Working Capital The Real Estate Podcast

Cross-Border Investing On Fire with Lauren Cohen | EP93

Mar 4, 2022

In This Episode

Lauren Cohen is a returning guest, an International lawyer, realtor and cross-border expert. Also a bestselling author and global speaker. She launched her podcast “Investing Across Borders in late 2020”. Lauren believes in overcoming obstacles and navigating global expansion for business owners and Real Estate investors offering access to unique passive income options

 

In this episode we talked about:

 

  • Lauren`s Background in Real Estate Space
  • Canadian Investment in the US
  • Navigating Investment Decisions with Clients
  • Passive and Active Real Estate Investment
  • Visa and Green Card Status
  • The Best Time for Engagement with clients
  • Deal Structuring 
  • Investors Influx in the US

 

 

Useful links:

Previous episode with Lauren:

https://workingcapitalpodcast.com/real-estate-investing-across-borders-with-lauren-cohenep50/

https://asklaurenesq.com

https://www.investingacrossborders.net

Transcriptions:

Jesse (0s): Welcome to the working capital real estate podcast. My name is Jesper galley. And on this show, we discuss all things real estate with investors and experts in a variety of industries that impact real estate. Whether you’re looking at your first investment or raising your first fund, join me and let’s build that portfolio one square foot at a time. All right, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jesper galley. We have a returning guest on the podcast today. Lauren Cohen, Lauren, how you doing today? Good. How are you Jesse? I’m doing fantastic.

 

Lauren is an international lawyer, realtor and cross-border expert originally from Toronto. And now in south Florida. Lauren is also a best selling author and sought after speaker and she launched her podcast investing across borders in late 20, 20 Lauren and her turnkey team believe in overcoming obstacles and navigating global expansion for business owners and real estate investors while offering access to unique, passive income options, everything we like here, Lauren, how you doing today?

 

Lauren (59s): I’m doing really well. How are you

 

Jesse (1m 0s): Doing? I’m doing fantastic. So we talked a little bit before the show. You are a returning guest and you are now in Florida. Is that a, is that where you’re a recording from?

 

Lauren (1m 11s): I am in Florida in my home in Boca Raton. Yes, I am

 

Jesse (1m 15s): Beautiful. How’s the weather there

 

Lauren (1m 17s): Different than their,

 

Jesse (1m 19s): What do you mean? We have a balmy three degrees today,

 

Lauren (1m 23s): Probably more like 83 south a Fahrenheit Celsius. That would be really hot. We’ll maybe what about 25 or so?

 

Jesse (1m 31s): Hmm. Yeah, that makes sense. W we were just chatting. I was just in Orlando a few, a few weeks ago. So I’m really excited seeing what’s going on. We have a lot of clients that are now pivoting to investing in Florida all over Florida, to be honest. So I mentioned before we had a, you know, we had a number of listeners either emailing me directly or messaged me on Instagram, about investing from Canada in the U S and you know, in the same breath, talked about us investors investing in Canada for listeners that didn’t hear that first podcast.

 

Maybe you could give a little bit of a background on your career and what has got you to the point that you’re at today.

 

Lauren (2m 13s): Sure. So thank you so much for having me back. So I’m originally from Toronto. So I’ve been here in Florida over 20 years. Haven’t helped me. I just celebrated my 21st anniversary, I think, last month. So I specialize in helping mainly Canadians investing into the U S but also people from all over the world. My newest clients are actually Chilean and we help them. My tagline is navigating your path to invest, live, work, and play across borders.

 

And I started doing this after my then husband. Now ex-husband was deported on the way back from our honeymoon. And when that happened, I thought, well, if this can happen to me, it can happen to anybody. So let’s figure out a way to stop it from happening and create a clear and easy path for people to not only invest, but also immigrate and in the past. Oh, wow. Since Thanksgiving, since us Thanksgiving around November, it has been unbelievably busy with people that are interested, not only in investing, but also in finding their way, especially to Florida.

 

I happened to be in the right place at the right time. And so the fact of the matter is that there’s just so much opportunity in the U S you know, you’ve got 10 times the fault population, 10 times the number of opportunities. Everything is basically 10 times, not 10 times the size, because of course, Canada is a larger country, but 10 times pretty much mostly everything else, 10 times the problems too. But at the end of the day, there is a wide wide range of opportunities down here at all different price points that just doesn’t exist in Canada with cap rates that are much higher with short-term rentals.

 

Like you said, Orlando is the ha the king of short-term rentals in the world. You know, if there’s no place like it, there are communities in Orlando where they only allow short-term rentals. I don’t think that exists elsewhere. So it’s just a crazy time to be investing in real estate. And that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t go the other way, people investing into Canada, especially because of course the dollar goes further and the real estate in Canada may not have the great cap rates, but the upside, the, you know, the ROI when you sell your property is huge, especially in the GTA, you make an investment, you know, the next day it’s going to go up.

 

So it’s all a matter of just deciding what it is that you want to do with your money and how you want to invest it and what your goals are with it.

 

Jesse (4m 46s): So we could kind of take a stab at this in a number of ways. I thought what we could do is talk a little bit about the actual structuring of investments that you see, and maybe, maybe it could be from the perspective of having someone say Canadian investing in the U S you know, what is the first couple things that, you know, you would recommend, or you basically consult them to do aside from hire you?

 

Lauren (5m 13s): So it’s not just about me, it’s about the team. It’s about making sure that you have a strategy in place and not just haphazardly deciding to do, you know, to invest because the price seems right, or looking at a property without doing your due diligence or not sending up the right structure and making the investment or not speaking to that cross border tax advisor, whichever border that might be, it’s really important to have a holistic approach to it, and also to work with qualified real estate professionals, wherever it is that you’re investing referred by other qualified real estate professionals like Jesse and myself, and, and just having that structure in place to help protect you.

 

Because at the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is invest and give all your money to either the CRA or the IRS, the kind of defeats the purpose. Right. And you want to make sure that you have a short and long-term strategy in place so that you can create goals, create paths to achieve your goals related to those strategies.

 

Jesse (6m 11s): Yeah. Fair enough. So when, when you have individuals that do invest or work with you, I’m, I’m sure goals are, you know, that’s the key aspect of, of what they’re doing. Are you trying to acquire a lot of land? Are you trying, like we talked in our last conversation, are you trying to, to work in, in the states or live in the states, or is this a passive investment? How do you navigate those decisions or those goals with clients and give them a framework to better understand that investment that they are making?

 

Lauren (6m 42s): Well, I, we have a lot of resources available, both with my podcast and my YouTube channel, and a lot of downloads, a lot of really great downloads that help clients understand. For example, I have one that talks about the 10 steps to successful real estate investing in the U S that has nothing to do with getting a visa. It just has to do with investing, and there are 10 steps. Okay. And so then if they’re interested in a visa, then we go to the next level and to the next level and to the next level. And it’s a matter of really being available to clients, to hold their hands and figure out that strategy, do an initial consult call.

