Hot Utah Market Spurs Growth for Broker

Danny Kettle was working in regional sales in California, selling garage door systems to big box stores when a friend from his home state suggested he get involved in real estate. His friend owned a Help-U-Sell Real Estate franchise office and explained there was nothing else like it around. Business was good, and he invited Danny to get involved.

He moved back to Utah and pursued his real estate license while his friend was the broker of record. “Retrospectively, I realize 2007 was not the best time to get involved in real estate, but we made it work. I made a check every month. We had to be lean at first, and since I was still learning, that was okay,” Danny shared. “I spent three years as an agent and then became a broker. My partner had a reciprocal license out of Idaho and consulted.”

Since those lean beginnings, Danny’s office, Help-U-Sell Legacy, has grown to nine licensed agents. “Me and three other people produce the majority of the transactions each month. The others are part-time and mostly show houses. We also have a transaction coordinator, of course. I’ve only ever added people to our team when natural growth made sense. I’m not out there recruiting,” he added.

While his team is always working hard, part of the recent success is due to the hot market in Utah right now. “We list homes and have a contract within a few days. Much of the new growth is due to tech companies coming here, which is creating the need for more infrastructure and homes. The airport was recently expanded, and we now have an area called “Silicon Slopes” (akin to Silicon Valley in California). Homes are in short supply; contractors can’t build them fast enough, even though they are trying.  The median price of a home was around $275,000 just last year, now it’s more common to see houses in the $300,000 to $450,000 range. Our region is really growing quickly,” Danny explained.

To handle the uptick in his market, Danny had a plan already in place. He went on to say, “The main thing is to have the right people with you as growth happens. A few of my agents have been with me for more than five or six years. I can’t say enough good things about Tasha, our Transaction Coordinator and Office Manager. She really takes care of everything the team needs. Brandon is one of my main producers, he’s responsible for about half of the transactions in our office.  Last year we did 70 transactions, this year we’re on track to do at least that, if not more. One of my agents speaks Spanish and since we’re getting a lot of clientele moving here from California, we’re positioned to serve another burgeoning market. We continually add new services to accommodate change.”

When it comes to competition, Danny is confident in his ability to outperform them. “Help-U-Sell is different from every other real estate franchise out there. When I meet with a new client for a listing, I tell them that I’m going to do exactly the same thing as a traditional brokerage. But I’ll do even more on top of that, and I’m going to save them money while I’m doing it. I almost always get the sale with that approach,” Danny said. “People don’t want to give away all the equity in their house. The business model helps us pick up more listings. We illustrate that we can do it all, and the clients sign on gladly.”

To help spread awareness, Danny is fond of using the automated Center of Influence postcards and the “Just Listed/Just Sold” postcards. “We’ve begun working with the FSBO and Expired Listing programs as well; we expect it will add traction. However, what we find works best is just getting in front of people. When we illustrate the value of what we do naturally, along with the professional, ready-made marketing materials from the corporate office, it all comes together easily,” Danny explained.

In his off time, Danny is raising four kids with his wife, Jessica, who has a bustling business as a wedding photographer. He supports the Sunflower Charity, a children’s home in Peru for orphans and street children. This year he took his oldest child to Peru on a humanitarian trip, where they  served children at the Sunflower Children’s home. Danny added, “Right now we’re helping 15 kids, the capacity for the house is 80. There’s more fundraising to do because we want to help more people. Part of my drive to succeed with my Help-U-Sell business is so that I’m able to do good elsewhere.”

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