OLD SAYBROOK - Typically, the completion of a house remodel is not celebrated with a big reveal party. Then again, there was nothing typical about this Old Saybrook house flip.
Home investor Mike Riccio and his real estate partner, Nicole White, have been teaming up to flip houses for the last four years, but decided to take a new approach: give their Facebook friends an opportunity to vote for many of the appointments in the refurbished colonial at 163 Old Boston Post Road.
Billed as "The House That Social Media Built," White and Riccio laid out several options for their Facebook audience to choose from. With each opportunity, several hundred voters weighed in.
"I thought I was just going to be asking my friends to vote on what countertops they wanted and it turned into like people from all over," said White, with followers from as far away as Italy and South America.
Earlier this week, the dynamic duo purchased two more homes that will be rehabbed with the social media interaction, including a home in Branford.
"If Mike allows me at least maybe a week off of like no votes, we will be starting that," said White.
That request drew a sly smile from Riccio.
"She's not going to get a week off. We're starting on Monday," he said.
This unique marriage between social media and house flipping has created another opportunity for Riccio and White.
"About four weeks ago, we signed a deal with a production company out of Los Angeles," said Riccio, who added that he and White, a realtor for William Raveis in Madison, will co-host the new reality show, which is currently being pitched to cable networks.
This house, which is now roughly 2,500 square feet thanks to a finished basement, has a list price of $389,000.