Client Education: The Key to Leads

Beverly Sonnier has been the proud owner of Help-U-Sell South East Rita Ranch Realty for 15 years. Last weekend, Beverly joined forces with Maria Powell, the owner of Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty, at the SAHBA Home Show (Southern Arizona Home Builders Association) to spread the word about Help-U-Sell Real Estate and saving home sellers thousands of dollars.

Last year, Beverly and her husband, Jimmie, exhibited at the show on their own. This year, it made more sense to double up because the attending audience grew larger. “The show is held on two floors,” Beverly explained, “Downstairs are the companies that sell larger items such as spas, windows, and doors. Upstairs there is space for smaller vendors in the community, and that’s where we set up a booth. Last year we were the only realtors at this event.”

Beverly went on to share, “We had a very good response and ended up with lot of qualified leads. We gave away a small TV, and a large, flat-screen smart TV. The folks that registered are definitely interested in selling or buying a home. The great thing about these events is the opportunity to explain how the Help-U-Sell set-fee works. A commonly heard response is: ‘Wow, we had no idea’. So education is really a key component of success when it comes to the Help-U-Sell Real Estate model.”

With more than 27 years of real estate experience behind her, Beverly is a solid expert. She spent the first 12 years of her real estate career learning from one of our most successful mentors and coaches, John Powell. “I started off as an agent working with John, and went through all of his training. Prior to that, I was a mortgage banker. When Jimmie retired from the Air Force and Postal Service, he became an agent, too, which was a great contributor to our success when we opened our own shop,” she added.

To spread the word about Help-U-Sell in their Tucson community, Beverly advertises in a local newspaper with a 12,000 to 15,0000 audience reach. They also employ the automated postcards for “Center of Influence” contacts and the “Arounds” program. “That connects us with past and potential clients,” Beverly said, “It keeps us present in their minds. We are also starting a sanitation station (for shopping carts) at a local grocery store. Our signage is included, and we’re handing out reusable grocery bags with marketing materials and a snack bar inside. We’re excited to see how that’s going to go. We do not underestimate the benefit of being live in front of people. It makes a big difference in the number of qualified leads we get.”

Top Producers August 2018

August was a busy month for our Top Producers!

A hearty congratulations are in order for Karen Detwiler and her team at Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty. The hard work and dedication were exactly even, as Team Detwiler ascended to first place with 11 buyer sides and 11 seller sides. We’ve been watching Karen’s team climb  consistently higher all year long, and it’s exciting to see that effort pay off.

A regular on our Top Producers list is Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties, who came in second place with a total of 17 buyer and seller sides. Richard is commonly flying among our Eagles, and his tactic of having a mix of different personalities represented on his team is clearly one that has made for excellent results.

Another familiar face is Mario Ferrante of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan. His team has spent much of 2018 being in our number one spot, and we are sure the last quarter of the year will be just as productive for him if the past several months are any indication of success.

One new name that we are excited to welcome into the top five this month is Help-U-Sell Legacy. Situated in Layton Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, Danny Kettle (left) and his team of three are making the magic happen with ten closings.

Patrick Wood of Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties also ties for fourth place with ten.

Office Buyer Seller Total
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 11 11 22
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 5 12 17
Help-U-Sell  Metropolitan 7 8 15
Help-U-Sell  Legacy 4 6 10
Help-U-Sell  Prestige Properties 10 10
Help-U-Sell  Greensboro 5 4 9
Help-U-Sell  Direct Savings Real Estate 3 5 8
Help-U-Sell  Full Service Realty 4 4 8
Help-U-Sell San Antonio Hill Country 2 5 7

Tying for tenth place are with six total sides a piece are Help-U-Sell Columbia Basin, Help-U-Sell Edmond/OKC, Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty, Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty, and Help-U-Sell Golden Homes.

Our Broker/Owners have been making large strides on the gross sales volume list, too. 

Richard CricchioRichard Cricchio and Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties once again hit the top spot with a total of $11.3 million dollars. Since he was second this month in the sides list and number one over here, his team has every reason to be proud. May we suggest a celebratory luau?

