Jason Mannino joined Help-U-Sell 951 Realty in Murrieta, California about a year ago, which is owned by Ronnie Lee Thompson, Jr..
For 15 years, Jason was a professional racquetball player, he later channeled his love of the sport into a business. He explained, “I took over the Professional Racquetball Association. I invested in it, built it up to a place I was happy with, and sold it. However, it wasn’t enough to retire, so I looked at what else appeals to me. My wife and I buy properties for investments and have had our hands in real estate for over 25 years now. I started focusing so much on real estate, that it just made sense for me to go and get a license. I called another Help-U-Sell owner for advice because my plan was to offer home listings for 1%. He was kind enough to introduce me to the concept of Help-U-Sell and Ronnie. I most enjoy working relationships that are collaborative, so it has worked out.”
Once Jason got acclimated, he set about putting his plans for success in place. “I’m naturally a fast speaker, and I convey immediately that I am serious with people. One of the first things I perfected is my pitch for when I am meeting a potential client for a listing. I always try to make sure that I am seen last. I tell the client that it takes 2 hours for competitors to display everything they have in their offerings, because that’s how long it takes for them to convince the client that it is okay to for the realtor to overcharge them. My listing presentation is about 20 minutes. At the end of the pitch, I know I have had their attention and I haven’t worn out the welcome. I’ve done my job relaying the facts and they are enthusiastic about listing with us,” Jason said.
Over the last few months, Jason has been putting various marketing techniques into play which are culminating in listings and solid leads. Having caught our attention by showing up on a recent edition of our Top Producers list, the pieces of Jason’s plan includes a multi-pronged approach of getting the Help-U-Sell name out there. He went on to share, “I recently started implementing predictive analytics. You get a list of 600 names of people inside our area who are most likely to sell their home. We send them our ‘Sold and Saved’ postcards. Once that has been executed, I make it a point that all 600 of those people get called. This is usually done via a virtual marketing staff; the cost is quite reasonable, around $75. I just ordered 20,000 door hangers, so we can hit them again with that messaging. At the end of that program, I’ve spent maybe $600. Getting just one listing more than makes up for the initial investment, and generally several promising leads arise from these efforts as well. We keep hitting them with the message of home seller savings in different formats, and that reinforcement makes it stick.”
Another element to their advertising initiative is working with a company called Adwerx, which creates specialty digital marketing specific to realtors. “Our work with them is targeting 10,000+ homeowners within our area every month, and it creates awareness among prospects within the zip codes we designate,” he added.
An in-house piece of marketing from the Help-U-Sell corporate office that is always popular is the “Good, Better, Best” brochure. “I have never seen a more perfect marketing piece, not only does it set us apart from our competitors but it makes a lasting impression on our clients. It is easy to understand and perfectly presents the crux of this business proposition as getting full service and saving money. It’s all right there in four pages. It’s not overwhelming like some silly 400-page PowerPoint presentation. They get it immediately,” Jason stated.
With these programs going in earnest since February, Jason has been budgeting about $2,000 a month in spending. He said, “None of this is an exact science. You pick what you want to do and start. You see the first results. You tweak it and test it again. After creating a stronger base of name recognition, the rest is a fairly easy sell because the product we have is hard to beat.”
He continued, “As of this interview, I have seven or eight listings, three are in escrow, and three will be going live on Saturday. Last year, I maybe did four or five listings. All of the efforts I put into place in February are starting to come to fruition now. My original goal was to have one transaction per month and I’m already past 12 for the year. I will be disappointed if I do less than 24. Anything more than 5 listings in a month I find overwhelming, so I try to keep it at that level, which is a reasonable amount for me to handle.”
Understanding the market is another key element to success. The median price for a home in Murrieta is roughly $425,000, with a common range being between $450,000 and $500,000. Jason said laughing, “What everybody wants is the ‘Unicorn’ listing, which is a home with a pool, for under $500,000. Those homes sell immediately, you almost never see them online because they’re gone too quickly. In my experience, they’re generally gone on the first day, and they do not sell for under $520,000. They are the golden goose of home listings here.”
He makes no bones about being better than the new faces in the market. “There is competition, but it is subpar on multiple levels. I’ve been told that agents make $1,000 per sale at Purplebricks, and at Redfin it is around $1,000-$1,500. The agents are not going to be motivated to save you money or care about the client experience because there is no stake in providing better service or individual attention. I save clients even more money if they sell both sides with us. Our quality is better from everything to the open house flyer with professional HD photos versus shots taken with a cell phone camera by our competitors. We are not cutting corners and it shows. I offered a 50% discount to a buyer recently, as the transaction cost was only $350 and the commission I was going to make was $7,000. Additionally, I gave him a break on selling his mother’s house, he was thrilled,” Jason shared.
Ultimately, Jason believes success comes down to having the personality to sell. “There’s plenty of inventory that will move if you price it right. I turn down listings if we can’t agree on a price because there’s no chance of success. Having that conversation is difficult with clients, but you can only be honest when you provide the real estate property reports and show the comps. Being sharp and staying on top of things make you competitive and clients take notice. That’s how you win here.” Spoken like a true sportsman.