Liveblogging a REIN Meeting – Part I

[Ed. Note: Last night was great, but I wrote almost 4,000 words. As a result I’ll be posting this in several chunks. Right now I’m heading to the Shaw with my brother. Jason Dolynny and Brent will be meeting us there]

I set out to liveblog a REIN meeting. What I didn’t plan for is how long a meeting is and how long they run. At about 4.5 hours, I wrote nearly 4,000 words and my batter died with 45 minutes or an hour left. I’ve broken things in to four parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Enjoy!

6:05 We’re pulling in to park at Canada Place across the street. Might be early enough for normal meetings but not when there’s a QuickStart. The lineup goes onto the street.

6:15 Parked and getting signed in. You get your name checked off the list, get a wrist band and go inside for your nametag. There’s a REIN member table and a non-REIN member table because it’s quickstart.

6:32 “This is your 5 minute pre-game warning. Info about housekeeping.”House rules:

Cell phone is off. The rule is $20 donated to habitat for humanity every time it rings.

Use your breaks. Network, get drinks, but fully participate and engage.

Exactly five minutes till we get things warning.

6:34 Tim Cotton’s back on, playing a U2 song. Don Campbell is a big fan on U2, and he’s a drummer so music is a big thing at all the REIN meetings.

6:38 Russell is back on stage, right on 5 minutes after he left. “Who’s ready to get to work?…I’m Russell Westcott, VP of the Real Estate Investment Network.” The first slides’ tag line is “During Times of Uncertainty…Knowledge Provides You Confidence”. Reading the newspapers and news is a scary thing and I love REIN because it helps me find out where the real truth is and what actually has cause for caution, rather than fear.

6:41 “Been to quickstart before? You won’t recognize this one, it’s completely new.”

Russell put up a mini-agenda of the night:

  • Jerry from Alberta Industrial Heartland including the Current Status of Oil Projects
  • 28 years of Volatility – Story of Keeping Invested
  • Financing update – How to choose a champion mortgage broker
  • Tales from the Trenches
  • What’s Behind the Curtain
  • Champion’s To-Do List with Steffany Francey

6:43 Don’s on stage, Apparently Tim Cotton opened a place in WEM called the Red Piano. The first slide up is “The Book Continues Its Travels”. Don’s a big fan of this feature where people take pictures of them with the book REIC in Canada all over the place. “I don’t sell real estate so I can be brutally honest. If you buy real estate, it doesn’t directly affect me.” There are pictures from the Caribbean, the Acropolis.

6:46 “If you’re buying in the US you’d better be very clear about what you’re doing. You’d better know what you’re doing because some of those towns are in big trouble. Obama stands up today and says ‘hey, I don’t have a magic bullet. It’s going to be tough’”. Most of the people in the crowd watched Obama’s acceptance speech. Don says watch his eyes, “he’s completely scared spit less”.

6:50 [Don] just got back on Wednesday from London England, had a bit of a vacation. He’s saying the bankers and risk analysts there are scared about their domestic situation and they’re looking for stability. “All the indicators are saying the economy should be churning, but the psychology is holding them back. The UK cut their bank rate by 1.5% this week. They’re saying Canada never gives us great returns, but right now we want something stable, so Canada’s the place we’re going to invest.” These are people who don’t care if we buy real estate, and that’s how we get to the truth.

6:53 There’s apparently homework every month this year from September through December. I haven’t been at meetings lately so I’ve missed this. Living in Kelowna has its problems. This month’s homework: meet one person, tell them the worst economic headline from the last 30 days and why is affected you. Then do the same with the best headline. Don’s point is that there are so many negative stories we can’t pick them.

Between the info about the bankers that Don met in the UK and the homework Mom had the best comment of the evening: We’re going to become the new Swiss Bankers of the world.

Don said: “A big congratulations to Gary Lamphier at the Journal who has been trying to write positive stories. It’s been funny, and well worth reading.” It’s also been very accurate in many ways.

Alberta economic Headlines you may not have seen.

Alberta Economic Growth: highest in Canada

Population Growth: Highest in Canada (July 2008)

Net Interprovincial Migration: Alberta (BC is second closest) (Q2 2008)

Unemployment Rate Lowest in Canada

Labour Force Participation Rate: highest in Canada

Average Weekly Earnings? Highest

Average weekly earnings growth? Highest

CPI- Inflation: Alberta is second lowest in Canada

Oct 9th by Bob Taylor on Reuters “Canada worlds soundest banking system” We got 6.8/7

Worldwide financial crisis bypasses Canada

7:04 “I’m going to quote every source so you can go check it out.” The last couple months they’ve covered BC and Ontario to give perspective and help you think long term. This weekend is going to be Edmonton-tastic.

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