John Flack felt ready to pivot his career and start a family business after spending 30 years as a senior leader in technology at Hilton. He and his wife, Jana, and their son, Adam, looked at fitness and flooring franchises before discovering the HomeVestors franchise opportunity, known for its “We Buy Ugly Houses” slogan, with the help of a franchise broker.
After meeting with the company’s development agents and fellow HomeVestors franchise owners, the Flacks decided to take the plunge in November 2020. Neither John nor Jana had any real estate investing experience when they initially joined as associate franchise owners. However, their son Adam did have some real estate investing experience and together, they formed High Noon Ventures.
“It was an unusual time to launch a business because we started at the height of Covid, and a lot of folks had concerns about letting people into their houses,” Flack said. “HomeVestors also had some concerns, but they were proactive in overcoming the challenges and hurdles of COVID. We jumped right in, and it’s been a great ride since.”
In less than three years, the Flacks have earned more than $6.5 million in revenue by buying, renovating, and reselling distressed properties in Greater Memphis, Tennessee, and earned full franchise status earlier in the year due to this volume. They own one of the 1,100 HomeVestors franchises operating in 47 states. The company’s tagline, We Buy Ugly Houses®, can be seen on billboards nationwide, cementing the HomeVestors franchise brand and commitment to helping homeowners by offering to purchase their homes “as-is.” Since 1996, the company’s franchisees have sold 140,000 houses, often by making all-cash offers to homeowners on the spot.
“The prices of houses were starting to take off at about the time we joined. In our first year, we had the opportunity to extend our advertising to a market where there were no other HomeVestors franchises,” he said. “We took advantage of that in the Oxford, Mississippi area. And after that, we started looking at Jackson, Tennessee.”
Backed By HomeVestors Real Estate Experts
The Flacks decided to invest in HomeVestors rather than pursue a real estate investment business on their own because of the proven systems, tools and leads they can access as HomeVestors franchise owners. HomeVestors helps owners find homeowners looking to sell immediately, thanks to robust multi-media campaigns developed by the corporate office and their investments in local advertising. Franchise owners frequently combine efforts to maximize lead generation through cooperative advertising, mentoring, buying, and selling.
New franchise owners receive comprehensive training that equips them with the skills they need to make sound real estate investments. Flack credits HomeVestors for giving his team the tools and access to capital to make good buying and renovation decisions.
During a week-long course at the HomeVestors corporate office, franchisees learn the nuts and bolts of buying, renovating, and selling houses and are trained on the company’s systems and standards. Experienced HomeVestors Development Agents, investors who’ve already been successful in the HomeVestors franchise system, provide ongoing guidance and advice. HomeVestors franchise owners can also qualify for up to 100% financing for the full purchase price of a property, including repairs..
“We’ve had an incredible support team, and the thousand-plus franchises across the country, who answer any questions we have and help in any way,” Flack said.
Individuals who choose to sell their houses as-is to HomeVestors franchise owners are often experiencing tough personal situations: the death of a loved one, serious financial challenges, or the need to move quickly. The “We Buy Ugly Houses” slogan tells only part of the equation. It’s about helping people out of ugly situations. Therefore, it’s vital to approach sellers with empathy and care. HomeVestors is as much a relationship business as it is a real estate investment business, Flack said.
“We’ve won a lot of deals where we’ve been outbid by $5,000 to $25,000 on a $200,000 house. I think that’s a testament to how we interact with our customers and the trust they have in us and HomeVestors. At the same time, it’s just as critical to build strong relationships with contractors and real estate agents in your territory,” Flack said.
“We’ve spent a lot of money with contractors and businesses in Jackson, Memphis, and Oxford, and that helps local business owners and the community,” he said. “We’ve also formed great relationships with the realtors across the markets and property managers who manage our rental portfolio.”
Following the system, treating people right, and investing in advertising can lead you to unexpected new business streams. One of the Flacks’ long-term goals includes building a solid rental portfolio. They weren’t sure how quickly they’d be able to achieve that goal until they were contacted by a gentleman in Oxford who had received one of their postcards.
“He had houses in Meridian, Mississippi, and we ended up buying those and keeping them as rentals within a year of starting our business,” he said. “They had good tenants in them, and the cash flow is really good, too.”
Flack expects economic development in his area to continue making his territory attractive to sellers and buyers. He said less than two years from now, the Ford company plans to complete construction and open a nearly $6 billion plant in Stanton, Tennessee, bringing approximately 6,000 jobs to the area. The Flacks already own four rental properties in the area, will add two more this year, and are exploring other local developmental opportunities.
Advice for Potential HomeVestors Franchise Owners
Before people plunge into entrepreneurship and join a franchise, Flack advises them to do their homework. Speak with members of the corporate office and other HomeVestors franchise owners to gain a thorough understanding of what it’s like to be a part of the organization, the challenges, solutions, and what it takes to be successful. “I started with a global leader in the hospitality industry, so my bar was set high,” said Flack.
we bYou must also be ready to face challenges because there will be hurdles along the way. HomeVestors is a cash-flow business, and owners may need to sell quickly to avoid having too much inventory in their portfolios at any one time. After three years of learning the ropes, the Flacks are proud of their accomplishments and excited about their future.
“The best question you could ask a franchise owner is, ‘If you had to do this all over again, would you?’” Flack said. “Our answer would be an unequivocal yes!”
Building a Bright Future as a HomeVestors Franchise Owner
Investing in a HomeVestors franchise can help you build a solid financial foundation. In 2022, the average gross price differential—the total sales prices of all properties sold by a HomeVestors business, less the full purchase prices of such properties—was $603,353. This does not include the costs of advertising, purchasing, rehabbing, real estate commissions, fees, or repair costs. According to the company’s most recent Financial Disclosure Document, the top quartile reported an average gross price differential of $1,696,458.
HomeVestors franchise owners report high satisfaction with the company. Ninety percent of franchisees strongly agree they enjoy operating their businesses. The brand also got high marks for franchisee support. As a Franchise Business Review Hall of Fame member, HomeVestors has been a Top 200 Franchise for over ten years. In 2023, the HomeVestors Franchise was also recognized as a Top Low-Cost Franchise and a Top Recession-Proof Franchise.
To become a HomeVestors® franchise owner, you don’t need real estate experience, but you should have the desire to pursue real estate investing. According to the company’s most recent Franchise Disclosure Document, you must meet a few financial requirements.
Initial and Total Startup Investment Costs
Full Franchise — With an $85,000 initial franchise fee, you receive marketing rights in your territory, access to tools and mentorship, and can jump right into operating your business full-time.
Total Startup Investment: $135,000 to 461,250, including the initial franchise fee.
Associate Franchise — With a $39,000 initial franchise fee, you have the option to work part-time out of your home while you grow your business. Under this agreement, you still get marketing rights in your territory and the same access to tools and mentorship as full franchisees.
Total Startup Investment: $89,000 to $390,250, including initial franchise feet.
Minimum Cash Required — $80,000
To learn more about the “We Buy Ugly Houses” HomeVestors Franchise Opportunity and find out if it’s the right fit for you, visit HomeVestorsFranchise.com/FBR or call 866-249-6932 or email [email protected].
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.