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 afternoon, everybody. I’m Lauren Cohen, international legal and real estate expert and the host of this podcast investing across borders, where we teach you ways to navigate your path to invest live, work, and play across borders. And we have a really special guest with us today. His name is Ernest Furtado. And I originally met Ernest when I first joined exp about two years ago, and was reaching out to some people in Toronto and starting to do some international stuff. This is before I became the Chair of the International Investment Committee and before Ernest made the move to Portugal. So Ernest is originally from Brazil, spent most of his formative years and raising his family in Toronto, my hometown, and now is living in Portugal with his lovely wife, and they just celebrated a year about two weeks ago, a year in Portugal. So Ernest, tell us a little about yourself and what I mean, when we first talk, I know you were like trying to figure out where you’re gonna go, but what brought Portugal into the forefront for you?
Ernest Furtado 1:32
Sure, great to be here Lauren, great to connect with you again, and always a pleasure having this conversation with you. Thank you, a little history. Like you said, I was born in Brazil, left there when I was 10 years old and moved to Toronto, Canada. Always had a passion for real estate, architecture and design and building. And so that was my kin. When I decided that it was quite interesting how I got started with my career, I was actually going to take a drafting course in evening to prove my drafting skills. And I used to walk by the thriller real estate office tiny little place, it was a one room office near the school. The gentleman one day, put a sign on the window, I noticed there was a something new and salesman won it. So I walked in there and asked them, you know, tell me about the salesman shop and he says, Forget that, you know, sit down, okay. And he tells me what do you want to do when you grow up says I want to be a builder because great to get your real estate license. And I’m like, No, sir. Builder, not realtor. And he says yeah, you want to you know, so you have to buy a little piece of land or you buy an old house renovated, sell it, you’re making money above that, so that’s a good idea. So after I went, got my real estate license, 21 years old and figured it out, and I was my best customer for the first six years of my career. I was buying and flipping properties and that’s how I got into real estate found a passion for it. And also found a niche. My niche was infill building. Infill is basically existing neighborhood that had old dilapidated houses or buying a house that you can knock down and build to lots of splitting a lot type of things.
Lauren Cohen 3:08
Yeah, there’s lots there. I mean, it was definitely a big deal, still is.
Ernest Furtado 3:12
Still at certain neighborhood war time bungalows, we’re calling toppers, tiny little, tiny, little tiny, tiny little one, one and a half stories or one story buildings of knock off the roof, put a second story on it, do an addition, all that kind of stuff, and then evolved from there. And then my clientele became my tradespeople became my clients. They needed a, you know, a warehouse, they needed a place to park their trucks, they needed their own flips and properties. So that became my niche market. And that also involved in doing all kinds of different real estate. And so I became sort of what I call jack of all trades master sheet. So I was forced to dabble in all kinds of real estate, just because they needed stuff. So they bought a building and retail space on top of things. And we started buying odd buildings, you know, abandoned warehouses that became loft buildings, gas stations that became townhouse complexes, and apartment buildings and buildings and so on so forth. And as you know, Toronto has grown incredibly, you know, suspend 38 year run for me, starting my 39th year, it’s been incredible to see how Toronto went from the sleepy little town to now an international city.
Lauren Cohen 4:24
It was a sleepy town? I didn’t even know, I don’t even remember that. My mom was probably around the same time as you originally because she went into it when she was when we were in university. So I grew up and second generation real estate, like you know, I grew up in real estate with the craziness of that market. I mean, which is now everywhere, but it used to just be in Toronto, like Toronto was like Toronto, the good and Toronto was crazy. The numbers and the numbers are still exorbitantly high.
Ernest Furtado 4:57
Yes, yeah. Average Price house in Toronto was at one point, almost 1.3 million.
Lauren Cohen 5:03
If you’re a real estate investor, you can’t touch doors for under 500,000. And like, then what’s the cap rate? And what’s the opportunity to make money, which has brought a lot of business to me?
Ernest Furtado 5:14
Two and a half to three and a half cap rate, if you could find that’s what’s happening.
Lauren Cohen 5:19
You know, running to the bank. Absolutely.
