Meet Our Speakers

Farah Omran, Economist


Farah Omran joined Scotiabank Economics in February 2021 as an Economist. Farah works with the team on stress-testing and modeling as a primary responsibility. In addition she leads the department's research into the Canadian housing market. She joins us from the C.D. Howe Institute where she previously held a policy analyst position. Farah holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Toronto, where she was a fellow at Massey College.

Rana Chauhan, Chief Investment Strategist

Investment Planning Counsel

Rana Chauhan believes in a multidisciplinary approach to issues. With a background in the health sciences, physical sciences, and finance, he teaches investors to think in inversion viewpoints - a change in the order of things, a point of reversal. To tackle the hardest problems, you must have perspective, patience and planning. As an investor, the last thing we want to be in is to get stuck in the middle of uncertainty and chaos.

Richard Dias, Founder and Head of Research

Acorn Macro Consulting Ltd.

Founder and Head of Research for Acorn Macro Consulting Ltd., Richard is driven to provide quality research to investors drawing upon years of experience in financial services in both buy-side and sell-side firms.

Having started his career at BCA Research in Montreal (CA) and London (UK), then as the Global Macro Strategist for Talisman Global Asset Management (UK), and most recently as a Global Strategist for Pictet Asset Management in London (UK), Richard can be relied upon to provide clear actionable insights for asset allocation and portfolio construction.

His commitment to integrity, originality and clarity of thought is at the core of Acorn’s values. Richard is a CFA®️ charter holder and a BComm in Finance & Economics from McGill University (Montreal CA).

Steve Saretsky, Founder

Saretsky Group

Steve Saretsky is a Vancouver Realtor and author behind one of Vancouver’s most popular Real Estate Blogs. Steve is widely considered a thought leader in the industry with regular appearances on BNN, CBC, CKNW, and various media outlets. Steve’s dedication to analyzing the stats, financial landscape, and policies affecting Vancouver Real Estate have allowed him to build a successful business among the top 2% of Greater Vancouver Realtors, while working with and providing advisory services to investment advisors, financial institutions, policy makers and Real Estate developers.

Christian Szpilfogel, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer

The Aliferous Group

Christian Szpilfogel is an experienced real estate investor and entrepreneur. With a background in various executive positions in both private and public technology corporations, Christian refocused on a new venture through investments in real estate and tech start-ups. Currently serving as the Chief Investment Officer of The Aliferous Group, he has proven to be a thriving real estate investor with burgeoning holdings in multi-unit residential and commercial properties. Learning from his own prosperity, he believes in giving back to the community by spreading his knowledge and helping others develop their own personal wealth-strategy to success.

Kyle Agro, Senior Associate, Private Capital Markets

Equiton Partners Inc.

Kyle Agro is a goal-oriented, adaptable sales professional with nearly a decade of experience in sales and delivering financial services solutions. He is passionate about helping his clients build their wealth through private real estate investing.

Chris Westrop, Chartered Insurance Professional

Park Insurance

Over 30 years experience in the insurance industry and involved with providing insurance solutions for REIN members for over 10 years (REIN Real Estate Professional of the year in 2016 & 2017). Proud husband to Angela, father to 7 and grandfather to 3. Captain with the Chilliwack River Valley Fire Department.

Carla Browne, President

Real Property Management LP

Carla started her work life journey in the Real Estate industry in 1993 with CENTURY 21 Dome and no word of a lie has done every job role within the company! This has been a huge advantage as she is a resource for not only her own brokerage but others around the country within the CENTURY 21 system.  In 2013, to add another challenge to her plate, she ventured into a Property Management Franchise and currently brokers the office of Real Property Management Professionals in Saskatoon. In 2016, she worked on transitioning from a day-to-day role within the CENTURY 21 office to her primary role building the Real Property Management Professionals office in Saskatoon. She has loved the experience of building the property management office and continues to grow her portfolio of managed properties and team. In 2019 she started working with the RPM Central offices as Managing Broker. Later that year she became the Operations Manager of Real Property Management Limited Partnership. This has allowed her to see numerous growth opportunities for the offices and the RPM Brand across Canada. In October 2021, Carla was promoted to President of Real Property Management Canada and leads the national brand across Canada.

