Hot Utah Market Spurs Growth for Broker

Danny Kettle was working in regional sales in California, selling garage door systems to big box stores when a friend from his home state suggested he get involved in real estate. His friend owned a Help-U-Sell Real Estate franchise office and explained there was nothing else like it around. Business was good, and he invited Danny to get involved.

He moved back to Utah and pursued his real estate license while his friend was the broker of record. “Retrospectively, I realize 2007 was not the best time to get involved in real estate, but we made it work. I made a check every month. We had to be lean at first, and since I was still learning, that was okay,” Danny shared. “I spent three years as an agent and then became a broker. My partner had a reciprocal license out of Idaho and consulted.”

Since those lean beginnings, Danny’s office, Help-U-Sell Legacy, has grown to nine licensed agents. “Me and three other people produce the majority of the transactions each month. The others are part-time and mostly show houses. We also have a transaction coordinator, of course. I’ve only ever added people to our team when natural growth made sense. I’m not out there recruiting,” he added.

While his team is always working hard, part of the recent success is due to the hot market in Utah right now. “We list homes and have a contract within a few days. Much of the new growth is due to tech companies coming here, which is creating the need for more infrastructure and homes. The airport was recently expanded, and we now have an area called “Silicon Slopes” (akin to Silicon Valley in California). Homes are in short supply; contractors can’t build them fast enough, even though they are trying.  The median price of a home was around $275,000 just last year, now it’s more common to see houses in the $300,000 to $450,000 range. Our region is really growing quickly,” Danny explained.

To handle the uptick in his market, Danny had a plan already in place. He went on to say, “The main thing is to have the right people with you as growth happens. A few of my agents have been with me for more than five or six years. I can’t say enough good things about Tasha, our Transaction Coordinator and Office Manager. She really takes care of everything the team needs. Brandon is one of my main producers, he’s responsible for about half of the transactions in our office.  Last year we did 70 transactions, this year we’re on track to do at least that, if not more. One of my agents speaks Spanish and since we’re getting a lot of clientele moving here from California, we’re positioned to serve another burgeoning market. We continually add new services to accommodate change.”

When it comes to competition, Danny is confident in his ability to outperform them. “Help-U-Sell is different from every other real estate franchise out there. When I meet with a new client for a listing, I tell them that I’m going to do exactly the same thing as a traditional brokerage. But I’ll do even more on top of that, and I’m going to save them money while I’m doing it. I almost always get the sale with that approach,” Danny said. “People don’t want to give away all the equity in their house. The business model helps us pick up more listings. We illustrate that we can do it all, and the clients sign on gladly.”

To help spread awareness, Danny is fond of using the automated Center of Influence postcards and the “Just Listed/Just Sold” postcards. “We’ve begun working with the FSBO and Expired Listing programs as well; we expect it will add traction. However, what we find works best is just getting in front of people. When we illustrate the value of what we do naturally, along with the professional, ready-made marketing materials from the corporate office, it all comes together easily,” Danny explained.

In his off time, Danny is raising four kids with his wife, Jessica, who has a bustling business as a wedding photographer. He supports the Sunflower Charity, a children’s home in Peru for orphans and street children. This year he took his oldest child to Peru on a humanitarian trip, where they  served children at the Sunflower Children’s home. Danny added, “Right now we’re helping 15 kids, the capacity for the house is 80. There’s more fundraising to do because we want to help more people. Part of my drive to succeed with my Help-U-Sell business is so that I’m able to do good elsewhere.”

Help-U-Sell Presence Grows 50% in Florida

Everyone familiar with the Help-U-Sell Real Estate brand knows there has always been a strong representation of franchise offices in the state of California. Over the past few years, we’ve been working to grow our presence in Florida, and those efforts have been paying off with a growth of 50%. Please meet our three newest members of the Help-U-Sell family.

Hugo Calvillo, Help-U-Sell Sunshine Realty

When Hugo Calvillo wanted to return to selling real estate after the market crashed in 2008, he studied several franchise options before deciding to open a Help-U-Sell Real Estate office in Orlando, serving the Space Coast region and surrounding counties.

