Doing Well and Creating Change

Cynthia Stevens of Help-U-Sell Central Properties in Chandler, Arizona went into real estate initially to help her friend’s business and earn extra income.

She started her career as an educator having earned a B.S. in Economics, followed by an M.Ed (Master of Education).

“I started teaching in 1989. It was fun and I loved working with my students. When I got into real estate in 1999, it was an exciting way to earn more because the real estate market was hot. I thought it was a great industry to be involved with,” Cynthia said.

Drawn by the prospect of owning her own business, Cynthia opened her own Help-U-Sell Real Estate office in June of 2007. “My timing was terrible! There wasn’t a lot of time to enjoy growing my business before the recession. Real estate prices had plummeted in my region, and throughout the United States. I worked really hard, and learned how to do short sales.

For example, if I had 20 properties listed, 18 of them were short sales, that trend lasted until 2010. Soon after, I got certified with Fannie Mae to sell REO properties (real estate owned), and primarily worked in REO sales through 2015. I did a ton of them! They are great because once you understand them, they are cut and dry; you do the task and it’s done. Prices were so good on the REOs, they were attracting many first-time buyers, which helped with my efforts,” Cynthia shared.

During the last quarter of 2018, Cynthia’s office was significantly busier, and recently made an appearance on our November edition of the Top Producers list for total sides closed. She attributes the recent growth to a multi-faceted approach that started with attending the Help-U-Sell coaching groups over the past year. After attending the sessions regularly, she focused her energies on a specific target market. Cynthia said, “Additionally, I’ve been taking what I’ve learned in coaching, and sharing those methods with my agents so they can benefit. I have two other producers aside from myself, they have been with me from the beginning. We also have a licensed agent covering administration to keep us sane and on top of all of the details. We warmly refer to her as ‘Radar’.”

The in-house marketing platform that Help-U-Sell incorporates is another reason Cynthia cites success. “The Arounds postcard program, the Sold and Saved postcards, and the Just Listed cards are what I use the most. The branded material looks great. The willingness to create custom materials that are high quality and attractive is also something I appreciate,” she added.

The targeted diligence has been paying off. She said, “We closed 45 sides for 2017. We got close to that for 2018. Because of my involvement with the coaching groups, I created a solid, comprehensive business plan for 2019. In the coming year, I am expanding our FSBO and expired listing efforts. I would love for my office to get up to 100 sides for 2019, but I’m setting my goal on paper at a realistic 25% increase, because I know that’s an attainable and realistic goal for everybody.”

Chandler, Arizona is in the East Valley, and includes Tempe, Gilbert and Mesa. Arizona boasts a fairly steady housing market, with houses in the median range of $250,000 to $300,000. “There is a lot of competition from traditional real estate companies. I’m also seeing an influx of online-only companies that pay cash. I see a lot of companies trying to copy the Help-U-Sell model. Around here there has been a consistent Help-U-Sell presence since 2004, it sticks with people as a sign of trust and a positive reputation, which is an advantage for me. I’ve been working on our messaging, which is centered around not being new or a gimmick. We’ve been here and we know what we’re doing. When people say they’ve heard of us, it validates the brand and brings us business.”

Often times, when the New Year rolls around, people think about how they might create change in themselves. For 2019, Cynthia had a different idea and wanted to help others have the means to create change. She explains, “We put together a list of vetted charities from which to choose. When people list their home with us and it sells, we will donate a portion of our fee to the chosen charity. There are organizations to help animals and children, as both are close to my heart. We’re all very fortunate, and this seemed like an easy way to do something positive. It gives our clients another reason besides saving thousands of dollars to feel good about listing with us.”  

Top Producers, End of 2018 Extravaganza!

For our official close of the 2018 Top Producers list, we’re seeing a lot of action in the numbers. While there are names who don’t surprise us at all, there are a few Broker/Owners that have been quietly gathering buyer and seller sides throughout the year, and when all is said and totaled, they earned a place at the top.

