Friday, September 3, 2010

All About Scott McGillivray


So here's all the low down about Scott McGillivray, the suddenly famous host and interviewer on HGTV's Income Property which returns for its third season Monday night at 9 on HGTV..
First of all he seems fairly amiable, not full of himself as I rather expected.
After all he has legions of female fans who keep pestering this column with questions about his marital status (he's married) , age (he's 32) and how much is he really worth (he seems well off).
But what has kept Income Property going is his sheer good sense.
"When HGTV first approached me about a series they wanted something about flipping properties," he confides over glasses of San Pellegrino in a downtown Toronto watering hole.
"And I said no way. I'm not a fan of those shows, particularly the U.S. ones. They are made with a false premise --that everyone can become rich just by flipping a few houses. With the housing crash in America we've seen just the opposite. It's not a healthy time to flip."
McGillivray had a different idea. He wanted to show how average homeowners could refix their basements or upper floors into income generating apartments that would help them more quickly pay off the mortgages.
The first season wobbled a bit as McGillivray and his producers worked on getting the format down just right.
"It's pretty hard to set up the situation, have me interview the owners, get a tour of the house, bring in my designs and show the finished project --and all in 22 minutes," he laughs.
Also, McGillivray wasn't used to being the star attraction. He needed to hone his interviewing skills --which came quickly.
"We tell a different story every week. Getting the right combination of owners was our first challenge. We didn't want to do the same thing every week."
McGillivray, 32, got into the renovation racket when he was only 23 and still a student at the University of Guelph. "I saw there was a need for affordable housing for students and I went for it." Within a few years he was buying and selling properties as well as leasing out his own properties and renovating others.
You've seen him on TV on From The Ground Up with Debbie Travis --the second season set in Ottawa cast him as the resident
carpenter.
For Income Property to make money it must notch strong foreign sales. Income Property, Propertry Virgins and Mike Holmes are all the rage on the U.S. version of HGTV and McGillivray's show also sells well in Europe and Asia (but not in Btritain where networks must have 65 episodes or they won't buy into a series).
McGillivray reports HI has just been picked up for two more seasons. Making only 13 new episodes a year is the lot of cable shows --he might have a bigger budget and more episodes on a mainstream networtk. "But there's always the threat of cancellation." With HGTV the fans are used to watching a lot of reruns.
McGillivray says he'll usually be working on at least two episodes at once. "Once we had four going at once and that was too much. We have to have cameras there for every stage and we have to factor in the possibility of unpleasant surprises."
In the first new episode one of the basement walls has a moisture problem meaning the outside foundation has to be dug up and weeping tiles installed at additional cost to thehome owners.
Although McGillivray usually gives the clients two sets of designs there have been times when he'll step in and refuse to let them chose the more expensive option. "I very carefully check their finances. If they're planning to put it on credit cards, well, I won't go that way because they could wind up in additional financial trouble. My job after all is helping them pay down their debts."
In the first year the finished product magically appeared all built to perfection. But the team now understands fans want to see the host right in there banging down walls and generally mucking about.
"I've stayed most of the night on some projects just because I felt I had to for the job to be done right. And there's only been one complaint so far --a lady who had already gone through 17 contractors. We knew we were in trouble when she came with a chair and just sat and watched all day."
Whereas the team had to search for first year distressed home owners "now we get thousands of emails. And this year we go outside Toronto--we were in Texas last week. Those we chose get a 35 per cent discount which is one incentive for getting on the show."
First up is a visit with Jeremy and Angie in Newmarket --they need to fix up their dilapidated basement which they've unsuccessfully been trying to rent for months. If they can't make it Angie will have to go back to work instead of looking after their new baby. And after Scott's team have finished --the apartment is rented for $950 a month.
The day I chatted with MacGillivray he'd been doing press since dawn (on Canada AM). About the onset of celebritydom he remains ambivalent. There's a downside to being recognized wherever he goes.
"Even in Europe people noticed me. I know what I sound like in Spanish but I guess all that comes with the territory."
INCOME PROPERTY'S THIRD SEASON DEBUTS MONDAY SEPT. 6 AT 9 P.M. ON HGTV
MY RATING: *** 1/2.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great article! I love to see how Scott got his start and I'm pleased he's still down to earth. Income Property is my FAVORITE show on HGTV and even the re-runs get DVR'd in my house!

Sai said...

I had the privilege of meeting Scott in person last weekend at The Property Show. He is a great guy, very friendly. He's gorgeous as well. Thank you for your post.

http://achocolateontop.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/surround-yourself-with-like-minded-to-achieve-your-goals/

Marlene said...

I love watching his show... he does great work...and he is very,very, very hot man..kudos to his wife..mmmmm you go girl :)

K. Madewell said...

I think it's one of the best shows on HGTV.I hope he has a long and great time with HGTV.

lorraine said...

I love watching Scott on any kind of show because he seems to be so genuine and sincere. He's not flashy or flamboyant; his body is not full of tattoos; he truly cares about helping people pay down their debt; he genuinely listens to what the 'client' is saying. He's just a very clean-cut, knowledgeable, hard-working, honest type of guy. I think anyone would want him as a next door neighbor. I wish he and his wife the choiciest of God's blessings. I truly, truly hope he does not let fame go to his head. That would be a tragedy. Keep on using/sharing your talents in helping people, Scott, and may you and your wife have many little ones with whom to share your life.

