My Banker really really loves me! Wanna know why?

First I wanted to share with you that couple of weeks I was humbled and honoured to receive 3 awards from my good friends Don Campbell and Richard Dolan of the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN). The first one was for ‘Multi-family Investor of the Year (we added 53 units to our portfolio in 2013) and the second one for Top Player of the Year. However the most meaningful award I won was the ‘Leslie Cluff Memorial Award’ for helping others achieve their goals. It’s an award people vote for. Knowing I made a difference is some small way in someone’s life is a fantastic feeling of joy. I fundamentally care about people and I have come to understand that my success materializes as I help others succeed, including helping some of my students to take action and buy their first multi-family properties.

2013 MF Investor of the Year PICTURE

In this post, I want to share with you my positive experience this week with my banker to highlight the importance of building your relationships and reputation in the multi-family world, especially with your banker.

As you may recall, if you’ve been following my blog, back in March 2013, I took possession of a great little 15-unit apartment building. I have completed the ‘stabilization’ phase that is I’ve maximized the income and reduced expenses and improved the property’s condition and accordingly significantly increased the property’s value.  I increased rents by 17% and spent $70,000 in improvements. This was a conventionally financed loan, that is a non-CMHC insured loan, with an interest rate of 4.75%, open for one year. Now that the property is fully stabilized I am ready to refinance it with CMHC based on the higher value and at an interest rate of probably around 2.7%.  Accordingly, earlier in the week I took my financing application to the lender.

I’m not going to lie to you, creating your own financing application is a lot of work. The binder that contains the application and supporting documents was over two inches thick,


Not only was my application pretty much perfect, but also it put my banker in such a good mood that I got a royal treatment from him. What do I mean by royal treatment?  Because of how well the application was put together, he pretty much had nothing to do in order to do to send it over to CMHC.  Here is what my banker did for me in response:

  • He hugely sped up the processing of my application by by-passing the regular steps, namely he did away with the standard proposal letter that I normally would have to sign off on;
  • Although he had 5 or 6 other applications in line before mine to send over to CMHC, mine was immediately put on the top of the pile… Hey, for him it was a low hanging fruit requiring practically no effort on his part. So instead of my banker requiring two weeks to go through my application before sending it to CMHC, it only took three days;
  • He also used his discretion to waive his processing fee, which would have been around $4,000. Because I’m refinancing, this fee would have been refunded to me in any case. Still though, I would have to come up with the funds upfront.

What this shows on the part of my banker is a high degree of trust in me because of my previous dealings with him and because of the quality of my financing applications. I have several loans with this lender and I have never defaulted on any of them and my properties are well managed.  The relationship is well established!

Now the good news is that once this application gets to CMHC, it will once again put me in a favourable light because it’s designed to also make the CMHC’s underwriter’s job to analyze my deal very very easy and instil trust.  This too will save me a tremendous amount of processing time at CMHC’s end.  I expect to get a response on this application within the first two of January versus perhaps four weeks in the normal course of things. In a refinance situation such as this one, the time factor is not so important. But if this were a purchase financing application subject to a financing condition, time would be of critical essence and speeding the approval process would greatly alleviate the related stress of removing this condition.

Let me tell you a little about how I put my financing application together.

First, I put all the documentation in support of my application neatly in big binder with tabs to separate the various sections. Remember, the binder was about two and a half inch thick! I had a table of contents so that every piece of information was super easy to find.  Every number and piece of information was supported.  What I wanted to avoid is to get a bunch of calls from my banker telling me my application is missing important details and documents.  By creating a highly professional financing application, it puts me in a higher class of borrowers/investors.  That’s what you want!

But the extra mile was also in that I put the entire re-financing application on a flash drive in addition to providing a hard copy. Not only that but I literally wrote the lender’s submission and it was on the flash drive in Word format so that the lender did not even have to re-write it and could amend if necessary.  He submitted it as is to CMHC with only a few minor changes.


Again, putting such an application together is a lot of work. Even for me!  I used to be one of the underwriters However, what an empowering feeling it is. Most multi-family investors won’t bother doing this hard work. As a matter of fact, many of them will use a mortgage broker. Well! There is a big cost for using a broker.  The broker might charge you 1% of the loan amount in fee to put such a financing application together. In my case, this would represent a fee in excess of $10,000.

My job as a so-called ‘EXPERT’ in the field multi-family investing is to ‘instruct and inspire’ and I would add ‘empower’.   It sometimes seems to me that investing in multi-family properties is the exclusive domain of a few select investors.  As a former multi-family underwriter and INSIDER  I reject this exclusiveness.   Accordingly, I choose to share my knowledge openly with those willing to commit to making the required efforts to purchase multi-family properties.

My mission is to:

Make multi-family investing accessible to the every day Canadian real estate investor’.

If you want to learn how to invest in apartment buildings in Canada I’d love to help you along your goal in 2014 as I have done for many of my students who took my live Multi-Family Investing Blueprint Live Event in the past.



 My next live experiential training event is scheduled for June 20, 21 and 22 in Edmonton. Click HERE if you want to know more about it, listen to or read testimonials from past students or if you want to register for it.  I keep improving the curriculum every year and my students have systematically rated the training event 9 out of 10 in terms of satisfaction.  In any case, I give you a 100% satisfaction guarantee because I’ve giving you the exact same tools I use.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and success in all areas of your life.


2 Responses to My Banker really really loves me! Wanna know why?

  1. tris winfield says:

    Hey Pierre,

    Good for you on the awards! I was competing against you for multi family investor of the year so really happy to see that it went to you, it went to the right guy. Ditto the Leslie Cluff award. 53 units is a lot in one year, especially overseeing renos and running your training classes.

    I just refinanced my 11 unit repositioning project on Tuesday with an 85 % CMHC financing – rate was 2.83 %. Then on Wed (yesterday) I closed on the next phase of that development – an oceanfront barn we are turning into a 6 plex. I’m coming up behind you …

    Merry Christmas to you and your wife and kids, captains of your own fate.


    • admin says:

      Hi Tris,

      Good to hear from you and to know you’re doing well too. You too certainly deserve the title of MF Investor of the year. No doubt about this.

      Let’s touch base soon in the new year. All the best to you and your family too in 2014 and Merry Christmas.

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