EP 657 – Wrestling With Real Estate With Entertainer Turned Investor, Barri Griffiths

NCS 657 | Wrestling With Real Estate

NCS 657 | Wrestling With Real Estate

 

The biggest misconception people think is that because you’re on TV, you’re making millions. Scott Carson’s guest on this episode is none other than the host of Wrestling With Real Estate podcast Barri Griffiths. Barri shares how he needed to find a tenant for his newly-bought expensive house when his contract with WWE was terminated unexpectedly. Down the rabbit hole Barri went, and he came out of it fully afire with passion for real estate. Case in point? No job is guaranteed. You need a Plan B and real estate is perfect for that. Want to know how and why? Click on this podcast episode. You’ll need the information!

Listen to the podcast here:

Wrestling With Real Estate With Entertainer Turned Investor, Barri Griffiths

This is Barri Griffiths from Wrestling With Real Estate. I’m excited to be on Scott Carson’s The Note Closers Show. We’re going to be talking about how to have a plan B and why it is important. I found out the hard way. Don’t be like me. Be smarter. Learn to have a plan B. This is amazing. Scott is the man. I’m going to chokeslam you if you don’t tune in.

I’m jacked up. I’m all hyped up for our special guest on the show. You may have seen him. You may recognize him. Not only is he massively good-looking but he’s also a beast. He’s got a huge passion for real estate but you may not recognize him. You may recognize him from a different type of Monday night show that he has appeared in the past and being a celebrity out there. This guy likes to take real estate from the top rope or the turnbuckle. You may have seen him on the Wrestling With a Real Estate podcast and YouTube channel. This guy got his start in the wrestling ring. He wrestled the likes of John Cena. He’s been on Monday Night Raw before. I’m honored to have Barry Griffiths join us here on the show. What’s going on, Barry? How are you doing?

What’s up, Scott? That was quite an intro. I’m blushing over here. I don’t know what to say. That’s a lot to live up to. I don’t know if I can. That’s a lot of pressure.

People probably think, “How did you go from wrestling into real estate?” I’ve got some questions but I guarantee that’s the first burning question our readers desire. Let’s talk a little bit about how you got into real estate. Most people think, “Monday Night Raw, wrestling John Cena? That’s got to be some big stuff. That’s celebrity status.”

The biggest misconception that often people think is that because you’re on TV, you’re making millions. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t hurting for money. I wasn’t poor by any stretch of the imagination. Early on in your career like that and depending on where you are on the show, you’re making good money but you’re definitely not making millions. I was wrestling on TV. John Cena, Randy Orton and Kane, I wrestle those people. I’m making okay money but that didn’t last for long. It lasted maybe for four years. I was focused on wrestling. That’s all I knew. I didn’t have a degree in anything. I didn’t have a backup plan. I’m from the UK over here in the US. In 2014, WWE didn’t renew my contract. I did not see it coming. I was like, “This is an interesting situation. I can pick up dumbbells and I can pick up people but what else can I do?” I’m trying to figure it out. There was a bigger problem than that.

My career and dream came to an end and I just bought a house. This was in April of 2014. January of 2014, guess who went and bought a $430,000 home? Mason Ryan went and bought a $430,000 home that had a massive mortgage on it. It was massive for me. It was $2,550 a month at the time. It was quite a burden. I went from making good money, six figures, to making nothing. I’m trying to figure out, “Where do I go from here?” The first thing I had to figure out was this monthly mortgage payment. I bought the house in January and this is April. If I sell it, I’ll sell it at a loss. I love the house. It was a pure emotional buy. I like the layout, the colors of the wall, the kitchen, the neighborhood and all the stuff that doesn’t add value to the property.

It’s got a lot of that intangible excitement. It’s a nice-looking house. Tampa was going through a huge boom.

NCS 657 | Wrestling With Real Estate

Wrestling With Real Estate: It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, no job is guaranteed. You need a Plan B, and real estate is perfect for that.

 

This was in Tampa. The house wasn’t necessarily a good investment. I could have bought many things back then that would have been an amazing investment. It was in a little bit of an area out of the way. I got this huge monthly mortgage payment. I can’t sell the house because I loved it. I lost my job and my dream. I can’t sell the house because mentally, it was too much. I could have sold it and made a bit of a loss and cut my losses and be like, “I’d get out of here.” I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I went down the rabbit hole of finding a tenant. How do you find a tenant? How do you screen a tenant? How to be a landlord? All this stuff when I was trying to find a tenant. I eventually found a tenant. I put a tenant in there. That’s what started me down that rabbit hole of researching.

