Trey Rome – 20 Under 40
Home Tax Solutions
35 | Education: SMU
Trey Rome has always wanted his own company, so after starting a career in baking, he founded Home Tax Solutions, a property tax lending company, in 2012.
“I always knew that I wanted to start my own company where I could improve an industry, help people, and make money while doing it,” Rome said. “When I discovered the property tax loan industry and did my homework, I knew right away that launching a property tax lending company was something I needed to do, as delinquent property taxes are becoming a growing problem for hundreds of thousands of Texans each year.”
Since its founding, Home Tax Solutions was recognized as “one of the fastest-growing private companies in America” by Inc. 5000, one of the “Top 250 Most Inspiring Companies in Texas” by Inc., and for the third year was named “One of The Top 100 Dallas Privately Held Entrepreneurial Companies” by SMU Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship.
“I hope to have a greater platform in the North Texas community through expanding HTS to offer a larger umbrella of services, as well as increasing my philanthropy – both with the purpose of helping more Texans,” Rome said. “I plan to grow HTS and leverage our platform to be the leading provider for property tax and private lending in the state. We are also looking to expand into more states instead of just focusing solely on Texas.”
Rome personally and through his company has supported such organizations as The Family Place, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Wipe Out Kids Cancer.
“I have been blessed in life and believe it’s our obligation to give back,” Rome said. “Jenna and I live in Preston Hollow and started our family five years ago, now we have two young boys, so when you look at the work organizations like The Family Place and the Salvation Army do to help our community, their work is vital. It’s great to be part of a business where everyone gets out of the office and joyfully works together helping others less fortunate.”
What are you most excited about for the future?
This past year has been very eye-opening. I discovered that I can go to the office to work with my team members as I always have, but that I also can work from home to spend more time with my wife and two young boys and want to continue that. Because of the securitization we successfully obtained this past year, we are able to broaden our offers to our customers as well as grow bigger and better. I’m incredibly fortunate for our great, hard-working staff. Life is good for both the immediate and long-term. Our growth and expansion at HTS is very exciting, and we have a lot of cool and big things planned on the horizon. Stay tuned.
What’s on your bucket list?
Summit the Matterhorn Mountain in Switzerland and learn to speak fluent Spanish.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
My first job out of college was in banking, and my boss was a great mentor and advocate for me. She helped jump start my career and entrepreneurial spirit, and I still use many of the skills she taught me early on in my career today.
Where do you see yourself and/or your career 10 years from now?
I hope to have a greater platform in the North Texas community through expanding HTS to offer a larger umbrella of services, as well as increasing my philanthropy — both with the purpose of helping more Texans. I plan to grow HTS and leverage our platform to be the leading provider for property tax and private lending in the state. We are also looking to expand into more states instead of just focusing solely on Texas. We have a best-in-class platform and leveraging into other loan products inside of Texas and nationally is also in the crosshairs. We will of course continue to grow the Texas tax loan footprint and market share, as we are constantly looking for ways to expand our marketing and origination channels.
As far as philanthropy, I believe that companies and individuals who have done well financially have the responsibility to give back to their communities that they have flourished and found success in. Philanthropy and volunteering is a big part of who we are as a culture, and we often find that we benefit more in spirit and bonding than the recipient of our time, money, and help. We find it very important to offer a helping hand to those who aren’t as fortunate — to honor the greater good. I will always be active in giving back to the North Texas community, and my areas of interest are children, education, animals, and the Texas Land Conservancy.
Which leadership skills were the most challenging for you to develop and why?
Delegating and giving up the reins. When I started HTS, I had my hands in every facet of the business. As the organization grows, I had to learn to train, delegate, and let go of previous responsibilities in order to grow effectively. I have also found the most critical item to focus on is not your customer, but your employees. We pride ourselves in being a close-knit work family. The expression rings true “your happiest client is only as happy as your unhappiest employee.” Happy people are much better workers. Many large companies follow the intimidating, everyone-is-replaceable mentality. I wanted to start a company that was the opposite of that idea, with an employee-first culture where it was the employees’ God-given right to come to work and be happy and fulfilled. As a business owner, it is my duty to design and provide an environment that promotes that philosophy and focus on the positive. We focus on the physical and mental wellness of each other; we are a family and are there for each other. I think for this very reason, we have done a really good job of outperforming our competition and are celebrating our third year in a row as the largest property tax lender in Texas. Once you have earned the respect of your team and you all genuinely want the best for each other, the sky is the limit as to what you can accomplish together!
If you could buy a book (or rent a movie) for your neighbor, what would it be and why?
Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake because it teaches the importance of a positive mindset. It also intertwines with science and quantum physics, which fascinates the inner nerd in me.
Toughest business/personal challenge?
Growing at a fast clip doesn’t come without its stress and sleepless nights. Staffing, resource management, sourcing efficient capital to fuel the growth, technology conversions, and audits/exams all come with stress. Like many Texans, one recent hurdle we faced and overcame occurred in February 2021 when Texas was hit with a devastating snowstorm. Temperatures hit unprecedented lows, and the majority of the state lost their electricity and water for days. Most of the HTS team was affected with power loss, and, due to the incredible low temperatures, had to seek shelter in hotels or friends/family members’ homes. Others were snowed in and unable to relocate.
The impact of the snowstorm left the Dallas headquarters office locked out of the building for one week due to damages and repairs which happened to be the busiest week of the year for loan originations. This came, not only after an unplanned week off, but also at a crucial time in our industry when many property owners were being assisted by us and facing a great penalty if we delayed any further. Our team came together to obtain temporary permission to enter and open our office to remove the needed equipment (e.g. printers, scanners, monitors etc.), and we walked up and down the stairs multiple times carrying the heavier items since the elevators were not working (the office is located on the 16th floor of the building!). We were able to set up a temporary mobile HQ a team members house so we did not miss a beat.