Michael Ealy on Investing In Hotels, Even If You Start Out Broke – EP 232

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!

In my latest podcast interview, I’m speaking with Michael Ealy, whose story is proof that anyone can make it in the real estate industry if they’re willing to keep pushing forward. 

In the early 2000s, Mike lost everything; his car wash business, his rental properties, even his own home. With no money and bad credit, he was forced to move in with his parents at 30 years old. It was a humbling experience, but more importantly, he didn’t quit, and only four years later he was financially independent. 

Today, he’s the owner of a private equity fund that invests in apartments and hotels. He has an equity stake in over 3,000 apartment units, and over 5,000 hotel keys, worth over $1.5B.

He’s also the author of the book “From Broke to Millions” which outlines exactly how he acquired over 1,000 apartment units, starting from $0—and how you can do it too!

In our conversation, you’ll hear all about how Mike’s persistence to achieve greatness paid off, including his approach to investing in hotels, building a world-class team, finding partnerships, and much more.

Key Takeaways with Michael Ealy

  • Apartments vs Hotels
  • Learn how to attract and retain skilled people who will help you scale—and why “cheap labor” is NEVER cheap! 
  • How Michael structures his hotel deals and partnerships. 
  • Hear how he bought his first hotel deal for $7M and why it came with K-1 for -$900k (immediately putting money back in his pocket). 
  • Doing value-add improvements 30%-60% cheaper than the competition!
  • How Michael first got started in real estate, lost everything, and then became more successful than ever before 
  • The keys to Michael’s success—never quit, and find a mentor! 
  • The #1 approach Michael uses to find JV partners to build his capital stack
  • Surrounding yourself with those who will elevate you to a whole new level of success
  • The true definition of wealth

Michael Ealy Tweetables

“If you can strive to bring in that cash flow and work to invest in your family and your community, that's where the true wealth is.” - Michael Ealy


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Josh Cantwell: So, hey, guys, welcome back to Accelerated Real Estate Investor with Josh Cantwell. Hey, I really appreciate you jumping on today. Today, I have a special guest. His name is Mike Ealy. He is the principal and the owner of a private equity fund that invests in apartments and hotels. He has developed his business, which is called Nassau Investments into one of the key development firms in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. He has been investing for over 20 years and currently, has an equity stake in over 3,000 units of apartments in over 5,000 hotel keys worth over $1.5 billion. That’s billion with a B. One of his expertise is finding a way to do value add improvements cost effectively, meaning a 30% to 60% below what others would pay because his firm is what we call vertically integrated. They’re also expanding through strategic partnerships all over the country, acquiring more hotels and more apartments.


And then, this interview, you’re going to hear from Mike and I. This is a fantastic interview. You’ll love this. And how Mike started investing, number 1, started investing in D and F neighborhoods, literally in D and F neighborhoods. Number 2, you’re going to find out why Mike wanted to become a swag hotel developer and how on Mike’s very first deal, he bought for $7 million. He got a K-1 that had a $900,000 loss. We also, number 4, have a conversation around what we call skilled human capital and the importance of people in our businesses. We also talk about Mike’s favorite structure in his deals and how he calls soft performing is allowing him to save over 50% on his value add improvements and expenses. This is an absolutely super fun interview with my good friend Mike Ealy from Nassau Investments. I hope you love it on Accelerated Real Estate Investor. Here we go.




Josh Cantwell: So, Michael, listen, so excited to have you on Accelerated Real Estate Investor, talk more about your private equity fund and all your deals. Thank you so much for carving out a few minutes for us and joining us today. How are you?


Mike Ealy: Everything’s great, man. Appreciate you having me on, man. Let’s rock out. Let’s show the world what we got, baby.


Josh Cantwell: Absolutely, absolutely. So, listen, I know that you and your partners have over 3,000 units of apartments, 5,000 hotel keys, over a billion dollars under management, but I’m always curious to see what my guests are up to today. So, tell me a little bit about kind of what’s going on in your world that you’re excited about, maybe a deal that you’re closing, buying, or selling. What is something that you’re really passionate for, that you’re working on right now?


