Air Traffic Controller Builds Multifamily Real Estate Empire – EP 209

The Fastest Way To Build A Six Or Even… Seven Figure Real Estate EMPIRE! 

If you want to automate and explode your real estate business, check out my coaching program!

Today, I’m talking with Barry Flavin. Barry has been investing in Real Estate for over 8 years and currently owns 1000+ units. 

Prior to pursuing real estate, he was working 40 hrs per week as an Air Traffic Controller. It was a good job, but he got tired and frustrated with the “working to live” mentality. 

He wanted more out of life; more income, more time, more freedom. He wanted to live a life on his terms, not the other way around!   

So, he decided to do something about it… 

He found his way in real estate by rehabbing and selling several of his personal residences, then used the proceeds to purchase 20+ single family rentals. 

After realizing the many opportunities that real estate had to offer, he quit his job and took things full time, transitioning into smaller multifamily deals. 

In today’s conversation, you’ll find out how he went from an air traffic controller with no real estate experience, to becoming a serious multifamily real estate investor. 

Barry shares some of the major challenges he faced along the way, including running out of money, taking out hard money loans, maxing out credit cards, and more. Despite the hurdles, he kept pushing forward, found a partner, leveraged his network, and started making bigger moves.

You’ll also get to hear about his current real estate portfolio, how he structures deals for investors, and why there’s so much opportunity with smaller multifamily projects! 

Key Takeaways

  • How Barry blended multiple smaller deals into a portfolio for investors.
  • Barry’s goal to get investors initial investment back within 3 years + continuous cash distributions.
  • Find out why he doesn’t offer a preferred return to investors.
  • Why the smaller mom & pop multifamily properties are oftentimes the juiciest deals! 
  • How to achieve economies of scale with smaller multifamily real estate.
  • Why Barry will buy anything from a single family home to a 200 unit building!
  • How he went from an air traffic controller with no experience, to buying 18 single family homes in only 17 months.
  • How Barry transitioned from single family homes into multifamily deals.
  • The power of partnerships and building a team that can help you reach new levels of success.

Barry Flavin Tweetables

“I want to be a real estate investor, not a landlord.- Barry Flavin

“Don't wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait.” - T. Harv Eker


Connect with Josh Cantwell

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Josh Cantwell: So, hey there, welcome back to Accelerated Real Estate Investor. Hey, it’s Josh, and I’m really excited that you’re back on listening to yet another podcast, another interview. Today, I have a great guest for you. His name is Barry Flavin. Barry has been investing in real estate for over eight years. He’s from the metro Detroit area. He started, like a lot of us, in single family investing, rehabbing and flipping houses, and then used the proceeds from those flips to purchase 20 single-family rentals. This is all while being an air traffic control man at Detroit Metro Airport.


Barry now currently owns close to a thousand units with his business partner, Josh. And Barry’s passion for cash flow mailbox money ultimately replaced his income as an air traffic control man. And Barry enjoys now sharing his knowledge of real estate and his deals with investors. His primary function in his business is working with passive investors, recruiting capital to fund their deals. His company is called New Mission Capital. And he is excited to be our next guest on Accelerated Real Estate Investor.


In this interview, some of the things that we talk about is Barry’s deal structure. He does a normal 70/30 split with investors with no preferred return. Barry’s also going to talk about how his original mindset of living his life was work 40 hours a week, work for 35 years, ultimately do what you want down the road, pay off your house, and how in just five years, was able to accomplish more and have more free time, more income, more assets than he would have had in that entire 35-year timeline if you had stuck with the corporate world, and in his case, being an air traffic control man.


Number three, Barry and I talk about how his experience as an air traffic control man literally managing the flight patterns of planes has allowed him to manage his portfolio of rental properties, again, nearly a thousand units that he owns and operates. And we’re also going to talk about Barry’s favorite place to decompress and how he’s able to take time, 25 to 30 minutes a day, to simply think about his business and how that little exercise has had a huge impact on leveling up his investments, creating equity in a bigger balance sheet, that little exercise of taking 25 to 30 minutes to think. That little exercise is ultimately one of the biggest, biggest, biggest reasons for his success today. So, I’m glad you’re back for yet another episode of Accelerated Real Estate Investor. Enjoy this one with me and Barry Flavin.




