Joe Segal’s first foray into real estate came when he had a surplus $100,000 from his retail business that he used to buy a building.
And from there he’s developed a multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio. One property he bought for $600,000 is now worth $150 million, he said.
Segal looks at each project and measures the risk/reward ratio.
“If I can digest the risk I’ll take a shot and I’m entitled to the reward,” he said.
But you have to be able to make a decision, he said.
“If you can make a decision and make it quickly you’re at an advantage,” Segal said. “If you dilly-dally and your banker won’t listen to you, you’re at a disadvantage.”
Natale Bosa, the president of Bosa Development Corporation, the company behind projects like Citygate near the Telus World of Science and Newport Village in Port Moody — jumped at the chance to get involved in Citygate, buying one of the parcels in 1988.
He then bought a second piece before being offered the rest of the development.
“It was a big gamble at the time but at the time I had more guts than brains,” Bosa said.
And he was able to find a banker who would lend him the money on short notice.
“You’ve got to have a nose for it,” the 68-year-old Bosa said. “You’ve got to really believe in what you’re doing. You’ve got to feel it’s going to work. And fortunately it’s worked for me.”
And a little ignorance can be a good thing.
“Sometimes being too smart is not going to get you there,” he said.
“If you study things too much you’re going to miss out. Because if you know too much about a deal chances are you aren’t going to buy it.”
– excerpt from ‘Vancouver’s real estate moguls share trade secrets’, Vancouver Sun, 12 Apr 2012
All credit to people who know to make hay while the sun shines.
These guys were fortunate with their timing, and one of them basically admits to getting lucky with at least one ‘big gamble’.
Translating this into advice on how to behave in the current Vancouver RE market would be ridiculous. It’d be a bit like taking investment tips from somebody who’s just hit their colour five times in a row on a roulette wheel.
But we know that won’t stop some people from taking this as advice all the same; the “Be bold or move to Podunk” crowd. For many it’s attractive to know that you can make a killing in Vancouver RE by not studying things too carefully.