Anonymous said...

Scott is amazing and I love his style. He
seems down to earth and really he knows
his stuff! Too bad he is married, but I hope
his wife knows how lucky she is!

Ellie said...

My husband and I both watch the HGTV shows and my favorite is Income Property. Scott is great at this, I love the properties once he is done. He seems real down to earth. I hope he keeps up the good work and they keep renewing his show. It is the best on the channel.

Anonymous said...

Hey,Scott can you post a photo with you and your wife!

Violet said...

Violet
Love, love, love the show. I am now looking to find be a place in hope to be able to rent out a portion. Thanks to Scott.

Anonymous said...

I love to watch Income Property. I learn so much from Scott and I will use all the information learned by renovating my own rental property. I have owned my property for a few years now, and my "must do" list keeps getting longer. Thanks Scott for all you do. Hope your show lasts for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Good article, work on the editing in the article - TONS of typos

Papa Says said...

Enjoyed the read. I agree with Lorraine it's nice to see a clean cut guy with integrity and especially tattoo free. How refreshing. His work reflects his character.
Thank you Scott.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure every female homeowner he helps wants to do him in their newly renovated bedroom

Anonymous said...

My wife and I watch Scott's program all the time. I can agree with just about everything that has been said about him. He does seem very down to earth and genuinly cares about the clients he is working for. I too hope that he keeps his humble personality. Being tatoo free and good looking only helps his image. Best of luck in the future.

Anonymous said...

I love watching your show. You sure made those basements look good. Keep up the good work.

Katherine said...

I love Scott and his show. He has taught me so much about home design in general. I would love to use his designer's. Is that possible? We just bought 2 penthouses on the beach in Boca Raton fl and want to decorate them. 5,000sf, 28th floor, all ocean and intracoastal views. I would love his designer's to help me.
Katherine
kpf204@gmail.com

Chynna said...

This is such a great show. It is practical, and demonstrates how an average property owner can make the most of their property, and get the best return on home ownership. It also demonstrates a lot of great problem solving, in how to deal with unexpected renovation issues. Scott is polished, extremely down to earth, and brings a wealth of experience to the various scenarios. I also love the fact that he is clean-cut, and does not sport outlandish clothing, tattoos or piercings. I hope this show continues to bring high ratings for HGTV.

DP said...

Does anybody know the infomercial he has out?
I need the phone number>

Anonymous said...

My husband and I both love Scott's show, he knows what he's doing, seems like such a genuine nice person. We hope the show stays on for many years. Keep up the great work!

nancy said...

i have one word only!dimples!

niki said...

Great show. My 6 years old and myself love watching your show. She always ask?, mami, when is he coming to decorate my room????
Niki

Anonymous said...

J'écoute l'émission en français à Montréal et j'adore cela. Il semble avoir beaucoup d'empathie pour ses clients.

Anonymous said...

Comcast needs to add Income Property to 'catch up'......love the show...wish they would come and fix up my cabin to rent

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
I just love Scott's show and hope I am wrong about his involvement with an "educational" seminar company called PMI. I went to one of his here in Las Vegas, last week, and these people are unbelievable. They are high pressure sales people, telling me to put almost $3000 on a credit card to get the real estate, and tax lien programs....I have since found out, they are both a scam and have tried to contact Scott, but they took my posts off of his website. Everyone please beware of PMI!!!

Anonymous said...

I love Scott and his show. I am the daughter and mother of carpenters, so I know the work he does is top notch. Just one question, though: Is the furniture included in the prices he quotes? Or is it just rented for the show?

Christine said...

Love the show! When you see all the results it's a trust thing, he seem's so on the ball and has great style. Like the full package for home renovation.

Lu said...

Love Scott, he seems so real and down to earth. This show and Holmes are the only HGTV shows that my husband will watch. He says that they show the real world (as much as can been shown on TV).

Lu

Anonymous said...

I can understand these high rents in the 2008 era, but what about today ?

can you still get $1000 a month for a basement apt in the middle of nowhere ?

also the homes are 90% overvalued as is, so why add more to them when we all know a 400k place outside of a prime area in manhattan NYC is going to sell for 40k in 2013 ????

Anonymous said...

I would love Scott to do the income suit OVER MY BARN....I really need the income!

Anonymous said...

Im so in love with him!!!!!!! Mandie from
Vancouver

Anonymous said...

I really like that when other unforeseen problems arise, Scott insists they be fixed and takes the time to fix them right. He's very cute, too.

Anonymous said...

We live in Long Island and LOVE to watch Scott! He is sweet and that comes through. He is so considerate of the needs of the home owners that I would trust him with my home any time. It is so good to see that others who have written feel the same way about him.

Anonymous said...

He is HOT STUFF! SEXY!

Kookie said...

My husband would like to know what brand of tool he uses for the demolition hammer? We have tried researching but can't seem to find anything close.

Thanks,
Kim

Anonymous said...

One of the sexiest men alive!

Anonymous said...

Scott seems to be very knowledgeable about his passion and is very fluent in his commentary on the show. It makes construction/rennovation work seem easy. Keep up the great work Scott love your show!

Ryan

Anonymous said...

He is a really manly man and that voice....... What a turn on !