The Biggest Mistakes Investors Make with Laurel Simmons


Episode 14 – Laurel Simmons

Are you a real estate investor looking to sharpen your skills? Or a newbie looking for your first investment? You’ve come to the right place! Join host Sarah Larbi for a journey into the world of Canadian real estate investment. In this episode, Sarah speaks with Laurel Simmons to discuss “finding your WHY” and the importance of having a WHY.

Today’s Guest:

Laurel Simmons bought her first investment rental property in the early 80s when she really didn’t know what she was doing. Fast-forward to today, and along with her husband, Daniel St-Jean, she is a partner in two real estate investment companies – one specializes in rent-to-own properties and the other in buy-and-hold single-family rentals. She also works with the founding members of the Southern Ontario Real Estate Investment Training Club to help make sure club’s events are they best they can possibly be.

Laurel has spent over three decades working in the consulting world both with hi-tech and government organizations. She’s traveled the world as a consultant, speaker and trainer and finally she’s travelling to where she wants to go WHEN she wants to go and for as LONG she wants to go without in any way having to worry about her clients.

As much as real estate investing has brought significant freedom to Laurel and her husband, real estate investing is NOT Laurel’s passion. Her passion is wine and travel – in 2014, she and Daniel moved from Ottawa, Ontario to Niagara-on-the-Lake where she studied full time learning the ins and outs of being a wine-maker and viticulturist at Niagara College. After that she began dragging her husband Daniel to taste different wines in places all around the world (and she’s never heard ONE complaint from him!)

Now as Laurel and Daniel spend more time exploring all the wonders of the world, Laurel has begun looking at a question that has presented itself to her many, many times… and that question is “Why?”… a question that is especially relevant for real estate investors.

Episode Highlights:

  • Why is it important for people and investors uncover their WHY?
  • Learn about some of the biggest mistakes Laurel see’s real estate investors make when it comes to defining their strategy?
  • Why is figuring out your why going to change your life?
  • What are some specific tips for people who might have trouble figuring out their why?

Contact Information:

Laurel’s email to get free 1 on 1 coaching interview with Laurel:

Advantages of Commercial & Multi-Family Real Estate Investing with Courtenay Hindemit and Ryan DeLaurentis



Episode 13 – Courtenay Hindemit and Ryan DeLaurentis

Show Notes

Are you a real estate investor looking to sharpen your skills? Or a newbie looking for your first investment? You’ve come to the right place! Join host Sarah Larbi for a journey into the world of Real Estate Investing. In this episode, Sarah sits down with Courtenay Hindemit and Ryan DeLaurentis to talk about multifamily investing

Today’s Guest:

Ryan & Courtenay are real estate investors focusing on commercial & multi-family real estate in Ontario. Their company, DCI properties, focuses primarily on cash flow first investing. They purchase most of their properties with JV partners who are looking to supplement their income, prepare for retirement, or just want a hands off real estate investment with above average returns. On the flip side, DCI takes care of finding the deal, completing due diligence, managing renovations, improving income, decreasing expenses, and oversee day-to-day building operations. The cities they currently invest in include London, Niagara region, and Kingston Ontario.

Episode Highlights:

  • Learn about multifamily investing
  • Hear about their purchases and how they have found their multifamily real estate deals
  • Learn the pros and cons of buying and managing multifamily properties
  • Learn about the due diligence process and what do do once you have a deal under contract
  • Receive tips and tricks to help you find great deals and MUCH MORE!

Want to contact Courtenay and Ryan? Find them through the following avenues:


Email: &

Phone: 416.556.9221

Talking Real Estate & Side Hustles on the Smartcar Coffee Confidential


Here is a different twist on being guest interviewed. I was recently driven around in James Burchill’s smartcar and asked about my #sidehustle real estate investing and all the other things I am involved in outside of my 8 to 5.30 full time job.

To watch other episodes of the Smartcar Coffee Confidential subscribe over at his You Tube channel by clicking here or visit James’ Side Hustle website here.


Episode 12 – Ryan Kirk

Show Notes

Are you a real estate investor looking to sharpen your skills? Or a newbie looking for your first investment? You’ve come to the right place! Join host Sarah Larbi for a journey into the world of Canadian real estate investment. In this episode, Sarah sits down with Ryan Kirk who is a Canadian real estate investor buying properties in Canada while living in Morocco.

