May 28, 2017

JF999: World Class Author, Coach, and Thought Leader Sheds Light on Why the Successful RE Pros are Succeeding #SkillsetSunday


Have you ever asked yourself what elements make up a successful real estate investor? This episode is about to unveil what exactly makes an individual excellent in whatever they do, especially in real estate!

Best Ever Tweet:

Kim Ades Real Estate Background:

– President and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching & JournalEngine™ Software 1995-2005 President of Upward Motion that unveiled the Real Estate Simulator, web based assessment tool
– Recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 most influential women in real estate
– Author, speaker, and mother of five
– Based in Toronto, Canada
– Say hi to her at
– Best Ever Book: Ask and It is Given

Click here for a summary of Kim’s Best Ever advice:

Made Possible Because of Our Best Ever Sponsors:

Want an inbox full of online leads? Get a FREE strategy session with Dan Barrett who is the only certified Google partner that exclusively works with real estate investors like us.

Go to to schedule the appointment.


Kim Ades and Joe Fairless



Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluff. With us today, Kim Ades. How are you doing, Kim?

Kim Ades: I’m great, how are you?

Joe Fairless: I am doing great as well, nice to have you on the show. A little bit about Kim – she is the president and founder of Frame Of Mind Coaching and Journal Engine software. She has been recognized as one of North America’s top 50 most influential women in real estate. She is an author, speaker and mother of one, two, three, four, five kids, and she’s based in Toronto, Canada. With that being said, Kim, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on?

Kim Ades: Sure. Right now I coach people, I coach the highly-driven population, those people who typically have four things in common – number one is that they are highly driven and they have incredible goals that they wanna reach. Number two is they’re good people, they wanna make a positive difference in the world, they tend to get involved in charity communities, they donate, those kinds of things. Number three is they are big livers, so they wanna have the best of everything: they wanna have a nice home, they wanna have a nice car, they want to travel to nice places, they want to have great health, great relationships etc. And number four is they’re frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted and find themselves bumping up against the same problems over and over again. That’s what I do, I work with those people.

Joe Fairless: Sweet. Well, let’s talk about your real estate background, and perhaps that will bring to life the coaching stuff in more context. Tell us about your real estate investments from beginning to where you’re at now.

Kim Ades: Real estate investments are very simple – I used to own property, as a landlord. That was years ago when I was first married in my first round of marriage, when I was 20. I started young, and over time I’ve still just been purchasing my own properties, without mortgage etc. But my involvement in real estate is not really so much focused on my real estate investment; I’m not anything extraordinary more than any other average person, but I was really interested in what is it that makes a real estate professional better than any other real estate professional. That’s how I got involved in the real estate industry – I studied what makes a top performer. That’s where my career brought me to really getting involved in the real estate career and going out to all the conferences and events and learning what drives real estate professionals.

Joe Fairless: Alright. I certainly want to get the answer to that question, but I do wanna back up a little bit… You said you have been buying properties without mortgage – why without mortgages?

Kim Ades: I’m not a big fan of debt. I prefer to purchase and be clean and clear, and then whatever it is that I do with those properties in terms of rental income or my homes over the years, it just has felt a lot better. I love living debt-free, it’s a good way for me to live without any additional stress or headaches.

Joe Fairless: Okay. And you’re an active real estate investor now?

Kim Ades: Yes, absolutely.

Joe Fairless: And are you investing in Toronto or other areas?

Kim Ades: Primarily locally.

Joe Fairless: What’s the last deal you did? Not necessarily when you did it, but just what are the numbers on it?

Kim Ades: It’s a little bit personal; it involves some players, so I’d rather not get into the details, but I’m involved in some family investments etc.

Joe Fairless: Okay. You told me before we started interviewing, you’re like “The harder the interview, the better”, so I’m bringing it.

Kim Ades: You’re right… I didn’t think we were gonna go into my financial situation [unintelligible [00:05:43].09]

Joe Fairless: Every interview I ask the guest “What’s the last deal you did? Tell us the numbers on it”, and 99% of the time they tell me. How about a deal that wasn’t the last one, but maybe a previous one, just to give us the numbers so we have an idea of what you’re buying.

Kim Ades: A while ago I bought investment property in Ottawa; they were a single vendor of apartments, and at the time we had mortgages, but low mortgages, so they were covering the mortgages. Then we sold them for about a 20% profit. When you own a few over time, it kind of adds up.

