Not Business as Usual, But Open for Business

With the “sheltering in place” and quarantine orders extended until the end of April, one thing we still know is: lots of people still need to sell and buy homes. With an eye towards social distancing, the real estate  industry, and Help-U-Sell Real Estate “Experts Next Door” in particular, have changed business practices to adjust to current safety procedures and protocols. 

Some states have already had real estate deemed as an essential business, which provides some leeway as we strive to continue to serve our clients. Creativity in overcoming obstacles and problem solving is the theme of the day. Naturally, technology plays an enormous part. Whether working virtually, or with key staff rotating in the actual office, we are committed to continuing work for you in every way we safely can.

John Powell

“We are doing real estate in a different way. This is still a perfect opportunity to create new connections and reaffirm old ones. We are calling our previous clients to check in on them, and see if they need anything, especially if they are unable to leave home. We are recording our listing presentations and buyer consultations to have them handy to email to our current leads.”  – John Powell, Broker and Chief Development Officer, Help-U-Sell Real Estate Headquarters

“I’ve remodeled my business entirely. I’ve been doing listing presentations via GoToMeeting, and either going to the property to sign listing agreements or conducting it via DocuSign. I have had transactions where I do not see the seller until settlement time. Sometimes I have not seen them in person at all.” – Walt Hippuaf, Broker/Owner, Help-U-Sell Peoples Real Estate, Philadelphia, PA

Kimberly Zelena, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate

“One of our agents walked through the house live with the client using GoogleDuo. She recorded a video, uploaded it to where the house is listed for other potential buyers to view it. Closings are limited to ten people or fewer – only the people who absolutely have to be there.” – Kimberly Zelena, Owner, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate, Waynesboro, VA

“We moved up closings as quickly as possible for two of our elderly clients. We had the escrow officer go out and sign a client yesterday, and a mobile notary visited another client to get the job done. I’m doing as much as I can on my own. For example, my new phone takes great wide angle photos and video. I’m filming my listings, and post regularly on social media.” – Lona Lassen Murphy, Broker/Owner, Help-U-Sell Oregon, Eugene, OR

“Two of my recent clients, sisters buying condos in the same building, closed yesterday. One could not be in state at all. The tours, the inspection, and the final walk through were all done virtually. During the inspections, I was there, live on FaceTime so she was able to ask questions. The closings were done via email and with e-signatures. Electronic and mobile notaries were approved in Florida this year and that helps a lot.” – Chantell Stevens, Broker/Owner, Help-U-Sell Gulf Coast, Sarasota, FL

“We invested in the cameras to do high quality photos and virtual tours. The majority of people now view home listings on their phone, so we wanted to ensure they have the best viewing experience we can provide from where they are.” – John Metcalf, Broker/Owner, Help-U-Sell Inland Valley, Lake Elsinor, CA

“We are moving closing dates up to help clients close faster. Showing houses is still possible with the CBS (call before showing) code, and assigning a special window to view the home. No one else is allowed in during that time. Both safety and security are increased.” – Yasumi Davis, Broker/Owner, Help-U-Sell Golden Homes, Martinez, CA

“The market here is almost business as normal. Yesterday there were 22 new listings and 11 active contracts. Buyers and sellers who feel like they need to go are allowing showings, but no open houses, of course. It feels like a rainy day open house: you know there won’t be much traffic, but what you do get will be serious. I am telling sellers who haven’t listed yet to get everything ready in advance, so when the restrictions are lifted they will be ready for the burst of opportunity that is bound to happen.” – David Bartels, Broker/Owner, Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty, Westlake Village, CA

“Homes that are vacant are a gold mine, but when they are not, we’ve found virtual tours have been the most helpful.” – Kurt Steffien, Broker/Owner, Help-U-Sell Coast and Valley, Santa Ana, CA

“I have been able to work via text and email.  In one case I drove to escrow to drop off signed documents that had to have a wet signature. I wore an N95 mask, gloves, and used hand sanitizer.” – Raul Novales, Broker/Owner, Help-U-Sell Wisdom Realty, Ontario, CA

To find the Help-U-Sell office closest to serving your area, use our office locator tool. https://www.helpusell.com/OfficeLocator.html

Coaching: A Path to Success

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

Coaching isn’t just for professional athletes. Real estate agents and brokers also benefit from the guidance and support of a coach. More than half of respondents to a 2014 survey by Inman said their business increased by at least 25 percent during the first year of working with a coach.

Of course, it can be pricey. Personal coaching costs most of the Inman respondents between $300 and $749 per month. Did you know that Help-U-Sell Real Estate offers small group coaching to our franchisees for no fee? Groups are limited to a small number of members, and they’re segmented based on the goals of the participants.

