Transcription of Episode

Intro/Outro 0:04
Welcome to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Every week she will share valuable information that you need to know in order to successfully invest in real estate and other business endeavors in North America. We believe in helping clients invest, live, work, and play across borders. And now, your host, Lauren Cohen.

Lauren Cohen 0:27
Good morning, everybody. And welcome to the investing across borders podcast. I’m your host, Lauren Cohen. I’m an international legal and real estate expert. And I’ve created a signature program called 10 steps to immigrate through real estate. And also I wanted to share with you the exciting news that we are now sponsored by an amazing company, which I don’t think you necessarily know about Tricia, but you need to, called lendai. And Lendai is a company out of Israel that specializes in helping foreign investors, specifically Canadians, Israelis, Brits and Australians that are investing in under four unit non owner occupied properties in the US. So it’s an amazing tool that’s available for your clients to help them get financing that is otherwise unavailable quite often to foreign nationals. As we both know. I am here today with my guest and friend Tricia Lehane, Tricia lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, but spent many years living in my home country of Canada. And her daughter, lives in Winnipeg. She just came back from Winnipeg, aka winter-peg, but she went before winter-peg. And so we have a lot in common and she’s been extraordinarily active on the Canada/Arizona, Canada/US real estate front for many, many years. And Tricia, I’d love for you to introduce yourself and say hi to our guests today.

Tricia Lehane 1:52
Hi, good morning. Lauren, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to join you. You know, during COVID, the pandemic our world changed. And I think in so many situations, the opportunities open so many doors as other doors closed. And situations like this, whether it’s live on Zoom, or Facebook made us all realize how small the world is so small. It’s wonderful to be here. And thank you for the opportunity. And you’re right, I lived and worked in Canada for 25 plus years, my parents moved up there in the 70s from southeast Colorado where I grew up on the farm, so gave me really strong work ethics and had two older brothers. So I was a kid sister, had all that responsibility of cooking and cleaning as my mum worked outside of the home and I was in the garden industry in Canada for several years out of Winnipeg, and traveled to Toronto, Montreal, on a very regular basis in Vancouver in Europe and the United States to check the market. So thank you.

Lauren Cohen 3:01
And how long have you been a realtor?

Tricia Lehane 3:05
I moved to Arizona actually 16 years ago, this past Monday. I became a realtor within six months and have lived and worked in Scottsdale now for 16 years, specializing in Canadians for the last 13, and working with Canadians brought me to working with foreign nationals on a regular basis.

Lauren Cohen 3:32
Are Canadians your favorite foreign nationals?

Tricia Lehane 3:35
They are. You know, and I don’t say this lightly, I speak American and I speak Canadian. I just don’t use that word “eh”, because it’s sort of like in the States. It’s like “huh” for me.

Lauren Cohen 3:48
I agree, it is. Because I’m watching this show on Netflix called Rain. And there’s the king of friends. The other day, I don’t know, some episode, he said out and I go, Oh my gosh, that guy has to be Canadian. And sure enough, I look them up. And he’s a Canadian actor. And I was just laughing because as soon as you hear that word, you know, you know, and there’s certain words I say that I didn’t even know are Canadian like leg and a leg and pants pants. And people are like what? And I’m like, What do you mean what? Like, I didn’t know that’s a Canadian ism. But there are many of them. And it’s okay, I realize

Tricia Lehane 4:28
I get the same thing. It’s crazy. But hey, I love the lifestyle of Canadians and I will always have at least half Canadian in my heart.

Lauren Cohen 4:41
There you go. Now do you have grandchildren in Canada as well?

Tricia Lehane 4:44
I do. I do as well. So I lived in every Western Province, even the territory and so yes, up by Alaska, so I’ve been there. And by being in the garment industry, there was a First Nation Co Op that we’re looking to market their product internationally. And so I moved there took the job, it was an amazing experience, but very isolated. It’s sort of like when you’re in Hawaii or a lot, you have to leave. I left the Yukon 18 times in 16 months. It’s extremely expensive. But you know what? It was a great life experience.