Mike Ealy: Man, I’m really excited. It’s something so small, but maybe not the most, but man, we’re working on a joint venture on a partnership on construction that will save enormous cost, like in the apartment arena versus the hotel arena, two different animals, right? In the apartment, we self-manage. We were doing our own work, but in the hotel space, we didn’t have that. So, if I were to pull my guys from the apartments, then I would have been suffering there, but finally, after years of working, we found a group and I’m able to get the material overseas, and they got their own warehouse. So, it’s just an awesome fit out, literally as I’m walking in, people would have just saw sawdust. I saw money fallen from heaven. So, I was excited, brother.


Josh Cantwell: Sawdust from heaven. I’ve never heard that before. I like it. That’s awesome, Mike. So, let’s talk a little bit more about your moneymaking strategy, hotels and apartments. You’re one of the first guests I’ve had on the show who’d have 400 episodes. I still remember a lot of…


Mike Ealy: You’re consistent, man. You’re consistent. I can’t even go to the bathroom that much.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, 400 episodes, man. We’ve got a good job. Remy is my podcast producer who’s on this and listening. He’s been with me for a long time over 10 years, and we’ve just been hanging out, man, having fun with it. So, apartments and hotels, so tell us why both, the benefits of both, talk a little bit about how you structure some of these deals so they turn into profits for you.


Mike Ealy: Yeah. So, really, what got me into– no, apartments were just all I knew, right? Like, I got to figure out a way to make some money, and it all started almost 20 something years ago. I read Robert Allen’s book No Money Down.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, love that one.


Mike Ealy: Right. Because back then, I was in high school, about 16 years old, not when I started, but when I first read about it, I just knew there was tons of money out there and I was like, man, I’m going to make money in junk bonds. And I’ll never forget, I pulled that book off the shelf and I looked, and it was like the minimum investment is $50,000. I was like, Dude, I ain’t got a dollar. So, I closed that book, put it back on the shelf, but I want to read Robert Allen, no offense to anybody, but it was idiot proof because I could read it, I could understand it. And I hated reading. And I was just so intrigued by that. And that’s what got me started.


And then, I started off it more like the D and F neighborhoods because that was all I knew, and not necessarily where I came from, but that was my environment. And so, that’s why I made money. Now, other people started off in A and B neighborhoods. Well, that was great. I wish I could, but I was not comfortable. I didn’t know that, but it was tough. And over time after time after time, I’m doing deals, but I got so much heavy management. I’m not just managing my staff, I’m managing the tenants, toilets, tenants, and trash, right? And so, I just knew there were different ways in. Again, I always stepped out of the bounds, always trying to increase my knowledge and my surroundings and my perspective.


And fortunately, I was able to hang around people that were doing much better than me, from billionaires to multimillionaires to hotel developers to apartment developers to just small business owners. And they all had a niche. And because of that, I was fortunate to meet some people that did hotels. And man, every time I saw everybody in a hotel, they look good, they dress good, and they are always relaxed. So, I was like, so what the hell so happy about that? My guys, they make plenty of money in apartments, they just didn’t have that swag of that hotel developer.


And then as I started studying it, I was like, oh my goodness, man, his hotels kick out tons of money. You get so much depreciation, you got tons of cash flow. Now, you do have some tides or waves, right? Like when the market’s great, man, guess what? You’re going to get tons of cash. When the market’s down, like COVID, whoo, but apartments were stable. But in layman’s terms, to give people an idea, two to three things, I’m not sure what you want. When I went in, did a hotel, and we paid $7 million for this hotel. I never forget, I got a check, not a check, but a K-1 for negative $900,000. I was able to carry that back three or four months ago, so I got money back, right?


And then number 2, the cash flow because no matter what you’re doing. whether it’s a business, technology, apartments, hotel, you’re buying cash flow. So, to give you an idea on the apartment, I don’t care where you at, man, unless you’re in New York or Denver or somewhere else, but right now, you’re going to pay at least a six cap for even in the C property. You’re going to pay a six cap. So, six cap on a million dollars, that’s what like $16.5, $16.6 million. In the hotel industry, the cap rates are slightly higher. So, let’s say you’re buying that same cash flow, but you pay the eight cap. Well, now, I only pay $12 million for that, but I still got the same cash flow, but I got sophisticated operators and got a higher end general manager like, just skilled labor, skilled human capital. And so, I’m hands off because I looked at it like, look, man, I would love to say I’m going to live forever, but I know if I were to check out of here, my family would not be able to manage these D and F properties, and even the day-to-day grind.


