Ahead of the Curve

Not quite a year ago, Jeff Hedberg of Help-U-Sell Real Estate Masters opened his office in Port Huron, Michigan, but he did so with decades of real estate experience before opting for the set-fee business model Help-U-Sell created. Jeff chose real estate early, he was only 21 years old. “I won a sales contest in college, in a class that was taught by a broker, and the door to real estate opened for me,” Jeff remembered.

In 2013, it was time for reinvention. “I had the largest office in St. Clair County, and at one point I had 40 full-time agents. I loved working in this area, but I wanted to live in Florida. So my family moved and got settled, while I planned on setting up a real estate office there. The call of family brought us back to Michigan sooner than anticipated. I sold my previous business to a competitor, and had to wait out a non-compete clause,” he said.  

This time around, Jeff wanted to do real estate in a different way. He continued, “I think the industry has been broken for a while and brokers have gotten away with overcharging people for a long time. I started checking into Help-U-Sell, partially because I wanted the brand recognition and I liked the model, and didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. Once situated, we just started with word of mouth publicity.”

An important element of success for Jeff is having associates with the same commitment to serving clients. He added, “They share that sense of loyalty and drive to do right by our clients. Whenever I meet with a potential new agent, I ask, ‘Do you believe you are worth 6%? Do you believe the industry is going to change?’ I have three agents with me, two of whom are experienced, and one is just starting out. I don’t do co-listings; I currently have 21 listings myself, with many more in the pipeline. At a minimum, I’m anticipating 50 units for the year, and I will achieve that. I am currently number two in closed units in my county and number five in overall sales and listing volume.”

While pricing and inventory are common obstacles in many markets, Port Huron is more nuanced. Jeff explained, “The challenge for us is that Port Huron is a 180-degree market. There is a river here that separates the United States from Canada. The median house price is $175,000 but it can commonly be as modest as $118,000, when compared to prices in Venice, Florida, where I just moved back from; Houses there average about $280,000. We see a lot of first-time buyers. I’ve already saved people over $128,000 in commissions in my first seven months. I am confident we can capture 30% market share in three to five years.”

Building a business takes time, but Jeff is confident sellers will catch on quickly. “I’m not short-term focused. I have not yet captured the volume I know I’m capable of achieving. When my business was here originally, I had 33% of the market share and closed $110 million in volume. After the economy crashed, the business model changed and there was a definite shift in expectations from the consumer standpoint. Home sellers wanted full service brokers at a reasonable rate. Consumers are putting pressure on the 5-6% model, and this is a fair way to do it. It’s hard to argue with that,” he stated. 

“What I like right now is knowing I am ahead of the curve, and that I will be competitive in advance of other brokers in this area. They are fighting the change. I’m here now and the race will be won in two or three years. Not offering a low set-fee is greedy and short-sighted. We can easily give people what they want once we have their attention.”

To get that consumer attention, Jeff has changed his old marketing practices also. He continued, “There was a time when I was paying for five full pages of newspaper advertising every week, but now I’m taking a different approach. I often use the ‘just listed’ and ‘just sold’ postcards from Excel printing. I made a heavy investment in signage, and it’s worth it because people tell me they see my signs everywhere. Client testimonials drive traffic back to my website and create a lot of viewings. I am also fond of the ‘good, better, best’ brochure. Nothing quite illustrates our offering as succinctly as that.”

Part of great marketing is having the presentation down. “I have perfected my elevator pitch, and have developed several tailored versions which shows the traditional fees, and people saving two or three times the amount using our services versus a competitor. When I am in front of a client, I don’t lose the listing. Sometimes home sellers will get guilted into using a friend or family member who dabbles in real estate part-time. The question I always ask those folks is ‘If this person is a friend, why are they not charging you a friendly fee?’ The savvy seller wants to save money,” he said. 

Subject to many influences, real estate can sometimes be a precarious industry, which Jeff anticipates. He said, “There are always highs and lows. When times are tough, I do what I’ve always done and more. I pray, and make it a point to give more than I take. To the victor goes the spoils.”

July Top Producers

After many months of seeing very familiar faces grace our monthly Top Producers list, July has proven to be a surprising scorcher! We present to you….a shake up!

Debra Schmidt and her team at Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate in Owatonna, Minnesota did it! They closed 18 sides and ascended to first place.  Her office has been making strides throughout the year, often popping up on this list but this is the first time in 2019 that Debra’s office is winner-take-all. Congratulations!

The ever-industrious Jack Bailey comes in second place with 14 total sides thanks to the help of hard work and his team at Help-U-Sell Greensboro in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, Karen Detwiler of Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty in Carlisle Pennsylvania, nabs a “dual” third place with her busy team of six, closing 12 sides. 

Kimberly Zelena, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate

Also sharing third place with 12 sides is Kimberly Zelena and her team of four at Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate in Waynesboro, Virginia. 