Ernest Furtado 5:22
So that’s what’s going on. So there was a lot of growth lots of you know, tunnel, when I said sleepy town, it was just not what it is today. Oh, for sure. Not international recognized city. You know, everybody knew if you were from Canada, you know, they thought oh, you Montreal you speak French. So Montreal was the sort of the place, you know, theory of Canadian, they sort of put in now they know toronto, toronto was in the map. It’s an up and coming city, for sure. So all that came about worked with various brands, different companies that are successful run six years with kW at that time, help them to build a commercial division. But back to my story, I always dabbled in the commercial side working on a Residential Brokerage. So my customers, my number one customers, believe it or not, were residential realtors that needed support, or needed to refer deals to commercial agents. That was most of my business in my career. So an opportunity came to work, you know, in a commercial to help develop commercial, and I did that with various companies. And fast forward, you know, 35 years into the business and I was sort of burnt out and thought, you know, I got to figure something else out. I mean, I was dabbled in an investment we do are still do to this day. But as far as the real estate side, the brokerage side that sort of became boring. Yeah, just nothing the same whole thing. Yeah. And then lo and behold, one day I was got introduced to go to this iPad for realtors, you know, the future of real estate, we better start learning how to use your technology a lot better. And the gentleman said, and by the way, halfway through our course we’re going to have somebody just do a little presentation on a new concept of real estate, I’m sure whatever, I’m here anyways, and I got introduced to exp, and got super excited about it. And that time, they were just announcing opening Ontario in opening the Toronto market for sure. And I think I was still probably there was two dozen of us who initiated that start at that time. And Ed Robinson Robinson, who got introduced by Tony Gilchrist, and then who was John Doe sink, who was the broker of record for Canada, and Ontario, and Jason guessing opened up Canada as well. So that was our upline and, and got excited and got invited to a presentation when we did the official launch at the Harvard castle to Hilton harbor Castle, downtown Toronto. And that’s where I met Jason guessing. And we started talking about commercial, but really that you said what you’re really interested in, you really want to know about this company, you should come to Fort Lauderdale to something called exp con So 2017 October,
Lauren Cohen 7:57
I wish it was here, now.
Ernest Furtado 8:02
Yes, it was actually funny, right after a massive hurricane. So we weren’t even sure until a couple of weeks before that we could get in there. Anyways, we went down there I met the crowd fell in love with the place signed up on the spot. And it’s been an incredible journey. And we started talking back then about the SP commercial. What would that look like I met with Glenn and teamed back then. And the XP commercial was sort of geared to start moving forward back then. But the residential side had incredible growth. So we had to put that in the back burner for him two and a half years. And then three years later, it got officially launched. So not only it’s been October has been a great month of anniversary. It’s my anniversary, for being here in Portugal year for being with the XP for years. The XP commercial launching its first year, my wife’s 50th birthday, and it’s just been an incredible journey. So October has been a pretty good celebratory month. And anyway, so we started talking about that. And once we also started talking about moving commercial forward to launch they also talked about international more than just we had opened the UK and Australia by that time. And beyond that. So Anglo countries. Yes, in the start, it was bright. And my passion would desire was always Okay, great. It would be great to go back home to Brazil. And I had a business partner I did some business in Brazil and real estate as well. And John would say, you know, it goes earnest, because I said, you know, let’s go to San Paolo, let’s go to Rio and it was none and and and, you know, let’s it’s better to be a big fish in a little pond and a small fish in a big pond. And that stuck with me because I thought okay, I know we’re gonna open Brazil, Brazil’s 26 states, you know, not 50 states but 26 states 26 different governments and desires and rules and stuff like that. And I actually in between this whole thing, unfortunately, I lost both my mom and dad. And the mom’s desire was for always for me to go back to Portugal, which my family’s originally from, and I had never visited Portugal is the day islands where mom and dad are from, I had come to mainland when I was 18 years old, just for two week vacation type of thing. As they were driving through, we were traveling through Europe. And at that time, it just when I came, and I saw that this, you know, this is a happening country, there’s a lot of opportunity here. And it made sense to study what’s going on in Portugal. So I did that I did the analysis, I went back to leadership at exp, and we talked about, you know, here’s all these opportunities, and this is how it works. And they said, This sounds great. And then we started the process, you know, I did, what’s the like to buy and sell real estate here who’s buying and selling real estate here, who’s involved? They like the whole procedure. And basically, you know, when to the time was talking to Jason Sam Rodriguez was part of the international expansion group at that time, and basically said, you know, here’s the whole thing. And they said, Okay, this could work. This could work. Let’s look at into further by. Michael Valdez. Yes. Pre