So, I was like, how can I make life easier? And I was like, man, anybody can manage a hotel because it’s kind of like a class-A asset, and not just hotels when you get in the class B and A multifamily, like you know anybody can manage that, but everybody can’t manage the D and F property.


Josh Cantwell: That’s right.


Mike Ealy: And so, that’s what kind of put me in the realm of going after hotels. And I did a lot of partnership working with people. Now, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but man, the reward is truly not even plentiful but sweet.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, I love it, Michael. Thank you for that explanation. There are a couple of things I wrote down that you said, the one that stuck out the most to me was skilled human capital. I love those three words. Just peel back the onion on that. What do you mean by that? You and I both know building a big portfolio was not easy. It’s all about the people buying the right deal, of course, that starts with that, but then it’s about property management, capital improvements, regular management, skilled human capital stock out. What do you mean by that? And how do you level up your human capital so that it makes your life easier, you manage properties better? What are some things that you do to make sure that you have skilled human capital in your life in your business?


Mike Ealy: Well, one of the things, it’s like anything, like any sport because I like to coach, is your team. And so, we’re getting ready for football, and you probably understand football. Hey, if your defense has weak defensive back or weak secondary. man, people are going to throw on you and throw touchdowns on you all day.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah.


Mike Ealy: So, if you get a strong secondary that understands the game, willing to put the work in, and put the time in to understand all the intricacies and the details of it, you’ll shut down anybody trying to score and you’ll start winning the games. And so, just like in the hotel, in businesses, when you have somebody that’s invested in the business and managing, your general manager, starts with them, they’re invested in the company and want it to grow. And they understand all the intricacies of the housekeeping, of the maintenance, of the front desk, of true hospitality. They’re going to pass that spirit on to your customer, which then increases revenue, and then everybody understands the books, whereas if you just try to be cheap and hire you a bookkeeper, and they don’t really understand auditing, you’ve got a weak point. So, therefore, you’re going to falter.


And so, if your books ain’t good, you’re going to struggle. If you’re not marketing, you’re not going to bring in, increase your revenue because if you’re not marketing, you’re not creating sales, you’re not closing, and therefore, especially in a time like COVID, you’re not bringing in more customers. And so, it’s very important because I had cheap labor, and man, when you have cheap labor…


Josh Cantwell: Cheap labor is not cheap. Michael, it ain’t cheap, I don’t care what they say. It ain’t cheap, man. Right now, it’s hard to find good people right at once. Maybe good people are working and the people that you don’t want are not working. It’s the people, those middle guys, those middle guys who make a meal 17 to 20 bucks an hour, right now, some of those guys are not working, and that’s the part of the labor stack that we’re missing the most, people in property management, maintenance to me and my buildings, like that’s the hardest part to find right now.


Mike Ealy: It’s difficult, man. It’s crazy because naturally, they put that, I guess, employment in a fit package, which I think it expires in September officially everywhere, or maybe July, I don’t know. But some states actually, I think it’s Carolina or somewhere, they actually said, if you go back to work, I’ll still give it to you. I’ll give it to your employer. Your employer distributes it to you. Okay, so we actually did that. And I think that was Carolina, North Carolina, South Carolina, but yeah, now, man, like people aren’t going to work, like, it’s crazy. I saw this happening, but people were only, like you said, paying $18, $19, $20 an hour. They’re not working, but now, the people that don’t even have that skill set, they’re getting paid $28 to $30 an hour and they don’t even know nothing like…


Josh Cantwell:  They know nothing.


Mike Ealy:  They barely can paint, like I’m going to pay you $30 an hour and then I’m going to train you.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah.


