photography by Elizabeth Lavin

Dr. John P. Hayes

Homevestors of America started in  the late ’80s when real estate agent Kenneth D’Angelo began flipping houses in Dallas. Dr. John P. Hayes took over the franchise when D’Angelo died from bile duct cancer in 2004. The company, famous for its “We Buy Ugly Houses” billboards, has 255 franchise locations that will buy more than 8,000 homes nationwide this year.

Age: 56
Title/Company: President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board/HomeVestors of America
Tenure: November 2004
What was your first job? Mowing lawns in our neighborhood in Ohio.
What was your worst job? Mowing lawns in our neighborhood in Ohio. I said I would never mow a lawn again, and I haven’t.
If you couldn’t say “the people I work with,” what would you say is the best part of your job? Empowering people to change their lives in a satisfying and profitable way. We are the only franchise company in the world that teaches people how to invest profitably in real estate, and we have a solid system for them to follow.
What’s the worst part? Dealing with negative people. I’ve recently decided that the best approach to the naysayers is to simply ignore them. One way or another, they eventually go away. And we always wish them well.
On weekends, where would people find you? At home in Frisco. I travel so much that it’s just nice to spend time at home with my wife, the dog, and the grandchildren when they visit. Oh yeah, the kids are okay, too.
What book is currently on your nightstand? I read two or three books at the same time. [Right now] Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller, and the Bible.
What’s your favorite TV show? Seinfeld!
What three Web sites do you visit most frequently?, my family website on, and
What’s your most recent major purchase? I’ll have to ask my wife!
What’s your biggest regret? That my parents aren’t still alive to enjoy my children and grandchildren. And so that my mom could still cook for me!
What do you consider to be your biggest weakness? I eat too much. And I don’t want to talk about it.
What’s the best advice anyone ever told you? Zig Ziglar told me: “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” He’s right. A great way to live that philosophy is by recruiting, training, supporting, and nurturing franchisees.


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