The Right Choice for Julian Team

Before Gary Julian decided to get his real estate license in 1990, he spent a number of years in service-related industries such as banking and retail management. His wife, Wendy, got her license in 1998. “What you learn from public-facing work experiences like mine is how to play well with others. It also prepared me for having my own business in areas like payroll and supervision. I flourished in those jobs, but I’ve always loved the idea of being self-employed; It means I have 100% accountability,” Gary said.

Gary spent the first portion of his real estate career with a traditional brokerage. “I can tell you from first-hand experience, it’s a completely different mindset. There is no support. You are 100% on your own. In 2002, I moved from the traditional brokerage to a flat fee brokerage. Like many others during that time, that business went belly-up in 2007. I became an independent broker and offered a flat fee to my clients. After three years, I started researching possible franchise business options and decided to open my own Help-U-Sell Real Estate office,” he shared.

When asked why he chose Help-U-Sell over other franchises, Gary said, “Starting a business from scratch is no easy task. It helps tremendously going into one by having a brand name with a great, nationwide reputation. As an independent, the incoming calls coming were a bit tepid. When I ran ads as an independent, I wouldn’t get much traction. Suddenly, I add the Help-U-Sell logo, with language like ‘low set-fee’ and ‘save thousands’ and the visibility goes way up and the phone rings more.”

He added, “When you’re independent it’s hard to get noticed by anyone. I’ve gone door-to-door to bring attention to our business. With a national franchise, we have offices from coast to coast, an especially strong local presence, and an exceptionally large presence in the state of California as a whole. People started listing with us. We’ve got full service at a reasonable fee structure, and we don’t overcharge. People respond well to brand names; It gives them a degree of comfort. After opening our shop, we immediately had two sales come in from folks familiar with the name. We knew immediately we made the right decision.”

Most folks in real estate remember the traditional means of advertising was once primarily newspapers, but of course much has changed when it comes to marketing. “We found newspaper ads were not faring as well in our market as they once had, when compared to our internet marketing efforts. Figuring out your advertising spend takes time and nuance. The trick is getting people to know that we’re here. With the brand name, the logo, and a lot of signage, we’re finding there are a lot of ways to help people find us.”

Some of the Help-U-Sell in-house technology for marketing is also in use. “We do greeting cards three times a year: New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, and 4th of July. We use the ‘sold and saved’ postcards, too. Next, we’re planning on making videos for social media. As we upgrade our technology presence, we upgrade our community visibility in general. One of my recent Facebook advertisements highlights a seller savings of $45,850 in commissions. We find those get a lot of positive attention. Oftentimes, we have a tendency to overthink a lot of things and really it just comes down to figuring out who wants your service,” Gary explained.

Having spent nearly 30 years in the industry, Gary has learned to weather the tumultuous tides of the changing housing market with ease. “I never looked at this venture as just a paycheck. I ignore the commissions, because I know they’re going to kick in. We get referrals from people who trust us, because we did right by them. That’s a return on advertising you can’t buy, only earn. I recently closed two sales that were entirely internet-related. Someone else found us from the national Help-U-Sell website and zeroed in on our office. I get affirmation that I made the right choice constantly,” Gary added.

Goals for 2019 will have Gary and Wendy doubling the number of sides they closed last year. Situated in a rare lower market for Southern California, the median range of homes is $290,000, which attracts a greater volume of buyers. Gary added, “The inventory has exploded, increasing 33% more than what it was at this time last year. Pending sales are down 5%. Overall, the population has exploded for California, so it’s an exciting time for us.”

Reflecting on their time together, Gary says, “Between the two of us, we have over 50 years of experience! We are doing well as a family business. We celebrate robust times, and in tougher times, we just put our heads together and move forward. There’s always going to be people with this need and you just need let them know you’re there.”

Real Estate the Wright Way

At one time, Ed Wright had his eye on the sky as an air traffic controller but had his sights set on real estate. He became a real estate agent in 1980 and opened his own office as broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Wright Realtors in 1982. Interested in all things housing-related, he learned about mortgages, escrow, and appraisals, giving Ed a well-rounded understanding of the real estate industry, and putting him in the position to dispense expert advice on many home-related topics.

Julie Wright began as a bank teller, and transitioned to work for a title company. Over 19 years, she witnessed the success of several Help-U-Sell brokers, and noted they were doing more business than many of the long-time traditional brokers. Help-U-Sell had an easy-to-follow system, and owning her own business was attractive, so Julie pursued her real estate license in 1999. She had plans to open her own franchise when she met Ed while traveling to Biloxi, Mississippi for a Help-U-Sell Real Estate convention. Eventually Julie and Ed married, and Julie joined his business. “Real estate was an entirely different animal with a new language. There was a lot to learn. I was attracted to it because I am a people person, but I wanted to create a business. I also wanted to be active in my community, and have money in addition to freedom,” Julie said.

An uptick in 2018 sales placed the Wrights on a recent monthly Top Producers list, which highlights Help-U-Sell Broker/Owners who have had the most sales. Part of the increase is due to Julie’s new efforts of tracking referrals very carefully through coaching. “One of my most successful efforts was a ‘reverse pop-by’. Just before Thanksgiving, we hosted an open house and invited a certain level of clients and referrals. We served cider, wine, and hot appetizers. At the end of the evening, everyone took home a pie. Some of our clients made referrals for their business, and of course we received several new referrals ourselves,” Julie added. These efforts have been paying off, as Ed and Julie closed 35 transactions for 2018. For 2019, their goal is 50, and plan to achieve it by initiating a campaign of “low-hanging fruit” with expired and probate listings.

