Gene Manners spent the first part of his career teaching music at the university level and performing as a tenor when he decided to branch out into real estate for the first time. He acquired his real estate agent license in 1985, and then just a few years later went for a broker’s license in 1988.
After having met a representative of the Help-U-Sell Real Estate organization in 2001, Gene shared, “I told him that I had two problems. One, I have very little experience. Two, I don’t have any money.” Gene then heard: “You’re just the kind of person we’re looking for.”
Gene bought a franchise office in West Covina, California, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. He made the kind of sacrifices that are well known to anyone who has tried to rally an entrepreneurial effort into a profitable business. He put in long hours and worked out of a spare bedroom in his mother’s house for the first year.
“I always believed that if you worked hard, were unassuming, and approached everything from the standpoint of genuinely wanting to help people, you would do well,” Gene explained. “My goals, my company’s goals, and my clients’ goals must always be in harmony with each other. I never want to be in a situation where people were being taken advantage of. I’ve told people when a deal was wrong for them or not in their favor, and walked away from it rather than participate in it.”
Being a trustworthy Broker has not just earned Gene Manners a great reputation, it has earned him a lot of repeat business as well, and a nice stream of referrals from friends of those repeat clients over time. “The real estate market in Los Angeles has always been a bit of an anomaly because housing prices stay inflated, and people have a tendency to stay in their homes a lot longer. So marketing requires a much more personal effort here, and I would say the bulk of our new contacts and leads come from open houses,” Gene said.
Gene also appreciates the coaching groups that are a hallmark of the Help-U-Sell business model. “The main benefit of attending the coaching groups for me is the chance to listen to what other owners are doing in their respective markets, and find out more about what efforts are working for them and what isn’t. It also helps me to keep abreast of changes in the industry and how those changes are affecting us individually and as a company.”
When the economic crash in 2008 started unraveling and affecting commerce and people everywhere, Gene and his wife Ruby managed to hold on to the business. “Of course activity was very slow, but we continued to work hard and pray hard until the market turned around,” Gene said. “When things eventually improved, we knew we did the right thing were joyful and thankful. A big part of that thankfulness was to the Help-U-Sell management which was always there for us like a champ.”
Although Gene has never owned another business besides Help-U-Sell, he still did due diligence and researched his choice. “There are a lot of companies that always have their hands out or are not reputable. From where I stand, there can’t possibly be anything as good as Help-U-Sell Real Estate. The startup costs are reasonable, the support and tools provided to the new offices are outstanding, and the dedication of both the parent company and fellow franchise owners is beyond compare. I’ve always been very pleased with the support and dedication I have received.”
Which is, of course, music to our ears.