Josh Cantwell: So, Barry, listen, so excited to have you on Accelerated Real Estate Investor. Thanks so much for carving out some time to be on the show.


Barry Flavin: Yeah. Hey, thanks for having me, Josh. Happy to be on today. I appreciate it.


Josh Cantwell: You bet. You bet. So, I’m always excited to talk to guys that own 200, 300 units growing, and have had some success. Last I read your bio, you have about 250 units, building a portfolio. I’m excited to hear more about that, but I kind of like to start with my new guest to find out, like, what they’re working on right now. What is something that you’re doing today, this week, next week that gets your juices going? You have a deal that you’re closing or a property that you’re working on to tell our audience about. Give us a little bit of flavor around what you’re up to.


Barry Flavin: Sure thing. Yeah, our latest project we’re working on, I got pretty excited. We’re getting close to the finish line here on our first little portfolio offering for our investors. What we’ve done is we’ve taken a couple of small multifamily unit buildings there, sort of 22-unit or 24-unit, and then we’re blending those together with two triple net properties, which is not new to us, it’s new to our investor base. So, we kind of blended a little portfolio here. The multifamily properties are kind of turnaround projects, and the triple net is kind of a pretty stable asset, very predictable.


Josh Cantwell: Cash flow crazy, yeah.


Barry Flavin: Yeah, blending those together. So, we kind of put the feelers out to the investors to see if there would be something they’re interested in, and there’s quite a bit of interest to put it out there. And we’ve got the money raised and now we’re just in the process of getting it across the finish line.


Josh Cantwell: Got it. So, these are deals that you got kind of under contract separately, all at the same time, and you’re not going to pull them together.


Barry Flavin: And it all kind of came together where we had the two multifamily deals under contract. I was going to buy one myself personally. My partner was going to buy one himself personally. And then, we had an 11-unit retail space triple net deal come our way. And that’s when kind of the same time, we had the investors asking, hey, guys, what’s next in the pipeline? We’re looking to place some funds. And yeah, well, we really don’t have anything too juicy. So, we said, hey, what would you guys think if we bundled this together and made a little portfolio offering? That’s when he said, “Yeah, that’s the way to put it together, and let’s chat about it.”


Josh Cantwell: Nice. So, tell me about the structure. Obviously, guys, full disclosure, Barry’s not making an offer on this podcast, want to make that clear, but let’s talk about the structure.


Barry Flavin: Yeah, not an offer.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, let’s talk about the structure. So, what are you going to do to kind of blend them together? What is going to kind of be the presentation to investors? Is there a preferred return on equity? What is kind of your all-in number versus the stabilized value? How does it look?


Barry Flavin: Yeah. So, it’s kind of the same format that we do for really all of our syndications. I must have sent you an old bio where we’re just a little over a thousand units now, total.


Josh Cantwell: Oh, look at you. It’s an old bio, man. And yeah, this is as of 2019. What year is this?


Barry Flavin: Yeah, I must have sent you an old one. So, I personally have controlling interest of about 450 units, and then the greater portion of the total thousand units comes from my partner and me together.


Josh Cantwell: So nice.


Barry Flavin: Yeah, anyway, so how we structure these typically is we give away 70% of the equity to the limited partners, to our investors. We don’t offer a preferred return and the only reason we don’t is we just don’t want to find ourselves in a position where the building of the complex might need investment and we’re kind of stuck. We’ve got to return 5%, 6%, 7%, but at the same time, gosh, we really need a roof. And the other thing to that point is we align ourselves, our investors, where there’s no Class A, Class B, Class C investor. And the same for us, we don’t get paid before the investors. Everybody’s in line. If it’s a bad quarter, we’re right there with everybody else. If it’s a great quarter, we all get to share it now.


Josh Cantwell: I love that.


Barry Flavin: So we give away 70% of the equity, we keep 30% for New Mission Capital. And typically, we’re underwriting deals. We try to find something that we can achieve at 7%, 8% cash-on-cash returns with an overall 16 average annual return for our investors.


