The Zebra Blog

Renovating Tips for Your Clients

In today’s market, where inventory is a challenge and buyers are having a hard time finding what they want, renovating may be a good alternative to buying something turnkey.  If buyers are willing to take on a renovation, they may be able to get exactly what they want by buying a home that needs some work and then customizing to fit their needs.

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Ask Denise: Struggling for Listings

Denise Lones

Q: “Denise, I am in one of those severe inventory shortage areas and I am seeing agents all around me thriving and getting listings while I am struggling. I am very frustrated. I usually generate leads by holding open houses, but there are no open houses to be had. What should I do?”
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Ask Denise: Finding the Right Agent to Cover My Vacation

Denise Lones

Q: “Denise, I want to take some time off this summer. I am in a new office and haven’t had a chance to connect with all the agents yet so I don’t know who I would want to have cover my business while I am out of town. Any suggestions?”

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“To Do” Overload


If you made a list of “to do” items right now in your business, how would you feel? Confident that you had a handle on most of them? Completely overwhelmed by the deficiencies in your business? Or completely indifferent because you weren’t planning on tackling them anyway?

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Ask Denise: Too Many Things To Do!

Denise Lones

Q: I have too much to do every week and I am getting so far behind. How do I manage my time more effectively? I feel like I’m drowning!
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Getting Your Brand to Work for You…

Larry Tuell's branding

… Even When You Are Not There.

In my classes, when I am reviewing the importance of having a strong brand, I often have agents ask me what I think about their brand and request a critique. This is one of my favorite things to do because it not only allows me to see a lot of different types of brands, but I also get to help agents by providing an honest and unbiased opinion.

A brand is a visual expression of who you are, what you offer, and what your clients can expect from you. A good brand reflects your personality; it is memorable and graphically cohesive. It is well-balanced and the colors are enticing. The colors do not repel or make it difficult to read the piece. Colors are very powerful in branding and marketing, and they need to be chosen carefully.

In general, I find that agents have a difficult time creating a cohesive brand, one that has memory markers, one that tells their story or indicates what the client experience would be like for a potential buyer or seller.

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Ask Denise: Open House Tools?

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I have an open house coming up next weekend. This has been the first open house I have done in a few months because the market is so hot. I know I am going to have a flood of people. What tools do you recommend I bring?

A:  Oh, there are so many great tools to have at an open house that can help you stand out! First and foremost, have a welcome sign at the front door which indicates the visitor should come in. Once inside, I recommend having not only the flyers for the home, but a home book along with information about the neighborhood and the community. I also have market stats – information on the competition, pendings and solds – information that compares this home to the competition.

You may want to read my article on preparing for an open house here: “Open House Season is Open!”. It is chock-full of great information on building a collection of open house materials.

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Design Spotlight: Coreen McConaughy

Coreen's design

This week’s design spotlight features a semi-custom branding design one of our Mastery clients, Coreen McConaughy. Coreen lives and works on Bainbridge Island and needed a brand that would convey her bright and friendly personality. She had the great idea of using an unusual color combination – light blue and bright red. The effect is fresh, modern, fun, and full of personality. A trio of iconic photos tie the colors together and give taste of the Island life: a relaxing waterfront scene, a robin’s nest, and bright, friendly daisies.

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Ask Denise: Connecting with Database

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I need a better way to connect with my database. I don’t want to do a client appreciation event but I think I should try to connect in person. How do I reach out without making it look like I am fishing for referrals?

A:  Easy – don’t fish for referrals! It makes everyone uncomfortable. Instead, consider contacting your database to offer to do a market review of their property. This could be a CMA, something more in-depth, or even just informing them about the market.

Each year, your doctor will likely send you a reminder to come in for an appointment. My insurance agent contacts me once a year to review what things have changed regarding my property or my vehicles. Consider offering this same type of service to your clients. Referrals will come naturally when you provide this type of service when you are not getting paid to do so.

Awesome, timely advice for real estate agents. Delivered weekly.

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