New Franchise Financing Opportunity

We’re looking to expand the Help-U-Sell family, so we’re offering a new finance option that will defray the majority of our franchise fee.

Here are a few good reasons to consider joining us now:

  1. For a limited time, the franchise fee is just $2,500 upfront.*
  2. You pay the remaining $15,000 as you close sales. It’s just an additional 5% of each transaction.
  3. You still get the same great technology tools, including a broker website, and weekly training as all of our franchisees. The only thing we’ve reduced is your initial out-of-pocket expenses.
  4. Our set-fee business model is thriving in the current low-equity market.

If you’re already a Help-U-Sell franchisee, please spread the word about our great new finance program. To request more information or a free consultation, please go to http://helpusellfranchise.com/consult.html. We would love to speak with you and answer any questions you have.

*All applications are subject to approval and a credit review.

OMS Upgrades – Listing Module Redesign and MLS Fields

The new listing module design is scheduled for completion by the end of the month. We gave a sneak preview to this week’s Tech Time Tuesday attendees. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are a few screen shots and an overview of the functionality.

The streamlined listing module has five collapsible menus, down from the eight tabs currently in use. The Listings Details menu affords easy access to other functionality in addition to updating the description. A click on the address leads to the listing’s property page on the broker site. Click on the main photo and get a QR code that will direct people who scan it to the property page.

There are three options for printing the listing description: a three-photo brochure, a listings details sheet with a map and a listings details information sheet solely for agents.

Listing Module Design
The new streamlined listing module design features five collapsible menus, a reduction from the current eight tabs.

The other four menus can be opened by clicking on the plus sign to their right. The Listing History menu shows a graph of listing views and a list of status changes with the dates the status changed. In the Listing Attachments menu, the broker or agent can upload pictures or documents related to the listing and indicate whether the attachment is available for public display. The Open House Schedule menu contains a calendar where open house events can be entered and viewed. The Listing Notes menu enables the broker or agent to read and add internal information about the property.

Another enhancement we’ve created is the ability to add MLS fields to property listing descriptions. As each MLS is incorporated into the new system, brokers and agents will be able to select the fields that show up in the property listing descriptions. The names of the fields can also be edited. In the example below, “Style” has been changed to “Architecture” and “Spa” will show up as “Hottub.” These fields will be added as filters on the broker websites’ property search results page, as well.

Additional MLS Fields
With the new functionality, you will be able to control the MLS fields that show up in your listing descriptions.

Let us know what you think of the new listing module and MLS upgrades. If you have any questions, we want to hear them, too.

Broker Focus: Tiffany Bullaj

Tiffany Bullaj of Help-U-Sell Hometown Realty
Tiffany Bullaj of Help-U-Sell Hometown Realty

Marketing relies on visibility, and Tiffany Bullaj of Help-U-Sell Hometown Realty in York, Penn., makes sure her office and its listings are not only seen but seen in the best light.

She recently upgraded the office’s camera and software to HDR quality to create great photos and virtual tours. “We find that it really puts us over the top from many of our competitors who still use property photos that look unprofessional,” Bullaj says.

As another nod to the future, the office has built up its online presence and does no print advertising. Google AdWords is a solid source of Hometown Realty’s leads, along with old-fashioned referrals, which still dominate.

While many agents have pulled the plug on open houses, Bullaj encourages her agents to hold as many as possible. She believes in the opportunities open houses afford agents to meet potential clients – sellers and buyers – and tell them how Help-U-Sell can save them money while getting full-service professional Realtors. Hometown Realty also uses directional signs to increase brand awareness.

Bullaj says her office actively markets to buyers, which helped it finish June with the most closed buyer sides of any franchise office. “It was apparent to us three to five years ago that our business needed to shift from being solely dependent on listing sales into a company that works the buyer side aggressively,” she says. “Since the name “Help-U-Sell” seemed to stigmatize us by creating the thought that we only help sellers, we worked hard to counteract that by going above board to make it known to the public that we work with buyers as well, and also save them money through our “Smart Buy” program.”

The “Smart Buy” program offers buyers $1,000 off the list fee when they buy an MLS-listed property through Hometown Realty’s listing agent. To qualify, the commission must be 3 percent and the closing must take place within 60 days of listing  closed. She says, “This seems to create a relationship that goes the distance. We will soon be promoting Smart Buy as a rebate option to all buyers in the area.”

How are you attracting and retaining your target markets?

Mark Your Calendars for November Events

It’s only four months until our big events in November! Have you made your plans yet? If not, here’s a quick overview.

Sticking with last year’s Disney location, the 2012 REALTORS Conference & Expo is in Orlando from Nov. 9-12. We’ll have the same booth, too. If you’re planning to attend the conference, please stop by to see us (and we’d love to have you help out) at booth 619.

Note: Early bird registration ends Aug. 15, so look at your budget and see if you can fit NAR into it.

Realtors Conference & Expo, Orlando
This year's Realtors Conference & Expo is in Orlando. Make plans to join us!

Like last year, the Success Summit will immediately follow NAR, but it will last just 1.5 days, from midday Nov. 12 through the evening of Nov. 13. We’ll be sharing and communing, learning from a few special guests and, more than likely, focusing on marketing. Our host hotel is Clarion Inn & Suites at International Drive. Call 407-351-5100 and mention Help-U-Sell Real Estate to get our special rate of $92/night, including breakfast.

We hope to see you all this fall!

Top Producers for June 2012

Believe it or not, the year is half over! Our top producers for June have maintained the great pace that has been set the past couple of months.

1) Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties in Chino Hills, Calif., finished June with an outstanding 15 closed sides, six of which were two-sided.

2) Charlotte’s Help-U-Sell Buy Today tied for second place with eight closed sides.

2) Another North Carolina office, Help-U-Sell Triad Realty, closed five buyer sides and three seller sides.

3) Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate, out of Waynesboro, Va., was part of a four-way tie for third place with seven closed sides.

3) Wisconsin’s Help-U-Sell Jeff Braun Realty had two two-sided, one seller-side and two buyer-side closings.

3) Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty, in Chambersburg, Penn., closed five seller sides last month with a total of seven closed sides.

3) Help-U-Sell Select Services continued its short-sale and foreclosure focus and closed seven seller sides in June.

Congratulations to all of our top producers for last month! Let’s keep up the momentum through the end of the year.

[Figures as of July 5, 2012.]