Keith Uthe, Mortgage Broker

Enrich Mortgage Group

As a multiple award-winning independent Mortgage Broker with Mortgage Alliance-Enrich Mortgage Group, Keith Uthe able to work with clients on mortgages across Canada, and he believes his role is a key part of causing and creating future wealth for you and your family. As a Smith Manoeuvre Certified Mortgage Professional (a process he has used himself since 2005), Real Estate Investor, Real Estate Investment Advisor, and Certified Financial Life Professional, he wants to understand your goals and relationship to money, wealth, and worth so that he may advise you in the way that makes the most sense for you and your values.

Simeon Papailias, Co-Founder & Managing Partner

REC Canada

When it comes to real estate, no one does it quite like Simeon Papailias. Fifteen years ago, he committed to having an unmatched work ethic and unwavering integrity in the field, which resulted in Simeon Leading his team to the Chairman Award at Royal LePage for a decade while expanding his network to include the country’s most reputable builders and investors. These days, his name is synonymous with Toronto Real Estate investing as he is a frequent guest on multiple media channels who seek his unique perspective and exceptional guidance.

George Dube, Partner, Canadian Tax

BDO Canada

George Dube is a veteran real estate investor and Chartered Professional Accountant whose practice focuses on providing the knowledge and tools clients need to increase and preserve the value of their businesses. As a tax partner at BDO Canada LLP, George works with real estate investors and business owners across Canada, and around the world. He is a frequent guest speaker, addressing a variety of tax and accounting topics with implications for those in the real estate investment industry.

Kevin & Nadine Russell, Real Estate Investors/Asset Managers

Income Stream Real Estate Investments Inc.

At Income Stream Real Estate Investments, Kevin & Nadine Russell help busy professionals who want to invest in real estate, but don’t have the time or expertise. After working as a golf professional, Kevin started his own company as a General Contractor completing interior new builds and major renovations. This flexible work schedule allowed him more time to spend with his family. His wife, Nadine, has a background in corporate marketing working for companies such as Pepsico, High Liner Foods and Maple Leaf Foods. Her strong business acumen has allowed her to excel at the acquisition, financial and marketing aspects of real estate investing. Together at Income Stream Real Estate Investments they make a great team working on projects ranging from duplexes to multi-family buildings and strategies including long term buy and holds, flips and short term rentals. They live in Barrie, Ontario, but focus their real estate investments in Alberta & New Brunswick.

Alex Bell, Managing Partner, Vice President Realty Practice

MyCor Insurance Solutions

Alex Bell is a Managing Partner of Mycor Insurance. He entered the insurance industry in 1995 and is a highly specialized expert providing insurance solutions catered towards the real estate industry vertical. His entire practice is focused exclusively on working with real estate developers and investors. He and Mycor have access to best in class solutions/products through every stage of the real estate cycle. In his spare time, Alex enjoys keeping active and spending time with his dog, Guinness.

Dalia Barsoum, President & Principal Broker

Streetwise Mortgages

Dalia Barsoum is an award-winning broker and a finance advisor with over 20 years of experience in the banking sector, spanning lending, wealth management strategy and real estate. She holds an MBA in Finance from Dalhousie University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers Association. In 2011, she launched Streetwise Mortgages, a boutique brokerage that specializes in servicing real estate investors and self-employed clients across Ontario.

Darcy Marler, Real Estate Investor, Author & Mentor

Over the past 20 years, Darcy Marler has owned over 90 properties with 240 'doors', worth over $44 million. In that time, he has actively invested in land development, new construction, land assembly, condo conversion, long & short term rentals, BRRRR, and fix-and-flips. Darcy is also the author of 4 books on real estate investing and an online course on Land Development.

Jordan Spitters, Partner

Eximus Real Estate Team

Born and raised in the Fraser Valley, Jordan Spitters grew up on a commercial broiler chicken farm. It was there that he learned the values of hard work and dedication.

With a background in sales, construction, and finance, he studied Business Administration. He had the opportunity to return to the family farm and assist in its transition into the largest certified organic chicken farm in Canada. During this time, he cemented his belief in ethical business practices and bringing integrity to every aspect of his career.

