While Help-U-Sell supplies a modern method of real estate, the company is not any newcomer to the business enterprise certainly. Founded in 1976, Help-U-Sell leapt from the gate using its set-fee, full-service business model, breaking the original mold from the onset. Now serving a lot more than 100 offices in 26 states (and counting), the business has stepped up its value proposition having an in-house IT department that provides an all-in-one tech and marketing solution for affiliates. In this special interview, COO Robert “Robbie” Stevens and Chief Development Officer John Powell give us a look beneath the hood to discover the way the Help-U-Sell engine runs, and just why its method of the true estate business has been more relevant never.
Maria Patterson: Help-U-Sell ‘s been around quite a long time, and has a lot more than 100 offices serving 26 states now. How come your model work in today’s market?
John Powell: The model is a lot more relevant today due to the way the true estate business has changed through the years. Today, technology has solved most of the problems buyers and sellers had once. In 1976 when Help-U-Sell was founded, buyers wanted a free of charge flow of information, and that’s what we did for a long time. We’d give “information without obligation,” giving buyers phone and addresses numbers so that they could drive by and appearance at properties. Today, that given information can be acquired whether brokers enjoy it not. For a long time, brokers had a monopoly on information, but it’s not just a secret due to Zillow anymore, Trulia, realtor.com®, etc. Technology has universally given the buyer the given information that Help-U-Sell has been providing for a long period.
MP: What sets Help-U-Sell PROPERTY apart with regards to technology?
Robbie Stevens: We created our very own IT department eight years back, that provides our brokers a large advantage. Our IT team only works together with our offices, which creates a far greater relationship between them. We realize our offices’ online goals and strategies, and, therefore, service them better. If you hire a third-party tech firm, it’s hard to obtain a quick response time. Instead, the various tools were produced by us had a need to fit our business model. For instance, we handle all of the MLS data in-house, that allows us to service our brokers and offer them with new listing data and market statistics quickly. That information is had by us in real-time.
MP: You’ve recently opened several offices. Can be your technology offering section of what’s fueling that growth?
JP: Yes, technology is really a big section of it, but overall, most brokers join us due to the pressure of competition from other firms. In today’s environment, many brokers are discounting, which lowers their bottom-line profit. Brokers are receiving squeezed are and tighter working significantly harder. They have to have the ability to increase profitability. We, however, have a successful, 40-year system, that is built around our fee structure. Brokers save the buyer thousands, and be more profitable.
There certainly are a complete large amount of home based business models unveiled every day—and these models are simply that: new. They’re experimenting. We’re not experimenting. We’re very experienced. Brokers just like the security to be with a ongoing company which has proven its model.
MP: Please explain your set-fee model. A whole lot of folks have the impression that Help-U-Sell is really a discount model.
JP: Sellers haven’t understood commission. Why would it not cost them $12,000 to market a house for $200,000, but $18,000 to market a house for $300,000? What’s the difference operating between selling both homes? The solution &ldquo is definitely;nothing.” For the buyer, our fixed-fee model ever is more relevant than. We save people thousands, but we’re not just a discounter—we provide them with full service also. We offer more marketing, and the contracts are handled by us and closing details—the escrow, the inspection, the appraisal. The known proven fact that we save sellers money, with an ongoing business model which makes the broker more profitable, gives us a solid competitive advantage.
MP: What sets your marketing offering aside from other firms?
RS: Our marketing tools are among the big benefits you can expect. Brokers don’t need to visit a third party and buy out-of-the-box solutions. Having our marketing in-house we can respond to the marketplace a whole lot quicker. We monitor the info and company website to start to see the behavior of our clientele immediately. We apply our technology to MLS data and create automated drip email promotions. Everything together integrates. At others, you have people using one software for CRM, another for website management—they will have 10 logins for several different websites. Around, all tools are accessed by a unitary login. And the technology is proprietary to us—made to serve our business model and franchises specifically.
MP: Which kind of brokers are drawn to the Help-U-Sell PROPERTY value proposition?
JP: There’s not just one kind of broker that’s drawn to our model. We attract all ages and all backgrounds. Younger brokers just like the technology. They’re tech-savvy and discover our tools to be more efficient and effective. We also attract brokers who’ve been in the continuing business for 20-30 years; they’re searching for options to become more profitable and competitive. Brokers from from coast to coast are opening Help-U-Sell offices. We’ve numerous offices in California, from LA to the Inland Empire. We’ve opened offices in Texas, Missouri, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
MP: Apart from the set fee, what exactly are a few of the biggest differences between your Help-U-Sell model and the original brokerage model?
