Top Producers for July 2018

It wasn’t hot in July just because it’s the middle of summer! Our Brokers have been on a hot streak of home sales, blazing a path to big success for 2018. Case in point: we have no fewer than seven offices that have all tied for tenth place on our Top Producers list this month. That’s impressive by itself, and a testament to the hard work and smart, targeted marketing carried out by our Broker/Owners. But we have gotten ahead of ourselves!

Continuing what has been a spectacular year thus far, Mario Ferrante and his team at Help-U-Sell Metropolitan are once again the eagles soaring at the top. With 24 sides for July, and adding that to the 98 he closed for the first half of the year means he is sure to break the 200 mark for 2018. We’re excited to keep an eye on what they are doing, and are cheering them on from the Help-U-Sell headquarters in Sarasota.

Karen Detwiler, (left) the focus of our most recent Broker profile, and owner of , nails the number two spot with 13 sides. Given that Karen’s team have now sealed 63 for the year, we’re thinking they are going to strike the heart of 100 sales for certain. Go Team Detwiler!

Naturally, our Top Producers list would look strange without the presence of Jack Bailey and his team at Help-U-Sell Greensboro. Jack’s work ethic, easy-going nature, and drive have carried him far. His willingness to share his experiences through coaching, and his time in the local community have contributed to both his reputation and excellence as a Broker and Coach. With 13 sides closed for July, and 80 for the year, you can’t argue with his method.

Kimberly Zelena, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real EstateFourth place is another recent star in our Broker profile, Kimberly Zelena (left) and her team at Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate. We suspect they will be cracking 100 total sides for the year also.

Congratulations to everyone for the fantastic July numbers!

Office Buyer Seller Total Sides
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan 11 13 24
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 3 10 13
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 6 6 12
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 4 7 11
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 3 7 10
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County Inc. 3 5 8
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 8 8
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty 2 5 7
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate 7 7

Our tenth place ties (with 5 sides for the month) are: Help-U-Sell Columbia Basin, Help-U-Sell East Valley, Help-U-Sell Folsom, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties, Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty, Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited, and Help-U-Sell Real Estate Specialists.

Meanwhile, for the Gross Sales Volume list, we’re looking at some different names entirely and that makes us happy, too. What this translates into is an ENORMOUS amount of home seller savings, had these transactions been conducted by a traditional broker.

Patrick Wood (left) and the team at Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties have taken the number one spot with over $5.3 million in gross sales. Patrick must be doing something right, because he shows up on this list quite a bit!

 

Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty comes in at second place, headed up by Broker Marc Dosik and his team. Together they accrued over $4.5 million in sales.

In third place is David Bartels and his team at Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty. David’s long history of disrupting the old way of conducting business and creating a great deal for consumers has made him a long-term success at Help-U-Sell Real Estate.

Office Gross Sales volume
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties  $  5,312,899
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty  $  4,561,400
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty  $  4,482,600
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty  $  2,976,400
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties  $  2,929,000
Help-U-Sell Folsom  $  2,775,000
Help-U-Sell Greensboro  $  2,695,312
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate  $  2,206,600
Help-U-Sell Marquis Properties  $  2,130,000
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes  $  2,015,870

Loyalty and Creating Clients for Life

Karen Detwiler of Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty wants you know that she saved home sellers a total of $203,000 in commissions last year. Impressive, right? So is she.

Karen had worked as an executive secretary and made a career change to a transaction coordinator for a traditional real estate company. As often happens in these scenarios, Karen naturally caught the real estate bug herself. When Karen and her husband moved to Pennsylvania, she enrolled in a real estate course so she could pursue her license. More importantly, she wanted to be in charge of her own future.

When Karen decided that she wanted to break out on her own, she sold 15 homes during her first year and she has been blazing a trail ever since. “I worked with a great mentor who had a Help-U-Sell office in Camp Hill. He encouraged me to open up my own franchise. So I opened an office in Carlisle and eventually took over the Camp Hill office when my mentor retired. After a while it didn’t make sense for us to have two offices, so we consolidated into one. However, because we had already established ourselves in both towns, we still get a lot of current business from past clients in both areas,” Karen explained.