Mike Ealy: Like this is crazy.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Guys are making 1,200 bucks a week with unemployment benefits. It’s like 4,800 bucks a month, almost $50,000 a year. You realize it’s like $25 an hour. There’s about 2,000 hours in a work year, 50 weeks times 40 hours is 2,000. You realize that people making $25 an hour staying home and doing nothing, so.


Mike Ealy: I’m staying home.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah. Like, that’s the toughest part, but skilled human capital is huge to build any kind of portfolio. It’s really, really important. Michael, I wanted to ask you, what’s your favorite way to structure a deal? I know you guys do a lot of partnerships all over the country requiring apartments and hotels all over the country, primarily through strategic partnerships, but help me understand, like give me an example of a deal that you have structured recently in a partnership type of deal. What’s your favorite way to structure that kind of deal to bring in partners? Because as we know, scaling and growing is difficult unless you’re doing it with through people, relationships and other operators that can really do the deal because you can’t be everywhere all at once, so what’s your favorite way to structure those kind of partnerships and grow?


Mike Ealy: Yeah. So, I’ll give you a kind of different levels. I’m going to break it all the way down. Like my partnerships are everything. I would not be doing the deals I’m doing without the partnership, without the team, like I say, without the human capital. So, get down to the nitty-gritty, like always bring in kind of third party. Well, it depends on location. Hotels already got my partnership, my group Commonwealth, which I’m on a partnership with, we have joint venture. There, my hotel operates. When you get into hotels, they don’t say management company, they say operators.


And so, I partner with them, and they manage. Then far as raising capital, I’m not necessarily using institutional money, I’m still using friends and family money. And now, to get more like everybody has their own way of doing their deals. It really depends on how much capital you have and how much you have access to. So, if you got a lot of money that you can call on, well, you can easily control the percentages. If you don’t have a lot of capital and you need to raise it, and your margins are slim, what are you going to have to give up more? So, my favorite is I like to do the 6% pref and 70/30, 70 going to the GP. Why? Because we’re skilled, we know what we’re doing, and I’m not doing marginal deals. Like our deals ain’t based on the market appreciated. We create forced depreciation, meaning the rents were low. The last couple of deals, we’ll give you an example, we bought it. The rent was $900. By the time we were finished, we got $1,300, $1,400.


Josh Cantwell: Nice.


Mike Ealy: It was ridiculous. Well, I have to say my last couple of deals, we raised about $400 plus, and I was just really impressive, but it was timing. I wish I could say it was all me, but that’s the whole point. The harder you work, the luckier you get. We caught a little bit of inflation, that housing demand, then the rents just pushed up. There was another project. I put in my performance. We were only going to do $825 the first year. Then as we kind of get closer, I said $900, then we end up doing $1,150.


Josh Cantwell: Ooh, nice bump.


Mike Ealy: Right. So, I mean, we went from a 2.7, 2.8 value. Now, we might be over $4 million.


Josh Cantwell: Let’s just say you’re probably close to 4, yeah, absolutely. Wow!


Mike Ealy: But like I said, the first one I describe, it was 346 six units, and I think we had to raise $10 million. At the time, we didn’t have all that. So, I think we did a 50/50 deal, no pref. And then, as it was kind of a waterfall, once it hit a certain rate, and then we bumped up, and I say they made more than 12%, and we bump up 60/40, our way, GP. And my apartment, I typically do, let’s say, 14 units, let’s say it’s $5, $4 million below. I do that 6 and 30, meaning I’ll give you a 6%. They put up all the money. I kind of put up the money at risk to get the deal closed. And then I pay 6% pref on a regular and then 30% of the net proceeds and profits.


In some hotel deals which where actually, I’m going to have to say hotel deals are risky because they base on the economy. And so, the economy right now was crazy because of COVID and everybody’s far, hotels are far in the sky, which they were, but they didn’t like, traditionally go to foreclosure and notes that didn’t happen like we thought it was. And so, on those deals, I’ve been doing joint ventures and I do 50/50 with no pref because at risk, but it seems the deals that we’ve done like, we projected that we’re going to make any money for the first year, but man, I had hotels. I think we’re going to end up profiting in the first year, my courtyard in Columbus, we struggle. And it wasn’t until March. Like now, every weekend, my hotel is almost selling out.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, how nice.


