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The Full Story

About Bya


Moving to Salt Lake

On June 19th, 2019,  we were challenged with a new life changing direction.  We moved to Salt Lake City, Utah with two teenagers due to my husband’s new work assignment coupled with the fact that we have always known we would have to call it “the end of our China days” when the kids entered high-school.


Everything was new to us and as scary as it sounded, we were happy for this new start.  I know it may sound strange to many of you reading this, but we wanted to settle down. We lived abroad too long, in too many countries, and travelled way too much. We were ready to “retire” from Globe Trotting.  We wanted a place to call home. 


I don’t remember the artist’s name, but this artist’s song, which was popular on the radio at the time, managed to describe exactly how we felt: “Home is not where you are from, but where you belong.” The U.S. is not perfect, but it is our home, and we belong!

Kids didn’t have it easy being “the new kids” in high-school” but slowly and surely, even under the doomsday of COVID, we all survived and made it!

Kids now grown up and graduated from high school and into their young adult life, making the most out of every day in their lives, Rick settled and happy go lucky, doing what he does best.  The most driven man I have ever met, a provider for us and for his company. I can’t stress enough how grateful I am for my family, my closest friends, and for the people I have managed to meet and befriend.  I am blessed in so many ways that I feel I have a unique opportunity to pay it forward with my interior design as I know I can help people in this area of need.

Martha Morris, my faithful realtor and friend, gave me my first opportunity.  I hit the ground running helping her get her flip done.  Right after, I was so energized, and I thought I would get some visibility, but it didn’t quite happen.  Despite trials, and meeting people that were flipping, attending REI meetings, I didn’t quite know how to begin as I really was another fish in a new water. I thought that by applying to a job would be a starting point, so I spent the first 3-6 months vested into finding a job, but I guess I was seen as yet another fish out of its water.

Bya Patzner and Rick

I tried to get into MLM,  which only lasted a few meetings for me to realize that was not what I loved to do. Then, I thought to start a Shopify business to sell sustainable products along with my BClean Cloths, which I still think are the best cloths ever, but nothing seemed to take off.  I kept going with the Shopify idea, but it was more difficult than anticipated.  To have a store I had to have product and although I tested many, nothing seemed to be a great fit for me. I wanted the kids to contribute to the Shopify idea, but even asking them to find products that they would be interested in selling, at the time they thought it was a horrific idea.  So, I gravitated again to the pursuit of what I felt was my calling, interior design.  At the same time, I continued to sell my BClean Cloths, which I had stock, as well as going to REI meetings to meet like minded people. 


Education seemed a good place to start so Rick and I decided to purchase a real estate investing education program for me. Although I felt cheated on its content and both of us felt we overpaid for what we purchased, I learned the basics which gave me enough know how to at least have conversations with meaningful people about real estate.  We made some huge mistakes. There are some bad people out there, ready to con you with their products and services. You cannot let those mistakes define the rest of your life. So, we picked ourselves up and we continued to plough forward. I won’t say it was easy, but Rick and I have a positive mindset and I am grateful for his when I needed it.

The path to Real Estate Investing

In October 2019, I attended a SLERIA meeting, where this young well to do flipper, Mike Baird, was talking about his own REI group, The Smarter Real Estate Tribe and mentoring new investors into flipping. They called him “The Flip Man of Salt Lake City” and he seemed genuine. He was very emotional when talking about his milestones in REI and he gave me great vibes. I remember that for him design was just a “plug and play” model. His comment would give me the opportunity to approach him to tell him I could NOT AGREE WITH HIM and if he ever needed design help, to contact me. And I did just that! January 2020 rolled and Covid was the thing. The world seemed to have slowed down and, in a way, it gave me an edge. The real estate market propelled as people were confined and all they wanted to do was to remodel their homes or move to a more updated home as they were spending way too much time in a house that they felt wasn’t suitable for their lifestyle any longer. There was a phenomena of moving to larger homes as people were finding problems with their homes by spending so much time in them. Families were homeschooling, parents were moving in with their children so that they could be together, and, as there was nothing positive going on, moving to a new home felt good for everyone. For Americans, the feeling of owning a good home gives them a sense of pride and security. People needed that during Covid, more than ever! We also purchased a second home. We had our two 40HC containers coming from China with all our belongings and our home had not been remodeled yet because I have not been able to meet meaningful people to remodel it. Now as I write this account of how I got into real estate investing; I feel I was in the right place at the right time. Mike Baird started mentoring investors how to flip and he had several people signed up for his mentoring services. He was busy yet he was looking to grow his Smarter Real Estate Tribe, almost as a means of passive income. Investors looked up to him and the Tribe was generating good advertising for his mentoring services. One day I received a call from Mike Baird. He sold me a membership for his Smarter Real Estate Tribe, and I sold him interior design services for his flippers. And that was the beginning of launching my interior design and my real estate investing business in Utah County.

