Ginger Davis, co-owner of Help-U-Sell Lake Tahoe Properties, got her real estate license “for fun” eight years ago. After making real estate her career (she has a Master’s in speech pathology) in 2005, she shows no signs of looking back, just ahead.
Davis opened her Help-U-Sell office in 2006 with her husband, after buying a house from and working at an Assist-2-Sell office. She liked the business model, looked at the other options and ultimately chose to become a Help-U-Sell franchisee. With the downturn in the market over the past few years, her husband switched careers and became a general contractor. Davis brought on a new partner earlier this year in an effort to grow her business.
She met partner Brenda Knox while they both were serving on a non-profit’s board. It was a perfect fit. Knox had recently sold her business, and she has an MBA and a real estate license. Davis can now concentrate on the sales aspect that she loves, while Knox is focusing on administration, including optimizing the office’s website and taking advantage of the other benefits Help-U-Sell offers its franchisees.
Davis says the goal for 2013 is to bring on at least two more agents. The Lake Tahoe area has seen growth this year in terms of more full-time residents purchasing property in what has historically been a vacation-home market.
Second-home buyers remain important, so advertising to the two markets requires creativity and balance. “We still [advertise in] ‘Homes & Land’ because vacationers come to town and pick that up,” she says. Zillow and Trulia also help reach the second-home buyers, but Davis adds that her office also does “quite a bit of local radio” because it’s a small community. Print and direct mail factor into the marketing equation as well. “We’re constantly looking at it and seeing what we can do differently,” she says. The office is located in a highly visible new building, too.
For new Help-U-Sell franchisees, Davis encourages them to be able to step back and take a breath to focus on planning for the year. “Know that the business will come,” she says. She also advocates getting involved in the community as a whole and in the Realtor community in particular. “It’s important for agents in the community to see who you are and it helps them understand the Help-U-Sell business model better.”
Share with us your goals for 2013 or your advice for new franchisees.