Josh Cantwell: Got it.  And there’s a goal exit after three to five to seven years or reify or just kind of depends on the deal?


Barry Flavin: We’re long-term guys. We want to reify. In a perfect world, we can find deals that we can get out there. We can add a bunch of value to these things, and after, say, three, four, or five years, whatever that target time frame is, go in, refinance these things, and return as much capital as we can back to the investors. And all of our investors, they still retain their same percentage of ownership that they started out. So, in a perfect world, somebody gives us $100,000. Three years later, we refinance it, we give them their hundred thousand dollars back, and they continue to own that same percentage of the deal cash distributions and still going to take all the tax advantages and so on.


Josh Cantwell: Playing with the house’s money, baby, the mailbox money. We like it. That’s fantastic. So, if someone was looking to get into the space and starting to kind of get going, I heard you say, like three smaller deals. And a lot of guys on my podcast, we own 3,500 units, we focus on larger deals, which is closer to 552 units, which is closer to 220, but I like the little stuff too. Man, we got a 16 unit. You’re talking about packaging up a 22 or 24-unit. I guess, talk to that for a minute. If the market’s tight, there’s a lot of capital in the space right now. And sometimes, those mom and pop deals, those 10 units to 80 units are the juiciest ones. They’re less work, good returns. Tell us about that and how you’ve been able to be successful with some of the smaller portfolios, and then even with this one, look, why did you decide to package them all up instead of doing them separately?


Barry Flavin: Yeah, so you kind of touched on it. There’s just such a tight market right now. It’s extremely tough to find deals. In the second point, there’s a lot of these smaller mom and pop deals. I think there’s a lot of juice there. I think people, one of these that we bought is your classic example of how not to run an apartment building, right?


Josh Cantwell: I love to buy those.


Barry Flavin: We see those and let’s see a handwritten rant while we start to get excited.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah. Actually, I got, oh, my God, this little 16-unit. I mean, when I look back at the last four months, the guy had it on a ledger, handwritten and nobody paid one check. This unit was like $200 in the first, $200 in the eighth, $200 in the 15th, $200, it adds up to 800 bucks which was great, market wrap, but holy smokes, man. So, we got involved, we had turned the place over, took out some of the residents, but then a lot of them were like, I can pay all at once. The guy just never asked me to. And I’m like, oh, my God, look, how about software? Do you guys log into an online portal for paying your rep? No, I just gave the guy cash in the parking lot. Like, those are the best deals to buy, sometimes the juiciest deals. And frankly, I know I could put that. I just bought that back in October, put it right back on the market right now and probably made several hundred thousand dollars on it. You know what I mean?


Barry Flavin: Yeah, for sure.


Josh Cantwell: And those are deals that make you feel good. It’s kind of a quick base hit. Nothing wrong with the small ones. Our model, Barry, is built off having 200 units in an area so that we can get some economies of scale around property management and maintenance. So, what are your thoughts when you do buy a smaller building? What things do you try to do to just have some of that scale use resources to manage the smaller buildings? Because some people will say, don’t buy the small ones because it’s become a management headache.


Barry Flavin: No, absolutely. And that’s kind of the key to our success is we have everything. So, we started like a lot of people in the single-family space. We were buying the dumpy houses at the bottom of the crash, buying them, fixing them up. And then once we learn how to put these commercial portfolio loans together, we go to the bank with five or ten houses at a time that we bought with our own cash or invested cash, fixed them up, built in that equity, go to the bank and kind of recycle that money. And we scaled that way.


And my partner started first buying some of these smaller apartment complexes, these 24 units and 30 units, 40 units. And I was probably five years behind him and starting in real estate investing. And he’s my mentor. He kind of showed me the ropes here and brought me along. And he got to about 50 doors himself and that’s when he tried to farm out to a property management company to manage his stuff. And he said, “I just can’t find anybody that’s doing as good a job as I am. Yeah, I’m busy running around trying to put out all these fires.” So, he hired a full-time maintenance person, a full-time office person, bought a small office, and that’s now grown into 33 or 34 employees now on the property management side.