I came across real estate. I was like, “You can invest in real estate. You can have a side gig.” I was looking for a plan B at the time because I didn’t have a plan B. I was going to still wrestle and be in entertainment but I needed something else that went side by side to that. Real estate was a great thing for me to find to do that because you can do both. You can do anything in real estate. I found a way to do both. I kept going through that. I fell in love with real estate and had a passion for it. I got three single-family homes and sold them all. I’m focusing on multifamily now.

I want to bring up a little bit of that mindset. It’s such a parallel to many people who are struggling. They had a job where they’ve been laid off. Their industry has been shut down, especially in Florida or in Vegas where you’re at. You think about all the hospitality and the tourism. People have their own houses. Now they’re without a plan. I’ve heard you talk on other podcasts about how your plan A, B, and C was all the same thing. It’s to win the heavyweight championship in wrestling. A lot of people have that. When dreams knock the way, how long did you struggle with trying to figure out your direction? Was it six months, a year or a month?

Honestly, I don’t know. It wasn’t the greatest time in my life. I worked hard to be in wrestling. The other thing was I was identified as a wrestler, talking about a mindset shift. Back home, everyone calls me Barri The Wrestler. Talk about identity. I was like, “I’m not going to be a wrestler anymore. I got to figure out this whole financial situation.” It took me a while. I knew immediately that within 2 or 3 weeks I needed to rent out the place. I moved forward slowly in a mental fog.

Within 1 or 2 months, I had the place rented out and moved somewhere else. It took me a little while longer to let the cobwebs clear. I realize, “I have this place rented. Real estate can work.” I researched BiggerPockets and read Rich Dad Poor Dad. That took a while. The parallel is interesting. It’s about what people are going through. Like me, people have a W-2 job and they thought that was the guaranteed income for the next 30, 40 years and then they can retire. They’re fine. They go off and drink cocktails in the Dominican Republic like we do.

2020 has been a real awakening for a lot of people, unfortunately. This job that I thought was guaranteed in whatever they’re in, I thought it was going to work for the next 30 years. It isn’t guaranteed. Something like the pandemic can come along. I don’t know if there’s been more real estate investing than ever but there should be. People are open to that because it’s just a plan B. I was in entertainment. Talk about the susceptible industry to get hit by anything. That’s the entertainment industry.

It doesn’t matter what you’re in. You could be in a corporate job, climbing that W-2 ladder and trying to get to 59.5 so you can access your 401(k) and your IRA to get to that point. It’s been an awakening for people to realize, “I’m not that secure. Where is my life heading?” Real estate is such a good complement to someone who has that awakening. You can be whatever you wanted to be. Both of those can be something that you do on the side. It doesn’t need to be, “I’m spending 70 to 80 hours a week doing real estate and managing tenants.” You can do it on the side. It can be something that you can start with very little to almost no investment, out of pocket or your own money. You need someone’s money. It doesn’t need to be your own. It’s such a great point.

I work with Cirque du Soleil. We haven’t done a show since March 9, 2020. God knows when we’re going to go back to work. As opposed to the first time it happened with wrestling where I was panicking, “What’s going to happen? What am I going to do?” This time, I had a real calmness and a little bit of excitement that I could focus and pursue real estate a little bit more. That’s what real estate can give you. It doesn’t need to be your main hobby, your main job or whatever you focus on. It can be something to do on the side. If you decide to go full-time, it’s great. It can be something on the side that can give you that freedom and peace of mind.

If you have a few pieces of real estate or you’ve invested in some note or in some syndication, whatever it may be, you have that income coming on. You understand real estate. That’s huge as well. People were having that realization, “I can do it.” Let’s say someone loses their job. They’re like, “I’m in real estate. I can go for that. I can go to work in real estate and make more money and invest more money.” That’s something that’s always going to be there. Real estate is not going anywhere. Technology’s changing but real estate’s always going to be there.

We deal with so many people who want to eventually leave their job. They want to do something and want a different lifestyle. You and I’ve talked about how we enjoyed hanging out in the Dominican, drinking Pina Coladas, margarita or whatever you’re drinking down there. I want to throw this out here because I’ve heard you mentioned before that your family owns a 100-plus year construction company. They were doing horse wheels. You worked as an undertaker for a little while. Not the wrestler, The Undertaker. Do you think that work ethic and going from that has helped you be like, “I probably want to go back into the construction industry.” Is that about right?

I was involved in the construction. I was always around that. I worked as a carpenter for a while. I always say I was the worst carpenter in the history of carpentry. I couldn’t saw straight. I could barely hit a nail. I was terrible because I had no interest. At the time, I didn’t know what else to do. If you don’t know what to do, go work for your dad. I felt that I had to because it was the family business. I had that interest in it and I still enjoy the construction side of stuff. I enjoyed how it looked once it’s finished. I enjoyed going onsite and seeing a few fixes. We’re going to do that. In terms of asking myself, I don’t like it.

