Don Taylor Award 2017 – Tom Nunes

We are pleased to announce the winner of the Don Taylor Award 2017 is Tom Nunes of Help-U-Sell-Sunrise in Sacramento, California. Not only is Tom one of our long time Help-U-Sell family members, but he and his team has continuously represented the Help-U-Sell brand to the highest standards. He has also displayed exceptional commitment to his community and those in need, as we have seen during the weeks of the devastating California wildfires.

Tom Nunes with loaded cargo van on his way to Santa Rosa.

This past October, as fires raged through northern California burning vast acres of land and leaving thousands of homes burned to the ground, Tom organized a donation drive. Having lived in the Sacramento area for over 25 years, he could call on his extensive network of family, friends, colleagues and clients to donate to those families whose homes had been destroyed by the wildfires. The donations were in fact so generous that for five consecutive weekends, Tom and his family loaded up four cargo vans and made the two a half hour drive to Santa Rosa to aid these families who had essentially lost everything. He provided them with necessities such as food, water, clothing, toys and gift cards.

Helping out families who lost many possessions in the fires.

In fact, he did not just pass his donations on to charity but he and his family also visited those in need, taking his time talking to and comforting them. He said: “The tears, appreciation and stories we heard of the narrow escapes from the sudden fires were incredible.” He described the devastation as being far worse than what the media portrayed, also sadly mentioning that his former high school had been burned to the ground.

Maureen Grisso, broker and owner of Help-U Sell Santa Rosa spoke of how two of her employees were directly affected by the fires. She described their distress as only having “mere minutes to gather whatever they could and escape before the fires engulfed their houses”. She portrayed the scene on that night “as if the world was on fire.”  Fortunately, both of her employees were some of the beneficiaries of Tom’s generosity. Having known Tom for many years, Maureen also said: “If everyone treated their fellow human beings the way Tom did, it would be a much better world.”

Santa Rosa- Tom passing out aid to those in need.

Several weeks after the flames have been extinguished, things are still far from usual in Santa Rosa. Unfortunately, rent prices have soared as these families are just beginning to rebuild their homes and lives. Nonetheless, Tom continues to assist them by collecting donations and selling customized caps to purchase Christmas Gift Cards. He has been a tremendous support to these families, a true beacon of light, giving hope out of the pure goodness of his heart and a real inspiration to us all. As Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Congratulations, Mr. Nunes!

Help-U-Sell Franchisee Helps Hundreds Handle Debt

Before getting involved with Help-U-Sell Real Estate, Jack Bailey, one of our long-time franchisees and a well-respected colleague and coach, was in fact a financial advisor. Knowing his history, the people in his church community asked if he would write a course on managing finances using biblical principles. So, Jack sat down, wrote out a 12-hour course, and started teaching it. Over time, it developed into a way to attack debt and live a debt-free lifestyle, and Jack has shared it with many.

Sometimes, people are referred to Jack from other people he’s helped previously. Other times, it is more organic. Folks have come into his real estate office interested in buying a home, and a more in depth discussion about finances reveals that the family finances would not pass muster to get a mortgage because of excessive debt.  In situations such as these, Jack suggests that they first get out of debt and then think about buying a home.

“The first thing we address is getting control of your lifestyle, in terms of making money and spending money,” explained Mr. Bailey. “It’s quite simple. If you spend more than you bring in, you have to adjust your lifestyle. What’s funny is, people often focus on bigger things, like buying cars or phones, without realizing that if they spend $2.75 every day on a cup of coffee, not spending that money results in savings of almost $1000 per year. That’s a lot of money.”

After they understand that short term sacrifices bring long term benefits, they move onto the next step, which is using some of that freed up cash to establish a reserve fund for emergencies. “You might need new tires for the car, or the washer broke. You never know what life is going to surprise you with,” Jack added. “The important thing is to not burden your credit card debt with these unforeseen expenses.”

Next, Jack moves them on to the stage of attacking the debt. “Some people like to go after big debt first. Not me. If you have four separate debts, line them up from largest to smallest. Let’s say you have an extra $200 a month you can throw at any of it while still maintaining minimum payments on all of them. It will take you 23 months to pay off the biggest debt, and the three smaller ones still exist. If you do it in reverse and pay off the smallest debt first, you can pay off all four debts in 17 months instead. Once you pay off that smallest debt, you start applying that same money to the next smallest one until it disappears.”

When that stage is complete, Jack shows them how to scale down the mortgage debt. “If someone is $20,000 in debt, sure, you could give them the money to fix their problem. However, if you don’t look at the symptoms causing the problem, they are likely to repeat it. It’s why these skills are so important.”

Jack admits that information can spin some heads. “Most people don’t think anything of putting big stuff on credit. By that same token, people are ecstatic to learn these concepts exist. Parents don’t always know this stuff, it wasn’t taught in schools, even though good money management is something we should use every day. Kids should learn to handle money while they are young.”

What really pleases him though, is hearing back later from people he has helped. Jack recently heard from one gentleman, Tim, who shared his experience. “You helped me, Jack, and it worked. I got out of debt and I have stayed debt free. You made me promise that I would help one other person learn this, and I did. Now that person is also out of debt, and I made them promise the same thing. They promised to help someone else.”

Over 20 plus years, Jack Bailey estimates he helped between 20-30 families per year, which translates into hundreds of families. It’s especially interesting to note that Jack doesn’t charge anyone money to help them with their finances. He just enjoys helping people. Jack will sometimes get notes or phone calls from people who have let them know of their positive progress or that they paid of their last debt. “They are excited, and I get excited for them because they are so happy. It’s incredibly gratifying,” Jack said.

Jack Bailey, Help-U-Sell Greensboro
Jack Bailey serves as a coach for Help-U-Sell Real Estate offices.