And that has allowed us, we’re in the metro Detroit area and we’ve been able to buy a lot of these small to mid-sized assets. And some of them, they’re not quite big enough to have full onsite staff all the time. So, we have just a mobile army of maintenance folks and leasing agents out there that are able to take care of all these properties. And yeah, we’re getting those economies of scale because most stuff is within an hour drive of our headquartered office.


Josh Cantwell: Nice. Yeah, I tell people on the podcast and some of the guys that I consult with the coach, like the goal is to get to really 100 units in an area because I run 100, you can have at least one full-time property manager, one full-time maintenance guy, and a small piece of a leasing agent. Our models built up of 200 units in a group because at 200, you can have a full-time property manager and kind of a part-time assistant or two full-time property managers if they make a little bit less on the income, and then basically maintenance guys, one per 100 doors, roughly, and then a leasing agent’s around one per 400 doors, especially if you’re at scale and you don’t have a huge amount of vacancy, maybe 5% or 10% vacancy. So, it’s 200, 200, and a 400 for one leasing agent. And so, we’re willing to buy the 22-unit, the 48-unit, the 76-unit to fill in the portfolio in certain areas. So, if you’re new and just buying your first buildings, make sure that you might have to self-manage it until you get to 100, and then you’re really in a good situation.


Now, we’ve got one building that we’ve got one guy that does property management, leasing, and maintenance. His name is Sean. He’s fantastic. He lives outside. He handles it all, and for about 40,000 or 45,000 bucks a year, the two crushes. So, sometimes you have a unicorn type of guy who can do it all, 50 doors with one guy. Now, that’s rare, probably rare for you guys too, but it’s an option. And certainly, in today’s market, like the big money’s all fighting over the large deals, we put over the large deals too, but, man, I’m not walking away from a 33-unit right now.


Barry Flavin: Absolutely. To one of your previous questions is people getting ready to start and so, everybody’s kind of got their eye on the go, I gotta get that 100-unit deal right out of the gate, so that 50-unit deal right out of gates. I just bought a duplex two days ago. They’re like, “What are you doing messing around with a little duplex?” I go, “The cash flows, man.”


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, the cash flows.


Barry Flavin: I’m still going to bend over and pick up a 20-dollar bill. I’m going to bend over and pick up a dollar bill. And it makes money. I can refinance my cash back out of it here in a few months once I get it cleaned up and turned around. And I’ll buy anything from a single-family home all the way up to 100, 200-unit buildings, and everything in between.


Josh Cantwell: Fantastic. So, I’m curious, Barry– it’s great. I love that, I love that, I love that because you’re not foregoing your roots of getting started and all the challenges that you face when you’re new and you’re like, look, I fought to get deals back. I got a deal, I’m not going to step over it because I’m too good for it or too big. So, I’m curious how you got started. Like, did you have a job that you left? And what were some of the challenges that you were kind of getting going? You started a single family and kind of moved, migrated over time into multifamily, but tell us about your start. Tell us about some of your personal challenges and some of the hurdles you had to jump through to get some success in this business.


Barry Flavin: Yeah, absolutely. So, I got my start through, like I mentioned before, just buying single-family homes. And my good friend, Josh, we’re both air traffic controllers at Detroit Metro. And we started there in 2010 together. We both showed up within about two weeks. And right around that time is when Josh had first started buying a couple of his first rental properties, his single-family homes. He grew up in Lake Tahoe and then he had an aviation career. He was a commercial airline pilot and found his way into Detroit. And he got in, I was like, “What do you mean I can buy a $30,000, $40,000 house and rent it out for $900 or $1,000 a month?” He was like, the math works, like why isn’t rescooping these up left and right? We’re fresh into the housing crash, right? So, everybody was just scared to death of real estate services, getting their clocks clean. So, kind of his mentality was I got nothing to lose. So, he just started scooping these up.