Mike Ealy: I’m like 85%, 90% occupancy.


Josh Cantwell: This is Columbus, Ohio?


Mike Ealy: Worthington, Ohio courtyard, which we’re about to remodel. And yeah, I was like, Monday through Wednesday, not so great, but it slowly– I remember we were only doing like $800 a night. It was terrible. Now, we’re back to list $3,500, $4,000, and then the weekends $10,000 plus a night. So, life is getting back to good, man.


Josh Cantwell: Nice. Nice. Yeah, I’m from Cleveland, so I spend my daughters, well, I have to coach just like you do.


Mike Ealy: And what do you coach in your kids, man?


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, volleyball.


Mike Ealy: Okay, man, that’s big.


Josh Cantwell: They’re done at Columbus Convention Center all the time. I probably had some of our teammates, friends, and family that have stayed in your hotel. That’s fantastic stuff. Now, one of the things I was really interested to hear from you when we got you on the podcast was your ability to do value add improvements so cost effectively, right? 30% to 60%, 30% to 50% cheaper than what others would pay. Now, we all know the price of materials is going up, so everybody’s paying more, but you’re still consistently able to pay less because you’re vertically integrated management company cutbacks. Help me understand how you’re getting such great value deals on material and labor and being able to do those kind of improvements at those prices.


Mike Ealy: The keyword is self-performing, like, I’m not really sending all my stuff out to get bits. HVAC, like here’s an example, my guy had to go out. Well, two things, our regular maintenance call. A regular maintenance call, if it’s something basic, that could cost somebody $120 plus $100 in parts with a markup of 20% or 30%. So, I mean, that could cost somebody 250, 260 bucks. With me, for two hours, let’s just say I pay my guy $30 an hour. That’s 60 bucks plus 100 bucks, 160 bucks it costs me versus doing a contract. Now, just imagine on a larger scale, like to install a furnace and just reasonable numbers, you’re going to install a furnace. Some people will charge $800 to $1,500 for a furnace. A thousand, let’s just say a thousand, but it still takes eight hours. I’m paying my guy $30 an hour as eight hours, that’s 250 bucks. That’s the difference.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah.


Mike Ealy: And now, I’m beginning to experience that, that’s why I’m so excited. I’m going to experience in the hotels because we got crews internationally, U.S., Bolivia, and they travel all over the country.


Josh Cantwell: Love it.


Mike Ealy: And because of that, and then on top of it, our supplies, even though China has kind of cut out, we’re going to be able to get our supplies from other countries. And because you buy in bulk, you’re going to save a lot. Even with apartments, if you can plan and put it all together, here’s a simple one, you’re going to need 300 slabs of granite or just 300 pieces of granite, right?


Josh Cantwell: Truckload of LVP.


Mike Ealy: Right. You order that from China, you’re going to get it for pennies on the dollar or any other country. If you buy it, not to create, what you call it, not the trailer, whatever, the big…


Josh Cantwell: Truckload?


Mike Ealy: Yeah, truckload, this is calling it. You buy a truckload. I mean, you’re going to get that cheaper than you would anywhere else.


Josh Cantwell: Right.


Mike Ealy: And so, that’s how you win, man, but you got a plan. You can’t just like, oh, I’m going to go to Home Depot and I’m going to buy that this week because I don’t want to put this. No, man, you got to buy them, like Costco, like Sam’s, go buy in bulk, and that’s where you’re going to save your money. And even if you don’t really have, if you see a deal, like I remember when I used to go to Home Emporium, which is somewhat of a Home Depot, but they will have second also, handouts, whatever you want to call it. I would literally see a deal like give me that, I’ll take the whole crate because the crate would be like $200 and if I were to buy it at regular, it costs me $1,525 dollars, so same thought process.


Josh Cantwell: Love it. Love it. I see over your shoulder, the from broke to millions plaque.


Mike Ealy: There you go, brother.


Josh Cantwell: It’s fantastic.


Mike Ealy: Yeah, man, love it. One of the great books– I don’t like to call it the Bible, but man, we’ve been doing our podcast, it’s like, ask me any question, and we’ll see if it’s in the book. It’s been in the book, man, so you got to get the book, man.


