The Scott brothers are somewhat like the Kardashians of home renovations, if you think about it.
Drew Scott, the licensed Realtor, and Jonathan Scott, the contractor, have spun a number of TV shows off of their original "Property Brothers" brand, and then there’s the Scott Living retail line, a new book, a country album, even the brother’s eldest sibling, J.D., has gotten into the family business.
Jonathan Scott says the twins had the entrepreneur spirit as children, selling their homemade nylon-wrapped hangers, studded with rosettes, door-to-door to neighbors before meeting a woman with a chain of American paraphernalia stores in Japan.
"She started buying them by the thousands. She loved them, and they were selling like hotcakes," Scott says during a phone call from Toronto where the brothers are currently filming. "So these two 7-year-old kids, we were hiring our brother, we had friends helping, our mom was helping, and we were selling thousands of these hangers.
"We were little moguls at 7 years old."
Jonathan and Drew Scott will be special guests at the Fort Wayne Newspapers SHE Expo on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum. Jonathan Scott says the twins will cover a little bit of everything in their 45-minute presentation. Fans will be able to ask the brothers questions following the presentation.
"Fans just want to hear stories; we show a lot of funny videos, we make fun of Drew a lot, and everybody can get on board with that," Jonathan Scott says. "And then we show some of the tips and tricks about how we stretch a budget.
"Clearly, it’s impossible for anyone to renovate for the same price we do on the show, because I don’t charge a general contractor fee for my time (on the show), I don’t charge for the design, there’s a lot of discounts we give people, but there are other things that people can do that will also stretch their budget."
One thing that he suggests for homeowners who are looking to sell their home is to remember that "it doesn’t matter what you like. It’s what buyers like," but not to overspend on improvements.
Scott says a "mild renovation" that freshens everything up is the better option. When moving into a new space, Scott says to search "thousands of pictures" on Pinterest and begin building your inspiration board. Feel free to imitate the design elements you like.
"There are a lot of things you can do that are not going to cost an arm and a leg. Some of the easiest things you can do is paint. It’s simple, anybody can do it. There’s videos on YouTube. Flooring is actually not too bad," he says.
The brothers were first introduced to HGTV audiences as the perfect pairing of real estate meets home renovation when "Property Brothers" premiered in 2011.
Scott says he films throughout the year, with the two recently shooting new material for "Brothers Take New Orleans." The Scotts will take on friendly competition as they help a homeowner renovate a duplex-style home severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
Scott says the homeowner hired a contractor who ripped the house apart and then disappeared with the money.
Scott is also working on 17 projects in Toronto, and before that, the brothers were filming in New York and Connecticut.
"We don’t have private lives, and we’re total losers," Scott jokes. "We just enjoy what we do."
Scott explains that the TV audiences for home renovations has shifted in past years. He says even with the recession, it didn’t take long for homeowners to rebound and begin improving their homes, but they were much more cost-conscious.
"They wanted to make sure that it was something adding value to the home," he says. "We do a lot of research to figure out what the audience enjoys, what they really relate to, and the feedback that Drew and I get, about half a million messages on social media each week, … one of the things we noticed right from the very beginning is that people were tired of just design shows.
"They wanted to see something hands-on, they want to see that person get in and ripping a wall open and improving the home structurally."
Since "Property Brothers," the show has spun-off several others including, "Property Brothers at Home," "Property Brothers at Home on the Ranch," "Buying and Selling" and "Brother vs. Brother" that air worldwide on HGTV, W Network and Discovery Home and Wealth.
Scott says the brothers try to make sure that every show represents something a little different, Scott says.
"I think it’s the human stories, people love learning about these other people who may be going through something similar," he says.
"We’re very aware of overexposure. We never want to go to a point where we’re just producing more shows for the sake of producing more shows. I don’t think that helps anything. That’s why we keep it different. ‘Brother vs. Brother’ is very different, ‘Property Brothers at Home’ was a great story, you saw our family, you saw our house and the story of how we grew up, and the same with ‘Property Brothers at Home on the Ranch.’
"We definitely try to keep it different, and the emotional ties are very important. When people see another homeowner struggling or another couple struggling, and then they see their success, I think they can get behind them, and it helps inspire them to do something similar in their lives."
Outside of "Property Brothers," the brothers have established their own production company, and they have co-founded Scott Real Estate investment company.
Their book, "Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding and Fixing Your Perfect House," was released in April. There will be copies of the book available at the SHE Expo.
Scott says the brothers have the perfect working relationship and a "No BS policy," meaning the two air any grievances before it leads to any tension.
"We divide and conquer everything we do," Scott says. "You got to get yourselves a twin; it’s the best thing."