Who We Are . . .

The Help-U-Sell® Brand stands for something.  It represents the ability of the average consumer to receive expert assistance in a real estate transaction while saving significantly over what they’d spend with an ordinary REALTOR®.  It proudly represents a new approach to the real estate business, a better model, a new deal.  This reputation for exceptional customer service, coupled with savings has enabled us to build Brand awareness nationwide. 

The Help-U-Sell Vision Statement expresses how we see ourselves in the competitive environment in which we operate:

We are the premier provider of professional licensed real estate services, empowering consumers with access to information and choice, while offering a set-fee for service.

 

Great care was taken in crafting the Vision Statement to truly express who we are.  The language is very precise:

Premier Provider – We are an elite corps, the cream of the crop. We are neither discounters nor a limited service option. 

Professional, Licensed Real Estate Services – We are fully licensed in our respective states and aspire to the highest levels of professionalism in the industry.

Empowering Consumers – We give our Buyers and Sellers the information and tools they need to effectively navigate the complex world of real estate sales.

Access to Information – We don’t ‘hoard’ information or hold it hostage.  We freely give our buyers and sellers as much information as they need to make an informed decision.

Choice – We present our clients options, help them evaluate them and then tailor a solution to fit their particular need.  We do not embrace one-size-fits- all solutions.

Set Fee for Service – We price our services logically and fairly.  Our pricing makes sense to the consumer and we tailor our pricing to fit the services they use.

The five Help-U-Sell® Core Beliefs are the backbone of our identity.  They guide the way we relate to our customers and clients, our fellow brokers and each other. 

We Believe In

  • Integrity:  We conduct our business with honesty and transparency, and share information without condition. 
  • Consumer Choices and Empowerment:  We present options and help our clients evaluate them, enabling them to make informed decisions.
  • Consumer Savings:  We strive to ensure that every consumer choice results in savings.
  • Broker Control and Profit: In our office, the broker is the business. The broker generates the leads, develops client relationships, and ensures successful transactions.
  • Systems Orientation: We create and implement systems for accomplishing recurring tasks.

Never forget you are different.  Though you assist the same customers as ordinary REALTORS, yours is an entirely different business model.

No More Begging!

It dawned on me 20 years ago when I was working as a Business Consultant for one of the other large national real estate franchises:  In the ordinary real estate world, we were all beggars.

Agents made listing presentations where they begged sellers to work with them.  Then they begged them to reduce the price and relist.  They begged their buyers to be loyal.

Brokers begged agents to come work in their offices.  They begged them not to leave, too.

The Franchises begged (really:  begged) people to join them.  Then they begged them to use the tools, begged them to do the thngs that would help them succeed and begged them to renew at the end of their term.

It was all very degrading, all this begging.

In a universe where everyone is on their own and everyone has the same set of tools, where all the players are just alike — making a convincing argument for your service becomes sophisticated begging.  It’s no longer a matter of educating the customer about the benefits your particular way of doing business can bring to bear on their situation.  It’s about having enough flair to make the ordinary seem special, enough personality to be convincing when you say, ‘Trust me.’

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When I came to Help-U-Sell, I noticed something different.  I saw agents and brokers who had more then their personalities to distinguish them from the pack.  They had systems that worked.  They had a specific way of marketing a listing that got it sold.  They had a unique way of starting a new agent in the business that made them productive.  They had a carefully structured method of working with buyers that not only resulted in loyalty, but also produced such customer satisfaction that testimonials were a cinch.   Everyone — brokers, agents, even the franchisor — was coming from a position of strength because they were backed by a unique business model that worked.

The Help-U-Sell Listing Consultation is not about trying to convince the seller that you’re the best.  It’s about showing the seller enough of your program that they want it, and then deciding if this is a listing you want to take, a seller you can work with.

We don’t chase buyers.  We capture them with a carefully constructed intake system (the Buyer Data Sheet), and then do a consultation that ends in a loyalty commitment.

When we recruit (and we only do this when our program has created more business than we can handle with current staff), we don’t try to convince every agent who walks through the door to join us.  We look for the few who recognize the value of being able to focus on a single, managable aspect of the business.  Then we put them through Science 2 Sales training and hold them to a reasonable production standard.

It’s all about having systems that produce results.  That’s what puts you in a position of strength so that you don’t have to beg for business.

Revisiting the Elevator Speech

I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman yesterday about the Elevator Speech. When I told him I worked for Help-U-Sell®, he asked (as if from a script): ‘What do you do?’

Like Pavlov’s dog, I spoke right up. ‘We are REALTORS® and we do all the things the other REALTORS® do – and more – except instead of a commission, we charge a low set fee, which can save you a lot of money when it comes time to sell your house.’

He scowled.

What?’ I asked.

‘You lost me at REALTOR®,’ he replied. I continued to look puzzled, so he went on. ‘As soon as I heard you were a REALTOR®, I thought I knew exactly what you do. I didn’t really hear anything that came after . . . nothing to set you apart or make you different.’

Nothing?’ I asked, aghast. I was in shock. Seeing my discomfort, he smiled.

‘I’m kidding,’ he said, ‘I heard what you said, I really did. But I was listening like a consumer.’

Turned out he was a Certified Financial Planner and had been working through an exercise in his company to get at how to most effectively communicate their message to consumers in a quick, concise and differentiating way: an Elevator Speech.

‘What we discovered was that when we differentiate first, our message gets through,’ he said. ‘We don’t lead with ‘We’re Financial Planners’ because people have a mental image of what that is and if they put us into that picture we look just like everyone else. Another thing – we did away with all the ‘buts’ and ‘ands’ and ‘excepts’ in our speech. We found that those kinds of qualifiers negated what went before in people’s minds.’

My original impulse was defensiveness: I learned that elevator speech seven years ago. I knew why every word was chosen and I knew why it was supposed to work. But when I ran through it again, in my head, I remembered that the opening phrase was chosen to combat the rumors our competitors were spreading, not to differentiate us from them. We said we were REALTORS® right up front – and sometimes elaborated to say we were ‘full-service REALTORS®’ – because the other guys were telling everybody we weren’t!


‘Let me hear your speech,’ I said. I wanted to turn the tables, put him on the spot and see if I could find the holes in his dialogue.

‘Sure,’ he replied, ‘We fix people’s broken investment portfolios.’

‘Really?’ I asked, ‘How do you do that?’

‘See?’ he answered, ‘It works.’ I continued to look puzzled. ‘The whole point of the speech is to let people know you are different in a way that might benefit them and get them to ask for more information. You played your part very well.’

I’ve been thinking about our speech ever since. Perhaps it is littered with little land mines that could blow up and ruin our chances of getting through to the consumer. I remember Mike Miller, during his brief stay as our Chief Communications Officer, insisting that ‘set fee’ was a negative: Lawyers charge fees, banks ‘fee us to death,’ airlines charge excess baggage fees. He was pushing for ‘set price.’ Personally, I’m not ready to go there; but it is something to ponder.

Here’s what I’m thinking: the answer to ‘What do you do?’ might simply be, ‘We are a set fee real estate company.’ Period. It says you’re different, hints that there might be a benefit to the consumer and begs the question, ‘How does that work?’

Please don’t change your elevator speech – you know, the one you currently have that is working. But chime in: What do you think about the advice I got this weekend? Should we rethink the Elevator Speech? If so, how do you see it in the future? Click the ‘Leave a Comment’ link above and speak your mind!