Now, with a staff of four full-time and four part-time agents (and one incredibly busy office manager), last year Karen’s team had 95 transactions to stand proudly behind. Over the years many potential clients that Karen encountered expressed doubt over the set-fee system for which Help-U-Sell Real Estate pioneered and is known. “I explain our system by saying if my husband and I had used Help-U-Sell ourselves over the numerous times we’ve moved, the amount of savings would have been amazing. Unfortunately, we lived in areas where there were no Help-U-Sell offices.”

Like so many others in the real estate industry, Karen’s office was no exception when it came to being hard hit by the economic depression of 2008. “Of course we went through some tumultuous times, but you find ways to work through those. You up your game to stay competitive. Part of what drives you are the webinars that Help-U-Sell puts on, and the weekly coaching groups. The other part is fine-tuning your marketing. Help-U-Sell makes that easier than ever by constantly bringing in different programs from new vendors so that we can simplify and streamline a lot of our daily processes. For example, they just started a FSBO program that we’re very excited about. There’s other programs that are beneficial, too, such as the new expired listing program and predictive analytics. Last year they improved all the franchisee websites. They look fresher and are now more functional for any device. Overall, it’s a great system,” Karen shared.

While there is some local competition, it’s not impacting Karen’s business that much. She has noticed that homes are taking a longer time to sell, primarily if they are not priced appropriately, but overall her market is seeing low inventory. “Homes that are priced right, sell fast! The driving principle behind the Help-U-Sell model is that our clients are so pleased with both our service and how much money they saved, they become our clients for life,” Karen said. “You can’t buy that kind of loyalty, you can only earn it. This has been proven over and over for me, especially now that we are currently selling homes to the grown children of our previous clients, too.” As far as additional marketing outreach is concerned, Karen shared that they use a little bit of everything to get the word out: Billboards, radio, newspaper advertising and online advertising. “We also keep in touch with our clients regularly and make them feel appreciated,” she added.

When she is not busy running her business, you can find Karen in her flower garden, spending time with her grandson, or co-chairing the local Thanksgiving food drive. “I’m pleased to say that last year we served 800 families. This coming year we are aiming for 1,000 families. One of my agents, Kelly Spasic, co-chairs that drive with me. Ultimately, this business is about so much more than just real estate. You need to make the people in your community a priority to succeed and I believe we’ve achieved that. I’ve been doing this for 18 years now. Choosing Help-U-Sell was a no-brainer for me, and I’ve really enjoyed my career thus far. I’ll probably be doing this until I’m 90,” Karen said laughing.

Real Estate Disruption and Passing the Torch

John Powell, a long-time Broker/Owner at Help-U-Sell Real Estate with several decades of experience, now the Chief Development Officer, weighed in recently on the current trends facing and affecting today’s real estate industry. He also serves as a coach and mentor.

 

What’s Going On Now

Trends in today’s real estate market tend to validate the business model that Help-U-Sell Real Estate invented more than 42 years ago. The industry has been in turmoil for some time, and we’ve reached a tipping point. There are many “new” business models coming into the fray with options like instant offers from well-funded groups who will buy a house from the seller for cash with a quick closing and then flip the house for a profit. Several other companies have emerged mimicking Help-U-Sell by charging a single flat fee. While their fee structure may resemble what we do, these new competitors have little in common with Help-U-Sell.

It is important to note that none of these well-funded, new competitors are using the old, traditional 6% commission model. Investors are not willing to invest in an outdated business model. Instead they are impelling the shift to consumer-oriented, consumer-centric business practices. It is remarkable that, given the shift in the industry, many traditional model companies are doubling down on the agent-centric system. They are offering new technology to agents and 100% + commissions. Some are offering multi-level type schemes where agents can get a percentage of the commissions of agents they recruit to the company. These brokerages consider the agents to be their clients instead of the consumer who actually generates the revenue. In the end, the consumer will determine the model that gives them the best value for their money.

Disruption is the Model

Help-U-Sell is the original disruptor in real estate. We have been disrupting the standard idea of how brokers and Realtors do business for more than 42 years. When we started, most people were doing business the same way they do it today: list the house for a percentage commission, usually between 5 and 7% and put it in MLS. We pioneered the consumer-centric model by going directly to the consumer.  We asked home sellers and buyers, “What did you like about your real estate experience? What did you not like? What would you change?” We based our model around those answers and formed Help-U-Sell Real Estate.

