Invest inaccessible markets when using traditional methods. Utilize experts in each area of the business, including but not limited to cross-border lawyers, accountants, and tax professionals. Utilizing cash flow investments so that you don’t need to get mortgages from the banks to build your portfolio.
Good morning everybody and welcome to my brand new podcast, Investing Across Borders. I’m Lauren Cohen I’m an international lawyer, a realtor, and a cross-border expert and I love working with people and having an impact on them, expanding their businesses across borders, because at the end of the day we believe in helping you invest live work and play across borders because without play work is a little boring, right Carolin. That’s right! So I have a special guest with me today who happens to be a business partner of mine that I’ve never met in person, although I feel like she's my soul sister and it's been an amazing journey through COVID cuz really that's when all of this has happened so there is a silver lining. Like when nonprofit FIND MY SILVER LINING is focused on helping single moms, there is a silver lining in COVID and I'm sure that's one of the things that I am so proud of our relationship. Carolin is an amazing entrepreneur and business owner from Calgary, Alberta, and she runs. several companies but one of the companies involves a coaching program called CREATIVE REAL ESTATE ACADEMY, and we have partnered to take CREATIVE REAL ESTATE ACADEMY not only across North America but across the globe to help business owners and people that are just starting to get into real estate investing and people that are experienced real estate investors to find creative ways to invest in real estate. So, Carolin, let me introduce you and tell the public some of the wonderful things about you like how you built these businesses and where you came from. Originally, she was born in Chile right. Right. Yeah. I've read a few tours and your sister how far north of you and your sister that you went to visit the other day. Seems like four and a half hours north. So it's really cold. Yeah, it's extra cold. Being from Toronto living here in South Florida, I do not see what Carolin sees behind her, Windows there and that's not a fake background snow falling from the trees, and snow on the ground, almost at the end of October. They would be flakes and flurries but never real snow so early. A little different. So Carolin Why don't you introduce yourself and share your amazing journey with listeners. Why you're so excited to focus on investing across borders and the fact that are not only in Canada and the U.S. but in Mexico and expanding into so many other countries.
Yes, thank you so much Lauren thank you for inviting me on and for that beautiful introduction I truly appreciate it and I'm grateful for you coming into my life that as you said is a blessing, through COVID that we can connect. As I said to you I think the first time we were on the phone
call I feel like we were sent from above. Sent down here as the missing link that that I needed, for being able to go into the U.S. market because I I've had that experience and so I know what it’s like as a Canadian working across borders and the challenges that come with that which we
will get into later but as you mentioned I emigrated to Canada when I was four years old. And that really had a huge impact obviously when it comes to having a home and what that means.
You know, have a place that you call your own and how that impacts your life to have that stability and so I always had this desire to do something in real estate but as a lot of investors. Initially the concern is, Do I have enough capital to do it. And do I have to be a realtor and do I have to you know all these questions that stop a lot of people from getting involved in real estate investing because that's what we believe. Traditionally, that is how you would do real estate but we discovered that that does not have to be that way. And so, yeah, my, my journey went from, you know, I think, really diving into what I was told was the way to be able to build a stable life for yourself and so I went and did it and got the university degree and got a government job and had the house and the cars and everything and then at one point. And then, yes. And then I found myself really questioning my purpose in life and thinking like is this really it like I you know I did everything that the, that society and the media tells US we should all be striving for but I felt so extremely empty and it was very discouraging especially with, you know, with being blessed with so many things but still feeling so so empty inside and that's when you know I had this huge transformation as you know in 2013 and it really made me
realize you know what it doesn't matter how old you are, doesn't matter how many kids you have or don't have or what capital or capital you know you have or don't have. There are ways you can still live out whatever dreams you have and that that was really my learning for me is that just because I was at a certain stage in my life, it didn't mean everything ended and I needed to live this monotonous life so I restructured everything I, and by everything I mean I even went through separation and started to really live out the life the way that I wanted to
design it and in that process went in full time into real estate eventually quit my government job, and a lot and the first part of that actually started through investing in the U.S. and in Columbus, Ohio, because I could see that obviously that market was a lot more accessible than the Canadian market, especially through traditional means because at that point I was still really doing real estate traditionally buying them. And, you know, fixing them up and turning them into rentals and that was our plan. But, you know, the challenge that came up with doing that cross borders. It was all. It was like walking, you know, walking into the dark with like giant knives and not knowing you know what you're getting hit cuz it's like we had no direction from a lawyer, we had no direction from an accountant. And then, as we're they're building out this business. It's scrambling to try to connect with the right people. And it was sloppy for just a second.
