With continuing natural resource development and the related boom in the real estate market, there’s never been a better time to invest in Alberta. Properties of Distinction is working hard to offer strategic investing opportunities and attractive rental properties. We’re opening doors for tenants and investors every day. And we’ve been doing it since January 2005.
PODCO was formed by three families—the Lobos, Fullens, and Buchanans—who shared a common vision to capitalize on the growing Alberta economy and to increase their retirement income. They used their collective experience in real estate and property management and began investing in multi-family properties. PODCO purchased its first property in April 2005: three apartment buildings (14 suites) in Westlock, Alberta. The second property, three buildings (21 suites) in Fox Creek, was purchased in August of that same year.
After their initial purchases in Westlock, Fox Creek, and Grande Prairie, the families soon realized that it would take additional investment capital for the company to continue to grow. By the fall of 2006, PODCO formed two affiliate companies, Centree Props Corporation and Hillsrivercity Inc., with properties in Edmonton, Athabasca, Swan Hills, and two additional properties in Fox Creek.
In a few short years, the home-grown vision has expanded to include other investors who want to secure their financial future. For each project, the parent company continues to own 51% shares while investors own 49%. Cash flow, mortgage pay-down, and capital appreciation are divided accordingly, under the terms of a unanimous shareholder’s agreement.
As the business continued to grow, PODCO brought Don Buchanan on as a full-time property maintenance manager to oversee onsite management. The company formed a new corporation, Properties of Distinction (Alberta) Corporation (PODAB), with Don as a shareholder, as the new parent company for future business expansion.
Today PODCO, PODAB, and our affiliate companies own over 270 suites in 9 communities. Although it has always been our intent to keep our business relatively small, with a focus on quality rather than quantity, we want to be able to provide investment opportunities that will open doors to more and more people.
Why invest in a PODCO property?
A PODCO investment is a smart investment due to:
- Safety and security through corporate shares or signature on second mortgage title
- Hassle-free investment management
- Excellent returns on investment and capital appreciation
- Short turnaround time between investing and seeing returns
- Value added through a professional investment team and experienced managers
- Regular and exhaustive disclosure on investment progress
What sets Properties of Distinction Corporation apart from other property investment companies?
We focus on the acquisition and rental of multi-family residential facilities (apartment buildings and townhouses). In the world of investing, these holdings are less vulnerable to downturns in economic and real estate market cycles as compared to single-family units. In addition, these types of properties allow us to generate cash flow almost immediately, through rental income.
Low-risk investment “bundles”
Many of our investment offerings are bundled to provide the “best of both worlds”; we combine one or more buildings in a smaller urban centre (or centres) with one or more buildings within a major urban centre. This spreads risk and helps leverage the typically better cash flows of the smaller centres with the typically higher rates of appreciation in larger centres.
Proven expertise and experience
We partner with a talented team of real estate lawyers, accountants, multi-family realtors, and mortgage brokers. We’ve surrounded ourselves with the most knowledgeable and effective professional team and we continue to employ and develop our own experience in real estate investment and human resource and property management.
Pre-investment compatibility assessment process
We provide prospective investors with our “Potential for Relationship” questionnaire to help them determine if their investment goals are compatible with those of our company and to initiate contact.
Detailed five-year planning
Each of our investment projects is set up for a five-year term. Potential investors receive five-year financial projections that include projected annual cash flows, mortgage pay-down schedules, and appreciation rates (based on a conservative 5 to 7% per annum rate, depending on whether the property is in a smaller or larger urban community).
Frequent payments to investors
Semi-annually, our investors are paid their share of the positive cash flow on their specific project investments. Many other companies only pay out a share of mortgage pay-down and appreciation at the end of the investment term.
Frequent and secure reporting systems
We keep our investors fully informed on the progress of their investments through quarterly reports. Investors can access information related to their investments at any time using our secure site for current investors.
Exceptional relationships with tenants
We take care to create and maintain mutually respectful and professional relationships with our tenants using tools such as our “Seven Promises and Seven Expectations,” an incentive program for suite upkeep and long-term tenancy, and quick-response service and maintenance. Properties of Distinction strictly adheres to the Alberta Landlord and Tenant Act.