I’m a simple guy. There’s a complexity to real estate but essentially, it’s pretty simple. In residential rental real estate, you buy a building, rent it out, get that money and you make the cashflow. That’s the most simplistic way of looking at it. It’s not stocks where you’ve got to understand the future values and what the stock is doing now. I looked into that and it blew my brains out. I have no idea what this is, but I can understand real estate. I’m not saying it’s that simple but it’s the concept design. I love the concept. That played a part in it. That’s a good point that I didn’t realize until recently. Being around it all my life, I have that interest in it. I don’t want to get my hands dirty but I want to be involved in it. That played a part as well.

There was the work ethic involved. Real estate is cool because you can work as much or as little as you want. Success is somewhat going to reflect that. I’m holding up my phone. There’s so much you can do from your phone. It’s amazing. You can run your business from your phone almost. There was a work ethic but I’m lazy too. That’s why I like real estate because I want to create that financial freedom where I manage some people running it.

There are a lot of similarities. You’re flexing a different muscle versus dumbbells and lifting people. I want to take us back there because you’re like, “I’m stressed out. I’m worried about where I’m at. I got this immediate Albatros taken care of. I got to rent my place. They’re covering most of my mortgage or all my mortgage for the most part.” Let’s talk about the transition to an investor. What were some of the actions you take to start finding information or educating yourself as an investor and take those next steps for you?

It took a while for me to go from renting that out to buying my first property simply because I was an independent wrestler at the time doing a few acting gigs. I was a self-employed guy. In one month, I would make good money. The next month, I would make zero. It was all over the place. What I understood about investing at the time was that you needed a bank loan and 20% down. Even though I understood real estate investing, I didn’t know the concept at that time. I didn’t fully understand what was options there. It took a few years for me to get it.

NCS 657 | Wrestling With Real Estate

Wrestling With Real Estate: Real estate is really cool because you can work as much or as little as you want. But know that your success is going to reflect how much work you put in.

 

I eventually got a job with Cirque du Soleil, which is pretty crazy. I moved out to Vegas. I’ve got a W-2 job where I’m going to get guaranteed money, six figures. Before, I didn’t want to buy an investment property and not have a guaranteed job that I was going to be making that money. If I’ve got to make the mortgage payment monthly and I don’t make a penny, that’s stressful. I didn’t want to get in that situation. I moved to Vegas. I rented when I first got there. I moved in December of 2015. I should’ve bought it back then and I would have made it. You live and you learn. I was renting but I knew I wanted to invest. At the time, I was all scared to pull the trigger a little bit. I didn’t know how long I was moving to Vegas. This new job, this new career, I didn’t know how long it was going to last.

BiggerPockets, without a doubt, I got hooked on. BiggerPockets is the new Rich Dad Poor Dad almost. It’s the younger generation’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. I read Rich Dad Poor Dad too and that was my head-exploding moment. I was like, “A liability and an asset are different. One pays you money and one costs you money?” My light bulb went off massively. I was diving into any podcast I could find on real estate. Back then, there weren’t as many as there are now. BiggerPockets was the main one. I was listening to it every day on the way to work. I was at work thinking about, “How do I buy a property? How many properties do I need?” I figured 40 properties. I remember being at certain parts of the show and there are certain parts where I’m high up and hanging in there.

I remember many times being in that spot thinking, “I need 40 properties. If I make this much, this is how much I spend. How can I spend less? How much does my wife make? This is our average short-medium home price.” Ten years was my goal and 40 properties. That’s four properties a year. Three 20% down on one owner-occupied property. I didn’t understand but that’s how I was thinking. I was trying to figure out roughly how much I needed. I remember being up there. Maybe I should have been thinking about what I was doing.

I was so consumed. I was obsessed with it. I was in love with the idea that you could create this financial freedom. Not just financial freedom but a lot of good wealth for yourself and create a lifestyle for yourself. I was thinking about it all the time. I’m listening to podcasts on the way home from work. I’m obsessed with it. I’m reading anything I can. I’m going to any meetups I could go with anyone who would shut up long enough to let me talk about it. I’m still in love massively to this day with real estate.

Total immersion as best you can. You’re listening to podcasts, educating and turning your commute into a classroom. In your spare hours, you’re attending networking events. Events in Vegas has some of the best and largest real estate investment clubs in the country. Jason Burke got a big one out there and a few others that I’m friends with. I’ve spoken up there a couple of times too. I’ve heard a story here before. I’m tossing a softball here. You’re investing in Vegas and it’s expensive there. Where did you look to invest? What was that transition? You bought some stuff outside of your zip code. Let’s talk about that a little bit.