There are no fewer than four ties in this edition of Top Producers, bringing another round of evidence to the fact that the Help-U-Sell Real Estate model can still bring disruption to the industry, attract sellers, and make for a successful business to own.

OfficeBuyerSellerTotal
Help-U-Sell
Heritage
Real Estate
61218
Help-U-Sell
Greensboro
7714
Help-U-Sell
Detwiler Realty
5712
Help-U-Sell
Direct Savings
Real Estate
6612
Help-U-Sell
Metropolitan
1910
Help-U-Sell
Prestige
Properties
3710
Help-U-Sell
Edmond/OKC
459
Help-U-Sell
Mike Bowling
459
Help-U-Sell
Peoples
Real Estate
369
Help-U-Sell
San Antonio
Hill Country
279
Help-U-Sell
Options
Unlimited
448
Help-U-Sell
Select Real
Estate
358
Richard Cricchio

Moving on to our Gross Sales Volume report, we find Richard Criccio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties continuing to secure the top spot with $7.1 million in sales for the month of July. Must be the neighbor island volcano making real estate so hot there.

A strong second place goes to Patrick Wood of Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties in Chino Hills, California. His team closed $5.5 million in sales. 

Breaking into the top three this month Is Yasumi Davis of  Help-U-Sell Golden Homes in Martinez, California. She closed $4.3 million in sales.

What is especially noteworthy: a cursory glance at our previous editions of the Top Producers list shows clearly that smaller offices can do just as well as larger offices in terms of achieving both number of sides and gross sales volume, as evidenced by the steady presence and climb of some broker/owners to the higher echelons of this list in just 2019 alone. 


Office Name

Amount
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties$7,198,000.00
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties$5,546,800.00
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes$4,393,500.00
Help-U-Sell South
Santa Clara County
$3,293,000.00
Help-U-Sell Greensboro$2,912,940.00
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty$2,690,500.00
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate$2,671,100.00
Help-U-Sell Wright Realtors$2,600,000.00
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate$2,410,400.00
Help-U-Sell San Antonio
Hill Country
$2,335,489.00

Top Producers 2019 Half-Year Review

While the Help-U-Sell Half-Year Review clearly paints a picture of our stars who have been shining all year long, the real fun comes in with the folks that you were not necessarily expecting. They’ve been quietly accumulating substantial sides throughout the year and then – BOOM – here they are showing up large! 

So our top four Eagles, Mario Ferrante of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan (136), Jack Bailey of Help-U-Sell Greensboro (68), Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty, and Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties (both with 53) are exactly where we have been expecting them, thanks to great marketing, hard working teams, and a value proposition that is tough to beat. 

Kimberly Zelena’s team, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings, stakes a claim at fourth place with 51 sides and puts a huge divide between her and fifth place. 

The stair-step (one right after the other) awards go to:

Mike Bowling, newcomer from Yuma, Arizona and the head of Help-U-Sell Mike Bowling clearing 39 for 5th place. 

Kimber Regan of Help-U-Sell Hanford/Lemoore in Hanford, CA, ends with 38 sides. 

Debra Schmidt of Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate in Owatonna, MN, closes 37 sides. 

With competition that hot, we’re going to need a frozen lemonade to cool off and take it all in. 

OfficeBuyerSellerTotal
Help-U-Sell
Metropolitan
6375138
Help-U-Sell
Greensboro
264268
Help-U-Sell
Honolulu
Properties
223153
Help-U-Sell
Federal City
Realty
233053
Help-U-Sell
Direct Savings
Real Estate
222951
Help-U-Sell
Mike Bowling
192039
Help-U-Sell
Hanford/
Lemoore
201838
Help-U-Sell
Heritage
Real Estate
162137
Help-U-Sell
Prestige
Properties
62935
Help-U-Sell Full
Service Realty
171633

On the Gross Sales Volume list, Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties remains the Eagle flying high with $31.6 million in sales. Just think of the huge savings he has provided his sellers over a traditional 6% commission over these last six months. 

David Bartels of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty in Westlake Village, CA, takes second place with $22.4 million in sales. For those who haven’t checked out what they include in their seller and buyer packages, they really do go above and beyond traditional brokerage offerings.

Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty in Washington, DC, comes in here with $20.8 million in sales. Covering Virginia, Maryland and D.C. means more people recognizing the Help-U-Sell brand and trusting the name that has been saving them money for over four decades.

Office6 Month Total
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties$31,664,888
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty$22,422.500
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty$20,851.679
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties$18,591.175
Help-U-Sell Greensboro$14,319,888
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan$14,157,529
Help-U-Sell Central Properties$13,045.882
Help-U-Sell Direct
Savings Real Estate
$8,221,849
Help-U-Sell Legacy$8,091,434
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate$7,547.000
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes$6,980,500
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes$6,277,500
Help-U-Sell Mike Bowling$6,077,650

Top Producers Q2 2019

The second quarter of our Top Producers list features folks we were expecting and a few that we were not. 

