Top Producers February 2018

Taking a look at our results in February, love must have surely been in the air seeing how our offices soared to new heights!

1) Riding the wave way up high is Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties completing the month with a total of 19 closings, five on the buyer and fourteen on the seller sides.

Richard Cricchio
Owner & Broker of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties wraps up with 19 closings in February 2018

2) A very strong second place goes to  Help-U-Sell Triad Realty  with 16 closings, seven on the buyer and nine on the seller sides.

3) In third place was  Help-U-Sell Direct Savings with a total of 12 closings, three on the buyer and nine on the seller sides.

Owner & Broker of Help-U-Sell Direct Savings, Leigh-Anne Losh and her team finished with a total of 12 closings in February 2018

4) Coming in at fourth place is   Help-U- Sell Full Service Realty with a total of 9 closings, three on the buyer and six on the seller sides.

Well done to all our offices on these terrific results and let’s keep up the great work!

Coaching Boosts Success for Help-U-Sell Columbia Basin Team

In May of 2016, Marianne Kirwan and her husband, Brent, decided to branch out. They had been jointly running a property management business, and as a natural by-product of their business, they were selling about eight to ten properties a year; Sometimes for businesses associated with their business, and sometimes just for close friends and family members.

“In 2015, we were not focused on selling real estate, and our commissions on real estate sales were reflecting that,” Marianne shared. But when Marianne and Brent decided to buy a Help-U-Sell Real Estate franchise, they knew their focus would change heavily to sales. By the end of the first year they increased sales commission by 185 percent. Again in 2017 they continued to grow their business another 88 percent and have set a goal for 2018 to grow another 73 percent.   How will they do that? Through a potent mix of marketing, visibility, and coaching.

Many Help-U-Sell franchisees find increased success through one of the several coaching groups available weekly. Marianne told us that she participates in one group that consists of about eight people from around the country. “You get different ideas from people around the country – some in big cities and some in rural America, and while some of those ideas don’t play out in a smaller community like ours, there are still a ton of ideas and concepts that turn out to be universal. We take chances by trying new things that make us stand out. That new thing ends up bringing in a lead. It is an invaluable resource.”

Standing out has been a part of the Help-U-Sell Real Estate legacy from the beginning. “The other agencies in our area, they don’t have an Arounds postcard program. They have agents who are always fighting for leads and we don’t have that,” Brent Kirwan said. “I was involved with another agency for a while, and they were not bringing anything new to the table for owners. There was no marketing, some online training, but nothing that helped you drill down into your local market to help you build your business. They always had their hand out for additional money for these classes, in addition to a desk fee, and the percentage of your commissions they were already receiving. It just didn’t add up to keep doing it.”

Marianne explained, “As soon as we got involved with Help-U-Sell, we jumped right into coaching. They helped us develop goals by asking questions like “What do you want to do? Where do you see yourself in a few years?” They also helped us focus on the marketing side of selling houses. They have a lot in place that helps create awareness and word of mouth advertising: EDDMs, print ads on the homes page of the newspaper, drip emails, Arounds postcards; those things are a pillar of the Help-U-Sell model and have contributed directly to our increased success.”

Starting a new business venture is going to be overwhelming at times for anyone, so being able to stay organized is a good way to keep yourself on track when you’ve feel like there is a lot to do and keep your eye on. “When you are your own boss,” Marianne said about being in business with her husband, “there is no one to be accountable to except one another. Also through coaching, we got into the habit of updating a lead log, rather than trying to keep track via sticky notes. We don’t lose track of people. We know where leads come from, what advertising is working or not, and where we need to focus more of our energy or not.”

Keeping visible helps keep the Kirwans at top-of-mind in their community. Brent spends time out on the street planting signs and moving signs to new locations as they gain new clients. He ensures they have 75 to 85 signs out at any given time. They always have a booth whenever there is a fair or an expo. Brent neatly summarized the impact of Help-U-Sell where they live: “We share the message that there is another option that includes full service and better representation at a direct savings to the home seller. We get a lot of repeat clients and investors who have used us to sell multiple properties. We are out performing our competition, because people trust what we have to offer.”

Reach Marianne and Brent at or 509-855-9839.

Saying Mahalo to Long Term Success

Richard Cricchio wasn’t planning on a life in Hawaii or a career in real estate but the two things ended up being pivotal to where he is today, which is consistently at the top of our list of top performing broker offices.

After his parents made a retirement move there in 1989, Richard soon followed to check it out. Attracted by the natural beauty of the island and outdoor lifestyle the temperate weather has to offer, he decided to make a life for himself there, also.

He spent some time working for other real estate companies before making the leap to Help-U-Sell in 2000. Like many good start-up stories, he was initially operating on a shoe string budget and credit cards until all the pieces fell into place. Once his marketing efforts were in full force and his presence was made known on the island, business started picking up, and fast. Which is music to any entrepreneurial ear.

The downside was picking up criticism from other realtors in the community, who were not happy with the competition of a different, successful business model. “When I first started with the set fee model from Help-U-Sell, I got a lot of pushback. I was even told that what I was doing was illegal, which was, of course, completely untrue. The good news is, Honolulu is a small town. When people got to know me, I was eventually invited to join the Professional Standards committee by the Hawaii Association of Realtors and was accepted,” Richard shared.