Today’s Guest:

Ryan Kirk invests from a distance all the way from Morocco! Ryan buys properties and converts them into duplex’s in Hamilton Ontario. He has been able to successfully set up a team of local experts to renovate and manage his properties all while living overseas.

Episode Highlights:

  • Learn how to purchase real estate deals without being in Canada
  • Hear about how Ryan purchases real estate site unseen
  • Learn the pros and cons of buying and managing properties remotely
  • Gain an understanding of how to do basement conversions and legal duplexes
  • Learn about the steps and permits needed to duplex a house
  • Receive tips and tricks to help you find great tenants
  • Learn about Ryan’s tenant screening process
  • Handling the landlord tenant board remotely to evict a tenant

Want to contact Ryan? Find him through the following avenues: 



Biggerpockets: Ryan Kirk

Linkedin: Ryan Kirk, Casablanca, Franklin Covey


They Bought Their Prebuilt Homes – Now They Face Financial Ruin

Thanks, T.J for forwarding me this article They bought their prebuilt homes at the market’s peak. Now they face financial ruin (click for full article) and asking me to comment on it. I figured I would share my response with you all on this blog. Feel free to connect with me and share your thoughts as well:
First, to put it out there, in a good market or in a downturn, the negative news gets many more viewers than the positive. If its booming we are in a bubble about to burst each year the prices increase, then if there is some slowdown its the end of it all and we are all doomed.
It’s an ongoing rollercoaster so stay out of the day to day news and focus on the overall market drivers and data.
I think when it comes to real estate, investing or otherwise, it is important to understand that there are market cycles; The Boom, the Slump and the Recovery. You need to prepare for it all by looking at the market fundamentals and weigh all the risks ahead of time and ahead of any purchase of this magnitude. There is a big difference between speculators and investors, I recommend you be the latter.
Do not buy on market appreciation and hoping things will keep going up. That should be a bonus but not an expectation. At some point, markets take a turn so even though Premier Wynne may have sped up this process one should plan this as a possibility regardless.
It is also important to look at history and by how much the market dropped and how long it took to recover. This is not the end of the world and you should not pause everything because of some news in the media. If you do you will be in the exact same spot 10 years from now. Just ensure you make calculated decisions.
As for homeowners, I think many people live way beyond their means to begin with (no matter what they say). Personally, we use one income to pay for our principal residence mortgage, not two and our house is small and although maybe it would be nice to upgrade…it’s definitely not needed. Be satisfied with what you have and stop stretching yourselves to the limit. If something happens such as these new rules and changes that pull the prices down, you will have a buffer. The fact that they couldn’t get financing to me means they were already stretching their limit.
I do not need a $1.6M house, there are plenty of nice houses and less expensive ones 30 minutes outside of Oakville or even some less expensive ones in Oakville. Even though the bank says you can buy a $1.6M house doesn’t mean you should go buy that much house.
As for the pre-construction market, I don’t think it’s either better or worse than buying an already completed property. Just keep in mind things change, have always changed and will continue to change so always have backup plans if things change for the worse. Stop stretching yourself and live below your means so that you can better withstand these changing conditions. 
What are your thoughts on the article, I would love to hear in the comments below?




Show Notes

In this episode, Sarah sits down with award winning mortgage broker Dalia Barsoum to discuss financing options for investors.

Dalia Barsoum is an experienced mortgage broker and real estate investor who specializes in helping real estate investors scale their business without hitting the financing wall. Dalia is a well-known mortgage broker in the real estate investor community who focuses on solving complex problems and helping clients achieve their real estate goals. Dalia is also Sarah’s mortgage broker and she has saved Sarah thousands of dollars and has helped scale up her portfolio still with A lenders. Dalia is also a best-selling author who wrote Canadian Real Estate Investor Financing: 7 Secrets to Getting All the Money You Want. In this episode of “Where Should I Invest?” Dalia shares her tips and tricks for choosing the best financing options.

