Real Estate the Wright Way

At one time, Ed Wright had his eye on the sky as an air traffic controller but had his sights set on real estate. He became a real estate agent in 1980 and opened his own office as broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Wright Realtors in 1982. Interested in all things housing-related, he learned about mortgages, escrow, and appraisals, giving Ed a well-rounded understanding of the real estate industry, and putting him in the position to dispense expert advice on many home-related topics.

Julie Wright began as a bank teller, and transitioned to work for a title company. Over 19 years, she witnessed the success of several Help-U-Sell brokers, and noted they were doing more business than many of the long-time traditional brokers. Help-U-Sell had an easy-to-follow system, and owning her own business was attractive, so Julie pursued her real estate license in 1999. She had plans to open her own franchise when she met Ed while traveling to Biloxi, Mississippi for a Help-U-Sell Real Estate convention. Eventually Julie and Ed married, and Julie joined his business. “Real estate was an entirely different animal with a new language. There was a lot to learn. I was attracted to it because I am a people person, but I wanted to create a business. I also wanted to be active in my community, and have money in addition to freedom,” Julie said.

An uptick in 2018 sales placed the Wrights on a recent monthly Top Producers list, which highlights Help-U-Sell Broker/Owners who have had the most sales. Part of the increase is due to Julie’s new efforts of tracking referrals very carefully through coaching. “One of my most successful efforts was a ‘reverse pop-by’. Just before Thanksgiving, we hosted an open house and invited a certain level of clients and referrals. We served cider, wine, and hot appetizers. At the end of the evening, everyone took home a pie. Some of our clients made referrals for their business, and of course we received several new referrals ourselves,” Julie added. These efforts have been paying off, as Ed and Julie closed 35 transactions for 2018. For 2019, their goal is 50, and plan to achieve it by initiating a campaign of “low-hanging fruit” with expired and probate listings.

Homes in their area have a median price range of $750,000. Ed explained, “The concept of value from Help-U-Sell automatically attracts sellers. Home sellers everywhere, but especially here in California, love saving money off the traditional 6% Commission. On a $750,000 home, 6% is $45,000. That’s a substantial amount of equity people don’t want to give away, giving us a huge advantage over traditional real estate agents. When I make a listing presentation, I win that client 90% of the time.”

When it comes to brand awareness, Ed shared, “Marketing has changed dramatically for us. Several years ago in Orange County, there was a co-op for group marketing with the other California-based Help-U-Sell offices. Marketing is very different today and far more fragmented, especially with internet-based competition. With print media being somewhat passé, we’ve had to focus on creating opportunities that are more directed towards a smaller audience. Instead of going broad, it’s become more targeted and precise.” Julie has also been increasing her presence in a local chamber of commerce. “We’ve noticed that the ‘sold and saved’ brag cards stick with people and make a big impression,” she said.

Together, Julie and Ed have collectively sold thousands of properties over the years. “There’s nothing like the freedom of running your own business. You make your own schedule. The rewards, aside from the obvious monetary ones, are helping people to achieve their goals. When you put a buyer in a new home, that’s a great feeling,” Ed explained.  “We’ve really enjoyed the experience of Help-U-Sell ownership over the past three decades. The company is always growing and changing, it makes for an exciting future, and we’re proud of what we’ve built together.”

Showcasing Value, Building Camaraderie

While working in construction in 2006, Ryan Joyce procured his broker’s license with a hope of blending the two industries. There was a lot of competition in real estate at the time due to the recession, so he took a bank job handling secondary loans while he created a plan. “I moved on quickly because I wanted to learn how to do short sales. I became a transaction coordinator for another well-known Help-U-Sell Real Estate Broker, David Bartels, of Help-U-Sell Full Service,” Ryan shared.

Ryan Joyce, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Bakersfield Equity Savers

Looking for a platform on which to build a future, Ryan looked into opportunities in the Bakersfield, California area. He explained, “I had friends who were doing ‘fix and flips’ on houses and they were making a killing. So I moved from Ventura to Bakersfield to learn from the people I respected and were doing well. I earned a “Rising Star Award” from the local real estate association. I chased every lead, and really sunk my teeth into it. Then the market changed towards institutional investors, and the profit margin started shifting. I still wanted to be in real estate and I wanted to build my own business, buying a Help-U-Sell franchise was a natural fit.” Ryan is now the proud owner of Help-U-Sell Bakersfield Equity Savers.

