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

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