The market has rewarded individual people or junior investors with more money than they ever could imagine. Were these investors lucky? Some were, however, you only get lucky if you play the game. The reality is this, these investors (and I may be speaking of you), you made a choice! Anyone that wants to more money needs to work longer, harder, smarter, get a different job, invest in real estate or other investments. You and others that have made this choice are part of an exclusive club. Most people choose not to be part of this exclusive club because they are like my noon hour hockey buddies. They are content with what they have, or their self-image is tied up in not being wealthy.
Making money is a choice; you have to choose to want it. A concept I did not understand while unemployed at 20 years of age. I was not willing to sacrifice everything to find a job and make more money than my $378 every two weeks. Moreover, I had no idea of my why. Today, I know my why. Today I make the choice to make money every day. Today, I wake up and I tell myself, I am unemployed again! I choose to wake, find a job, and make money.
We are in the dog days of the Fraser Valley and Vancouver summer real estate market. Wikipedia says, “The dog days or dog days of summer are the hot, sultry days of summer. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.” The real estate market in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver throughout July and I anticipate August too, will look and act much like Wikipedia’s description of the dog days of summer. A summer filled with heat, not so much real estate market heat but rather beach heat. Drought, as sellers struggle to sell their homes throughout the summer months and they believe that the buyer pool has dried up. A market, that results in a lack of showings, offers, and a lethargic market. The mad dogs are the buyers that are writing low-ball offers and trying to take advantage of vulnerable sellers.
The market has changed, more specially in the Vancouver market, where many of the markets are in a Buyers’ market. Meanwhile the Fraser Valley market is trending towards a more balanced market. This is common; I call it the summer cycle and it over my 26 years as an agent it consistently appears as down turn throughout the months of July and August. Investors do not be discouraged by this cycle; September will bring the buyers back to the market and if you are cash rich buyer at this time, look for the opportunities in the market, they are there. Go to the beach, enjoy your family and friends, breath, and enjoy all that beautiful BC has to offer.
Personal Real Estate Corporation
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STR (Sell Through Rate) Formula = Sales ÷ Active Listings + Failed Listings + Sales