I was thinking of any 40 single-family properties in ten years. I was going, “Ten years is an acceptable level.” I was 36 or something at the time. I can be 45, 46 and retire. It’s a ten-year time horizon. Through going to meetups and talking to people on BiggerPockets, I met this guy and I was having coffee with him. It’s funny because you remember certain things. I met tons of other people. I couldn’t remember the conversations.

I remember exactly where he was sitting and where I was when I told him what my goal was, to buy 40 single-family homes. He told me, “Why don’t you buy an apartment complex?” I was like, “Can you explain that a little bit more?’ He explained, “Buying one property, gets you $40,000. You can do that in one deal. You need the money and it’s not quite that easy.” That concept makes sense. Now I understood all the other things. You can increase the value if you increase the rent and lower the expenses. You’re a lot more insulated to vacancies if you have a bigger property. All that good stuff. I got hooked on multifamily and then dove into other podcasts about that.

At this time, I had three single-family homes, two in Vegas and one in Tampa. I decided, “These are going up a good amount of value. I want to be in multifamily. Let me sell.” I slowly sold all three of those and had that cash. I was looking at Vegas for multifamily. At the time, I thought Vegas was expensive. Looking back, I wish I bought everything I looked at. It would probably be doubled if not tripled. That was a few years ago. I wish I had bought everything I looked at or anything I could afford at that time.

Vegas is a boom or bust town. It always has been and it always will be unless there’s a lot of change here. Vegas is dependent on leisure and tourism. It’s 27% of the job base there. It tells you everything there. I didn’t like that. I was looking at different markets to invest in. I like the Midwest. I always heard the Midwest for its good cashflow and stability. In the meantime, I hired a coach. Joe Fairless was my mentor. I knew that I didn’t know anything. When I was looking at the properties in Vegas, I got a call on a twenty-unit one time. I was like, “I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no clue what I’m doing. I read and I’m trying to research but I have no idea what I’m doing. Let me back up and try to get a coach and figure stuff out.”

I found the Midwest. I liked the area. He said, “Why don’t you look at Cincinnati? There’s been job growth and population growth there. It’s not massive. It’s not Atlanta, Arizona or Texas but there is population growth and job growth. There’s good job diversity. They’re landlord-friendly. There’s a lot of people renting there. The percentage of renters there is pretty. There’s a lot of the smaller multifamily stuff as well, 20, 30 to 40 units and a little bit under as well.” It makes sense to me. I went there and liked the city. I ended up investing there.

Maybe you’re asking how I was able to do that from Vegas and invest there. I built a team. I don’t think I’m repeating anything mind-blowing to anyone. You build a team. That’s the easy answer. How do you build a team is a question that some people might have. For me, I started with one person. David Greene and his book, Long-Distance Real Estate Investing, said to start with one guy. Find one good guy. You can’t have a mediocre, crappy guy. Find one good guy and get that connection. For me, that was a broker. I met a broker from Marcus & Millichap. He connected me with the other team members. I vetted them. That team does much for me.

I’m able to be in Las Vegas on my phone or Zoom talking to Scott Carson about how I did it. They do everything for me. I still go there now and then. I probably haven’t been there in months. We did an extensive renovation. People send videos and pictures. We have other people that go and check up on them. There’s a whole bunch of stuff. Essentially, it’s not scary. I was a little scared but I knew I needed to do it as well because the biggest market didn’t make sense. I said, “If I did it, anyone could do it.” I was a wrestler. You’re all smarter than me. There’s no doubt about it.

Your first foray was a six-unit.

Yes. I wanted something a lot bigger but it needed a lot of work. All the units were wrecked, to be honest. Maybe not down to the studs but they needed a lot of work, a new kitchen, new bathroom, new flooring, paint, some reconfiguration on some of them. I put washers and dryers into all of the units because that area can support that. I’ve done 5 of the 6. I’ve got one left to go. The guy is going to be moving out. I’m finishing that one. Hopefully, I’m fixing that up and the whole six will be rented. I’m talking rents from low $500 to an average of about $1,200. That’s a pretty good value.

I spent a good amount of my money. To give people an idea of numbers, I bought it for $300,000. I’m going to end up putting about $100,00 in. I’m hoping it’s going to be worth $650,000 to $700,000 once it’s all done. I’ll 1031 exchange that into 40 or 50 units from there. That’s the plan. Maybe I’ll do something similar or not quite as much. It’s such a heavy value add. That’s the beauty of multifamily. You can keep turning 1031 into something bigger and keep growing like that.

Let’s hope that Biden keeps 1031.

Yes. I need to hurry up with that and get this done pretty quickly.

