SMU alumnus finds success in real estate
He’s young, he’s hot, he’s single and even Britney Spears has gotten a piece of him.
Dallas realtor Rogers Healy’s T-shirts, advertising his real estate agency, might be hotter than the houses he sells. His tees are battling it out with pint-sized pooches and Christian Louboutin pumps for the hottest celebrity accessory of the season. Dallas Cowboys, ice skaters and pop singers all have their hands on Healy’s shirts.
“One thing that’s different about [our real estate company] is that we’re not your mom’s best friend,” Healy said. “We’re young people who are good looking and aggressive, and that opens doors.”
Healy, a 2003 Southern Methodist University graduate and marketing major, opened Rogers Healy Real Estate in the fall of 2007. The firm now employs 12 realtors and is located off North Central Expressway. The company helps clients buy, sell and rent residential properties. Healy’s firm sells apartments and homes in the SMU area with most listings ranging from $200,000 to $600,000.
Healy distributed the T-shirts to celebrities with whom he was personally friends or through mutual connections with the stars such as public assistants or close relatives.
Despite the current housing crisis, Healy said the Dallas real estate market is “rocking and the busiest [he has] ever seen it.”
Entrepreneurship expert and Texas Christian University professor Ted Legatski said in an e-mail that the current housing market “offers both risks and opportunities.”
“I doubt that the current real estate finance situation really has much effect on [the SMU] area.” But like almost any business, “being highly leveraged is very risky,” says Legatski.
Nina Flournoy, Healy’s communication professor at SMU, does not think the housing situation will hold him back. “With his can-do attitude, he could be digging ditches and selling toilet paper rolls and turn it into a wonderful business,” Flounoy said.
The mortgage crisis will never be able to keep Healy, 27, from getting his name out on the streets. The Dallas native said his T-shirts started as a way to poke fun of the realtor ads that appear on phone books and shopping carts. Any publicity is good publicity, even if Britney Spears is the one wearing your shirt, says Healy.
“When you think of residential real estate, we want you to think Rogers Healy,” said Randolph Smith, one of Healy’s realtors, who is also a junior at SMU.
D Magazine bloggers questioned in January whether Healy was paying for celebrity endorsements. “Never in his right mind” would he pay people to wear his T-shirts says Smith. The T-shirts are free advertising and marketing tools and Healy knows what is going to get people’s attention says Smith.
Is Rogers Healy really the realtor to the stars? Well, not exactly, but he sure does have a knack for networking. Every person on Healy’s wall of fame has a connection to Healy, including best friend Tony Romo. The two were introduced through a mutual friend.
Healy gets more than 400 calls a day on his cell phone. He keeps it constantly plugged into a charger to manage all of the calls.
With the office fridge stocked with beer and a staff made up of an ex-college cheerleader, a Maxim magazine model, a reality TV star and a few frat boys, it is no surprise that Healy is the buzz around town.
Healy works hard to maintain an up-beat attitude in the office after a hectic day on the frontlines of the real estate battlefield.
“If it’s been a long day at the office, Rogers will tell us to stop what we’re doing and we’ll pack up and head to Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth to unwind,” Smith said.
Before real estate came his way, Healy was making his Hollywood connections pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles. There, he befriended next-door neighbors Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, and Ali Sims who is Britney Spears’s cousin and former assistant.
Healy was busy last fall switching careers from realtor to matchmaker, successfully creating Hollywood’s ‘it-couple’ when he introduced Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo.
“Surrounding yourself with the right people who build you up is the key to success,” said Healy. He got burned out on the shallow, party lifestyle in Los Angeles and decided to move back to his Texas roots, where “the people are grounded.”
Although he left his acting career, fame followed him home. CMT is in the process of making a reality show abut Healy’s firm called “The Urban Cowboy.”
Liz Healy, Rogers’s younger sister, said her brother has always been an entertainer at heart, turning their family’s annual Christmas party into a social benefit. In the past, the Healy Christmas party has raised thousands of dollars for organizations like the Make-A-Wish foundation and the American Cancer Society.
“He knows how to pull off a big production and that’s just another way that he’s taken a social opportunity and turned it into a great cause,” said Liz Healy, who is attending graduate school at Vanderbilt University. She graduated from SMU in 2008 and was the 2007 student-body president.
Healy said his favorite part of the job is “showing a client 100 homes and then walking into [a home] and seeing the look on their face, knowing [that home] is the one.”