I am working with Jeanne Strayer — whom most of you know — on the next generation Help-U-Sell University. Jeanne is a nationally recognized Instructional Designer and Educational Technologist. She’s brilliant and comes with the added benefit of having worked with Help-U-Sell for a number of years; so she already understands us.
As we wrestle with content, we’ve identified a need for a concise description of Help-U-Sell, who we are and what we do. We got a bit of a start on that with the ‘Help-U-Sell for Sellers,’ ‘Help-U-Sell for Brokers’ pieces we created for the NAR Expo (they are posted below). But those pieces didn’t quite accomplish what we wanted; so here’s a first attempt at Help-U-Sell In A Nutshell.
- Help-U-Sell begins with a superior offer to home sellers. We go into the market offering a service very similar to what ordinary brokers offer, but we charge a logical set fee (rather than a percentage commission), which can save the seller thousands.
- The superior offer enables the Help-U-Sell broker to take more than his or her share of listings in the target market. In fact, the superior offer makes taking listings much easier.
- More listings means more signs and better marketing, and ultimately the large listing inventory generates a strong flow of Buyer (and Seller) inquiries into the office.
- We capture those inquiries and turn them over to Buyer Agents who are carefully groomed and trained (via Science to Sales) to convert them into sales. As listings increase, as the flow of leads increases, as we add Buyer Agents to handle the flow, production snowballs.
There are four critical areas that underpin this vision. These are essential areas of focus on which the whole program depends. If these elements are faulty, Help-U-Sell will not perform to its potential. They are:
- The Buyer Inquiry. This is the single most important moment in a Help-U-Sell office. It is the place where we take the power of our superior offer and our marketing and convert it into leads, prospects, clients and sales. That’s why we work so hard to make sure our people are handling the inquiry – whether from phone or Internet – effectively. Really: if you want to improve your production and your bottom line, I know of no better way than to improve the way inquiries are handled in your office.
- Broker Control. The Broker is the business, and the business is the Broker’s. The Broker is in the business of selling real estate. This contrasts with ordinary brokers who, by and large, are in the recruiting business. The ordinary Broker recruits to expand his business; every agent added increases the Broker’s reach (well . . . in theory, anyway). Help-U-Sell Brokers rely on their marketing and office systems to expand their business. Agents come in to help the Broker handle the large amount of business the office is generating.
- Systematic Marketing. Because the broker is in control, he or she creates and manages a marketing plan for the Help-U-Sell office and for all the office listings. The marketing plan is constantly fine tuned and eventually becomes a relatively stable, almost fixed expense. When we take a listing, we don’t create a whole unique marketing plan for that one listing — that’s what ordinary real estate agents do and the result is thousands of agents running around willy-nilly with almost no marketing coordination. We take the new listing and simply plug it into our existing office marketing program which produces results for all of our listings.
- Buyer Agent Job Description. Help-U-Sell Buyer agents focus on one single but very important aspect of the business: they convert Buyer leads generated by the office into closed transactions. They don’t prospect for listings, don’t call FSBOS, don’t go on listing appointments or orchestrate marketing. It’s a small, easily managed job description that enables the agent to do many more transactions than he or she could at an ordinary office.
As I read this I am struck by how much of it deals with Buyers and Buyer Agents and Brokers hiring Buyer Agents. The Listing and the Seller side of the transaction are mentioned only a couple of times. But we are Help-U-Sell. Doesn’t that indicate that this description is a little twisted? Not at all. At Help-U-Sell, the listing side of the business is pretty simple. It’s easier to take listings when you have a superior offer and our systematic approach to marketing gets your listings sold. It’s the buyer side that requires the greatest shift in attitude by the largest group of people.
I am reminded of my first ever meeting with Don Taylor, about a year ago. He smiled as only Don Taylor can smile and said, ‘People forget, but Help-U-Sell was always about the buyer.’
Let’s try to remember that.