A Commitment to Community and Teamwork

When real estate chose Kimberly Zelena, she wasn’t just seeking a career path; she wanted to make it a family enterprise. Her husband, Michael, and Kimberly Zelena, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estatea business partner had put themselves in the thick of real estate in 2001 by purchasing homes for fixing up and reselling, and she wanted to expand on that. “When we looked at opening our own real estate office, we researched Assist-2-Sell and Help-U-Sell Real Estate, and we just liked Help-U-Sell a lot better. I liked the job security real estate had to offer, in addition to a steady income and a real potential for profit. The structure made more sense to us, and what they offered to the owners in terms of support was more appealing,” Kimberly (pictured above) said.

Mike sought his real estate license, Kimberly became the company owner of Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate, and they brought on Leigh Anne Losh (below) as broker. Having come from a title and settlement real estate background, Leigh Anne was also interested in making a career change. Early on she had taken a course on R.E.O. properties so she could focus on foreclosure and short sale business alone, which now constitutes a full 30% of their overall business. Kimberly said, “A lot of people don’t like working foreclosures, it takes a lot of patience, paperwork, and attention to detail. We get a lot of referrals for this because not only does Leigh Anne like handling foreclosures, she has a real knack for it.”

Of the many benefits that Help-U-Sell offers its owners, Kimberly most appreciates the coaching groups, led in part, by Jack Bailey, a 30-year Help-U-Sell Broker/Owner whose name often populates our “Top Producers” list. Kimberly shared, “Jack taught us early on that we should send out Center of Influence cards four to six times a year, and that was well before it was automated. Now that they are automated, it makes a huge difference in keeping us in the forefront of our clients’ minds.”

Another tactic employed by Kimberly’s office is to be 100% about customer service. “We get leads in part because of our great service and our professionalism. Largely, I am all about a quick response. Our staff is on the phone seven days a week until 9:00 p.m.”

Kimberly and her team go out of their way to make clients feel appreciated. For new clients, whether they are buying or selling, she gifts them with homemade fudge for the holidays. She even acquired a food license to keep everything copacetic for the business. This year they switched it up by having a ‘Christmas in July’ at a local park, inviting all 900 people from their Center of Influence list for a cookout. “When thanking people individually, we’re also big on notes and small gifts. We receive a lot of referrals, so I love giving Outback gift cards for the referral,” Kimberly explained.

Being part of a smaller community also has its advantages when it comes to name recognition and building trust. “When people move here, they rarely move away, so people really get familiar with you. Leigh Anne is known for short sales, and has a reputation for being excellent to deal with; but she’s also a presence at local festivals, manning an ‘old fashioned’ soda wagon.  People connect with her. Mike and I do the same the thing with our Lucky Duck Kettle Corn business. Of course it’s fun, but we’ve also been able to establish ourselves in the community another way that people like and remember.”

All of this diligence and hard work is paying off for team Zelena. They closed 116 sides in 2017, and the January to June report for 2018 recently published on the Help-U-Sell Connect blog has Kimberly’s team coming in fourth for the most productive office within the franchise network. Kimberly’s team closed 63 sides, which is a good indicator of closing at least double that amount for the second portion of 2018. “We were a team before teams were popular. We all work well together, and our business model works well. We are a woman-owned, woman-broker company, and every day we’re making great things happen with that commitment to teamwork.”

Top Producers: Half-Year Review!

At the six month mark and only four transactions between them, we’d call the race to the number one spot between Mario Ferrante of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan  and Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties a “squeaker”. Jack Bailey, our 30-year Help-U-Sell veteran and coach of Help-U-Sell Greensboro continued his busy streak in third place. The Kimberly Zelena, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real EstateZelena team (Kim pictured left) at Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate and Patrick Wood Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties complete our top 5 with a tie. If the benchmark for the first half of the year is a predictor for the second half, we’re very excited to see what these offices will do.

Office Buyer Seller Total

Help-U-Sell Metropolitan

41 57 98
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 23 71 94
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 22 46 68
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 24 39 63
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 10 53 63
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 13 37 50
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty 18 25 43
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County Inc. 16 25 41
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 15 24 39
Help-U-Sell Real Estate Specialists 13 21 34



WOW! Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties came shockingly close to closing nearly $51 million in gross volume sales in just six months. Let’s repeat that: FIFTY ONE MILLION DOLLARS. That’s just crazy good and wildly impressive. Coming in second, another frequent flyer David Bartels, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realtyamong our eagles, Patrick Wood Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties. David Bartels (left) at Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty makes this trifecta one worth noticing.

Office Gross Sales Volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties  $  50,937,900
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties  $  35,053,156
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty  $  21,662,400
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty  $  16,754,331
Help-U-Sell Greensboro  $  12,487,965
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes  $  11,530,250
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan  $  10,516,245
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate  $  10,091,600
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty  $    8,695,350
Help-U-Sell Legacy  $    8,688,693

Climb the Ladder 2nd Quarter 2018





Having been number one in total sides for the last three months, it only makes sense that Mario Ferrante (below) of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan in Woodhaven, Michigan would come out on top for the second quarter of the year. Island favorite, Richard Cricchio and Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties  has also been creating consistent volume for April, May and June. The same goes for Jack Bailey at Help-U-Sell Greensboro. What’s great to see is the Zelena team at Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate and Karen Detwiler at Help-U-Sell Detwiler nabbing the fourth and fifth spots because both owners will be featured in Broker/Owner profiles really soon!