 

I mean, client, I, you know, I’ve had clients that thought they wanted X and they ended up wanting Y through, or even after a week or two, they realized that they need to rethink their, their posture. I’ve had clients that say they want to do immigrate through real estate, which is my signature program. And we ended up buying them a franchise because it’s an easier path. I’ve had clients that thought franchises were the worst thing in the world and ended up falling in love with the concept. I’ve had clients that think that they are, you know, ready to buy 20 units of real estate.

 

And yet they’re really not because they’re, they don’t have the, the pre-qualification letters with the financing in place or whatever. So what did, what I think is really important in all of this is having the team and the, the, the professionals available, making sure that you have a financing partner, a currency exchange partner, you know, legal partners in different states. For example, I have a new client that’s investing in Utah. So I have partners that set up entities and structures in Utah.

 

You know, it’s making sure that you have the team and the relationships that are necessary to be able to serve whatever your client’s needs may be, because they’re going to change from time to time. And that cross border tax advisor, I don’t do anything without one of those speaking to my clients at any time, because I’m not a tax advisor, I’m not a tax expert. That’s why I pay the IRS or the CRA or whatever, just like everybody else. Right. So, and that’s why I hired them. So I, if I’m going to, I need my clients to do the same.

 

Jesse (8m 54s): Yeah. I mean, that makes sense. So, in terms of, if anybody’s interested in those 10 steps, we went through them on the last podcast episode 50, you can just type in Lauren Cohen’s name and you’ll find that on our website, working capital podcast.com, just, just because I know we went into some more detail on those. I had a number of people reach out after that episode that were interested in the aspect of actually moving to the states. And I think maybe as a case study, you know, we can talk about maybe three different scenarios.

 

One is, this is the individual that’s, you know, buying a rental property or buying one vacation property that maybe that they’re, they’ve thought about renting it out for a portion of the year. Secondly, I think if we go into the larger say, 50 unit, a hundred unit apartment buildings, commercial, commercial, real estate, and then the third, which, which I’d like to get into right now is the individual that says, Hey, Lauren, you know, I I’m open to buying real estate. I’m open to potentially buying a franchise. But the goal for me is to move to the states or have that be a part of that process.

 

So, you know, what is somebody like that, you know, what are they looking at?

 

Lauren (10m 7s): I mean, in terms of amounts or

 

Jesse (10m 10s): In terms of the process. So for those individuals that, you know, those 10 steps that we talked about last time, I assume that those were specifically talking about investing in, in the states from Canada. But then if you, we’re talking about individuals that want to get a visa, you know, w at what point does that approach differ?

 

Lauren (10m 30s): Yeah. So it differs at, from the get-go really because your, your investments are going to be potentially different. If you’re investing in that large apartment building and building a business that potentially can qualify for a visa. If you’re investing in a syndication that will never qualify for a visa, unless you are the developer of the syndication, because it has to be a business. So our super power rests in transitioning a prospective client from a passive real estate investor to an active real estate business owner.

 

And if they’re an active real estate business owner, they can potentially qualify. Now why we like franchises is because for the more passive real estate investor, a franchise can allow them to have this active business that doesn’t, that doesn’t disqualify their real estate investing. And as a matter of fact, maybe augmented like a property management company, an inspection company, a home improvement company, an alarm company, a maid service, okay. And those are easy turnkey businesses that immigration likes.

 

So what we try to do is make your process as painless as possible because at the end of the day, moving is a big deal. People think Canada and the U S are the same, and they’re not, they’re just not. And so there are many ways skin the same cat and make your life easier in the process. So what we try to do is make sure that that process is as easy as possible so that you can accomplish your goals. And you can include real estate investing as part of your business plan, but perhaps your visa application is not dependent on it.

 

So one is not necessarily tied to the other. So you don’t have to feel pressured to buy the real estate prior to applying for the visa. You can wait maybe until we find what you’re looking for, you know, and the visa is not dependent on the real estate. So if you happen to sell it, suddenly your visa isn’t compromised. Okay. So that’s why we like to have a complimentary business that allows you to qualify for the visa and yet still accomplish your investing goals.

 

Okay.

 

Jesse (12m 46s): Could you talk a little bit about this differentiation between passive and active real estate investors? Because correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t believe Canada has exactly the equivalent aspects of

 

Lauren (12m 57s): In Canada. They flipping is considered an active business in the U S it is not. So you, we need to be very careful to make sure that the business here in the U S whatever it is that you’re doing is a truly active business that you are, that you need to run it. So if you’re, if you’re flipping a hundred homes a month, then that could probably qualify, but if you’re flipping one or two, that’s not going to work because that’s passive and you don’t need a visa to do that.

 

So we need to figure out a reason for you to need your boots on the ground is the term that we use. Why do you need to be in the us running this business? So we need to tell that story and make it very clear. And we need to draw the line in the sand between what is passive. Like, you know, most people invest in real estate because it’s passive, right. But if you’re doing the burn method over and over, that’s not passive. You’re actively running a business. If you’re running many Airbnbs, that’s not generally passive, maybe one or two, but if you’re doing European, you know, daily or weekly rentals, that is probably, probably not positive.

 

Now, on the other hand, when you look at somewhere like Orlando, or you hire a property management company to manage, then it becomes turnkey. So again, then it becomes potentially passive. Maybe you want to be the property manager. Maybe you want to be involved in that. And then suddenly that changes the dynamic again. So each business is going to be different, and there’s not like one size fits all about what makes it qualify or not qualify.

 

Jesse (14m 33s): Was there a, I’m trying to remember, I don’t know if it was a conversation with you or something that I read, but an acid test for what makes you, and I don’t know if it’s a, the U S legal term, a real estate professional. And I don’t mean that I don’t mean an agent. I mean, that, you’re a, you’re a full-time real estate professional. That there’s a certain amount of hours. If the year that debt are dedicated to real estate investments. Is that something that’s, that’s taken into consideration or is that so, so your, it really is something that is case by case that

 

Lauren (15m 4s): Very case by case, and on top of that, Jessie, the other part of it is that it’s not just about you, right? It’s about a business. So you have to hire people. You have to show that your business is not marginal to replace your income. And you have to show that your business has an economic impact. That means hiring people and impacting the community, impacting whatever. Okay. So it’s all kinds of different considerations. So if, even if you’re a real estate professional, right, I am a solo preneur.

 

All of my staff is, are independent contractors. I wouldn’t qualify for a visa. I’d have to transition them to employees in order to qualify for a visa. So it’s a very big, it’s a very big deal to us to know that that that’s a business, right? So solo preneurs generally won’t get visas because they aren’t, aren’t impacting the society. They aren’t hiring people. It’s got to be a business. So we, and it’s not 10 employees like for a green card.

 

It’s a few. So what does that mean? Well, generally we like to see between two and four over a five-year business plan. And if it’s less than that, it’s going to be marginal. And we also want to see that the numbers can support not only the business, but also support, you know, support you, your family, the employees. And there’s a return because we want to see that you’re generating income. So all of those factors come into play.

