Sidney Torres got his start in real estate as an entry-level worker at a construction company. His job was to sweep the floors and clean the windows of newly-sold homes. As he worked his way up at the company, he became enamored with the idea of flipping houses.
He wanted to purchase his first “fixer upper” home, but there was a problem: He couldn’t afford it on his $25,000 salary.
“So I went to my grandmother,” he said. “I asked if she would help me with this. She says, ‘You have 60 to 90 days to figure out what you want to do. If you’re still passionate, I’ll cosign and help you get your first deal done.’”
With a $40,000 loan cosigned by his grandmother, Torres bought his first investment property and his real estate career took off. The self-made entrepreneur has managed to build an empire of more $300 million-worth of real estate development. Now, Torres, 41, is the host of The Deed, a new CNBC show that premiered on March 1. It shows the “real side of house-flipping,” he says.
“In the show, I work with individuals who can’t go get money from the bank,” he says. “Some of them have involved family and friends in buying something. If I didn’t have the help to get started, I wouldn’t be where I am today, so it’s important to pay it forward.”
In addition to developing real estate, Torres also founded a successful sanitation company and launched a crime-fighting app, which helped reduce crime in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
Given his involvement in the New Orleans community, rumors have been circulating that Sidney might be considering to run for mayor.
“I don’t know, have you ever heard of anyone do reality and run for office,” Torres says with a laugh. “The polls show that I could win if I ran today. But I really think I would be better off working with someone who’s going to be the mayor. We’ll see what happens.”