(by Flavio Quaranta)
For my first contribution to the corporate blog, I have decided to use the inspiration of the talented Ouriel Ohayon, who regularly proposes fruitful business opportunities to his many readers, with the objective of informing you of this new concept that is sweeping the nation in both Canada and the United States.
One of the virtues linked to Internet commerce has, and will always be, the bypassing of the middleman. This entails passing all monopolistic types of commissions and money hungry salespersons’ from adding value charges to your future purchase.
Love it or hate it, it’s a revolution that has begun in the real estate market.
Help-U-Sell has established a unique and lucrative marketing concept so effective for potential sellers, that it strikes fear in the eyes of all traditional real estate agencies.
The genius behind Help-U-Sell is that they actually help the owner sell the home or property without paying any commission fees, thus eliminiating the middleman.
For example: Take a home worth $500,000. On average a salesman takes a 5% commission, or $25,000. In some extreme cases, the commission percentage can reach an excess of 7%!
How does Help-U-Sell work?
First of all, they have a catchy slogan that speaks the truth, “No commissions - ever!” This allows them to attract potential clients, all the while convincing them of their offer at hand.
But if Help-U-Sell doesn’t charge commission, how do they survive?
This is where the marketing genius comes into play. They sell what are called "packages" and franchises to the clients.
For anyone wanting to sell their home, you simply need to purchase a package. The packages vary in services to meet your budgetary needs.
The selling point of this concept is the fact that the client does not pay the package fees if the house does not sell. The power of this idea seems to be inexhaustible.
So what does the package contain?
The package contains practically everything that you need to successfully sell your home or property, from lawn sign leasing to legal assistance. They offer increased visibility via mix marketing online and offline, pre-qualification of potential clients (for whom they also offer financial solutions), and the support of a local representative in person. Help-U-Sell opens franchises left, right and center.
Does it work?
With nearly 2 million available houses listed on their Internet site and the opening of a new office (franchise) every 48 hours throughout the US and Canada, the numbers seem to speak for themselves.
They are solving a real concern for the active real estate market by offering added value to any client tired of getting gouged by high commission based agencies that have become stagnant in a monopolistic market.
What is the competition doing?
With hourly wages running around $75-$150, the slow transition to adopt a different system and letting go of the juicy commission based system is a painful ordeal.
Help-U-Sell seems submerged by its own success. This leaves (for the time being?) the vast Canadian territory to companies like Property Guys, based out of Moncton New Brunswick, who were not boosted to mimic this extraordinary concept, but seem to be doing extremely well.
Although reflecting the same goals, when comparing the two sites, my acute marketing senses could not help but conclude the evolving formation of a serious gap separating the success of the American from the Canadian enterprise.
While Help-U-Sell is soaking up the abundant riches offered by Internet Marketing (collaborative filtering, SEM, mandatory sign-up to get site information, etc.), Property Guys seem poorly armed in case of an American invasion on their turf, when or if this ever occurs.
I am convinced that this concept will also cross the pond to Europe and Switzerland.
May this article hold the attention of a young entrepreneur filled with passion.
P.S. Please follow this link for an interesting article from the WSJ.