Why YOU Should Be On Tomorrow’s Broker Roundtable Call

I’ve said it before:  the biggest challenge we have as Help-U-Sell brokers is staying connected.  We’re spread out all over the country and have only occasional opportunities to get together face-to-face.  Plus, we work in a hostile environment – one where most of the real estate ‘professionals‘ around us wish we’d just dry up and blow away.  That can grind on you after a while.  It’s important to tune in every now and then just to keep your head screwed on right!

There are several ways to stay plugged into Help-U-Sell.  The company Facebook and Twitter pages are good.  So is our company newsletter, Help-U-Sell Connect, and this silly little blog (do you realize we’re approaching 300 posts here?).  But nothing is better than our weekly webinars/teleconferences.  Tech Tuesday – which will convene in just a few hours – is action packed with good information about how to build and manage your web presence and your technology in general.  And Wonderful Wednesdays are . . . well . . . .

LISTEN:  in the last six to eight months, the Wednesday Broker Roudtable Calls have been electric.  Every week, great new information has been disseminated and the group has grown increasingly comfortable with sharing what they’re doing, what’s  working and what’s not.  It’s one hour a week to be reminded how powerful it is to be Help-U-Sell (remember:  if you are a broke or agent in a Help-U-Sell office, you are Help-U-Sell).

Tomorrow’s call will be a little special in that we have a guest; two of them, actually.  Patricia Boyd, who everyone fell in love with at the Success Summit, will be there talking all things finance, and she’s bringing Chris Jackson of TurnScor.  TurnScor markets credit repair/improvement software to brokers who then can give it (for free) to as many people as they’d like.  It’s a wonderful thing to add to your value package.  I mean:  what buyer wouldn’t benefit from a 5% increase in their FICO score?  Even the one with great credit might qualify for a better loan thanks to the free program their Help-U-Sell broker gave them!

Best of all, TurnScor is running a special for the month of December: a 25% discount.  AND Patricia is offering her two part Certified Real Finance Advocate training program free to everyone who takes advantage of TurnScor’s offer.  It’s a ridiculously good deal.  And it’s all about increasing your knowledge and the value you bring to a transaction.  We have 11 days left in December.  I think I’d set a goal to complete Patricia’s training and get certified by the end of the year and then give the TurnScor software to everyone on my CI list as a kind of Holiday gift.  You know:  start the new year with a better credit score, courtesy of  Help-U-Sell.

You can learn more about TurnScor and the promotion on Patricia’s website:  www.cRFApro.com.

Also on tomorrow’s call, we’ll update the results of the Winter Warm Up contest.  Brokers are competing for points awarded for new listings, as well as  closed buyer and seller sides.  As of the end of November, Deb Schmidt from Minnesota is in the lead, followed closely by Richard Cricchio (Hawaii) and John Powell (Arizona).  But the field is very tight and anyone could hop into the lead before the contest ends in February.

It will be our last Wednesday call of the year, so we’ll take a minute to look back at 2010 and forward to 2011.  So think of it as your company Holiday Party; ok, that’s stretching it a little bit.  Think of it as your weekly sales meeting and TUNE IN!  If you haven’t signed up yet, do so now by clicking HERE.

Get Certified!

At Help-U-Sell, we love Patricia Boyd.  Her consumer advocate approach to real estate finance is a perfect match for our own consumer oriented program and she’s already brought great value to our new relationship.  Patricia is the founder of Real Finance Solutions and has spent almost 30 years working with Realtors to increase their understanding of mortgage financing so that they can help consumers make good decisions.  Recently, the National Association of Realtors brought her ‘Certified Real Finance Advocate’ training program into Realtor University.

The training program consists of two video lessons delivered online and upon successful completion of an exam, results in a certification of the participant a cRFA.  What’s important though is the quality of information that is delivered in the program and the ongoing support and education cRFA designees receive.  They have their own website that keeps them updated about new programs and changes, regular coaching sessions and networking opportunities.

In this business, we are all about VALUE.  Value is what bring to real estate transactions.  It is our commodity.  The only reason any consumer would ever choose to do business with you (over someone else) is that they perceive the value you bring to their situation.  Knowledge of finance and the ability to use it to make transactions happen is an essential part of our value package.