Michelle Fong, Business Development Associate

Real Property Management LP

Michelle Fong’s main focus with Real Property Management Canada is to work with emerging and existing offices to equip them with the tools to build a thriving Property Management business. Education and collaboration are her true superpowers. You will often find her hosting events for both of their offices as well as real estate investors who want to embrace entrepreneurship and start managing properties. Whether you have one property or hundreds Michelle has tips she can offer you due to the vast experience she has in this industry. Her passion and positive energy are infectious! When she is not in a conversation about real estate investing you will find her dining out at the latest restaurants in Calgary, AB.

Terry Vermeer, P.Eng, Real Estate Investor

Terry is a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.Eng). He has been investing in Single Family since 2007. He mostly does Buy and Holds with renovations, and owns properties in both Ontario and BC. After joining as a REIN member in 2020, he plans to break out into Alberta and the US real estate markets, focusing on taking his portfolio to the next level. He has a lot of experience with forcing appreciation through targeted renovations as well as working with Property Managers. Born in Grimsby, Ontario, and currently living in Naramata, BC, Terry puts a lot of energy into personal development and living life by design!

Natasha Phipps, Investment Specialist Realtor

Phipps Real Estate Group - CIR Realty

Natasha is an investment specialist Realtor supporting her clients through educational events and content, finding the best opportunities for her investors is her passion. In the next stage of her career, she has joined CIR Realty and started the Phipps Real Estate Group – a specialized group of specialized investment Realtors focused on providing education relevant to her local market and finding creative opportunities! In recent years Natasha was named REIN's Realtor of the year for 2019, achieved number top producer status repeatedly and is looking forward to expanding upon her experience through collaboration and public speaking.

Christian Dy, Owner

Latitute West Financial

Christian is an award winning educator, team leader, and financial advisor. When he is not advising clients or giving financial workshops, he can be found analyzing real estate investments and creating financial education videos for his YouTube channel. Christian discovered his passion for helping others at a young age. He has volunteered in Africa, Asia, and continues to lead teams in South East Asia. When he took over his father’s business, he not only gained 40 years of experience but also brought his desire for helping his clients to invest in real estate.

Ally Balam & Amy Leong, Real Estate Advisors

Engel & Volkers

The Amy & Ally team have successfully sold over $750 million in real estate, and awarded Top 10 Teams in North America in 2021. They have quickly become one of the primary sales & marketing forces within the Vancouver Luxury Real Estate market, and pride themselves on exceptional service and investment insights.

Harpreet Singh, Principal & Owner

AMRIK Developments

Harpreet founded AMRIK in 2008 with a simple vision of capitalizing on the opportunities within Alberta’s dynamic real estate market. On any given day you will find Harpreet working closely with the city’s largest developers about upcoming developments, connecting builders with the latest opportunities, working alongside investors to help uncover the most lucrative return on their projects, and providing innovative solutions to those affected by the challenges of distressed real estate. As a passionate advocate on the importance of mental health Harpreet is currently the Co-Chair for the CASA Golf classic, a foundation aimed at supporting child, adolescent, and family mental health in our province. In his (very little) spare time Harpreet enjoys traveling abroad, practicing hot yoga and spending time outdoors with his very active toddler daughter.

Madeleine & Patrick Gergen, Co-Founders, CEO & President

AmeriCan Multifamily Alliance Group

Madeleine and Patrick Gergen have owned and operated over 1,000 units consisting mostly of multifamily buildings in the US and Canada. They reside in Calgary, Alberta and Dallas, Texas. Together they have over 50 years of combined expertise in all areas of real estate including negotiations, property analysis, acquisitions, marketing, management, and stabilization of both residential and commercial properties. After more than a decade of extremely successful projects in Dallas, Texas, they have recently launched AMAG Opportunity Fund I … a $25M fund purchasing three apartment communities in Dallas with a strong value-add component and a mission for social impact which in turn increases investor returns. Through the years, they have built a strong investor following boasting returns of over 20% IRR and more than doubling investors money in a 5 year period.

Nick Legault, Founder & CEO

Building Investments Inc.

