The first quarter report is always the most anticipated. The first landmark of the year, it serves as a comprehensive piece with which to forecast how folks are doing against the business production goals they set for themselves when the year was new.
Mario Ferrante of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan in Woodhaven, Michigan, is still the front runner for 2019 with a total of 60 impressive sides. He is beating the competition by more than double and we can’t imagine a stronger beginning.
Kimber Regan of Help-U-Sell Hanford/Lemoore in Hanford, California, locks in second place with 26 total sides. The hard work of her team has made her office a feature of our Top Producers last year.
Then we have our “stair steps”!
Jack Bailey of Help-U-Sell Greensboro comes in third with 24 sides. Patrick Wood of Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties nets 23 sides. Richard Criccio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties closes 22 sides.
As mentioned in the March report, Mike Bowling of Help-U-Sell Mike Bowling in Yuma, AZ, is our newcomer making a big splash. He appears here, too, with 16 sides for the first quarter. Way to go!
Help-U-Sell Hanford/ Lemoore
Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate
Help-U-Sell Mike Bowling
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate
Over on the Gross Sales Volume list, quarter one is still serious business with the top three names matching our March report in the top three spots exactly. How cool is that?
Richard Cricchio from Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties, remains in first place with $16.3 million in sales. The savings of the home sellers in Hawaii must be huge (or “nui” in Hawaiian).
Patrick Woods and Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties comes in second place with $13.9 million.
David Bartels and Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty came in with $9.2 million dollars.
Together, our top 3 grossed $39.5 million in sales in quarter one. Just the top three! From the offices of Sarasota, we at the corporate headquarters congratulate everyone on the top ten list for the quarter.
Partners at Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited, located in Terre Haute, Indiana, Bob and Brenda Fischer are next in our series of Broker/Owners who are also husband and wife.
Brenda has now been in real estate for 20 years, after a career in coordinating continuing medical education for physicians. Bob joined her six years ago, after 32 years in the digital audio industry.
There was a
logical attraction for Brenda to sell houses, as she and Bob had developed a
brisk business of flipping houses. “After a short period of time, you realize
that you’re doing all this physical work, and then paying somebody else to make
a profit off your houses. We then transitioned from flipping houses into
managing rental properties, and we both liked that a lot. Selling houses
ourselves was a natural progression,” Brenda said.
got her real estate license, she learned the industry with another flat-fee
brokerage in Terre Haute. She explained, “They closed down after three years,
and I went to a traditional brokerage. What you quickly find out is that you
pay for everything there. You pay for copies, popcorn, the phone, and, of
course, you still had monthly fees. The other realtors were part-time, and
that’s no way to grow and establish a business. The Assist-2-Sell franchise
where I once worked had been tried and failed on three different occasions, all
by different people, so that was not an option.”
When they made
their decision, they chose Help-U-Sell Real Estate. “If you look at how
Help-U-Sell is structured, it really is different. With other companies, you’re
out there on your own. There is no coaching. No one to rely on or ask
questions. A stricter structure meant fighting that much harder for business.
With Help-U-Sell, I started attending the coaching groups and began working on
recruiting with John Powell. If he doesn’t know the answer to a question, he
always finds out. That’s not common,” Brenda added.
further on the coaching group, she said, “John Powell’s group is excellent.
It’s not just teaching ‘dos and don’ts’. He won’t let you shy away from the
hard tasks of how to make your business more efficient, like planning an
advertising budget or generating appropriate goals for your office. He wants to
help you stretch, versus just helping you make goals that you know that you
will easily meet.”
When it comes
to making a name for themselves, signage is first. “We had to drill down to
figure out where to put our marketing dollars. Signs are our number one thing.
We get more comments on our signage than anything else,” Bob said. “We
advertise as a company, not as agents. You will see names and telephone
numbers, but anyone in our office is qualified to take a call. Whoever can run
with it, we’re good with it. Right now, we’re working on a new postcard. We
called the home office and gave them the idea of what we wanted. It’s a lot
simpler than doing it yourself.”
advertises in their local weekly newspaper that has a readership of about 100,000.
“Newspapers here are still incredibly important. People want to see their home
for sale in the Valley Homes paper. We have tracked how business has been
affected by advertising there by cutting down to every other week, as opposed
to weekly. We lost 31 listings as a result and quickly changed back,” Brenda
shared. “We reach out to our Center of Influence contacts four times a year with
a postcard, written notes, or phone
calls. We also put up door hangers, even in awful weather. We communicate
regularly with clients who bought or sold a property. We often share articles
They also embrace fun methods of gaining exposure. “We always participate in the Labor Day parade and we bring all of our buyers and sellers with us. Everybody’s has matching t-shirts. Anywhere between 20 to 65 people show up, it’s a blast. We also do the ‘Shop with a Cop’ holiday program for children in need every year,” she said.
Bob and Brenda
did well for themselves in 2018, closing 55 transactions. They have established
a goal of 94 transactions for 2019. Bob shared, “It’s going to be tough to pull
off, because we are experiencing a shortage of houses in our area. Right now there
are 441 houses in our MLS, normally it’s around 1,300 in a five-county area.
The median price of homes was $92,000 just a few years ago; Because of the lack
of inventory, they are now over $100,000. During the recession, hundreds of
houses had to be torn down after falling into extreme disrepair. Builders are
now putting up houses that are between $200,000 to $300,000, in a market where
the spending range is $100,000. These more expensive homes aren’t selling, and
we’re desperate for more entry-level homes. Our area realtors and lenders
convened about this issue and have conveyed the need for starter homes to the
builders. We’re not just here as business owners. Real estate is ultimately
about helping families.”
for the year ahead, they embrace the positive and the negative. Bob explained,
“In real estate you expect and accept that it is always going to be a roller
coaster. We’re busy now, but next month, things will slow down dramatically.
We’ve learned to account for those shifts. It takes a special relationship to
work with your spouse, but we’re a team. I may be out getting a listing, while
Brenda is out showing a home. We’re not sitting here all day long. When we are
here together, we’re usually at opposite ends of the building because there’s
always something to do. Our goal is to always help each other out because this
is an old-fashioned family business, and we depend on each other to create
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.
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
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.
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.”
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,”
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.”
We have created new print marketing materials for you to use to build brand awareness and enhance your work with sellers.
Many of you already know about the updated seller brochure, which is a great tool for listing presentations. It features a blank Seller Savings Comparison chart that you fill out with the seller’s estimated home value and your office’s fees to demonstrate the seller’s potential savings. The brochure is available to order from Alexander’s Print Advantage, and it can be customized with your office’s name and contact information. View the brochure and order it here.
New folders with the current branding will be available on Alexander’s Print Advantage within the next couple of weeks also. A preview of the back and front of the folder is below. There will not be contact information on the back as shown. Customization proved too costly. The folders will have slots for your business card in an inner flap. Pricing has yet to be determined.
Let us know what you think of the new materials and if you have requests for other items.