Interview with Real Estate Investor: Joey Ragona (yep, he’s Canadian!)


Joey RagonaJoey Ragona is a real estate investor from Oakville, Ontario (WAY up north – somewhere in a place called Canada). In our interview with Joey (28:08 minutes), we get into topics such as building and running a business without distractions, targeting the most appropriate tenants, investing in single family homes, joint venture partnerships, investing in Canada, rent to own, being authentic and real every day, and why you are truly running a business when you are investing in real estate.

Definitely be sure to check Joey’s blog, Engaged Investor, or you can follow him on Twitter.

Check out our dozens of other real estate interviews as well!

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.


  1. Nice interview Joey and Josh, I enjoyed it!

    It’s interesting to hear your story, Joey. I think it’s smart to have your home paid off. And, your real estate investing strategy is very wise. A lot of advanced investors I know prefer going the “free and clear” route when it comes to real estate investing.

    I saw a presentation recently by Elizabeth Warren, a professor at Harvard Law School, who went into the history of America’s economy and what Americans have used their money for throughout history.

    It’s an interesting case study as the two most highest expenses have been housing and healthcare. And, in the presentation – I think it was about a 76% increase in the cost of housing since the 1960s/1970s. The data is pretty impressive.

    In any case, I think that cutting out or decreasing housing costs for a household would significantly help ease the burden for a typical family. I guess, the problem is that in America – many Americans want to live the lavish lifestyle they see on television. I guess, it’s just part of our culture here – we tend to want more than what we can afford. I’m not sure about Canada, but maybe it is different.

    It’s definitely hard to change a culture. I think the idea of consumerism started mainly with the Baby Boomers and passed on to subsequent generations. I think, that is why there is such a wide gap (which is slowly increasing in America) between the “haves” and the “have nots.”

    In any case, it’s nice to hear from your perspective in Canada – I’m hearing very positive things about the culture and lifestyle there! 🙂

    • Rachel, very impressive comment. Thank you for your great insights and yes the culture here is the same as America with reference to people living beyond their means. The sad fact is many people with equity in their home use it as an ATM machine to fund that lavish lifestyle. So really, IS IT a lifestyle? I don’t believe so because it’s run from debt.

      Lifestyle in my opinion is what you are able to live without debt….and truly that’s what Real Estate investing is to provide in the end … isn’t it? The question I always ask people is, what does your ultimate lifestyle look like? From there, you need to devise the correct investment strategy that will help you realize that lifestyle.

      As you mentioned, we were very fortunate to pay off our home, but at the same time we did not go out and begin using that equity as free money for vacations, renovations, cars and boats…we invested it to make it work for us.

      Great speed forward in all your endeavors!!!!

  2. Hi Joey,

    I am always curious to see how full time investors spend their day, so I am interested to learn from you. I’ve recently started to do something similar in not checking my email or Facebook first thing which gives me some time to focus on what is important to me before I get sidetracked by the current or urgent matters of the day.


    • Thanks Andrew, you are on the right track by stepping away from what initially drives you in the morning. Just remember that YOU decide what matters in the day – when I heard people like Richard Branson whom has at least 10-15 lawsuits going on all the time gets up to take a two hour swim around his Island and then takes more time out to engage in the beauty of nature and expand his mind with mastermind meetings, I would have to think that nothing is that urgent for you and I to be attending to that can’t wait an extra hour :D. Perception and Procedure are the two elements in our lives we can change in order to look at how our day will unfold. Thanks for always supporting me my friend!

  3. Yes I like the way Richard Branson thinks about business.With Canada one of the funny things I learned is that about 80% of the people all live on the border and the rest of the country is almost uninhabited because of temperature and terrain.

    I had no clue that was the case.I tend to go on to many forums as well.I like the video interviews.
    I think you did a great job in the interview and it’s refreshing not to see someone blowing smoke and being real.

    As far as being authentic I find a bunch of fraud out there related to investors,lenders,etc. They promise the moon but are a big fake.

    • Hi Joel, thanks for that comment – I’m glad I came across the way I intended, which was a real as possible – you are correct that too many ‘gurus’ out there blow smoke and are so different when the curtain closes. With many “investors”, their real estate promises have no merit and structured to benefit one way, it will ultimately come crashing down in their world because people are much too smart for that these days.

      Stay in the loop and learn from real people who are DOING what they are preaching.

      Good luck my friend.

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