After nearly a decade renovating small businesses on The Profit, Marcus Lemonis is taking his talents inside the home on The Renovator. He’ll be tackling the business of home in the new HGTV series, premiering on October 11. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Marcus about why The Renovator was the perfect next project for him after The Profit.
“The Profit is one of those classic shows that I think will never go away. Everybody always wants to talk about it. I was out yesterday and somebody said, ‘Hey, The Profit’s got a new show called The Renovator. Why didn’t you just call it The Profit?’ I’m like, ‘Well, it’s kind of a different idea.’ What happened was I spent a decade inside the reality of small business in America,” Marcus told HollywoodLife. “A common theme is that you had good businesses and bad businesses, and the good businesses had something in common, which was a good home and a good personal life. So we know what the opposite means. COVID hit and I started to really become concerned about divorce rates, foreclosures, a lot of issues happening at home, people fighting, and we’re all with people all the time now. Everybody feels like they’re in smaller spaces.”
He continued, “So I sat down in January of 2020, almost three years ago with HGTV, and said, ‘Look, I’d like to do this show.’ They looked at me and they’re like, ‘You’re a business guy. Thank you so much for coming by, but are you sure this is a good fit?’ I said, ‘Well, listen. I spend my life working on people, not businesses. I know you guys are not aware of it, but I’ve renovated lots of businesses. Renovating homes is what I do. Just because people don’t know about it doesn’t mean I’m not capable.’ So I gave them this pitch to go into families’ homes and not only renovate the house but renovate the families. I wanted to really change the way people thought about their homes. If you’re an HGTV viewer, this show will feel very different for you. If you are a historical Profit viewer, this show will feel very familiar to you.”
Marcus noted that The Renovator gives viewers the chance to “peek into other people’s issues at home. I’m dealing with a husband and wife who don’t agree on how to parent kids. I’m dealing with a divorced couple that wants to get back together. I’m dealing with a father and daughter who lost their mother and can’t move on. I’m dealing with a husband and wife where the wife discovers that the husband was hiding $200,000 of cryptocurrency that she didn’t know existed. We’re dealing with real family issues. I’m dealing with a house that has mold in it, and the husband almost dies, but he didn’t know why. We’re dealing with real issues. I wanted at the end of the season for a viewer to say I saw myself in at least one of those episodes, sitting with their spouse or their partner saying, ‘Hey, babe, that’s us… Hey, those are our kids… This is our situation… We need to fix this… We need to know these things… We need to have a plan… We need to understand money… We need to communicate better.'”
The host stressed that this is not your run-of-the-mill home improvement show. “One, home improvement is more than just the walls,” Marcus said. “My one line to this family is, ‘Move a wall, change an attitude.’ The other thing that was kind of fun for me is that I put the garden back in Home & Garden Television. I do exterior renovations, big ones, in every episode because I’m a big believer that the value of the house is established by the four corners of the property, not the four walls of the house. Part of what gets families to spend more time together is to have good outside space as well.”
Throughout his journey filming the first season, Marcus noticed a number of trends in the homes he helped renovate from the inside out. “One was deferred maintenance. People are letting their houses go, and they’ll blame it on money, which is a giant crock of not-good stuff because it doesn’t cost money to have soap and water and spend some time picking up the garbage in your yard,” Marcus continued. “The second thing is the lack of communication inside the home, where people weren’t necessarily getting their needs met because they weren’t communicating what their needs were. That is a big problem. The third is the lack of knowledge that people have about their home financials.”
Marcus looks at the home like a business. “When you look at a business, you would say to yourself, is the business profitable? Or does it lose money? How do you determine that certain amount of revenue and a certain amount of expenses? If one adds up to more than the other, there’s your answer. It’s no different in your house, specifically, you with your house,” Marcus explained. “You have income that comes in, that’s the money that goes into your checking account, and you have expenses that go out, that’s the money to pay rent or mortgage and whatever all that stuff is that it takes to live at the end of the month. Are you upside down? Are you right-side up? I’ve asked a lot of homeowners about that, and they don’t know the answer. The reason they don’t know the answer is because we can pull on credit lines on our house. We can put stuff on our credit cards, and we don’t know if we’re deficient. Part of the other piece of this strategy of mine over the next several years is to build financial home literacy, where people aren’t buying things they shouldn’t buy. They’re living the right way. That’s a big, big concern, especially going into this dark economy we’re about to go into.”
The Renovator host also broke down how he would define the business of home. He told HollywoodLife that there are two primary issues at hand.
“One is the most exciting thing that I’ve ever done in my whole life was buying my first home. I paid $267,450 for my house 20-something years ago. It was the scariest moment. I had to have a downpayment of $17,150. I know those numbers because they left a lasting impression on me. But when you make that home purchase, particularly for most people, the goal is to pass that on to the next generation. The goal is to preserve that value, and I want people to do that. That’s an asset like in your business. That’s an asset you should protect,” Marcus said.
He added, “The second thing is understanding the health of the house and the health of the business is the same. What do the financials look like? What are the taxes? What’s the maintenance? What’s the income? What are the expenses? How does it all work? How does our house compare to our neighbor’s house? What’s the value? What’s the market tell us? How much debt do we have? What’s the interest rate? I want people to understand all of that. Whether people like it or not, I’m going to give them the inside baseball information on homeownership that most people probably don’t want them to know — how to get a mortgage, how to properly buy a home, and what are the steps that it takes. I view myself as an educator, not an entertainer, and I use media as my entertainment platform to get my message across. It’s that simple for me.” The Renovator will air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on HGTV.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.