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Douglas and Dr. Atiya “Blondie” Parson
Money Talks

According To This Power Couple, Real Estate Remains The Best Way To Build Wealth

Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they get it.

Douglas and Dr. Atiya “Blondie” Parson are a celebrity realtor power couple with a notable client list that features some of the industry’s biggest heavy hitters, such as rapper T.I., restaurant entrepreneur Pinky Cole, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta reality star Sierra Gates, and more. The couple has made as much as $200,000 from one sale as real estate agents and consistently make over six figures by flipping homes. While their success is groundbreaking, their thought process is pretty standard. They believe real estate breeds wealth, budgeting is essential, and you should keep your goals major and top of mind.


Now, the duo have made it their mission to share their knowledge. Through We Nailed It! The Blueprint for Real Estate and Relationships, available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold, and their YouTube channel, they’re determined to share their learnings with the culture. “The richest person is always going to invest in real estate, but you don’t have to be rich to invest in real estate,” says Doug. Check out our transparent convo below.

Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

Blondie: Well, I’m one of six kids from Indianapolis, Indiana. I went to a private school, but I still grew up below-middle class. Actually, my mom cleaned up after hours to help cover my tuition – so I knew the importance of education early. Later, I went to an HBCU in Ohio, and it just so happened my mom moved to the Virgin Islands right after my senior year of high school. So I decided to get an apartment, but it was too much, and I had to go home. Around that time is when I met Doug; we dated for like a year before things occurred that caused him to do a lifestyle change, and he moved to Kentucky. I ended up following him there, getting married, finishing school in Kentucky, and I’ve been in education for almost 25 years. But along with education, I’ve been helping my husband; I’ve been licensed for a little over three years. Now, we’re in partnership doing all things real estate.

Doug: I’m also from Indianapolis, Indiana. My first love was football, and I’ve always loved shiny things. So it’s a terrible thing to say, but I was in the drug trade for years. I had a child at 15 and had become huge in that industry. But I knew I wanted to do something different with my life, and I changed everything in 1996. So Blondie and I kept pushing on. We came to Atlanta after being in Kentucky for four years. And I met a young lady who really inspired me in real estate. That’s really how I got started. I got in the flipping game years ago, and now we’ve got a #1 best seller.

Let’s go back. Can you tell me about how you were spending before becoming responsible with money? 

Doug: I definitely had to learn the hard way about spending. Being an ex-hustler, I always had excess money. Even in real estate, you stop thinking about spending because it’s coming back so fast. But at the end of the year, when you look at everything, it makes you want to cut back and change your ways. Even though we have a lot of luxury things, we had to learn how to write things off and save. I’ve learned what things you can cut off (do without) – because it’s a necessity in our business.

Blondie: It’s funny that Doug said he had to work on the spending because when he decided to change his life, we had times where we really didn’t have money. We had to learn how to budget. But even while we’re in a different space, I still like to live under my means. People say you should live within your means, but if you’re working on a certain goal you have to live under your means.

"We had to learn how to budget. But even while we’re in a different space, I still like to live under my means. People say you should live within your means, but if you’re working on a certain goal you have to live under your means."
Douglas and Dr. Atiya \u201cBlondie\u201d Parson

Dr. Atiya “Blondie” (L) and Douglas Parson (R)

@iamrealestate1/Instagram

If you don’t mind me asking, how much do you make annually, or what’s a typical month look like for you? 

Doug: Me and Blondie are real estate agents, but we’re also master flippers. In a month, I’ve made close to $200,000 just off sales. Then, in regards to flipping, we make six figures all the time. One of our goals is to show the culture how to do this. Also, we’ve been together for like 28 years, we want to show people how to stick together and make money.

Wow. Okay, so you have to tell me more about how this actually works. In layman's terms, how would you explain the difference between a real estate agent and flipping homes?

Blondie: The big difference is that a real estate agent helps people if they want to buy or sell a home. But if you’re only a flipper, you’re only an investor; you don’t have to be licensed. But we try to educate people on the importance of getting your license. Once we find the property, we make sales as an agent and an investor.

Talk to me more about your multiple streams. How does it play a part in your financial journey? 

Doug: We try to maximize the whole real estate game. We’re real estate agents, flippers, and we have a property management company. Plus, we’re working on a show and have our book. So it’s all real estate. I’m in love with real estate - so that helps.