Effective onsite management systems
Our incentive program rewards onsite mangers who demonstrate an exemplary work ethic, effective communication, positive attitudes, and commitment to growth through increasing occupancy. Our building maintenance manager ensures that maintenance issues are dealt with promptly and effectively, and he proactively supports our onsite management team through ongoing training and hands-on help.
Our Investment Communities
The town of Athabasca has a population of approximately 2500 and services a regional population of close to 10,000. The town serves as the regional hub for the petroleum, logging, mining, agriculture, and tourism industries. Conveniently located between Fort McMurray and Edmonton, Athabasca has become a popular home base for families of those employed in oilsands extraction in northeastern Alberta who prefer living in a smaller community.
Bonnyville has over 500 businesses, including 50 companies providing oilfield services and more than 60 construction contractors or sub-contractors. Bonnyville’s population is 10,000 while it serves a trading area of 27,000. Its economy is growing faster than the average rate in Alberta and it has become home to over 60 national and international resource-related companies. Bonnyville itself is situated over a large natural gas field. With continuing economic growth and increased employment opportunities, Bonnyville is an extremely viable real estate investment community.
The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) has ranked the City of Edmonton as the number one major centre for maximum return on real estate investment. The city continues to be an important world hub for the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries. Thriving business in these sectors has created economic opportunities for many other industries and sectors, including real estate. Edmonton’s population is at 1 million and is steadily growing. Ongoing high demand for rental suites makes right now an opportune time to invest in multi-family housing.
Fox Creek is a busy town of 2500 people and is situated on Highway #43 on the way to Grande Prairie. Fox Creek has emerged as a major service centre for tourism and the oil, gas, forestry, and environmental industries. The strong local economy has caused a huge demand for rental accommodation. Currently, local motels, hotels, and apartments are filled to capacity and there are long waiting lists for accommodation. We currently own five apartment buildings in Fox Creek; we know the area well and have highly effective management systems in place.
The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) has rated Grande Prairie as second only to Edmonton as the best Alberta centre in which to invest in real estate, based on maximum returns. Grande Prairie is home to over 50,000 people and has a trading area of over 200,000 people. The city serves a region abundant in renewable and non-renewable natural resources ranging from agriculture and forestry, to oil and natural gas and provides manufacturing components to several resource-based industries. This “Shopping Capital of the North” has a strong diversified economy, which is expected to grow substantially over the next five years. Employment opportunities and the resulting housing demands are expected to grow in kind. We currently own three apartment buildings in Grande Prairie.
Redwater is home to over 2200 people, 150 businesses and major industry, with a trading area of 6000 people. Redwater has an abundance of community services including a large recreational complex, swimming pool, library, golf course, schools and is located only 25 minutes north of Edmonton. The town is growing steadily and is in the process of annexing 14 quarter sections of land from the County of Sturgeon. This new land will be used in future commercial, industrial, and residential development. Redwater is only six to ten kilometres north of three major oil upgrader projects planned for the area, the Petro-Canada, Northwest, and Northern Lights upgrader projects. These multi-billion-dollar projects will create over 10,000 jobs plus a huge demand for both rental and other housing in Redwater and the surrounding area for years to come.
Located approximately two hours northwest of Edmonton and situated above the third largest oilfield in Canada, the town of Swan Hills serves as an industrial centre for several major oil companies supplying nearly one-third of the province’s oil needs. In addition to its petroleum, forestry, and recreation base, the Swan Hills region also sits above major methane gas deposits that are just now being explored. Located approximately two hours northwest of Edmonton, Swan Hills is also home to the province’s $50 million Special Waste Treatment Facility.
The Vegreville district, less than an hour’s drive east of Edmonton, has always been known as a great agriculture-based community. With a population of approximately 5500, it actually serves as a regional business, service, and shopping hub for more than 15,000 area residents. Today, the town is experiencing more growth than it has for several decades. In the last year, a new Super Walmart and large Canadian Tire have been built, and a new pre-built home manufacturing plant is underway—all of which will require several hundred employees.
Home to more than 5000 residents, the town of Westlock is located along major north/south and east/west transportation corridors. Boasting a very diverse economic base that includes agriculture, oil, gas, coal, and lumber, the town provides its residents and those in the region with a wide array of health care and recreation facilities. As a result, Westlock has become the home town of choice for several families with at least one family member commuting to and from work at oilsands extraction plants in Fort McMurray.
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