Interview with a House Flipper

House Flipper header.jpg

Recently, there’s been an inexplicable surge in the house flipping business. Ordinary people are paying upwards of $19.99 to get their certificate from developer Empyrean, a relatively new company on the scene. Here at Plus One Player, we had the chance to speak with up and coming "House Flipper" Kristine on her experience in the field. Below is a transcript of our interview.

Matt O: Kristine, thanks for joining us today. We appreciate you taking a break from your busy schedule.

Kristine: Of course, and thank you for having me!

M: So, can you tell us how you got into the house flipping business in the first place? It doesn’t seem to be the type of occupation most people would be interested in.

K: You know, it’s a funny story. I was looking through my classified ads on Steam when I saw that there was a new license available: House Flipper. It really caught my eye because there were a slew of positive reviews and it was among the top downloaded games despite being released only very recently! I decided to check it out and see what all the hubbub was about.

M: Interesting! Can you tell us how much experience you’ve cultivated thus far?

K: Oh gosh, I would say at least 15 hours on record. I mean, there’s a lot to it and although it seems like it’s been a short amount of time since I’ve invested in becoming a House Flipper, I’ve really been working hard to find my place in the business.

M: You know, there are some who say that 15 hours isn’t enough to have a true understanding and appreciation of this type of work. What would you say to them?

K: I would say phooey on them! The basics of the job are quite simple: you invest in run-down houses that are uninhabitable, you clean 'em up, you make 'em fit the client’s needs, and then you sell 'em. When you need more revenue to fix up those houses, we offer a service to a select clientele that will email us their specifications for a job and we fulfill those requests. I would say 15 hours is PLENTY of time to navigate the intricacies of this field because the foundation itself is easy to grasp.

M: I would have to agree with you there! Can you describe a typical day on the job for us?

Just one example of how gruesome this job can be.

Just one example of how gruesome this job can be.

K: Well, it depends. I usually start my morning by looking at the client requests. For example, the very first one I got was a young woman whose ex-boyfriend trashed her house. He stole her radiator (which is very common in the neighborhood) and left an absolute mess of garbage bags, boxes, dirt and unidentifiable stains. I just had to clean up the trash, mop up the dirt, and replace the missing radiators! Afterwards, I went to my current project which as of this moment is a house that experienced an electrical fire and was completely burned out. First thing I had to do was clean up any garbage that remaining, then mop up all of the dirt and stains, and then replace the electrical outlets that had been damaged as well as the other appliances. After this interview, I’ll be heading over there to slap on a new coat of paint in what will be the only bedroom!

M: Absolutely fascinating. Thank you for sharing all of those details. Now, what would you say is the toughest aspect of the job?

K: Definitely anytime there is a bug problem. Those critters are the worst! I just have to whip out my vacuum and suck them up, but it takes up quite a bit of time to do so as it isn’t always accurate. Also, I sometimes can’t find where the dirt is! I have a device that lets me see where it is, but no matter how hard I stare or scrub at the walls, I end up missing some of the dirt! It drives me nuts since I’m a perfectionist who wants 100% completion on all of my orders.

M: I understand what you’re saying; it would certainly be nice if your equipment worked all of the time. Moving onto something positive, what is your favorite part of the job?

K: I love seeing the transition from decrepit shack to a home that can be loved and lived in by someone that is looking for that perfect spot to plant their roots.

M: Well that is certainly a noble sentiment. What exactly does making the perfect home entail?

K: As I mentioned before, I’ll buy a house that’s on sale and check out the property, inspecting the house inside and out as well as the surrounding yard. For some reason, the agency does not allow us to modify the yard in any way; we can’t mow it or add any plants or decorations. I’m assuming that they will be implementing some sort of Yard Flipper license in the near future as it is very frustrating to not clean up the yard for my client. After assessing the damage, I'll set about cleaning the house of its dirt and garbage. Then I’ll look at the provided clientele list and renovate and decorate the house to their specifications. This can include building or tearing down walls, painting them a certain color or include furniture of a specific style. This can be an issue sometimes as the materials that are available for purchase through the agency are very limited and it’s frustrating as I feel it limits us House Flippers creativity.

M: Well I don’t know any job that’s all rainbows and sunshine 24/7. What are other aspects that you aren’t particularly fond of?

K: My limited options for decoration are a definite negative. I also can’t move or add windows, which is very strange considering this is a house flipping business, one that is solely focused on renovating houses and furnishing them. I am hoping that with the huge increase of House Flippers that the company will be able to invest in expanding their inventory.

M: One can only hope. At the very least they offered special content the first day they released the program. Just one further clarification from you Kristine: we’ve heard through word of mouth that this job can have a high turn-around rate. Some people just simply get fed up with it after a short amount of time; that they’ve seen what they need to see and they simply feel their time will be better spent elsewhere.

K: I can definitely see where people feel that way, as the job can certainly be repetitive at times. However, since this is a relatively new company and program, I have hopes that they will be introducing more content for us so as to better our ability in serving our clients. It’s important that they listen to their employees in order to better this experience.

M: Thank you so much for this eye opening look at being a House Flipper, Kristine. You’ve certainly provided us an insight that we had not had before.

K: The pleasure was all mine! I’m hoping that more people will give being a House Flipper a chance and that it will flourish with time.