You may have watched the love story of Dallas couple JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers on The Bachelorette. If you’re particularly devoted, you may even remember that, prior to handing out roses, Fletcher was busy building her career in real estate. Today, the engaged couple are preparing to launch Cash Pad, a new reality show on CNBC that teaches homeowners how to turn their properties into short-term rentals. Before the premiere on July 23, we sat down with the pair.
D Home: Tell us how it feels to be back in the reality show sphere.
JoJo Fletcher: You know, I’ll tell you what: It feels a lot different than The Bachelor [or] The Bachelorette. This is something that I did professionally before the show. So, to be able to do this and do it now with Jordan is so fun. It’s such a dream. They both have their own types of stresses, but I’ll tell you—I cried less on this one.
DH: How did you first get into flipping houses?
JF: When I graduated college—or actually, kind of in college—I started to get into real estate development. It’s been something that my family has always sort of done on the side. But I started doing it in college because I was looking for a house to live in and there was nothing on our campus. So, I went to my parents and told them, “Listen, there’s a demand here; people want to look at houses.” When I graduated, I took it over and I started doing more student housing. And then when I moved to Dallas, that’s when I got into remodeling homes.
DH: Jordan, what about you? Is this world newer to you since this show began?
Jordan Rodgers: Not since the show began, but since JoJo and I started flipping houses together. I got roped in real fast—didn’t read that fine print in the engagement contract. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been involved in multiple fitness and nutrition startups, and I own a coffee shop. My mind has always been business oriented, so to kind of flip the switch and learn as I go and be side-by-side with JoJo has been a ton of fun and a lot of work. I’m not competing against 25 guys anymore. It’s more inspectors, and timelines, and the heat when I’m outside. So, it’s been a lot of fun.
DH: There’s a lot more physical labor involved.
JR: Totally. I’m the free labor, you know? I thought I was getting a paycheck for this, but I just signed up to be the free labor.
DH: JoJo, why this is something you’ve wanted to continue in your career?
JF: There is no better place to put your money than in real estate. And I love the remodel aspect; I love the renovation. I love seeing something look so terrible and having a lot of people not see the potential in it, and then getting to see the final product. So, with this show, the fact that we’re knocking out these renovations in one week is so rewarding because that normally doesn’t happen. That’s been the coolest part about this whole show.
DH: A week seems like a really fast-paced amount of time to be doing these flips. What has that process been like?
JF: We’re doing all different types of properties. They are short-term rentals, so they’re owned by homeowners [and] a lot of the times, they’re not huge square footage. We’ve done as small as 300 square feet to as big as 2,600 square feet. So, they’re not too big and we have an amazing crew.
DH: The show takes place in Dallas, Austin, and Phoenix. Obviously, you guys are local to Dallas, but why those cities specifically?
JR: As far as short-term rentals go, Austin is hot for a ton of reasons. The food industry, the music, tourism is huge there—the market for short term rentals is out of this world. You can kind of do anything in Austin, and it all goes. From a shipping container [to] an Airstream, we have a lot of funky properties that we’re able to turn into what we believe are going to be very successful short-term rentals.
We did a few in Dallas, obviously, because that’s [what] we are used to. And then Phoenix has been one of the fastest growing cities in the country for the past three years.
DH: How does Dallas’ real estate scene differ from those two cities?
JF: Dallas has a great mix of city life. There’s variety here and the places we’re doing are so centrally located. It’s a huge hub for people traveling for business—it’s always a stop. That’s why the short-term rental market is really popular here.
JR: You have people in their 20s, and 30s, and 40s that are traveling, and I think this generation sometimes prefers to stay at Airbnbs or short-term rentals than hotels.
DH: Why do you think people are so into this concept right now—the Airbnb style as opposed to a hotel?
JF: I think it all just comes down to the experience. Hotels can become cookie cutter. When we travel, we prefer to stay at different Airbnbs and short-term rentals. If you’re going to travel, why not make the stay an experience?
DH: Tell us about the people who want to flip their spaces.
JR: Anyone. For the show, we were working with homeowners that have an ancillary aspect to their property, whether it’s a shipping container, or an Airstream trailer, or a garage. It’s just sitting there with a ton of potential, but most of these homeowners have no idea how to do that, or they don’t have the money to invest. That’s where we come in: investing the money, flipping the space, teaching these homeowners how to be hosts, how to run a business, what makes a successful short-term rental, how to stand out from your competition. Those little things make a huge difference.
DH: What’s your favorite tip for homeowners on how they can make their place really special?
JF: We always try and create an experience for our guests. With all the cities that we go to, we’ll try and find something local. For example, we’ll get classes or tickets for experiences that our guests can do as soon as they arrive. Little touches like charcuterie boards, wine bottles, and stocked fridges.
JR: Some people have the luxury of knowing the city well or knowing someone in the city. A lot of people don’t though, so giving them an option when they show up—they don’t even have to think about it. They can just get out there and experience the city right away.
DH: What’s a favorite spot to show your guests in Dallas?
JF: We always recommend people [checking] out a Rangers game or a Mavericks game, or the House of Blues. There’s always a great up-and-coming restaurant here. We also love the Farmers Market.
DH: What was the most surprising thing for you guys during filming or renovating?
JR: Nothing is ever going to go how it’s supposed to go. So, being able to think on your feet and find a way to adjust and make it work within the timeline. Rolling with the punches will make you successful.
JF: Always keep in mind that at the end of the day it’s a business, so budgets are important. When people get into renovations, they sometimes get carried away with what they want and lose sight of the financials. In order for your business to be successful, your numbers have to be right.
JR: The question should be: “How can it allow us to charge more per night, sleep more guests, and/or make us more money?” Everything has to be looked at through that frame.
DH: Are there any teasers or tidbits we should watch for in the season?
JF: As far as design goes, every single one of our properties are so different. You’re going to see a lot of variety in this show. You’re going to learn a lot about the business … but also how to design and style a space that people will love.
DH: We have to ask … are there any wedding plans in the near future for you guys?
JF: That’s actually next on our list; we just finished filming so we’re going to check out a bunch of venues here in the next month.
JR: As soon as we pick a venue, we’ll be setting a date and then the planning really starts.
Catch the premier of Cash Pad on CNBC on July 23 at 9:00 p.m., CST. There are eight episodes in total, with two taking place in Dallas.