Joe Fairless: Alright, I can tell by your short responses when I ask those questions that’s not a territory that you wanna focus on… So I do wanna know – and I’m sure the Best Ever listeners are curious – you mentioned you were studying what makes a real estate professional better than other real estate professionals, you went to conferences… What were the insights that you got from that investigation?

Kim Ades: Well, normally you would think that a really great real estate professional is one who has really strong real estate related skills – maybe they are good at building rapport, maybe they are good at closing the deal, maybe they’re good at identifying different options available on both the buyer and the seller side of the equation… Well, what we discovered is that all of that is very important, but it’s not critical. Really what’s critical is if a person has a high degree of emotional resilience. What does that mean? As a real estate professional, if you lose a deal, what do you do when that happens? And even as an investor, what do you when you lose a deal? What do you do when a deal goes south? What do you do when you’re actually losing money on a deal? What do you do? How do you bounce back from that? And the person who has the ability to bounce back with greater speed and agility, that’s the person who’s going to be much more likely to succeed.

Very often when we interview possible real estate professionals to represent us, we wanna know about their wins; my recommendation is don’t only ask about their wins, ask about their losses and what they did with those losses. That’s interesting – people are uncomfortable with that? That’s okay. But the losses are where we really learn how a person has the ability to take a bad situation and turn it into an advantage.

Joe Fairless: On that note, let’s talk about a deal for you that didn’t go according to plan, how did you handle it? Can you tell us a story of it?

Kim Ades: Absolutely, I can tell you a personal situation; it wasn’t real estate oriented, but I mentioned to you that I used to own property when I was young, with my first husband (I’m remarried now). One of the things that happened to us is we owned a company together, and as our marriage unfolded, I ended up selling my shares. I didn’t know much about tax law or anything like that, and I made a huge error in the way that I sold my company, and a couple of years after the sale I ended up getting a call from our government (CRA) letting me know that I owed them $300,000 in taxes… So not quite the real estate story you wanted, but still, definitely an investment that kind of blew up on me, and it was a scary time. But luckily, I had the money, so I just paid it off and right after that I just really scaled back. I stopped going to get my hair done at the hairdresser’s, I learned to color it myself. I just took care of things a little bit differently and stopped living very frivolously, and just kind of scaled back until I recalibrated and kind of felt more comfortable again, but it took me a couple of good years until I got back on my feet after that.

Joe Fairless: I know we have some Canadian listeners; in fact, it’s about 7% of the audience that lives in Canada – what was a specific mistake that you made, so that they don’t make it?

Kim Ades: There’s a way that you sell your company where you get a $500,000 tax exemption from the sale of a company, and I didn’t sell it that way, so I didn’t get that benefit, so all of it was taxable. I didn’t know, and because I didn’t pay that on that amount for a few years after that, not only did I incur a tax bill, I also incurred a bill on the money that wasn’t paid.

Joe Fairless: Alright, so your recommendation would be to speak to an accountant before you do that?

Kim Ades: Yeah, speak to an accountant, and even a tax lawyer would be really helpful. Don’t just sell your shares… Understand what you’re getting into and make sure you’re taking the right steps from a legal standpoint and understand what the tax implications are. Taxes are a big deal.

Joe Fairless: Taxes are our number one expense.

Kim Ades: Yeah. The other thing I would recommend on the business side of the equation – we’ve been audited here, and I was so happy about how squeaky clean our books were professionally speaking, that the revenue agent – she took our books for close to nine months and just sat on them. We would kind of review and say “Hey, what’s up? What’s happening? Can we get an update?” and finally she came back and said “I don’t see anything wrong here, it’s all clean.” There was not a single adjustment that had to be made… So really, keep clean books – that’s another recommendation.

Joe Fairless: Congratulations on that, by the way, the squeaky clean part; that’s a challenge of most investors and just most entrepreneurs in general.

Kim Ades: For us, there’s two things: pay your bills fast, and make sure to be on top of your collections.