 

Jesse (16m 37s): So it seems the IRS likes business, her money-making businesses, just like the CRA of course

 

Lauren (16m 43s): They want their money, right?

 

Jesse (16m 44s): Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So in, if we were to have a kind of ideal investment from a real estate point of view, so say you bought a large commercial property, say multi-racial property that was bringing in a million a year in terms of gross rent. And the reason I use this number just for simplicity and say, you’re, you’re paying a property manager 6%, so $60,000 a year. So from that perspective, you can you be creative of, you know, instead of paying a company, we create, we create our own active company, the property management company.

 

So that would be approach you would take.

 

Lauren (17m 24s): Yeah, exactly. In that, in that if there’s a million dollars in income coming in a year, then we would bring in our own in-house property manager, potentially, maybe agenda a janitor, or, you know, a groundskeeper, maybe somebody to do logistics, managing all of the rents and everything, and I’ll, you know, and all of those. So we help to figure out which employees make the most sense. Now, obviously we are not in your business. So even though we write the business plans, it’s your business.

 

And at the end of the day, you’re the one that goes to the government and has the interview and defends whatever your business is or presents, whatever your business is, not us. So some people say, well, I thought you were writing the business plan. Yes. But it’s still your business. We are putting, we are reducing it to paper and putting it in a concise, presentable manner, but it’s your business and they’re your numbers. So it’s really important. We can help, we can guide, but we aren’t going to develop the business for you.

 

Jesse (18m 27s): Yeah. Understood. So I have a, a friend of mine, I think I mentioned before the show that I purchased a townhouse first, first purchase in the U S for me in, in Southern, in Orlando or just south of downtown. So my friend, who’s a realtor. He’s, he’s been in Florida for eight or nine years. And I know for a fact he doesn’t have a visa. So I assume that he is just, he’s working for a company he’s Canadian, doesn’t

 

Lauren (18m 55s): Have a visa. And he has a real estate

 

Jesse (18m 57s): License. Does, has a, I’m sorry. He doesn’t have a green card. I believe he has a visa. So he’s yeah. Sorry, my mistake now, why would somebody like I I’m D well, first of all, do you deal with individuals that want to eventually get their green card as well? Okay. What makes that, what do you, what do you find is the, usually the, the thrust of that decision, when some individuals are, are comfortable having a visa and are able to do what they want to do in terms of investments and, you know, being in the states for the majority of the year, what’s that differentiation that you find that people say, no, I want it

 

Lauren (19m 35s): Definitely permanent. Some, some people, if they’re high net worth, they don’t want a green card because then they become us residents for tax purposes. So that’s one issue. Some people want the green card right away. So there is a path to that. My newest clients, the Chilean clients, that’s what they’re doing. They don’t, they just want the green card right away. And when you do an E two, there is not a direct path to an AB five or to a green card, I should say, but there is a way to transition.

 

So it really depends. Each, each individual case is different. Some if they come in, depending on the visa, they come in on, they can be sponsored for a green card. The spouse can be sponsored for a green card. They can increase their investment amount and their employee count and qualify for a green card through , which is a direct green card path. So there are ways to transition, but there’s no direct path from an investor visa to a green card at the moment.

 

Jesse (20m 39s): So if we pivot to investors that are just purely looking for investments across borders, so, you know, they’re not interested in a visa, they’re not in a green card. So for those individuals. So for instance, maybe using even my investment as a, as a kind of jump-off point, you know, it’s a townhouse in, in Orlando, it’s going to be, I think the completion of the construction is going to be in June, July this year. Now I’m going to have a couple of decisions to make what I want to put that investment in what structure I want to have for that investment personal or otherwise.

 

And from that standpoint, when do you find is the best time to start engaging with the client? And what do you see as a, is a typical path?

 

Lauren (21m 23s): Yeah, ideally, however, most of the time, especially if you’re pre-construction, you can change a sign, the contract to an entity after the fact. Now there is no one size fits all. And I would say probably 30% of my clients these days are just investing. So we have a real estate investment pre-investment package that can come in post-investment as well. And generally, most Canadians, if they’re staying in Canada, we’ll do a limited partnership slash limited liability company structure because LLCs limited liability companies are disregarded entities by the CRA.

 

Now this is going to depend on your tax bracket in Canada, which again is why nothing happens without Mike cross-border tax guy. And like right now, actually he’s talking to a client of mine. The outcome of that will determine what entities we set up for the client. Okay. And they already there they’re closing in two weeks. So it’s really about looking at your particular circumstances. If do you have an entity in Canada? Are you an investor in Canada? Do you have other investments in the us? You do not understand, but those are all considerations that come into play.

 

And are you investing in multiple states? Do you need multiple LPs and LLCs? What’s the cost? How does that all look? So we do that quite often. We have a quick little package that we offer. And if the client decides to eventually apply for a visa, it’s not going to be detrimental to have that in place. Having the LPL LLC will never hurt you.

 

Jesse (22m 56s): So this is a question that comes up a lot. And I know we talked about it last time that, you know, Canadians just assume LLCs. That’s what I, my, my, sorry, my building should be in which, like you said, it’s a disregarded entity. I believe that the default position from CRA’s, they treated as a Canadian corporation for tax. So it, it, it is a problem. So in the scenario that you are describing, let’s just use that. Let’s say you’re in the highest tax bracket in Canada. It’s your first, it’s your only property in the us now is the structure of that LLC.

 

And that, sorry, that LP, which, which I assume would have a general partner. And then I assume as the LLC, and then would have a limited partner,

 

Lauren (23m 40s): Necessarily general partner might be the Canadian company.

 

Jesse (23m 43s): Okay. So, so in that, in that let’s say it’s the Canadian company. The reason I said LLC first is because a lot of the documents we see that we use that we’ll have the GP being 0.0 1.001% ownership and true or false part of the reason that might, that would be an advantage in structuring that way for tax purposes is the double taxation aspect of

 

Lauren (24m 7s): I’m not going to answer it if it’s true or false, because I’m not a tax expert, but I will tell you that the whole reason of structuring things and making sure that the tax Kite’s involved is to avoid double taxation. Because with disregarded entities, you can end up paying double taxes. And w why would you do that? That kind of doesn’t make sense. So there’s a cost involved, but it’s, you know, you set up the structure right from the get-go, and then you’re not going to end up paying CRA every year, which you would do otherwise.

 

So I, I think that it’s really important. You know, we, our approach is holistic. And even though I may know the answer, I’m not going to give the answer because I’m not a tax expert. And so I like to make sure that my clients understand that nothing happens without going through the steps. And actually the steps that we you’re referencing are, are actually different steps. So I, my original program was called 10 steps to immigrate through real estate, which is basically what put me on the map more recently, because I have so many people that are just investing in real estate like yourself and not planning to get a visa.

