Wednesday, 07 November 2012 04:22

Don't abandon condo flipping just yet...

Written by  Jemima Codrington
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An iffy condo market has many investors abandoning flipping for a buy-and-hold strategy, but that may not be necessary, says one award-winning investor, suggesting there’s still profit to be made in selling up instead of renting out.

“The key is to make it sexier!” says Emil Kiriakos. “I travel and visit hotels a lot, such as the W hotel, and I take pictures of the décor and then replicate it in my units. I try to make my properties more attractive than everyone else’s.”

Even in this market, Kiriakos is still finding success buying and selling condos. He’s buying along the waterfront and in the downtown core of Toronto, a market that has now seen a 30 per cent pullback in investor purchases as concerns about a possible value correction take hold. That speculation hasn’t deterred Kiriakos, who continues to focus on preconstruction buys – at preferred pricing – and flips after a sizable investment in staging.

For example, if he takes possession of a condo along the waterfront, he decorates it with a nautical theme to appeal to buyers. For units in the financial district, he fashions them after an executive suite.

According to Kiriakos, the steps to success are simple. Here are five pieces of advice to bear in mind:

5 Steps to Condo Flipping Success

1. Be unique. The boxy, new condos don’t go as fast as the ones with character and appeal, so get creative with your unit to flip it. Furnish the unit with good taste to create the WOW factor. There is a lot of inventory in the market, so don’t be afraid to list your unit under the market value to get it sold first.

2. Buy in a great area that is in demand. You can still sell above the asking price. In the worst case scenario, in Toronto, at least, you’ll get your money back. But you will never lose, says Kiriakos.

3. Budget Wisely and spend no more than $3,000 on renos. It’s key to buy quality stuff, so when you sell the unit, you can either keep the decorations for an extra couple of grand, or you can hang onto it to use again. Also don't shy away from high-end upgrades such as undermounted sinks, but remember, decorating isn’t the end game – getting them to buy the unit is.

4. Try to use OPM – Other People’s Money. If you can’t do it alone, don’t abandon the idea. Find a partner to do a JV.

5. Just Do It” – as Nike says! There’s analysis and then there’s procrastination. We have to do our due diligence, think about our exit strategy and follow all the protocol, he says, but then you have to make a decision. Love what you do and do it with love and you will see the result.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 17:42


  • Triominos Friday, 16 November 2012 07:01 posted by Triominos

    Condo market is going down too many flippers, over supply vs. demand. Watch these clowns Go from flipper to tosser as as they try to unload their holdings.

  • Market Observer Friday, 16 November 2012 06:54 posted by Market Observer

    Emil is a mortgage broker and a speculator. He has no choice but to be bullish on the market.

  • Odete Tuesday, 13 November 2012 22:27 posted by Odete

    I'm also Emil's investors and had gained profil from his previous investments in Mississauga. Overall, Emil is a talented and very creative in each deal.

  • Tony Haddad Tuesday, 13 November 2012 22:18 posted by Tony Haddad

    Hi this is Tony Haddad, I have invested with Emil in Toronto condo abd also in the US. I appreciate all the work that he does. Emil works very hard for his investors and I strongly suggest you should attend his seminares. Good luck to you all.

  • rupert de castro Tuesday, 13 November 2012 20:35 posted by rupert de castro

    As an OLD DOG who has been around buying properties since the 1970's,I remember the days when CMHC was "cordially invited" by our lovely banks to take back over 5,000 condo units. Today there are probably 20 times the units in Toronto that there were back then.
    If one thinks that by "sprucing up" his/her units in a 'nautical' theme makes condos a GOOD investment, GO AHEAD....but just remember the AVERAGE price of a single family home in GTA went from $273,698 in 1989 to $198,150 in 1996, a 27.6 % reduction (Call The TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD TO CONFIRM).

    If , If interest rate increases EVER coincide with this DOWNTURN market....we are in for a BLOOD BATH.

    You speculators who keep calling yourselves investors, WATCH OUT...all the $$ you made SPECULATING will be lost INVESTING now

  • Russ Tuesday, 13 November 2012 18:14 posted by Russ

    I agree with Joe. This guy is just trying to pump up things with talk. The market is in a downward cylce and 1will be until at least 2014 in Vancouver. I consider myself an expert in the industry and why this guy gets article time is beyond me. By the way this is not negative against positive thinking, as it is the way the real true facts are. Td I know how to do it that is why I have bought in the USA, and for you Rick how about letting Joe say his opnion without you being a bully.

  • Rick Faye Tuesday, 13 November 2012 17:01 posted by Rick Faye

    Joe. How rude. Constructive comments always sound so much more intelligent than school boy insults.

  • TD Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:41 posted by TD

    There is still great opportunity and profit in the condo market, you just need to learn how to do it.

  • Joe Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:04 posted by Joe

    What a ridiculous article as the condo crash just started and the picture of that clown doesnt help either. Still trying to pump and dump those condos? Good luck.

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