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Real Estate Runway - Chad Sutton - Insta
S1E118: Powerful Lessons from a Firefighter Turned Real Estate Investor: Keys to Rental Growth and Impact with Timothy Lyons
May 2, 2023 33 min

Episode Description

In this episode, host Chad Sutton sits down with Timothy Lyons from Cityside Capital to discuss his journey from being a firefighter and ER nurse to becoming a successful real estate investor. Tim shares his practical approach and experience with retail equity and institutional equity, offering valuable insights into the current real estate market. He emphasizes the importance of having clarity, confidence, and certainty in an investment, especially during times of uncertainty like the current economic climate. Join us for an engaging conversation on real estate investments, raising capital, and making a difference in our communities.


[00:00 - 06:29] Timothy Lyons of Cityside Capital Shares His Journey from Firefighter to Real Estate Investor

• Lyons shares his background as a firefighter and ER nurse before getting into real estate investing

• Lyons works with both retail equity and institutional equity

[06:30 - 13:21] How Tim Retired Early and Raised Nearly 2 Billion in Acquisitions

• Real estate and owning businesses became a solution to balance work and family life.

• How he started with a three-family property but ended up realizing that being a landlord was not his thing.

• How he founds a mentor and got educated in multifamily real estate.

• Timothy Lyons works as a registered representative of a broker-dealer that raises capital for commercial real estate projects.

• Passive income is not truly passive unless placing money into someone else's deal; active operator still runs the building from a portfolio perspective.

• Leaned into taxes and passive activity rules to shift mindset about active and passive income

[13:21 - 20:13] Overcoming Obstacles and Raising Capital for Deals

• Real estate ownership requires a personal connection to the property

• The author had to overcome the desire for control and team involvement in real estate investing

• Raising capital for deals requires material participation in the project

• The author found success in raising money through his network and educating potential investors

• Analyzing how current market conditions are uncertain and why experienced investors are still investing while newer investors are hesitant

• Understanding the opportunities for deals due to operators facing challenges with expiring bridge debt and high cap prices

[20:13 - 33:14] Why Real Estate Investors Find Opportunities in Tough Times, Despite Housing Crisis and Liquidity Challenges

• Real estate challenges during tough times: liquidity, time, and money

• Surrounding oneself with high-level people in real estate can provide clarity and opportunities

• Housing crisis still exists, with a shortage of single-family homes for sale

• Investing in housing is a long-term strategy as shelter is a basic need of humanity

• Understanding that the debt is temporary, but the basis (investment) is forever

• Understanding why experienced professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance in the market cycle.


"If those guys can do it, so can I." - Timothy Lyons

"Date the rate and marry the asset." Timothy Lyons

Connect with Timothy through LinkedIn, Facebook, or visit

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Real Estate Runway Podcast is all about alternative business and investment strategies to help you amplify life, and maximize wealth! Click here to find out more about the host, Chad Sutton.


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