Mr. Calvillo started with a traditional, 6% commission-based real estate company. While grateful for the industry knowledge gained, he wanted a different experience for both himself and the home seller, so he forged a new path. “The business model that Help-U-Sell offers is a good disruptor to the conventional 5% to 6% model that everyone else is using. Many other franchise options exist within a similar price range, but Help-U-Sell offers a lot more flexibility. They have over four decades of experience fine tuning this model, whereas many other options have come and gone over the years. Help-U-Sell continues to exist and thrive for a very good reason, it works well,” Hugo said.

Hugo went on to share, “What stood out for me is the fact that you disrupt the new web-only companies. Sure, there may be a flat fee for the home seller, but the seller also pays for every other service. There is another option to list your home for 1%, but literally all they do is put the home on the MLS. There’s always a catch that leaves the seller short. Help-U-Sell is the exception because they offer full-service in conjunction with the savings.”

There is also more simplicity with the Help-U-Sell model. “There are real estate franchises that require you to have 3,000 square feet of office space. You’ll also need furniture, computers, and people to fill the offices. You rack up utilities. You spend more money advertising the agents rather than the business. I’ve already done that, I love my little office and the two in-house members of my team. By keeping my expenses low, I can pass those savings on to the consumer. I know they see and appreciate the difference when they get their check. They get everything they needed, more than they expected, and they haven’t missed out on a full-service experience,” Hugo explained.

Brian Meyerowitz, Help-U-Sell Broward Realty

Brian Meyerowitz and his wife Aimee are the best kind of Help-U-Sell Broker/Owners, the returning kind, warmly referred to as “alumni” by fellow Brokers and staff alike. Brian and Aimee spent a number of years in Chicago where they owned a Help-U-Sell office. They later moved to Florida and expanded their real estate offerings by getting involved with property management.

While Brian spent time in a traditional real estate format, he recently felt the call to own his own shop again and wanted to run things a certain way. “We did very well in Chicago in the early 2000’s. We closed 50 sides in our first year, and grew steadily through the ensuing years. The brand recognition worked well for us. I have always liked the concept of providing deeper service, a set fee, and the Help-U-Sell branding message. I am thrilled to return as Help-U-Sell Broward Realty,” Brian said.

Returning to Help-U-Sell was easy. “We are already familiar with the brand and business model. The corporate office has made several advancements in their technology and marketing systems. Plus, we love the idea of having a business to pursue together.”

 Jim McCarthy, Help-U-Sell 4 Less

Jim McCarthy built a very successful brokerage after moving to Spain in 1998, but loved Florida so much that after a three-week vacation, he and his family made Florida their adopted home. Jim initially focused on a niche market of European clients seeking commercial investments. When the market shifted, he expanded to include residential real estate. Creating a hybrid of a traditional office and a reduced fee format, Jim had 25 agents working for him and managing properties, but something was missing. “What I didn’t have is 40 years of experience, a national reputation, and a brand that people recognized and valued. I really liked that,” Jim said.

After researching options, Jim found that the Help-U-Sell Real Estate model was close to what he had in mind. “My office would often give discounts on the commission of homes. The Help-U-Sell model was easier to explain to my clients,” Jim added. Rather than continue with a big office and staff, Jim pared operations down to four people, including himself. “It was easy to choose Help-U-Sell versus staying independent because I’m getting leads, I’m passing them to my team, and there is zero pressure for the clients. Once we explain how it works, we generally have enthusiastic agreement.”

The set-fee model that saves home sellers thousands of dollars per transaction was an enormous draw for Jim, “I have strong opinions about clients not getting ripped off. Under a traditional brokerage model, I’ve seen agents charging between 5% and 7% in a transaction fee, which is a lot of money. Anyone who works with me is trained to look after clients, first and foremost. I have built an honest name for myself and my business over these last 25 years. My job is to convey the message that there are no catches and we’re here to help. The Help-U-Sell Real Estate model makes it easier to achieve my goals compared to what I was doing on my own. We’re going to do well.”

