Good for the client, good for business: The Fuller Force
BY WENDY ALTSCHULER For Sun-Times Media
For more than a decade, Bryce Fuller has been assiduously helping families with their homes. He has seen the ups and downs of the housing market-braved the sunshine and storms-with his esteemed and mighty colleague at his side: his mother. Together, they make up The Fuller Force at Coldwell Banker in Northbrook.
“The greatest thing about being in a family business is that there is no competition among team members,” said Fuller. “Because we are a family that helps other families: what benefits one, benefits all. Each one of our clients is different and has different needs. By taking the time to understand how each client can be best served, we can tailor our service to them.”
Fuller admits that one of the advantages of his working relationship with his mother is that they can depend on each other through and through, which benefits each client immensely.
“It’s much easier to call up my Mom for help on short notice than an associate who might not necessarily benefit,” said Fuller. “We can often pick up with each other’s clients right where the other person left off.”
Selling or purchasing a home, for most folks, is tremendously taxing, wrought with emotions and complicated steps. It takes an expert to navigate the exigent process-Fuller is that expert.
“Sellers are nervous because selling is stressful, and it can be bittersweet,” said Fuller. “Many of my clients have raised their families in their homes and have made countless memories there. When we sit at a closing table and the seller passes the keys to the buyers, you can see the relief in their eyes.”
Fuller said that there’s no bigger rush than hearing that a client loves their home.
“I am often just as much a therapist as I am a real estate broker,” said Fuller. “Just last week, I had a woman hug me and say, ‘I don’t know how I could have gotten through this without you.’ That made my day.”
To help prospective home sellers take the helm, Fuller has some insider’s tips:
Price your home right.
No matter how unfavorable the location is or how poor the condition is, sellers must understand that to sell your house, accurate pricing is essential.
Exploit the staging process, curb appeal.
De-cluttering and depersonalizing your home will help make it more attractive to a potential buyer.
“I work with a professional stager who will fill out a staging report for my sellers,” said Fuller. “If the seller takes the stagers advice, I will pay for the staging fee. I also have a booklet I wrote called the “Room by Room Review” for those that don’t want to hire a stager. It is a booklet with checklists for each room and steps a seller can take to make sure that room shows off in the best light.”
Harness vast exposure.
Using multi-media platforms-print ads, mailings, the Internet, video, open houses, flyers, broker’s tours and signage-are essential for great real estate marketing.
“You can only sell a home to one person,” said Fuller. “You have to make sure that the one person finds the home. If all an agent does are the 3 P’s-Place it in the MLS, Plop a sign in the ground and Pray that it sells-then there isn’t much hope for the seller.”
To find the right home to buy, a trickier prospect, Fuller suggests that clients look for a home that is approximately 85 percent of what they really want. Homebuyers should also try to be as overt as possible in regard to what they’re looking for to make the hunt less intimidating and more manageable.
“When I work with buyers the thing that I hear most often is: ‘If I only had X more dollars to spend, I could get exactly what I want.’ I’m here to say that isn’t true. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a $100,000 condo or a $10,000,000 estate; what is available will never be exactly in line with your wishes and your budget.”
Fuller advises his buyers and sellers to delve into market-knowledge; clients should know how the market direction affects purchase or sale prices.
“Markets go up and markets go down; being informed is the only game in town,” said Fuller. “I can create a market snapshot showing exactly what is going on in the market. I can show market absorption and market time, pricing trends and market activity. This is newer technology that wasn’t available 3 or 4 years ago.”
Fuller also emphatically believes in giving back to his community and to one charity in particular: The Tori Wilensky Foundation.
“One of my very good friends lost their two year old daughter unexpectedly and tragically to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC),” said Fuller. “In honor of our friends and clients, The Fuller Force donates a portion of every fee we earn to the Tori Wilensky Foundation to increase awareness and, hopefully, research for SUDC.”
To learn more, visit www.thefullerforce.com.