Why We MUST Celebrate Real Estate Entrepreneurs in Canada

Real estate entrepreurs are under attack from all sides – yet THEY have provided the rental market supply, while the big players have focused on condo buildings to fill the sales demand.

In fact, it seems that the narrative that surrounds the terms ‘real estate investor’ and ‘entrepreneur’ in Canada has been changed from ‘thank goodness we have them’ to ‘they are the problem in this world.’  And that has happened so quickly, in less than a year, that it has people’s heads spinning.

Spinning because these independent investors and entrepreneurs decided to grab control of their family’s lives, their finances, their retirement plans. They decided that taking personal responsibility for their lives. They have educated themselves, taken risks, won some battles and lost others.

Many, if not most, didn’t have the goal to get ultra-rich, their goals were more modest such as paying for their children’s University, helping their aging parents live a comfortable life, travelling to experience the world, giving their families a financial foundation they never had.

But suddenly these modest goals have been re-positioned in the government hallways, and some media outlets, as being greedy,  as be un-Canadian as being wrong.

Let me state, right here and now, that taking responsibility for your own financial futre is NOT wrong. It never has been and never should be. We should be celebrating those who are brave enough to take chances, who get through the sleepless nights, who work those 18 hour days, day after day (with no overtime pay), who raise money for their favorite charity because the want to, not because it is mandated at their work place.  The path they chose can be a dark and lonely path. A journey that some begin but never finish; a journey that is not for everyone.  A journey that is fraught with potholes and unforeseen twists and turns.

The Inevitable Twists & Turns

Some of the more recent unforeseen twists and turns have come from dramatic changes in government policies and government pronouncements.  Some of which are a direct attack on these entrepreneurs. Whether it be provincial rule changes on rental properties or federal rules on taxation some of which contradict and counteract each other. Or tightening of rules on rental property financing.

And that is why, at the Real Estate Investment Network, we have celebrated and supported real estate and business entrepreneurs for the last 26 years.  It is also why we continue to evolve as a company we shift ahead of the markets. We introduced a finance center long before it became publicly obvious that the finance rules were going to change (nice having insider information). And there are many more evolutions ahead for REIN and its members.  Let us celebrate the independent spirits along their journey. They have taken control of their future and we will continue to evolve to support them in this important journey of ‘taking responsibility.’

Celebrations are not about Fireworks & Trophies

When I say celebrate I mean much more than public celebrations. Celebrations occur in the private consulting calls we have with members as they share their fears, their accomplishments, their excitement and their mistakes.

Celebrations are had when Members share the stories of their journeys to help others find the motivation to push through.

Celebrations  are had when new knowledge, new research, new strategies are released that, even with a small and simple adjustment, helps the Member move forward.

And sometime celebrations are had just because one had an understanding and experienced Member willing to listen, when others wouldn’t.

I Define Celebration as Supporting

It looks like these small celebrations are going to be needed now more than ever.   CMHC’s recent survey discovered that almost 50% of rental properties in Canada are held by independent investors.  That is a remarkable positive impact these entrepreneurs and risk takers have been having on the Canadian economy.  Remove those 50% and you would have a rental crisis that would ripple from the streets of every city all the way to the halls of Parliament.

The government policy makers may not celebrate this important fact as they change the rules of the game, but we at REIN sure do.  And THAT is why we must celebrate the independent ‘real estate investors’ and ‘entrepreneurs’ across this country.  They have modest financial dreams, they have taken responsibility for their lives, they are providing much needed housing across this country.

THEY are the true responsible leaders right now. Let us help them continue to lead!