A Son Expands a Real Estate Legacy

Nate Douglas, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Santa Maria, is one the rare individuals who has always been in real estate. Since he was 17 and fresh out of high school, he had an early introduction courtesy of his father, who owned a mortgage broker business. “I learned everything about the mortgage industry naturally from being around my father. I started out in loan processing and eventually bought his business. I then worked closely with Ken Kopcho, who owned this Help-U-Sell office before me. In 2017, Ken was ready to retire and I had the opportunity to buy his business, so I got my broker’s license. I have a property management company as well,” Nate shared.

Like many people right out of high school, Nate attended college and sought a degree in Business Administration. He explained, “The real estate market was starting to boom and I was influenced as a product of circumstance. I’ve always been good with math, so mortgages and real estate clicked with me. It made sense to go ‘all in’, so I left college. Everything I was being taught in the classroom, I was learning in real life working side-by-side with my father. He was an excellent instructor, and he invented work-life balance for me. He taught me to work smarter, because working excessively long hours lowers your value. I was making more money than my professors and bought my first house when I was only 20 years old. Most people rent when they leave their parents’ house, so I was ahead of the curve. Nothing beats being your own boss.”

Nate is still handling mortgages, and shares the office with another broker and a buyer’s agent who spearhead most of the transactions. “We are on track for at least 30 transactions this year. I’ve owned the office for a little more than a year, and fully expect we will be transitioning to a stronger year for 2019. Santa Maria is one of the least expensive places to live on the central California coast. It’s the biggest city between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, and with the median house price being $360,000, we see a lot of population turnover because we deal with a lot of entry-level homes – which is great for business,” Nate said. “In recent months, inventory has been shrinking, but we’re seeing more properties under contract at a higher price. If our efforts snag three to five of those per month, we’re doing very well.”

Aware of the long Help-U-Sell history, Nate has witnessed the brand grow both locally and nationally over the last several years. He added, “We get many transactions from people who used Help-U-Sell in another area of the state or country, 25% of our volume comes from that alone. This office has been around for a long time, so we garner repeat business from that pre-built great reputation in the community. These folks already understand that a set-fee translates into big savings. Our past clients boost our business with word-of-mouth referrals, which is pure gold. When you’re established and do good work, you make happy clients. People will find you.”

With fly-by-night real estate models popping up and disappearing just as quickly, Nate sees the Help-U-Sell brand gaining traction. “We definitely have a competitive advantage over the sea of local, traditional agents. Many people – and I mean the general public – don’t know that commissions are negotiable. This is partially because big-name real estate establishments require properties to be listed at a certain percent. Since that is a franchise rule, many people are fooled into believing that is what they must accept. The mentality of what you must pay for a real estate transaction is shifting, and points to the growing success of a company like Help-U- Sell.”

To grow a different source of business leads, Nate purchases zip code leads but concedes referrals are always the way to go. “Much of the new business is done the old school way: Flawless presentations, treating clients with respect and guiding them through the process. They have to get in front of you to see who you are,” Nate explained.

When he’s not running a three-in-one real estate business, Nate is taking trips with his girlfriend who loves travel. With a trip to China on the horizon, his father’s advice of working smarter continues to pay off.

Top Producers November

With just a few weeks of home selling and buying left before we say goodbye to 2018, the month of November showed us that there was still a lot of production coming from our Broker/Owners. While we are not surprised to see our consistent, highest flying 2018 eagles in the group, we are especially pleased to see two new names breaking into recognition status.

The top spot belongs to our 2018 Don Taylor Award winner, Mario Ferrante of  Help-U-Sell Metropolitan of Woodhaven, Michigan. With a team of 14 people chasing leads and making sales, it’s no wonder that big numbers are populating our highest rank with 19 sides for the month.

Beloved coach and all around great guy, Jack Bailey, and his team at Help-U-Sell Greensboro are in second place with 15 sides. Jack works with two other agents, and he illustrates how powerful a smaller team can be when you’re on top of your processes and lead tracking.

Third place is our Hawaii-based favorite, Richard Cricchio and his hardworking team, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties. With 12 sides for the month, and Hawaii home prices being very high, Richard’s group has saved a huge amount money for those homesellers.

We also welcome Cynthia Stevens of Help-U-Sell Central Properties in Chandler, Arizona to the top ten this month! Congratulations everyone!