Naturally, Mario Ferrante of  Help-U-Sell Metropolitan of Woodhaven, Michigan, came in first with 205 sides. His team has been in the first or second place for the majority of 2018, and coming in first by more than 50 sides if nothing short of WOW.

Richard Cricchio with Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties comes in second place with 153 sides, which is an incredible end for the year.

In third place, Jack Bailey’s team, Help-U-Sell Greensboro ends the year with 129 sides. Proof positive that if you run your ship tight, you don’t need a lot of agents chasing down leads.

OfficeBuyerSellerTotal Sides
Direct Savings
Real Estate
Detwiler Realty
Heritage Real Estate of Steele
County Inc.
Federal City
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty334477
Richard Cricchio

On our Gross Sales Volume list, Richard Cricchio and his team, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties, end 2018 with $88 million in sales, outpacing the competition by $19 million.

Patrick Wood and the Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties team sealed second place with a sales volume of $69 million.

David Bartels and his office, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty, place third with $41 million in sales.

Everyone on this had an amazing year, and every single Broker/Owner, every agent, transaction coordinator and office manager have every reason to be proud. You crushed 2018.

OfficeGross Sales volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $  88,725,400
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $  69,826,355
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty $  41,118,500
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $  35,204,196
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $  25,161,417
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes $  24,311,375
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan $  21,149,863
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes $  19,872,670
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real
$  19,771,893
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty $  17,625,518

Top Producers Q4, 2018

The last quarter of the year was a mix some of our high-flying familiar eagles and other Broker/Owners who have been seeing a big pay off from solid efforts.

Mario Ferrante of  Help-U-Sell Metropolitan of Woodhaven, Michigan closes the 4th quarter by more than 20 sides ahead of his closest competition. 52! A most impressive result.

Richard Cricchio

Richard Cricchio with Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties comes in second place with 31 sides, which is a great way to end the quarter, especially given that they were mostly seller sides.

Trailing just two behind is the powerhouse team that is Jack Bailey’s office, Help-U-Sell Greensboro, with 29 sides.

OfficeBuyerSellerQ4 Total Sides
Heritage Real
of Steele County
Direct Savings
Real Estate
Federal City
Real Estate
Help-U-Sell Full
Keystone Realty

On our Gross Sales Volume list, Richard Cricchio and his hardworking Honolulu team, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties, ended the last quarter with $19.9 million.

Patrick Wood and the Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties team climbed to second place with a sales volume of $16.2 million.

Marc Dosik and his team in  Washington, DC, Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty clear third place, bringing in  $8.4 million in sales.

Office Q4 Gross Sales volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $    19,978,500
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $    16,266,800
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $      8,479,755
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty $      7,579,000
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $      5,788,840
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan $      5,364,292
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes $      5,207,500
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate $      4,938,900
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes $      4,928,125
Help-U-Sell Folsom $      4,751,000

Top Producers for December

Just because the holidays were in full effect, that didn’t slow down our busy Broker/Owners a bit.

Mario Ferrante of  Help-U-Sell Metropolitan of Woodhaven, Michigan claims December for his office with 16 sides.

Matt Kellam, broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty

We are excited to see a new name in second place. Matt and Tara Kellam of Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty in Chambersburg, PA had a tremendous month with 11 sides. With eight of those sides being sellers, we wonder if there were folks who just couldn’t handle one more winter!

Congratulations of a different kind are in order for David Bartels. In addition to his office, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty, placing third (in a tie) with 8 sides, he recently tied the knot with his lovely bride! Warm wishes for a long and happy life together, David.

Richard Cricchio with Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties also ties for third place.

Also notable, is the five-way tie closing out the list for December, proof that December is a great time to sell.

OfficeBuyerSellerTotal Sides
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan61016
Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty3811
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate448
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties88
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty257
Help-U-Sell Greensboro347
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty426
Help-U-Sell Central Properties325
Help-U-Sell Folsom235
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes235
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties145
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate145

For the Gross Sales Volume list, we almost always expect to see Richard Cricchio and his hardworking team, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties, closing December at $4.7 million for the month.

