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The first episode of “The Deed” aired March 1 and featured rookie developer, Nicole Webre, a city zoning consultant. She bought 2.5-acres of land located in New Orleans Irish Channel, an eclectic neighborhood in the midst of a revitalization. The development project is a family affair as Webre’s husband and in-laws have invested, and her parents cosigned for her on a $1.7 million loan. But when Torres arrives on the scene, he learns that the property is close to foreclosure. Viewers watch the drama unfold knowing that these aren’t actors and the possible consequences for her investors are real. “The Deed gives you the real true story of how house flipping works,” said Torres reflecting on the challenges Webre encountered and the emotional toll it takes on her and her investors. To be successful in any endeavor, educating oneself tops Torres’ list of must-do's, and he advises novice developers to align themselves with the top real estate broker in the market that they want to invest in. “It's a very inexpensive way to get information and good data that allows you to make financial p.18

decisions. It’s a free way to learn which areas are hot and which ones are not,” said Torres, adding that he had a mentor when he began selling real estate over 20 years ago. A common mistake he sees developers make occurs while they are negotiating the purchase price of a property, and it’s not until construction is completed and they are ready to sell that they realize the consequences. “You make your money on the buy, not the sale. The sale is where you collect your money. It goes back to doing your homework and educating yourself on data when you're doing the buy. People think that they can pay a little bit more because they can renovate it cheaper, that's the wrong thinking. You've got to go in thinking that you've got to find a great area and negotiate a good deal because you want to have enough cushion during renovation. If you can renovate for less money, that's great, but you want to be able to get in there and have a head start by buying it right,” said Torres. Torres flipped his first house at 20-years-old with the help of his grandmother who co-signed on the loan, but not before insisting that he


go out and do his own homework. She wanted to be sure that her grandson was committed to the effort. Torres said that because of that process, he purchased the property at a great price. Perhaps his grandmother’s approach to business influenced him in other ways too, like noticing how gender differences playout in the business world. “I think women are way better flippers than men. Men seem to have more of an ego, they don't respond and perform the same way as women,” Torres said. In fact, his core management team, including his CEO, CFO, accountant, and assistant are all female, and so are the operators of his 25 companies in sanitation, video poker, retail, and commercial properties. Torres points to commitment, drive, gratitude, and attention to detail as their salient qualities. Often referred to as a serial entrepreneur, Torres lived up to the name in 2015 when he launched IV Capital, a private investment firm that invests in small and mid-sized businesses in the Gulf Coast Region who need capital as well as strategic or managerial support. “I've become more of a managing entity than an operating entity because I've sold three of my large companies and have started a fund, IV Capital, which is a big reason why CNBC asked me to do 'The Deed.' I have about $85 million in the local market that I lend out to people who can't get bank financing. I also partner with banks to help people get bank financing after I get them to a stable place,” Torres explained. One of the companies Torres had sold was SDT Waste & Debris. After Hurricane Katrina pummeled New Orleans in 2005, the city was in dire need of waste management services, so Torres rented a garbage truck and started picking up trash. Though his motivation was to do what he could to help his hometown recover from a catastrophic event, he realized that it was also a business opportunity and went on to build

Issue 77  
Issue 77  

Can Trumponomics Work In The Real World? In the arcane financial world of Trumponomics it's business as usual. For example, the Trump Admin...