“20 Minutes of Successful Niche Secrets – EPISODE 34”,
Where I coach Shaheen Lambert on how she can help Independent Women make more money
“20 Minutes of Successful Niche Secrets – EPISODE 34,”
Where I coach Shaheen Lambert on how she can help Independent Women make more money
Glenn: Hi! It’s Glenn McQueenie, and welcome to another episode of my 25-Minute Success Series Podcast. Every week, we meet with a wonderful agent or Broker, usually don’t really know what the problem is, and within 25 minutes, we’ll be able to find out the solution to what great niche market they’ll be able to build in and develop, and also leave them with a great marketing blueprint to follow over the next 12 months. So today I have a special guest, Shaheen Lambert, from Keller Williams Urbain Realty in Montreal, Quebec. Hi Shaheen! How are you?
Shaheen: I’m really good, and you?
Glenn: I’m great! Thank you so much for coming and joining me on the call. Can you do me a favour and just give anyone who would be listening a little bit of background, so they know how long you’ve been in the business, where you are now in your business, and where you’d like to go?
Shaheen: I literally just started 30 days ago exactly today, actually, and where I am in my business is pretty fresh. I’m literally starting.
Glenn: Wow, that’s new!
Shaheen: Yeah, fresh out of the oven!
Glenn: You’ve been in for 30 days, so just launching your career right now. I’m sure we can all remember what that was like, where you probably just come into the business and you’re sitting there going, “Okay. All this training we got to get my license. Now we’ve got to get out in the real world. What am I really supposed to do?” So what have you been doing so far, since you started? And where would you like to go with your business?
Shaheen: What I’ve been doing so far is basically taking every single training they’ve been offering at the office and reading a lot. I’ve read four or five books on real estate. I’ve read a lot of scripts. I went through your book, actually, this weekend, and I’ve been sitting with my team leader a lot and just brainstorming. That’s what I’ve been doing, mainly, to try to figure out where I’m going and how I want to do this, and just to figure it out to do it properly.
Glenn: Yeah. Collecting all the information right now, trying to understand how it works. So can you paint us a picture on who would be your perfect client? If I was the one booking your appointments tomorrow, and you had to tell me who you want sitting in that chair, who would be your dream-come-true client? Who would you really like to work with?
Shaheen: I would actually really love to work with women that are very driven, like that expression, “Boss Lady.” That’s who I would want to work with – a woman that’s independent. Not necessarily single, but independent, that wants to own her own house and that really projects the image that she doesn’t need anyone or anything to help her progress in life. That’s really the clientele I would work with – very driven, strong, independent women.
Glenn: Alright. So we’re going to call this the Boss Woman niche.
Glenn: I think that’s really cool. “My new niche is the Boss Woman niche!” I think that’s really exciting. So where are these women now? A lot of times, when we’re planning how to market and attract these people, we really have to come out of our own eyes and go visit in their bodies for a little while. Just imagine you’re them right now, and you’re at home. What would you think is keeping them awake at night? What’s their biggest problem that they want to solve? What comes to mind when I ask you that question?
Shaheen: I think the biggest problem that would actually keep them awake at night is how to progress and not feel like they’re staying in the same place every day. Anything that would help them grow – I think they’re very scared of not growing. It keeps me up at night feeling like I’m the same person I was a month ago. Just keep moving forward in life. I think that’s a big concern.
Glenn: That sounds pretty driven. Don’t like to stay still. How old is your perfect target market, would you say?
Shaheen: I don’t know. I can’t really put an age on it, because I’ve seen girls that are extremely driven at 18, and I’ve seen some that are extremely driven at 45 or 60 or 65. I think anywhere from 25-40? Even 45. I don’t know. I can’t put an age on it somehow.
Glenn: Okay. So who would you feel more comfortable with? Would it be a 45-year-old? Would it be a 60-year-old? Would it be a 25-year-old? Is there a five or 10-year age range? Because what you’re really looking for when you go through this whole exercise of finding your niche is you’re kind of looking for yourself. You’re looking for people just like you.
