Flashback Friday: Equity In The Name

(This is from early 2010, though I changed a date reference in the 5th paragraph because, hey!  What was true then is just as true today!  Consumers seek us out because our offer is superior, because they will get great service and save thousands.  They stick with us because we are good people and we get the job done.  In the ordinary real estate world, where everybody pretty much has the same consumer offer, the only differentiator is personality:  who is most likable and magnetic.  That’s fine, but if you build a business on that you don’t have much to sell when it’s time to move on.) 

New Help-U-Sell brokers sometimes stew way too much about their DBA.  They want to come up with the perfect name, the one that expresses who they are;  the one that will kick their marketing effectiveness up another notch.  Is Help-U-Sell Superior Homes better than Help-U-Sell Apex Properties?

Truth is:  the consumer could not care less.

And that’s one of the fundamental strengths of the Help-U-Sell system.  Think about it:

An ordinary broker, running an ordinary agent-oriented office, is building . . . very little, really.  His business is driven by the personalities of his agents and the relationships they develop.  There is no unique consumer offering that draws people to the company.

In 2013, very few people call ABC Realty and say, ‘Hey, ABC, come list my house.’  No.  They call up Sally who happens to work at ABC and say, ‘Hey, Sally, come list my house.’  And you know what?  When Sally goes down the street to go to work for XYZ, they’ll call her there too.

So when that ordinary broker decides it’s time to cash in and move on, when he attempts to employ his Exit Strategy, he finds he has little to sell.  The value of his company is a gamble at best.  All a buyer gets is the chance to keep the agents who have done the business and the chance to keep the listings and clientele they have amassed.  And it’s a fair bet that at least some of those agents will not like the change and take the opportunity to move on down the line.

It’s so different at Help-U-Sell.   We have a business model and a consumer offering that people seek out.  Every day, people call Help-U-Sell and say, ‘Come list my house.’   When the Help-U-Sell broker decides it’s time to move on, he has a business to sell that can continue to function after he is gone.  The buyer is getting an established enterprise and the transition from one owner to the other will likely be invisible to the consumer.  The DBA becomes irrelevant:  it’s Help-U-Sell that matters.

But, ‘Oh!’ you say, ‘Real Estate has always been a business built on personal relationships!  People want to work with . . . people, not systems!’

That’s absolutely true.  But most people are also interested in saving money and they will often investigate their alternatives before even working with a pal.  That’s when they discover that we’re people too! Yup, underneath the neat system that gets results and saves money is a group of really good, competent, likable people.

That’s why so many of our established brokers enjoy great repeat and referral business.  Oh, the savings remains a driving factor, but it’s the personal relationship that turns satisfied customers into raving fans and keeps them coming back again and again.

I’m not seriously suggesting this, but I really don’t think it would make one whit of difference if you chose ‘Umm’ as your DBA:  Help-U-Sell Umm Realty.  Or maybe Help-U-Sell Acme, Ace or ABBA.  What matters is that first part, the part that consumers recognize as leading to savings.