Coaching group members have weekly assignments such as creating a marketing budget and tracking their leads. They also learn from each other during open discussions.

In 2015, our brokers who participated in an internal coaching program saw an average revenue increase of 41.4 percent over 2014.

John Powell, one of Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s coaches, attributes this improvement to the change in point of view a coach is able to provide to a broker.

“A coach can stand outside of the business and view it with a different perspective than the broker who’s involved in the day-to-day operation,” said Powell. “The great thing about our program is, there’s no charge to our franchisees. It’s just a time investment.”

Participants see positive results from the guidance they receive.

“I think our business has benefited considerably,” said Eric Stalter, broker-owner of Help-U-Sell East Valley. “By setting goals on paper and tracking my leads and conversions, I am able to follow my business growth and actually see where I need change and improvement.”

If you’re interested in being coached, contact the corporate office. Jack Bailey of broker-owner of Help-U-Sell Greensboro, and the corporate office’s Powell and James Dingman all have openings in their weekly groups. Not yet one of our franchisees? Visit www.helpusellfranchise.com to learn how to become one.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Hires Veteran Franchisee as Chief Development Officer

John Powell joins Help-U-Sell Real Estate
John Powell has joined Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s corporate staff as its Chief Development Officer.

We want to officially announce that John Powell has joined the Help-U-Sell Real Estate corporate staff! As many of you know, John is a veteran franchisee. He has also presented at our Success Summits and coaches other franchisees. He served as a regional director, as well, so he is very familiar with our system from all aspects.

Now, he is our Chief Development Officer.

While he spread the company’s message in the Tucson area as broker-owner of Help-U-Sell Galleria, his new position affords him the chance to do this on a larger scale.

“I joined the corporate team to help as many brokers as possible enjoy the success that I have experienced with Help-U-Sell Real Estate,” John says.

“My role has two primary objectives: one is coaching existing offices to increase their production and profitability by focusing on marketing, adding good people to their staff, training those people, and setting up systems to make the office run smoothly and efficiently,” he says. “The second role is to help build franchise sales to bring more brokers in to the Help-U-Sell Real Estate family and grow the franchise.”

The corporate staff is excited to have John officially on board.

“John brings decades of real estate and regional development experience, on top of being a Help-U-Sell Real Estate family member for nearly 30 years,” says Robert Stevens, our Chief Operations Officer. “He will be driving network growth and development to help us reach our goals for 2016-17 and beyond.”

If you are a current broker who is interested in joining a coaching group, please get in touch. If you are not yet one of our franchisees but would like to learn about becoming one, please visit helpusellfranchise.com.

Looking Back: Buyer Consultant Training

As Help-U-Sell Real Estate approaches 40 years in existence, we are having fun looking back on how far we’ve come, yet how much has remained the same (in a good way!).

The only thing that has changed in the decade since franchisees Jack Bailey (Help-U-Sell Greensboro) and John Powell (Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty) recorded a demonstration of Jack’s buyer consultation is their hair! The advice and Jack’s expertise when it comes to working with buyers have not only stood the test of time, but have improved.

Take a look at this retro video that demonstrates how Help-U-Sell Real Estate agents consult rather than sell to their buyer clients.

This spring, Jack will start his first 10-week buyer consultant training series for Help-U-Sell Real Estate brokers and agents. More information on this long-anticipated program will be revealed soon.

Help-U-Sell in October

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Success Summit 2013
The theme for this year's Success Summit is Making Connections.

We have an exciting and busy October planned! We look forward to seeing you at one or both of our big events.

* The California Realtor Expo will be held October 8-10 in Long Beach. We will be exhibiting, and our booth number is 217. Please stop by if you will be there. CAR members can attend some sessions and the expo for free. Just register online to get access.

* Our annual Success Summit will be better and bigger than ever this October 22-24 in Las Vegas. With a theme of Making Connections, the event will have four general sessions and four blocks of breakout sessions that are separated into Coaching/Training, Marketing, and Technology tracks. Attendees can choose to concentrate on one track or mix and match. Many of the breakout sessions will have hands-on portions so that everyone can leave the Summit having accomplished tasks such as setting up a drip email campaign and creating a marketing plan for next year.

In addition to staff, John Powell and Jack Bailey will be presenting, and there will be a panel discussion along with opportunities to network with fellow franchisees. Our representative from Excel Printing & Mailing will present new marketing materials and hear the results of our brainstorming session we’ll have during the Summit. We have a few surprises up our sleeves, too!

Almost 60 Help-U-Sell family members are already planning to attend. If you are a franchisee or an agent in a Help-U-Sell office and want to join us in Las Vegas, please register today and make your hotel and transportation arrangements.

Use the hashtag #SuccessSummit13 on Twitter to follow and get involved in the Summit, even if you’re not with us.