Help-U-Sell® San Antonio Hill Country Doubles Business as 2017 Closes

It’s been a great year for Sergio Martinez, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell San Antonio Hill Country in Schertz, Texas. He’s recently earned the ranking of second most improved office of all the franchises nationwide in terms of overall growth in sales, increasing his number of houses sold by roughly double the amount in the year previous. How’d he do it? As it turns out, a strategic combination of several actions are at play.

Where It All Began
“I was living in California at the time. My mother asked me to find her a house that was closer to mine. I saw one I already liked, because it had the exact floor plan as my own house,” Sergio shared. “I saw that it was a Help-U-Sell represented home. When I checked it out, I realized the seller was able to save quite a bit on the commission and was in a better negotiating position because of it. I was so impressed by that, I came out of retirement to do it myself.”

Sell and Be Seen Where You Live
Hailing from New York (which is plainly evident when you speak to him) Sergio lives in the community where he also sells homes, about three miles from his office. Living and participating in the community through venues like the Lion’s Club, the Police Club, being seen around town, and constantly reinforcing branding through advertising and full wrap signage on his company vehicles, all help solidify him and his business as a constant presence.

Know Your Audience
One of the largest expenditures Sergio makes is on advertising, which he does a lot of on conservative radio in Texas.

“My spots run on the shows hosted by Larry Elder, Dennis Prager, and Hugh Hewitt. The commercials are voiced by them also. Is it expensive? Yes, but there is a lot of money here in conservatives hands.  The audience responds well to the messaging,” Sergio explained.

The messaging always includes: “What is the difference between selling a $200,000 home and a $500,000 home? About $18,000 in commissions.”

Make It Personal
It’s no secret that the internet has impacted how people see and buy homes, but Sergio believes that many real estate professionals have taken that to mean a reduction in personal service. “When showing a home, there is now less work to do. People see the house they’d like to look at on Zillow or Trulia and call the agent to show it to them. While that exclusivity of information is gone, the opportunity to cement yourself with them is not. I don’t meet half the agents with whom I do business, which is ludicrous to me,” Sergio explained. “So many agents don’t make any calls. They’d rather email or text. Relationship building is everything in this business.”

Once, after setting up a new prospect on a drip email containing new listings, Sergio called the next business day to follow up. The client was shocked: “I didn’t expect to hear from you,” the client said.

“Texting is a way of hiding. I call everybody,” Sergio said, “Good news, bad news. It doesn’t matter. When I drop off paperwork with my proposal, I call back after a day or two to follow up. That face to face time is critical.”

Location, Location, Location
Two years ago, Sergio moved his office into the front of an H-E-B grocery store, where the registers ring around 125,000 times weekly. Not only is there high traffic, there is the opportunity to constantly see the neighbors and interact with hundreds of people daily. The re-cementing of daily impressions is invaluable. People learn who Help-U-Sell is, and remember the brand when the time comes.

“I watch people inspect their receipts and go back to customer service over a 20 cents overcharge. People are highly attuned to the desire to save money, and I can save them thousands. I offer the same product and service at a lesser rate. Once they know that, they choose us. I also love a win/win situation: The seller makes money, I make money. Everyone is happy.”

What Drives You?
In parting, Sergio offered: “There is a word in Spanish: ‘ganas’, which translates into ‘desire’ in English. I get to meet phenomenal people every day. I don’t have to work. I LOVE to work.”

Help-U-Sell Franchisee Helps Hundreds Handle Debt

Before getting involved with Help-U-Sell Real Estate, Jack Bailey, one of our long-time franchisees and a well-respected colleague and coach, was in fact a financial advisor. Knowing his history, the people in his church community asked if he would write a course on managing finances using biblical principles. So, Jack sat down, wrote out a 12-hour course, and started teaching it. Over time, it developed into a way to attack debt and live a debt-free lifestyle, and Jack has shared it with many.

Sometimes, people are referred to Jack from other people he’s helped previously. Other times, it is more organic. Folks have come into his real estate office interested in buying a home, and a more in depth discussion about finances reveals that the family finances would not pass muster to get a mortgage because of excessive debt.  In situations such as these, Jack suggests that they first get out of debt and then think about buying a home.

“The first thing we address is getting control of your lifestyle, in terms of making money and spending money,” explained Mr. Bailey. “It’s quite simple. If you spend more than you bring in, you have to adjust your lifestyle. What’s funny is, people often focus on bigger things, like buying cars or phones, without realizing that if they spend $2.75 every day on a cup of coffee, not spending that money results in savings of almost $1000 per year. That’s a lot of money.”

After they understand that short term sacrifices bring long term benefits, they move onto the next step, which is using some of that freed up cash to establish a reserve fund for emergencies. “You might need new tires for the car, or the washer broke. You never know what life is going to surprise you with,” Jack added. “The important thing is to not burden your credit card debt with these unforeseen expenses.”