And at the time, I really didn’t have any interest. And I was like, I’ve got a government job. I got a pension coming down the line. It’s 40 a week. I show up at somebody else’s problem. And then about five-ish years ago, I went to him and I was like, I had bought and sold a few of my own personal houses that I didn’t really buy and fix them up with the intention of flipping them and making a bunch of money. I just happened to time the market well and did a good job of really cleaning them up. So, it got to the point, I was like, I got some cash now. I’m already fully invested in the stock market through retirement plans. Stuff works. That’s when I went to him, and he was alright. And at that point in my life, if I could get five or ten rental houses that would pair well with a government pension, I don’t need to do anything else in life, I mean, just get back on my feet. So, I went to him, I was like, show me exactly how it is you evaluate these deals, how do you find them? And my biggest thing upfront is still those days that I want to be a real estate investor. I do not want to be a landlord.


Josh Cantwell: But Joe, you want to be a landlord?


Barry Flavin: Yeah. I always joke, like, you’re the landlord, I’m the money guy.


Josh Cantwell: Nice.


Barry Flavin: So, we started buying single-family homes, and that’s when the light bulb went off for me, like the switch was flipped. I said, okay, I get it now. So, we bought our first 18 single-family rental homes in 17 months. So, kind of just went head down and just went all in on this. Just everywhere I turn, I’m like, oh, there’s another deal. There’s another deal. That one makes sense. That one makes sense. So, some of the hurdles, we had to quickly get over, and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones was how we spent all of our money within three or four months.


So, it was like, oh, God, now we’ve got to go to the bank, we’ve got to do our first thing, refinance, and we’re pushing the crews to get these houses done and get them released. At the same time, now, we’re having conversations with investors on hard money loans and how that’s going to work. And at one point, I had spent all of my cash and they had me a few hundred thousand dollars, I pulled a personal line of credit, maxed out credit cards, and borrowed from retirement plans. And I still owed people another few hundred thousand dollars on top of that. And I think back to it now, I’m like, God, how the heck did we do that, not pull our hair out? That was kind of like really getting the ball rolling and then kind of how I made the leap into multifamily. It was Josh who kind of pulled me into it.


We’re having a beer in his garage one day at a birthday party. He’s pushing me. He’s like, man, you’ve really got to make that next step, get into multifamily, buy one of these small 20, 30-unit buildings. And he has a handful of them at this point in time. So, I kind of push back into that. Well, when are you going to start going after some of these bigger deals, start playing with the big boys? And that’s kind of when the partnership formed, he’s like, you know what? He’s like, I can come up with maybe a million bucks once and he goes, but I have completely tapped the network after that. He goes, you seem to know a few guys that have a few bucks I’d be willing to invest. He goes, let’s do this. So, I’ll start chasing some bigger deals, you go out there and start kind of pitching the concept to folks. And we started small, we started with that friends and family network. And it’s just continuing to grow out from the center there. And with the people, they’d just kind of seen what we’ve been doing over the years and they’d seen the consistency in everything that we do. We continue to show up and do what we said we were going to do, how we said we were going to do it, and when we said we were going to do it, so.


Josh Cantwell: I love it. Barry, it’s interesting. Most of the successful investors that I know, whether they’re real estate or whether they’re in e-commerce or developing another company, just really any kind, could be consulting, marketing, whatever, typically see a partnership. And you see one guy who’s looking for deals, another guy who’s looking for money, or you see a scenario where one guy’s looking for both deals and money and the other guy is working more than that in the management operations side of things in the back office. So, one guy’s kind of in the front of the house, the other guy’s in the back of the house. My partnership, I’m the CEO, majority owner and I’m constantly recruiting and looking for capital. We’ve raised and deployed about 80 million bucks. And I’ve got a partner that handles acquisitions and I’ve got another partner that handles CapEx.


Barry Flavin: That’s great.


Josh Cantwell: So, I’m curious about your structure. You and your partner, Josh, how have things worked? How has it worked for you guys to kind of divide and conquer?


Barry Flavin: Yeah, I think really, we were talking about this just the other week. There are so many little moving parts, and we’re lucky to have each other. It really is a great blend of skill sets and kind of a drive for each person that does what they do. So, Josh, he started out when he had built those relationships with brokers and banks and kind of laid the foundation. Like, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here. And luckily, he also looked at me. He was like I have no desire to go out and raise capital and talk to people about deals and returns and how the structure works and just all the networking that goes into raising capital.