Shaheen: I guess – well I’m 30 – so anywhere from 30 to 40, I would be comfortable with.
Glenn: Okay. I wasn’t doing that to ask your age. I was doing it just because I wanted to paint the picture for you that you’ll find all of your really close friends will have very similar values, goals and mindsets as you do. The more you can bring this into real estate, and only attract that type of person who shows up in that chair every time for an appointment, then you have this almost instant connection that happens. It’s almost like when you have a great conversation with someone you just met, and you’re like, “Oh my God! You get me, and I get you!” Does that make sense?
Shaheen: Yeah, it does, actually. A lot.
Glenn: Okay. So where is this 30 to 40-year-old person living right now? Where are they now?
Shaheen: I think they’re living probably downtown or Griffintown – basically where all the buildings are going up (the trendy places).
Glenn: Okay, so this is downtown Montreal, and for people listening, this would be just west of downtown. Is that right?
Shaheen: Yeah, southwest. It’s very confusing because Griffintown was almost non-existing a few years ago (you didn’t really hear that name), but now it’s cool and trendy. It’s a little bit south of downtown.
Glenn: Okay. So from the train station, it would be just south. And then from the Bell Centre (for people listening), it would just be probably within a kilometre of that, right?
Shaheen: Yes, exactly. Yeah.
Glenn: Okay, perfect. So real downtown Montreal. And are they renting right now? Or are they owning in that condo?
Shaheen: I think they’re probably renting for now.
Glenn: Right. And what do you think has been holding them back from buying their first home right now?
Shaheen: I think they probably think it’s too expensive, and they’ll have to sacrifice too much of their social life to own something. I see some of my girlfriends – they go to restaurants a lot, they travel a lot – and I know they’re things that they don’t want to sacrifice to own something.
Glenn: Right. Are there any income properties in that area, too? Instead of them buying one condo? That’s the entry point for a lot of people, right? “I’m going to buy my first condo.” But by the time you take in the monthly fees (the taxes are usually a little bit higher), how much would it cost them to buy their first condo per month, would you say?
Shaheen: I have seriously no idea how much they go for, because you can find something that’s $1,200 a month, but you could find something that’s $4,000 a month. It’s very sparse in that area. There’s everything.
Glenn: Okay. And then what is the cost of a one-bedroom condo in Griffintown right now – a newer, one-bedroom condo that you’d like to live in?
Shaheen: I would say anywhere from $250,000 - $350,000, depending on the building, and what they have to offer in the building.
Glenn: Okay. So my first bit of advice would be, almost become the expert, if this is where we want to focus right now, in Griffintown, where you’re like, “Okay. Your one-bedrooms are between $250 and $350. Here’s two-bedrooms. Here’s one-bedroom plus solarium.” Just have the lay of the land, right? Just what the actual costs are, and also what the equivalent rental value would be. That would be a really good research point for you, just because once you know those two sets of facts, you’re going to feel a lot more comfortable talking about that product to people.
Shaheen: Yeah, for sure. That makes a lot of sense.
Glenn: Okay. And then for someone to buy a $300,000 condo, and put 15% or 20% down (which is typically what they do), they’re going to be looking at probably carrying costs of around $2,000 to $2,100 a month, which is a lot of money for one person to carry just for housing, right?
Glenn: So in that area in Griffintown, are there any income properties like duplexes or triplexes or fourplexes – three or four units together?
Shaheen: There is, but they’re becoming rarer and rarer.
Glenn: Right. Is there another cool part of Montreal where those people may consider living if we could almost group these people together? Here’s what I’m thinking of: what if we started getting investment properties for Boss Ladies, and this was their entry point into the market, where they would buy an income property with two or three or four people? Their monthly carrying costs are going to be way lower than if they were actually buying their first condo.
Shaheen: Well there’s actually this new area that’s becoming trendier. It’s called Saint-Henri. It’s right beside it. There are a lot of duplexes in that area.
Glenn: And do you have any idea what those would go for?