Episode Highlights:

· Discover the importance of planning your financing

· Learn the difference between banks, trust companies, credit unions and private lenders

· Learn how to strategically use certain lenders at appropriate times and circumstances

· Discover the difference between commercial financing and residential financing

· Learn about down payment requirements, refinancing properties and mortgage rates

· Understand Canada’s new mortgage rules and how they impact real estate investors

· Gain an understanding of the January 1, 2018 stress test

· Learn how to finance flips and properties that need significant renovations

· Learn about mortgage plus improvement options for financing

· Receive tips for purchasing recreational properties and raw land

· Discover financing solutions for the self-employed individuals

· Learn how you can grow your investment business without hitting the financing wall

Contact Information:

For more information, visit or send an e-mail to Dalia’s attention at

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing in Your 30’s


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Sarah was a featured writer for the cover story in the March/April 2018 edition of Canadian Real Estate Magazine. You can read the full article by clicking here



Getting Inside the Entrepreneurial Mind on the Daily Grind Podcast

The Daily Grind Podcast is an interview/conversational podcast where host Colin Morgan dive into the entrepreneur’s mind of how they got their start, some of the early behaviors they implemented to learn their craft, obstacles they had to overcome to get where they are, and how mentorship and self-education accelerated the process.

Listen to Sarah Larbi be interviewed on Episode 95 – click here


Listen to this episode;


Show Notes: In this episode, Sarah sits down with Daniel St-Jean to discuss joint venture agreements and lease-to- own properties.

Today’s Guest:
Daniel St-Jean and his wife Laurel discovered real estate investing while looking for alternative sources of income. After completing their first deal in 2010, Daniel and Laurel rapidly grew their investment business.

Today, they own 50+ properties and have found financial freedom through real estate. 43 of those being rent to own properties where they were able to use other people’s
money (OPM)!

In this episode of “Where Should I Invest?” Daniel shares his formula for success.
Episode Highlights:

  • Discover the benefits of joint venture agreements
  • Learn how you can find money to start pursuing your investment goals and how you can use other people’s money to create financial freedom
  • Learn how you can go from 1 to over 50 investment properties in less than 10 years without running out of money
  • Gain an understanding of the lease-to- own strategy
  • Receive tips and tricks to help you find great tenant-buyers
  • Understand the importance of building a strong network
  • Discover the benefits of creativity and thinking outside the box
  • Receive tips for handling unexpected challenges

Contact Information:
For more information on Daniel St-Jean, check out


I was recently interviewed on the podcast “The Truth About Real Estate Investing” with Erwin Szeto, sharing my story and offering some insights on real estate investing.

The Truth About Real Estate Investing… for Canadians is by Canadians for Canadians eh? The show is exactly that, we speak truths, no get rich quick schemes, investing is a marathon, if you’re looking to get rich quick this is not the place for you. Instead, we invest based on economic fundamentals using tried and true best practices that generate wealth for the long term. The Show is hosted by Erwin Szeto aka Mr. Hamilton. Erwin is a professional real estate investor, Realtor at Rock Star Brokerage Inc., 2015 winner of Realtor of the year by the Real Estate Investment Network AND the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine. He is an expert in his field and knows his business like no other. In this show, he deconstructs world-class investors, digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and lessons that all investors can use.

You can listen one of these ways;

Google Play:
Or go to Erwin’s website and access it there – click here
I would love to hear what you think, please comment below and if you think others would find it useful please share using one of the buttons. Thank you.


Listen to the episode:

Show Notes: In this episode, Sarah sits down with Erwin Szeto (a.k.a. Mr.Hamilton) to discuss student rentals and investment opportunities in Hamilton, Ontario.

Today’s Guest:
Erwin Szeto left a career in business to focus on real estate investment. Today, Erwin is a
successful realtor and investor with properties throughout Southern Ontario. In this episode of “Where Should I Invest?” Erwin shares his thoughts on investment and overcoming “analysis paralysis”.

Episode Highlights:

  • Learn how to calculate cash flow on a potential investment property
  • Gain insight into the Hamilton, Ontario market
  • Understand the benefits and challenges of purchasing a student rental
  • Discover the importance of effective networking
  • Learn how to overcome “analysis paralysis” and take action
  • Receive tips and tricks for creating balance in your life
  • Discover how you can create financial security for your children through real estate investment

Contact Information:
For more information, visit and Don’t forget to check out Erwin’s podcast, “The Truth About Real Estate Investing… for Canadians”.
ACRE discount code: erwinsguest

Click here to download my latest free real estate investing report