As the CEO and visionary of wellness company Balance 365, Jennifer Campbell has her hands and appointment book quite full. The endeavor, still in its startup phase, presents new challenges and opportunities every day to its team of wellness advocates and business experts.
For Campbell, a present and enduring challenge is learning new things that will keep the business growing and thriving. One aspect that has become clear on her radar is the issue of real estate, both for the corporation and in her personal life as she looks toward building long-term wealth for herself and her family.
Finding the Right Comfort Level
With many irons in the fire, she says she has not pursued her personal investments as diligently as she would have liked, but she says she knows it is essential to begin as soon as possible. Opportunities have come her way, but not those that fit her needs or her comfort level.
She says that she and her husband had an opportunity to join an investment group last year, but the $100,000 buy-in cost made them cringe.
“We just couldn’t make it work,” she says. “We didn’t feel safe coming up with 100K to invest.” A few months later, another opportunity arose, this time with a $20,000 price tag.
“That would have been fine, but in the end, I got cold feet,” she says. “When you don’t know anything about real estate, you feel as if your money is safer in a pillowcase under your bed.”
Surviving the Crash
Having gotten burned in the economic crash between 2007 and 2009, Campbell approaches the idea of real estate investment with caution. She and her husband bought a lovely oceanfront condo just prior to the crash and then the market tanked.
“Things weren’t going well in Sechelt,” she says. “The mine shut down and there was a mass exodus. There was a huge surplus of housing on the coast after that crash. Everyone was trying to offload their condos. We even brought the price down below what we paid and still couldn’t sell. Meanwhile, we were expecting a baby. We had to rent it out for well below the mortgage.”
Campbell says that this unpleasant experience, along with being a renter over the years, has taught her that if you’re going to be involved in real estate investment, it should be treated as a business, and it requires considerable expertise. “You need to find a specialist to manage real estate for you,” she says.
Trust the Experts
In her work as CEO and her husband’s work as a pediatric dentist, neither has time to dedicate full-time hours to becoming a real estate expert, but what a shame it is to leave all that potential money laying on the table. Enter IMBY, a system through which investors can pool their resources to invest in property for as little as one dollar. Experts manage the system and analyze trends, and both the risk and the profits are shared equitably.
Campbell says when she heard of the concept, it was intriguing, but so foreign.
“My mom was a single mom with three kids,” she says “I remember her just barely being able to make our $450 monthly rent. Owning her own home was only something she could dream of. It was a some-day wish, and it finally happened for her when I was 21.”
“‘Real estate portfolio was not in my mother’s vocabulary, nor was it in mine,” Campbell says. “It was so out of reach for us, it never entered our realm of existence. Dreaming of our own home was as far as our minds could take us. Real estate was for rich people.”
Lower the Risk
Today, Campbell and her husband have three boys to care for. They understandably balked at large investments that could put the boys’ futures at risk, but with a one-dollar minimum investment?
“That will be life-changing for so many people trying to improve their trajectory in life,” she says. Many of her peers who have large portfolios either came from money or inherited wealth as adults. She says IMBY could allow ordinary people to get a foot in the door and build spectacular futures for themselves and their families.
Vancouver real estate costs are high, to the point that many people are being priced out of the market. With consistent returns for the past several years, finding a way to enter safely into that market could change things permanently for the better for many. And because IMBY uses experts to monitor the market, the average investor doesn’t need to become an expert himself.
Making Real Estate Attainable
“Investing in real estate is a long-term plan and is quite unrealistic and unattainable for the average person,” Campbell says. “We couldn’t do it. Who can? My mom was a single mom, and for her to build a real estate portfolio, that was a generation away. That was something she could hope for, for her children.”
Campbell says IMBY makes those dreams possible now for so many.
“I think that is incredible because it opens the door,” she says.