Josh Cantwell: I love it, Mike. So, you started broke. You started in D and F areas. I’m curious to shear more about your start, how you got going in some of your early challenges when you first got started investing.


Mike Ealy: Yeah. So, when I started, 20 something years ago, man, I bought a two-family, man. I did what they call house hacking before this house hacking. I didn’t even know it. I was like, dude, I’m just getting a roommate. And I bought this two-family, didn’t know anything about real estate, well, except for what I read in the book. And I never forget. I went upstairs to help paint, and the guy sent me back downstairs because he said I didn’t know how to paint. And I was like, how difficult is it to paint? Then, I’m like, it’s just paint. But that was the beginning, I rented upstairs for $500. I got a roommate, which was my assistant for $200. That covered my mortgage, and I was like, I’m rich. I had no mortgage then.


Josh Cantwell: I’m rich! Love it.


Mike Ealy: And then I did the next door, about two-family next door, and then that generated $300, and I paid my car payment. And I had no bills, man. I never forget I was making a net $1,600 a month. And by the time I paid all my bills, I only had like $300. So, I literally had to be cool because if I went to the bar and partied too much, I was done for the month, yeah, but getting the free rent, getting something to pay my car payment like, man, you couldn’t tell me nothing then, like I was $1,600 to the good, and I just kept adding to and adding to. And then, I was $2,300 to $2,500, $5,000. The next, I’m at $10,000, then I bought a car wash and then that’s when life went sideways, man. I lost everything. Yeah, I lost everything, moved back home. I mean, it happened in 2001 right around 9/11, and yes, business stopped all over. I would love to blame it on that, but it was not 9/11 it took me out. It was just not being prepared, not having the system, not having reserves. Just those three things, I could go on and on and on. And so, I ended up moving back home with my mom and dad, and they painted my room pink and lavender. That’s what I’m wearing on my picture.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, like the shirt.


Mike Ealy: And that’s probably why I got pink shirts now, man, but yeah, they had put like embroidered around, roses and flowers. I’m sure they didn’t expect me to move back home, but that was it. And I started all over again, man. I got my real estate license. I wanted to learn how the game works, how other people were being successful. And then from there, I just started meeting more people, raise some money. And 15 years later, I’m buying hotels, unbelievable. And really, it’s just I wish I could say I was brilliant and I was just such a superstar and…


Josh Cantwell: I’ll say it even if you don’t say it. I’ll say you’re brilliant and you’re a superstar.


Mike Ealy: I appreciate it, but really, the only difference, man, and I tell my son, this is just I didn’t quit. That’s it, man. I never give up.


Josh Cantwell: I was just about to ask you, Michael, about some advice that you would give your younger former self. How are you buying hotels and partnering all over the country, all over the world, getting supplies from everywhere? 3,000 apartments, 5,000 hotel keys, like going from buying that first duplex and carwash, going broke, and then moving back in with your parents to where you are now. What advice? Talk to yourself from 15 years ago, what would you do differently? What advice would you give yourself?


Mike Ealy: Number 1, don’t quit, man. You never win if you quit. Like I said, I was going to tell you, my son, man, he was kind of struggling in sports, and I was like, look, man, it’s not that someone else is better than you. Sometimes people are in a better position than you or in perspective you think they are, but I was like, dude, you can’t be that anymore. You just got to put the work in. And I was like, the difference between me and multiple other people is like, a lot of people are smart. And there are a lot more people that are much smarter, much more of the same brilliant, but what happens after they try something the first, second, or third time? They quit. I was like the difference between me and them is somebody said it was possible or I thought it was possible, so I just tried 597 more times. Along the 600th try, I finally got it.


Josh Cantwell: Yes.


Mike Ealy: That was just the difference. And so, that’s why I say never quit. Once you learn something, just do it over and over and over until you master it. That’s how Jordan did it. That’s how Kobe Bryant did it. That’s how Mike Ealy did it. And the other thing, man, get a mentor, man. Hack your way into this, man. Don’t try to do it yourself, man. Get your teacher. Get you somebody to consult with. Get some friends that are doing it. Look, I always wanted to do stuff myself because that’s just how I learn. I’m a hands-on guy, but really, man, get yourself a mentor, it will take a lot, and a one that knows what they are doing, right?