bya and mike.JPG

In March 2020 I started helping Mike with his mentees doing pro bono interior design. Slowly but surely, I was busy with his students. After Mike got to know me and my skills, he was confident enough to promote my interior design business and I got busy with his students and members of the Smarter Real Estate Tribe. Every Tuesday call I got the opportunity to meet someone who needed help with their interiors and by the end of 2020 I had over 30+ interior projects completed and was onto doing my second flip in a partnership myself. As the adage says: “the rest is history”. I remodeled our primary home where I have my home office. I had a fabulous open house with Mike’s full support. People came to see Mike and they got to know me. This gave me even more visibility and I continued to grow my interior design business.

As the adage says: “the rest is history”.

Ben Kjar

By January 2022 I was already looking to doing my own flips but buying anything was an impossible fleet as there was so much competition. I knew my only chance was to join forces with a known flipper who needed design and project management help. I started paying more attention to the flippers who were part of the Smarter Real Estate Tribe and there was a particular flipper that I met and liked a lot. I knew I could make a difference in his projects. I did my “Vishen Lakhiani” projecting, and I bent my own reality.


I know the Universe hears me, so I spoke to the Universe to speak to Ben Kjar, to give me an opportunity. Ben is a good human. Rick and I are good humans and together we would be great. By April 2022 Ben and I had already successfully closed on our first flip partnership, The Veranda, in Springville, Utah. We didn’t waste any time and purchased two luxury grandma’s guts, The Petit Chateau in the Charleston area of Heber City, Utah and The Fairway House, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

my team

Meet My Team

There is a lot to be said about pulling off a great remodel. And there is even more to be said about having the ability to complete 3 complex luxury remodels in a year and a half. We were blessed to have one key person in our team, who made it much easier for us to have accomplished such milestones. This person is today my partner in crime, as I call him - Adilson Gomes. If not for Adilson I don’t believe we would have been able to deliver on 3 substantial “transformations” as fast as we did.


Adilson is an extremely good human that has been giving us all his best. He is very skilled in construction, and he delivers. He attracts good people because he is vested into finding them and keeping them. Together with Adilson, and the workforce we are attracting, we are building and growing a very talented construction team which is enabling me to pull of incredible designs. We are not only giving old homes a new life, but we are also transforming them into masterpieces.

The year of 2023 has brought us uncertainty. Uncertainty is not all bad. We are constantly looking for opportunities amongst the uncertainty and the confusion. The key for me is to adapt, pivot and not let the “chatter” shatter my pillars of strength. I continue to look for the next “grandma’s gut”. The REI market is strong in Utah, but real estate prices remain high. We investors know that we make our money when we buy, so patience is needed to buy right, and I know I for one, don’t have a lot of patience. So, I am continuing to offer my interior design expertise and remodel services to other investors and primary homeowners. And I decided it was about time to revamp my website and work towards getting my name out there so more people can benefit from what the team and I do best. I am constantly looking for more good humans to partner up with in great projects. I see labor and financial partnerships favorably. There are times where you work 95% of the time for 50% of the profits. However, partnerships are still very good as I feel many heads think and act much better and faster than one. Divide & Conquer! Partners have different skills and I know how to leverage each of the partners’ skills, so that we will continue to flourish together. Together we are stronger and there is a lot of truth in that. I also love to share my knowledge. It has always made me who I am. I used to teach Design Theory in Shanghai, China for the Raffles Institute of Design, a Singaporean School, and it made me fulfilled as to me it is very rewarding to give back. So, I made a conscious decision to start marketing house products I used in my design and my own remodeling projects that are worth to share with people who may not know they exist, or in doubt which brands make good purchases, to give them confidence that I have used them, and they can trust to use them, too. This way I am keeping my small business diversified and growing in times of uncertainty, my restless mind active and my soul content.

Bya's story began way back before moving to the US.
We invite you to check out Bya Patzner's story from the very beginning and see the incredible journey she has been on since then.
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