New Broker Websites to Launch March 1

We are excited to announce that our new broker websites will be available next Thurs., March 1. The new look is modern, clean and very user-friendly. On the homepage, the top section below the search bar showcases your office listings, featured properties or open houses. Beneath the carousel of listings is where your personalized content appears. We encourage you to record a 30-second welcome video if you don’t have one already. You can also use text and images in that open space to the left of the banners. We also suggest incorporating your office’s Facebook account into your page so that users can comment on your site and you can start a dialogue with your potential clients.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Broker Site Homepage
Here's the standard version of the new Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker website homepage.

The new website design’s search functionality, which will be on every page of the site, combines the best of the intelligent search and the filtered search. Users will be able to type in what they’re looking for and choose from drop-down menus for property type, status, number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms. The user can also enter a price range and the farthest distance from his chosen city(or cities) he wants to see results from.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Broker Site Search Functionality
Users can search in multiple cities and filter the search results in a number of ways from any page on the broker's website.

Brokers will have more freedom to control their sites to suit their markets. You will be able to change the names of the navigation headers, such as “Buyers” and “Finance.” Also, if your office doesn’t deal with commercial property or if you have no rentals, you can remove those options from the type and status filters, respectively.

The Map View Page on the Help-U-Sell Real Estate Broker Site
On the map page, users can further refine their search results.

Like in the map view, the properties in the list view can be sorted by Office Listings First, Latest First, Price: High-Low and Price: Low-High. You can select which sorting category is the default. On mouse-over of a listing, three buttons appear: Contact Agent, Save Listing and View Listing.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Broker Site's List View
Upon mouse-over in list view, a property's agent can be contacted and its listing can be saved and viewed.

The features featured in this article just scratch the surface of what the new website offers. We invite you to try it out before it launches next week. Go to www.testoffice.helpusell.com.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please share them with us in the comments or personally via email or phone.

Help-U-Sell Receives Franchise Satisfaction Award

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Wins Franchisee Satisfaction Award
Help-U-Sell Real Estate won a 2012 Franchisee Satisfaction Award from Franchise Business Review.
We are honored to announce that we have been selected as one of the top real estate franchises in North America for 2012.

The designation is based on franchisee satisfaction as determined by a survey conducted by Franchise Business Review, a U.S. franchise market research firm. You can view the list of real estate franchise winners on the Franchise Business Review website.

What we love most about receiving this award is that it means our franchisees believe in our business model and, more importantly, believe that we at Help-U-Sell Real Estate are serving them to the best of our abilities.

To our franchisees, we say “thank you” for your votes of confidence. To prospective franchisees, we encourage you to contact us if you want to learn more about the Help-U-Sell franchise opportunity. You can learn more about Help-U-Sell and also contact us via our Franchise Opportunity Center.

Broker Focus: Debra Schmidt

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

One of the leaders of the Winter Warm-Up Contest, Debra Schmidt of Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate lives and works in Owatonna, Minn., a town of just over 25,000 residents.

Being smaller has its advantages, such as the ability to offer the personal touch. Schmidt maintains a database of past clients and sends them an item of value each month. This usually consists of timely information about home-care topics such as winterizing your house. Her office takes this one step further and occasionally goes door-to-door with gifts. Recently, Schmidt handed out pizza cutters emblazoned with the phrase “great service any way you slice it” and the Help-U-Sell logo. In the past, she has delivered Christmas cookies, Valentine’s candy and pumpkin bread.

Her eventual goal is to get 90 percent of her business from referrals. For now, half of her business remains foreclosures and short sales. Schmidt said the market is picking up in Owatonna. Her goal for 2012 is to increase the number of listings and sales by 50 percent over 2011.

Schmidt attributes her office’s success to and pins her future growth on the following simple-but-effective tactics: “Do what you say you’re going to do. Keep in touch with buyers and sellers. Know what’s going on in your market.”

For new brokers, she advises, “You need to be in real estate for more than just the money.”

If you have advice for new brokers or agents, please share it with us in the comments section.

Top Producers for January 2012

Congratulations to our first top-producing offices of the year!

1) Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties finished January with 12 closed sides.

2) Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate, in Waynesboro, Va., takes the #2 spot with seven closed sides.

3) Charlotte’s Help-U-Sell Buy Today is tied for third place with six sides.

3) Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty, out of Tucson, also logged six closed sides.

With the South and the West represented, this is a sign of great things to come in 2012.

[Figures as of Feb. 1, 2012.]