Josh Cantwell: Yeah.


Mike Ealy: And just don’t work with anybody. Find somebody you think you can work with and relate to. And they break it down because there’s somebody out there for everybody, everybody’s got a different style, right? My style is kind of just show on you and tell you a couple of words and I’m out of the way. Some people need people to talk to them. There are teachers for everybody and everything. That’s what I definitely would have got me a teacher, but I’m sorry, but I hate when people talk so much. And I’m like, man, just give me a book, show me on YouTube, I’ll figure it out. It’s a great attitude to have. This is a great attitude to have, but I could’ve skipped over a lot. I could have– just to give you an idea, what I’ve done in 20 years, I showed some of my students, and they’re doing it and they’re doing multimillion-dollar deals, I got into over 700 units in less than a year all because of what we shared in my experiences.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, love it.


Mike Ealy: So, that’s the value of getting a teacher. And that’s why I say, don’t quit. Get you a mentor teacher.


Josh Cantwell: I love it. I love it. So, Mike, we’re going to wrap up with what we call the final five. You ready?


Mike Ealy: That’s alright. I’m ready, bro.


Josh Cantwell: Alright, here we go. Question number 1, what’s your favorite way to find deals and opportunities to buy?


Mike Ealy: Man, through my relations, man, because with my relations, I get to hang out. We go drink beer, we have a dinner. The next thing I know, hey, Mike, I got a deal. Call me up. That’s it, man.


Josh Cantwell: Mike, this is not part of the final five, but what’s your favorite beer?


Mike Ealy: Heineken brother. I’m a Heineken guy.


Josh Cantwell: Nice. Alright. Question number 2, what’s your favorite way to find capital or JV partners to fill up your capital stack?


Mike Ealy: Man, through my network, through my podcast, through my students. I go from what they call– so like most people, it’s kind of hard to network, but I threw my systems. I take people from what we call a cold market to a hot market. And that’s because they get to know me. And by the time they reach out to me and it’s like, hey, let’s invest. And look, if they don’t, I like to use the SW. So, what? Some will, some won’t. So, what? Someone’s waiting. Alright.


Josh Cantwell: I love it. Love it. I’ve never heard it that way said before. That’s awesome. Next question, what’s your favorite maybe book that you’ve ever read or a piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?


Mike Ealy: Oh, man, I got two of them, but one of them is the hard thing about hard things, that think I was Ben Horowitz or Andy Horowitz. He talked about how you move into these larger companies or you grow your business, but you may outgrow other people. And so, what you have to do is insert different human capital. Like you can’t keep the same manager. You’re going to either have to lay them off or move them parallel and bring somebody else that can take you to a different level. I think one of the famous quotes, oh man, what is his name? Gottlieb, he played for the Bengals, he played for the 49ers with Rice. Terrell Owens. He said this because the business changes so quickly. He’s like, “And if you don’t change,” he’s like this, “one minute, you’re Terrell Owens, the next minute, you’re Terrell Owens.” I was like, ooh, that’s cold.


Josh Cantwell: That’s cold. He’s talking about himself, too. That’s fantastic. Mike, we all got to get away from our business for a minute and think and process, especially for a leader, CEO, founder. What’s your favorite way to decompress, think? What’s your favorite place to go?


Mike Ealy: Man, I love going to the gym, man, getting a nice run-in on the treadmill, around the track. And they don’t have to be a serious workout but get a nice sweat. And I love getting in the hot tub, man. I swim a couple of laps and getting a hot tub, and it’s like I’m a new person, man. Everything just floats away.


Josh Cantwell: I got in the hot tub this morning and then I got a cold shower. I feel like a million bucks after that. It was fantastic. Lastly, Mike, you talked about mentors, how important they are, pieces of advice to give your younger former self. Who’s the mentor that you’ve had that’s had the biggest impact on your life? And why do you think?


