The second quarter of our Top Producers list features folks we were expecting and a few that we were not.
Unsurprisingly, Mario Ferrante of Help-U-Sell Metropolitan in Woodhaven, Michigan, remains in the top spot as he has been since the beginning of 2019. With a staggering 78 total sides, we can speculate safely that whatever methods Mario is employing are working extremely well.
What we were not expecting is the fairly close competition between Jack Bailey’s Help-U-Sell Greensboro in North Carolina, and Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty in Washington DC. It’s hard to imagine two more diverse markets, and yet there are only 5 sides difference, which shows the difference the Help-U-Sell model creates.
We’re pleased to see Kimberly Zelena’s team here, Help-U-Sell Direct Savings in Waynesboro, VA secures fourth place with 34 sides.
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty
Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate
Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties
Help-U-Sell Heritage Real Estate
Help-U-Sell Mike Bowling
Help-U-Sell Select Real Estate
Help-U-Sell Central Properties
Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty
Over here on the Gross Sales Volume list, Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties dominates the top of the second quarter with $15 million in sales.
Marc Dosik of Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty in Washington, DC, makes it hard not to notice him when he is always showing up on both of our Top Producers lists. He closes here with $13.9 million in sales. Considering his 39 sides for the quarter, he has had a great three months.
David Bartels of Help-U-Sell Full Service Realty in Westlake Village, CA, secures third place with $13.2 million in sales.
The second quarter of 2019 clearly connotes that people were selling and buying houses, and Help-U-Sell was there to provide the expertise to make the sales and savings happen.
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
Based on franchisees’ requests, we have created two new widgets that can be placed on any webpage, either on the Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker website or on a third-party site.
The testimonials widget displays the reviews that have been entered in the Office Management System. The widget can be vertical or horizontal, and its size can be adjusted as needed. Brokers can enter text or video testimonials into OMS.
The seller savings calculator widget enables a homeowner to enter his house’s value and find out approximately how much he could save by listing with the broker’s office in comparison to a traditional, percentage-based brokerage.
Both widgets would work well on landing pages that have contact forms, enabling brokers to generate leads.
The widgets will be ready to use next week. If you are a Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker and want help creating a widget or a landing page with one of these widgets, contact us at support.
At Help-U-Sell Real Estate, we believe there’s a more fair way to charge our clients when we sell their homes than the traditional percentage-based commission. To explain our system and the way many traditional brokerages work when it comes to commission structure, we’ve created an informative video.
On April 25, 2013, Help-U-Sell Bay Beach Realty broker/owner Dan Desmond and Scott Einbinder, a veteran real estate salesperson and consultant, in Toms River, N.J., will debate which real estate business model is superior: flat-fee or commission-based. Proceeds from the highly anticipated event will benefit the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
While Desmond will be speaking on his own behalf and not as a representative of Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s corporate office, we are looking forward to cheering him on in about two weeks’ time.
Since we began operating in 1976, Help-U-Sell Real Estate has practiced the flat-fee (or set-fee) business model. Our founder, Don Taylor, thought the idea that consumers paid high commissions, based on the sale price of a home and not on the actual cost of marketing the home, could be improved upon.
Our brokers, all members of the National Association of REALTORS, offer the same full service as commission-based brokers, but charge a flat fee instead of a variable percentage. The flat fee is always at a savings for our sellers. However, we are not discount brokers. Our brokers determine their flat fee based on solid business practices (the market conditions, their profit margin and the cost to perform services) and not based on what the broker next door is charging.
Last year, our offices saved sellers $12.5 million in commission fees, when compared to a 6% commission. To us, a flat fee just makes sense for everyone: our sellers, our brokers and our brokers’ agents.