BUFFALO, NY - You could say Lorissa L. (Hint) Naugle ‘07 literally flipped careers.
Shortly after graduation from Canisius, the communications major went to work in the foreclosure department at Bank of America. Within a year, the nation’s real estate bubble burst and Naugle’s primary charge was to help customers modify their mortgage payments to avoid foreclosure and enable them to stay in their homes.
A decade later, Lorissa still lives in the real estate world but in a much different way.
She and her husband, Chris, a real estate investor and entrepreneur, flip houses. A lot of houses.
Through their company, LC Strategic Realty, the couple purchases, renovates and sells houses for a profit. In the last 10 years, the couple flipped more than 150 homes in the Western New York market.
“My experience in helping people avoid foreclosures taught me that there are opportunities in area real estate,” Lorissa explains. “Now I am helping to save homes and showing people how they can profit by doing so.”
Lorissa and Chris launched FlipOut Academy, a real estate education program that teaches people the art of flipping. Lorissa describes it as a for-purpose and for-profit business.
“Making money for the sake of money is an old school way of thinking,” she says. “Ours is a business model that aims to make a profit while also making a positive impact in the community.”
More than 60 students are currently enrolled in FlipOut Academy to learn the tricks of the trade. Participants can choose their level of participation, ranging from seminars at the company’s education center in the Eastern Hills Mall to hands-on training in every aspect of the process. Chris brings his financing and real estate investment expertise to the company. Lorissa, along with artist and partner, Blair Rusin, are the visionaries for what a house will look like after renovation.
In fact, it was Lorissa’s style and innovation that grabbed the attention of HGTV producers a few years ago. Impressed by the complete transformations of the FlipOut properties, the network featured a few of the company’s flipped homes on different programs. That brief spotlight prompted the couple to make a self-produced pilot of a show on flipping homes. They pitched it to the network and “Risky Builders” premiered in June on HGTV.
The first episode featured a renovated home on Tonawanda Creek Road in Clarence Center. (It is scheduled to rerun on Thursday, August 9 at 11:00 p.m.) The couple has their fingers crossed that the program will continue for a full season and more.
“We really want to get picked up because we know what we can do for this community,” says Lorissa, who likens her story to that of Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”
“That program helped put their native Waco, Texas, on the map,” adds Lorissa. “We want to do the same for Buffalo.”