Mike Ealy: Man, I wish I could say it was one individual, but it was just so many other people like here, let’s see. Joe is right there, Jerome Bettis, man, like, that’s my guy. We hang out. But I don’t even really talk to Jerome like that. Jerome, through his lifestyle, like when he got into the NFL, he invited all of us to hang out. And from a distance, I got to see how he lived and how he moved in and out of business, how he met some of the different people, how they will do. I had such a great influence on my life that like, if he could do it, I could do it. I had so many heroes that I grew up with that passed away that just guided me and shared with me their life and their suggestions, all the things to grow up and to be a man and to own business. And then, I mean, seriously, ain’t no other way to say it from a crack here to a drunk to a multibillionaire have all been my friends, all my friends.


I mean, like, seriously, my best friend I grew up with, he’s a drunk. He’s a true drunk. You’ll find him in the street drunk. And I learned how to sell, hang on to him. He’s my buddy. I learned how to sell and how to track the emotions and how to really communicate with people because of him. One of my other people, like I said, this multimillionaire was a developer. I watched him grow on new developments more and more every year that he got me into developments and changed perspective like, don’t get me wrong, like, I got this Rolex watch, man. I thought I was the thing, man, 30 grand for the watch. And I’ll never forget I’m on his plane one day, and he says, “Oh, Mike, you got a nice watch there.” I say, “Yeah, you notice.” And he’s like, “Ah, it’s okay.” That fills up my tank one way.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah.


Mike Ealy: It’s like, “Oh, God,” like perspective where you want to play it. People like that always work to elevate and let you know what’s really important and through all of that, yes, it is about the money. Money is right up there with oxygen, but it’s not everything, but through all of that, I learned that family is where it is best, and that’s where the most success is. So, if you can strive to bring in that cash flow and work to invest in your family and your community, that’s where the true wealth is.


Josh Cantwell: Yeah, I love that, Mike. That’s a great way to wrap up today. Thank you so much for sharing today on Accelerated Real Estate Investor, Mike, an absolute blast. I know our audience is going to want to connect with you. Check out what you’re doing, your investments, your training, and coaching programs. Where can they get more information about you?


Mike Ealy: Yeah, that’s easy, man. If you want to get the book, go FromBroketoMillions.com, FromBroketoMillions.com. It’s also easy, you can find everything at NassauInvests.com, N-A-S-S-A-U, invest, I-N-V-E-S-T– oh, I can’t spell, oh, sh*t. Yeah, I-N-V-E-S-T-S dotcom. And you want to learn about classes, you want to just talk about investing, you want to learn strategies, like people called for a free strategy session. And I helped them save thousands of dollars. I had people ready to invest and put up, like ready to put $500 million. I was like, man, if you do that, I’ll tell you what? I got a garbage can. You can just put in my can for you. So, if you want to spend it on that, you could just put it in my garbage can, and I’ll still give you a better return. So, no, it’s just we’re here to help people. We want to see people grow. We want to see them succeed. And if I can help you, that’s even greater.


Josh Cantwell: Awesome stuff, Michael. Listen, appreciate you carving out some time for us today. Thank you so much for joining me on Accelerated Real Estate Investor.


Mike Ealy: Amen. Thank you, brother. I appreciate you having me.




Josh Cantwell: Well, there you have it, guys, I appreciate you jumping on so much and listening to that interview with me and Mike Ealy. If you want to connect with Mike, please do so right in the show notes at NassauInvests.com. Also, pick up Mike’s book, FromBroketoMillions.com. And if you enjoyed this interview, please leave us a rating and review. You have no idea. Every time I look at our ratings and reviews on all the podcasting platforms and on YouTube, we get new subscribers, we get new ratings, reviews, it just fills up my day. It fills up my life knowing that we have an impact on other people. So, thank you so much for those of you who have already done that. If you haven’t done it yet, go do it right now. It would have meant so much to me. I would be so grateful for that.


And listen, guys, just want to tell you what a blast I have, how much fun it is to do these interviews and to come into your life with these solocasts. So, thanks for the opportunity for me to share with you on this platform. Thank you so much for being here. We’ll see you next time. Take care.

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