Regardless of whether the market is good or bad, the name recognition, extensive knowledge and great service makes it easy for the Help-U-Sell name to rise to the top. In Richard’s experience, “Other set-fee real estate companies love opening up when the market is booming. The difference between Help-U-Sell and would-be competitors is that when the market goes bad, we truly excel, whereas others fold up shop. Help-U-Sell remains a resource for home sellers because we can say we’ve been through these downturns before, and we’re especially equipped to help people navigate through it.”

While bringing home sellers savings is a big draw, there a joy in being able to help people through exceptionally trying circumstances as well. “I knew a couple that had gotten themselves into trouble by buying a $700,000 house. They were balancing it against running a struggling business and the stress of the situation was driving them both towards divorce. The market was in a tough spot, but I asked them to not get divorced and let me help them sell their house, which I did. I’m happy to say they are still married,” Richard added proudly. “It’s great helping people in general, but a chance to make a difference to someone on a very personal level is a better happy in my book.”

Success is a happy ending most people can appreciate.

Richard Cricchio

Top Producers for January 2018

With the first month of the year just behind us, our offices got off to a fantastic start!

1) Right on top is Help-U-Sell Greensboro  completing the first month with a total of 14 closings, four on the buyer and ten on the seller sides.

Jack Bailey, owner /broker of Help-U-Sell Greensboro finished with 14 closings in January 2018

2) In a tie for second place was Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties  with 11 closings, two on the buyer and nine on the seller sides and Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties, also with 11 closings, one buyer and ten seller sides.

3) In third place was  Help-U-Sell Triad Realty with a total of 10 closings, four on the buyer and six on the seller sides.

4) Coming in at fourth place is   Help-U- Sell Detwiler Realty with a total                                                                      of 8 closings, and all eight being on the seller side.

Congratulations to all our offices on these great results and we look forward to seeing your accomplishments in 2018!

Planning a Prosperous 2018

If you haven’t formulated your plan for increasing revenue in the upcoming year, it’s not too late to start. We’ve compiled some suggestions to inspire you towards growth and greatness as we surge ahead into the New Year.

Get More Out of Facebook

One of the things Facebook makes easy is the ability to drill down into who you want to reach. Being general is great for your hot new listing. Getting into specifics with age, gender, and zip code can be a boon for reaching young families. Advertising to people who are already connected to your page is helpful for generally cementing your brand.

Using gorgeous, eye catching pictures goes a long way. Of course, if you have video footage (bonus points for aerial shots), even better. Always make sure your contact and landing page information is included in your ad. For Facebook post ideas, refer to our Summer 2017 issue of Reconnect, p.8. 

Lastly, it’s worth it to spend some time getting to know the Facebook Audience Insights tool to give you a concrete sense of who is out there before you start spending your marketing budget money.

Get to Know the Neighbors
Host a house warming for your clients. Research a few themes such as a dessert party, a wine and cheese party, or even a cook out to get an idea of costs. Get the names of the neighbors and guests, and take care of the invitations and RSVPS. The laid back atmosphere of these gatherings is a hotbed for potential leads as you talk with folks in a natural environment, establishing trust, answering questions, and furthering your brand recognition. It is also a fantastic opportunity to take fun, casual photos for your social media pages (and tag who you can). Plus you’ll get the emails of the attendees that you can nurture for future leads.

Stay Visible

An open house is a marketing event and you need to treat it like one. Get your signs out early. Increase your general and directional signage by double. Send emails through the new platform in our OMS system and make sure you post it to all your social media accounts.

Sergio Martinez, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell San Antonio Hill Country in Schertz, Texas keeps top of mind with his audience with radio spots on conservative talk shows. While it is expensive, the audience responds well to the message: “What is the difference between selling a $200,000 home and a $500,000 home? About $18,000 in commissions.”

Office Pizza Night (or Tacos!)

At least once a month, order dinner in for the office and have everyone start calling all of your buyer and seller leads. Have them inquire where these folks are in their goals and ask questions to reactivate their interest in working with your team.

Mining Expired Listings

Our top producer for 2017, Steve Vincent of Help-U-Sell® Triad Realty in Greensboro, NC was a rock star by closing 169 sides. With a dedicated office person handling the details of this program, part of his success in effectively implementing an expired listings program was paying attention to the results and adding resources to it. To find out more, go to page 4 of our Summer 2017 Reconnect.

The Automated Arounds Program

The Arounds postcard program is a great “Set it and forget it” tool for getting your word out regardless of who owns the listing. Go into the OMS and choose a post card you like. Personalize it with your information and messaging. Set up your areas of choice. Choose your budget and let it roll! When the budget is met, the postcards cease mailing for the rest of month. If you haven’t seen it yet or just need a refresher, watch this Power Hour episode where our CEO, Robbie Stevens, and Mike Paholke from Excel Printing walk you through every step.

Reach Out and Touch Someone…Twice a Year

The best marketing has always been word of mouth. Whoever thinks enough of you to speak well of you as a business person to another individual is pure gold. You are literally being vouched for with every referral. Cultivate and call your Centers of Influence by reaching out personally twice a year. Even if they don’t have a need for your service at the time, they will remember you when they need you.

Listen and Learn

Every Wednesday at noon EST, our Help-U-Sell coaches, James Dingman and John Powell, are hosting Power Hour, which is consistently bringing informative and helpful topics to the discussion table such as the new Drip Email system in the OMS and tips for Short Term Strategizing. It’s always informative, and frequently energizing with a free flow of questions and ideas from the hosts and participants.

As always, if you have questions, please reach out to James and John. They are happy to help you plan your way to a prosperous 2018.