Houses for sale in Ottawa

Our guest today is Greg Speirs. He is the Executive Vice President, Portfolio Management at Realstar, one of Canada’s largest private owner-operators of rental properties, with over 25,000 units coast-to-coast. 

Greg shares his experience working in real estate internationally prior to taking on the Canadian market. After, we hear Greg’s thoughts on some of the changes that COVID-19 has brought to real estate. Realstar focuses on apartments, so Greg talks about how that asset class is being affected. He also shares his thoughts on the abundance of downtown construction that has happened across Canadian cities in the past few years.

Topics covered include:

  • Finding like-minded partners.
  • Raising capital versus deploying capital.
  • Realstar’s vision to acquire high-caliber properties for the long-term.
  • Starting off the portfolio with value-add properties.
  • Utilizing discounts to justify risk.
  • Understanding the risks of owning property in certain geographic areas.
  • The worst phone call regarding building damage that Greg has received.
  • If the value proposition of Realstar has changed in recent years.
  • The construction that is ongoing in downtown Canadian cities.
  • Social challenges in the real estate industry.
  • Diversity initiatives being undertaken by Realstar.

More about our guest….

Greg is Executive Vice President, Portfolio Management at Realstar Management, one of Canada’s leading privately owned real estate investment and management companies.  He leads a team that is responsible for asset management, fund management and investor relations.  The portfolio includes 6 private funds worth over $5.0bn with over with 120 multi-residential properties containing close to 25,000 apartments.  He has helped raise close to $2.0bn in equity capital since 2011.  He joined Realstar in 2007 and helped transform Realstar into one of Canada’s leading multi-residential investment managers. 

Greg earned degrees from Queen’s University, the University of Cambridge and INSEAD.  Prior to joining Realstar, Greg was VP, Real Estate Finance with Lehman Brothers.  His previous roles include real estate consulting with Deloitte.

Greg is co-founding member of the Toronto chapter of the CLL Society.  In his free time Greg enjoys tennis and cycling.

James Wilson of Realstar episode.

Jeffrey Charles of Gallagher discussing insurance episode.

The CRE Podcast is powered by First National Financial

This episode is made in partnership with the Canadian Real Estate Forums

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