Lona Murphy, broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate in Eugene, Ore., has owned her franchise since April 2011. In that short amount of time, she took the office, previously known as Help-U-Sell By Owner, and made it into an even more successful business.
Murphy attributes the growth to a strategic approach that started with the name change. She wanted to ensure that potential clients knew that her office offered full representation, not just assistance to FSBOs. She improved the company image by moving the office from a retail location to a corner office downtown. New marketing materials, taking advantage of inexpensive online marketing tools, and focusing on being proactive and following up furthered the efforts to be seen as a great option for home sellers in Eugene.
The office also incorporated Murphy’s existing rental program into the revenue stream. Their 20 rental units have provided a consistent source of income and of buyers and sellers. She says their property management clients have made many referrals to her office.
One of the biggest challenges Select Real Estate has encountered has been from competitors claiming Help-U-Sell is a discount brokerage and that other agents won’t show its listings. Murphy and fellow broker Tiffany Guerin assertively overcome objections using facts and statistics. “We don’t use negative references to other Realtors,” she says. “[But] we don’t back down.” She has rarely lost a listing to a traditional brokerage.
Murphy has begun to turn down certain listings, however. “I don’t take overpriced listings anymore,” she says. Her slogan is “I don’t list properties to list them; I list properties to sell them.”
For new Help-U-Sell brokers, she advises not to take it personally when traditional agents and brokers say you’re inferior. “Persevere and be committed to what you do, and that’s to help people and save them money,” Murphy says.