Would you want to buy shares in a Kelowna real estate property? A Vancouver company is offering a new way to invest in a share of residential properties with no financial limitations. Photo: Capital News files

Micro-investing in B.C. real estate properties

Company launches opportunity to buy shares in property investments

A Vancouver entrepreneur believes he is at the forefront of revolutionizing how real estate is bought and sold.

Stephen Jagger, co-founder of IMBY Real Estate Corporation, says his company has created an investment pathway that eliminates any financial barriers for property investment.

“Anyone can invest for as little as $1 and take advantage of lucrative real estate investment opportunities in Vancouver and other secondary markets such as Kelowna, Kamloops, Victoria, Nanaimo that otherwise are limited to wealthy property developers,” Jagger said.

The concept behind IMBY is for the company to invest in a 51 per cent share in a rental property, and open the remaining 49 per cent to outside investors, similar in idea to investors buying stock in a company.

In turn, the outside investment can be used as financial leverage to expand a particular portfolio by buying other properties to increase the potential value of that initial share investment.

“You might start out with a house in Vancouver, but you can use that leverage from investors to buy another house in Kelowna and maybe a townhouse in Vernon,” he said.

RELATED: Kelowna named top city for real estate investment in Western Canada

Speaking at the Okanagan chapter of the Urban Development Institute monthly luncheon at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna this week, Jagger explained the genesis behind IMBY’s business concept and how he feels it will transform the future of real estate transactions.

Jagger said other companies are already looking at IMBY’s idea, adding that a major New York City hotel has already made headlines in seeking to raise $400 million by selling off a 25 per cent share in the hotel at $100 per share.

The end result was the creation of IMBY (In My Back Yard), which Jagger says they believe was the first company to offer a share of ownership of a home, a $1.6 million property in Vancouver’s Trout Lake residential area.

The offering attracted a total of 287 investors to be part of that 49 per cent interest.

“The average investment was about $4,000 and 33 per cent of our investors were in the 19 to 35 age group,” Jagger said.

“Technology hasn’t really changed the real estate game in the past 20 years. But this concept will change the game.”

Jagger said what they learned from his first deal was a wide public interest to invest in real estate for a longer-term gain as there is a five and seven year locked-in share offering provision; people were interested less in Vancouver often and more in secondary markets like Kelowna, Victoria, Nanaimo and Kamloops; the renter for the Trout Lakehouse opted to invest himself in the property.

RELATED: Real estate investment scheme turned into a fraud

“There is one benefit we see as each transaction is creating a rental opportunity to address that issue, but we see potential benefits in a renter who actually has a financial interest in the property, which gets away from that adversarial relationship between landlord and renter, and that may lend itself to the renter taking greater interest in the upkeep of the property,” he said.

Jagger said real estate agents would feel the greatest impact of this change, taking them out of the traditional equation of a house deal.

“There is good and bad in this for realtors. The big thing is we are no longer selling real estate, but selling shares in something, so the transaction doesn’t fall under real estate board rules but those of a securities commission. That changes the structure of the deal in a totally divergent way as it is governed by a totally different set of rules.”

On the plus side, Jagger thinks realtors under this deal structure would function more like a traditional stockbroker which would open other avenues for income potential to replace the traditional commission on the sale of a property.

“It would be different and a bit of a re-adjustment, but feel it will be a huge opportunity. I foresee the day when someone will want to invest $20,000 in Kelowna real estate shares, perhaps no more than $1,000 or $5,000 per property, and look to a realtor to utilize their knowledge of the local market to find those opportunities.”

Marv Beer, president of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, said he was familiar with Jagger’s business concept, saying it tends to fall under the guise of other property investment models rather than the traditional homeowner looking to buy or sell a house.

RELATED: Amazon effect in the Okanagan

“There is risk in looking for a short-return on buying and selling houses in a volatile market, especially when you see how the Vancouver market has tanked right now. I might be attractive for people with an appetite for risk on a smaller scale,” Beer said.

While technology has introduced changes in how people buy and sell homes, he said the role of the real estate agent has remained a central element of the transaction who helps guide buyers and sellers through the process.

“That’s what we do for a living and we are experts in that. A lot of people still want that person involved in a transaction because it offers some sense of security, ” Beer said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Jennifer Rice BC NDP North Coast Incumbent was re-elected for a third according to the preliminary results on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice is North Coast MLA for third term

Preliminary election results show NDP Majority government

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read