“Hey, all. Roger Hayer here. 👋 I just wanted to share the story about how I became a real estate investor.
I grew up in a blue-collar family: My parents worked in the fast food and auto industries in Detroit. Money was always tight, and I have memories of my parents often being laid off from work.
When that happened, we would travel to Texas and stay with family while trying to find work. We were forever moving back and forth in search of opportunities. We loaded up a little hatchback with all our belongings and headed down the road, making the trip across two days, sleeping at truck stops, and eating the most delicious home-prepared Indian food. 🍛👌
When I was 8 years old, I thought life was great. I never realized those trips were because my parents had lost their jobs.😅 I was just glad to see my cousins, and nothing was more exciting than spending some time with them.
One day, my dad made a trip to La Grange, Texas, about an hour outside Austin. He called my mom and said he might’ve found something the whole family could benefit from: a small, 18-unit motel. I still remember that day.
On our way to La Grange, I remember sitting in the back seat encouraging my parents to buy the place. There were potholes probably as tall as me at the time, grass up to my neck, and the plumbing didn’t work on half the property. I remember telling them I’d help any way I could. The whole idea sounded like so much fun.
We bought the property, and my uncle was our real estate agent. As a closing present, he gifted me a basketball hoop that my cousins helped cement into the ground at the far end of the property. That was probably our first improvement, and I was in love with the idea of real estate from that moment on.
I remember thinking, “This is what I want to do for a living.” 😌
My fondest memory is helping my mom paint the smoke-stained walls with a roller brush. There was something great about seeing the transformation into something so beautiful while working alongside someone I love. 💖
My dad applied for a job at a pizza restaurant that first week, just in case things didn’t work out. As it turned out, he never had to work for another company again. He became his own boss and bought and sold many properties from that day forward. 🙌
My first job was running the cordless phone to the guest rooms at 8 years old, and I only worked for tips.
I ventured off on my own after helping my family construct a new hotel. Before that, I cleaned and maintained thousands of hotel rooms, checked in tens of thousands of guests, and managed hundreds of employees throughout my career.
When I married Rosie, life wanted something more from me. We decided to leave the “family farm” and moved to Dallas in our early 20s, where we lodged up at the Motel 6 on Coit and 75 — ambitious like you wouldn’t believe! 🤣
Rosie scored a career with a major Fortune 500 company, and I struggled to land front desk and housekeeping jobs. It felt as though I was starting from scratch all over again.
But I knew the industry like the back of my hand, so I went off to get my real estate license after the encouragement of my family and friends. I found it to have many similarities with hospitality; just checking folks in for a longer stay. I really enjoyed this work, and it provided the outlet for my expression that I was looking for. Our very first sale was our own home in McKinney, Texas, which was a foreclosed property. 🏡
Later on, Rosie left her job, and we went on into real estate sales for several years before realizing our passion for real estate investments. Her limo was driving her to the airport to catch a flight to D.C. to work on some big project one day, and she told the driver, “Take me back; I’m going into real estate.”
It’s been a beautiful journey. As we have come full circle with all the knowledge and experiences gained, life has a way of revealing itself. 💫✨