Maybe into a deferred sales trust for a while, which can save you from having to go find a property immediately. I’ll put you in touch with a buddy of mine who does a lot of that for apartment investors out there, 1031, a deferred sales trust. That allows you to do some creative things with it as well. You’re buying in the Midwest. Did you self-finance, loan, private money or syndication? What was the financing process behind that?

That was an issue. Financing wasn’t as easy. For one, I don’t live there. It doesn’t qualify because it’s such a small loan. It was a $300,000 purchase. It doesn’t qualify for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Even the small bonds, you need to be over a $1 million loan to qualify for that. I didn’t qualify for any of that agency debt. Local credit unions or local banks want you to have a footprint. They want you to either live there or have a property there. That was challenging.

I was calling around. In the end, I got in touch with the US Bank. Because there’s is a US Bank here in Vegas, they were able to use that as I opened an account there. I had a footprint there and they were willing to loan. They’re the ones that gave me a loan. They give me 80% LTV and 20% down, which wasn’t bad for my first property. It was a small property. That helped me. If I bought a $2 million property from my first one, maybe they would have wanted 70% LTV. They would have changed that a little bit.

I got a 4.4% interest rate which wasn’t bad at the time. This was January of 2020. Also, there was no huge prepayment penalty, which was huge. I wanted to turn the property around and sell it or do 1031, which is still selling it essentially. I knew that I didn’t want a prepayment penalty because that can hurt you. For people who don’t know, a prepayment penalty is what the bank puts on it or yield maintenance so that they still make their money. They still want to make their profit that long. If you turn around and sell pretty quickly, they don’t get that chance to make that money. There was no prepayment penalty on this. I was like, “This is brilliant. It fits my business model of looking to turn around and sell it pretty quickly.” That was good.

Thinking back, I didn’t get any of the rehab costs, which I wish I took out of my own money. That was fine. I had that money on and it was a safe bet. I wasn’t overly leveraging in any way. At the same time, I could have probably got 70%, 75% loans and costs. I could have saved much money and use that money to invest somewhere else. I’m going to turn around and use that money. The problem without money is you’re stuck in that deal. With 1031, I’m going to be a little bit rushed. It’s not like I have that freedom without money to do as I please. It’s going to be used for something else, which is fine. I would have rather leveraged.

The 4% rate is not bad if you were to use other people’s money. The interest rate is a little bit higher on the private route. There are always pros and cons to each thing. Let’s talk about the future. Are you still looking to buy more in the Midwest, Ohio and the Cincinnati area? What are you doing a little bit differently about the funding side? Are you still looking for bank financing? Are you looking more at the OPM side of things?

As I’ve developed and matured as an investor, I realized as well that bigger is better. I’m looking for my portfolio in Cincinnati. I’m looking at 20 to 50 for myself, either as a joint venture or by myself. I like the idea of having that little portfolio for myself that brings in the cashflow. I’ve been also focusing a lot more on syndications. I’ve got three partners now. There are four of us in a team. We’re looking at bigger deals. We made an offer on 66 and 64 units. These were in Columbia, South Carolina. The reason we change market is that I like Carolina. It’s a good market. There are a lot of jobs heading that way.

We have a strong teammate. He has a good amount of experience. He worked for a commercial investor for fifteen years. He’s doing his syndications. He’s part of this team. He has a good connection with the brokers there. He understands the market. He lives in the market himself. When we put the team together and we’re trying to decide on the market, it made sense to look there. That’s why we built there. I’m looking at some deals for myself. Mainly I’ve been focusing on the syndication route and trying to take down deals. With syndication, you bring in other people’s money and have them involved in the deal with some passive investors. I’m focused on that and trying to ramp that up here. I’d like to do two syndications in 2021. We’ll see how COVID helps us or not but that’s the goal, for sure.

Are you still focused on multifamily? Are you still looking at single-family deals in different markets or not?

A little bit. I’m trying to stop myself. I’ve got the shiny object syndrome massively. I’m trying to keep my focus on multifamily. I like the idea of some Airbnb as well. It’s a little bit of a different model. I have a couple of property managers who specialize in Airbnb. I’m trying to utilize and leverage them. I’ve also got some agents that I’ve connected with. I’m going to use that. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this. There’s as a 10% vacation home loan that you can get. You only have to put 10% down. If it’s a $200,000 home, you only have to put $20,000 down to buy that home. I’m not putting up a lot of capital for that.

NCS 657 | Wrestling With Real Estate

Wrestling With Real Estate: If you have no idea what you’re doing even after you’ve read and did your research, then you have to back up and get a coach to figure stuff out.