Michael Valdez. Yeah, this is going back to October 2019. Around the month before I came in, yeah. So 2019, we started that conversation, and met with Jeremy Grossman, who is now our broker of record, we built a relationship. And we started talking, he had a very successful as father on the company here that’s been operating with developers for 30 years. And they loved the model. They thought this was an amazing model, because of the fact that they get to keep their brand. And that was the big problem. Every company that came to Europe came to Portugal, you know, the REMAX is in the W’s and the century 21, they all wanted them to join them. But what it meant they would have to give up their brand and something they created, you know, over the 30 years, their name are very successful, and still are very successful brand. And the new construction area. And they just fell in love with the idea, the technology it was, you know, something they needed to look forward to. Yeah, father was always cutting edge, one of the reasons of Brazilian company as well, that came to Portugal, you know, 32 years ago now. And they were, as far as marketing, they were cutting edge back then. But they knew that they needed to go to the next phase. And then that’s how it happened. It was great. So it was launched to go. And we were supposed to open in June or July of last year. But I was here for a month doing all the preparatory work to support them. And by choice I didn’t have to, but I wanted to, I wanted to learn as much as I could. And then when I left it in early March pandemic hit big time here. And then when I got back to North America, there was still nothing happening in North America as far as COVID situation. And unfortunately, a few weeks later, it started spreading all over the place. And I had to get back at Toronto had been back in Vegas, like this thing was following, right. And then obviously, we shut everything down and got prepared for the unknown, the end of the world, it seemed like at the time, because nobody knew what the heck this thing was. And so we slow down.
Lauren Cohen 12:57
I don’t know, I think there’s still so much confusion and misinformation out there.
Ernest Furtado 13:02
Totally, totally. And it was great. So a lot of people started talking. And you know, Michael came on board, he was already in conversation, when all this was happening. Michael’s already in conversation with the leadership of EXP. And we were all in agreement that, you know, after we realized that this was not going to be the end of the world that obviously there was going to be a major change, that moving forward with expansion globally made sense, especially for our company, you know, as we like to quote, We were built for this, you know, we were totally built for this, then it’s been great. And so 15 countries, later 50 countries, and now it less than 18 months, here we are.
Lauren Cohen 13:40
It’s been a crazy, crazy whirlwind. Really that’s just about the only word I can use. And, and obviously, for me, you know, I’ve been in the commercial space, I’ve never really sold a house per se, because that’s not why I got my real estate license, although I thought maybe I would. But as soon as I got my green card, I got my real estate license down here. And really until joining exp I think you know this, I didn’t do anything. And now I have 26 referral agreements out there. I moved from residential to commercial because that’s my headspace, having done so much EB five and working with major developers all over the world, quite literally. And you know, selling houses is never going to be my thing. But working with investors, actually my biggest investor right now is from North Bay, Ontario. And they are just chomping at the bit to find great opportunities down here in multiple states and many countries. And that’s the beauty of what you’re doing. And what exp is doing is that we have partners that we can trust, like I would never hesitate for a second to refer a client to earnest ever, because I know that it’s actually I’ve made introductions to him of people in Portugal, that are realtors that are just you know, collaborators because earnest is one of those true my word mensch, which I know he knows the meaning of that word. That’s a truly good guy who really looks out for his partners and we’re all partners weren’t in the same line. We don’t have aligned interests, per se. But we do. Because at the end of the day, we’re all shareholders in this bigger company. And earnest mindset like mine is very global, very and always has been. And he’s always been just so supportive of me and everything I’ve been doing at exp. And it’s a pleasure to have somebody like you as a almost like a mentor, in a way just to talk about opportunities to vet things to you know, you’ve been there, you’ve seen, I mean, you’re on the ground floor in Ontario, which is a big deal. You know, I was on the ground floor. Well, I guess I was in commercial because it’s a year, and I was there from the beginning. And it’s been amazing being on the leadership team. And two weeks ago, I sent one of my downlines to go because I couldn’t go I was actually being interviewed on for some global Realtors Association. Imagine that for me, you know, imagine that. But But anyway, I sent her and she says comes back because you guys start doing so much stuff in commercial. I’m like, Well, there’s a lot going on in residential, too. It’s just that it’s, you’re not the ground floor. They’re the same way were here where like the leadership committee, or the committee leaders, I should say, are giving feedback on what programs are good, what to do here, what to do there. And everybody is so helpful. I mean, there’s not been one person that I’ve reached out to for assistance that has said, No, never. I mean, it’s an unbelievable thing that does not happen at most companies, or most law firms for sure.
