It's Sunday morning - traditionally the territory of church services and Sunday school- and I have just returned from listening to Scott McGillivray give a 2-hour "sermon" at the Hotel Fort Garry.
I almost didn’t go.
When I had to start working a little too hard to find a parking spot, I felt a weakening of my resolve and allowed myself to consider having gotten this far but no farther.
I stumbled upon Scott and his HGTV show, Income Property, a few years ago and was hooked instantly. My general interest in real estate stems from having married a master renovator whose dad headed up big-fish-in-a-small-town family real estate firm.
I was also very drawn to the idea of making home ownership more affordable by renting a portion of it out. I had grown up poor-ish, rebellious and female within a strict religious community which regarded hard-working poverty a virtue – especially for women - and suspected anyone with an abundance of money to be morally greasy somehow. I was Robin Hood figure with a poverty vow that I was looking for a way to discredit.
For this reason, the true gem in the show turned out to be Scott’s money template, which, at the time, was the most life-giving energetic blueprint I had encountered to date. I was parched earth and his energy was the rain – I soaked it up. Here was a genuinely nice guy, openly pursuing the creation of wealth, but doing it in such an all-round honoring way designed to spread and share it.
There just was nothing grabby or greasy about this guy to activate all of that baggage I was carrying around money. He was on a mission to create superior housing for well-intentioned homeowners and their eventual tenants, whom he would counsel to treat well - certainly not the approach to being a landlord I see so often in my work as a Realtor.
Several months ago, I saw Scott’s Keyspire real estate investment training program advertised through my FB stream for the first time and I remember feeling a little disappointed in him. I run across this kind of training “opportunity” fairly often in my line of work and always felt a little grossed out by it. I wondered if I had misread Scott. Or maybe it was that he had changed. (“By all that money!” a jaded part of my brain said in an accusatory tone.)
A couple of weeks ago the ads showed up again – Scott would be in town giving a free 2-hour introduction to his Keyspire real estate investment training. My professional curiosity got the better of me. "As a Realtor," I reasoned "I should know what sorts of things people are being told at these how-to-invest-in-real-estate seminars and take my measure of the information."
And that is how I came to be circling the Hotel Fort Garry on a Sunday morning in a time my upbringing still sets aside as church-going time.
I’m so glad I didn't bail on the experience.
Scott, in person, was everything he seemed to be on his show – openhearted, genuine, at ease on the platform, passionate about real estate investment as a means of building wealth for everyday Canadians and passionate about teaching people what he has learned about how to do that. He’s a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats kind of guy and I like that kind of person.
The only fly in the ointment for me came when I spotted the reference to distress sales in his literature.
Having a home that shelters us from the world in all of the ways that it does, is one of those things humans have to have to thrive. Which makes me want to argue that affordable home ownership should be a right.
As soon as something that humans have to have becomes commodified and cultivated for profit, it potentially becomes something that some people will not be able to afford. And that makes me crazy.
I have often overheard landlords bitching about how many rights their tenants have. It’s very unattractive. There is big responsibility in providing a home for someone, which is balanced out by the big financial opportunity that comes accompanies it. If someone is only interested in one side of that contract, I want them to have to go play in a different sandbox.
But I digress from the fly in the ointment.
Yes, the phrase “distress sale” does appear in Scott’s literature. But something Scott said at the conclusion of a story he was telling about a time that he paid significantly less for a property than it was worth went a long way toward redeeming him in my eyes, namely, that a Realtor would never had let that happen to the owner.
“A Realtor would never had let that happen to the owner.”
I love that he said that, because it's absolutely true!
It’s not often that Realtors are cast as the heroes in the play. But it seems to be part of Scott's live-and-let-live way of being in the world to be appropriately honoring of all the players in the sandbox, which, I'm guessing, accounts for much of his widespread popularity.
Despite this seminar being a great experience, and a great way to spend a Sunday morning - better than church, even! - I did not sign up for the 3-day training in November. I find myself considering doing so, though, the next time the opportunity comes around, which was unexpected.
I would definitely recommend you check the Keyspire training out if you are drawn to the idea of wealth building through real estate investment and responsible landlordship.
Have a real estate-related question? Please get in touch. I always have time to answer the questions of my clients and any of the friends and family you to me. Know anyone thinking of listing their home? I now offer an affordable in-house staging service for the exclusive use of my clients.
Wendy Peters, Realtor, Property Stylist (204) 979-0640 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wendyrealtor.ca