5 Real Estate and Business Lessons I  Learned in 2020: Expectations vs Reality


Real Estate took a real beating in 2020.  Landlords were told not to evict tenants because of the coronavirus also known as Covid-19. 

 The lessons learned by all of us was to use social media as a tool and not let social media use us. Other lessons learned was that crisis  reveals character and that crisis reveals opportunities, we needed to go into “war mentality” and going into the offensive instead of being on the defensive. 

 The local governments didn’t want the virus to spread, and they felt if tenants were evicted, they would spread the virus.  Rightly or wrongly this is what every real estate investor and landlord was told.  The court systems were closed down, so the landlords couldn’t start the paper work for evictions. 

 Some landlords because they had lost their jobs, and weren’t getting rent from the tenants, either were able to defer their mortgage payments or they were threatened with  foreclosure.  I don’t know if you can say this is going to be a bigger disaster than in 2008.  The Coronavirus is a global event, so the whole world is facing the same conditions, whereas in 2008 it was only the USA. 

 The following 5 lessons are what I learned in 2020!!

  1. Use Social Media as a Tool and Don’t Let Social Media Use You

Social media can be used for good and evil, both for toxic and good things.

Remember it’s up to you to choose what you want to read or hear or watch.

You are in full control of your destiny and  happiness.  Did you know that you  are being bombarded by 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day?


What you can do, which is in your control  is turn the phone, computer, TV and radio off when you’re being hit and bombarded with negative news.


I have a question to ask you, how is reading bad, negative news helping your business?



  1. “Remember crisis reveals character”.  How did this crisis build your character? 


In fact, I didn’t listen to any of the news about the Coronavirus except when my

friend would tell me 1X a day about the updates.  In the meantime, I wore a mask

leather gloves and glasses, that I’m still wearing  in 2021 whenever I go out in the public.  


This is a time to get mental toughness and get closer to your family and good friend’s

virtually so you have a support system.  


“Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals character”   You can get better or

choose to be bitter about what’s happening in the world of real estate, business

and health.  There are some things we can change and some things we can’t change.

Don’t wait for anyone to rescue you, you need to rescue yourself!!


Money reveals true character,  it shows who you really are, when you get squeezed. 

Equally, true is that money doesn’t change people it amplifies who they really are.


There is a wonderful  Niebuhr’s prayer  – God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  






  1. Crisis Reveals Opportunity


I don’t mean to be insensitive, but I feel that 2021 will be equally challenging. 

“Disaster often comes disguised as an opportunity!! What is the silver lining in 2020?

That’s something that you’ll have to figure out for yourself.


I’ve been blessed to see the opportunity and also to seize the opportunity, to assist

my  Real Estate Investors Association members. I could see that many landlords and real estate investors didn’t know what to do when in Ontario, Canada, the Landlord and Tenant Board, put a moratorium on all evictions regarding tenants who weren’t paying.


At that time in the middle of March, I could see that there was a potential disaster to Small Landlords if they had both lost their jobs, and had non-paying tenants in their building.   


So, I decided to produce daily TV, radio and YouTube shows that I felt would and could

help landlords.  


The shows were filled with practical strategies of how and what to do while everyone was

waiting for the LTB or Landlord and Tenant Board to open again and start the eviction



Some of my suggestions to my members was to defer mortgage payments for up to 6 months, refinance properties so that the landlords would have funds to float their mortgages, or until they were on more solid financial footings. I didn’t want to see

any of my members go into foreclosure and lose their homes, because everything

was at a standstill, and they weren’t able to get rent from their properties. 


A lot of the videos I produced I had very experienced guests such as  real estate investors, landlords, property owners who gave good solid advice on many topics that would and could mitigate future losses.  Now it was up to the landlords to watch mine or other landlords  videos that could help them.  Like they say, “you can take the horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”



  1. The Future is Coming Faster Than You Think


Because you couldn’t go to trade meetings, chamber of commerce events, attend

live summits, we all had to resort to using the internet to get all of our information

that otherwise would have been in person.


Myself, regarding my rentals,  I interviewed would be tenants on the phone, before

I even took the time to show them my rental units.  I did virtual tours of my properties

with them, and only when I felt that they would be good candidates, for my homes would I even  consider showing  them my units.  This alone saved me time and money, so I used technology to my advantage.


There was a rise of doing Zoom calls, Belive.TV,  YouTube, radio, TV, video

E-conferences, Online Summits, in order to do our daily business and to network

worldwide.  I went into my social media sites and spent 12-14 hours a day networking

and learning new skills to so that I could  get ahead and move boldly into 2021.


I would get up at 3, 4 or 5 am,  and start my work day and would work until 12 o’clock midnight.  Time just passed so quickly that it took my breath away, and if you ask me what I did I could tell you only by looking at my Day-Timer.  I started to annotate everything that I did and what I learned daily. 


To this day, I’m still spending long hours learning new skills and studying for my next business moves and strategies.




  1. Going into the War Offensive Mode Instead of the Defensive Mode


Have you ever heard of “The Best Defense is a Good Offense”? This is known as the “Strategic Offensive Principle of War”.


Pro-activity is really what happened to me personally in 2020. 


Taking a direct quote from Joan Baez Quotations. “My concern has always been for the people who are victimized, unable to speak for themselves and who need outside help. Action is the antidote to despair. All serious daring starts from within.”



In 2020 there was a rise of mental health issues, despair, sadness, isolation, because you couldn’t kiss, hug, stand close to a loved one because of the masks.  You couldn’t see smiles, which was very difficult for some people, especially seniors. 