Shaheen: No, I have no clue.
Glenn: Okay. So that would be really interesting to do. I think this would be a really interesting niche, if you want to do it, because it’s going to solve a couple of problems. One is, the reason they’re not buying right now is it’s very expensive to carry it for one person on one salary, right?
Glenn: So what they end up doing is renting. Now they’re paying someone else’s mortgage and giving someone else financial security and power and not empowering themselves. If we could get them into this niche, we’re going to get three or four ladies together to buy one fourplex. I don’t know the prices there, but I’m guessing they’ve got to be under $1,000,000.
Shaheen: Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Glenn: So if you take four $300,000 condos, that’s $1.2 million. If you could buy a fourplex for $700,000 or $800,000, it’s going to carry for maybe $1,200 a month or $1,500 a month for these ladies. And then the plan is, “Okay. We’re all going to get together for five years and we’re going to just be trying to pay down the mortgage as much as we can. And then we’re going to sell this property in five years. That’s going to give us all a lot more money (much bigger down payments), to be able to buy much better properties that will appreciate more.” And in the meantime, if something happens and they move out, someone else can buy in – but more importantly – just rent in. And now you have this income-producing asset. Here’s what I’ve found when I’ve done this with people before: the first one, everyone’s nervous about. But what you might find is the same group of ladies, every one or two years, will start refinancing that one income property and buying additional income properties. And now, you could almost become the Boss Lady Investment Guru, which would just be empowering women by helping them build their wealth through real estate, because money is just freedom for many people. It’s a freedom of choice to do whatever they want to do. What do you think about that idea?
Shaheen: I think it’s actually really, really good. Very interesting.
Glenn: Does it get you excited? Or do you think it would get your friends excited?
Shaheen: I’m thinking about – I already have three girls in my head that could be together on this, and I’m like, “Oh, this would work! This would really work!”
Glenn: Isn’t that cool? So what you could do is get a Facebook page called “Boss Lady Investment Properties: Montreal,” right? Now you can start directing people, as a place to go to, where you start building your tribe by talking about what you’re doing. And you can even start sharing stories about how you bought the first one. Or, “Here’s my pick for the Boss Lady Investment Properties of the week.” And “You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to have a cinq à sept, drinks from 5 to 7 on this Thursday night. And everyone who’s interested in it, why don’t we all just get together for drinks and then we’ll chat about it? And on the following Saturday, we’re going to go on a tour. On that tour, we’re going to go and see five or six investment properties back to back. And if you want, we can do the double tour. So the morning is, we’re going to go and see five or six condos that you could probably afford, and in the afternoon, we’re going to go and see five or six investment properties. And then you tell me what makes you feel better, or what choice you would make.”
Shaheen: Yeah. It sounds like a really good idea, especially because I have a background in interior design, and I have this ability to see potential when people don’t see it. I can actually make it seem a lot more appealing to them, because sometimes investment properties need a little bit of love, you know?
Shaheen: Sometimes they’re older, or renters don’t really take care of the investment properties that much, so I think it would be really good for me. I think I could use my assets in that way, for sure.
Glenn: Isn’t it great that you can bring your Unique Abilities and strengths from a previous career into real estate? That will give you confidence, right? I’m pretty sure you’re confident talking about interior design.
Shaheen: Yeah, extremely. Yeah, for sure.
Glenn: Way more than if you’re talking about real estate right now, just because you don’t know enough of the product right now. You just won’t have that same level. It’s like me trying to pretend I’m an interior decorator in front of you. You’re going to be like, “Yeah, you have no idea what you’re talking about.” So this could be really fun, because on the tour, you could do the “Before” and “After.” Try to find one income property that basically hasn’t been touched and looks terrible, and then show them the completed product. Show them the difference in the prices, and tell them that if they do the work, it’s going to be much cheaper, and they will already get this equity lift and build their wealth, just by doing one reno.
Shaheen: Yeah, and let’s face it: girls like that.
Glenn: I know! Totally.
Shaheen: We love it.