 

The idea with that is I’d like to buy one in Florida because that’s where I’d like to move back to. The other one, not too far from where my property, is in Cincinnati. It’s a great cashflow play. A little effort on my part. Find the deal, analyze it and have the property manager run and do everything for me. They set up everything for you. Have that little bit of diversification as well. I’m looking here in Vegas to buy a home for myself. I like that owner-occupied financing where I’m getting 5% down, live in it for a year, and then do it again. In five years, you have a small portfolio that was pretty easy. It’s low-hanging fruit. That’s what I like about it. I’m trying to keep my focus on multifamily. Doing these little bits on the side that don’t take up too much of my mind space.

You get to take advantage of the opportunities out there too. Vegas is going to get cheap as things start to fizzle out. It’s been one of the hardest-hit markets unemployment-wise and stuff like that. People can’t pay and aren’t working. They can’t pay their mortgage. It’s going to lead to an increase in foreclosures in that neck of the woods compared to some other areas. What part of Florida are you looking around? Are you looking at Tampa again as well?

For an Airbnb, I like St. Pete, Clearwater. It’s not too far from the beach. I’d have some private ownership or something like that. It would be cool to own something like that. If you buy it right there, you can make some good money as well. Long-term owning something by the beach there, I can’t imagine it’s going to go down in value.

That’s the beautiful thing about Florida. It’s got much stuff on the West Coast. Indian Rocks Beach has a great area and Clearwater. That whole area of Tampa. Bradenton and all the neck of the woods is doing well. We’ve got a couple of buddies that are doing that here in Texas on the Gulf Coast. Part rentals and apartments. They leave a couple of their units and multifamily available for Airbnb. It was a smart play that they did because it has led to people that they have vacant and some short-term rentals. As people were recovering and getting out of Houston, they want to go someplace with their family a little bigger spot. Away from other people so they can enjoy it a little bit versus being holed up in a smaller place downtown for the most part.

The cool thing is that my wife has a family there. If we want to go there, we can go stay there. I don’t have to feel like I have to be with my in-laws and sharing bathrooms.

There’s nothing wrong with having dinner but you want that alone time from mother-in-law and father-in-law.

I love the beach as well. That’s one of my goals. We love the Dominican Republic. I’d love to have a house ideally right on the beach. You wake up in the morning, go drink your coffee and then walk out to the water. That is one of my dreams.

When you were a young kid getting started, you came from a pretty small town.

Two hundred people.

That’s not even a town. That’s a village. Did you have the posters on the walls of your favorite wrestler? Who was your favorite wrestler as a kid?

Hulk Hogan was my favorite wrestler as a kid. I wasn’t a huge wrestling fan. Growing up, we had four TV channels. It wasn’t that we were poor. It was the norm. That’s what everybody had growing up. They didn’t show wrestling on TV. I barely knew it. People had tapes here and there. You couldn’t watch it at the same level. I only got into it when I started trying to find what I was going to do in my life, where I was looking for something in my life. I found wrestling because I was big and athletic. I saw people on TV that looked like me and acted like me. I was like, “I could do something like that.” That’s where my real interest piqued. I then fell in love with what I was doing. I was a Hulk Hogan fan growing up.

The reason I asked is all those kids had posters or other things on the wall, whether it’s wrestling or football. I used to have Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith from the Dallas Cowboys on my wall along with Cindy Crawford. Who doesn’t like Cindy Crawford? As we get older, we start visualizing things. I know that your guy is probably goal-oriented. What’s on your proverbial poster wall? Do you have anybody that you love looking towards? What’s on your wall as an adult kid? We never grow up.

Outside of Scott Carson?

I’m way down the low belt. Anyone you like to follow or look up to? It doesn’t have to be a famous name.

In the real estate world, there are people but I can’t think for now. I’m a huge soccer fan, the Liverpool players.

Liverpool is in the top 2 or 3.

They’ve lost 4 or 5 games. They’ve been terrible. I’m all mad and angry about that.

That’s one thing with COVID. In Amazon, I like those reality sports shows. I’ve learned a lot about soccer. Columbus Crews is moving to Austin, the football club here. I have been spending time watching the Amazon special, the Tottenham Hotspurs and more about Liverpool. I’m pretty excited about it. I want to come back to this as well. Any of your colleagues, ex-colleagues or friends from wrestling reached out to you or have you reached out to them? Have they looked at what you’re doing and taking an interest in being in real estate as well with you?

I speak to a few of them and they know what I’m doing. As I grow and develop, I want to build a little bit of a track record before I reach out. Wrestlers are suspicious of other wrestlers. It’s a little bit of a cutthroat business. It’s how it is. Even though we’re all working on a team, you’re essentially looking out for yourself all at the time because nobody else is. You’re paying your bills. Nobody else is paying your bills for you. You’ve always got to take care of yourself. This is vicious of other wrestlers, to be honest with you. It’ll take time to build that trust and that track record before they trust me.