RS: In the original model, agents purchase almost all their IT don&rsquo and costs;t control it. Help-U-Sell PROPERTY is different as the working office controls the marketing and invests the administrative centre. We don’t be determined by the agent to invest their very own money on marketing.
For example, we’ve developed online technology to are more competitive with direct mail. At this time, many people are pushing internet marketing and investing in social media marketing, Google ads, and teaching agents how exactly to use Twitter and Facebook. Those newer marketing avenues have grown to be relevant, but many agents have gotten lost on traditional marketing like direct signage and mail. You can’t be searching for that silver bullet always, since there is no silver bullet. You should employ a number of marketing initiatives, not one thing just. You’ll want an online business and a procedure for social marketing, together with the visibility of direct signage and mail. Whenever we ask people, “How did you hear about Help-U-Sell?” they tell us always, “We everywhere see you.”
MP: Why did agents move from traditional marketing efforts, like direct mail?
RS: It came right down to money and time. It became too large of a distraction to return and forth with the printer also to find out which neighborhoods to target—and the expenses became prohibitive. Online marketing is really a complete lot cheaper, however the leads certainly are a complete lot weaker, aswell. We’re in a position to use technology and collective bargaining with this printer to automate direct mail at lower costs.
MP: You’ve been dealing with some impressively sized technology projects in-house. Is it possible to reveal more?
RS: We’ve two big projects this season. One is near launch (at press time) and another will launch toward the finish of the entire year. The initial involves direct mail. The common office includes a marketing budget around $1,month 000 a, therefore you can’t afford to obtain postcards out to every true home in your target area. We’re using our technology to lessen that cost. Rather than doing blanket coverage to all or any true homes in a zip code, we can visit a smaller marketplace predicated on carrier routes. We realize whenever a true home continues on the market, the neighbors start talking. Our strategy we can obtain the right message to the proper people at the proper time. Which would all be achieved with automation—due to our MLS data, we realize of each listing that goes out there almost. We’obtain the file to the printer and in 3-4 days ll, the postcard will be sent out. Timing is vital with regards to marketing.
The other project involves the info we’re acquiring to predict home sales for another 12 months. This can give our franchisees an enormous advantage. Everything boils down to data and predictive marketing to find out how long folks are residing in a home. We’re considering a huge selection of data points and testing those against what the probabilities are of a homeowner selling within the next 12 months.
MP: So how exactly does the Help-U-Sell value proposition solve the recruiting challenges faced by most traditional firms?
JP: For some brokers, their No. day in and day trip 1 job is usually to be a recruiter. They hire a fresh agent, have them up and productive and running, then your broker down they’re offered by the road 5 percent more commission split, and the recruiting is started by you process yet again. We take brokers using this recruiting revolving door. Our model is really a team concept where brokers recruit visitors to help run the business enterprise only when the quantity of business dictates. Agents aren’t generating the business—our business is generated by our marketing system, so if a realtor leaves, they aren’t going for a written book of business using them. Thus giving the broker an ongoing business with far more value given that they own the customers, not the agents. This results in higher profitability because brokers avoid paying a higher commission to compete in the recruiting arena. Agents think it’s great because rather than spending a whole lot of money and time attempting to locate clients, they work the leads the broker hands them just, making them more productive far.
MP: You recently launched new broker websites. What improvements are increasingly being offered?
RS: We make an effort to think of a new template every 1 . 5 years roughly. About 60 percent of our traffic originates from mobile devices, so we’ve a responsive template that responds to different devices automatically, including a high-resolution landscape view and faster downloads. We’ve built our templates in WordPress, that allows our brokers to utilize a large number of WordPress plug-ins to customize the websites.
MP: What does the continuing future of property marketing appear to be, and how will you desire to influence it?
RS: Automation in direct mail happens to be a big piece for the company—internet marketing and social media marketing ought to be an add-on. We’re investing more in automation to determine how we may become more efficient with regards to direct mail. We’re concentrating on creating transparency between buyers and sellers also. We’re using technology to create buyers and sellers so the agent becomes more of a consultant together.
MP: What exactly are your ideas on the continuing future of the true estate business all together?
JP: There’s likely to be continued strain on the real estate industry in general, that is likely to force change, like Charles Schwab forced change in the stock business just, and Uber disrupted the taxi business. Technology changes things—it empowers the buyer, and when individuals are empowered, they are able to do business the true way they would like to do it. I believe we’ll continue steadily to see home based business models—the old business model fast is fading. Help-U-Sell’s growth pace will probably increase on the next couple of years due to the pressures brokers are facing. We’very optimistic concerning the future&mdash re;we’re not afraid of the noticeable changes. We’re seeking to them forward.
For more info, please visit www.helpusellfranchise.com.
Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your property news ideas at email@example.com.
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