Help-U-Sell folks:  you know what I’m talking about.  You’ve heard Jack Bailey work with buyers to create a Real Estate Plan and you have swelled with pride and admiration at how he brings his vast knowledge to the task of solving real problems. With the cRFA program, you can begin to develop that same kind of expertise, that same depth of value.

Patricia recently teamed up with TurnScor, a credit repair company that approaches the process a little differently.  They provide software to participating real estate brokers who then offer it to consumers for free.  Consumers work through the software on their own, repairing or improving their own credit scores.  This is a superior solution for real estate professionals because they’re saving their customers the often substantial fees most credit repair companies charge and they are not handing their customers off to an outsider who may or may not support the original relationship.

As a broker I think I’d make TurnScor a part of every initial buyer consultation.  Credit score will absolutely impact the quality of financing the buyer will be able to achieve, and even the buyer with a 700 FICO could benefit from raising it to, say, 740.   I think I’d also use it with sellers who will likely be buying something else.

Here’s a novel idea:  why not give TurnScor to everyone on your CI list for the Holidays?  It will certainly be perceived as valuable.


TurnScor usually costs $199 a month (with no contract) and a $99 setup fee.  For the month of December ONLY, new signups are at $149 a month and the $99 fee is waived.  PLUS!! Patricia will throw in her full two course cRFA certification program – which usually sells for $199 – FOR FREE.   If that’s not a bargain, I don’t know what is.  Here’s a link to Patricia’s flyer with all the details (be sure to go to the TurnScor link and watch the Demo):  Real Finance Solutions System

Here is a short video with Patricia talking about the power of the cRFA program:

‘Got It Goin’ On!’

The Set Fee Blog has been a little inactive lately. There are a couple of reasons: I disappeared for a couple of days and then our own Help-U-Sell Success Summit is less than a week away. There is so much to do to get ready for the meeting! I want it to be powerful, meaningful, energizing and absolutely worth the investment of days (and dollars) our guys will be making to attend.

The agenda has been driven by input we got through a couple of surveys, one formal one less formal. Brokers told us they wanted to know more about creative financing. With toughening of the credit markets — yes, I know: rates are wonderfully low, but underwriting standards are very high — we need to think about financing in less conventional ways. That might mean seller financing or private money financing or obscure, little known programs. To enlighten us, I’ve arranged for Patricia Boyd to spend the last part of the first day with us. She is an amazing resource and has been focused on educating REALTORS on matters of finance for 25+ years. A strong consumer advocate, Patricia is a perfect match for our group and I know her information will mean more closed transactions for everyone.

Tuesday’s guest is Nick Taylor from Zillow. While all of the aggregator real estate sites were jockying for position, Zillow quietly rose to the top of the pile and has become the home search platform of choice for consumers. Really: when America wants to look for a new home, she often starts at Zillow.com. I ask myself why? and how? Why did consumers come to choose Zillow and how did they go about engineering that amazing feat? Strangely, I think the answer is in that silly feature all of us REALTOR-types hate, the Z-estimate of value. All of the aggregators offer feature rich home search capabilities that are fairly similar. But early on, Zillow went out on a limb and started estimating the value of properties via algorithm, not pencil-and-paper market analysis. There were distinct limitations to the accuracy of those estimates, and we have had to do lots of clean-up with consumers who relied on that estimate to make decisions, but it did distinguish Zillow from the rest of the pack. Nick is going to talk with us about how we can use this third-party tool to generate leads and more. His career is based on online marketing and prior to Zillow he managed marketing for a large independent brokerage in the mid-west.

Wednesday morning, David Bartels of Home Loan Advocates will share ’12 Things Every Agent Should Know About Short Sales.’ David’s company has a remarkable track record in negotiating and closing short sale transactions and he attributes much of that success to their creative approach to deal structure. The session is designed to give anyone working short sales (ok: that means anyone seriously in real estate) new ideas about how to get these sometimes complicated transactions through.

And those are just the guests. We also have three Star Panels on the schedule. Jack Bailey will be facilitating a discussion with four of our top five Brokers. They’ll be talking about how they’ve managed to thrive in this tough market. There will be lots of good information about organization, focus and, of course, marketing. John Powell is leading a panel of Brokers each doing something incredibly right. We’ll hear from one who started from scratch and built a largely REO business, one who has short sales down so well that he’s processing them for other brokers, and two who started new businesses in the downturn and have quickly become successful. Finally, I’m leading a panel on Marketing for Visibility. I have a small group of brokers who have done an excellent job of keeping their name, logo, face, prominent in the marketplace.