Buyer Seller Total Sides
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan 28 41 69
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 12 35 47
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 13 26 39
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 14 23 37
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 6 27 33
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 8 18 26
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County Inc. 11 14 25
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 7 14 21
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty 9 12 21
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes 7 13 20

Richard CricchioIn the gross sales volume category, we have a similar cast of characters, but all in a different order! Congratulations to Richard Cricchio (left) and Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties for taking the top spot. Patrick Wood at Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties created a mighty strong second place. David Bartels at Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty rounds out the list of the top three. It’s been a fantastic quarter for everyone here! Congratulations to everyone on a strong second quarter showing.

  Gross Sales Volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties  $  23,975,500
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties  $  18,355,476
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty  $  10,756,500
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty  $  10,011,031
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes  $    8,570,250
Help-U-Sell Greensboro  $    7,620,429
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan  $    6,999,693
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate  $    6,847,750
Help-U-Sell East Valley  $    4,621,500
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate  $    4,578,700

Top Producers June 2018


For the third month running, Mario Ferrante (left) of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan in Woodhaven, Michigan dominates the top spot of our monthly Top Producers list. It’s no surprise seeing Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties here either, his whole 2018 has been marked by akahana (careful work). Patrick Wood and the Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties Team have also been consistently crushing it all year, along with Jack Bailey and the Help-U-Sell Greensboro team. It’s worth noting we’re at a top 11 again because appears that hard work and success duplicates when you have strong momentum.

Buyer Seller Total Sides
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan 13 16 29
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 5 12 17
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 3 13 16
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 3 12 15
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 4 9 13
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 5 6 11
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County Inc. 4 7 11
Help-U-Sell Real Estate Specialists 3 6 9
Help-U-Sell East Valley 2 6 8
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 3 5 8
Help-U-Sell Wright Realtors 4 4 8

Our Top Producers list for gross sales volume this June features some familiar faces, too.  Patrick Wood’s (left)  Help-U-Sell Prestige Team comes in at number one. Richard Cricchio’s Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties reaches the second spot, and Marc Dosik clinches the third spot with his team at Help-U-Sell Federal City.


Gross Sales volume

Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties  $  8,149,988
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties  $  7,959,000
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty  $  3,710,032
Help-U-Sell Wright Realtors  $  2,869,500
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan  $  2,726,184
Help-U-Sell East Valley  $  2,713,500
Help-U-Sell Greensboro  $  2,655,400
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty  $  2,521,500
Help-U-Sell South Santa Clara County  $  2,364,000
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate  $  2,178,700

The Julian Team and the Power of Two

A little over a year ago, Gary Julian wanted to get back into real estate and decided to become a Help-U-Sell Real Estate franchise owner after spending many years previously as an Assist-2-Sell owner. Today, he and his wife, Wendy, run Help-U-Sell Julian Team in Lancaster, CA.

“With my prior business, the brand didn’t have the power to draw people in and the incoming calls trickled. The moment we attached the Help-U-Sell brand to our office name and advertising, we started attracting new people and past Help-U-Sell clients from name recognition alone. We have a client right now in escrow because they found us through the Help-U-Sell office locator online. That’s the power of national brand recognition,” Gary said.

While both franchises have a flat fee structure in common, the comparison ends there for Gary. “When I purchased my other franchise, there was nothing being offered like coaching. It felt like: ‘Here’s your franchise certificate, we’ll talk to you next year.’ Not only is Help-U-Sell the original disruptor, they are bringing so much more to the table. The people in management are a lot more accessible, from general outreach to the coaching groups. Their marketing programs are always expanding and evolving for the better. I love the quick response from the folks in the tech department. They ensure everything is in working order and are on point with troubleshooting,” Gary explained.

There are many behind-the-scenes marketing technology systems in place that simplify daily activities for the Broker/Owners at Help-U-Sell, such as drip email campaigns and the Arounds postcards program. However, what Gary most appreciates are the more public marketing pieces, such as the website, catchy videos to share on social media sites, and powerful national branding efforts. Mr. Julian went on to say, “When it comes to overcoming a tight inventory, the impact of the national branding makes your business so visible that home sellers come looking for you. When I get to conduct a personal visit and make the listing presentation, I get the listing almost every time. When people search you out AND you get the listing, that’s a pretty great combination.”

When it comes to handling competition, Gary is confident about his business stacking up against other local realtors. He said, “When people do the math on the median price of a 6% commission on a home here, it sticks in their throat because they’re likely to spend about $16,800. Our flat fee is $4,400, so saving $12,000 while not sacrificing service is a big deal to people who want to save money. With traditional real estate, brokers and agents have to stalk potential clients in an effort to get their business. My experience with Help-U-Sell is that people go out of their way to find you. It’s a complete 180.”

Most important to Gary is how the Help-U-Sell Real Estate program is exactly the right fit for the “lean and mean” Julian team. Gary Julian shared, “I like the Help-U-Sell concept of a tight team to service clients instead of a large office of dozens of agents. If you’re looking for a way to build up your business without peripheral people who are not making you money, or a giant office full of people that don’t know who you are, then Help-U-Sell is the way to go. It’s a great business to own. I love this company.”