Glenn: For most men, it’s a leather couch and a t.v. We’re pretty happy. There’s nothing else to do in life, you know? But you have that sense of design and the background in design, and you can bring what you’re really confident in doing (your Unique Abilities), to a target market of ladies, where it’s like, “You know what? Everyone else is telling you to go and rent a condo or buy a condo, but I’m planting my flag here saying that’s really stupid. What you should be doing is building wealth through buying investment properties together, where you live in them at first, and then you sell them and take enough money out to go and buy your own detached house or something. Or you just keep this money reinvested.” And then what you could do as the realtor (this is what I think is really cool), is say, “Here’s the plan, ladies. Five of us are going to do this, okay? You four are putting the money in. I’m not putting any money in. My job is to find the property, advise on the interior design, and get this group together. Either I’ll live in it, or I’m going to rent it out on your behalf, and I’ll look after the wealth part. And here’s the deal: when we go to sell that property in five years, we’re going to split it five ways. You’re going to get your original down payment back. Whatever profit’s left, we’re going to split it five ways.” And now this can be a second pillar of income for you, Shaheen, to build your wealth.
Shaheen: Yeah, because I like building my wealth, actually. A lot.
Glenn: Yeah! But I’m always amazed with agents who go and bring their best investment properties to their clients and never try to get any part of the equity. I don’t ever think the agent should have to put in the money. You’re paying the agent to go and find that property. They know the economic model. They know what the rents are. They know how much it’s going to carry for (what the mortgage is). They know what the cash flow is going to be on the property. And they’ll manage it for you. So all you have to do is give them the money. They’ll take care of everything else. So for those people listening, I met Shaheen on Thursday when I was teaching in Montreal. She came up and talked to me afterwards. But when I was teaching that class, The McQueenie Method, there was one guy who all he wanted to do was golf and ski, but what he really likes to do is sell investment properties between 10 and 20 units. Do you remember that guy, Shaheen?
Shaheen: Yeah, I do. I do remember.
Glenn: Yeah. Right. So for him, he’s just got to go find more people with money. And I showed that slide, remember? It showed that first of all, you buy the unit. You have the investment property. Then you do the rental division. Then you have a property management division and repair division. And because you are managing all four of those divisions, your perceived value in the marketplace goes up, and you can charge way more fee. You can start making way more pillars of income, right? So when you sell them the income property, you get paid. You also get paid when they sell it. And you get paid the equity left when you do that. And then if you want to, hire juniors that could basically be running your rental division, filling up these places all the time. You could make more income off of that. And then also, in Toronto we charge about 7-8% per month for property management fees. So if you did this, within 12 months, you could probably have a couple of these done, and already be making the money – not only on the sale and on the equity lift – but also on the property management.
Shaheen: Yeah. It actually sounds like nothing I’ve heard of before, and this is very new to me and very exciting.
Glenn: Isn’t it cool?
Shaheen: Yeah, it’s really cool! It’s different. I think if I would’ve had this opportunity when I was younger, I would’ve totally jumped on it. If I would’ve known the right
person and the right expert to guide me through this, I would have jumped on it for sure.
Glenn: Yeah. So the cool thing is, you get to be the expert! The whole point of my book and going into your niche is, first of all, you identify what your natural strengths are. You bring it to a target market of people you really like to work with. You position yourself as the celebrity specialist in that niche. And then people come running to you. So, I would almost run a 90-day blueprint for you right now. I’ll give you the 12-month goal, okay? Are you ready?
Shaheen: Yeah, I am!
Glenn: Okay, here we go. So in the next 90 days, here’s what you have to do, okay? It’s the 90-day sprint. I would strongly suggest that every day, you spend at least a couple of hours inside of properties. You’ve got to get that property background to really understand what all the condos are, the pros and cons of the different condos, of what your typical target market would be buying, right? Also, go and see all of the current investment properties that are currently for sale. But more importantly, over the last two years, print up all the sales of not only the condos, but also the investment properties. Get in your car, or on your bike (or whatever way you want to do it), and drive by every single house. What you’re going to see with every house that’s sold is some of those sales will be “Before” and “After” – they bought it for this, they did a reno, and they flipped it for this price.
