New Broker Website Design

To coincide with and complement the new Help-U-Sell Real Estate branding, we are updating the broker websites. Here is a sneak preview of the design in progress. The area below the featured properties will contain videos and other content that you will control.

Help-U-Sell Broker Sites Design Option
The Help-U-Sell Real Estate Broker Website redesign is in development.

We want to hear your opinions on the design. Please contact us directly or comment on this post to let us know what you think.

Also, we have added new business card design options, including ones that contain photos. Visit Alexander’s Print Advantage to review the options and create and order your business cards.

What We’re Thankful For

We have a lot to be thankful for at Help-U-Sell this year. Here are just a few of our blessings.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Booth
We are grateful for all of our brokers who spent time in our booth at NAR!
  • We just came back from a great week at the REALTORS Conference & Expo and our Success Summit.
  • We have some of the best and brightest brokers as part of the Help-U-Sell family.
  • Our technology tools keep expanding, with this year’s QR-code generator and the almost-complete mobile site/app being two of the stars.
  • A fresh new look that reflects where we’re headed.

What are you giving thanks for this Thursday?

Help-U-Sell Success Summit

Help-U-Sell Success Summit
Live at the Help-U-Sell Success Summit

We’re in the middle of our Help-U-Sell Success Summit 2011. We’ve heard from Patricia Boyd about Creative Financing and Nick Taylor of Zillow, as well as our own brokers and our home office. Right now, we’re getting great information from our ‘Good Things Happening’ Star Panel. Moderated by John Powell of Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty, it stars Tammy Whitehead of Help-U-Sell Riverside Realty, Stephen Taber of Help-U-Sell West Valley Specialists and Kimberly Zelena of Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate.

Everyone on the panel has at least 50 percent of their sales from short sales and foreclosures.

Whitehead says she’s traditional Help-U-Sell Real Estate. She rarely places homes on the MLS. She encourages sellers to show their own houses, as well. She tells them, “you’re saving $16,000 [by showing your home yourself],” says Whitehead of Help-U-Sell Riverside Realty. “Let’s try this for 30 days.”

Zelena shared some marketing tips. “You have to have a lot of patience,” says Zelena. “You have to be nice.” She also does charity work, including selling candles as a fundraiser, and turns her ETMs into JPEGs to post on Facebook.

Powell says, “Do a set fee. Give your sellers a lot of signs for their open houses.” Taber says foreclosures bring in a lot of leads. He’s a one-man show, but he’s looking to hire an agent. He wants to split his time between REOs and short sales.

“I make sure at least once a week I give an update on each REO,” Taber says. “Treat the bank like any other seller.”

Broker Focus: Kimberly Zelena and Leigh Anne Losh

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

Kimberly Zelena’s key piece of advice for all agents and brokers is “answer your phone.” She says this simple tactic has secured her office, Direct Savings Real Estate, four clients from other agencies in the past two weeks. “We have our phones 24/7. We don’t use an answering service or a machine,” she says.

Zelena’s tip may be basic, but her franchise office isn’t. Based in Waynesboro, Va., Direct Savings Real Estate doesn’t have the traditional broker/owner setup. Owner Zelena handles the marketing and the bookkeeping, along with Cathy Fields. Zelena’s husband, Mike, is the listing agent, and Leigh Anne Losh is the buyer’s agent.  “Our office works as a team, I would not have it any other way,” Zelena says.

The franchise has existed since 2005; Zelena joined the office in 2007 with no real estate background. Back then, people suggested to the office that it close its doors because Help-U-Sell would never survive.  Thanks to all the unlimited free training, the support of Help-U-Sell Corporate and their dedicated staff, Zelena says, “We are strong and moving forward.”

She values the training offered by Help-U-Sell, including her coaching calls with fellow franchisee Jack Bailey and the other franchisees. “Coaching calls are very important,” Zelena says. “I learn something new each week.”

Leigh Anne Losh, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate
Leigh Anne Losh, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate

Losh agrees. “Without all the free education and weekly trainings offered by Help-U-Sell corporate’s office, I would have never made my goal of being the office’s principal broker in just three years!,” she says.

Zelena and Losh plan to take advantage of ProCoach-U, Help-U-Sell’s online university, when it’s completed early next year. “In my opinion, all agents need to go through university before they open their offices,” she says.

Losh’s goal is to buy the office one day. With her background in title work, she had the foresight that the REO market would be big in the area that the office serves. “She got into BPOs and REO companies,” says Zelena.“That saved us.”

She says prices have stabilized but REOs still represent the best opportunities. One of the office’s goals is to increase the number of REO companies they work with. Direct Savings also wants to increase business by 25 percent and increase sales of equity homes in 2012. The office has closed 30 sides so far this year. The biggest challenges are financing and decent offers. They also want to work on educating sellers to realistically price their homes to get ahead of the market.

While these goals are vital to her business’ success for next year, Zelena’s sights are set on a closer goal of raising enough money to pay for 4,000 meals for the hungry. Combining a hobby, favorite charities and her Help-U-Sell office, her Candles 4 Canned Goods fundraiser will benefit a local food bank and an animal charity. “I was trying to find something that the office can do to donate money back to the community,” says Zelena. “My mother received a set of candles as a gift, and I thought ‘Candles 4 Canned Goods’ is a great way for our office to give back.”

She and her mother make the beeswax candles and sell them for $6 a pair. One-hundred percent of the purchase price goes toward purchasing canned goods for humans and pets.  The $6 price of a pair of candles will purchase 24 meals. She needs to sell about 167 pairs of candles to buy 4,000 meals, and she is more than halfway there. Zelena is spreading the word of the fundraiser through local events and is sending out candles to her clients with a letter of explanation about the project.

Through their prompt communication and charitable work, Direct Savings Real Estate truly serves the community. How does your office give back?

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