Nick Legault, is the founder and CEO of Building Investments Inc. He’s also the award winner of Multi-Family Investor of the Year, Co-Venturer of the Year, and Leslie Cuff award winner.

Building Investments, is an expert in buying, renovating, and renting large multi-family buildings in and around Ottawa. In the last 13 months alone, he has acquired $10M in cash flowing multi-family buildings. The company has an in-house construction team and property management team to help scale the business.

When he’s not working, he spends time with his wife & high school sweetheart, and their two daughters. He enjoys teaching newer and beginning investors the ropes to transition into multi-family investors.

Cathy Su, Assistant VP of Commercial Lines

Park Insurance

Throughout her 15 years in the insurance industry, Cathy has built up a strong knowledge of the insurance business. She started doing auto insurance, then personal lines and has spent the last eleven years in the commercial insurance department at Park Insurance. She believes in being a life-long learner and has earned her CAIB (Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker) and CIP (Chartered Insurance Professional) designations, and is constantly learning about new coverages and changes in the industry.

Omar Khan, Co-Founder

Theta Trading Co.

Omar Khan’s career spans more than 15 years in financial services. Starting out in the brokerage arm of a Big Five Canadian bank, he quickly rose through the ranks of the industry to AVP in a widely known mutual fund company. He then shifted his focus, becoming a full-time real estate investor and derivatives trader. Omar holds a BA in Economics from the University of Toronto. He currently spends his professional life trading derivatives, building his real estate portfolio, and promoting the core values of Theta Trading.

Patrick Francey, Chief Executive Officer

The Real Estate Investment Network & Host of The Everyday Millionaire Podcast

Patrick Francey is the real deal. An authentic and effective educator and speaker, charismatic host of The Everyday Millionaire podcast, established Canadian-based real estate investor and Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Investment Network. His longevity and success as a business owner contributes to Patrick’s significant role in contributing to the vision, development and growth of Real Estate Investment Network. He is a genuine, driving force behind the business and development that supports the Real Estate Investment Network Team’s foundational belief that every Canadian deserves financial freedom by design and can achieve it through investing in real estate. Proud husband, father and grandfather, Patrick’s motto says it best: Success is SIMPLE.

JG Francoeur, Chief Growth Officer

The Real Estate Investment Network & CEO of Visture Property Group

Jean-Guy (JG) Francoeur is the Chief Growth Officer at the Real Estate Investment Network and CEO of Visture Property Group ( He is the bestselling author of Messy Manager and has written hundreds of articles for international business publications. A serial entrepreneur, JG has built several companies from start-up and his personal mission is to shape future generations through real estate investing. JG is an experienced investor with an extensive property investment portfolio. He has the ability to develop a long-term vision, which is exactly what he is doing at the Real Estate Investment Network, where he is building the futurization of real estate.

Nick Banks, VP of Technology

The Real Estate Investment Network

Nick Banks is your solutions guy. As VP of Technology, he is well-suited for his role. Nick is amazingly talented at integrating systems into scalable operations and delights in designing strategic plans and developing innovative and imaginative solutions for all levels of business, from established companies managing multi-million-dollar sales to start-ups bootstrapping themselves from an idea. First and foremost an entrepreneur, Nick has been in the real estate business for over 20 years and has more than 25 years of business management experience as a senior executive and as a trusted consultant. Nick is a life long learner and enjoys the challenge of turning around existing businesses or building new ones. The world’s #1 Dad, Nick’s passion and joy is his daughter Somer and he loves nothing more than to spend his daughter, preferably outdoors.

About The Real Estate Investment Network

The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) was founded in 1992. Today we are Canada’s most trusted real estate investment education, analysis, research and strategic leadership resource. To date, by leveraging our economic insights and analysis, and using proven strategies taught by REIN, our Members have transacted more than 37,000 properties, representing more than $5.3 billion dollars of real estate.

From our founding over two decades ago in Vancouver, we expanded our community to include five additional major Canadian cities: Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Kelowna. Our vision encompasses not only these areas, but with current technology we’ve expanded to include markets across the country, giving our Members access to economic research and analysis in their neighborhood, in their province, and across the nation.

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