What's the Secret to Working Amicably With an Ex?

Flip or Flop Nashville's stars called it quits as a couple—but they just might be real-estate soul mates. We could all learn a thing or two from that kind of teamwork.

Sparks flew when Page Turner and DeRon Jenkins met more than a decade ago: Page hoped her real-estate clients would fall for a home DeRon had built, but it quickly became clear that she was falling for him, too. The romance that grew out of that fateful meeting didn’t last forever, but the working relationship that grew out of their complementary expertise is better than ever.

Page finds properties for the duo to develop, DeRon turns them into dream homes for prospective buyers and we get to follow along on Flip or Flop Nashville. Awesome, no? But ... how does that work, exactly? Consider the nuts and bolts of their post-breakup partnering.

Three Words: Optimism, Optimism, Optimism

While breakups themselves don’t feel productive, they make room to build a relationship that does work, just as—wait for it—flippers take buildings that aren’t living up to their potential and turn them into homes where buyers can be comfortable and happy.

“I find these awful, crappy homes and [DeRon] kind of side-eyes me a little bit. I’m like, ‘You can do it! You can figure out an extra two or three bathrooms, you know, in a three bedroom, one bath,” Page said. “[W]e find these awful properties that we know we can just turn into gems for the next buyer.”

In real estate and relationships, a little faith goes a long way.

Healthy Skepticism is ... Healthy

DeRon has serious reservations about the potential for profit in the home Page shows him in Flip or Flop Nashville’s first episode—and that’s a good thing, since his tut-tutting about the layout leads to a new plan that will earn them serious cash. Conflict with a former partner can be a deal-breaker, but it can also get you to a better place.

Don’t Be Afraid to Enjoy Your Ex’s Company

Page and DeRon’s chemistry survived their split, and their banter is one of the reasons they’re so watchable. (They aren’t shy: “I can’t believe Page bought this house without telling me!” DeRon jokes in the first episode. “That’s probably why we broke up in the first place.”)

“We do run a business, so it’s a serious business, and we have to make sure we realize a profit at the end of it all,” Page said. “But we also know that it’s fun.”

“Yeah, we definitely have fun on our job sites,” DeRon said. “’Fun work’ is what I try to call it.”  

Remember (and Celebrate) Their Strengths

DeRon knows how good his ex is at what she does: “Page is amazing at finding the right house. She’s really great at doing her research and finding out the price point of the purchase and estimating what we are going to have to put into the house [to] produce a great profit.”

And Page feels the same way about DeRon: “He can really see something in his mind and then just bring it to life [with] modern lines, straight lines, fixtures," she said. "I mean, you name it, he can just bring it all together like an artist! He has his canvas and then he just creates life! And it’s just so beautiful what he does." 

Don’t Overthink It

History is important, and every build has a foundation—but in the final analysis, in friendship and in business, it’s all about showing up and being ready to do the work. As this happily-uncoupled couple puts it, “Feel inspired,” Page says. “Try something new,” DeRon adds. “And just have a good time,” Page concludes.

Ready to take a few notes? Tune in for the Flip or Flop Nashville premiere Jan. 18 at 9|8c on HGTV.

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