A recent name on our monthly Top Producers list, Ryan has been steadily building his business and staying busy. There are two additional people in Ryan’s office, his wife, who has been working alongside him for a few years, and a new agent. “I constantly look for ways to cut unnecessary expenses while looking for ways to increase revenue,” he said.

Bakersfield, California is considered unique and Ryan believes that has a significant impact on current and future success. “Bakersfield is an hour and a half from Hollywood, and two hours from the beach, you have reasonable access to everything. This is an affordable area of California, and there is opportunity here because of the extreme price differential versus coastal homes. The price range of houses tends to be less than $300,000, and you’ll also see the opposite end – mobile homes selling for $30,000. People come because they are qualified to buy a lot more house for their money. That is the reason why investment properties have been a focus here recently, and that will be our primary focus for 2019.”

One of Ryan’s favorite aspects of Help-U-Sell are the coaching groups. He appreciates the camaraderie, both with people from around the country, and with the many other Brokers from within his own state. “There’s an opportunity to bounce ideas off other people in the group. You can ask how they would handle a situation or what they have been testing in marketing efforts. There’s a strong sense of accountability to one another. They help to drive each other forward. I also consistently track leads, and take the advice of people like John Powell or Jack Bailey on following up,” Ryan added. “The advice is clearing working, we are on track to close 40 sides this year.”

Ryan makes keeping in touch digitally with clients a priority. He becomes friends with clients on Facebook and reaches out with holidays cards. He also appreciates the advantages of a company with over four decades of experience. “Help-U-Sell has great brand name recognition in Bakersfield. It was well-established before the crash and I owe a lot of my early success to the brand recognition. I do have some competition, but there are many people I’m just not competing with because they can’t offer the same service and price,” Ryan said. “I learned in coaching that it’s not about price. If you provide as much service as possible, they will see your value, not just your price.”

A Son Expands a Real Estate Legacy

Nate Douglas, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Santa Maria, is one the rare individuals who has always been in real estate. Since he was 17 and fresh out of high school, he had an early introduction courtesy of his father, who owned a mortgage broker business. “I learned everything about the mortgage industry naturally from being around my father. I started out in loan processing and eventually bought his business. I then worked closely with Ken Kopcho, who owned this Help-U-Sell office before me. In 2017, Ken was ready to retire and I had the opportunity to buy his business, so I got my broker’s license. I have a property management company as well,” Nate shared.

Like many people right out of high school, Nate attended college and sought a degree in Business Administration. He explained, “The real estate market was starting to boom and I was influenced as a product of circumstance. I’ve always been good with math, so mortgages and real estate clicked with me. It made sense to go ‘all in’, so I left college. Everything I was being taught in the classroom, I was learning in real life working side-by-side with my father. He was an excellent instructor, and he invented work-life balance for me. He taught me to work smarter, because working excessively long hours lowers your value. I was making more money than my professors and bought my first house when I was only 20 years old. Most people rent when they leave their parents’ house, so I was ahead of the curve. Nothing beats being your own boss.”

Nate is still handling mortgages, and shares the office with another broker and a buyer’s agent who spearhead most of the transactions. “We are on track for at least 30 transactions this year. I’ve owned the office for a little more than a year, and fully expect we will be transitioning to a stronger year for 2019. Santa Maria is one of the least expensive places to live on the central California coast. It’s the biggest city between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, and with the median house price being $360,000, we see a lot of population turnover because we deal with a lot of entry-level homes – which is great for business,” Nate said. “In recent months, inventory has been shrinking, but we’re seeing more properties under contract at a higher price. If our efforts snag three to five of those per month, we’re doing very well.”

Aware of the long Help-U-Sell history, Nate has witnessed the brand grow both locally and nationally over the last several years. He added, “We get many transactions from people who used Help-U-Sell in another area of the state or country, 25% of our volume comes from that alone. This office has been around for a long time, so we garner repeat business from that pre-built great reputation in the community. These folks already understand that a set-fee translates into big savings. Our past clients boost our business with word-of-mouth referrals, which is pure gold. When you’re established and do good work, you make happy clients. People will find you.”

