Four Tips to Upgrade Your Investor Chops and Increase Home Value

Roth’s creative storytelling and approach to homebuilding. “When I got a call from the pro- duction company working for HGTV they said, ‘Hey, we're interested in making a show about what you do. Would you be available for a FaceTime?’ I thought it was a joke,” she said. “But as soon I realized it wasn't a joke, that was a big, aha moment for me, that people are interested in what I'm doing.” ONAMISSIONTO EMPOWER Roth’s call with producers eventually brought forth HGTV’s “Hidden Poten- tial,” which focuses on transforming drab suburban homes into custom dream homes. Now in the midst of filming the show’s second season, Roth said she’s thankful to have the ability to live her passion, help her community and share it with the world. “‘Hidden Potential’ is reality TV, so the cool thing is that I get to do what I love to do, and live my life — there just so happens to be a whole lot of cameras there,” she said. “Not really that much has changed because I always worked really hard, and I al- ways had a lot of projects going. Re- ally the only difference is that we're working a little bit faster because we do things fast for TV.” Incorporating her “California Ca- sual” style into homes, Roth is less about what's on-trend, and more about what is going to actually func- tion and work for a family. “It's sandy feet. It's bikes in the ga- rage. It's surfboards on the front patio. It's open doors and barbecues, and it's just a lot of real life,” Roth said of her breezy, timeless design motifs. “As I've been hanging out here in California and travel a ton, I've gone a little bit more modern, but I still definitely have that traditional, craftsman background to my style.” Regardless of the style, Built Custom Homes can’t keep up with customer demand, Roth said. Since launching the company, Built Custom

When you’ve built, redesigned or flipped dozens of homes like HGTV’s “Hidden Potential” host Jasmine Roth, you know what attracts buyers. Here are some of Roth’s tips to improve your investment game and boost returns.

high-end wood floors.

“I've been using a lot of luxury vinyl right now for my flooring,” she said. “I think people hear ‘vinyl flooring’ and they cringe. But vinyl has come a long, long way. I've put a piece of luxury vinyl and a piece of engineered hardwood next to one another for my most discerning client and they can't tell the difference.”

Timeless design Don’t waste your time scouring


the Internet for the most stylish aesthetics, Roth said. Your home should have an enduring and adaptable design that will appeal to buyers. “My big, overarching advice would be don't try to be on-trend,” Roth said. “Buyers see right through that. Rather, think of a timeless design, something that is functional. Add elements to a property so a buyer can walk in and immediately see how it's going to work for them.” general, is to make spaces work for family life, she said. Choose hardy materials that will last through kids, pets and everyday life. “I'm really big on durable materials,” Roth said. “Put in materials that are family-proof, and kid-proof, and dog- proof. I think it's just a no-brainer.” One piece of durable material Roth recommends is a hardy alternative to 2 Homes has completed 68 custom homes. And when you add in the 17 homes she’ll be revitalizing as part of the second season of “Hidden Poten- tial,” Roth has a full plate. “We're growing rapidly,” she said. “It's to the point right now where I have so many projects going on I can't take new clients, which is a good posi- tion to be in.” "While she loves designing and building, as well as helping families, Roth said to be successful as a real estate investor you have to treat it seriously. Real estate investing is a Function over form Roth’s building philosophy, in

Take measured risks


It’s important to carefully scrutinize your plans and

decisions, Roth said. Realize that, in real estate, things can change quickly and so don’t make too large of commitments that could jeopardize your future. “I've gotten to where I am by managing my risk and not being short- sighted to the fact that we are working in an ever-changing landscape, and whether it be our economy, whether it be tastes and preferences. There are just a lot of moving parts,” Roth said. “For example, if I'm doing a big development, say I'm designing 30 homes, I'm going to design those homes in phases. I'm not going to design all 30, because chances are, by the time I get that 30th house, something is going to have changed.” business and you have to make logi- cal decisions to thrive, she said. “Real estate, unfortunately, a lot of the time, turns into an emotional practice,” Roth said. “But taking the emotion out of buying and selling real estate is the only way that you can be successful long-term as a real estate investor. And you have to treat it professionally.” Whether it be through “Hidden Potential” or Built Custom Homes, Roth’s ultimate mission is to give people the tools and encouragement to add value to their homes in a way

Make data-driven decisions


A self-proclaimed spreadsheet fanatic, Roth encouraged investors to use data to help inform decision making. “I’m big on spreadsheets. I'm big on facts. I'm big on real numbers — things that are black and white,” Roth said. “So for me, if I can mitigate my risk by looking at real numbers, I'm going to do it. That's why I like new construction. It's less risky, in my opinion, even though it takes more money. I can put more numbers into my spreadsheet before I get started than I could on, say, a renovation.” that’s functional and great for a competitive market. “I get feedback from families and people saying, ‘Thank you so much, you gave me the confidence to redo my kitchen, or to buy this house that I wasn't sure about,’” she said. “It's just a pretty cool position to be in, to empower people.” • Bobby Burch is the Founder of Bobby Burch Creative, a small business storytelling studio. Learn more at and contact him at

On set with one of Hidden Potential's biggest stars: Nala, Jasmine's bulldog.

TELLING HER OWN STORY As Built Custom Homes carved out a market in Huntington Beach, Roth was eager to document its projects and experiences along the way. Turning to Instagram, Roth shared behind-the- scenes details of her company’s home builds: demolitions, painting tech- niques, furniture rehabs, antique finds, finished projects and, of course, photos of her bulldog, Nala (pictured above). In addition to personal stories, Roth also aimed for impact with her social media approach. Frequently the only woman on build sites, Roth recognized that what she was doing was rare. As such, she employed the #WomenWhoBuild hashtag to create a community of women investors and homebuilders.

“As I started posting online, I real- ized that what I was doing was pretty unique and that there aren't very many women in construction,” she said. “So I started posting #WomenWhoBuild to bring that community together, and to nod to the fact that what I'm doing is a little bit different. … It's more just bringing attention to the fact that women can do this, and we can do it really well. Whether you're a guy or a girl, it doesn't really matter. As long as you're passionate about it and you're working your butt off, you can do really well in this industry.” Fans and clients alike flocked to Roth’s company. And among her steadily growing base of Instagram followers was a production compa- ny contracted by HGTV, who loved

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