Yeah, that's exactly, exactly as you know that's my whole m.o., not letting people kind of go in with a bunch of knives and try to figure it out. Yes. Through the brush. My whole thing is about helping people make sure that they have everything in place. And if they don't have everything in place getting those pieces in place for them kind of having their back now let's Hello, let's talk a little bit about your experience with Columbus because it's really a perfect example of why I do what I do. So, how did you come to and we won't talk about the name of the company – Although anybody would know it but how did you come to this cut this U.S. company that was bringing it bringing opportunities to Canadians.
Well, you know, it was ultimately the law of attraction, because I was very, you know I had this deep desire at that point in my life to learn real estate investing very rapidly and so I was willing to pay for that type of coaching. And so I set that intention and of course this is organization came through Canada as many of them do coming to do seminars and showing what they're capable of and the one thing that that I did really appreciate about this company is they did provide a lot of information, but it was all U.S. based information so for me to apply that to Canada I actually had to do all of the legwork and homework to go and convert it to be applicable in the province that I live in right so I did manage to, you know, within five months do a wholesale deal which was wonderful because it gave me that experience of like, oh wow this actually works. But, but then of course because of everything that I was learning it made sense for me to go into the U.S. market like I said because it was a lot more accessible right so like a house here, a duplex here in, in, in Calgary, Alberta where I live for both sides, it would probably cost me 500,000, at a minimum, we're in Columbus we're buying duplexes for 30,000 20,000. It was insane. Right, so it was like a kid at the candy store but the challenge was, you know, through this coaching platform that I was part of they did say, Oh, you need to have a corporate structure but not for Canadians they didn't say this is how you do it. It was like, this is how you do it in the U.S., and that's the biggest challenge is that when you're dealing with cross border, people cross border investors, there, there are the implications of setting something up in the U.S., or in Canada, without paying any attention to how that impacts you on the other side, like in, you know, in the States.
Well, in the states it's worse because everybody in the U.S. is very U.S.-centric we don't generally people you know Americans North Americans I happen to be an American but that Canada is a little tiny piece of the puzzle. So it's like all the Canadians yeah whatever, like no big deal it's like you know a little piece but the reality is that that Canada is a separate country, with separate tax laws and separate rules and separate filing requirements and everything, and whatever works here in corporations and whatever works here. If you set it up in the U.S., if you're not paying attention to those Canadian requirements which is exactly what happened with you to be hit. There was a client that we were gonna, we were bringing into quite a real estate account which we'll talk about in a minute. And that client was on the hook for over 100,000 Canadian. So $10 U.S. 100,000 Canadian because of much exact much the same situation. And really, this is all you, these are obstacles that you can overcome with the right guidance, there's just not a lot of people that look at both sides, it's, it's a big deal.
No, it was, it was very difficult to find anybody that could give us any sort of direction in terms of how to structure things properly in Canada, and in the U.S. and we went through, you know, meeting with a lot of accountants and, and even I'm trying to think, yeah, mainly. This is the crazy thing is that mainly we were just referred to accountants it never came across our table like you know there's a lawyer that can help you with cross-border structure, nothing like that.