Glenn: And now you’re going to see, “Oh, I see. If they put in this…” because you’re going to see the “Before” and “After” pictures, too, right?
Glenn: “Oh. So if they buy it for $700,000 and they put in $70,000, they can sell it for $900,000.” I don’t know your market, but that’s what you need to know.
Shaheen: Okay. Yeah, for sure. Especially when it’s nice outside, it’s an excuse to go and enjoy the summer and still work.
Glenn: Right. So the first 30 days, I would be doing a whole bunch of research right now. I’m going to give you the 90-day sprint, but the 30-day sprint is: you’ve got to know your product. And from now, for the next 30 days, every time you’re talking to Boss Ladies, you’ve got to tell them what you’re thinking about doing.
Glenn: Then you’re getting the market research back from them and saying, “Would you be interested? If I was to do a seminar in the middle of September, would you come to it?” And, of course, they’re going to say yes. So in 30 days, you could get your product knowledge down, and do your first seminar. And you know what? If four people show up, it’s a success.
Shaheen: Yeah. It’s better than zero.
Glenn: Yeah. A lot of people are like, “Oh, I wanted 10 or 20 or 30.” I’m like, “You know what? You’re going to be terrible doing your first seminar, so you want a few people there,” right? And it doesn’t even have to be a seminar. It could just be sitting around a table for drinks with three people, because you might feel more comfortable doing it there. And then just start doing these monthly seminars and using your Facebook page (business page) to be driving the traffic into it. And then people around you will grow into the conversation you’re having with them, which is, “Here’s what I’m planning on doing. I really love working with driven women who are very independent. Whether they’re single or not single doesn’t matter. But I’m a Boss Lady, and I want to work with Boss Ladies, and we’re going to build a tribe of powerful Boss Ladies in Montreal.”
Shaheen: Sounds so fun!
Glenn: Isn’t that fun? It’s so great!
Shaheen: Yeah, that sounds really amazing.
Glenn: Right! So then in your first 90 days, you’re going to be doing a couple more seminars. You’re also going to probably start doing some transactions now, because you’re going to be learning that product and you’re feeling a lot more confident. And remember: first of all, you need to get momentum. You’ve just got to get into action. And then as you get momentum, you’re going to start getting a lot more motivation, because you’re actually waking up, doing something with a lot of clients. And then as you start working with them and helping them out, you get a lot more confident. So it goes momentum, motivation, confidence. And then you just rinse, lather, repeat that cycle every 90 days, with your goal being that over the next 12 months, you’ve got at least 4, 5, 6 or 7 (you set the goal) Boss Lady groups that have all bought a property, and you’ve completed 6 seminars. I think if you did that, you’d be well on your way to really getting into your niche and having a pretty awesome career.
Shaheen: Yeah. It’s fun because you just gave me another outlook on how to do real estate now. And it’s not the traditional way, and I’m not traditional. I didn’t want to go the traditional way, so I’m really, really happy about this.
Glenn: Awesome! Well, thank you. Do you have any questions just before we wrap up?
Shaheen: No, not really. I’m just going to let it sink in, and really think about it and get into the research. And I’m going to re-listen to the podcast, obviously.
Glenn: And we also get these things transcribed, so you’ll be able to read it, too.
Shaheen: That’s even better!
Glenn: And you can also share it. Share your podcast on your Facebook page, and share the whole text of it, and you’ll just invite other people behind the scenes into your world on how you developed this really cool niche, right?
Shaheen: That’s really good. It’s like “Follow my story.”
Glenn: I know. That’s so awesome! So thanks a million for joining me today, Shaheen. I hope you got some good information, and I can’t wait to see Boss Lady dominate the Montreal real estate market.
Shaheen: Well thanks for having me, Glenn!
Glenn: You’re welcome. Talk to you soon, Shaheen. Bye bye!