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In the Press

Real Estate Investment Groups

by Susan M. Boyce
Western Investor

October, 2007

Fluctuating, cyclical markets be damned. Most investment analysts still agree real estate remains one of, if not the top wealth building vehicle. Look at the numbers, say these experts, citing the widely accepted statistic that over half the millionaires in North America today created their fortunes through buying, selling and holding property.

Few are more flamboyantly outspoken about the rewards of investing in land and construction than well known real estate mogul Ozzie Jurock. And when it comes to numbers, he has an almost encyclopedic memory to back up everything he says: a typical Dunbar bungalow has appreciated more than 91,000 per cent in the past three decades, secondary suites account for approximately 20 per cent of the rental housing stock in British Columbia, mobile home pads in Osoyoos that once rented for $20 per month are now topping $155 per month, and the average price of a resale condo in Vancouver is now $374,300, as opposed to the $468,700 average price for new product.

However, the requisite ability to respond quickly when a great deal comes to market typically requires deep pockets which often poses logistical challenges for the investor with market savvy but limited capital. Small wonder today's steaming marketplace is experiencing a resurgence of interest in the power of the group - in all its diverse variations.

Sweat meets cash

Often affectionately referred to as Reaggies, members of Jurock's Real Estate Action Group meet monthly to discuss strategy, share knowledge and, most importantly, to network. This is the power of the group at its minimalist finest. It is also one place where cash poor but knowledgeable, committed investors can access options like zero down financing, and meet with potential backers.

Typically, one partner in this type of joint venture brings know how and sweat equity to the table, the other brings cold, hard cash.

"His money sweats for him, your sweat works for you," Jurock explains. "The number of people with money who are looking for ways to get a better return than the banks provide is astonishing to most people. Our goal [as a group] is to create relationships that help identify motivated sellers, find a motivated seller; create the best deal possible for ourselves, and to use OPM - other people's money."

Joint ventures of any sort are not, however, without risk, and Jurock is quick to stress the importance of clearly defining, in writing, each partner's responsibilities, skills and expectations. "Don't be shy. Ask the tough questions. If your prospective partner gets huffy when you want to see financial statements or the names and addresses of prior business partners, there's probably a good reason - one it's better to know beforehand."


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