Episode #36 – Jay Gabrani – Healing Through Real Estate

“To me, I owe everything to real estate investing, it’s certainly the most successful thing that I’ve ever done out of all the business things I’ve looked at. And at the core of that is REIN.” – Jay Gabrani

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Jay Gabrani’s entrepreneurial flame was ignited on a 1987 trip to India where he saw firsthand the successful business his grandfather built.

“If you ever want to be free, you’ve got to do your own business” his grandfather told him.

This statement had a profound effect on Jay.

Upon his return home, Jay told his parents he would never work for anyone after 25 years old. At his parents’ urging, Jay continued his education and acquired a degree in chartered accounting from the University of Waterloo and worked in Big 4 accounting firms.

On the day before his 25th birthday, Jay handed in his letter of resignation and set about growing the next stage for his entrepreneurial career. Over the course of his journey in entrepreneurial-ism Jay has owned various businesses and experienced successes and failures along the way.

After the birth of his first child in 2005, Jay jumped into the world of real estate investing. Despite several challenges and set backs along the way, he has built a seven-figure real estate portfolio.

That portfolio was directly responsible for helping Jay resiliently deal with a heartbreaking personal tragedy in 2014. This experience lead Jay to re-evaluate the purpose of his life while taking a multi-year sabbatical.

Today, Jay makes an impact raising his three children and coaching entrepreneurs to use real estate investing as a tool to secure their family’s financial future.

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Show Notes

  • [02:29] Patrick introduces his next REIN Member Guest: Jay Gibrani
  • [04:57] Let’s get started! Jay shares his new elevator pitch – starting fresh.
  • [06:20] Jay’s interest in real estate led him to become a REIN Member almost 13 years ago!
  • [07:00] A life changing moment for Jay in 2005 spurred his interest in investing, and 150 books later he found Real Estate Investing in Canada. Real estate was it for him.
  • [08:48] Jay’s business background began in accounting, but the day before his 25th birthday he resigned; instead choosing the entrepreneurial path.
  • [10:42] Although his education and career as a Chartered Accountant was chosen more for his parents’ approval than his own interest, Jay’s first career opened doors to long-lasting relationships and exceptional skills.
  • [13:51] On a family trip to India, an impressionable 16-year old Jay was enthralled with his grandfather’s business and his philosophies which ignited Jay’s entrepreneurial spirit.
  • [17:37] What sort of support did Jay get from his parents around his decision to walk his own journey? Jay also shares his “rocking chair test.”
  • [20:49] Kudos to Mom!
  • [22:17] A pamphlet on the wall of a café prompts Jay to make a call that brings him into the world of restaurant franchise ownership and a fast-paced training ground in all things business.
  • [26:06] In 2007 Jay learns a valuable lesson about franchise vs. true business ownership that will take him another four years to wrap up and exit.
  • [29:27] A segue way into the importance of your exit strategy in real estate investing: count on not only a Plan A, but Plan B and C also.
  • [30:09] What was Jay’s Plan A and Plan B when he started his journey of real estate investing?
  • [32:03] Jay’s self-education helped him carve his own investing philosophy: there are two railroad tracks in real estate investing, one is the income track, one is the wealth generating track.
  • [33:30] The distinction between investing in projects for income replacing and investing for cash flow with a long-term strategy. The commonality? Ensure it produces positive cash flow.
  • [34:25] Jumping into the Edmonton real estate market right at the peak of 2007 provided a massive learning opportunity for Jay.
  • [38:51] Connecting the dots of Jay’s real estate journey are the strong threads reinforced by his REIN membership and leveraging the education and relationships he has built within the community.
  • [42:38] Does Jay define himself as an extrovert or an introvert? Or an ambivert?
  • [44:09] Some sage advice in the context of leveraging a community like REIN: you don’t want to be the smartest person in the room.
  • [46:00] The power of a mastermind group and a network to optimize your time.
  • [47:42] Using the REIN Scorecard, Jay found his next market focus in Oakville which continues to flourish. Now he is shifting his investing business model to produce additional income streams.
  • [50:49] Jay shares a personal story of tragedy and loss towards helping those who may be dealing with a similar situation.
  • [58:53] Jay imparts advice based on his experience, to help life partners support one another, particularly around mental health.
  • [62:43] A massive shift in life, requires Jay to minimize his outward focus on business to redirect it toward his home, his three kids and himself.
  • [65:38] Jay explains that the action he took to build a real estate portfolio was directly responsible for his ability to close down his other business and still have the financial resources available to support the healing time he and family needed.
  • [69:13] Patrick reinforces this message and talks about the importance of financial preparedness and the significant role real estate investing can play.
  • [70:47] On the subject of financial preparedness, Jay talks about the steps he’s taken, his experience as the executor of his wife’s will and how valuable the REINVEST binder would have been.
  • [72:30] With time, Jay was able to shift his attention to take care of his own mental and physical health and ensure he could be there for his kids.
  • [75:31] A turning point for Jay that helped him reach out to his network again and offer support to one of his life mentors.
  • [78:18] How does Jay look after himself? What are his morning routines, eating habits and exercise regime?
  • [83:46] Redirecting his attention from what he lost to being in gratitude for what he still has, allowed Jay to see that he could fulfill his wife’s legacy by “doing a good job” with his three children.
  • [86:19] Let’s have a little fun with rapid fire! Jay’s most impactful book, favourite swear word, favourite quote, an alternate profession (to the many he has already undertaken), message from the pearly gates, weirdness scale, what he’s not very good at, room/desk/car, good music to work to and favourite movies.
  • [90:11] Jay’s gratitude.

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