The goal of house-flipping is simple: buy low, sell high. But with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, first-time investors need an experienced mentor to walk them through the laborious, yet potentially lucrative, process of successfully flipping a property.
In HGTV's Flipping Virgins (9 p.m. Mondays), host and executive producer Egypt Sherrod is the house-flipping sensei. With more than 15 years of experience in real estate, Sherrod navigates first-time flippers through every aspect of the procedure, from acquisition to sale of the renovated property.
"I grew up knowing that real estate is the foundation of wealth. There is one thing in this world that we'll never get more of, and that's land," said Sherrod, whose uncles were involved in real estate and encouraged her to buy property. "I grew up around it constantly, to the point that I didn't want to be in real estate, but life sometimes brings you around full circle."
In the show, Sherrod is known for her kind but firm sentiments. When new flippers get antsy or begin to question whether they've made the right decision, Sherrod lovingly gets them back on track. She tells a first-time flipper, "Right in the middle of construction, confusion and uncertainty costs time and money," then offers reassurance with a warm hug.
According to Sherrod, Flipping Virgins is not only about fixing up houses to resell at high market rates. It's also about empowering people who may not have had access to an advice column on investing in houses. Flipping Virgins is the bridge to financial freedom for some viewers.
Before Flipping Virgins, a spinoff of Property Virgins, Sherrod, who was "bit by the radio bug" while studying broadcasting at Temple University, had a long career as a radio personality. She was an on-air personality at Philly 103.9 FM and a host in Baltimore, New York City, and Atlanta.
Throughout her radio career, Sherrod said, she always heard a small voice in her head urging her to invest in real estate. Due to the "volatile" and ever-evolving radio industry, Sherrod knew she needed a supplemental source of income to stabilize her finances.
"When you work in radio or you're a news broadcaster, there's only a handful of those types of jobs in every city," she said. "If a radio station decides to change its format, not only are you out of a job, you might have to relocate."
Sherrod found herself in the unemployment line in New York City, which she said is a "tough city to be unemployed in." She decided then that she needed to be more focused on her real estate side hustle. "I needed two or three careers," Sherrod said. "Radio is fun, but [I knew] it was time to get serious about my finances and my future. Not only was I working as a radio personality, but every celebrity, every manager, every executive that walked into my studio also left with my business card, knowing that I could also sell them a house."
Sherrod says there is a sense of freedom that comes with ownership and being responsible for your own financial destiny. She also underscored the pressure of being an entrepreneur, the inherent sense of stress and anxiety that comes with being responsible for your own income flow.
Although Sherrod is grateful for what she learned in her 20 years in radio, she's much more fulfilled by the idea of being in control of her financial prosperity.
"I would much rather invest my blood, sweat, and tears into myself to grow my own business and my own brand than to help companies make millions off of my back," Sherrod said.
Sherrod's approach is anchored by "sweat-equity," in which homeowners complete renovation tasks themselves instead of hiring outside contractors, ultimately saving thousands of dollars. With her sassy puns and rambunctious personality, Sherrod makes first-time flippers feel at ease. Viewers watch as she walks homeowners through tiling floors, demolishing walls, installing wall treatments, and gardening.
"I'm passionate about [real estate] because it's a type of thing where if a young girl from Broad and Olney in Philadelphia can make millions [flipping houses], once people know how to do it the right way, they can do it, too."