So, that’s my main role. I’m out there constantly just meeting new folks, talking about how we structure deals, current deals that we have and how we’re operating things and kind of our go-forward plan. And we’re both simultaneously out there looking for deals. So, we definitely have some overlap in a number of areas. When it comes to all the key asset management decisions, stuff like that, we’re both involved in all those discussions, but when it comes to the day-to-day execution and managing the employees and the contractors and the staff, all that stuff falls to Josh as well.


Josh Cantwell: Got it. Yeah, it’s good. I mean, you got to divide and conquer. You got to know what your skill set is, staying in your swim lane, trusting your team. Let me work to the point now where we’re even considering bringing on third-party management and a full-time site supervisor for CapEx because I’ve got a lot of cash that we can deploy, a lot of relationships, a lot of brokers in the area know that we can close and raise a lot of money really fast, qualify for big loan, sponsor big deals. And you just got to constantly be leveling up, but if you’re like, okay, I got it. I got to deal with this one tenet that’s got a flutter. I got to deal with this one apartment building that needs a new roof. It’s like, you make money in the operation so you can’t discount operations, but you’ve got to let Opper in operations, it’s property management, a third party, that’s what they do. They manage hundreds of thousands of doors in some cases. And so, we’re like, okay, that’s the next stop, for us, especially having a meeting on Monday just to talk about how do we level up again. It’s just so important, always have at least one eye looking around the corner. Like, what’s next?


So, Barry, I’m curious for you, now that you’ve had almost a thousand doors, you and your partner, you had the challenges when you first got started. If you look back on your journey this last five or ten years or so, you and Josh, your partner, what would you tell yourself? Like, what would you do differently? What would you look back and grab yourself by the collar and shake yourself and say, dude, do it this way next time? What advice would you give your younger former self? Or what advice can you pass back to our audience?


Barry Flavin: First thing, like, I grew up with a traditional mentality. Get good grades, go to school, get a good job, save money, retire, pay your house off, all those traditional things that we always hear, right?


Josh Cantwell: Yeah. How boring is that life, by the way.


Barry Flavin:  What’s that?


Josh Cantwell: How boring is that life, by the way.


Barry Flavin: Isn’t it, right? So, I wish I would have found whatever the source was to shift my mentality and thinking like, let’s buy assets that pay for all those things and allow us to have freedom to wake up and go, what do I want to do today? So, start sooner, I mean, like we still joke about it and say, like, God, we’ll drive by this building. Remember we passed on that for X price or remember we passed on that for X price and now, there were just mountains of money more than what we were willing to pay for them at the time. I would say the biggest regret is the second part of it is just not going out and chasing bigger deals sooner and going out and finding more money sooner. I mean, it’s always hard to look back. Nobody has a crystal ball. Like, just imagine you could go borrow. I mean, I borrowed 10 million bucks and just bought every single-family home I could and just sat on them for inventory.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, go crazy with it, right? It’s like, I don’t know anybody that’s ever come back or very few people that’s ever come back to me and said, “No, Josh, I regret buying this discounted piece of real estate. I regret it.” They just had no vision for managing it. It totally ate them up and they got distracted or divorced or still went bankrupt for some other reason. I think it was T. Harv Eker that said, “Don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait.” I’m for that, for multiple different kinds of quoted sources and I don’t care where you hear it from, it just makes a ton of sense. Same here. I flipped tons of properties, tons of wholesale deals, ran a private equity fund, made lots of private lender loans, but my only regret is I didn’t hold everything I flipped.


Barry Flavin: Exactly. I don’t want to sell anything.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, ever. Fantastic. So, Barry, listen, let’s finish with what we call our final five, quick answers to these five questions. Are you ready for this?


Barry Flavin: Yeah, let’s go.


Josh Cantwell: Favorite way to find deals.


Barry Flavin: God, if we can get them off market just through networking or the first look from the brokers, the relationships that we’ve built over time.


Josh Cantwell: Fantastic. Favorite way to find cash or capital or joint venture partners to fund your deals.


