Learn why New York Times best sellers, PhDs and HGTV hosts have raved about The Flip, a real estate docufiction that chronicles the real estate crisis-before, after and now.
TR: Who should buy the book?
SP: Hopefully everyone.
TR: Short of everyone, who else?
SP: Anyone who loves breathing. Or more nicely - because I appreciate your interest in the book, Todd; the book is an ideal match for a wide range of folks. Since PhDs, HGTV hosts and athletics have chimed in on The Flip, I'd like to think anyone from brianics, home improvement cable junkies, entrepreneurial types.. and even, em.jaded real estate investors would find value in the book.
TR: Anyone else you forget?
SP: Yeah, and I hope you're not being facetious. How about anyone who likes a good 'crash and burn' story! That sounds harsh, but true. But it's a self-effacing book. One that's meant to teach and tell a few good stories along the way.
TR: Some have suggested it's a real estate memoir on steroids! What say you?
SP: Todd, you're starting to sound like Bill O'Reilly there. (Laughs). On steroids did you say?
TR: On steroids.
SP: Okay..Ahh. How about on lots and lots and lots of coffee. Although there's a memoir aspect. (pause), at the end of the day, it's a real estate book that teaches the benefits of aggressive acquisition tactics coupled with prudence and self-restraint. I think many will find the narrative to be instructive, humbling and hopefully, useful.
TR: Can you elaborate?
SP: Nope. That's it. There are no accidents.
TR: Any chance of The Flip becoming a best seller?
SP: (Laughs)..God, I hope you're kidding. About as much chance as Bernie Madoff being released on good behavior. But thanks for asking.I think.
TR: In terms of what real estate investors like yourself did the past decade, your book might be considered the real estate version of the grunt's perspective in the movie The Hurt Locker. It's very gritty and almost crude in some areas. It clearly isn't about high-level U.S. Generals in air-conditioned offices in Florida directing drones to kill jihadist insurgents. Guys like you were actually in the front line. Some took direct fire and were able to tell the tale. What was your outcome? Any permanent injuries?
SP: If you call a ,000,000 to ,000,000 bankruptcy filing-permanent injures, I guess you can say my injuries weren't merely flesh wounds. Put it this way, after the ashes..banks weren't exactly happy to see my name on the dotted line.
TR: Any regrets on your boom and bust odyssey?
SP: None at all. I hate to sound corny. But it's better to have loved, then to not loved at all.
TR: Why and when did you write The Flip?
SP: It was first written with the idea of creating a 100% bonafide 'how-to' real estate book. Straight up, no chaser, just a nuts-n-bolts, no thrills real estate book. But then I wrote it, and that was like.. about 2006, no I mean 2005..believe it or not. And then I just put the book down, things were so positively busy. But in a good way. Then the world changed. And when I picked it up to finish about 2008, the last 3 to 4 four chapters had a decidedly different ending. It was actually pretty goddamn painful to write.
And that's when.. when, it actually became more of a real estate memoir, more than anything else.
TR: What about Machiavellian tactics?
SP: What about 'em!
TR: You talk about Machiavellian tactics in the Flip.
SP: There's tons of it in the book. Way too much to go into now. That said, I don't think readers will be disappointed.
TR: What do you hope to accomplish?
SP: Ideally, readers will learn the day in the life of a new tract home investor. And how to do things the right way, like I did. But...the real accomplishment I hope.is that it will give an up close and personal look of the 'how-to' on buying real estate in a realistic user-friendly way. Some of the books I've read on real estate seem to dummy down..are, ah. give this 'smoke and mirrors' way of buying real estate, when it really comes down to exercising financial prudence, sprinkled with a bit of good ole all American swagger to it.
TR: Who is to blame for this catastrophic meltdown in the economy?
SP: I wish I could say it was all Wall Street's fault, since they're an easy target. But to be painfully honest, the culpability is far and wide on this one. Not that we shouldn't point the finger at the cuff-link-wearing jackasses on Wall Street, but we can apportion blame on those that used their homes as an ATM machine. We can also point to the politicos, the rating agencies, the bureaucrats.which includes the Fed, the FDIC, the SEC and the misguided do-gooders at Fannie and Freddie. Everybody has blood on their hands on this one. And god willing, we'll be able to wash our hands clean.
TR: What's the take away?
SP: I can give you the take away in three words. Buy the book!
TR: Seriously. If a reader wanted to learn something from The Flip, what would it be?
SP: Fair question. Hmmm...(pause). How about, do as I say, not as I did. That really is the lesson to be learned from The Flip. The less 'crash and burn' victims out there, the better.