Many North Texans have escaped their cities during the pandemic to enjoy the great outdoors across the state. Now Dallas entrepreneur Rogers Healy wants them to do more than just enjoy it—he wants to help them own it.
Rogers Healy and Associates is the largest independently owned real estate brokerage in North Texas, with 427 real estate agents and a projected $1 billion in 2021 revenue. But with ranches and lakes practically in Healy’s DNA, his latest expansion is a natural fit. His new division, Rogers Healy and Associates Land and Lake, will specialize in “all things rural real estate” throughout the state of Texas.
RHA Land and Lake—Healy’s fifth company—is focused on “any real property, any ranch property, any farm, any lake house—anything that’s not in the actual city,” Healy told Dallas Innovates. “And it’s growing at a fast pace.”
A projected $50 million under contract by this spring
“In the first week of doing this formally, we’ve already got almost $50 million in business,” Healy told Dallas Innovates.
People keep asking, “Wait, you wear cowboy boots? … I’ve always worn cowboy boots,” the native Texan said.
“I grew up in South Texas and I’ve been around rural properties like houses, farms, and ranches,” he added. “I’ve owned them. I’ve sold them. I’ve flipped them personally. We already had a good contingency of people that are doing that, but I decided to start something from scratch that was formal. It makes us a bigger player.”
Uptick in interest in rural properties
Healy says he’s seen an uptick in interest in lake and ranch properties firsthand.
“Ironically, my first lesson [was when] my wife and I got engaged at our old ranch…we had a honeymoon there,” he told us. “It’s in Lindale, Texas, and a family that followed me on Instagram reached out and asked if I’d sell it. I said, ‘Heck yes.’ I forgot to tell my wife and they showed up. And I was like, ‘You can’t come in until after our honeymoon.'”
Healy believes the pandemic has really changed things for people “with its lives lost and controversy and division.”
“A lot of people, myself included, were given the gift of perspective,” he said. “And I think because of that, there’s a focus on the family again. I think people are watching ‘Leave It to Beaver’ more than they’re watching ’16 and Pregnant.’ A lot of people want a place to go and feel free. My parents call their backyard East Texas—and they live in the city of Dallas.”
Why the Dallas area is a ‘no brainer’
The shift in mood extends to people from the coasts looking for an escape, too.
“I’ve always kind of joked about the fact that we really don’t have an identity, and that is our identity,” Healy said of Dallas and its relative affordability. “When you can live in a top-five Metro city in the country for the same price you would pay for a place in the Midwest up until a year ago, it’s a no brainer. I tell people even now, ‘As long as you don’t need to be by the mountains or the ocean, welcome home. And it works.”
Focusing on tech and social media
Tech and innovation play key roles in Healy’s businesses—something he says has been true for decades.
“I’m kind of like real estate’s Olsen twins,” Healy told us. “I’ve grown up in the business, and I’ve done this since I was 21 years old. I’m about to be 42, so literally half my life. We’ve been pacesetters as far as technology and social media are concerned. I was the first realtor in the country to do social media. And I feel like there’s always a target on my back to kind of be the front runner for new opportunities.”
“What I’ve learned about technology is crucial. It increases efficiency and effectiveness—but you still have to have a heartbeat behind it. I think that’s what has worked about us, especially lately. We’re able to go and scale, and that’s been a lot of fun.”
Celebrity clients help fuel his brands
One thing that gives Healy’s companies sizzle is their focus on celebrities and star athletes like Khloe Kardashian and former Dallas Maverick Lamar Odom. Last July, RHA Real Estate inked a multi-year partnership with the Dallas Mavericks as the team’s official real estate partner. And Healy Global Real Estate and Relocation has relocated “countless high-profile athletes and celebrities since its inception,” according to the company.
“At six-feet-five-inches tall, the spiky-haired Healy looks more like a pro athlete or television star,” D Magazine wrote in a 2016 profile, noting his “celebrity clients and millennial charisma.”
With his new Land and Lake business, Healy is trading at least a little of that glitz and glamour for the down-to-earth, mud-caked-boot life of rural Texas.
Bosque County is hot—and so is ‘Texahoma’
So what rural hot spots does Healy see popping up?
“Bosque County has always been hot,” he said. “It’s due south and DFW is on the far, far north end of Bosque County. I’m a big fan of East Texas. I love Smith County. I love Lindale, I love Mineola. I love Winona. I think anything within 80 miles of where you live is magic. Some people here might want to go west of Weatherford, some people might want to go north of McKinney.”
North of the border, Oklahoma is heating up too, Healy says.
“For now, the goal is to keep Rogers Healy and Associates a Texas brand,” he said, even though his new firm is seeing strong sales in Oklahoma—”or Texa-homa”—as well.
“We can help people all over the world,” he noted. “But Texas is our wheelhouse.”
Single-family home sales aren’t the only thing sizzling
Like single-family homes across North Texas, rural land sales are sizzling these days. Speaking on availability, Healy quoted a saying: “I don’t want all the land. I want all the land that touches mine.”
“I heard that early on,” he said. “It strikes a little different a chord with me, where I feel like people that only do land sales eventually sell themselves out of a job. But for us, it’s a complement. Today, we’re seeing it firsthand in a different speed—especially me. I think we’ll always have opportunity.”
But yes, he says, “I think that it’s interesting to see stuff get swept up at a historic rate.”
Second homes vs. rural relocations
People look for rural properties for different reasons, Healy says.
“I’m not a lake house guy,” he points out. “My wife loves her family’s lake house, but I feel like if I’m going to go out of town, I don’t want to see people I live down the street from. But some people love that. So it’s a combo.”
“It’s somewhat rare that someone says I want to pack it up and I want to move 80 miles north, south, east, or west because I can’t deal with the city—when they’re going to drive in the city three to five times a week,” he added. “That’s not a normal occurrence. But a lot of people just want to get away, and a big reason people have second homes is to go and recharge their battery. They can fall in love with that lifestyle and figure out a way to adjust.”
Healy acknowledged that a lot of the land in Texas, including between Dallas and Austin, “is really flat. But it’s all relative. Maybe people are moving from the mountains, and they want to just have land where they can see everything. That’s why we do what we do—you just never know who the buyer is.”
Rapidly growing his team
Healy says his team is growing rapidly, and he’s adding real estate agents who share his “passion for the outdoors.” He currently has about 10 people on his Land and Lake team, complementing the 500 associates at RHA and 60 associates at RHA Commercial.
For now, Healy doesn’t plan to open any additional offices beyond the 30,000-square-foot one he has already.
“We tell our team that you don’t have to go to the office—you can be the office,” Healy said. “Thanks to our technology, we can stay connected. I don’t have a desire to open up more offices, at least at this time.”
Leveraging his other companies
Rogers plans to leverage his other companies for his Land and Lake venture, utilizing his team at Healy Global Real Estate and Relocation and RHA Commercial to provide buyers and sellers with all needed tools to help close deals.
The new company says it’s aimed at city people who want a lake home or ranch, or those who are relocating to a rural area—as well as companies seeking to expand “into the great wide open.”
Quincy Preston contributed to this report.
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