Barry Flavin: I would say my favorite and most effective way to find cash and new investors is just a solid referral. We have a good investor that’s been with us for a while. We reach out and say, “Hey, guys, we have a new project. We’re always looking to talk to new folks.” They give us, “Hey, you know what? My friend Brad’s been talking about real estate. You should talk to him.”


Josh Cantwell: Yeah. I just had a great conversation with a new investor yesterday. He’s got a couple of hundred thousand bucks to work with. Referral by another investor that’s done about 15 deals with us and just doesn’t get any better than that. The guy’s already teed up, ready to go after one meeting. And we can pretty, pretty easily lay off as far as getting them into the next deal. Barry, favorite book or piece of advice that you’ve gotten recently.


Barry Flavin: Kind of a book recommendation that I got from my dad not too long ago is the book Titan. So, I got that on order. It’s coming already. It’s about John D. Rockefeller, so I’m excited to read that one.


Josh Cantwell: Nice. Love it. Cool. Favorite place to decompress and think. And how often do you actually do it?


Barry Flavin: At least three or four times a week. I like to just get on the treadmill and run at least 25, 30 minutes at a minimum and I’ll just put my headphones in. I’ll turn the news on the treadmill for a second and I’ll find myself a lot of time to turn that thing off. It’s the same old talking heads. And just you think and then just the natural advantages of exercise, it just kind of releases the stress and gets your head clear.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, absolutely. Whether it’s testosterone, the endorphins, all these chemicals, natural chemicals in our body, I don’t know what it is about working out, but I always get my best ideas when I’m not trying to think about that.


Barry Flavin: Exactly.


Josh Cantwell: I get my best ideas. He was actually the founder of AES, damn, what’s his name? I can’t remember off my head, but the quote was, I never got my best ideas by actually thinking about it, I got my best ideas by just being in the joy of my day, doing something I was passionate or something I loved, like exercise or go for a walk or working out or just doing something that you love for work. And then the idea just bam, there it comes, and you’re like, wow, where did that come from? It’s often just giving yourself the time to have free space in your brain and not dealing with social media, text message, email.


Barry Flavin: Get your mind on other things. And like you said, it comes to you sometimes.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah. Pops right in. Awesome. Barry, last question. Who is the mentor that you look up to the most and has had the most impact on your life? And why?


Barry Flavin: I would say two, in the real estate world, my good friend and partner now, Josh Sterling, and then, above that would just be my dad. He’s one of those kind of steadfast guys. He’s always been consistent in everything that he’s done. And I’d like to say he did a good job of raising us, so.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, fantastic. That fatherly love, fatherly example. My dad passed away actually in November. I went to the cemetery yesterday to visit him and I feel like he’s still speaking to me from heaven and just everything that I do, like what would Dad do? Like how would Dad act and those kinds of things? Such a fun job to be a father, right? So, I look forward to hearing more about that from you. So, Barry, listen, I know some of our investors, some of our subscribers, listeners are going to want to reach out to you, learn more about your business, maybe do a deal with you or a joint venture with you on something up in that Detroit market. Where can they reach out to you? Where can they find you?


Barry Flavin: Yeah, best way to get a hold of me is just direct email to me,, or you can find us on our website,


Josh Cantwell: Fantastic. Barry, listen, thanks so much for joining us today on the show. Thanks for being on Accelerated Investor.


Barry Flavin: Hey, I really appreciate you having me on today, Josh. It was great.




Josh Cantwell: So great. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Accelerated Real Estate Investor and Barry Flavin from the metro Detroit area. Definitely reach out to him if you’re in his market and touch base with him and do some deals with Barry. If you enjoy that interview, don’t forget to leave us a five-star rating and a review on any of the podcasting platforms, especially iTunes. And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button on YouTube. I would also be eternally grateful if you would go out and share this episode. Share all of our episodes on social media, share with the world and help us build the Accelerated Real Estate Investor community.


Also, finally, don’t forget to join our free Facebook group. For all of our accelerated real estate investors, just go to and go to groups and search Accelerated Real Estate Investor with Josh Cantwell. Thank you so much for being here on this episode. And we’ll see you next time. Take care.


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