If Bruce Firestone is a familiar name, it’s because he’s responsible for bringing hockey back to the nation’s capital.
The Ottawa Senators founder and erstwhile owner is also a prolific real estate investor and coach who is unveiling a new mentorship program to transform savvy investors into professional coaches.
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“I’m looking for people with deep knowledge of real estate investment to teach them how to be coaches to help people build their own high-performing real estate portfolios,” said Firestone, who taught at the University of Ottawa and has authored six books.
One of Firestone’s tried, tested and true strategies is called “Animation,” which maximizes properties’ best uses, reduces amortization periods—thereby augmenting value—attracts higher paying tenants, and helps provide retirement nest eggs.
“The average Canada Pension Plan payout is low—it’s about $550 a month,” said Firestone. “We’re adding new revenue streams to real estate, some of which have never been combined before. What we’re trying to do is teach people deep knowledge about animation. Second, they have to be really good mentors and coaches. Over a six-month program that will begin this month, I can train people to do some of the things I do.”
Cap rates in Toronto are as low as 2-3%, but Firestone knows a thing or two about investing and will show how to at least double that.
“We want to try to find ways to push that higher to 6% or greater,” he said. “In real estate, we’re applying the Warren Buffett ideology— and I’m with Warren Buffet: My favourite holding period is forever.”
Interested applicants must fill out a questionnaire, however, not everybody will be accepted. The criteria are lofty, but as Firestone explains, it’s because his program is not for neophyte, even intermediate, real estate investors.
“It’s not for everyone. What we’re hoping is somebody who does this has really high IQ, but also high EQ because with coaching and mentoring you have to have certain sympathy. As a coach you have to listen because people say things, but they say them because they think they have to or it’s what you want to hear, but coaches have to get beyond that. You have to be willing to master some new things, understand highest and best uses, adding job opportunities to residential, personal businesses for life. And they have to be good teachers, too—listen carefully and deliver some knowledge in a consistent way that people can really understand.”
The program begins Sept. 12 and runs until April.