Office Buyer Seller Total Sides
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan 6 13 19
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 7 8 15
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 2 10 12
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty 4 5 9
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 9 9
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 4 4 8
Help-U-Sell Central Properties 3 2 5
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 4 1 5
Help-U-Sell Legacy 2 3 5
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate 1 4 5


Gross Sales Volume

Richard CricchioRichard Cricchio with Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties clinches the top spot on our sales volume list this month with $8.5 million in sales.


Patrick Wood and the Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties team have been in the top 3 of this list just about all year, and closed November with $5.6 million.

Dave Bartels’ office, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty, brought in $4.7 million and landed in our third spot.

Meena Gujral, Help-U-Sell Achievers RealtyThe new face in this group for November is Meena Gujral, Broker/Owner at Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty in Fremont, California. We hope to see more great news coming from Meena’s office in 2019.

Office Gross Sales volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $     8,501,000
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $     5,613,900
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty $     4,785,000
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $     2,956,600
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty $     2,588,888
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan $     2,318,700
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes $     2,090,000
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate $     1,941,700
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $     1,869,955
Help-U-Sell Legacy $     1,749,000

2018 Don Taylor Award Winner and Our Most Improved Offices in 2018

This year at the 2018 Help-U-Sell Annual Success Summit, the 2018 Don Taylor Award was presented to Mario Ferrante of  Help-U-Sell Metropolitan. Located in Woodhaven, Michigan, Mario’s team has been at the top of just about every list we’ve put together this year in terms of number of transactions and sales volume, so we can’t say we’re surprised. We also know a lot of work went into this achievement so kudos to Mario and his team for job superbly done.

Most Improved Offices

Additionally, certificates were handed out for the Most Improved Offices. While we can certainly guess that some of our coaching groups have played a part in helping these offices make and break through new goals, we know the reality translates into these Broker/Owners driving the real change.

1st Place: Marianne and Brent Kirwin, Help-U-Sell Columbia Basin, Moses Lake, WA



2nd Place: Yasumi Davis, Help-U-Sell Golden Homes, Martinez, CA

3rd Place: Debra Schimdt, Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County, Owatonna, MN

4th Place: Karen Detwiler, Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty, Carlisle, PA

5th Place: Marc Dosik, Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty, Washington, DC

6th Place: David Bartels, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty, Westlake Village, CA

Transaction Awards from the 2018 Annual Success Summit

Transaction awards are perhaps the most exciting because you get to see exactly how well the Help-U-Sell model performs, and why it has earned increased loyalty and gained popularity over the years among home sellers. Here are our top performing Broker/Owners who were given awards at the Annual Success Summit.

As we expected from our monthly Top Producer reports, we knew we would be seeing a lot of Mario Ferrante and Richard Cricchio trading back and forth for first place in our various categories. Both offices have been doing excellently. Congratulations are in order for everyone on this list.

Overall Transactions

Mario Ferrante, Help-U-Sell Metropolitan
1st Place Overall Transactions: 183



Richard Cricchio, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties
2nd Place Overall Transactions: 165

Jack Bailey, Help-U-Sell Greensboro
3rd Place Overall Transactions: 131

Closed Seller Side Transactions

Richard Cricchio, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties
1st Place Closed Seller Side Transactions: 121



Patrick Wood, Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties
2nd Place Closed Seller Side Transactions

Mario Ferrante, Help-U-Sell Metropolitan
3rd Place Closed Seller Sides Transactions

Closed Buyer Side Transactions

Mario Ferrante, Help-U-Sell Metropolitan
1st Place Closed Buyer Side Transactions: 84

Jack Bailey, Help-U-Sell Greensboro
2nd Place Closed Buyer Side Transactions

David Bartels, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty
3rd Place Closed Buyer Side Transactions

Sales Volume Awards from the 2018 Annual Success Summit

Although these awards are tracked on a different timeline than our normal Top Producer’s list due to the Success Summit being held in December, we have a lot to celebrate here. Here are our Broker/Owners at the top of our Sales Volume list! Congratulations Richard, Patrick, and David.

Richard Cricchio, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties

1st Place Sales Volume: $92,666,040



Patrick Wood, Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties

2nd Place Sales Volume: $72,857,855



David Bartels, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Full Service RealtyDavid Bartels, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty

3rd Place Sales Volume: $42,071,800