 

I created a, a slide that I will share with you about 10 steps to successful us real estate investing. So it has nothing to do with the immigration piece, but it has to do with all of these elements, like getting your tax ID, setting up your entity, getting your bank account, all of those things are included. Whereas in the 10 steps, it’s a broader 10 steps because there’s an immigration piece attached to it. So I’ll share that with you so you can share it with your audience, but I just wanted to make that clear because it’s really about investing.

 

And a lot of people don’t even know if they want to get a visa right now, and that’s fine, but they want to invest and they want to take advantage of the market. And so we give them that those tools,

 

Jesse (26m 4s): Lauren, is there, is there one or a few, you know, things that stand out to you that are under appreciated aspects of this, of this process, that people, you know, they’re, they’re surprised by that, that keeps coming up, you know, again and again, when you’re doing this stuff,

 

Lauren (26m 20s): A lot of people, as you mentioned, just go ahead and set up LLCs and think that’s the way to go. They go online and they say, oh, it’s 500 bucks. I’m done. They don’t get the right advice from any professionals. They don’t work with realtors. They don’t do their due diligence on the properties, into which they’re investing. They just run before they walk. They under-capitalized, and don’t use other people’s money or find the right financing. No, I have some great financing partners specifically for Canadians investing in non-owner occupied us real estate.

 

So that’s not readily available necessarily if you don’t have the right connections, also, you know, just exchanging money at the bank rather than going to one of the preferred currency exchange and paying like, you know, one or two points more there, it’s just a matter of really, or working with a us coach on us real estate investment coach that has no regard for what that means for Canada. And these are very important factors because you know, these big companies that are helping you invest in us real estate don’t really care how that impacts you when you’re filing your can, your Canadian tax return, but you care.

 

So it’s important that you, that you really speak with cross border people that really understand what it means to cross borders, not just I’m investing in Indianapolis. What does that mean? No, but what does that mean? If I live in, you know, Windsor? Okay. How does that affect me? That’s what’s important. And when you’re dealing with cross border, either way or investing into Costa Rica or Mexico, or believes you need a structure and a strategy in place, or you’re going to end up getting a lot, hitting a lot of roadblocks that could be avoided.

 

Jesse (28m 10s): Yeah. It sounds like, you know, we, we, we get comfortable in the relationship that we have between Canada and the U S and we just see it as a similar thing. Oh, you know, Buffalo’s two hours, Detroit’s five hours. Yeah. So these

 

Lauren (28m 24s): Borders now they’re not so easy. Right?

 

Jesse (28m 27s): Yeah. Fair enough. In terms of, I hear from other investors, you know, one of their apprehensions, at least on the smaller scale is currency exchange rates, you know, is that something that you strategize with your team or kind of prepare them, or is it something that, you know, it’s just a function of the market? How do you,

 

Lauren (28m 48s): I have an amazing currency exchange partner I will share with you. And they are actually out of London and they, they, they have bettered every single rate that has been presented to them by my clients so far. So that’s my strategy, you know, obviously it’s about timing, but man saving a point on a million or half a million bucks is, is significant.

 

Jesse (29m 18s): So we’re just coming close to the end of the show here. Before I, I wrap up with one or two questions, I just want to make sure I get to, wanted to talk a little bit about creating as a Canadian or even as a us individual in Canada. But you know, this conversation is centered around Canadians investing in the U S so when it comes to developing an identity, for lack of a better word, so that when you do buy future assets, that you can actually get financing. And you, you know, you’re looked at from the bank as not just a complete anomaly, like, is there a, is there a process that you recommend to develop that, to build credit in the U S or is that always going to be a challenge for us?

 

Lauren (30m 1s): I was going to be a challenge until you can partner with, I mean, if you build a lot, if you do a lot of transactions, you’re going to build credit. Okay. But if you don’t have a social security number, the credit is going to be attached to your companies. Now you also build relationships, which helps you build credit. Right. But it, but again, most of the time in the U S the social security number is the, is the decisive factor. So that’s one of the driving forces for people getting bees as, as well, because then they can build us credit.

 

So, in the meantime, you, you need to like partnering with, well with joint venture partners that have those relationships that have that credit history, or that are in the U S or are us residents is, is always going to be positive for you in, from that perspective. And just making sure that you always have access to ongoing capital and resources available to you to make sure that you have that

 

Jesse (31m 2s): Well, I mean, it’s relationship, business and real estate. It seems like that that does not no borders, no. In terms of what has been happening over the last few months, I think it’s almost been a year. I think we spoke last in April. You mentioned that there was a pretty big influx of investors in the states. Maybe you could chat a little bit about that. W you know, w what has been the driving force of that, and, you know, where are you seeing people invest in your world?

 

Lauren (31m 30s): So I think the driving force for people that are planning to move is locked down and frustration with circumstances. Winter definitely helped for sure. So, and I think that people just want change and freedom. And, you know, to be honest with you, it’s been a pleasure to be here without having to deal with winter, even in spite of all of the stuff that’s going on.

 

So that’s a big factor. And I also think people are more open to investing across borders because they realize that the world is small. I think that they’re also open to investing remotely, which was not really available as much before COVID. So COVID has opened a lot of doors. The demand from Florida is not just from Canadians. It’s from everybody. It’s just unbelievable. What’s going on here. I mean, you saw an Orlando. Orlando is insane.

 

South Florida is crazy, but people want a place to go, and they want a place to go where they don’t have to with all the rules and where they don’t have to deal with the cold. And that’s really what it comes down to. But that doesn’t mean it’s just Florida. I mean, we’ve got Texas and Arizona and Alabama and Arkansas, and Tennessee is a big, big one, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, you know, not, not California, but

 

Jesse (32m 58s): Most of those seem pretty landlord friendly state, all

 

Lauren (33m 1s): Landlord friendly places. That’s where people want to invest. Ontario is not a landlord friendly place. It never has been, it never will be it’s 10 and friendly. So it makes a difference. So people are, are frustrated and want to get doors in places where they can actually have some control. And I can understand.

 

Jesse (33m 19s): Yeah, I think, you know, it’s complete anecdote, but even the last time was in Orlando. It’s just funny that every time I spoke with an Uber driver, it seemed like this guy’s from Jersey. This guy’s from New York and, you know, all of them had moved, you know, when you’re talking to them within the last year or two. Yeah. So Lauren, I will, if you can, if you, we have that a 10 step, we’ll put that in, in the show notes. Where can people, you know, aside from a simple Google search, where should people reach out to you?

 

Lauren (33m 46s): Well, one place that’s great. And it’s just launched is our brand new chat bot, which is ask Lauren esq.com. So I’ll put that in the chat as well, but you can find us there. Everything that we’re doing right now is basically branded around the investing across borders brand. But the chat bot is, as I say, ask Lauren Esq. You can reach out there and ask any questions that you have. And it’s a pretty cool thing. And if we can’t ask them, if we can’t answer them there, we will answer them directly.

