Differentiation and Passion

I am looking around the NAR Exhibit hall.  There are a dozen real estate companies with booths (maybe more).  I’m seeing them:  Keller-Williams, Re/Max, Exit, Prudential, the Realogy Brands (Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA, Better Homes and Gardens, Southebys), and more . . . and suddenly all of the color strips out of the picture.  I’m seeing them in black and white.  No; greyscale.  They all kind of smoosh together into a large amorphous glob of grey sludge.  I can’t tell them apart, can’t distinguish one from the other.

I start listening, and I’m hearing the same buzz-words from every corner:  great training! family atmosphere! recruiting tools! referrals! brand recognition!  I can’t tell who’s saying what because they are all saying the same thing.  And when I listen carefully, they’re not saying much of anything at all!

Really:  there is not one iota of differentiation among the big brands in real estate today.  That entire universe has become generic.  None are talking about selling real estate, all are talking about recruiting; none are talking about the consumer, all are talking about how many agents they have.  It’s as if the most recognized brands in the business are in flight from the consumer!  They are tossing them aside, telling their agents, ‘Here, you deal with these people; we’re in the franchising business.’

And then I turn around and see a gem.  It’s a ruby, an emerald, a diamond all beautifully wrapped in platinum . . . Help-U-Sell.  It looks different, it sounds different, it says different things, and it sticks out like a Gulliver among the Lilliputians.

Yes, we are different.  We talk constantly about the consumer, what he or she wants, what would delight them, how we can better reach and care for them.  Our bullseye is crystal clear:  sell more real estate.  Sure, we’d like to have more outlets, more agents, but that’s the means, not the end.  That’s how we sell more real estate.

There is great power in differentiation.  When you are different, it’s easier for the consumer to see you.  When you are different there is a natural curiosity that causes people to ask, ‘What do you do?’

When they started, Re/Max had great differentiation.  They were doing what nobody else was doing, and they took the industry by storm.  Then they became like everyone else – or everyone else became more like them – their picture turned to greyscale, and they went into decline.  The same story could be told (with different colors) about Century 21, Coldwell, Keller . . . eventually they all become part of the soup and the magic is gone.

Not so with Help-U-Sell.  We’ve stuck out like a wonderfully sore thumb since 1976.  We have a brilliant Red force-field around us that effectively repells shades of grey.  The industry has the same reaction to us today they did 35 years ago:  they scratch their heads and say, ‘Huh? Are you guys still HERE?’

Yes, we are still here.  You can’t kill us.  That’s because we’ve paired this wonderful differentiation with a super-human power:  passion.  Passion is our Kryptonite.

Help-U-Sell is not just a Brand; it’s a belief system.  We honestly believe that we have a better deal, one that works better, that’s better for consumers, for Brokers and for agents.  We are as much about changing the way real estate is sold as we are about simply selling real estate.  And our people go to the wall for their faith in Help-U-Sell every day of their lives.

Overheard at NAR yesterday, from a former Help-U-Sell Franchisee: ‘The happiest days of my real estate career were the ones I spent as a Help-U-Sell Broker.’

Becoming part of Help-U-Sell is like meeting the love of your life, your soulmate.  Even if things go south and you end up apart, you remember that time as the best.

Steve Jobs once said:

When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.

You could substitute the word ‘Help-U-Sell’ for ‘Apple’ in that phrase . . . it’s the same here.  Our people are in love with Help-U-Sell.  They love feeling good about what they do for consumers.  They love being different, being better.  They love saving people money.  They love being in control of their destiny. . .

And I love them.


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