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.”