West Coast Secondary Market Investment with Robin Kelley of Groupe Denux

Houses for sale in Ottawa

Robin Kelley, Partner at Groupe Denux based in Victoria, is joining us in this episode. He is a second-generation investor in his family, and owns and manages apartments all across the country but with a focus on the Victoria, BC market.

A regular listener of the podcast, Robin takes us through how his family-owned company came to be. He talks about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on different markets, including both positive and negative trends happening in Victoria.

Topics covered include:

  • Robin’s case for investing in Victoria versus Vancouver.
  • What Groupe Denux looks for when choosing a market to invest in.
  • Vacancy rates achieved when offering rent under market rate.
  • Tightening margins in secondary real estate markets.
  • The trend of people leaving city centres.
  • An advantage of secondary markets that was previously a disadvantage.
  • Changes that have happened in Victoria over time.
  • Starting his career in Quebec before moving to the west coast.
  • Delving into construction of new buildings.
  • Friendly competition that exists within the family-owned Groupe Denux.
  • The eclectic group of markets that Groupe Denux is involved with.
  • Business that Robin is conducting in Calgary right now.
  • Struggles that Alberta was experiencing even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The flex financing option for affordable housing offered by CMHC.

More about our guest…..

  • Undergraduate Degree in Economics
  • Graduate Degrees in Economics and Urban Planning
  • Started my career at the Canada West Foundation, and then moved to Ottawa where I worked in Financial Sector Policy at the Department of Finance (we oversaw FINTRAC), had  a stint working in Canada – US relations at the Privy Council Office  under the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister, along with a short stint at the Treasury Board.
  • Started in Commercial Real Estate in 2006, when I joined the group.
  • In addition to helping grow a family portfolio, was a lead on a few acquisitions in France including the construction of a BREEM Certified Tech Office Building, in Montpellier, France.
  • We actively manage our portfolio and use only our own capital aside from our lenders.
  • In recent years my focus has been on the construction and acquisition of multibay light industrial and multi family projects.
  • I am a soccer fanatic with the injuries to prove it, love being pounded by the swells on the west coast while fishing, not obsessed about hunting but I do own guns including on from the turn of century (the last one via my Grandmother), and am an avid cyclist and a survivor of Mt.Ventoux.
  • My wife forces me to live on a hobby farm rather than on the water or in an urban village.


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