Lauren Cohen 5:26
Yeah, for sure. You don’t hear that every day. One of my clients is a nurse and goes to Yukon Territory to do nursing during the summer, because they don’t really have a big nursing soul shortage there. So it’s interesting, definitely. So tell us about a little faux pas that you might have made when you first went to Canada or in dealing with Canadians. Are there any that you can share with us?

Tricia Lehane 5:51
Well, I moved there young, and my parents actually sponsored me. So that was, you know, easy, 25-35, 40 years ago. And, you know, I grew up on the farm. So I didn’t have the opportunity to work as a young person. And so I have amazing skills. And I kept interviewing, keep interviewing, and he said, You’re finally when I landed the job, he said, Your skills are amazing, but you don’t have any experience. I said, you have to give me the opportunity. So here I was a junior clerk typist in a company in Winnipeg at Portage in Maine, which is the main streets in Winnipeg. And so I think it is a situation, you have the skills, but the experience does count. But people have to give you the opportunity.

Lauren Cohen 6:44
You don’t always get it. And these days, it’s interesting, because education these days, I think is less important for young people than not that education isn’t important. I’m not saying that at all. But knowing YouTube and tick tock and how to code and all this stuff. That’s what’s gonna make you very successful if you’re an entrepreneur in this world. So it’s just interesting how the skills have changed. And the experience requirements have changed because of the world changing, especially in light of COVID. What’s one tip that you’d like to share with our listeners that are considering investing in the US or across borders?

Tricia Lehane 7:25
Well, actually, Lauren, I have the opportunity. So I’ve specialized in working with Canadians, I sold my first million dollar home in 2008. To a Canadian, actually, my fiancee and I had dinner with last night. And that was their first time back in Arizona since February of 2020. Before COVID hit, and so I think that’s been my niche is working with Canadians specifically. And I said, You know what the biggest thing is for a foreign national, and that’s anybody that isn’t a US citizen, to work with an experienced realtor that has the resources to help you get through that transaction. It’s so different. Having somebody from Toronto sell their home in Florida or Arizona or Texas or wherever, then for somebody in Toronto to be buying, selling their home there and moving to Calgary or vice versa, Chicago Tarazona. There are so many considerations that is extremely important for the realtor. Number one, it’s the experience. It’s the education of working with foreign nationals. And it’s the resources. And it’s when you have an experienced realtor. They bring the resources like in the United States, we have the FERPA withholding foreign investment, real estate property tax, and I am sure there are probably millions of dollars sitting at the IRS that people don’t realize that if they have the experienced resource real tour, they get the majority of that back. And but if they don’t, that money sits there and they look at it. Oh, well, that was inexpensive. Selling my home in every state is different. The state of California does have a withholding. It’s a tax. It’s not just a withholding. So I think that’s a big part of it. So I had the opportunity to serve on the Canadian Real Estate Association global committee for two years.

Lauren Cohen 9:46
Yeah, I think what you’re saying is it flows right into what I do, which is an experienced team and having somebody at the helm of that team that you trust to bring together the team, whether it be the cross border tax advisor Which, who is essential to anybody that’s investing, whether they’re moving getting a visa, not just investing whatever the case is, you need to set up your structure properly. And not every realtor is going to know that and even, they’re not really even going to care. They’re just going to be looking at that bottom line commission. Let me make this sale happen. I don’t care what happens to you and your other country, your know your home country. And it’s important to work with somebody that does have that experience and is looking out for your interests, not just their interest, which is critical, and building that team of experts that the legal team so that you don’t have problems. When you’re crossing the border, you know, it’s a big deal. And that’s why I created the 10 steps to immigrate through real estate and working with that team of professionals is essential. You mentioned be persistent in pursuing your niche. And that’s so true, because you have been very persistent. I mean, when I first started really focusing on the cross border real estate, you showed up everywhere, because this is what you do. And your niche is always going to be Canada, you’ve built a nice relationship, particularly Western Canada, but not exclusively. I mean, you’ve lived in all those provinces. I only lived in one province, and you’ve got me beat, you know.

Tricia Lehane 11:16
Exactly. I’ve been everywhere, but I love life in Arizona.