So it was just we were just focusing on the accounting side to protect ourselves but it was painful because we you know some people we met they were, they were telling us it was like a $20,000 process but I think it just, it felt wrong because there was no knowledge on the Canadian side you know they'd be like, this is what you need to do on the U.S., and we were like, but how does that connect back to our Canadian Corporation and they were like who cares. Yeah, exactly like, yeah, just made yeah yeah I don't know and I don't know, like that was, yeah I don't care. And so it was really frustrating and I think honestly like I'm, I am really grateful that I ended up pulling away from that business mainly because of differences I had with those business partners that I had started that with. And, and I think it was in the end I think it was a blessing because I don't even know that everything was ever really set up properly. Yeah. Well, unfortunately that's pretty common. And I will say something else. Um, I, as a cross border lawyer. I'm not advising you if I ever advise you on anything to do with tax structure. No, because why because all of US should stay in our lanes. Yeah, and I'm not a tax expert. And that's why I work with a Canadian tax expert, and an American tax expert, and he and both of them understand the cross border stuff, and that's the critical thing, there are more than enough professionals on both sides of the border, especially Canadians in the U.S., that have those Canadian designations that are CPAs in Canada that work in the U.S., or that specialize in Canada, like one of our partners in building your infrastructure in Canada as the base, or the starting point from which to springboard your U.S. investment. And if you do it the right way. Not only is it going to benefit you tax wise but there's another benefit, and we talked about this a little bit Carolin is the 1031 exchange which is when you take the light, a property that investment property and you sell it and you buy a new property. A similar unchain property similar in price within a certain period of time you identified in 45 days you close 180 days. And that's available to any investor in the U.S. Even foreign investors, including Canadians here's the problem. Canadians are told, you can do this, and they can, but then when it comes to Canada Revenue Agency, they say, Oh, sorry, we have disqualifying that we don't actually accept that, even though they said so in the U.S. However, if you set up your corporate structure properly, you can qualify. And that is a huge opportunity because you're deferring capital gains, that's a lot of people just don't get this. So, it's just showing how important it is to really have your structure set up properly. Now let's go back to my favorite subject with you well there's so many, I mean we could talk for hours you guys have probably fall asleep but what so creative real estate Academy, this is your brainchild Tell, tell me what is created real estate Academy and what is your vision for this amazing company coaching program system everything. Thank you. So this actually came as a byproduct of when I started doing creative real estate in Canada because when I left that partnership in the U.S. side. You know I was still physically living in Canada, so I was working on that, from, from my home in Canada but when I came back in terms of looking at doing real estate in Canada. At first, I was like sticker-shocked and I was like, How the hell am I gonna get into this market where, like I said I'm you know a
single family home in a minimum is like 300,000. And so, so, again, putting that intention out there I connected with a friend of mine who taught me about agreement for sale which in the U.S. is subject to. And that was really for me opened up the doors to the possibilities of acquiring and building a portfolio with little to a minimal amount of cash up front. Well that's about what this is agreement for sale. Sure. So the way that this structure works is ultimately you are doing a purchase agreement with the original homeowner, but the closing date is actually future dated so instead of, you know, closing in a month like you would traditionally, you are setting up a term with these owners where you're going to close in the next three or five or six years. And again, this is something you negotiate with the homeowners but the beauty of that from an investor perspective is it gives you the opportunity to acquire really an unlimited amount of properties with, like I said, sometimes no cash down. And a lot of times it's little cash downs and when I say little I mean like five to $10,000 down and find a tax deed. Yeah, exactly. And the beautiful thing about this is that you know you're not having to go qualify any anywhere, you're not there, you're not limited by oh you know as an investor you're already topped out on your mortgages so now you're having to put 20% down. There's nothing like that and that's the beauty of it is that it helps you build that portfolio. And depending on what your exit strategy if you're building rentals or if you're doing rent to own it creates that opportunity so that you have time now to get prepared for that exit strategy down the road so if it's a rental, you know, you're going to want to build it so that it's a cash flowing asset and it's easy for the bank to want to give you a loan at that point, or mortgage, because you've shown that this property is cash flowing. We do rent to own primarily in my business and so with those properties, we make sure that we have these buyers lined up for the end of our term, so we're not actually ever having to qualify for a mortgage on those properties. So it's beautiful. And it is a beautiful south of the border to the trail so beautiful and the bonuses that the kind of win-win win part of it is that you're also saving the homeowner from foreclosure from huge impact on their credit from all kinds of negative implications by taking them out of their obligation. So why don't you share a little about that. Yeah, like you said that that is the biggest attraction for me of this model was being able to help people because it doesn't matter what market you're in, yes if you were I work it's, it has been a depreciated market for quite a few years but even in markets where it is hot or it is more active, there's always gonna be people that for whatever life circumstance they're in, they just, they can't carry their property anymore And right now, you and I know that we are going to see this in a huge number with what's happened with COVID, unfortunately, right because unfortunately a lot of people have lost their employment and. And so they're in a position where they just can't carry on with that monthly holding cost
of a property. And so, their option, typically is just like looking at, letting and go into foreclosure or, you know, hoping that they can sell it before it goes down that road, but the beautiful thing about this structure is we work with those families and those individuals before they get to that