Ernest Furtado 16:41
Well, you’re right. I mean, after its unique family that we have, I mean, we really, were partners, and that’s what makes the big difference. You know, people ask me, you know, what’s so big about exp is the fact that we are one global company. And that’s what excited when they were doing the introduction. I mean, the gentleman was halfway through the introduction. In the moment, he said, we’re going to be one global company, one global companies. I mean, there’s the credit card, what do I have to do next?
Lauren Cohen 17:08
How do I sign up? Is that Canadian or US funds? Who cares?
Ernest Furtado 17:13
Especially for whatever it is the 85 bucks, so they’re asking for at the time, I was like, Are you kidding me? Right, you know, get be part of that in every all the other beautiful things that? You know, if you’re interested, we could share more about that, but I’m not sure this is the conversation.
Lauren Cohen 17:28
I’ve had Brent on here. So you can imagine the fight? Yeah, yeah. And I mean, Brent is is like, I don’t even know what the word is. But he’s like an energy. He’s like a conductor of energy. If you are like, if your energy level is down, talk to Ben for five minutes. If your energy level doesn’t go up, you got to go to the doctor immediately. He’s just,
Ernest Furtado 17:51
he is my mentor. And I’ve asked them from the beginning, you know, he has the model explain. I have the modelo split god. Oh, they don’t. So it’s I try to emulate him in many ways. I have to have a lot of expressos to get to his energy.
Lauren Cohen 18:06
Yeah, I hear you, I hear you. Well, at least you’re getting some good Express over there. So you know, the one thing that I noticed, because we asked some questions before the podcast, and that we are so aware of is like when you go global, there’s a lot of mistakes that you can make. And there’s a lot of things that you have to be aware of, for example, cultural differences. So you know, me moving from Canada to the US. It’s a cultural difference. People don’t think there is but there is definitely, especially through the pandemic. But tell me about for you, for you guys moving from Canada, especially during the pandemic, because it was right in the throes of it. Right. Moving to Portugal, when at the time I think Portugal was on lockdown, right?
Ernest Furtado 18:53
As Toronto here, and they locked us down right after.
Lauren Cohen 18:57
Were there for like two days or some crazy thing, right? And so how did that all go down with you? Like, you know, obviously result, I’m assuming doesn’t speak Portuguese, right?
Ernest Furtado 19:07
Lauren Cohen 19:13
So I mean, she has a good guy, but I mean, it’s a culture shock. And obviously it’s a little different when you’re going to build a passive residual income model rather than going to do a job or you know, go to work every day and go lockdown doesn’t impact you as much but I remember you showing pictures of your office with like, you know, a little a little window and it was just so the way you were posting on social media, which is so cute. So just tell me a little bit about how that all felt for you. Was it what she scared? Were you just excited? How did you look at it just like an adventure, I’m assuming Yes.
Ernest Furtado 19:47
It was quite an adventure. But we had this setup. From the time we met. That was our goal. We have our personal emails revision 2025. And so basically, we got married in 2015. And we had a 10 year plan that we were going to go globally, we were going to be nomads and just live around and move around and experience the world and a different culture. And 2019. I said, I don’t want to wait another five years, what do we have to do to change to make that happen now, and with exp going global, that also gave me that extra boost? Because, you know, that was always the desire. I had a done. So culture, I’ve always respect the culture. And so this result, obviously, we were not Canadians, Canadian born, right? Pretty much there’s no such thing as a Canadian, very few Canadian. True Canadians.
Lauren Cohen 20:39
Canadian, I’m a fifth generation, and then I left.
