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Interview of Brenlee Werner, President of Brent Business Services Ltd.

JS: I met Brenlee Werner on Thursday, November 2, 2017. She was smiling and very enthusiastic about her new venture.

I asked her why, after 30 years in real estate development, brokerage and property management , she is still optimistic about that business!

After she explained it, I understood. Here is the synopsis of our conversation:

BW: I have a new goal — to educate potential real estate purchasers, especially women, about the advantages of investing in real estate instead of or in addition to the stock market. Did you know that, generally, women, even business owners, do not invest in real estate?

JS: OK, I didn't know that. Please explain that to me.

BW: Well, first of all, women often let their male companions (or partners or husbands) do their investing for them.

Secondly, investing in stocks is much easier than in real estate because one can simply give your money to a stock broker , who will invest it for you. You don't really have to be involved personally. No thinking involved!!

Thirdly, real estate is a more expensive initial outlay. An investor can invest small amounts,in stocks, say $5000 at at time.

With real estate, one really has to be knowledgeable , because one might have to invest $100,000 plus,.One might have to take on a large mortgage debt, of many hundreds of dollars. And that might be frightening to many people.

JS: That is probably enough of a stumbling block to prevent any cautious person from being a real estate investor!

BW: That’s where I come in. Whatever mistakes that you might make as a real estate investor, I have already made! My long experience tells me what to look for and what to avoid.

Let’s say that you want to purchase a commercial building, and you see one that looks attractive.. You don't want to make a big mistake. How do you know what to look for ? Are there any pitfalls that you should recognize?

JS: But a potential real estate investor must be educated, and realistic enough to distinguish between a bad piece of property and a good one! How do they do that? Should they rely on everything that their Salesperson tells them?

BW: Aha! That’s where I come in. I want to educate people, especially women, how to recognize a quality investment. That’s what I am excited about.

That’s my new challenge, outlining succinctly to potential investors, how to distinguish a good investment property from a bad one.

JS: Can you give me just one example?

BW: Of course. Recently a client of mine wanted to purchase a beautifully designed older duplex, near Osborne Village, to open a Hair Dressing Salon.

I had to discourage her because of all of the pitfalls that she had not noticed:

  1. The price was too high for the district.

  2. It would require rezoning. It would take over a year to rezone the house for her purpose. That is risky because to purchase the house on the hope that it would be certain to be rezoned would be foolish.

To buy that duplex would have been a costly mistake.

Another building will come up that may already be zoned for commercial use, and then she could purchase it with realistic time parameters.

JS: Thank you, Brenlee. If I want to purchase a commercial property, I will

ask you to do a reality check for me.

BW: Thanks. I welcome readers who are interested in purchasing commercial real estate, to read my blogs. I will publish interesting cases.

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