Joe Fairless: I wanna go back to what you said – you said the difference between real estate professionals and the best of the best real estate professionals is a person who has a high degree of emotional resilience. That reminds me, just simple stuff – it’s gonna be a little ridiculous, but I’m on a softball team, and when someone has an error in the field, I can tell the people on my team… I don’t even have to know them and I can tell which ones are successful in business and which ones are not, because the ones who are not successful, they moan, they complain and they let the error that someone else made just upset them for about seven or eight more pitches, whereas the people who are successful in business, they’re like “Okay, that happened. We can’t do anything about it now, so let’s just move on to the next pitch”, and it’s such a metaphor for what you’ve just said, emotional resilience, because we have to just be resilient enough – as you said in your $300,000 example – to just take your lumps, get it done and then move on.

Kim Ades: Yeah, you have to move on, and the faster you move on, the better. I will also say that if you can do something with your experience, turn it into a positive, somehow then not only are you just moving on, you’re leveraging it, you’re winning from it. You’re not just losing and learning a tough lesson, you’re actually winning.

Joe Fairless: So know what just happened, identify what you can do to mitigate that from happening again, and find an empowering meaning within that learning experience.

Kim Ades: Yeah, and again, not just find an empowering meaning, but use it to your advantage somehow. The idea is there’s always a silver lining, but a lot of people aren’t used to looking for that; a lot of people just assume it just simply doesn’t exist, and I will tell you that that’s not true.

I’ll give you a perfect example, it’s a business example… Years ago, we used to own this software company, and we went to our first ever trade show and FedEx didn’t deliver our booth. We were a little bit upset, because it was our first trade show, so how do you show up to a trade show and have a booth with no actual booth? There was nothing there. So what we did is we went to Walgreens in the states and we bought a Bristol board and some markers and some tape and we made a sign; the sign says “FedEx didn’t deliver our booth, so now we’re forced to give you 50% off just to attract your attention.” Man, there were line-ups at that booth…

Normally, when you go to a trade show, you go just to show up and say “Hey, we’re here”, but we didn’t do just that. We sold product right there on the floor, and that was unheard of in that scenario. So don’t only just take your blow, say “How can we turn this into something good?”

Joe Fairless: Boy, I think you’re gonna find a lot more booths that say “FedEx didn’t deliver our booth. We’re offering 50% off” after this episode airs. [laughs] I think everyone’s gonna conveniently forget their booths and just knock on FedEx and UPS, those poor companies, after hearing this. That’s a great idea.

Kim Ades: Right. And if you do and it works, please send me an e-mail and let me know.

Joe Fairless: [laughs] Take some pictures. Kim, what is your best advice ever for real estate investors?

Kim Ades: Best advice ever is don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal, that’s number one… And really, don’t be afraid to walk away from anything, because there’s another opportunity right around the corner. Don’t think this is the only thing and the only one, don’t get attached to any particular outcome. Now, that concept is related to all of the coaching that we do, whether it’s a particular outcome in a relationship, in a business arrangement, if it’s a particular outcome with a real estate investment or a product that you’re building – whatever it is, don’t get attached. When you remove your attachment, all of a sudden you’re able to think of grander solutions, you’re able to solve problems with greater ease, and you’re able to see new opportunities as they arise, instead of really keeping your eyes peeled on this one idea. That would be my greatest piece of advice.

Joe Fairless: How do you know that there’s another opportunity around the corner?

Kim Ades: There are so many of them you can’t see them. You don’t have the capacity to see all the opportunities that are coming at you every minute of every day… So it’s not “How do I know?”, it’s “How do you open yourself up to what’s coming at you?” That’s really the question. There’s an unlimited amount of opportunities, we just don’t have the capacity to see them and embrace them.

Joe Fairless: And how do you have someone embrace that philosophy? Because it’s still not a “Okay, I got it”, it’s still “Believe me, there is more opportunity!” How do you know “Well, you can’t see them, but there’s more.” How do you have someone embrace that?

Kim Ades: How do we teach people to look at things that way? Number one is we look at their history. So there’s a philosophy; the philosophy is this – we always look for evidence to support our beliefs, so when we believe there’s just one opportunity and if we blow it, lives get blown out of the window, then that’s the belief we live by and that becomes true for us. If we believe that there are lots of opportunities, then they just show up. But one of the things we do is we help someone look backwards and we say “Look at all the things that have happened and let’s look at how they showed up.” We’ll start to show people that they have been involved in a huge number of opportunities over time, but they never thought of it quite that way.