Ernest Furtado 20:42
Yeah, but still you’re not true.
Lauren Cohen 20:45
That’s true, I’m a little more connected to some other countries.
Ernest Furtado 20:50
35 million in this probably half a million true Canadians.
Lauren Cohen 20:54
Right? That’s true. Yes. Eventually, we all have heard from some immigrants from China or wherever, from Portugal, from Brazil/
Ernest Furtado 21:03
If it wasn’t for immigration, Canada would be very long. Or big country for that matter. But so we traveled and we, and like I said, even the difference between US and Canada, and even the differences right in the US. Nevermind, you know, if you go to New York, to Florida, to Texas, to California, oh my gosh, you know, it’s, I hate to say that sometimes I call it you know, it’s not the United States of America. It’s the divided States of America.
Lauren Cohen 21:29
Yeah. But the world during that agenda. It’s more than ever.
Ernest Furtado 21:33
Yes, unfortunately. But you know, so culturally, we embraced it. You know, it was different. All of Europe is for that matter, it’s very, it’s a lot more laid back. We use the analogy, it’s, you know, you’ve probably heard this before, you know, people tend in North America to live to work. And here, they live, they work to live, you know, they go to work, they come home, you know that they enjoy siesta time, that’s you know, between three and 530 Unless you have a nine to five kind of job but you know, shops still close, for the most part are the restaurants. I remember not so much in Spain, it’s even more, you know, it’s been a really shut the whole thing down for a few hours. And so siesta, siesta, and it’s still things and people still admire, and appreciate the weekends and family time. And it’s a lot more than that’s one of the things we’ve noticed, for sure. And everything is a lot slower. So for me, who was you know, you know, going full tilt all the time. It was like almost like crashing. It was like, Oh my gosh.
Lauren Cohen 22:34
You didn’t know what to do at first.
Ernest Furtado 22:36
I didn’t know what to do with myself. This is what do you mean, it’s gonna take a week? When they tell you a week, that means a month.
Lauren Cohen 22:42
When you’re from Toronto, you don’t hear that? You’re, you’re used to being tomorrow.
Ernest Furtado 22:47
Yes, I get more I wanted today, you know, things like that. So it’s different, you know, you go to the bank to open a bank account, you know, it’s a half a day’s journey. It’s not five minutes to go there sign some documents get out. And it’s got to be on their time. And then it’s like, it’s lunchtime, now they’re opening my bank account. Yeah, I know. But you can go to lunch, I’m gonna go to lunch, and we’ll come back. And I’m like, Are you kidding me? That kind of stuff. So but it’s been good. And then, you know, for real estate wise, you know, people that don’t know this, there is no MLS outside of North America. It’s there is no multiple listing service. There is no licensing a lot of countries here, Portugal, you don’t need a license to be a realtor. You know, there’s a standing joke. When Jason asked me how many realtors in Portugal, I said, 10,900,000 everybody here is a realtor, you know, can be a realtor, you know, for sale by owners in North America, or 5% or less, you know, globally, it’s 50% or 60% or so by the owners. And you know, and the most successful is the barber and the beauty salon person, you know, because they get to know everybody.
Lauren Cohen 23:54
The bartender probably too.
Ernest Furtado 23:55
The bartender for sure. So it’s like, whatever thing going on, but that sort of referral, getting to know the culture, and appreciate it. And so trying to embrace it. So if you’re going to come in, and that was something I remember Glenn said, you know, we didn’t want to come into other countries, and shove the North American way of doing real estate. I mean, I think we do have some amazing core values and great platform that we could use. But then in every country, as you know, we have a different formula, we work with the culture, we work with the money exchange is a big thing, you know, what can they afford? What is the competition charging, and so on, so forth, and we adapt our model to some degree, but our core values are the same. And that’s again, a bit of a culture shock for some of these people. You know, some of the things that ethics you know, being ethical and doing things right. So, you have to learn that so well what about what we do the sneaky deal, or we do this? No, that can happen here. So and that’s okay. And then but that happens almost everywhere. We have these challenges. I think there’s the dealing with humanity is it still doesn’t matter which countries.
