Episode #35 – Cynthia Aasen, Raising the Bar

“I love that I see [powerhouse] women coming along. It means that people like me who have gone into these industries, worked hard and tried to break barriers; it’s working, that’s what it shows me. I’m not out to prove anyone right or wrong. I’m out to raise bars and make sure that everything I do is done with the purpose of impacting people’s lives in a positive way.” – Cynthia Aasen

Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan with two supportive, entrepreneurial parents, Cynthia Aasen is not afraid of hard work. Early on she adopted a foundational philosophy built on the belief that we have three tradeable assets: time, money and knowledge.

For the past 25 years Cynthia has been incredibly focused on helping individuals and businesses invest in multi-family real estate in emerging high growth markets. Realizing the impact of mentorship in her own life, Cynthia has embraced her role as an advisor and mentor to clients, real estate investors, her team, and her family.

In 2014, she founded Investment Revenue Realty, a brokerage focused exclusively on investment real estate. Cynthia and her team have assisted clients in acquiring investment properties in more than 75 projects valued at over $500,000,000 throughout Canada and the Western United States.

Cynthia is a proud mother of three, successful business owner, real estate investment advisor and real estate investor. With no plans to retire, Cynthia is driven by her passion to impact lives in a positive way.

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Show Notes

  • [02:05] Patrick introduces his next guest in the REIN Member Guest Series: Cynthia Aasen
  • [04:00] Cynthia and Patrick get underway!
  • [04:29] Cynthia starts by sharing her elevator pitch.
  • [05:08] After graduating University, Cynthia’s focus was on finance and investment but in a way that she could flourish.
  • [07:10] Cynthia explains how she comes by her entrepreneurial spirit – it is simply in her genes!
  • [08:23] What was Cynthia’s experience growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan?
  • [10:05] Education was a non-negotiable for Cynthia’s parents, so while University was certain, she was determined to forge her own path within that experience.
  • [11:58] Cynthia talks about her early career and the support she received from her mentors.
  • [14:23] Cynthia expands on the power of mentorship.
  • [15:27] Cynthia shares her early adoption of self-improvement and how she shows up in her life with a positive mindset.
  • [17:42] Insights into the Vancouver real estate market from the 90s to now. Is it really any different?
  • [19:33] Cynthia’s journey into real estate was grounded in the values she learned from her parents.
  • [21:35] Cynthia offsets the challenges that come with owning and investing in real estate by staying aware and being strategic in her management of them.
  • [23:56] With strong family support and a desire to be present for her kids, Cynthia finds creative solutions and flexibility to raise a family and continue the career she loves.
  • [25:57] How does Cynthia view adversity in terms of character?
  • [26:55] Cynthia shares her perspective and some guiding words for women involved in the world of real estate investing.
  • [28:49] Cynthia offers advice for men who are working with women in any industry.
  • [30:27] What is Cynthia’s desire and focus in her career and how she is creating impact?
  • [32:20] Cynthia explains her decision to work with a much younger colleague and the characteristics she values.
  • [34:10] Let’s hear a bit about the boutique brokerage Cynthia founded – Investment Revenue Realty.
  • [35:56] How does Cynthia view her role in how she is of service to her clients?
  • [37:52] When raising capital, Cynthia views her experience and integrity as equally important to the work they do in preparation for presenting to clients.
  • [40:13] Cynthia’s tips for people new to raising capital: 1) know who you’re presenting to; 2) set an agenda before the meeting; 3) ask for the time you need; 4) follow-up.
  • [42:43] Cynthia stresses the importance of investing in training to improve your business and elevate your game.
  • [44:06] Cynthia talks about how public speaking has evolved for her and what in her experience is a good way to gain confidence with it.
  • [45:04] How does Cynthia feel in her role as a leader?
  • [46:17] Cynthia’s daily self-care routine.
  • [47:24] Cynthia shares a bit about her kids and what they’re up to.
  • [48:13] Cynthia’s definition of success.
  • [48:53] A situation that Cynthia experienced as a failure which has turned into a blessing in disguise.
  • [49:44] Cynthia describes the fork in the road that has brought her career and business to a new level.
  • [51:37] Retirement will be a gradual endeavour {likely never entirely} but continuing to have a positive impact on people’s lives is Cynthia’s lifelong goal.
  • [53:11] The key to success in business is creating a positive environment to help everyone achieve and be their best.
  • [55:07] Overcoming perfection, letting go of control and allowing other people to shine has strengthened Cynthia’s effectiveness and ability to mentor.
  • [57:07] Highest and best use.
  • [58:56] Patrick and Cynthia talk about the power of experience in mentorship to also show young entrepreneurs what “not” to do, in an effort to accelerate their learning.
  • [60:28] As a Real Estate Investment Advisor (REIA) with REIN, Cynthia shares some words of wisdom and encouragement for new investors: get clear and understand your plan.
  • [63:17] Ready for rapid fire! Favourite swear word, favourite inspirational quote, alternate profession, top book choice, weirdness scale, room-desk-car, favourite tune, favourite movie.
  • [65:33] Cynthia’s gratitude.

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