Swarthmore Man publishes humorous book about life in real estate – Delco Times

SWARTHMORE – After more than 40 years in the commercial real estate business, Brian Dickens Barrabee feels he’s seen and heard it all – or at least a sizable chunk of it all. Barrabee, a self-proclaimed “human man,” said the nuances of human behavior never cease to amaze him. He often shared stories of his humorous, unusual experiences while speaking to others, noting how listeners were amused by the true, often bizarre, stories he told. The Swarthmore resident decided to broaden his audience by compiling 81 of these short stories in his first-ever book, Confessions of a Real Estate Man.

The 277-page book, released in March through Dorrance Publishing Company, is a collection of Barrabee’s unusual true stories and observations, though he gave fictional names to the real characters. The author says real estate is essentially a people business, and seeing where people “fill their nests” gave him a unique perspective often unseen by many.

“You can learn a lot about people by observing how and where they live,” Barrabee said thoughtfully. “Hopefully readers will see that we are all very flawed and it’s important to see the humor in our human folly. My collection of memories is humorous, with some stories being inspirational.”

The author was born and raised in Asbury Park, NJ. He graduated from Asbury Park High School in the class of 1959 and then attended the postgraduate program at the all-male Peddie School at Heightstown, NJ University of Delaware in 1965, along with classmate Joe Biden, taught sixth grade in the Camden, NJ school system . He moved to Newtown Square after getting an investment job at Philadelphia brokerage firm Robinson and Co., where he lived for 40 years before moving to Swarthmore in 2011. Barrabee is a father of four children and has six grandchildren.

While serving in the Center City and University City neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Barrabee recognized a personal investment opportunity to purchase and manage residential and commercial properties and began gradually adding them to his own investment portfolio. He eventually left Robinson and Co. and went into the real estate business full-time, owning and managing over 50 properties at the height of his career.

Divided into short, easy-to-read chapters, the book proves once again that truth – and reality – is indeed stranger than fiction. Humorous chapter titles like “The Hot Dog Graveyard,” “The Buzzing Flashlight,” “Memories of a Kleenex Cleanse,” “Orange Is the New White,” and “There’s a Ninja in my Bathtub” entice the reader to hear this wanting next story.

The semi-retired Barrabee said that writing the book brought out a quality in him that he had never developed before, or even thought possible.

“I’ve never been too academic,” said the author. “But this book showed me how much I really enjoy writing.”
The first author has two more books out this spring, Confessions of an American Male, humorous stories about life as a male in America, and Confessions of a Working Man, short stories about men at work. “Confessions of A Real Estate Man” gave him confidence as a writer and encouraged him to keep writing, he said.

“Because the stories in each chapter are short, ‘Confessions of a Real Estate Man’ is a perfect book for readers with a short attention span or who are looking for something to read before bed, on the bus, or in the bathroom” said Barrabee smiling. “Not only will this book appeal to real estate professionals, property managers and landlords, but anyone in need of a good laugh!”

For a copy of Confessions of a Real Estate Man, also available for Kindle, visit http://amazon.com or http://dorrancepublishing.com or http://barnesandnoble.com, $19 in paperback Contact the author for a book signing, call 610-550-9899 or email [email protected]

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