With fly-by-night real estate models popping up and disappearing just as quickly, Nate sees the Help-U-Sell brand gaining traction. “We definitely have a competitive advantage over the sea of local, traditional agents. Many people – and I mean the general public – don’t know that commissions are negotiable. This is partially because big-name real estate establishments require properties to be listed at a certain percent. Since that is a franchise rule, many people are fooled into believing that is what they must accept. The mentality of what you must pay for a real estate transaction is shifting, and points to the growing success of a company like Help-U- Sell.”

To grow a different source of business leads, Nate purchases zip code leads but concedes referrals are always the way to go. “Much of the new business is done the old school way: Flawless presentations, treating clients with respect and guiding them through the process. They have to get in front of you to see who you are,” Nate explained.

When he’s not running a three-in-one real estate business, Nate is taking trips with his girlfriend who loves travel. With a trip to China on the horizon, his father’s advice of working smarter continues to pay off.

Top Producers November

With just a few weeks of home selling and buying left before we say goodbye to 2018, the month of November showed us that there was still a lot of production coming from our Broker/Owners. While we are not surprised to see our consistent, highest flying 2018 eagles in the group, we are especially pleased to see two new names breaking into recognition status.

The top spot belongs to our 2018 Don Taylor Award winner, Mario Ferrante of  Help-U-Sell Metropolitan of Woodhaven, Michigan. With a team of 14 people chasing leads and making sales, it’s no wonder that big numbers are populating our highest rank with 19 sides for the month.

Beloved coach and all around great guy, Jack Bailey, and his team at Help-U-Sell Greensboro are in second place with 15 sides. Jack works with two other agents, and he illustrates how powerful a smaller team can be when you’re on top of your processes and lead tracking.

Third place is our Hawaii-based favorite, Richard Cricchio and his hardworking team, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties. With 12 sides for the month, and Hawaii home prices being very high, Richard’s group has saved a huge amount money for those homesellers.

We also welcome Cynthia Stevens of Help-U-Sell Central Properties in Chandler, Arizona to the top ten this month! Congratulations everyone!

Office Buyer Seller Total Sides
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan 6 13 19
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 7 8 15
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 2 10 12
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty 4 5 9
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 9 9
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 4 4 8
Help-U-Sell Central Properties 3 2 5
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 4 1 5
Help-U-Sell Legacy 2 3 5
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate 1 4 5

 

Gross Sales Volume

Richard CricchioRichard Cricchio with Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties clinches the top spot on our sales volume list this month with $8.5 million in sales.

 

Patrick Wood and the Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties team have been in the top 3 of this list just about all year, and closed November with $5.6 million.

Dave Bartels’ office, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty, brought in $4.7 million and landed in our third spot.

Meena Gujral, Help-U-Sell Achievers RealtyThe new face in this group for November is Meena Gujral, Broker/Owner at Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty in Fremont, California. We hope to see more great news coming from Meena’s office in 2019.

Office Gross Sales volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $     8,501,000
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $     5,613,900
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty $     4,785,000
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $     2,956,600
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty $     2,588,888
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan $     2,318,700
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes $     2,090,000
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate $     1,941,700
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $     1,869,955
Help-U-Sell Legacy $     1,749,000

2018 Don Taylor Award Winner and Our Most Improved Offices in 2018

This year at the 2018 Help-U-Sell Annual Success Summit, the 2018 Don Taylor Award was presented to Mario Ferrante of  Help-U-Sell Metropolitan. Located in Woodhaven, Michigan, Mario’s team has been at the top of just about every list we’ve put together this year in terms of number of transactions and sales volume, so we can’t say we’re surprised. We also know a lot of work went into this achievement so kudos to Mario and his team for job superbly done.

Most Improved Offices

Additionally, certificates were handed out for the Most Improved Offices. While we can certainly guess that some of our coaching groups have played a part in helping these offices make and break through new goals, we know the reality translates into these Broker/Owners driving the real change.

1st Place: Marianne and Brent Kirwin, Help-U-Sell Columbia Basin, Moses Lake, WA

 

 

2nd Place: Yasumi Davis, Help-U-Sell Golden Homes, Martinez, CA

3rd Place: Debra Schimdt, Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County, Owatonna, MN

4th Place: Karen Detwiler, Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty, Carlisle, PA

5th Place: Marc Dosik, Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty, Washington, DC

6th Place: David Bartels, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty, Westlake Village, CA