Lauren Cohen 25:01
Definitely, I see it here in Florida a lot. So let me ask you a little bit about the golden visa, which is very, very popular, the golden visa to basically buy residency in Portugal and retire there, live there, run your business there, whatever. Tell me a little bit about how that has impacted you in terms of the demand for it now and how you and Rizal have managed to play a role in that whole process.
Ernest Furtado 25:28
The gold visa, many countries in Europe that adapted that Portugal was one of them. And it created an incredible success. You know, Portugal now is so dependent on tourism, and immigration. You know, one of the things I don’t know the exact percentage, but we were told that over 50% of the population is over 65.
Lauren Cohen 25:48
Wow. That sounds like SouthFlorida.
Ernest Furtado 25:52
Yeah. As a threat, well, that’s what I tell people it says, you know, if you want to know what Portugal is, like, Portugal is the Florida of Europe, this is where people come to vacation and retire. So it’s become very popular these opportunities, they just, you know, citizenship by investment. You know, that’s a great way to get citizenship. That’s not an easy process as a five year but I mean, going through the process, they are going to change it, they’re going to up the ante a bit. On January 1, it’s presently 500,000 in the major cities, and then you can there’s 350, or what they call the low density locations. But now it’s everything, it’s only going to apply to the low density locations. And it’s going to be 500,000 across the board. And so that, so that’s going to be changing, if you are property in 350 in a low density location, and but you are buying an older property, or what they call a ruin, basically a foundation of an old house that was there, yeah, tear down or can’t tear down, you have to utilize the foundations there. Even if you keep one wall up or something to that effect, okay, then you can that will be reduced even 20%. So as low as 280,000 euros, you can get you know that deal. But we’re part of so that’s one big opportunity. You know, that’s the quick, invest the money. There’s your residency card, go through the five year process in five years, you could apply for CES. Meanwhile, you have all the benefits. And you have to be here, two weeks, the first year in one week, for the next four years.
Lauren Cohen 27:28
After that, is there a residency requirement like in the US where and I don’t know if you know the answer, but here once you get a green card, you have a residency requirement. Is that applicable in Portugal as well? You do have to be there 183 days?
Ernest Furtado 27:42
I think after you do your residency period that like the DT, they have a D seven visa called the seven days here, you have to be here for 180 days of the year. And I would assume it goes through that. I don’t know the exact question.
Lauren Cohen 27:55
So what do you mean, I know that you say this quite often. But you said that in Europe, they work to live versus live to work. And you used to work 24/7 right? Maybe not 24/7, but probably 18, seven, or whatever. How has your life changed by joining EXP and moving to Portugal in terms of what your work day looks like? Because it looks to me like you’re having a lovely time over there while you’re working?
Ernest Furtado 28:28
Yes, in 2008, I was at a family reunion with my business partner at that time. And we had a discussion, we were having a discussion over lunch and I said, Mike, wouldn’t it be great if we can work from anywhere in the world? Right? And he said, yeah, good luck on that deal. Right? We could work from anywhere. So that was a big thing. And I said to him, you know, I’d really like to work 24/7 And he goes, Well, you kind of work 24/7 Now, I said no, this the new 24/7 I want to work 24 hours a week, seven months of the year. So that’s become our model. You know, and basically, I learned that from you know, books, like the four hour workweek or stuff like that, it’s really, you know, we can be busy 80 hours a week, doesn’t mean we’re being productive 80 hours. So we’ve, we’ve imagined we’re busy, productive with we’re actually doing something, you know, it’s we’re doing 40 hours of being productive work. So I became to be laser focused for a period of time, especially with my ADD it’s really a challenge to say focus anyways. But it started become laser focused on what it is that I really wanted to do and what I wanted to create, you know, so it just, and it just became about this lifestyle choice. We want to travel, you know, so we built a great network of agents here. We just hit 180 190 agents and 10 months. Wow. And so 174 inherent Portugal, the SP Portugal, we have close to 40 agents now in Brazil. We have a couple in Spain. We have somebody coming in Germany, Canada The US so it’s been a good group, but between Portugal and Brazil and so Brazil porch is the next thing for its that’s where I wanted to start. So we already obviously, you know, because getting the XP Portugal open and translating things into Portuguese made it so much easier for Brazil to launch. It was just a little bit of a step even though there’s it’s a big talk about cultural difference in the language dialects.