For more information on opening a Help-U-Sell Real Estate franchise in Florida, or any other state, call Dave Patterson, Chief Marketing Officer, at 941-951-7707 x 2001.

Top Producers: The Nine Month Review

Mario Ferrante and his Help-U-Sell Metropolitan office have been spearheading the Top Producers list for much of 2018. The Nine Month Review also puts him in first place with 152 sides. He blew right past our 100 mark prediction, and it looks like we’ll have to adjust to 200.

It may seem to the casual observer that Richard Cricchio has been back and forth for the top spot all year long. Richard’s hardworking team, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties, comes in second with 122 sides. They have every reason to be exceptionally proud!

Jack Bailey and his team at Help-U-Sell Greensboro clinches the third spot with 100 sides. This is even more impressive to us when you consider that all these sides are being closed by Jack and one other team member, who has been with Jack for just over a year now. The grind defined!

Kimberly Zelena’s team at Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate comes in fourth place, clearing 93 sides for the January to September period. The smaller community helps the team to build name recognition and trust, the basis of many long term client relationships that are hallmark of their success.

In fifth place is Karen Detwiler and Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty. Her team of eight have been getting her office in the top five all year, and those kind of numbers are hard to argue with.

Office Buyer Seller January- September 2018
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan 64 88 152
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 30 92 122
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 35 65 100
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 38 55 93
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 30 61 91
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 10 77 87
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County Inc. 30 46 76
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 22 40 62
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty 26 36 62
Help-U-Sell Legacy 21 24 45

Richard Cricchio and Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties has made the 9 Month Review the Mount Everest of success. The total gross sales volume for his office came in at $68.7 million, which is staggering!

Patrick Wood and the Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties team regularly appear in the top 3 of the gross sales volume list. They have sealed the second spot once again by coming in at $51.7 million.


Another mainstay of our Gross Sales Volume list is Dave Bartels of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty. In third place, his team has brought in $33.5 million.

Recent feature of our Broker/Owner profile, Mark Dosik, and the team at Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty closed with $26.4 million and the fourth place spot. Covering two states and the District keeps them busy!

Yasumi Davis, owner of Help-U-Sell Golden Homes, rounds out our top five, closing the nine months at $19.3 million. Last year, Yasumi ranked 17th out of 3,800 agents in the Contra Costa Association of Realtors, so her drive is best described as tenacious!

Office Jan- Sept. Gross Sales Volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $  68,746,900
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $  51,706,755
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty $  33,539,500
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $  26,487,441
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes $  19,383,250
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $  19,372,577
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty $  15,791,668
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan $  15,620,571
Direct Savings Real Estate $  15,583,393
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes $  14,665,170


3rd Quarter 2018 Top Producer Results

Welcome to the Top Producer results for the third quarter of 2018!

At the top is Mario Ferrante and his Help-U-Sell Metropolitan office, coming in with a total of 54 sides. Since Mario’s team has been crushing it all year, we suspect he will crack the 100 mark for 2018.

Coming in at number two: Karen Detwiler and Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty. We profiled Karen this year in our series on successful women in real estate.  Her staff of four full-time and four part-time agents in Pennsylvania, along with a commitment to keeping clients happy, has helped Karen  put up consistent numbers with a preference towards seller sides.

In third place is Debra Schmidt with Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County. Her office has been another strong performer during 2018. Debra attributes this to treating her clients as customers for life and earning their repeat business.

Jack Bailey’s office Help-U-Sell Greensboro is always an eagle flying high in fourth place for the quarter. A long-time broker/ owner with an easy going and accessible demeanor have made him both a great coach to the other franchisees, and also a successful broker.

Kimberly Zelena’s team, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings, missed tying for fourth by just two sides. One of their secret weapons is having a team member who specializes exclusively in REO home sales. 

