Sidney Torres is striving to save real estate flippers in need with his new CNBC series ‘The Deed’ and told Hidden Remote what drives his mission.
Sidney Torres is the star of CNBC‘s newest reality series The Deed. But Sidney Torres is more than just a TV personality. He’s an entrepreneur who spends his own money helping those in his home of New Orleans who can’t get the bank to give them the time of day.
And in The Deed he’s taking his talents to work with four different real estate developers who are about to sink. He’ll personally strike deals and get his hands dirty to help them dig themselves out of their precarious predicaments.
Hidden Remote spoke to Sidney at the Television Critics Association press tour to find out what motivates him to put his own finances on the line for others, why he decided to make a TV show, and learn about his connection to FOX‘s new drama APB.
Read what Sidney had to tell us below and then tune into the series premiere of The Deed on Wednesday, March 1 at 10/9c on CNBC.
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Hidden Remote: You’ve been successful helping people without any kind of fanfare. What made you say that you wanted to put this on TV?
Sidney Torres: It happened through Jim Ackerman, who’s in charge of programming of CNBC. He basically came to me and asked if I would be interested in doing a business show, a real estate show.
I’m already in the lending business and investing in people who want to get into the real estate game. I usually deal with people who can’t get financing from a bank, people who are good at researching and finding the right deal, finding the equity in the right deal. I was already doing that before this show.
When Jim wanted to put this on TV, he was like we’re not going to use your people. We’re going to cast and find people in need and more dire need, and those are the people we’re going to put in front of you to see if you can figure out a deal.
Hidden Remote: With CNBC doing the casting, how much information did they give you for each of these four episodes? What did you know about each flipper going into filming?
Torres: They give me a shot sheet, is basically what I call it. It’s the property address, how much the person has invested in the property, how much they need to finish the property, [and] what they can sell it for. They don’t give me the person’s name or tell me their background. They just tell me about the deal.
The first time I meet them it’s on camera, so there’s a moment of getting their figure. What the person’s like, how they operate, how they live their personal lives. Because that’s all part of do I want to invest half a million or $300,000 into them. In my four shows, I’ve put up $1.4 million of my own cash to fund these deals.
Hidden Remote: Was there an adjustment period for you as far as doing business on camera?
Torres: Not really. I have in the last few years been on camera a lot with my efforts of helping my city of New Orleans after [Hurricane] Katrina so I’m pretty used to having cameras around and being under pressure with cameras. I didn’t have any difficulties with it. I’ve been on camera before with the garbage company I was operating [IV Waste] doing deals like that, so the cameras were not so difficult for me. Maybe when the person was borrowing the money, they had to get used to it a couple times, but it’s amazing in the world of filming. People get comfortable pretty quickly.
Hidden Remote: Obviously the show can’t pack their whole stories into 42 minutes. So will we get to see how these deals ultimately pan out once your work is done?
Torrea: The viewers are absolutely going to see what happens at the end of each show. Some of the shows end where they’re a success and some of them end where they’re not much of a success, as far as the person took my advice and went down the right road of what I think and feel from my experience is the way to develop.
In every deal it’s based on the person, and even if it doesn’t go down the pretty road and goes down a difficult road, they still owe me the money at the end of it. There’s still a follow-up at the end of each episode of where the person stands. Do they still sit on the house? Do they still owe me the money? Have they paid me back? There’s always an ending even if it’s not a pretty ending.
It’s not like you go to commercial break and you know the problem in the next scene coming back from commercial break. It doesn’t work like that in this show. We go to set and there’s no pickups that need to be done. We film what’s going on.
Hidden Remote: You have four episodes and then The Deed moves to Chicago with Sean Conlon. So how much does the city in which you do business change the way in which you do business?
Torres: The cities are completely different. Chicago is completely different than New Orleans. I think the city’s going to benefit from [the show] because all the B-roll footage is beautiful. The great architecture, the culture there, the music, so I think it’s going to benefit both cities.
The way we do our deals is totally different. He’s a real estate broker; I’m a real estate investor/contractor/construction guy. I think people are going to learn from both shows. He does deals differently than I do but you can learn from both.
Hidden Remote: Did you two ever get a chance to compare notes or share stories?
Torres: Today’s the one time we’ve been in the same room together. The two shows are totally separate.
Hidden Remote: Speaking of other shows, the new FOX drama APB is also based on you and the FQ Task Force app that you created. How is it for you personally to be on one series and have another series that is based on your story?
Torres: It’s amazing to think that 2017 is going to be a good TV year for me. It’s a good way to start to have a show about my real life business and what I do. Then a [second] show about me and what I created to help out my town and fix the crime issue. I feel really blessed.
Hidden Remote: So what’s going to make you consider expanding into reality TV worthwhile?
Torrea: If I can do something that teaches someone how to get into the real estate game or I inspire them to get creative and do something in their own business world, that makes me feel good. I love helping people. I’ve always been someone who likes to see someone else succeed and do well. I always tell my staff, my employees, I’m always harder on myself than I am anyone else. So hopefully I can look back and say that people are learning from the show and it inspires people to do deals.
Hidden Remote: Is there anything specific that you’re hoping the audience takes away from The Deed?
Torres: It’s a show that’s real, it’s organic, it’s the true side of flipping. It’s not something that everybody can do. But a lot of people can do it if they want to do the homework and the footwork to do it. I didn’t start out with a bunch of money; I started out with a co-signature from my grandmother.
I feel that if you are working a nine-to-five job and really love architecture, you like construction, or you like doing repairs on your bathroom or redoing your kitchen and you feel you could do that on a flipping side, this is a great show to watch.
Watch Sidney Torres in action when The Deed premieres Wednesday, March 1 at 10 p.m. on CNBC. APB airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX.
The Deed premieres March 1 at 10/9c on CNBC.