Patrick Wood and his team at Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties seals the second spot with $7.4 million.With two offices to run, being able to hustle to close a deal must surely be a prerequisite to work on Patrick’s team.

In third place is the lifelong disruptor, David Bartels and his team at Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty, closing with $4.2 million. Like his office name implies, David has reinvented what it means to be full service in real estate. He has added just about every conceivable option that home sellers and buyers could want, including a moving truck, legal help, and handyman services.

It’s also another “high five” for Karen Detwiler of Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty to be picking up a place in the top five on this list, too.  

Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $ 11,349,000
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $  7,447,700
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty $  4,249,500
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty $  3,474,034
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes $  3,085,500
Help-U-Sell Legacy $  3,010,300
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $  2,619,000
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes $  2,588,400
Help-U-Sell Marquis Properties $  2,509,800
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $  2,033,000

Congratulations to every office for another fantastic month.

Treat Employees and Clients Like Gold

Marc Dosik, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty, has always been interested in real estate and selling. He began as a business broker and later segued into commercial real estate. Wanting to make a name in residential real estate, Marc bought a Help-U-Sell franchise in 2005. The office is located in the Washington DC area, and has the unique distinction of serving the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia. “I became interested in residential real estate because I enjoy working with people and making them happy. The services we provide, combined with the thousands of dollars saved by home sellers, makes them pretty happy in my experience,” says Marc.

Marc’s office is a regular on our Top Producers list, which tracks the number of transactions closed and gross sales volume monthly. When asked what makes his office successful, Marc replied, “There are two reasons we’ve done well. My team has been together for a long time and we provide excellent customer service because our systems and processes are polished. I put the right people in the right place, and I make sure that employees and customers are treated the same way, like gold.”

The team at Marc’s office includes: Melissa, a transaction coordinator, who has been with Marc for six years; Lynn, a virtual assistant for four years; and Chris, a marketing assistant for ten years. Additionally, there are six agents for whom his team provides concierge leads. The staff is busy making calls and setting appointments, and qualified leads are then handed off to the agent. Mark believes this system creates a higher conversion to sale rate, and a more productive office overall.

The numbers give credence to Marc’s method. In 2017, he closed over one hundred transactions. This year, he is about halfway there. “There are two reasons why agents fail; lack of leads and lack of training. Over the years I have found that certain transactions have nuanced details, some agents are not savvy in certain areas, ongoing training solves a lot of those problems,” Marc shared.

Help-U-Sell Federal City is situated in a population-dense metropolitan area, where the median price for a home above $400,000. There is a lot of competition from splashy real estate upstarts such as Redfin. “I’m situated in the heart of their best market, but people are still choosing Help-U-Sell, mostly because of our online reputation and expertise,” Marc said.

One of the marketing platforms Marc prefers are the Center of Influence postcards, which are sent to past clients at least twice a year. These postcards keep the brand top-of-mind and help create referrals. “All of the pieces are professional and polished. The newly-designed website has a fresh look and is easy to navigate. There are additional options offered to help you get more business, but the bottom-line attraction is our business model. When the market is good, people turn to us to sell quickly and save money. When market is tough, people turn to us for expert advice to get their home sold and save money,” Marc explained.

While his staff is highly-focused on providing impeccable service, they also make it a priority to seek great reviews from clients once the transaction has closed. “I tell potential clients to look me up online and read the reviews. We take clients away from competitors because the home seller wants everything – the savings, the service, the expertise. The unique proposition that Help-U-Sell offers makes it easier for them to choose us when they have the facts. We are flexible to whatever the client needs are,” Marc said.

There was another unexpected benefit to choosing to be a part of the Help-U-Sell Real Estate franchise. Marc Dosik added, “After four decades, the brand is familiar to a lot of people and business comes from that national reputation. I can’t tell you how many people relocated to our area, used Help-U-Sell to sell their home in the old city and use us to buy their new home. You can’t buy that kind of trust. We cultivate and cherish that reputation.”

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.