Competition and Changes

Today’s technology supports our original vision of a consumer-centric real estate experience, making the whole real estate purchase and sale process easier than ever. In the past, Realtors held the key for every house on the market and controlled access. Today, consumers use online tools to control their home search. Home sellers can look up a valuation online, or area statistics on crime or school ratings. The role of the Help-U-Sell Broker has shifted over time, but our value proposition is the same: “Full service. Big savings. The experts next door.”

Other companies are currently experimenting with a set-fee. A popular new company just raised their rate from $3,200 to $3,600. As the original real estate disruptor, we are not experimenting, we are experienced. We’ve been doing this for 42 years. As a franchise organization, we offer an opportunity to entrepreneurial Realtors that they can’t get at Purplebricks, Zillow, or Redfin. In those organizations and others, all the offices are corporate owned and the brokers are mere employees. One must wonder how quickly a corporate employee can respond to a situation that arises threatening the successful closing of a transaction. As a locally owned business offering set fee pricing, saving sellers thousands and providing full service, Help-U-Sell is perfectly positioned for today’s changing real estate world.

Flexibility and Potential a Big Draw for Maria Powell

While living in Mexico, Maria Powell was working as an executive in banking but had bigger ideas for her life and career. So Maria emigrated to the United States in 1995, determined to carve out a better life. She wanted to pursue real estate for the flexibility to be more available for her children. “When I was in banking, it was difficult to leave work for emergencies, even if your child broke an arm,” Maria said.

Maria sought a real estate mentor, from whom she would learn everything about the industry: John Powell. In her first year, she closed 16 homes. “I’ve always liked sales,” Maria shared, “but one of the reasons I was attracted to real estate was because it is one of the highest-priced items and most important things a person can buy. Being in business for myself was the best possible move because you can earn as much as you want. There is no limit.”

2018 is turning out to be far busier for Maria because she is returning her focus to her business after having spent a lot of time last year caring for a friend in hospice care. “It was important to give that time and attention, because being present for someone like that is an honor. My team at Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty has done a fine job of holding down the fort for me. I joke that my office manager is my second brain. Last year we closed 35 sides. We’re on track this year for somewhere between 45 and 50. The months of April, May and June were crazy for us, we had a ton of leads coming in,” Maria explained.

Although there are many traditional real estate offices and several set-fee style competitors in the Tucson area, Maria has never had an interest in those business models. “To me, the number one company to work for is Help-U-Sell Real Estate. I’ve never been with another real estate company. The support is tremendous, the name recognition is often what gets me in the door, and the coaching is key,” Maria said.

As a matter of fact, Maria just got involved with coaching this past year. “I needed the accountability because I want to do everything,” she laughed. The coaching helped Maria to pinpoint her talents, and concentrate on her strengths while delegating the big time drains to someone else.

Help-U-Sell is bringing more to the table for Maria. She went on to say, “Help-U-Sell Real Estate is the number one set-fee real estate company in the United States. It’s a huge advantage because the possibilities are as endless as the potential. Much of what I need to get a listing is provided for me. The scripts are polished, the marketing pieces are professional, fresh looking, and easily customizable. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, leaving me time to work with clients.”

Talking about her own real estate career, Maria says, “There’s three big reasons I’m successful. One, the Help-U-Sell name recognition alone gets a lot of play; people call me because they know the name and what we stand for. Two, my own experience and expertise. I’ve sold hundreds of homes in Tucson and know my business. Three, and most importantly, we save consumers a lot of money. Home sellers get excited by the savings and tell all their friends. My past clients do most of my marketing for me!”

A Commitment to Community and Teamwork

When real estate chose Kimberly Zelena, she wasn’t just seeking a career path; she wanted to make it a family enterprise. Her husband, Michael, and Kimberly Zelena, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estatea business partner had put themselves in the thick of real estate in 2001 by purchasing homes for fixing up and reselling, and she wanted to expand on that. “When we looked at opening our own real estate office, we researched Assist-2-Sell and Help-U-Sell Real Estate, and we just liked Help-U-Sell a lot better. I liked the job security real estate had to offer, in addition to a steady income and a real potential for profit. The structure made more sense to us, and what they offered to the owners in terms of support was more appealing,” Kimberly (pictured above) said.