Homes in their area have a median price range of $750,000. Ed explained, “The concept of value from Help-U-Sell automatically attracts sellers. Home sellers everywhere, but especially here in California, love saving money off the traditional 6% Commission. On a $750,000 home, 6% is $45,000. That’s a substantial amount of equity people don’t want to give away, giving us a huge advantage over traditional real estate agents. When I make a listing presentation, I win that client 90% of the time.”

When it comes to brand awareness, Ed shared, “Marketing has changed dramatically for us. Several years ago in Orange County, there was a co-op for group marketing with the other California-based Help-U-Sell offices. Marketing is very different today and far more fragmented, especially with internet-based competition. With print media being somewhat passé, we’ve had to focus on creating opportunities that are more directed towards a smaller audience. Instead of going broad, it’s become more targeted and precise.” Julie has also been increasing her presence in a local chamber of commerce. “We’ve noticed that the ‘sold and saved’ brag cards stick with people and make a big impression,” she said.

Together, Julie and Ed have collectively sold thousands of properties over the years. “There’s nothing like the freedom of running your own business. You make your own schedule. The rewards, aside from the obvious monetary ones, are helping people to achieve their goals. When you put a buyer in a new home, that’s a great feeling,” Ed explained.  “We’ve really enjoyed the experience of Help-U-Sell ownership over the past three decades. The company is always growing and changing, it makes for an exciting future, and we’re proud of what we’ve built together.”

Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited in Terre Haute, IN Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary with Contest for Free Home Listing

Terre Haute, IN (May 10, 2017) – Ms. Brenda Fischer, Managing Broker of Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited in Terre Haute, IN recently announced plans for the ten-year anniversary milestone of her office with an all-day event featuring a unique contest for home sellers in Vigo county.  The celebration will take place from 9 AM to 6 PM on June 1, 2017 at Kenbell Plaza, Suite 5 in Terre Haute. The winner of the contest, which will be drawn during a live radio broadcast on HI-99 | 99.9 FM between 4 PM and 6 PM, will be able to sell their home for free on the listing side, which boasts a minimum value of $2950.

Robert Stevens, Chief Operating Officer of Help-U-Sell® Real Estate, headquartered in Sarasota, FL, said, “We have loved having Brenda Fischer and her team at Help-U-Sell Options Realty as a mainstay of this organization these last ten years. Their drive for excellence mixed with their desire to help people in their community save money are part of what has given them longevity. We congratulate them on their well-earned success.”

When asked what contributed to the milestone, Ms. Fischer added, “We have a great team in place, for starters.  Second, when you take the Help-U-Sell concept, with the flat-fee structure and fantastic customer service, you have a winning combination.  We offer a set fee for full service as the premier provider of professional licensed real estate services, empowering consumers with access to information and choice. We love helping people buy and sell homes, and we can do it with a level of service that other realtors don’t offer.”

Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited has partnered with Ruoff Home Mortgage for this special event, and representatives will be there on June 1 offering onsite pre-approvals.

Other rules apply. Entry form is available here.  For questions, contact Brenda Fischer, 812-299-7355.

About Help-U-Sell Real Estate

Help-U-Sell® Real Estate, based in Sarasota, FL, is now in its 41st year in business. Its business model was the pioneer for providing an alternative to the dated commission structure. The franchisor has offices operating in 20 states and the District of Columbia and recently was named a top franchise by Franchise Business Review.

Top Producers for March 2016

Lona Murphy of Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate, Eugene, Oregon
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate, owned by Lona Murphy, had 15 closed sides in March.

March Madness translated into major success for a few of our offices. Six of them scored 10 or more closed sides each.

1) Help-U-Sell Greensboro, in North Carolina, took the crown for March with 17 closed sides, consisting of four buyer sides and 13 seller sides.

2) Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties tied for second place by completing three buyer sides, 10 seller sides, and one dual-sided transaction for a total of 15 closed sides.

2) Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties, based in Chino Hills, Calif., had one buyer side, 12 seller sides, and one dual-sided transaction.

2) Also with 15 sides, Oregon’s Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate did four buyer sides, seven seller sides, and two dual-sided transactions.

3) Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate‘s 12 closed sides were a mixed bag. The Waynesboro, Va., office closed two buyer sides, six seller sides, and two dual-sided transactions.

4) North Carolina-based Help-U-Sell Triad Realty rounded out the list with 10 closed sides: two buyers, six sellers, and one dual-sided transaction.

A special congratulations to Help-U-Sell Conejo Valley and Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties for assisting sellers with $1 million-plus transactions.

[Figures updated April 13, 2016]

New 40th Anniversary Logo and Marketing Collateral

Help-U-Sell Real Estate 40th Anniversary Logo
Help-U-Sell Real Estate celebrates its 40th anniversary with a commemorative logo.

If you aren’t a fan of ours on Facebook yet, you may not be aware that we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. Time flies when you’re saving people money!

Don Taylor founded Help-U-Sell Real Estate in 1976 as a consumer-friendly alternative to the high percentage-based commissions most other real estate agents charged. He believed a low set fee, information without obligation, and freedom of choice were the wave of the future. Four decades and thousands of happy clients later, and we’re still helping sellers (and buyers) across the country!

40th Anniversary Help-U-Sell Real Estate Web Banner
This is one of four new website banners.

To commemorate this milestone, we’ve created an anniversary logo and marketing collateral (with more to come), including website banners and a new postcard. The EDDM postcard will be available in the next co-op from our print vendor, Excel Printing and Mailing, on April 1.

Brokers can access variations of the new logo and the website banners in the Office Management System’s Download Library. The postcard will be on Excel Printing & Mailing’s website soon.

Update: Excel Printing & Mailing now has eight postcards of varying messages and sizes with the 40th anniversary logo. They have their own section on the site. Look for the “40-Year Materials” title to see the selections and customize your order.