The Zebra Blog

Safari Real Estate Coaching This October!

2015 Safari Seattle Area

Did you miss our September Safari? Well, don’t worry! We still have one more opportunity to attend Safari, our premier real estate coaching event, this Autumn. Will we see you there?

October 21st & 22nd – Issaquah, WA

For ever a decade our passion has been to help real estate agents become more successful. Come, have fun, improve your skills and discover You-nique Technique: Five Steps to Thrive! This is a free, fun and educational two-day real estate coaching experience that will change your business and help take you to the next level!       Read more »

The Expertise Opportunity

agent guesturing to 2 clients

For this week’s Zebra Report, I’d like to start off with a quick exercise. Ready?

Think about the last vendor you were really impressed with. It could be a lender, inspector, or it may not even be someone in the real estate industry. It could be a florist, an interior designer, an accountant, or even your insurance representative. Who was it and what was it about that particular interaction that was so memorable?

I will give you a hint. It probably came down to two things – expertise and time.

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Ask Denise: High Impact Project?

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, my business is quiet for the first time in months and I welcome the break. I am on track to have a great year and have a lot of clients who will be ready to move forward in a month or so. I want to take the next few weeks and, in addition to getting some rest, want to focus on adding something to my business that will really have some impact. What do you suggest?

A:  Since I know you already have your brand complete, your website complete, you are comfortable with the amount of business you have, this would be a great time to focus on your past clients. I suggest either a client appreciation event or an annual client review. It just depends on whether you want to have an event or you would rather spend time creating personalized reports. Both are high impact activities for your business and a great way to stay connected to your past clients.

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Personal Self-Discipline And Freedom – A Winning Combination!

expressing freedom

If you closely follow the footsteps of top producing agents, successful business people, and athletes you will soon realize that the one thing they have in common is personal self-discipline. Some will argue that talent is more important while others who have made it just by sheer hard work will tell you it was their personal self-discipline to persevere through the hard times that was their secret to success. I have witnessed both in my journey as a business person myself and as a real estate professional and coach.

I have worked with agents who have incredible talent and I have worked with agents who have persevered through the tough times. The single most important trait that I feel is essential to reaching the next level in your business is personal self-discipline.   You have to be able to control your time, your tasks and your emotions in real estate and without this trait it can be difficult at best.

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Design Spotlight: Bob Crowley

Bob Crowley's design

This week’s design spotlight features one of our very first Mastery clients, Bob Crowley. Bob is an engaging, friendly and dynamic individual with a gentlemanly manner and Southern charm. He hails from North Carolina and focuses on the real estate niche of the Lake Norman area – a place full of recreational opportunities including boating, water sports, and golf. Bob’s brand identity focuses on those recreational aspects through a series of photo panels and a background of rippling water. Wood frames at the top give the impression of looking through window panes and give the design a natural warmth. A bold monogram element reinforces the brand throughout his marketing materials and a structured, professional font is balanced by a friendly, handwritten style script.

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Ask Denise: Sharing Listing News?

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I live in an area that is experiencing some high turnover and every agent is sending out the same just listed card (because they are all with the same company). I have a few listings coming up, but I want to send something different to share the listing news with the neighbors. What do you suggest?

A:  When I was an agent, I sent out three letters every time I got a listing:

  • The first one was information about the listing and any open houses that I had planned so the neighbors were in the know.
  • The second one notified them when the house went pending. Of course, I could not share the specifics about price at that point, but I promised I would follow up when the property closed…
  • And then I did! I let them know days on market, final sales price, etc.

These three letters were just part of my listing system, and I cannot tell you the number of listings I got off those three little letters!

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Design Spotlight: Fan Out

Fan Out design

This week’s design spotlight features one of our newly refreshed Instant Identity branding designs, “Fan Out.” This design is based on a classic style of symmetry, balance, and structure. A warm taupe background shines with a soft gradient, framed by dark, contrasting bars at the top and bottom. A tapestry of raspberry swirls and gold accent lines provide a backdrop for the sienna-colored flourish in the center spotlight. Bold, polished fonts are accented by a swirling decorative type, reinforcing the design’s play between structure and elegance.

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Ask Denise: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I have just had three clients reject me in the last week. I am devastated! What am I doing wrong?

A:  First ask yourself if you really did anything wrong, rather than assuming it is all about you personally. Did you follow-up on a regular basis? Did you provide your expertise in a timely manner? If you were to do it all again, would you alter your behavior? If you did everything that you could have done, then why are you assuming you are to blame?

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The Empty Pipeline Syndrome

Man holding his head in his hands

Recently, we got a call from a client who had gone from being on top of the world to having a disaster on her hands in a matter of a morning.

She had a number of deals that she was handling and they were all imploding for different reasons. Not only was she feeling awful for her clients, unable to repair the damage that was unfolding before her eyes, but she was also seeing the commission that she had counted on slipping through her fingers.

Even worse, she had been focusing on getting these clients all set up, offers negotiated and to pending that she hadn’t spent much time on fostering her other relationships with her database or other potential clients.

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Ask Denise: Where To Start?

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I am nervous about evaluating my business because this year has been insanely busy! I have just been maintaining… I know I am going to owe a ton in taxes. I haven’t touched any projects for the year. I haven’t taken care of my database. And just the thought of spending time looking at all that is making me feel sick to my stomach. I don’t even know where to start!

A: It sounds like you have had a productive year and you should give yourself a pat on the back for the business you have done. Please be kind to yourself first and foremost!

Then, why don’t you meet with your accountant and have a discussion about your taxes. There may be some strategic things you can do before year-end which will lessen your tax burden and act as an investment.

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