We see that in different areas of real estate too. Wholesalers are a cutthroat business for wholesaling. A lot of times in different parts of the country, you have realtors who are cutthroat. Commercial guys can be cutthroat too. Find a good person and good people are usually surrounded by good people.

People hang out with people that are similar to themselves. There’s no doubt about that. If someone in that team is a little sneaky and whatnot, you might ask questions about the other members of the team. We gravitate to people similar to ourselves or that have similar beliefs and values.

We like to surround ourselves with like-minded people and go from there. That’s what I love about the real estate industry for the most part. Usually, it’s people that are in it for the long run who have a whole better-developed mindset. They’ve got a clear picture of what they want to do. They’re usually investing in themselves and finding that better mindset. We build a little thicker skin because we’re used to having good things. Maybe it’s not always going the right way for us in a lot of ways.

I had somewhat of the mindset stuff before but nothing on what I’ve been working on since being in real estate. That’s been a huge thing in real estate for me. Even if I didn’t make another dollar in real estate, that mindset component of understanding more about myself and how I work exists. There is this thing called mindset. The way we think and talk about stuff. The way we talk to ourselves. The way we frame stuff. I love that stuff. It’s mind-blowing and it’s crazy to me that it exists because I didn’t understand. I had goals and visions. Nobody told me. It was what I had. I had ambition and some other components already. Once I realized about that mindset stuff, I fell in love with it. I was fascinated by that. It’s interesting because you can change everything by mindset. It’s nuts. This conversation can be changed by the mindset. Is it a good conversation or a bad conversation? When I say it’s a good conversation, it’s was a good conversation. That’s how you think about it.

Your wife, is she involved in the real estate business as well or she keeps it separate?

She’s an agent in Vegas. She got her license in 2020. She’s a flight attendant as well. She still has that. We have a son. She was able to take some time off with COVID. She hasn’t had to work for about two years. We still have the flight benefits. That’s nice.

When you get to jump on a plane, you can go check out a new market too.

It makes shopping places a lot easier. Apart from being standby, in terms of cost are easy. It’s a pain in the backside to be flying sometimes. She’s an agent here in Vegas. I’m all crazy about real estate. I talk and think about it all day long. I’ve managed to persuade her to do the BRRR method in Florida. She wants to move back to Florida. That’s where her family is. I’ve got her on board with that. She’s researching that now and looking into it. I was like, “If that’s where we’re going to move back to, why don’t you start trying to build a small portfolio of single-family homes?” She’s like, “I have no money.” “There’s thing is called the BRRR. Look into it.” Hopefully, she’s going to do that. She’s an agent here in Las Vegas as well. It’s a bit of a crazy market here.

How far back is Vegas as far as stuff being open or still being close compared to where it was? Would you say it’s 20%, 30%, 50%? What would you say based on what you know in the market?

It’s a while to go. It’s going to take vaccine being wildly distributed. International travel is the big thing for Vegas. There are still people coming here to Vegas but they’re not people spending a lot of money. People were flying in on a cheap flight from Atlanta or Florida. They’re coming from somewhere because flights are cheap. They’re getting a cheap hotel. They’re not going to all the restaurants. They’re not looking to spend every penny they have. They’re coming here because they can afford it. They’re enjoying a little bit of gambling. After that, they’re leaving.

NCS 657 | Wrestling With Real Estate

Wrestling With Real Estate: Even though we are all working on a team, you have to look out for yourself all the time because nobody else is paying your bills for you.

 

There are a lot of people from California that come here for the weekends. Those people aren’t spending either. If you’re coming on the weekend, you’re not going crazy. You’re not putting stuff on the credit card or gambling like crazy and going to the shows. You can come back next week or next month. International travel is what’s hurting Vegas. Once that comes back, that’s the game-changer. When will that be? I don’t know. We’re not in control. It depends on how they vaccinate in other countries and how they feel about it.

Talking about mindset, that’s huge mindset stuff right there. Are people comfortable traveling? Do people want to travel? Are they going to be cooped up and desperate to travel and go somewhere and have a great time? I don’t know. To give you an example, in our show, we won’t be back anytime before July 2021 with Cirque du Soleil. My show is probably going to be closer to the end of the year. The show is Cirque du Soleil called KA. It’s at the MGM Grand.

With the big moving stage. I’ve seen it three times. I love it. It’s such a unique show. It’s everywhere. It’s a 360-degree show. The audience is coming down from above. It’s my favorite Cirque du Soleil. It’s nice.