 

Or you can set up a consult with me. I’m investing across borders.net real estate, across borders.com. You can find me everywhere. My podcast is investing across borders and I’m pretty easy to find. Also our general kind of general generic email is investing across borders. one@gmail.com. We set that up before we had the URL. So investing across borders, the number one at Gmail,

 

Jesse (34m 44s): My returning guest today has been Lauren Cohen, Lauren, thanks for being part of working capital.

 

Lauren (34m 48s): It’s always a pleasure take care. I’ll see you soon.

 

Jesse (34m 59s): Thank you so much for listening to working capital the real estate podcast. I’m your host, Jesse, for galley. If you liked the episode, head on to iTunes and leave us a five star review and share on social media, it really helps us out. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, Jesse for galley, F R a G a L E, have a good one. Take care.

Transcript

ions:

Jesse (0s): Welcome to the working capital real estate podcast. My name is Jesper galley. And on this show, we discuss all things real estate with investors and experts in a variety of industries that impact real estate. Whether you're looking at your first investment or raising your first fund, join me and let's build that portfolio one square foot at a time. All right, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jesper galley. We have a returning guest on the podcast today. Lauren Cohen, Lauren, how you doing today? Good. How are you Jesse? I'm doing fantastic.

 

Lauren is an international lawyer, realtor and cross-border expert originally from Toronto. And now in south Florida. Lauren is also a best selling author and sought after speaker and she launched her podcast investing across borders in late 20, 20 Lauren and her turnkey team believe in overcoming obstacles and navigating global expansion for business owners and real estate investors while offering access to unique, passive income options, everything we like here, Lauren, how you doing today?

 

Lauren (59s): I'm doing really well. How are you

 

Jesse (1m 0s): Doing? I'm doing fantastic. So we talked a little bit before the show. You are a returning guest and you are now in Florida. Is that a, is that where you're a recording from?

 

Lauren (1m 11s): I am in Florida in my home in Boca Raton. Yes, I am

 

Jesse (1m 15s): Beautiful. How's the weather there

 

Lauren (1m 17s): Different than their,

 

Jesse (1m 19s): What do you mean? We have a balmy three degrees today,

 

Lauren (1m 23s): Probably more like 83 south a Fahrenheit Celsius. That would be really hot. We'll maybe what about 25 or so?

 

Jesse (1m 31s): Hmm. Yeah, that makes sense. W we were just chatting. I was just in Orlando a few, a few weeks ago. So I'm really excited seeing what's going on. We have a lot of clients that are now pivoting to investing in Florida all over Florida, to be honest. So I mentioned before we had a, you know, we had a number of listeners either emailing me directly or messaged me on Instagram, about investing from Canada in the U S and you know, in the same breath, talked about us investors investing in Canada for listeners that didn't hear that first podcast.

 

Maybe you could give a little bit of a background on your career and what has got you to the point that you're at today.

 

Lauren (2m 13s): Sure. So thank you so much for having me back. So I'm originally from Toronto. So I've been here in Florida over 20 years. Haven't helped me. I just celebrated my 21st anniversary, I think, last month. So I specialize in helping mainly Canadians investing into the U S but also people from all over the world. My newest clients are actually Chilean and we help them. My tagline is navigating your path to invest, live, work, and play across borders.

 

And I started doing this after my then husband. Now ex-husband was deported on the way back from our honeymoon. And when that happened, I thought, well, if this can happen to me, it can happen to anybody. So let's figure out a way to stop it from happening and create a clear and easy path for people to not only invest, but also immigrate and in the past. Oh, wow. Since Thanksgiving, since us Thanksgiving around November, it has been unbelievably busy with people that are interested, not only in investing, but also in finding their way, especially to Florida.

 

I happened to be in the right place at the right time. And so the fact of the matter is that there's just so much opportunity in the U S you know, you've got 10 times the fault population, 10 times the number of opportunities. Everything is basically 10 times, not 10 times the size, because of course, Canada is a larger country, but 10 times pretty much mostly everything else, 10 times the problems too. But at the end of the day, there is a wide wide range of opportunities down here at all different price points that just doesn't exist in Canada with cap rates that are much higher with short-term rentals.

 

Like you said, Orlando is the ha the king of short-term rentals in the world. You know, if there's no place like it, there are communities in Orlando where they only allow short-term rentals. I don't think that exists elsewhere. So it's just a crazy time to be investing in real estate. And that doesn't mean that it doesn't go the other way, people investing into Canada, especially because of course the dollar goes further and the real estate in Canada may not have the great cap rates, but the upside, the, you know, the ROI when you sell your property is huge, especially in the GTA, you make an investment, you know, the next day it's going to go up.

 

So it's all a matter of just deciding what it is that you want to do with your money and how you want to invest it and what your goals are with it.

 

Jesse (4m 46s): So we could kind of take a stab at this in a number of ways. I thought what we could do is talk a little bit about the actual structuring of investments that you see, and maybe, maybe it could be from the perspective of having someone say Canadian investing in the U S you know, what is the first couple things that, you know, you would recommend, or you basically consult them to do aside from hire you?

 

Lauren (5m 13s): So it's not just about me, it's about the team. It's about making sure that you have a strategy in place and not just haphazardly deciding to do, you know, to invest because the price seems right, or looking at a property without doing your due diligence or not sending up the right structure and making the investment or not speaking to that cross border tax advisor, whichever border that might be, it's really important to have a holistic approach to it, and also to work with qualified real estate professionals, wherever it is that you're investing referred by other qualified real estate professionals like Jesse and myself, and, and just having that structure in place to help protect you.

 

Because at the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is invest and give all your money to either the CRA or the IRS, the kind of defeats the purpose. Right. And you want to make sure that you have a short and long-term strategy in place so that you can create goals, create paths to achieve your goals related to those strategies.

 

Jesse (6m 11s): Yeah. Fair enough. So when, when you have individuals that do invest or work with you, I'm, I'm sure goals are, you know, that's the key aspect of, of what they're doing. Are you trying to acquire a lot of land? Are you trying, like we talked in our last conversation, are you trying to, to work in, in the states or live in the states, or is this a passive investment? How do you navigate those decisions or those goals with clients and give them a framework to better understand that investment that they are making?

 

Lauren (6m 42s): Well, I, we have a lot of resources available, both with my podcast and my YouTube channel, and a lot of downloads, a lot of really great downloads that help clients understand. For example, I have one that talks about the 10 steps to successful real estate investing in the U S that has nothing to do with getting a visa. It just has to do with investing, and there are 10 steps. Okay. And so then if they're interested in a visa, then we go to the next level and to the next level and to the next level. And it's a matter of really being available to clients, to hold their hands and figure out that strategy, do an initial consult call.

 

I mean, client, I, you know, I've had clients that thought they wanted X and they ended up wanting Y through, or even after a week or two, they realized that they need to rethink their, their posture. I've had clients that say they want to do immigrate through real estate, which is my signature program. And we ended up buying them a franchise because it's an easier path. I've had clients that thought franchises were the worst thing in the world and ended up falling in love with the concept. I've had clients that think that they are, you know, ready to buy 20 units of real estate.

 

And yet they're really not because they're, they don't have the, the pre-qualification letters with the financing in place or whatever. So what did, what I think is really important in all of this is having the team and the, the, the professionals available, making sure that you have a financing partner, a currency exchange partner, you know, legal partners in different states. For example, I have a new client that's investing in Utah. So I have partners that set up entities and structures in Utah.

 

You know, it's making sure that you have the team and the relationships that are necessary to be able to serve whatever your client's needs may be, because they're going to change from time to time. And that cross border tax advisor, I don't do anything without one of those speaking to my clients at any time, because I'm not a tax advisor, I'm not a tax expert. That's why I pay the IRS or the CRA or whatever, just like everybody else. Right. So, and that's why I hired them. So I, if I'm going to, I need my clients to do the same.

 

Jesse (8m 54s): Yeah. I mean, that makes sense. So, in terms of, if anybody's interested in those 10 steps, we went through them on the last podcast episode 50, you can just type in Lauren Cohen's name and you'll find that on our website, working capital podcast.com, just, just because I know we went into some more detail on those. I had a number of people reach out after that episode that were interested in the aspect of actually moving to the states. And I think maybe as a case study, you know, we can talk about maybe three different scenarios.

 

One is, this is the individual that's, you know, buying a rental property or buying one vacation property that maybe that they're, they've thought about renting it out for a portion of the year. Secondly, I think if we go into the larger say, 50 unit, a hundred unit apartment buildings, commercial, commercial, real estate, and then the third, which, which I'd like to get into right now is the individual that says, Hey, Lauren, you know, I I'm open to buying real estate. I'm open to potentially buying a franchise. But the goal for me is to move to the states or have that be a part of that process.

 

So, you know, what is somebody like that, you know, what are they looking at?

 

Lauren (10m 7s): I mean, in terms of amounts or

 

Jesse (10m 10s): In terms of the process. So for those individuals that, you know, those 10 steps that we talked about last time, I assume that those were specifically talking about investing in, in the states from Canada. But then if you, we're talking about individuals that want to get a visa, you know, w at what point does that approach differ?

 

Lauren (10m 30s): Yeah. So it differs at, from the get-go really because your, your investments are going to be potentially different. If you're investing in that large apartment building and building a business that potentially can qualify for a visa. If you're investing in a syndication that will never qualify for a visa, unless you are the developer of the syndication, because it has to be a business. So our super power rests in transitioning a prospective client from a passive real estate investor to an active real estate business owner.

 

And if they're an active real estate business owner, they can potentially qualify. Now why we like franchises is because for the more passive real estate investor, a franchise can allow them to have this active business that doesn't, that doesn't disqualify their real estate investing. And as a matter of fact, maybe augmented like a property management company, an inspection company, a home improvement company, an alarm company, a maid service, okay. And those are easy turnkey businesses that immigration likes.

 

So what we try to do is make your process as painless as possible because at the end of the day, moving is a big deal. People think Canada and the U S are the same, and they're not, they're just not. And so there are many ways skin the same cat and make your life easier in the process. So what we try to do is make sure that that process is as easy as possible so that you can accomplish your goals. And you can include real estate investing as part of your business plan, but perhaps your visa application is not dependent on it.

 

So one is not necessarily tied to the other. So you don't have to feel pressured to buy the real estate prior to applying for the visa. You can wait maybe until we find what you're looking for, you know, and the visa is not dependent on the real estate. So if you happen to sell it, suddenly your visa isn't compromised. Okay. So that's why we like to have a complimentary business that allows you to qualify for the visa and yet still accomplish your investing goals.

 

Okay.

 

Jesse (12m 46s): Could you talk a little bit about this differentiation between passive and active real estate investors? Because correct me if I'm wrong, I don't believe Canada has exactly the equivalent aspects of

 

Lauren (12m 57s): In Canada. They flipping is considered an active business in the U S it is not. So you, we need to be very careful to make sure that the business here in the U S whatever it is that you're doing is a truly active business that you are, that you need to run it. So if you're, if you're flipping a hundred homes a month, then that could probably qualify, but if you're flipping one or two, that's not going to work because that's passive and you don't need a visa to do that.

 

So we need to figure out a reason for you to need your boots on the ground is the term that we use. Why do you need to be in the us running this business? So we need to tell that story and make it very clear. And we need to draw the line in the sand between what is passive. Like, you know, most people invest in real estate because it's passive, right. But if you're doing the burn method over and over, that's not passive. You're actively running a business. If you're running many Airbnbs, that's not generally passive, maybe one or two, but if you're doing European, you know, daily or weekly rentals, that is probably, probably not positive.

 

Now, on the other hand, when you look at somewhere like Orlando, or you hire a property management company to manage, then it becomes turnkey. So again, then it becomes potentially passive. Maybe you want to be the property manager. Maybe you want to be involved in that. And then suddenly that changes the dynamic again. So each business is going to be different, and there's not like one size fits all about what makes it qualify or not qualify.

 

Jesse (14m 33s): Was there a, I'm trying to remember, I don't know if it was a conversation with you or something that I read, but an acid test for what makes you, and I don't know if it's a, the U S legal term, a real estate professional. And I don't mean that I don't mean an agent. I mean, that, you're a, you're a full-time real estate professional. That there's a certain amount of hours. If the year that debt are dedicated to real estate investments. Is that something that's, that's taken into consideration or is that so, so your, it really is something that is case by case that

 

Lauren (15m 4s): Very case by case, and on top of that, Jessie, the other part of it is that it's not just about you, right? It's about a business. So you have to hire people. You have to show that your business is not marginal to replace your income. And you have to show that your business has an economic impact. That means hiring people and impacting the community, impacting whatever. Okay. So it's all kinds of different considerations. So if, even if you're a real estate professional, right, I am a solo preneur.

 

All of my staff is, are independent contractors. I wouldn't qualify for a visa. I'd have to transition them to employees in order to qualify for a visa. So it's a very big, it's a very big deal to us to know that that that's a business, right? So solo preneurs generally won't get visas because they aren't, aren't impacting the society. They aren't hiring people. It's got to be a business. So we, and it's not 10 employees like for a green card.

 

It's a few. So what does that mean? Well, generally we like to see between two and four over a five-year business plan. And if it's less than that, it's going to be marginal. And we also want to see that the numbers can support not only the business, but also support, you know, support you, your family, the employees. And there's a return because we want to see that you're generating income. So all of those factors come into play.

 

Jesse (16m 37s): So it seems the IRS likes business, her money-making businesses, just like the CRA of course

 

Lauren (16m 43s): They want their money, right?

 

Jesse (16m 44s): Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So in, if we were to have a kind of ideal investment from a real estate point of view, so say you bought a large commercial property, say multi-racial property that was bringing in a million a year in terms of gross rent. And the reason I use this number just for simplicity and say, you're, you're paying a property manager 6%, so $60,000 a year. So from that perspective, you can you be creative of, you know, instead of paying a company, we create, we create our own active company, the property management company.

 

So that would be approach you would take.

 

Lauren (17m 24s): Yeah, exactly. In that, in that if there's a million dollars in income coming in a year, then we would bring in our own in-house property manager, potentially, maybe agenda a janitor, or, you know, a groundskeeper, maybe somebody to do logistics, managing all of the rents and everything, and I'll, you know, and all of those. So we help to figure out which employees make the most sense. Now, obviously we are not in your business. So even though we write the business plans, it's your business.

 

And at the end of the day, you're the one that goes to the government and has the interview and defends whatever your business is or presents, whatever your business is, not us. So some people say, well, I thought you were writing the business plan. Yes. But it's still your business. We are putting, we are reducing it to paper and putting it in a concise, presentable manner, but it's your business and they're your numbers. So it's really important. We can help, we can guide, but we aren't going to develop the business for you.

 

Jesse (18m 27s): Yeah. Understood. So I have a, a friend of mine, I think I mentioned before the show that I purchased a townhouse first, first purchase in the U S for me in, in Southern, in Orlando or just south of downtown. So my friend, who's a realtor. He's, he's been in Florida for eight or nine years. And I know for a fact he doesn't have a visa. So I assume that he is just, he's working for a company he's Canadian, doesn't

 

Lauren (18m 55s): Have a visa. And he has a real estate

 

Jesse (18m 57s): License. Does, has a, I'm sorry. He doesn't have a green card. I believe he has a visa. So he's yeah. Sorry, my mistake now, why would somebody like I I'm D well, first of all, do you deal with individuals that want to eventually get their green card as well? Okay. What makes that, what do you, what do you find is the, usually the, the thrust of that decision, when some individuals are, are comfortable having a visa and are able to do what they want to do in terms of investments and, you know, being in the states for the majority of the year, what's that differentiation that you find that people say, no, I want it

 

Lauren (19m 35s): Definitely permanent. Some, some people, if they're high net worth, they don't want a green card because then they become us residents for tax purposes. So that's one issue. Some people want the green card right away. So there is a path to that. My newest clients, the Chilean clients, that's what they're doing. They don't, they just want the green card right away. And when you do an E two, there is not a direct path to an AB five or to a green card, I should say, but there is a way to transition.

 

So it really depends. Each, each individual case is different. Some if they come in, depending on the visa, they come in on, they can be sponsored for a green card. The spouse can be sponsored for a green card. They can increase their investment amount and their employee count and qualify for a green card through , which is a direct green card path. So there are ways to transition, but there's no direct path from an investor visa to a green card at the moment.

 

Jesse (20m 39s): So if we pivot to investors that are just purely looking for investments across borders, so, you know, they're not interested in a visa, they're not in a green card. So for those individuals. So for instance, maybe using even my investment as a, as a kind of jump-off point, you know, it's a townhouse in, in Orlando, it's going to be, I think the completion of the construction is going to be in June, July this year. Now I'm going to have a couple of decisions to make what I want to put that investment in what structure I want to have for that investment personal or otherwise.

 

And from that standpoint, when do you find is the best time to start engaging with the client? And what do you see as a, is a typical path?

 

Lauren (21m 23s): Yeah, ideally, however, most of the time, especially if you're pre-construction, you can change a sign, the contract to an entity after the fact. Now there is no one size fits all. And I would say probably 30% of my clients these days are just investing. So we have a real estate investment pre-investment package that can come in post-investment as well. And generally, most Canadians, if they're staying in Canada, we'll do a limited partnership slash limited liability company structure because LLCs limited liability companies are disregarded entities by the CRA.

 

Now this is going to depend on your tax bracket in Canada, which again is why nothing happens without Mike cross-border tax guy. And like right now, actually he's talking to a client of mine. The outcome of that will determine what entities we set up for the client. Okay. And they already there they're closing in two weeks. So it's really about looking at your particular circumstances. If do you have an entity in Canada? Are you an investor in Canada? Do you have other investments in the us? You do not understand, but those are all considerations that come into play.

 

And are you investing in multiple states? Do you need multiple LPs and LLCs? What's the cost? How does that all look? So we do that quite often. We have a quick little package that we offer. And if the client decides to eventually apply for a visa, it's not going to be detrimental to have that in place. Having the LPL LLC will never hurt you.

 

Jesse (22m 56s): So this is a question that comes up a lot. And I know we talked about it last time that, you know, Canadians just assume LLCs. That's what I, my, my, sorry, my building should be in which, like you said, it's a disregarded entity. I believe that the default position from CRA's, they treated as a Canadian corporation for tax. So it, it, it is a problem. So in the scenario that you are describing, let's just use that. Let's say you're in the highest tax bracket in Canada. It's your first, it's your only property in the us now is the structure of that LLC.

 

And that, sorry, that LP, which, which I assume would have a general partner. And then I assume as the LLC, and then would have a limited partner,

 

Lauren (23m 40s): Necessarily general partner might be the Canadian company.

 

Jesse (23m 43s): Okay. So, so in that, in that let's say it's the Canadian company. The reason I said LLC first is because a lot of the documents we see that we use that we'll have the GP being 0.0 1.001% ownership and true or false part of the reason that might, that would be an advantage in structuring that way for tax purposes is the double taxation aspect of

 

Lauren (24m 7s): I'm not going to answer it if it's true or false, because I'm not a tax expert, but I will tell you that the whole reason of structuring things and making sure that the tax Kite's involved is to avoid double taxation. Because with disregarded entities, you can end up paying double taxes. And w why would you do that? That kind of doesn't make sense. So there's a cost involved, but it's, you know, you set up the structure right from the get-go, and then you're not going to end up paying CRA every year, which you would do otherwise.

 

So I, I think that it's really important. You know, we, our approach is holistic. And even though I may know the answer, I'm not going to give the answer because I'm not a tax expert. And so I like to make sure that my clients understand that nothing happens without going through the steps. And actually the steps that we you're referencing are, are actually different steps. So I, my original program was called 10 steps to immigrate through real estate, which is basically what put me on the map more recently, because I have so many people that are just investing in real estate like yourself and not planning to get a visa.

 

I created a, a slide that I will share with you about 10 steps to successful us real estate investing. So it has nothing to do with the immigration piece, but it has to do with all of these elements, like getting your tax ID, setting up your entity, getting your bank account, all of those things are included. Whereas in the 10 steps, it's a broader 10 steps because there's an immigration piece attached to it. So I'll share that with you so you can share it with your audience, but I just wanted to make that clear because it's really about investing.