Although there are a lot of recognizable names in our third quarter results, it’s great to see other people and teams rotate in to these top 10 results. Special congratulations to Lana Erwin and her Help-U-Sell Edmond/OKC office for making the ranks this quarter!

Office Buyer Seller 3rd Quarter Total Sides
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan 23 31 54
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 17 24 41
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County Inc. 14 21 35
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 13 19 32
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 14 16 30
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 7 21 28
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 24 24
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 7 16 23
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty 8 11 19
Help-U-Sell Edmond/OKC 3 14 17

Gross Sales Volume Third Quarter

Richard CricchioRichard Cricchio and Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties tops the third quarter list with a cool $17.8 million in gross sales volume. We’re just going to leave that with “wow”. Well done, Sir!

Patrick Wood and Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties clinches the second spot, coming in at $16.6 million. We know that California real estate tends to be higher on the median scale of U.S. homes, but $16M is still quite a bit.

Dave Bartels of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty is in third place, bringing in in $11.8 million.

Mark Dosik at Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty closed with $9.7 million, and Yasumi Davis of Help-U-Sell Golden Homes ends with  $7.8 million.

Office 3rd Quarter Gross Sales volume
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $  17,809,000
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $  16,653,599
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty $  11,877,100
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $    9,733,110
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes $    7,853,000
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty $    7,096,318
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $    6,884,612
Help-U-Sell Distinctive Homes $    6,243,270
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate $    5,491,793
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan $    5,104,326


September Top Producers

It’s no surprise, as we turn to the cooler weather to see Mario Ferrante and his Help-U-Sell Metropolitan office continuing to heat things up for the remainder of 2018. With a total of 15 sides for September, Mario’s team has been at the top of the list just about every month this year.

Debra Schmidt and her team at Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County have also been hard at work in Owatonna, MN. Deborah’s team is a very close second with a total of 14 sides for the month of September and has also been a familiar face on our top producers list this year.

Third place for September is a tie between Jack Bailey’s team at Help-U-Sell Greensboro and Kimberly Zelena’s team at Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate. Each of them close with 11 total sides for the month.

Yasumi Davis at Help-U-Sell Golden Homes closes in on the fourth spot with eight total sides. When we last checked in with Yasumi, she was focusing on training a new team member to take over some of the paperwork, so that she could focus more on selling. Obviously that worked out really well for her!

Fifth place is another tie between Marc Dosik and Help-U-Sell Federal City Real Estate in the Metro Washington D.C. area, and Lana Erwin’s Help-U-Sell Edmond / OKC, serving Oklahoma. Lana and Marc each had seven sides for September.

Congratulations to everyone on a fantastic September.

Office Buyer Seller Total Sides
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan 5 10 15
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County Inc. 5 9 14
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate 7 4 11
Help-U-Sell Greensboro 2 9 11
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes 4 4 8
Help-U-Sell Edmond/OKC 1 6 7
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty 2 5 7
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty 3 3 6
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties 1 5 6
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties 6 6

Three million seems to be the magic number for the month of September with four of the top spots on our Gross Sales Volume list closing in at 3 million dollars or more.

Yasumi Davis at Help-U-Sell Golden Homes is number one, closing the month at $3.9 million. Yasumi has been making increased appearances on our Top Producers list, and we’re happy to see her efforts pay off.

Patrick Wood’s team with Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties was a very close second, nearly tying with just $19,500 less.

Other frequent fliers on a our Top Producers list: Richard Cricchio’s office, Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties takes a third place at $3.5 million and Dave Bartels’ office, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty comes in at 3.1 million dollars.

Office Gross Sales Volume
Help-U-Sell Golden Homes $  3,912,500
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties $  3,893,000
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties $  3,531,000
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty $  3,145,000
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty $  2,552,710
Help-U-Sell Greensboro $  2,156,300
Help-U-Sell Edmond/OKC $  1,878,900
Help-U-Sell Wright Realtors $  1,862,500
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate $  1,784,910
Help-U-Sell Metropolitan $  1,427,430