Going back to the Vegas thing, it’s interesting. The economy’s hit hard. I don’t know what the unemployment is around here. It’s still about 10% or 12%. The national average is 6%. We nearly doubled the national average. Even if it’s 10%, it’s still way higher. It’s still a high number. Home prices here are still skyrocketing. It’s nuts. My wife tells me stories all the time. If the house is decently priced, you’re going to get cash offers at less price or above. For anyone else, you’ve got to come in way above that. How is this sustainable with unemployment? It’s a story of America as well. The haves and the have nots.

The gap is getting wider. The wealth gap is what everyone talks about. The lower-end people can’t afford so they’re renting. The rental market is on fire here. It might continue. You’ll never know. Who knows what can happen? Logic thinking doesn’t always apply to the economy and everything else. Logically, how can this continue? In 2020, it was 11% appreciation. Year over a year, home prices went up. 2021 started with a bang. How is that sustainable? I don’t know. It keeps dropping low interest rates.

That’s the thing with Biden. He extended the foreclosure and eviction moratorium out there through the end of March 2021. The hardest-hit price point in every market is that sub $200,000 value asset. If it’s a house below $200,000 or $100,000 in some cases like the Midwest, there’s price disparity between Vegas, Tampa versus Cincinnati, Columbus or Austin. We don’t see that much stuff here. This is a shack. That’s one of the big things. You talk about things flying off shelves. You get a lot of California people getting out of dodge in Vegas, Phoenix. That’s why those markets are on fire because people are overpaying. It’s cheaper than what they’re buying. They see the bigger bang for the buck than what they’re paying for in California.

There are a lot of California people coming here.

Texas leads the nation. Las Vegas is second. Arizona is third. Feel free to keep them over there.

Hopefully, they don’t bring their legislation here.

The Communist State of California. That’s another topic for another day. You and I can get together in another episode later on. Barri, what’s the best way for our readers to follow you and see what you’re up to and connect with you to find out more about what you’re working on? Maybe even pitching and be an investor for you.

Thank you for having me on the show. It’s always a good time to open your mind. It’s a lot of fun. I always enjoy that. If people want to reach out, I have my podcasts. It releases daily shows as crazy as it seems. I love talking to people. I love doing the show. I have a daily podcast called the WWRE podcast, which stands for Wrestling With Real Estate podcasts. The best place is if you go to WrestlingWithRealEstate.com, all the podcasts, my YouTube, some free stuff are there. If you guys want to know more about multifamily, reach out and jump on a call with me or talk about anything real estate. We can talk about wrestling as well if you want. There’s going to be a link on that page as well.

Barri, thank you so much for coming on. Thanks for having me on your show a while back as well. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We reached out and talked to each other on Instagram. I love what you were doing. I was like, “I got to have you on mine. Let’s do a swap.” It’s been a great conversation. I look forward to hanging with you. We got to get together at some point when I come to Vegas or you’re out in Forth because we spent a lot of time on the Forth. If you ever come to Austin, you got to give me a holler.

Even better, the Dominican Republic.

We can get a bunch of our buddies, figure out a resort there, fly to the Dominicana and do an on-site COVID test to make sure we’re all good and we fly back in. That’d be a lot of fun, a bunch of us sitting out there.

If anyone wants to be part of a mastermind in the Dominican Republic, reach out to us.

That’s going to be a wrap-up this episode. One of the biggest things you want to take in mind there is we all have a plan. We all have goals of what we want to accomplish and achieve in life. Man plans and God laughs a lot of time. It’s always good to have that plan B, something different than we’re doing. Barri shared a great insight. We all go through that, licking our wounds. We get kicked in the teeth or kicked in the way. If you want to accomplish something, there are enough people out there. Find a good team. Find people that you can network and surround yourself with, whether it’s local or in a new market.

The beautiful thing about 2021 is it’s a new age. You’re a phone call or email or one degree away from somebody in a different market helping out and finding some amazing deals. Whether it’s in traditional real estate notes or whatever it might be, go out and take some action. Work towards your goals. Success doesn’t happen overnight. If you keep at it, you’ll be surprised where you are in a short time. We’ll see you at the top.

Important Links:

About Barri Griffiths

NCS 657 | Wrestling With Real EstateBarri Griffiths is the host of the YouTube channel Wrestling With Real Estate and the WWRE podcast, where he interviews people from all aspects of the industry.

His goal is to help educate as many people to the amazing benefits of real estate. For the past decade, he has been working in the entertainment industry. He previously starred in the U.K. Version of U.S. Gladiators, as Gladiator Goliath. Then went on to wrestle on tv for the WWE as Mason Ryan, where he wrestled the likes of John Cena, performed on Pay per views, and regularly appeared on Monday night RAW.

He is currently performing for Cirque du Soleil at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the Note Closers Show community today:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *