Archive for February, 2012


It’s a team sport……….

If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve probably figured out that owning real estate is an integral part of your wealth growth strategy.  You may be just starting to learn about real estate investing or you may own some property already.

Either way,  you will soon figure out that to be profitable in this business (and it is a business..not a hobby), you need to have the right team of people behind you, all contributing their knowledge to ensure you reach your goal of buying duplexes, commercial properties, apartment buildings, world dominance, etc.

Your team should consist of the following:

A realtor – obvious, right?  but make sure your realtor understands real estate investing, and is familiar with the area in which you are looking.  When discussing what properties you want to purchase, be as specific in your description as possible.  Don’t just say you are looking for a multi-unit dwelling in Ontario.  Let them  know a fairly defined geographical region, the range of units, the price range, any specific features you would like to have, etc.  The more specific you can be, the less time is wasted by yourself and the realtor.

Mortgage Broker – make sure you get someone who has experience working with real estate investment financing.  It’s a good idea to talk to them early on in your investing career as opposed to later.  You’ll find that financing gets a little more difficult the more properties you own (typically around 4 or 5), and some early decisions about lenders might be necessary.

Insurance Broker – as with the other team members, get someone who understands the industry.  Also, make sure they handle all kinds and all sizes of properties  This way, as you buy more properties, you can receive discounts by having them included under one policy.

Property Manager – not a shameless plug..well kind of.  Even if you want to attempt to manage properties yourself, go talk to a company that’s in the region you want to invest in.  They can tell you about the tenant demographic, what the area has to offer, average market rents, and more.  And when you are ready to let them manage, you will appreciate the time you have to continue building your empire without having to spend time looking after the issues that inevitably arise in rental units.

Lawyer – make sure to find a lawyer who is very familiar with investment real estate, as there can be some very costly legal pitfalls if issues are missed.

Accountant – as with the above team members, accountants with experience in real estate investing will likely save you lots of money, time,  and potential incarceration.  Talk to some accountants before you start to invest, as buying properties under your name, or in a corporation, offer different legal and accounting benefits.

As long as you have strong people in each of these key industries on your team,  you’re well on your way to growing your portfolio!



now that we’ve gone digital…need to learn about all this social media stuff…


Should I hire a property management company for my rental property?

Once you have invested in a rental property, the responsibility of maintaining and running the property can quickly become overwhelming. For many landlords, the logical solution is to hire a property management company to oversee their rental property. But is this the right decision for you? Here are several issues to consider.

  • Do you have what it takes to run a rental property? If this is your first foray into property management, you could find yourself in over your head. Collecting rent may sound easy, but in reality, it can be more like a painful extraction. If you are not familiar with rent collection, you can quickly find that your tenants are taking advantage of your inexperience.

    In addition to rent collection, day-to-day maintenance of a rental property can be tiring. If you are not operating your property as a full-time job, you may not have the time to address tenant concerns and repairs in a timely manner. This may make hiring a property management company an excellent choice.

    That said, at A.G.Secure, if you are a novice investor, we encourage you to try it yourself at first..we’ll even give you some hints!!

  • Where is your rental property located? If you have purchased a rental property near your home or place of business, you’ll be able to keep an eye on the property. However, if your rental property is far away, you’ll be loath to travel to it to deal with the inevitable problems that arise. If you’re unable to check on the property on a regular basis and handle any issues that may arise, finding a local property management company can mitigate these concerns.
  • Does the property need frequent visits, repairs, or attention? If your rental property is a veritable money pit, you can find yourself spending more time there than at your regular job. If you’re getting constant requests for repairs to a property, having someone who can devote the majority of their time to your property is very helpful. The more units you have, the more you can benefit from a professional maintenance worker or property management company.
  • Is the company trustworthy and friendly? Before hiring a property management company, do thorough research to ensure that it is reputable. If you are an absentee landlord, this is extremely important. You will be relying on this company to collect rent and represent you and you interests. Check references and talk to other landlords who have worked with this company. Make sure the representative of the property management company is level-headed and diplomatic. Just one bad interaction between tenant and rent collector can destroy goodwill that can take years to restore.

    Make sure you do your homework….interview 3-4 companies in the area..ask to see their contract, ask about all fees.  You’ll be surprised at all the stuff that you can be billed for : delivering late rent notices, re-rental of units, lease preparation, handling maintenance calls, etc..etc…etc..

    Deciding whether you need a management company is one of the most important decisions you will make in your real estate investing journey..take your time, think it through, and when you decide to hire, do your due diligence..there are some good companies out there, but like all industries, there’s some rotten apples too!


Trying something new…

The team at AG Secure has gone digital !!  Well, at least we’re trying.

Check back for information on our company, property management, and helpful hints to increase your real estate investing prowess.

Just don’t check back too often, we’re too busy managing properties to blog.




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