We start to show them the evidence of the opportunities in their own lives up until this point. And opportunities can look like “Hey, where did you meet your spouse?” It could look like “How did you end up buying that car?” It could end up like, “How did you meet your best friend?” or “How did you start this business?” or “How did you buy this house?” or “How were you introduced to this particular idea?” or “How did you get to this dentist who really did a great job for you?” and you’ll notice that oddly enough a lot of things are lined up for you perfectly and serve you with a million opportunities. We just don’t think of it that way.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, unless we’re forced to look back and then reverse engineer how we got to that point. That’s really interesting.

Kim Ades: Right? The other thing is look at how so many awesome things happen to you all the time, every single day, that we just take for granted. Like this morning – did you have a hot shower? You probably did, and you don’t kind of stop and take notice. Or if you go into a building and you go up in the elevator, do you know how much planning went into that elevator for you, how many people were involved in creating the building, creating the structure that allowed you to get into that elevator that day? We don’t think of getting into an elevator as an opportunity, but it’s pretty massive.

Joe Fairless: Great perspective, that’s for sure. One thing that I do with my fiancée before every meal is we mention something that we’re grateful for, so that it triggers that in our mind; it would be something like a hot shower, or an elevator, although I haven’t specifically mentioned those two things. Now I’ve got two more things to add to my list.

Kim Ades: I can give you an endless list of lists.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, I hear ya. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning round?

Kim Ades: Let’s go.

Joe Fairless: Alright. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:17:57].11] to [00:18:51].00]

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever book you’ve read?

Kim Ades: It’s a book called “Ask and it is given”.

Joe Fairless: Best ever personal growth experience and what you learned from it?

Kim Ades: Coaching. I learned that I am responsible for the way I feel and everything that happens to me.

Joe Fairless: Probably my number one takeaway from attending Unleash The Power Within with Tony Robbins – exactly what you just said. We are in control of the emotions that we have; it’s very empowering to think of it that way.

Kim Ades: It’s a game changer.

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever deal you’ve done?

Kim Ades: Best ever deal I’ve done… This house, the house I live in.

Joe Fairless: Why?

Kim Ades: I was supposed to buy it, and then it got pulled out from under us and we ended up buying it afterwards at a lower price than our original offer.

Joe Fairless: Did you have to wait a couple of years, or was it in bankruptcy or foreclosure?

Kim Ades: No, it was a matter of maybe a month or so… A month or so later, with a new agent. Things had changed, and we found a bit of a loophole that allowed us to get us a lower price.

Joe Fairless: What’s the loophole?

Kim Ades: The loophole was the size of our balcony. Our balcony is oversized, and apparently because it’s oversized, it had to be ripped down, so we asked them to pay for the tear down theoretically, and they took that amount off the top of the price.

Joe Fairless: Do you still have your balcony?

Kim Ades: Yes, I do.

Joe Fairless: [laughs] What’s the best ever way you like to give back?

Kim Ades: Coaching. It’s just what I do.

Joe Fairless: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on a particular deal?

Kim Ades: Yeah, I mentioned that one. The biggest mistake was not knowing tax law.

Joe Fairless: Where can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?

Kim Ades: Best place is There’s all kinds of information there, there’s audios, there’s blogs, there’s testimonials, and best of all, there’s an assessment that you could take that will allow you to assess your frame of mind right here, right now.

Joe Fairless: Kim, thank you so much for being on the show. Thanks for talking about and educating us on what makes a real estate professional better than other real estate professionals, that is if the person has a high degree of emotional resilience. We have to learn from it, find an empowering meaning and use it to our advantage somehow. You gave the perfect example of the FedEx delivery – it didn’t come to your trade show booth, so you have a sign on the booth that said “We’re offering 50% discount to attract attention because we didn’t get our booth delivered by FedEx”, as well as if we are second-guessing if there are other opportunities, then let’s be honest with ourselves and take a look at how we got to this point, how we have accomplished certain things that we have in our lives, whether it’s a significant other or some sort of business thing, or as you said, maybe how did you get your car, or your best friend… And then look at those through reverse engineering as opportunities.

Thanks so much for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever weekend, and we’ll talk to you soon!

Kim Ades: Thank you!


Subscribe in iTunes and Stitcher so you don’t miss an episode!


    Get More CRE Investing Tips Right to Your Inbox

    Get exclusive commercial real estate investing tips from industry experts, tailored for you CRE news, the latest videos, and more - right to your inbox weekly.