We all know how entertaining it is when the complex details of the property market are summarized in a half hour TV show. Whether you’re hooked on Property Brothers, Love It or List It, or Fixer Upper, reality TV shows make renovations and property flipping seem easy. While real estate investors can definitely learn a thing or two from these shows, there are lots of things going on behind the scenes that are completely left out and just as important. Let’s take a look at what you can and can’t learn from reality TV so you can set realistic expectations for your next project.

Be Prepared for Drama

Above all else, reality TV is all about the drama. While fix-and-flip shows certainly go overboard, and some incarnations are just soap operas in disguise, there is a powerful lesson to learn between the yelling and the tears. Property flipping can be eventful and incredibly dramatic, so you should always expect the unexpected if you want to stay ahead of the curve. Things never go exactly according to plan, so don’t expect them to. Create a contingency fund so that you’re financially prepared when Murphy’s Law comes into play. Extend your deadlines further than you think. Be realistic about your goals in order to avoid endless frustrations.

You Can’t Do It All Yourself

The interaction between team members is perhaps the biggest selling point of fix-and-flip TV shows. While you should try to avoid the drama of reality TV, you can’t escape the importance of teamwork when it comes to a renovation. Doing it all yourself is simply not an option. Not only will you take forever to complete your project, but you’ll also have less professional results and generate significant opportunity costs along the way. Whether you’re working with your partner, accepting help from your kids, or employing a team of qualified and experienced tradespeople, playing to your strengths is the only way to succeed.

The Importance of the ‘Wow’ Factor

Property flipping TV shows are never shy to emphasize the importance of the ‘wow’ factor. Creating a unique advantage is crucial in any competitive property market, something that stands out, a home that will be remembered. Whether you create a killer bathroom, a beautiful outdoor landscape, or a unique color scheme throughout the house, you need to find a way to attract potential buyers and keep them interested. If you can get a potential buyer to invest his or her emotions into a home, you will find it so much easier to get a sale and protect your asking price.

What’s Missing from Fix & Flip TV Shows

While modern reality TV can be incredibly informative, it’s certainly not comprehensive. From the details of specific renovations through to market research and choosing a location, there are lots of things left out for the sake of good TV. Perhaps the biggest thing left out of these shows is the most important of all — securing finance for your property investment. It doesn’t matter how well you can work in a team or how much wow factor you can generate if you don’t have access to funds in the first place.

Financing Options

When you’re flipping a property, you have the choice between traditional financing and private money lending. While banks and credit unions do have their place, fix-and-flip projects are the perfect fit for private money loans. There are many advantages to private money lending, including more lending choices, greater flexibility, enhanced transparency, and increased speed of approval and closing. When you have your financing in place, you can sit back, turn on the TV, and try to learn as much as possible with your expectations well and truly in check.

Interested in private money financing and hard money lending?