We are thrilled to announce that former franchisee Greg McPherson has returned to the Help-U-Sell Real Estate family! A franchisee from 2003 to 2008, McPherson has been running an independent brokerage in San Ramon, Calif. since then. His new Help-U-Sell office, Help-U-Sell East Bay, will open this Friday, Feb. 1.
“Help-U-Sell is who I am,” he says. “It’s something I strongly believe in, and it sells itself.”
Having grown up in the local area, McPherson says, “giving back to the community is important to me. Help-U-Sell allows me to do so in a happy way. Helping people financially is a good feeling all around for us.”
His office will serve clients as far north as Walnut Creek and south to Pleasanton.
Please join us in welcoming him back.
On the East Coast, veteran Help-U-Sell broker/owner Dan Desmond has expanded his Bay Beach Realty office’s reach to North Central New Jersey with the addition of agent Alba Pytell. A long-time area resident, Pytell has been practicing real estate for four years. She joined forces with Bay Beach Realty because she has always wanted to be with a flat-fee realty. “I feel like everybody wins with Help-U-Sell,” she says.
Pytell has her own website for her territory, which encompasses Morris, Somerset and Union counties.
In this era of reduced inventory, Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited in Terre Haute, Ind., is one of the top Help-U-Sell offices for new listings taken in 2012. Broker/owner Brenda Fischer attributes this success to “going back to the basics.”
For her, this means answering your phone and following up as quickly as possible on all emails, phone calls, etc. She adds, “Use your buyer and seller data sheets and follow up. Don’t give up on these contacts until they tell you they are not going to list with you or they are not going to look at any more homes. We find that people may list three to six months after the initial contact.”
Fischer’s office attracts the leads that turn into listings and sales in a number of ways, many of which fit the “back to basics” theme. Every day, the office sends out handwritten notecards to all expireds and withdrawns in its target markets.
Traditional advertising works for Options Unlimited also. “We advertise weekly in the Valley Homes Section of the Tribune Star newspaper. Last year, we had an insert in the Tribune Star, where we placed a flyer in the newspaper once a month for three months,” she says. “During the peak listing season, we advertise on the local radio station.” Fischer says it’s a 20-second commercial that promotes how her office can save sellers money.
She uses her happy clients to help tell the Help-U-Sell benefits, too. “We get testimonials from anyone and everyone we can get them from – buyers, sellers, off Trulia and Zillow, etc. We place these in our local newspaper and on our website,” she says.
Fischer describes Terre Haute real estate as a buyer’s market and says that “buyers seem to be taking advantage of that in a big way.”
“They are asking for more personal items than ever before, and they know which houses are priced to sell. Buyers are looking at a lot more homes than they did in the past, and these include homes that may not fit their criteria. They want to make sure they have seen everything that may remotely fit their needs,” she explains.
Fischer says her office’s goals for 2013 are to have at least 50 listings by July 1 and to have approximately 65 sides in 2013. She intends to use her market analysis to plan when to advertise and where to advertise to get the most bang for her buck. “We are also planning a three-month trial period with Trulia and we plan to sponsor a Little League baseball team,” she says.
As an almost six-year Help-U-Sell veteran, Fischer offers well-earned advice for new franchisees.
“Some of the traditional real estate companies do not like our concept,” she says. “Kill them with kindness and be as helpful as you can to them.” For instance, she recommends making it easy to show your houses by being thoughtful about which lockboxes you use.
Fischer adds that a proper introduction is key when you’re first opening your office. “Send a note to all brokers in town that Help-U-Sell is here and what it means,” she says. “Everyone thinks they understand what we are all about, and they tell people their version. Get yours out there.”
Video has been growing in importance as a marketing tool for the past few years, and 2013 promises to make the medium even more vital especially for real estate marketing. How can you take advantage of this trend?
We’ve compiled seven tips on what to do (and what not to do, especially regarding mobile optimization of videos) to create a successful video.
Avoid tiny text.
Use clear audio.
Put links to your website and related sites, such as your blog or a property listing, in the description.
Include keywords in the description.
Use close-up shots of interesting property features, neighborhood sites or interviewees.
Test the video on mobile devices.
Keep it no longer than 3 or 4 minutes, ideally 1 to 2 minutes.
Matt Kellam of Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty does a great job with the length, audio and keywords. Watch one of his recent videos of a property tour.
Not sure what to film? Try out this suggested content:
Property tours: If possible, record the sellers’ story of the home and focus on unique details of the property.
Neighborhood overviews: Give viewers a feel for the area and speak with local proprietors and residents about why they love the neighborhood.
Tips for buyers and sellers: Answer your most frequently asked questions (one per video).
Market updates: Share the most recent sales figures or give the latest interest rate information. Use graphs or other visuals to help explain the changes.
Client testimonials: Record your happy sellers’ and buyers’ praising you and your staff.
Do you have any other ideas for video content or tips for successful videos? If so, please share them with us.
[Special thanks to Inman News‘ Mobile Marketing Essentials webinar for a few of these tips.]
Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s top-producing offices closed out 2012 with a bang.
1) Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties continued to reign at the top with 11 closed sides, six seller, three buyer and one dual-ended.
2) Carlisle, Penn.’s Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty maintained its second-place position with eight closed sides. Five were seller sides, one was a buyer side and one was a dual-ended transaction.
2) Also in second place, Help-U-Sell Central Properties, out of Chandler, Ariz., came back to the top three with eight closed sides, five seller and three buyer.
3) In third place with seven closed sides, Tucson-based Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty dominated with buyers. Three transactions were buyer-side only and two were dual-sided.
Congratulations to all. Let’s top these great numbers this month!
We’re starting off 2013 with a glance back at the great things our franchisees accomplished in 2012. Check out the infographic below.
Not only did the Help-U-Sell family grow in 2012, but our offices expanded their reach by working with more buyers. We’re proud of what our franchisees achieved last year and look forward to their continued success this year. What will you make happen in 2013?