It might not qualify as the most famous T-shirt in the world, but it brought Rogers Healy his 15 minutes of fame, and then some.
That would be the shirt emblazoned with "Rogers Healy is my Realtor" that Britney Spears chose to wear while sashaying around Los Angeles one day in 2007 with her usual paparazzi entourage. A Spears-and-shirt photo ended up in People magazine.
"I don’t know Britney Spears, I never met Britney Spears," says Healy, who wasn’t, in fact, her Realtor. Not that it mattered much. The Dallas brokerage owner says he reaped priceless public attention — and a fair amount of business — from the Spears incident and dozens of other celebrity-meets-shirt moments he has engineered.
"I’ve never been afraid to self-promote — it’s in my personality," says the 29-year-old entrepreneur, who did a stint in Hollywood before coming back to his native Dallas to found his own real estate company.
That instinct, plus his passion for his business, landed him on this year’s National Association of Realtors list of "30 Under 30" industry successes who have built track records of ingenuity and creativity at an early age.
Healy started in the real estate business while still a student at Southern Methodist University, renting apartments to students. A week after his graduation, with a degree in psychology and advertising, he was on his way to California and ready to conquer the movie industry.
He lasted there about a year, with some minor successes, including a role in "Glory Road," a movie in which he played a basketball player (he’s 6 feet, 6 inches tall); some commercials, voiceovers and reality-television appearances, he says.
But studying how the entertainment world works, not to mention cultivating a network of contacts there, made an impression that he took back home to Dallas with him.
"The second-best thing I did was move to L.A., and the best thing was to move back (home)," says Healy. "I had a rite of passage there. It forced me to grow up and broaden my horizons."
He immediately launched back into real estate, still focusing on leasing and gradually adding residential sales. But he kept his focus on college students and those just out of school.
"In my opinion, that’s the best way to grasp clients, at an early age," he said. "They appreciate you. You can get 200 or 300 clients a year who may rent from you once or twice, and then they’ll turn into buyers."
Rogers Healy and Associates, which he founded in January 2006, has 15 agents (two of them just joining the staff in December) who handle both rentals and sales. He expects that this year the company will sell about $25 million in homes and will handle 500 leases. In 2008, the numbers were $22 million in sales and 400 leases. …CONTINUED