If you’ve watched Flip or Flop, you can see that Tarek and I have come a long way even since the beginning of our first season. We’ve learned a whole lot about flipping houses and working as a husband and wife team along the way. We’ve had a lot of great experiences, and we’ve had a few not-so-great times, too. We’ve worked through houses that didn’t sell and all that real estate investing had to throw at us, but nothing really compares, in my mind, to Tarek’s health scare.
Among our many viewers, we were fortunate enough to have one fan who was a registered nurse. She was watching a marathon of Flip or Flop, and she noticed a large lump at the base of Tarek’s throat. It turned out that the lump she saw (and wrote to our producers about) was actually thyroid cancer that had spread to his lymph nodes and needed to be removed immediately. If she hadn’t been watching, who knows how long my husband would have gone on working tirelessly and ignoring cancer spreading throughout his body?
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the email that Nurse Ryan sent and how lucky we were that she sent it, and it’s made me think a lot about how Tarek and I work together, the mistakes we’ve made, and the lessons we’ve learned. Maybe you can learn a few things from our mistakes, too.
1. Don’t Let Work Take Over Your Health
First of all, Tarek ignored the lump at the base of his throat for months. He didn’t complain about it, and I hardly noticed it. We were both so caught up in the excitement of getting our real estate investing business going and being successful that we didn’t take any time out for ourselves and our health. We got lucky, but it could have easily been a tragedy. So, no matter what else is going on with your business, pay attention to your own health and to each other’s health!
2. Divide and Conquer
On a lighter note, when it comes time to jump into action, it’s almost always best to divide and conquer. You might remember one episode of Flip or Flop when we didn’t have the time to go together to look at a house because the auction was taking place that morning. So, to make sure we were getting a great deal, Tarek went to the house and called me to tell me about it while I was on my way to the auction. By splitting up we were able to do more work and get a great deal.
3. Stay on the Same Page
You’ve probably noticed that Tarek and I disagree on money sometimes. He always thinks that rehabs will cost less than they do, and I sometimes think that his estimates for the market values on our houses are a little high. We always talk it out, though, and in the end we come to an agreement, and we make our move.
4. You’re Both the Boss – Trust Each Other
On that note, don’t try to figure out who should be the “boss”. You’re partners, and you’re both the boss. If one of you feels really uncomfortable about a decision, talk through it until you can figure out what to do to make you both happy.
5. Remember, You’re in It Together!
And, of course, remember that you’re working together because you’re in this together! Real estate investing can be stressful, but it’s a great way to make a living and build a strong relationship, too. We’ve learned a lot on Flip or Flop, and through it all – including Tarek’s health scare – we’ve always had each other.