Mike sought his real estate license, Kimberly became the company owner of Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate, and they brought on Leigh Anne Losh (below) as broker. Having come from a title and settlement real estate background, Leigh Anne was also interested in making a career change. Early on she had taken a course on R.E.O. properties so she could focus on foreclosure and short sale business alone, which now constitutes a full 30% of their overall business. Kimberly said, “A lot of people don’t like working foreclosures, it takes a lot of patience, paperwork, and attention to detail. We get a lot of referrals for this because not only does Leigh Anne like handling foreclosures, she has a real knack for it.”

Of the many benefits that Help-U-Sell offers its owners, Kimberly most appreciates the coaching groups, led in part, by Jack Bailey, a 30-year Help-U-Sell Broker/Owner whose name often populates our “Top Producers” list. Kimberly shared, “Jack taught us early on that we should send out Center of Influence cards four to six times a year, and that was well before it was automated. Now that they are automated, it makes a huge difference in keeping us in the forefront of our clients’ minds.”

Another tactic employed by Kimberly’s office is to be 100% about customer service. “We get leads in part because of our great service and our professionalism. Largely, I am all about a quick response. Our staff is on the phone seven days a week until 9:00 p.m.”

Kimberly and her team go out of their way to make clients feel appreciated. For new clients, whether they are buying or selling, she gifts them with homemade fudge for the holidays. She even acquired a food license to keep everything copacetic for the business. This year they switched it up by having a ‘Christmas in July’ at a local park, inviting all 900 people from their Center of Influence list for a cookout. “When thanking people individually, we’re also big on notes and small gifts. We receive a lot of referrals, so I love giving Outback gift cards for the referral,” Kimberly explained.

Being part of a smaller community also has its advantages when it comes to name recognition and building trust. “When people move here, they rarely move away, so people really get familiar with you. Leigh Anne is known for short sales, and has a reputation for being excellent to deal with; but she’s also a presence at local festivals, manning an ‘old fashioned’ soda wagon.  People connect with her. Mike and I do the same the thing with our Lucky Duck Kettle Corn business. Of course it’s fun, but we’ve also been able to establish ourselves in the community another way that people like and remember.”

All of this diligence and hard work is paying off for team Zelena. They closed 116 sides in 2017, and the January to June report for 2018 recently published on the Help-U-Sell Connect blog has Kimberly’s team coming in fourth for the most productive office within the franchise network. Kimberly’s team closed 63 sides, which is a good indicator of closing at least double that amount for the second portion of 2018. “We were a team before teams were popular. We all work well together, and our business model works well. We are a woman-owned, woman-broker company, and every day we’re making great things happen with that commitment to teamwork.”

Top Producers: Half-Year Review!

At the six month mark and only four transactions between them, we’d call the race to the number one spot between Mario Ferrante of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan  and Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties a “squeaker”. Jack Bailey, our 30-year Help-U-Sell veteran and coach of Help-U-Sell Greensboro continued his busy streak in third place. The Kimberly Zelena, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real EstateZelena team (Kim pictured left) at Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate and Patrick Wood Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties complete our top 5 with a tie. If the benchmark for the first half of the year is a predictor for the second half, we’re very excited to see what these offices will do.

Office Buyer Seller Total
 

Help-U-Sell Metropolitan

41 57 98
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 23 71 94
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 22 46 68
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 24 39 63
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 10 53 63
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 13 37 50
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty 18 25 43
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County Inc. 16 25 41
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 15 24 39
Help-U-Sell Real Estate Specialists 13 21 34

 

 

WOW! Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties came shockingly close to closing nearly $51 million in gross volume sales in just six months. Let’s repeat that: FIFTY ONE MILLION DOLLARS. That’s just crazy good and wildly impressive. Coming in second, another frequent flyer David Bartels, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realtyamong our eagles, Patrick Wood Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties. David Bartels (left) at Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty makes this trifecta one worth noticing.

Office Gross Sales Volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties  $  50,937,900
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties  $  35,053,156
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty  $  21,662,400
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty  $  16,754,331
Help-U-Sell Greensboro  $  12,487,965
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes  $  11,530,250
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan  $  10,516,245
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate  $  10,091,600
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty  $    8,695,350
Help-U-Sell Legacy  $    8,688,693