Today I got a look at Robbie’s slides for his tech session and I’m wishing we’d allowed more time. He’s got so much good stuff to share and a couple of really nice ZINGER announcements! As I look back at the last few years, we seem to be trending six months to a year ahead of the rest of the industry when it comes to tech. We quietly get the cool stuff they start talking about months before they start talking. That’s our Robbie — and his session will be very cool.

Ron McCoy will share his vision and plans for Franchise Sales and will showcase lots of the cool stuff we’re doing in that arena. Hey, by the way: did you see our full-page ad in REALTOR Magazine? If not, here’s a copy:

My session will focus on the new reality (the one that most of the industry has yet to acknowledge) and how we can own it. Our theme is ‘Taking Charge of Change’ and that’s exactly what we’re going to continue to do as we move into 2012.

It’s that kind of VISIBILITY we’re going for now, and there is no better example of it than our presence at this week’s NAR Convention, where we will be in force with the biggest booth of any real estate company, with great new print and electronic marketing tools, a big logo-encrusted shuttle bus and a dozen or so enthusiastic Help-U-Sell Brokers running through the exhibit hall scaring the be-jabbers out of the competition! It’s going to be a great time!

Creative Financing for 2012 – What’s Hot & What’s Not

That’s the title for Patricia Boyd’s session at the Help-U-Sell Success Summit next month.  I heard from her yesterday and am excited about what she’s planning.  It’s going to be an interactive session with the attendees dictating the direction of the discussion.  This is a great approach for our group because we tend to be more knowledgeable about finance than most Realtors.  We will be able to drill down on the ideas and programs that we want to know about, not wasting time on things we already understand!

As a person who has made and orchestrated many ‘presentations,’ I am impressed.  You really have to know your stuff to be that kind of spontaneous while leading a meeting.  I’ve seen it only a few times, most notably with Steven Covey.  He had his assistant backstage on a laptop with ALL of his slides.  They were not organized in a linear, slide 1, slide 2, slide 3 fashion, but were just on the assistant’s screen as individual graphics.  As Covey was talking, he’d say, ‘Put up that graph, please,’ and ‘let’s see the slide about organization.’  The assistant knew the material so well he could quickly get the right graphic on the screen and Covey was able to let his presentation flow in the direction he wanted at that moment.  The result was a powerful session absolutely tailored to the audience.  In the end we all felt as if we’d been allowed to wander around inside Steven Covey’s mind for an hour.

Patricia comes with about 30 years of real estate finance experience.  Her agenda has always been the same:  help consumers make good decisions by educating Realtors about financing.  Sometime in the early 80’s, she taught me what a ‘junk fee’ was and how to spot them in my client’s Truth in Lending docs.  It’s that kind of knowledge that enables a broker or agent to bring high value to a real estate transaction.  I expect there will be lots of note-taking when she meets our group Monday afternoon, Nov. 14!   Learn more about Patricia HERE.

About a Month and Counting

The Help-U-Sell Success Summit is just a few days more than a month away and I, for one, am really excited. We have an action packed agenda – lots of sharing and networking, of course, and special sessions with Nick Taylor from Zillow and real estate finance expert, Patricia Boyd. There will be top secret mystery announcements and unveilings and it will all happen at an energy level that will leave you glowing. Be sure to register for this free event by going to www.helpusellfranchise.com, clicking on the ‘Seminars’ banner and selecting ‘Success Summit’ from the drop down menu.

The Summit takes place November 14-16, immediately following the NAR annual convention taking place just down the street at the Anaheim Convention Center.  We did that bit of scheduling on purpose because we are exhibiting at NAR and would love to see as many of our family members there as possible.  The NAR meeting also offers tremendous learning opportunities for everyone.  If you’ll click HERE, you can get an advance look at the agenda for that meeting.  There is a charge to attend the various meetings and educational sessions, but admission to the Expo is free to REALTORS.  Ron McCoy also has a limited number of passes to the Expo for non-REALTOR guests.

Bottom line:  make your plans today!  Definitely be at the Summit . . . and if you can come in a day or two early, take in NAR as well!

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