 

And a lot of people don't even know if they want to get a visa right now, and that's fine, but they want to invest and they want to take advantage of the market. And so we give them that those tools,

 

Jesse (26m 4s): Lauren, is there, is there one or a few, you know, things that stand out to you that are under appreciated aspects of this, of this process, that people, you know, they're, they're surprised by that, that keeps coming up, you know, again and again, when you're doing this stuff,

 

Lauren (26m 20s): A lot of people, as you mentioned, just go ahead and set up LLCs and think that's the way to go. They go online and they say, oh, it's 500 bucks. I'm done. They don't get the right advice from any professionals. They don't work with realtors. They don't do their due diligence on the properties, into which they're investing. They just run before they walk. They under-capitalized, and don't use other people's money or find the right financing. No, I have some great financing partners specifically for Canadians investing in non-owner occupied us real estate.

 

So that's not readily available necessarily if you don't have the right connections, also, you know, just exchanging money at the bank rather than going to one of the preferred currency exchange and paying like, you know, one or two points more there, it's just a matter of really, or working with a us coach on us real estate investment coach that has no regard for what that means for Canada. And these are very important factors because you know, these big companies that are helping you invest in us real estate don't really care how that impacts you when you're filing your can, your Canadian tax return, but you care.

 

So it's important that you, that you really speak with cross border people that really understand what it means to cross borders, not just I'm investing in Indianapolis. What does that mean? No, but what does that mean? If I live in, you know, Windsor? Okay. How does that affect me? That's what's important. And when you're dealing with cross border, either way or investing into Costa Rica or Mexico, or believes you need a structure and a strategy in place, or you're going to end up getting a lot, hitting a lot of roadblocks that could be avoided.

 

Jesse (28m 10s): Yeah. It sounds like, you know, we, we, we get comfortable in the relationship that we have between Canada and the U S and we just see it as a similar thing. Oh, you know, Buffalo's two hours, Detroit's five hours. Yeah. So these

 

Lauren (28m 24s): Borders now they're not so easy. Right?

 

Jesse (28m 27s): Yeah. Fair enough. In terms of, I hear from other investors, you know, one of their apprehensions, at least on the smaller scale is currency exchange rates, you know, is that something that you strategize with your team or kind of prepare them, or is it something that, you know, it's just a function of the market? How do you,

 

Lauren (28m 48s): I have an amazing currency exchange partner I will share with you. And they are actually out of London and they, they, they have bettered every single rate that has been presented to them by my clients so far. So that's my strategy, you know, obviously it's about timing, but man saving a point on a million or half a million bucks is, is significant.

 

Jesse (29m 18s): So we're just coming close to the end of the show here. Before I, I wrap up with one or two questions, I just want to make sure I get to, wanted to talk a little bit about creating as a Canadian or even as a us individual in Canada. But you know, this conversation is centered around Canadians investing in the U S so when it comes to developing an identity, for lack of a better word, so that when you do buy future assets, that you can actually get financing. And you, you know, you're looked at from the bank as not just a complete anomaly, like, is there a, is there a process that you recommend to develop that, to build credit in the U S or is that always going to be a challenge for us?

 

Lauren (30m 1s): I was going to be a challenge until you can partner with, I mean, if you build a lot, if you do a lot of transactions, you're going to build credit. Okay. But if you don't have a social security number, the credit is going to be attached to your companies. Now you also build relationships, which helps you build credit. Right. But it, but again, most of the time in the U S the social security number is the, is the decisive factor. So that's one of the driving forces for people getting bees as, as well, because then they can build us credit.

 

So, in the meantime, you, you need to like partnering with, well with joint venture partners that have those relationships that have that credit history, or that are in the U S or are us residents is, is always going to be positive for you in, from that perspective. And just making sure that you always have access to ongoing capital and resources available to you to make sure that you have that

 

Jesse (31m 2s): Well, I mean, it's relationship, business and real estate. It seems like that that does not no borders, no. In terms of what has been happening over the last few months, I think it's almost been a year. I think we spoke last in April. You mentioned that there was a pretty big influx of investors in the states. Maybe you could chat a little bit about that. W you know, w what has been the driving force of that, and, you know, where are you seeing people invest in your world?

 

Lauren (31m 30s): So I think the driving force for people that are planning to move is locked down and frustration with circumstances. Winter definitely helped for sure. So, and I think that people just want change and freedom. And, you know, to be honest with you, it's been a pleasure to be here without having to deal with winter, even in spite of all of the stuff that's going on.

 

So that's a big factor. And I also think people are more open to investing across borders because they realize that the world is small. I think that they're also open to investing remotely, which was not really available as much before COVID. So COVID has opened a lot of doors. The demand from Florida is not just from Canadians. It's from everybody. It's just unbelievable. What's going on here. I mean, you saw an Orlando. Orlando is insane.

 

South Florida is crazy, but people want a place to go, and they want a place to go where they don't have to with all the rules and where they don't have to deal with the cold. And that's really what it comes down to. But that doesn't mean it's just Florida. I mean, we've got Texas and Arizona and Alabama and Arkansas, and Tennessee is a big, big one, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, you know, not, not California, but

 

Jesse (32m 58s): Most of those seem pretty landlord friendly state, all

 

Lauren (33m 1s): Landlord friendly places. That's where people want to invest. Ontario is not a landlord friendly place. It never has been, it never will be it's 10 and friendly. So it makes a difference. So people are, are frustrated and want to get doors in places where they can actually have some control. And I can understand.

 

Jesse (33m 19s): Yeah, I think, you know, it's complete anecdote, but even the last time was in Orlando. It's just funny that every time I spoke with an Uber driver, it seemed like this guy's from Jersey. This guy's from New York and, you know, all of them had moved, you know, when you're talking to them within the last year or two. Yeah. So Lauren, I will, if you can, if you, we have that a 10 step, we'll put that in, in the show notes. Where can people, you know, aside from a simple Google search, where should people reach out to you?

 

Lauren (33m 46s): Well, one place that's great. And it's just launched is our brand new chat bot, which is ask Lauren esq.com. So I'll put that in the chat as well, but you can find us there. Everything that we're doing right now is basically branded around the investing across borders brand. But the chat bot is, as I say, ask Lauren Esq. You can reach out there and ask any questions that you have. And it's a pretty cool thing. And if we can't ask them, if we can't answer them there, we will answer them directly.

 

Or you can set up a consult with me. I'm investing across borders.net real estate, across borders.com. You can find me everywhere. My podcast is investing across borders and I'm pretty easy to find. Also our general kind of general generic email is investing across borders. one@gmail.com. We set that up before we had the URL. So investing across borders, the number one at Gmail,

 

Jesse (34m 44s): My returning guest today has been Lauren Cohen, Lauren, thanks for being part of working capital.

 

Lauren (34m 48s): It's always a pleasure take care. I'll see you soon.

 

Jesse (34m 59s): Thank you so much for listening to working capital the real estate podcast. I'm your host, Jesse, for galley. If you liked the episode, head on to iTunes and leave us a five star review and share on social media, it really helps us out. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, Jesse for galley, F R a G a L E, have a good one. Take care.