With empathy and curiosity, addy aims to break down the barriers to real estate to help average Candians on their journey to financial freedom and property ownership. As we move forward, we love hearing from our members about what they enjoy and what they hope addy can help them with in the future.
We recently chatted with addy member Pierre Gagnon-Gingras, a 29-year-old Quebec resident who was eagerly awaiting opportunities to invest in real estate. Here’s some of his story.
As the old phrase goes, the best time to start investing was yesterday. Pierre realized this when he started taking personal finance courses at McGill University in Montreal a few years back. “It transformed the way I viewed investment, finances and asset classes. I saw real estate was missing from my portfolio.”
Then he stumbled upon a CBC article detailing a potential entrance in the world of real estate investment: with crowdfunding and fractional ownership platforms like addy. He came to understand that with addy, you don’t need a large down payment to get into the market. Instead you can be one of many Canadian investors pooling their money together towards a single, identifiable commercial real estate property.
The only problem at the time was Quebec was shut out of addy; only residents in Ontario, Alberta and BC, where addy is based, could invest.
“I held out hope that Quebec would be unlocked,” says Pierre.
That time finally came in February 2022, when addy unveiled their first property in the province – a boutique hotel in Montreal. That means that finally residents of the province could take part in fractional ownership.
Crowdfunding commercial real estate
The plan for the property at 874 Sherbrooke in the heart of Montreal is to transform the boutique hotel into a versatile smart hotel with an eye towards extended stays. It’s a similar plan for addy’s latest offering just down the street and with the same GP. The property on Sherbrooke, however, holds a special place for Pierre.
“It does feel for now like a flagship,” says Pierre. “It’s in a cosmopolitan city and you can drop by it.” Over 800 Canadians invested in that first Montreal property.
After addy unlocked Quebec, a unique property dropped in Hamilton, one with a primarily societal benefit and a secondary financial benefit. It was an affordable housing development as part of an effort for the province and country to offer more purpose-built rentals.
“I grew up in subsidized housing, so from the get-go I was sold on the addy,” says Pierre. “If it wasn’t for that, I don’t know. I didn’t grow up very rich, I’d be much worse without, especially in an area where rent is high”
Pierre has hopes for addy expansion, looking for more properties outside of big cities so that he can expand his portfolio.
“I hope addy will source more deals outside of Montreal,” he says. “Maybe the maritimes?” Perhaps Pierre!
Investing with addy
For Pierre, the pandemic changed the way he thought about investing. It happened in tandem with learning more about finance through h McGill: “It totally opened my eyes about what to do with disposable income.”
Pierre, like many people around his age, has a certain goal in mind, although it’s one that’s becoming increasingly difficult for many to achieve. “I want to build up money for downpayment for home. I’m pressing on the gas pedal. I’m investing to reach the $10K annual limit (as a non-eligible investor).”
“I’ll use distributions to roll into the next addy,” he continues. “I’m into diversification first and foremost. I’m looking for a return of most capital within the first five years; short term investments.” He also points to a “sense of community” in Discord as a place where addy squad, addy members and curious investors can chat and connect.
Above all, addy helps Pierre on his financial quest. “addy matches with my goals: producing income without having to buy into a ton of deals.”
“I like how easy it was to subscribe, open my wallet, and set up an account.” At the time, he couldn’t invest since Quebec had yet to be opened. Still, he has a good feeling.
“I made my first deposit of $50 as a token of trust.”