Unsurprisingly, Mario Ferrante of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan in Woodhaven, Michigan, remains in the top spot as he has been since the beginning of 2019. With a staggering 78 total sides, we can speculate safely that whatever methods Mario is employing are working extremely well.

What we were not expecting is the fairly close  competition between Jack Bailey’s Help-U-Sell Greensboro in North Carolina, and Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty in Washington DC. It’s hard to imagine two more diverse markets, and yet there are only 5 sides difference, which shows the difference the Help-U-Sell model creates. 

Kimberly Zelena, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate

We’re pleased to see Kimberly Zelena’s team here, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings in Waynesboro, VA secures fourth place with 34 sides.

OfficeBuyerSellerTotal
Help-U-Sell
Metropolitan
403878
Help-U-Sell
Greensboro
202444
Help-U-Sell
Federal City
Realty
192039
Help-U-Sell
Direct Savings
Real Estate
142034
Help-U-Sell
Honolulu
Properties
141731
Help-U-Sell
Heritage Real Estate
101323
Help-U-Sell
Mike Bowling
121123
Help-U-Sell
Select
Real Estate
91322
Help-U-Sell
Central
Properties
111021
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty10919
Richard Cricchio

Over here on the Gross Sales Volume list, Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties dominates the top of the second quarter with $15 million in sales.

Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty in Washington, DC, makes it hard not to notice him when he is always showing up on both of our Top Producers lists. He closes here with $13.9 million in sales. Considering his 39 sides for the quarter, he has had a great three months. 

David Bartels of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty in Westlake Village, CA, secures third place with $13.2 million in sales. 

The second quarter of 2019 clearly connotes that people were selling and buying houses, and Help-U-Sell was there to provide the expertise to make the sales and savings happen.

OfficeTotal
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties$15,308,000
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty$13,904,079
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty$13,201,500
Help-U-Sell Greensboro$9,297,533
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan$7,518,604
Help-U-Sell Central Properties$6,980,982
Help-U-Sell 951 Realty$6,456,900
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate$6,378,100
Help-U-Sell Direct
Savings Real Estate
$6,100,849
Help-U-Sell Legacy$5,757,410

June 2019 Top Producers

June was hot! Not just for temperatures, but also for home sales. Welcome to the first summer edition of Top Producers.

Mario Ferrante at Help-U-Sell Metropolitan in Woodhaven, MI, leads again this month. His team has clocked in with a total of 25 sides. He is literally setting bar for this organization in terms of success by sheer volume.

Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate's Debra Schmidt

Coming in at a close second is Debra Schmidt of Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate in Owatonna, MN. With just herself, her agent Duane Ringhofer, and a team of two administrative assistants, Debra’s office has been steadily climbing ranks here all year. We are impressed with the tenacity and progress.

Marc Dosik and his team at Help-U-Sell Federal City in Washington, D.C., brings in an impressive 17 sides.

This wouldn’t be a typical Top Producers report if there were not some neck-and-neck ties to speak of, and this month there are three.

Jack Bailey of Help-U-Sell Greensboro and David Bartels at Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate both come in fourth place with 16 total sides each.

These ties make the top ten untidy, but the competition is fun. 

Office NameBuyerSellerTotal
Help-U-Sell
Metropolitan
91625
Help-U-Sell
Heritage Real
Estate
101222
Help-U-Sell
Federal City
Realty
8917
Help-U-Sell
Direct Savings
Real Estate
51116
Help-U-Sell
Greensboro
51116
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty6713
Help-U-Sell
Prestige
Properties
2810
Help-U-Sell
Detwiler Realty
369
Help-U-Sell
Select Real
Estate
189
Help-U-Sell 951 Realty257
Help-U-Sell
Central
Properties
167

Over here in the Gross Sales Volume portion of our report, big changes have occurred!

David Bartels, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty

David Bartels of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty in Westlake Village, CA, has nabbed first place by a rather wide margin of 9.7 million in sales. 

Marc Dosik at Help-U-Sell Federal City in Washington, D.C., does a double turn in our top three list here, as well as above, with $6.2 million. 

Patrick Wood at Prestige Properties in Chino Hills, CA, continues to stay the strong course he’s been setting all year, coming in at $3.5 million.

A round of applause to everyone on a serious start to summer! 

Office NameAmount
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty$9,732,500.00
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $6,205,501.00
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties$3,557,000.00
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $3,514,300.00
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate$3,101,900.00
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings
Real Estate 
$2,923,800.00
Help-U-Sell 951 Realty$2,895,000.00
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan $2,427,011.00
Help-U-Sell Central Properties $2,396,250.00
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate $2,335,100.00