I recently sat down with real estate investor Wayne Dolson who focuses primarily on Rent to Own (RTO) investing. I was eager to speak with Wayne because RTOs have taken a bit of a PR pounding in recent years with some investors who didn’t run their investment well or tenant/buyers where unable to close on the purchase when the term came due.
Q. How long have you been investing?
A. I started investing since 2008
Q. What got you into it?
A. I read Rich Dad Poor Dad in 2003. I was intrigued by the idea of owning rental property. Creating another stream of income that was profitable.
Q. What other investing have you done in the past?
A. I did have some stocks and RRSP in the past. Neither really produced anything great in the way of returns.I do not invest in those now as I use my money into Real Estate Investing
Q. Do you still invest outside real estate?
A. No, there are so many different ways in real estate that you can invest. This investment tool….and I am being bias is the greatest. An investment backed by the hard asset that you own and control.
Q. What kind of real estate investing do you do?
A. I started with a buy and hold back in 2008. This ended up costing us $10K of a loss as I was so green and didn’t know anything about real estate investing. I then came across the Rent to Own strategy in 2009 and haven’t looked back.
Q. Why did you choose that strategy?
A. Rent to Own started off as a fit for my life. My wife and I are busy professionals who don’t have a lot of time allotted to dedicate to this. Rent To Own is like having a built in property manager as the tenant has a financial and emotional investment into the property. They manage through all as if the house was already theirs. We essentially are the bank.
Q. Where do you feel you are in your investing career?
A. You know I have been doing this for the past 10 years and feel I’m still an average investor. I am looking to the future of what more I can and need to do for my portfolio. Im not complaining it has been great and has provided great things for us. We are our own worst critiques and everyone should strive for more. I am extremely passionate about Rent to Own investing and feel its the best path for business professionals like us. The future consists of growing my own Rent to Own portfolio and educating others who were like me 10 years ago on the great returns it offers with a hands off approach.
Q. What has been your biggest fail with REI?
A. Day one, sinking $10K into a structure where I was told that negative cash flow is ok as for the long haul your building for equity. That was a learning curve. Sure $10K seems like nothing but when it was our first deal and our hard earn money……we got scammed.
Q. What has been your biggest success?
A. Biggest success has been the last 9 years in Rent To Own generating great returns. It has provided us with comfort to sleep at night and helped us pay off our 25 year mortgage in 11 years. We have been mortgage free since 2017 and investing has helped.
Q. What is your biggest regret in real estate?
A. Regret number one would be waiting to get in. I wish I knew what I know now and had people to rely on when i was younger to really go after it. However Happy we did pull the trigger and get in. Second regret would be in the early days trying to go it all alone. Not realizing that working with like minded investors really helps one to grow themselves and their portfolio.
Q. How supportive was your family when you started?
A. My family was very supportive. My wife was skeptical at first and took some convincing. However ask her now and should is happy we did it. My family didn’t have investments. My wife’s family saved money, invested into mutual funds and RRSP. Now they all are either investing in real estate or want to.
Q. How involved is your wife/family in the investing business?
A. My Wife is my life partner and my business partner. We share our business 50/50. I am more into it than she but she definitely keeps us organized with paperwork, expenses, deposits etc.
Q. What advice do you have for new investors?
A. 1) know the numbers.
2) Speak and work with those who have invested in what you seek to invest in and have been successful in it.
3) Do not be afraid to ask questions
4) Finally…..pull the trigger. Do not sit on the side lines after getting all of this info and wish it. You need to take action. Again if you are not sure how revert back to #2
Q. If you were the CEO of a bank, what would set you apart?
A. My passion for Real Estate. There is money to be made in Real estate for the banks. I agree we need to be somewhat tight with our lending practices. We do not need a Sub Prime issue here. Regardless banks do not want to own assets if things go bad with an investor or mortgage holder. As CEO I know that even if something did go wrong that they can be sold if you have the right agents in place. You will recoup your money. This is no different with regular investors. You own the asset. You get to do what you desire with it.
Q. What is your 5 and 10-year goals?
A. Funny you mention that. I just listen to a podcast where they discussed this. People are so busy with their life and business that there is no way you can truly set a 5 – 10 year goal. The economy changes and circumstance change. If you are so set to 5 or 10 year goal you could be in trouble, so start smaller – whats your 1 year goal. Now go crush it.
With that if I was to answer in 5 – 10 years Id like to have solid Rent to Own deals under me that net me $5K a month cash flow, I’d like to Joint Venture with new investors to show them how their money can provide great returns and be hand free investing themselves. I want to also be part of a group who owns a 20 plus unit apartment building while building more long term equity.
Q. Who would win in a fight between Batman and Spiderman?
A. BATMAN….hands down…..”I AM BATMAN”
Q. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
A. More TRAVEL with my family
Q. What types of investing would you like to do more of?
A. Rent to Own of courses
Q. Have you taken any real estate training programs or coaching?
A. No, all has been self taught. I read books, attend network groups, etc. This goes back to my 4 things earlier – speak with and work with those who have invested in what you seek to invest in and have been successful in it.
Do you have any questions about investing or financing Rent to Own investments or know of an investor I should interview? I’d love to hear from you – Steve@SteveWhiteMortgages.ca