Lauren Cohen 11:21
Yeah, I mean, I’ve only been to Arizona once or twice and I have not been to Scottsdale but I’d love to see it. And certainly there’s going to be an opportunity to do that. Because a lot of Canadians are coming down there and need the services that we offer. So we need to build that those relationships there as well. So and I think that, you know, the whole thing about working with a realtor like so many people, Trisha go online and try to find off market deals and the best deal and the bestest and the best. And it’s there’s so much misinformation out there. And they in without proper real estate guidance, like people like well, I don’t want to have to pay the commission to a realtor. Yeah, but that couple of percentage points can make the difference between a good deal and a bad deal. Not doing due diligence on a deal can cost you a whole lot more than a couple of percentage points that the realtor gets usually from the selling party. So it’s really you know, this is I mean, you’re speaking my language, which is why we’re here. And we speak exactly the same language every day because we people are just trying to cut corners too often. And what happens when you cut corners? Pay the Price, right? Oh, absolutely.

Tricia Lehane 12:29
Absolutely. So yes, Lauren. I mean, and the market in the world is crazy. I mean, Canada, I think their market might even be crazier and a lot of areas than ours. But I mean, I use this analogy, when I was a kid, we used to play musical chairs. If there were 10 kids in the room, we had nine chairs, or we’re dealing with that situation right now. There’s one chair in the room, and probably a minimum of five back in January, I was competing against 89 other offers 89. But right now, I think last week, I submitted an offer and we were one of 12. And we got it. So I think it’s being creative and thinking out of the box to win that offer for your clients. I had. I was at a sales meeting last week and one of the agents in my office said she lost a buyer they wrote 27 offers. And I sort of wanted to say to her, I think we need to have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee to talk about. If you haven’t secured a home and 27 offers you aren’t working.

Lauren Cohen 13:44
That’s a lot. Do you put in this escalation clause? Is it something that you do in Arizona?

Tricia Lehane 13:50
It’s there everywhere. But you know, I just sold a condo for some people from Calgary in a lot closed on it last week. And I had 12 offers and almost all of them had the escalation clause, and I went back to him, but they offered list price and they would escalate up to another. I said write me a real offer that my clients can understand. Like escalation clauses in my personal opinion are playing games and assault. My clients were ecstatic they sold a property. We sold the furniture I help them sell their vehicle I got their vehicle their bobble issue V on Facebook marketplace because they didn’t know how to do it. And they walked away happy, happy, happy but no, personally, I think yes, I don’t like escalation clauses and mainly because it’s hard enough for a realtor and experienced realtor to understand nevermind why, right? The client in the end, right I mean, and we’re all working for and being paid for In residential real estate in Arizona by the seller,

Lauren Cohen 15:04
Yeah. It’s interesting, because I’m dealing right now with, you know, I’m on the commercial side, I’m dealing with a lot of commercial opportunities that do not have any provisions for realtor cooperation at all. Right? Oh, and that’s, you know, often the norm, especially in Arizona and Arkansas, for some reason in Florida less so. But when you’re buying a business, or you’re investing in multifamily, oftentimes, it’s not in a traditional real estate setting. And so they leave it to the buyer to pay the commission. Well, and it’s it becomes very complicated. Like for me, I’m not going to force my buyer shouldn’t put this out there. But generally speaking, I have a relationship with the buyer that goes much deeper than making an offer on a property because I’m helping them with their whole cross border investment portfolio. Right. So and I’m sure you have this as well in Arizona. But here in Florida, we have many investors that are looking for investments, not just in Florida, but in other countries like the Dominican or Costa Rica, or Mexico, or Mexico, very common for sure. For you. They’re in Arizona, right? Yeah. So they have multiple, it’s not just like cross border, Canada, US, it’s Canada, US, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, wherever. And it’s important that you represent their interests, where you are, and try to be as diligent as you can in terms of helping them get the best representation and the other locations that they’re investing in. Because we are not the jack of all trades, even though people tend to think that we are.