That can be a lot coming in and out. Do you guys budget? How have you made it part of your routine? 

Blondie: I’m the budget queen. I write it all down. Now, I use Google Docs, but when we first got together, I had our “infamous notebook.” I get anxious when I see money going out, and I don’t know where it’s going or how I’m getting it back. And you have to do that when you have multiple streams, and you’re trying to reach a goal.

Doug: Yeah, you’ve gotta cut the fat off. Only spend what’s needed.

Are there any budget must-haves you recommend? What tangible tips or advice can you offer for people who are creating or revising theirs?

Doug: We like fine dining. You know how TikTok is in Atlanta. But you’ve got to cut that down on how much you’re eating out, also be aware of your entertainment – especially in Atlanta. You have to have a realistic budget for food and entertainment.

But do you two have any splurges? What’s your thing you just have to buy? 

Doug: My splurge has been designer shoes since I was a child. That is one of the things I have to plan for – I can’t just go to designers whenever there’s a sale. But I write some stuff off, too, because it’s part of my “costume.”

Blondie: I’m the coupon queen, but I splurge on my nails. But my nails are over the price of the usual nails. I’m going to get designs and everything, but that’s my thing. I have to have it.

Dr. Atiya \u201cBlondie\u201d (L) and Douglas Parson (R)

Dr. Atiya “Blondie” (L) and Douglas Parson (R)

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

I get it. Now, let’s go in the other direction. What are your current savings goals? 

Doug: One of my goals is to have one million dollars sitting. A lot of people think I have it already, but that’s just in assets. I’m going to get there, though. I’m well on my way.

Blondie: I want to condense and have less bills. I don’t like a lot of debt. Like credit cards, when I use them, I pay it off, and I recommend paying off what you can. For example, if you can pay off your car insurance for the year – do it. If you have it, get it out the way.

"I want to condense and have less bills. I don’t like a lot of debt. Like credit cards, when I use them, I pay it off, and I recommend paying off what you can. For example, if you can pay off your car insurance for the year – do it. If you have it, get it out the way."

Let’s get into unhealthy habits. Were there any practices you had to unlearn before getting to this point? 

Doug: We have a small fleet of cars. So, every Sunday, the mobile guy would come and wash the cars. But after a while, we noticed how it added up. Now, I’ve made that part of my workout to wash my car every week. It saves money and keeps me active.

Blondie: For me, it’s my nails again. I don’t get them done all the time. I let them last. I’ll ride that design out a little longer and do what I have to. Also, there’s been times I’ve gotten my nails done and not really liked them, not said anything, and had to get them done again in a couple of weeks. That’s not good. It’s just about making better decisions.

What are your money mantras/affirmations that could keep you motivated? 

Doug: If I’m not in the mode, I say, "Let's get it.” You’ll notice that’s on a lot of my social media posts. That’s my thing!

Blondie: Part of my daily prayer is to use my tools to not only help people but allow them to be lucrative to me. Like for our book, I hope it helps other people and it makes money.

Speaking of, what inspired you to create We Nailed It! The Blueprint for Real Estate and Relationships? 

Doug: We wanted to inspire the culture. I see so many kids coming from my background being hustlers or never really having anything. But then someone passes away, and they come up on money and don’t know what to do with it. So we’re trying to show them it’s not hard to sell homes and flip houses. And we’re changing lives in real life. We’ve made millionaires. So, our goal in writing books is to show that you can get money together, and I want it to be a blessing to others.

Blondie: Also, I wanted to talk about building a strong relationship in business and two people working together. Two is better than one.

Finally, is there any advice you can give to readers who want to improve their finances or get into real estate?

Doug: CUT OFF ALL THE FAT! Get rid of everything that’s not essential for you right now – put that money in an account now. Next, get your credit together – keep it at like 30%. What we try to teach is if you can save $30K or $40K and leverage your credit, you can do it. So now you can go to Home Depot and use that for credit cards, now you’ve created your business. You have your down payment for a small flip, and when you have materials and stuff, you use your credit card. Now go pay it all off. Just by limiting your spending and saving, you can do it – that’s a quick way to get money. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it definitely can happen.

Blondie: I’m very visual, so I have a whiteboard where I visualize our goals. I recommend that. That way, you can reassess your goals. Don’t wait months, and don’t be afraid to make changes.

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