What I learned in 2020 was that while other people waited, I went to war.  Many people wanted to wait it out to see what would happen.  I never let grass grown under my feet, so I raged war on the Covid-19 pandemic.  


I started to produce videos to help real estate investors, business owner and landlords. Not only that, but I wrote articles, and went on social media platforms to answer questions that people had and tried to give advice and encouragement, to the despair I saw in some people’s faces and that I heard in their voices. 


I started to write more blogs, do one on one consulting for free, started my Mastermind Groups 1 and 2, where a very small number of real estate investors and landlords could see opportunity instead of despair financially. 





I expanded my company outreach and products starting in April 2020.  I didn’t have a lot of my properties rented in April and didn’t want to house people who might put my tenants at risk with the coronavirus, so out of respect to my long-standing tenants, I left units empty for their health’s sake.   My own tenants asked me to respect their wishes of not introducing new tenants.  



In business, you need to make a minimum of 10% return on investment. You can’t be running in the red, although our governments don’t seem to understand Economics 101!!  LOL


I then felt this pressure, how was I going to spring back?   What was I going to do? Was I going to play defensive or offensive?  That’s when I decided to go to “War”.   I went into wartime vs peace time thinking.  I started to study wartime leaders and I had my parents, as great examples,  who had survived the Second World War and who had lost everything in Europe, and yet they were able to build a good strong life in Canada.   Furthermore, I never heard my parents bemoan what lot they got in life.  


I felt that I was lucky because, I had a lovely home, with plenty of food and water and like my father told me in 1986, when I was starting all over again, after having left my husband. “That my starting over was just a little bump in the road of my life”. Dearest Pappy, (that’s what I called my dear sweet father),  how right you were!!


That’s when I made my decision, of producing more shows, learning more strategies, such as defer mortgages, credit card payments, utilities, refinancing, etc.   Waiting for 5-Star Tenants and not taking any tenant from desperation or need, but waiting for the next great tenant, no matter how many months it took!!


I doubled down on the number of hours I worked I was producing 5 videos a week, and then I started to produce 10 a week. I had to think differently, and I had to protect my Ass….ets.  Playing offensive was the only way of winning at this game. 



I started a new way of connecting with my community.  I attended more online forums, giving of my time and advice to help them ride the storm that was in their paths which was:  how to sharpen their skills on how to choose their next 5-star tenant, how to refinance their properties, defer their mortgages, credit cards and all utilities, so that they could do a lot more with the money they had. This was a time to pull in their belts and become a lean machine. 


Myself during this time, I produced over 160 YouTube video shows, TV shows and radio shows.  I’m on more than 3 radio stations, both online and in a physical radio station.  I was on a few online summits, won the Guinness Book Award in Feb 2020 in Toronto along with 125 other authors for our book  Magnetic Entrepreneur World-Renowned. 

I got a wonderful coach that moved me to the next level of starting a real estate mastermind and developing courses for landlords. 


“If you want to conquer fear, don’t stay at home and think about it, go out and get busy!”  You  can do this even if you have a “Stay at Home” order.  Get busy finding info on the internet.  Never before in history can you find so much information at your fingertips, on your computer and on your cell phone.  The bonus is that all this info is for free!!  The only price you have to pay if your “time”.  Instead of worrying, start learning on how to come out of this “war” victorious!!


Once again, the picture of my parents came into my mind and I thought “if they can do it, by the grace of God, so can I”. 


My father told me when I was growing up that I was so very fortunate to have been born in a free country, spoke the language, went to school here.  He told me there wasn’t any excuse for me not to be successful.  That has always been at the back of my mind since I was a child. 


We all need to read more books, study new business strategies, listen to podcasts and watch videos to learn for free. I watch 100’s of hours of training videos and I have learned so much in 2020 and will continue to do so in 2021.



All you need is the time and will, there’s no excuse not to be victorious.  ” If you want to crush fear, you have to crush into action. “Lean into your Offensive War mode in 2021.  


As Dale Carnegie states:  “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it.”



If you’re really serious about becoming the best landlord and real estate investor that you can be,  then join my Maria Rekrut- Mastermind 15X Your Real Estate Business.  


We start every month, and this is what the Mastermind includes:  Weekly Zoom meetings with myself and other coaches, a private FB group, where my coaches and I answer your questions,  and I offer a one-hour  private session with me, once a month.  I only have space for 10 people.


You can reach me at http://realwealthrealestate.com/ 

email:  realwealth@live.ca, or call 1-866-226-4730.


Be sure to get in touch with me on social media on:


Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariarekrut/




Maria Rekrut is a Real Estate Investor, Property Developer of Heritage Buildings, and Short-Term Rentals. Landlord and Landowner since 2000 in Ontario, Canada.  Founder and President of the Canadian Short Term Rental Host Association and the Canadian Real Estate Investors Association.


Editor-in-Chief, Host and Producer of the Real Estate Media News, Radio and TV Network Channel. Real Estate Media News Network YouTube channel, podcast and radio shows “All Things Real Estate” with Maria Rekrut.



Email:  realwealth@live.ca, or call 1-866-226-4730.


Be sure to touch base on social media on:


Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariarekrut/







Maria Rekrut

About Maria Rekrut

Maria Rekrut, believes Vacation Rental Investing is much more fun than the average real estate investing. Maria, known as the Vacation Rental Guru, writes blogs regularly about her stories and adventures in vacation home investing. Maria Rekrut believes that if she can become successful investing in Vacation Rentals so can anyone else by following her simple investing techniques. Maria is also a regular contributor to the Real Estate Blog http://www.reiclub.com/realestateblog/author/maria-rekrut/
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