point, and we take that whole burden off their shoulders so now they don't have to worry about, you know, the holding cost for this property any maintenance and anything that could come up and they're really they're free to go and, you know, rent if they need to rent or buy a
smaller property or whatever it is that they need to move on with their life right so that is the most rewarding part of this structure, and then on the flip side with the rent to own is being able to give people the opportunity to become homeowners, that would typically not get qualified today with a mortgage with a you know a traditional bank, for whatever reason, and so it's just, aligning these two. These two individuals we're really like marrying the two right we have these people that need to get out with these people that want to get in and then we're, we're the middleman and so it's a really, Like I said, it's a beautiful structure and, ultimately, it's just very rewarding to be able to help people that way. Right. Yeah, for sure. It's a big deal. So, what is your mission, or vision with creative real estate Academy like going forward, what's next. Oh well. As you know, my, my mission with creating the CREATIVE REAL ESTATE ACADEMY is to really give people these tools and resources so that anyone around the world can take the same information and implemented in their market so whether you're in Canada, the U.S. and like you said, around the world so I really want to be able to empower people to, to realize like no matter where you live, you can get into your market and do creative real estate investing. And even in our group right now you know we have one student from South Africa and it was
wonderful to have him yesterday on our call. But it, that kind of stuff just fuels me because I know that he's been empowered with, with new tools and looking at Real Estate from a different perspective where he can become creative and actually start to build a portfolio, without having to go the traditional route. As a lot of people believe they have to so I'm on a mission to get this out to the world I want people all over the world. To be able to learn you know what we're teaching and implementing, like I said, whether it's to find their own home for their family or if it's to build a real estate portfolio. And, you know, one of the things that I want to complete within the next, The next year of US working together is translating what we have into Spanish because I know there's a huge community of course with throughout Latin America and Mexico and mongoose and Spain and people that yes exactly English as well yes yeah yeah and being able to just have it available in that language, because of course I speak Spanish so I feel, you know more inclined to be able to get the information out there in that language but again it's just it's just empowering people that's what really. As you have seen, you know, the greatest joy is listening to students that that are like, oh my gosh they're, they're just over the moon that they have taken what we've taught them, and it works, and they build their portfolio in such a short period of time. Let's use an example so let's talk about a couple that came from Toronto, sir. With a lovely pregnant partner, yeah. They lost their jobs, Deb COVID and moved west to Calgary and tell US what happened next. Yeah, so when I met them, they actually came, I think they came through Facebook's well actually no she had heard me speak on another podcast. And then she saw that. Yeah, through Facebook that I have the webinar and then they joined and, and we're very interested in getting involved so they came into the group. And they had previously been learning how to do wholesale for about six months without any success. And so, when they came in and learned very quickly. The, the process of agreement for sale and how to find properties and negotiate within, probably a week of being in the program, she's telling you know like asking questions like I have this property, but you know how do I do this how do I proceed with this and then I quickly jumped into some of our additional offerings that we have for more support for students and that led her to within four weeks of being in getting her first. Her first property, and she couldn't, I think they were like, just in shock that this was actually happening. And I think she's still in shock. Yeah, I was gonna say, I think I actually just walked through a property with her. When was this on Thursday. Yeah, Thursday yesterday and she was saying that to me like I still can't believe like what is happening because right now and this is two months in. Because, you know, then, not two years, two months, two months because the first fix right now is that right. Yeah. Yeah. And they you know and and like I said it's for me. You know it's interesting because they she often asked and some of the other students like I don't know how I could ever think, thank you. And my response is always like you know what the, what fuels My soul is seeing you guys succeed and that that's what does it for me with this is just seeing you guys taking what I created and that I know it works and you implemented it and you're seeing that success and that's, that's all I need. That makes me happy. And, and so that brings me to the name of the company in which you are a partner, which is Kardia, which means heart in Greek, because at the end of the day, it's all about being
heart-centered and I think everybody in that group is very heart-centered. Yeah, the beautiful part about the group though that Carolin has created. And that's now where we're also offering one on one coaching but the beautiful thing is that within the group. There are joint ventures
and collaborations, I mean we only have what's less than 60 people in the room. And I would say at least half of them have collaborated on something together. At that point, which is amazing and how when did you actually formally start the group in January. No, June, the end
of Oh wow, well actually yeah the end of June is when we launched and that's when we did our first pot webinar. So we really we had students coming in at that point that's very, very it's very baby new but yeah we did, we did that, we did that event in August. And that was, as you
know, it just like it was amazing was another event the beginning of December called empowered women of real estate. Yes, and it's going to be free and we're going to have the most amazing speakers, short, two days of a cup either three or four hours we haven't decided, but you should all join everybody that wants to invest in real estate, whether it be within your home country or across borders. Talk to Carolin, we will help you. Because at the end of the day if you want to have the lifestyle that you deserve. You need to look oh my gosh I see this the smoke. It's been so long. I don't. It's so cold. Oh my gosh, my air exchanges smoking beer.