Next, Jack moves them on to the stage of attacking the debt. “Some people like to go after big debt first. Not me. If you have four separate debts, line them up from largest to smallest. Let’s say you have an extra $200 a month you can throw at any of it while still maintaining minimum payments on all of them. It will take you 23 months to pay off the biggest debt, and the three smaller ones still exist. If you do it in reverse and pay off the smallest debt first, you can pay off all four debts in 17 months instead. Once you pay off that smallest debt, you start applying that same money to the next smallest one until it disappears.”

When that stage is complete, Jack shows them how to scale down the mortgage debt. “If someone is $20,000 in debt, sure, you could give them the money to fix their problem. However, if you don’t look at the symptoms causing the problem, they are likely to repeat it. It’s why these skills are so important.”

Jack admits that information can spin some heads. “Most people don’t think anything of putting big stuff on credit. By that same token, people are ecstatic to learn these concepts exist. Parents don’t always know this stuff, it wasn’t taught in schools, even though good money management is something we should use every day. Kids should learn to handle money while they are young.”

What really pleases him though, is hearing back later from people he has helped. Jack recently heard from one gentleman, Tim, who shared his experience. “You helped me, Jack, and it worked. I got out of debt and I have stayed debt free. You made me promise that I would help one other person learn this, and I did. Now that person is also out of debt, and I made them promise the same thing. They promised to help someone else.”

Over 20 plus years, Jack Bailey estimates he helped between 20-30 families per year, which translates into hundreds of families. It’s especially interesting to note that Jack doesn’t charge anyone money to help them with their finances. He just enjoys helping people. Jack will sometimes get notes or phone calls from people who have let them know of their positive progress or that they paid of their last debt. “They are excited, and I get excited for them because they are so happy. It’s incredibly gratifying,” Jack said.

Jack Bailey, Help-U-Sell Greensboro
Jack Bailey serves as a coach for Help-U-Sell Real Estate offices.

HUS Broker/Owner Maria Powell Turns to Broadcasting to Share Culture and Every Day Living

“If you want to have success in life: Be thankful. Be appreciative. Be respectful.” These are the words of wisdom lived by and shared from Maria Powell, Broker/Owner of Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty in Tucson, Arizona.

There are other words that come to mind that describe Maria perfectly: Energetic. Tenacious. Engaging. Easy to talk to. What is perhaps most impressive about Maria Powell is how much she has accomplished in a relatively short period of years.

Maria immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1995, speaking very little English and determined to carve out a better life for herself and her two children. She found a mentor, John Powell, from whom she would learn everything about the real estate business, and that is where the true trajectory started. In her first year, Maria closed 16 homes. Soon thereafter she became one of the two Arizona Regional Directors for Help-U-Sell Real Estate, helping new franchisees get their offices set up with the proprietary technology to get to work.

But Maria also had other goals she wanted to achieve, combined with a desire to bring cultures together – her native Mexican culture and her adopted American culture – in an effort to cultivate and foster goodwill and education. Thus was born the idea for her own TV program, the Maria Powell TV show.   The program is a bilingual show that is entertaining and encourages mutual respect while enhancing lives by helping people.

In addition to hosting some of the shows in Italian, some of the topics Maria undertakes on the show:

  • Advocating for animal adoption on behalf of the Pima Animal Shelter  Maria brings animals on the show that are up for adoption, and has a good success record at getting the animals showcased on the program adopted more quickly. There are other elements included such as how and where to report animal abuse and proper care for your animals at home.
  • Loan officers to help prospective home buyers to fix their credit issues as well as purchasing a home.
  • In conjunction with staff from the American Heart Association as guests, Maria’s program has featured teaching people to take better of their hearts through changes in diet and exercise regimens.
  • Dentists from the Tucson community providing advice on ideal oral care.
  • From the entertainment realm, Maria has interviewed actor/director Tony Tarantino, Tommy Bull, the second director for the movie Face Off with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, and many people known locally known in the Tucson area.
  • She is also one of the preferred TV programs to showcase the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show now on her 4th Year.

Naturally, Maria takes the opportunity to maximize exposure and create lasting impressions for her Help-U-Sell Real Estate Office by sponsoring the program regularly. She also dispenses advice on how to buy and sell a home and shares what trends are emerging in her market, ensuring she is staying relevant to the community she serves.

“I believe everything in our society could be improved by sharing knowledge with each other and helping each other,” Maria added about her program.

The last two words we’d use to describe Maria Powell: hardworking and unstoppable.

We’re at CAR! Say Hi @ Booth 1002 10/11-10/12

The Help-U-Sell Real Estate Team is wrapping up a fantastic year in California franchise sales by attending the CAR EXPO with one last marketing push to close out the last quarter of 2017.

Please stop by and say hello if you are at the Expo today and tomorrow (October 11-12). John Powell and Dave Patterson are staffing the booth, talking up our 41 year old successful business model and solidifying our marketing presence while we’re in town.