CEO David Hicks of HomeVestors on Why He Buys Ugly Houses

David Hicks of HomeVestors
David Hicks. Source: James Edward

HomeVestors of America, Inc. is a privately owned, nationwide US real estate investing franchisor. It’s independently owned and operated franchisees who buy homes in need of repair and homes that owners need to sell more quickly than usually can be done through a realtor. At the helm of HomeVestors is David Hicks, who is a veteran marketing professional. 

When David Hicks joined HomeVestors in May 2005, real estate didn’t have as much exposure as it does today because of digital transformation. It was also when America hit the hardest recession in many years—recall the subprime recession? So, it is easy to read between the lines that reveals the courage Hicks possessed to enter a business in real estate afflicted by the recession. 

Forget sales; when Hicks joined HomeVestors, it was the time when American homeowners were defaulting on mortgage payments, starved for days to save on food coupons for the children and the elderly. It was this time when Hicks agreed to take a chance on a rather negative-sounding tagline for HomeVestors, i.e., “We Buy Ugly Houses®.” Crazy, indeed. There was a fair share of criticism, but Hicks went on to trademark the tagline.

So, it turns out that negative marketing worked out for HomeVestors? Well, when people were going through dire circumstances, they didn’t have money to renovate houses. Homeowners were literally in ugly situations where they could not afford new houses through foreclosure or short sale. David Hicks, with his team, pivoted the ugly turn of the American economy. People turned to him with their ugly properties for cash. He renovated them and resold them at affordable pricing minus the entire banking system that ceased giving out home loans. 

As a real estate investor, if you are looking for a turnkey investment that will produce reliable monthly income, you can invest in their already renovated properties. HomeVestors buy houses well below the market value to provide to investors the houses at attractive prices. Any rental property investor, this way, builds a quick portfolio of rental properties and reaches their investment goals as planned. 

As strategized by David Hicks, the business model is a no-obligation cash offer on the spot to buy a house “as is.” House owners need no repairs, no showings, and they don’t even have to clean it besides avoiding the actual closings costs or Realtor listing fees. In fact, Hicks and his team have conceptualized “The Ugliest House of the Year” for homeowners to feel confident about presenting their properties in the most deplorable condition.

Today, HomeVestors is present across the 50 States of the United States of America. Each State has a HomeVestors franchise office that is owned and operated independently. As a successful franchisor, Hicks believes that “Life’s too short to do something you don’t have fun doing.” To be a successful HomeVestors franchise, one should be sure they can do it; do they have the skills? Are they ready to be trained? Should they invest in an existing brand or build bottoms up?

David Hicks has remained with HomeVestors for 16 years now. He is now one of the most respected franchisors in America, going in franchise partnerships with people as young as 24 till 70 years of age. He educates them, provides them with the necessary support to expand their business, provides team assistance in lead generation, and remains a guardian with maximum retention of franchisee partnerships.