Mmm, that's a good question. I'm gonna say probably well let me see I don't even want to guess cuz minus 11, that's all Americans. Okay, so that's like about plus eight degrees Fahrenheit. All mg. Just saying, okay, mom. This is why I'm not in Canada. Yeah, exactly. I don't blame you. But anyway, The point is that we really are our hearts are focused on helping other people achieve their dreams achieve their Canadian dreams their American Dreams, their dreams of investing and the best, most productive way to create a path to wealth, long term wealth residual wealth is to build a real estate portfolio. And another name, you mentioned at the beginning, do you need to be a realtor. No, you don't need to be a realtor however. However, there are really great benefits of being a realtor, if you're involved in, in real estate
investing, particularly in being a realtor south of the border, because it's much easier much expensive. It doesn't take a year, and there are ways to do this, even for Canadians. So talk to US about that Carolin, tell US how to reach you, please. Sure, absolutely. And I want to say I
agree with you 100% and again this is another reason why I was so excited when we met because hearing Canada, the only reason that I don't push more my students to get their license is because it is a pain to get it. It is very painful it's very expensive. But in the U.S., it's a,
it's just a no brainer. To get licensed because now you get you skip a whole part of the real estate investing which is finding a realtor that can pull comparables or properties and look at properties and so yeah i agree with you 100% it's, it's like a must have if you're doing U.S. investing is do that because it's easy to get and inexpensive relatively inexpensive. But yes, if anyone is interested on learning more about the creative real estate Academy. You can reach us at, what do we have, like, well, you can reach me at my, my email through Kardia on both sides
so then I can direct you to coming to one of our webinars or having a call with Lauren and I, but my email is Carolin@kardiarealestate.com, with an that's ranked and no e at the end, no you. Yes. And, yeah, and I'd be happy to direct you because the other thing, and I know you, you
mentioned this a little bit Lauren but even for people who are looking to do passive investing so that means you're not actively wanting to, you know, go find the property and maintain it and do all that kind of stuff. This is extremely valuable because as an investor you need to know
how to analyze a deal that's coming your way. Yeah right so somebody is offering you an opportunity. You better know how to read that information and ask the right questions so that you are protecting yourself in that investment so I encourage everybody regardless of what
their goal is with real estate to learn the basics of real estate investing which is what we offer that creative real estate Academy. So yeah, thank you and also Carolin is has a lot of profiles on Kardia on Instagram, and Facebook, and if you would like to join the group. We can talk to you
about that. It's really an awesome group it's growing every day I think we add more people each and every day. Yeah, and thank you as always for your time. And I am going to sign off for everybody to think about how I can help you. Carolin can help you to consider ways to invest
live work and play across borders, because at the end of the day, not everybody will want to stay in the cold all winter. They have a choice. I know I don't want to. So one way that's very quickly mentioned that Carolin is also a partner in a several developments in Mexico, and that's a really big deal two because there's a lot of ways to invest in real estate not just like I said in Canada and the U.S. but also in Mexico. So, don't be can't forget about that we could talk for hours we'll bring you a regular show, and thank you so much. I am going to throw it off and wish you a great. Thank you. Thank you!