Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis are traversing the roads of the Pacific Northwest in their trademark VW van for another season of Unsellable Houses. The HGTV series sees the twin sisters work with homeowners to help renovate, design, and stage properties failing to sell.
The dynamic duo also put their money where their mouth is by investing in these transformations in the hope of attracting buyers, splitting the difference with clients. For season 4, they face their most significant challenges yet. Among them is an unstable real estate market with increased interest rates and inflation, especially in the region.
Here the heads of Lamb & Co. Real Estate describes their business dynamic and how they put some serious money on the line to take these houses from unsellable to undeniable.
How often are you recognized now that the show is so popular? Do you get a lot of people who stop you while you’re in the van?
Leslie Davis: I would say we definitely get recognized fairly often, especially when we’re at the airport or in other states where we aren’t normally. When we are home in Snohomish, [Washington], most people here I would say are kind of over us. We grew up here. We were raised with so many people here. Being able to have that sense of people being excited to meet us, our kids find it fun. If it’s Lyndsay and I together, and we have the van, and we’re wearing our signature look. All those things together make the perfect storm for being recognized.
How would you say your working dynamic has evolved? It seems even when you have disagreements, they don’t linger.
Leslie: Lyndsay and I definitely respect each other and know what each other’s strengths are. We both are big micro-managers. We like to know what is going on, but we will give away freedom when it makes the most sense to. Just like the show, Lyndsay is absolutely the designer. The one that has a better eye for that. Ninety-nine percent of the time she is leading all the decisions and conversations in different areas. I tend to stick to the financial and business side of things. When she wants to know where the money is going, I run that by her. I like to know what we’re doing in terms of what products we’re bringing in and what designs we have in a house coming up. She’ll run it by me. We push back on each other, but we give each other mostly freedom in the areas we are best in. It has always been like that. Even growing up, we know each other’s strengths. I would make all the plans on the weekends with our friends and schedule how we get there. Lyndsay would go along and pick out the clothes we would wear.
So you’re saying together you make up one brain.
Leslie: It’s funny I say that all the time to Lynds, and she hates it. But it’s absolutely true.
What stood out to you this season?
Lyndsay Lamb: We have a new project manager, which we are super excited about. Owen [Mather] has been a great addition to the dynamic. The market was insane this year. I would say this year you will see us more stressed and more just on edge than ever. The investments become major, major risks several times during the season, just given the time of year we were filming. You definitely catch us at different temperaments, but still having fun.
Leslie: I’m pretty sure you see me gain 30 pounds and lose 30 pounds all within a two-month span because of my stress level.
What’s different about this show is you’re not just helping with the renovations and redesigns, you have a monetary vested interest. The first episode you’re investing $100,000 alone. How many projects do you work on at once?
Leslie: It is absolutely all of our money. The way production stacks we could be working on five homes at once time. The first home or second home could finish, but those still have to sell and go through escrow before we get that money back. So we can start work on two others. It’s a while before we would ever see the funds back on house one or two. We’ve had money out on up to eight homes at the same time. It’s definitely stressful. During the first episode it is one of the most stressful of this season because it’s a large investment. This season started for us right in the shift of the market. It sets the tone for how this market is and the real quick pivots we had to do. We would say, “Holy crap, we could be sitting on $100,000 out of pocket for six weeks of renovation.”…Then I have to finish an entire season of 13 homes in a six-month period. Now it’s over a million dollars tied up. How does this affect running all these businesses that we have and our capital? You’ll definitely see the mental effects of how we have to restructure our thought process and how we do things with the change of the market.
How is life at home knowing these high-risk business deals are going down?
Leslie: I live in a house with three teenage boys and a husband that works for the Seattle Seahawks. He has a very stressful job as well. We’re definitely very intentional, and we try to not bring the stress of work home because it could definitely take away from our enjoyment with the kids. Lyndsay and I have to work hard to keep each other accountable when it comes to our choices and attitudes and the way we are prioritizing things in life. Lyndsay is really good at being done at the end of the day and going home. I’m not as great, We constantly have to check each other.
Lyndsay: We’re just always reminding each other what the priorities are. I have set a lot of boundaries as far as not working at all on Sundays, trying to keep that boundary as much as I can. I also need an obnoxious amount of sleep. So I typically have my phone turned off by 8:30 every day. Leslie has her phone on all hours of the day and night. That doesn’t help.
The first couple we meet are moving cross-country. What can you say about some of the others we’ll see this season?
Lyndsay: We work with a couple of really sweet couples who are downsizing just because of their phase of life. We work with a couple of family members who are selling the property for a loved one. We have a woman who is selling her family estate after everyone has moved out of the house. That’s the one we run into quite the sticky situation and really gives us some stress points.
With this being TV Insider, are there any shows you like to binge right now?
Leslie: I don’t know if we are to divulge the type of TV we watch.
Lyndsay: I watch really great TV. I like the darker, better for me. It’s pretty bad. I love those type of TV Shows. I’m currently watching Peaky Blinders for the third time.
Leslie: I watch anything on streaming that is considered very educational. I love crash TV. If Andy Cohen would do a reunion with them, I would watch it.
Have you ever had a celebrity reach out or DM you on social media to say they are a fan of your show?
Lyndsay: Kam Chancellor [of the Seattle Seahawks]. When the show first came out, he said how much he loved our designs. Him and his wife Tiffany.
So maybe a future client?
Lyndsay: That would be good!
Unsellable Houses, Sundays, 8/7c, HGTV