October is always a month of transitions. The last few sparks of summer roar through the early weeks of the month, while the spikes of winter lurk closely behind, with the gorgeous leaves of change gracefully marking middle. One thing stayed consistent throughout: our Help-U-Sell Broker/Owners blazed a trail and continued to demonstrate that 2020 wasn’t going to stop them from selling and buying homes for all of our valued clients.
Coming in first for the first time this year: one of our men in Michigan! Jeff Hedberg of Help-U-Sell Real Estate Masters in Port Huron and his team closed 18 sides in October alone. Our guess is he makes the top ten for 2020, too!
In second place is Debra Schmidt. Her team at Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate of Steele County closed with 15 houses being bought and sold in a single month – all in Owatonna, MN. This works out to 4.1 sides a week. Very well done.
Our other man in Michigan secures third place. Mario Ferrante of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan in Woodhaven, MI, stakes out 14 sides with his team. Since Mario is a near-constant top producer, we’d love to have him be a future broker profile subject.
In seventh through eleventh place, a sea of ties all with seven total. That seems lucky!
Help-U-Sell Real Estate Masters
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties
Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty
Help-U-Sell Bakersfield Equity Savers
Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate
The Gross Sales Volume report shows a staggering $7 million in sales for Richard Criccio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties. The top spot here is often where we can find him and his team, and October just re-confirms what we know about the Honolulu market: always hot!
Having shown up first on our sides report, it makes sense to see Jeff Hedberg of Help-U-Sell Real Estate Masters in Port Huron on the GSV report. $3.5 million in sales divided by 18 sides works out to an average $196,000 per side. In other words: crushing it.
Third place was won by a margin of just $31,960! Lona Murphy at Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate in Eugene, OR has been showing us that small office model works just fine. She is the very definition of a mover and a shaker and is a showstopper.
For the first time, the Gross Sales Volume report goes “up to eleven” (for you Spinal Tap fans). It seemed pertinent to include every office that nailed down over $2 million in sales for October alone.
Keep on shining through the holiday season. Your determination continues to be an inspiration.
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.
“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
“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
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.
Lona Murphy, broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate in Eugene, Ore., has owned her franchise since April 2011. In that short amount of time, she took the office, previously known as Help-U-Sell By Owner, and made it into an even more successful business.
Murphy attributes the growth to a strategic approach that started with the name change. She wanted to ensure that potential clients knew that her office offered full representation, not just assistance to FSBOs. She improved the company image by moving the office from a retail location to a corner office downtown. New marketing materials, taking advantage of inexpensive online marketing tools, and focusing on being proactive and following up furthered the efforts to be seen as a great option for home sellers in Eugene.
The office also incorporated Murphy’s existing rental program into the revenue stream. Their 20 rental units have provided a consistent source of income and of buyers and sellers. She says their property management clients have made many referrals to her office.
One of the biggest challenges Select Real Estate has encountered has been from competitors claiming Help-U-Sell is a discount brokerage and that other agents won’t show its listings. Murphy and fellow broker Tiffany Guerin assertively overcome objections using facts and statistics. “We don’t use negative references to other Realtors,” she says. “[But] we don’t back down.” She has rarely lost a listing to a traditional brokerage.
Murphy has begun to turn down certain listings, however. “I don’t take overpriced listings anymore,” she says. Her slogan is “I don’t list properties to list them; I list properties to sell them.”
For new Help-U-Sell brokers, she advises not to take it personally when traditional agents and brokers say you’re inferior. “Persevere and be committed to what you do, and that’s to help people and save them money,” Murphy says.