Broker Website Background Images Now Customizable

We always appreciate input and new ideas from our brokers, and, in response to a recent request, we have added another way for franchisees to localize their Help-U-Sell websites. In addition to the five theme options available for all broker websites, we have now added the ability for brokers to upload a custom background image.

Images must be high-quality (at least 1MB in size) and should fade to white at the top and bottom. You can upload your image in OMS by clicking on Setup and then Website in the system. Below “Website Theme,” you will see “Background Image.” Check the box next to those words, and you will be able to choose a file to upload.

Adding a background image to a Help-U-Sell website
How to add a custom background image to your Help-U-Sell website

When selecting an image for your broker website, focus on your area’s most iconic or attractive feature. Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty’s custom background image features the Washington, D.C. skyline.

Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty's background image
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty's background image

We encourage you to send us your background image so that we can examine it and make any necessary adjustments.

Help-U-Sell Success Summit 2012

We’re just back from the 2012 Help-U-Sell Success Summit, and the REALTORS Conference & Expo leading up to it. By all accounts, both were a great success! We loved seeing our brokers from all over the country. Several of them (Kim and Mike Zelena, Leigh Anne Losh, Kyna Baehr, and Walt Hippauf) drove hundreds of miles to be with us in Orlando.

Thank you to everyone who spent time at our expo booth. Your testimonials to prospective franchisees are more powerful than just about anything we can say to them or show them. A special thank-you to Dan Desmond, who made the trek from storm-damaged New Jersey to help out at the Expo and to attend the Summit.

We hope all who attended the Success Summit got some great takeaways. The hands-on approach and interactive discussions about OMS and website requests and your fee structures taught us, too. We also talked about partnering with a wonderful charity that gives food to the hungry and about adding a potential vendor to our program. As we get closer to finalizing those partnerships, we will keep you informed.

Those of you who couldn’t make it this year, please mark your calendars and start saving now for the 2013 events in San Francisco. The NAR dates are Nov. 8-11, and we will have our Success Summit immediately following. We’ll provide more information in the months to come.

Meanwhile, enjoy a few photos from the Expo and the Success Summit.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate's booth at the Realtors Expo
Help-U-Sell Real Estate's booth at the Realtors Conference & Expo in Orlando

Chris, Dee and Kendra working the Help-U-Sell booth at NAR
Chris, Dee and Kendra working the Help-U-Sell Real Estate booth at the Realtors Conference & Expo

Tracy Jacobs of Help-U-Sell Quad Cities Realty
Tracy Jacobs of Help-U-Sell Quad Cities Realty takes notes during the Success Summit.

Help-U-Sell Success Summit
Ron McCoy teaching about Instagram during the Help-U-Sell Success Summit

Broker Focus: Marc Dosik

Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty
Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty

For buyers and sellers, real estate might be all about “location, location, location,” but for agents and brokers it’s “referrals, referrals, referrals.” Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty in Washington, D.C., actively pursues reviews and referrals as a major marketing tactic.

“I just closed a transaction with a guy in California who read my reviews on Yahoo!,” Dosik says. The buyer called based on the strength of those reviews and asked to speak to a couple of Dosik’s past clients for more feedback. Understanding the power of good testimonials, the new buyer just wrote Dosik a positive review.

As a Premier Agent on Zillow, Dosik solicits happy past customers to post their experiences on the site. He makes it easy for the customers by sending them links to his profile. He also collects reviews for Yelp and Angie’s List and puts them in Redfin.

“You can parlay these [as marketing tools],” Dosik says. He uses the reviews in listing presentations and sends prospective clients a link to his Zillow reviews. “They really help me get the listing,” he says.

Dosik encourages new and veteran brokers to ask for reviews and referrals. “Don’t stop keeping in touch,” he says. He focuses on his customers and always says “yes” to their requests. “Try not to say ‘we don’t do that’ at Help-U-Sell. Go above and beyond. You’re going to get referrals by doing that,” he advises.

Past customers’ reviews and referrals have helped Federal City Realty have a successful spring, and so has Mother Nature. “In February, we had a big increase in transactions,” Dosik says. “Normally, spring starts in March but we had a warm winter, so buyers were out there.” A lack of sellers created pent-up demand. “Since then, it’s been very busy.”

The D.C. Metro area has been steadier than most other markets during the past few years, but the housing market is stronger in some locations within the greater D.C. area than in others. The more affluent cities that are closer to Washington, D.C., such as Chevy Chase, Md., and Arlington, Va., have experienced appreciating home values, while cities that are farther away and that have a lot of new inventory, like Chantilly, Va., and Germantown, Md., are not faring as well. Dosik adds that reurbanization efforts in D.C. combined with a low unemployment rate have young professionals and investors snapping up properties in transitional neighborhoods.

With the overall strength of the D.C. Metro market, Dosik is on his way to reaching his goal of transitioning from being a one-man show to focusing more on marketing-oriented activities. He plans to add another assistant to his staff, as well as hire buyers’ agents.

What are your tips for getting the most out of testimonials?

Winter Warm-Up Contest Update

We have just six weeks left in our Winter Warm-Up Contest!

During the contest, which started Nov. 1, Help-U-Sell offices earn points for each new listing, each closed buyer side and each closed seller side. The top three offices in total points at the end of the contest win prizes in the form of admin fees, Help-U-Sell shirts and, of course, bragging rights. The top point-getter in each of the three categories (new listings, closed buyer sides and closed seller sides) will also win prizes. Note: Offices that won in the total-points category are not eligible to win in the categories. For more details, see our previous Connect post.

Because no one can win in more than one category, these would be our winners if the contest had ended Jan. 15:

Total Points:

1. Honolulu Properties

2. Heritage Real Estate

3. Detwiler Realty

New Listings:

Galleria Realty

Buyer Sides:

Select Real Estate

Seller Sides:

Select Services

But there’s still time to make your move up the leaderboards! Our standings as of Jan. 15 are as follows. We have listed the top five in each category to give a better idea of the big picture. [Note: There are a few ties.]

Total Points

  1. Honolulu Properties      251 points
  2. Heritage Real Estate       189
  3. Detwiler Realty                 139
  4. Galleria Realty                  126
  5. Select Real Estate            108

New Listings

  1. Honolulu Properties      225 points
  2. Heritage Real Estate       150
  3. Galleria Realty                  95
  4. Detwiler Realty                 90
  5. Quad Cities Realty           85

Closed Buyer Sides

  1. Select Real Estate            39 points
  2. Real Estate Specialists   30 (tied for 2nd)
  3. Triad Realty                       30 (tied for 2nd)
  4. Heritage Real Estate       21 (tied for 3rd)
  5. Galleria Realty                  21 (tied for 3rd)
  6. Detwiler Realty                 21 (tied for 3rd)
  7. Federal City Realty         18
  8. Edmond/OKC                    15 (tied for 5th)
  9. Distinctive Homes           15 (tied for 5th)
  10. Sims Realty                         15 (tied for 5th)

Closed Seller Sides

  1. Select Services                 46 points
  2. Honolulu Properties      26
  3. Central Properties          24
  4. Real Estate Specialists  18 (tied for 4th)
  5. Heritage Real Estate      18 (tied for 4th)
  6. Detwiler Realty                18 (tied for 4th)
  7. Select Real Estate            14

Good luck to everyone and keep up the great work! Remember, the contest ends on Feb. 29, and winners will officially be announced on March 7.