Lauren Cohen 30:27
Well, look at my dialect is different from Canada to the US to England to Australia. And so is the intonation of the words.
Ernest Furtado 30:35
From Texas to the Bronx. So there you go. Yeah, no, for sure. But that’s been the whole thing. So just to come in. And that’s what we decided to do. We sold our house, we still have, we still own investment properties back in Canada. So cash flow is important. And I think investing in real estate, you have to do that. You and I connected initially we’re talking about, you know, we were looking at different things with the US, you know, can we get into the US we looked in we travel through Florida through the Texas area, that’s we were looking at those two areas. I’ve done work in Panama, I’ve done work for Costa Rica done and work in throughout northern Brazil, you know, we did so some development in Natal at the time, the government had a program there, my house my life, Nick has come up the program, which we got involved, basically, it’s creating affordable housing, so that mortgages and stuff like that, because mortgages was unheard of, you know, there was no mortgage, just very few people have mortgages in Brazil and still do. So that’s up and coming thing having mortgages. And so more people are able to buy houses and things like that.
Lauren Cohen 31:40
Coo. So there’s going to be a lot of activity going on. And you’re writing a bit. And you also bring a lot of value to a lot of people by sharing important stuff that’s going on because you are in the thick of it. And I appreciate it because sometimes I don’t catch all of it. How would people get in touch with you to learn about opportunities?
Ernest Furtado 32:04
Well, Ernest Furtado on Facebook, or Ernest.firstname.lastname@example.org You can contact me there, but pretty much on all the social media stuff you can pop up we love to advertise in there we are learning more about getting involved in more social media. So Facebook has been my go to place and connecting with friends and family in our network for sure. Now, outside of North America, what’s app is the way that people communicate. In Brazil, it’s all what’s app. Europe is all what’s app. So you know, they don’t ask you for your phone number. They want your whatsapp number. So my what’s app is 315912773907. And until toronto, toronto is still home still, you know, I still love Toronto, I still love going back to Toronto, Toronto has been a great market, it’s still continue to be a great market. Toronto, immigration is going like crazy. So it’s, you know, here, I’m stepping away. But you know, people are still going there. So it’s absolutely every, you know, 200,000 plus people are invading Southern Ontario every year for the last decade. And so it’s been incredible.
Lauren Cohen 33:25
Yes, a great place to raise your kids ,build the business, and 24/7 across borders.
Ernest Furtado 33:34
Being Brazilian, you know, I’ve always had a challenge with winter. You know, I love Canada. I don’t love winter. Now I’ll be honest with you. So that’s my office. That’s my background.
Lauren Cohen 33:46
I’ve met a lot of people now especially after lockdown. I mean, that’s why I’m so busy on it’s just because people are like, if I’m going to be locked down, or if I’m going to be dealing with working from home, why not be in a warm place. And I mean, the northeasterners the northeastern Americans have come down to Florida in droves. I mean, we had 100 new families and a 400 family school over the summer. But now and certainly over the past 810 months. But now as the winter comes, my phone rings constantly because people want to know, how do I get to Florida? How do I get to Texas? How do I get to Arizona? How do I get to California? How do I get out of dodge? How do I find options? And you know, that’s what you’re offering. And that’s what I’m offering and we are both offering it the same way by creating freedom to invest across borders. And I so appreciate you I thank you for joining me today. Please send my Happy Birthday wishes to lovely wife. And thank you and on that note I’m going to sign off for today I am Lauren Cowen asked me to please subscribe to investing across borders where we teach you how to invest live, work and play across And by the way in earnest, I don’t know if you even know about this. We are sponsored now by a company called lend die, which is a company that was built in Israel that finances foreign investors investing into non owner occupied real estate in the US from Canada, Israel, the UK, and Australia. And guess what they’re probably going to follow EFPs footsteps and add all those other countries as well. And it’s a great option for those that can’t otherwise get financing to make investments in the US. So thank you again for joining us. And stay tuned guys. Great stuff coming. Thank you.
Ernest Furtado 35:36
Keep up the great work. Take care everybody.
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 FOUNDER@ecouncilglobal.com. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe, rate, review, and share the podcast with a friend.