Marc Dosik, with his Washington, DC office, Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty comes in second place at $2.9 million.

Patrick Wood and the Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties team remain in the top 3 of this list by closing $2.8 million.

Congratulations to everyone for a great December closing.

Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $     4,780,000
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $     2,986,900
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $     2,881,000
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes $     1,842,500
Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty $     1,762,350
Help-U-Sell Folsom $     1,716,000
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate $     1,657,000
Help-U-Sell Central Properties $     1,594,285
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate $     1,558,500
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $     1,554,190

Real Estate the Wright Way

At one time, Ed Wright had his eye on the sky as an air traffic controller but had his sights set on real estate. He became a real estate agent in 1980 and opened his own office as broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Wright Realtors in 1982. Interested in all things housing-related, he learned about mortgages, escrow, and appraisals, giving Ed a well-rounded understanding of the real estate industry, and putting him in the position to dispense expert advice on many home-related topics.

Julie Wright began as a bank teller, and transitioned to work for a title company. Over 19 years, she witnessed the success of several Help-U-Sell brokers, and noted they were doing more business than many of the long-time traditional brokers. Help-U-Sell had an easy-to-follow system, and owning her own business was attractive, so Julie pursued her real estate license in 1999. She had plans to open her own franchise when she met Ed while traveling to Biloxi, Mississippi for a Help-U-Sell Real Estate convention. Eventually Julie and Ed married, and Julie joined his business. “Real estate was an entirely different animal with a new language. There was a lot to learn. I was attracted to it because I am a people person, but I wanted to create a business. I also wanted to be active in my community, and have money in addition to freedom,” Julie said.

An uptick in 2018 sales placed the Wrights on a recent monthly Top Producers list, which highlights Help-U-Sell Broker/Owners who have had the most sales. Part of the increase is due to Julie’s new efforts of tracking referrals very carefully through coaching. “One of my most successful efforts was a ‘reverse pop-by’. Just before Thanksgiving, we hosted an open house and invited a certain level of clients and referrals. We served cider, wine, and hot appetizers. At the end of the evening, everyone took home a pie. Some of our clients made referrals for their business, and of course we received several new referrals ourselves,” Julie added. These efforts have been paying off, as Ed and Julie closed 35 transactions for 2018. For 2019, their goal is 50, and plan to achieve it by initiating a campaign of “low-hanging fruit” with expired and probate listings.

Homes in their area have a median price range of $750,000. Ed explained, “The concept of value from Help-U-Sell automatically attracts sellers. Home sellers everywhere, but especially here in California, love saving money off the traditional 6% Commission. On a $750,000 home, 6% is $45,000. That’s a substantial amount of equity people don’t want to give away, giving us a huge advantage over traditional real estate agents. When I make a listing presentation, I win that client 90% of the time.”

When it comes to brand awareness, Ed shared, “Marketing has changed dramatically for us. Several years ago in Orange County, there was a co-op for group marketing with the other California-based Help-U-Sell offices. Marketing is very different today and far more fragmented, especially with internet-based competition. With print media being somewhat passé, we’ve had to focus on creating opportunities that are more directed towards a smaller audience. Instead of going broad, it’s become more targeted and precise.” Julie has also been increasing her presence in a local chamber of commerce. “We’ve noticed that the ‘sold and saved’ brag cards stick with people and make a big impression,” she said.

Together, Julie and Ed have collectively sold thousands of properties over the years. “There’s nothing like the freedom of running your own business. You make your own schedule. The rewards, aside from the obvious monetary ones, are helping people to achieve their goals. When you put a buyer in a new home, that’s a great feeling,” Ed explained.  “We’ve really enjoyed the experience of Help-U-Sell ownership over the past three decades. The company is always growing and changing, it makes for an exciting future, and we’re proud of what we’ve built together.”