Tricia Lehane 16:38
Oh, absolutely. I mean, and that’s what I love about the different organizations I belong to. I belong to AREA, Asian Real Estate Association of America. Flopsy, which is an international real estate, organization, and education. I mean, and I think that’s something that the pandemic has shown us, don’t take things for granted. Yeah, I mean, as simple as going out for dinner with your husband, your kids, just planning a weekend getaway. I mean, in the beginning, our city shut down for probably three months. I don’t even know if I moved my car out of the garage. But I think it also made us realize what a small world it is, and how effective meetings on Zoom and everything are. And I had the opportunity, I’m sure as you have with your amazing webinars and everything that you do. People all over the world, we are connecting like we never have before.

Lauren Cohen 17:46
It’s 100% True. And for me even more so because I’m a single mom. So travel has always been challenging for me, I have to find somebody to come and look after my son so that I can go and it’s not like I can just pull anybody in. And so now I can speak. Like I spoke at the Scottsdale Real Estate Association two weeks ago, and I can speak literally anywhere, you know, Colombia tomorrow, France the other day, so you name it. And then it’s like the world is our oyster now, more so than it was before. And I’m not saying the pandemic has been a good thing, but you have to always pull the silver lining out of all the stuff that we’re do salutely You know, me post COVID Having no voice is not that fun. But this is, you know, so tell me, I know you have multiple designations. Can you tell us about those and how they help you to facilitate the international transactions.

Tricia Lehane 18:41
I have my CIPS which is Certified International Property Ppecialist, which I think if you’re going to work in the global real estate arena, it’s one of the absolute most important. It’s a full week of training, there is a test involved, and there is maybe 4% of Realtors in the world that have this designation. I have my RSPs resort and special homes specialist. And working in this community of the greater Phoenix Scottsdale we definitely are a sunshine resorts state. I have my certified residential specialist CRS. And in my world of real estate, residential real estate, I think it’s the PhD of education. It’s the top of the line because with this designation, it’s 90 hours of class to qualify. And then you have to have a certain volume of sales to ever even get the designation and then an annual you have to meet specific requirements. But you know, I have I think 10 or 12 designations, I’m not going to go into all of them. But each one of them, we do pay for on an annual basis. I mean, just that alone is significant, right? It’s a commitment. It is a commitment to being the best realtor that we can be. And the great thing in it sort of like when my kids were small, I told them, when they got to 10 and 12 year past the age, I can take you by the hand and say, play with this boy and this girl in this way and this girl, but who you associate with is what you won’t be. Yeah. And if you have the designations, the relationship with leading real tours, it positions you to be the same.

Lauren Cohen 20:51
I agree wholeheartedly. Absolutely. And, you know, it’s a pleasure. I know that they have CIPS specifically even at the NRA convention coming. You’re CIPS you go in this track, and you go for this dinner and you do that. So it’s been really quite a pleasure, Tricia, working with you and getting to know you over time. Can you tell us how people can reach you?

Unknown Speaker 21:15
Yes, please. I’m Tricia Lehane. I’m with REMAX Excalibur in Scottsdale Arizona. My phone number is 602.689.9977. My email is, And I’m on Facebook, I’ll be honest, I don’t do as good of a job on social media because it takes time and my clients are always my priority.

Lauren Cohen 21:57
Absolutely. I totally understand that and appreciate that. And all of this will be in the show notes. So for those of you that are looking to invest in the Scottsdale area, particularly my Canadian contingent, please reach out to Tricia And I apologize for mispronouncing your last name.

Tricia Lehane 22:17
I’ve had all kinds. You name it.

Lauren Cohen 22:20
I do to, I think it’s simple, but it’s really not. So you know. Anyway, Lauren Cohen, again, thanking Lendai for being our sponsor here at the investing across borders podcast. To find out more if you’re Canadian, British, Israeli or Australian about how to get access to an amazing tool that can help you invest in US real estate. Please reach out to me and I’ll be happy to share that information with you. I’m Lauren Cohen, international legal and real estate expert here to help you find your path to invest live, work and play across borders. Thank you again, Tricia,

Tricia Lehane 22:58
Thank you Lauren, have a wonderful day.

Intro/Outro 23:05
Thanks for listening to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Make sure to check the show notes for any links and for guests contact information. If you have questions for Lauren, please reach out to her at If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe, rate, review, and share the podcast with a friend.