The Zebra Blog

The Real Estate Remodeling Craze


The desire for home remodeling has hit an all-time high for a number of reasons.  Traditionally the top reasons for remodeling were to improve a home’s livability, modernize or update home amenities, repair and replace worn and broken features, to create additional living space, and our most recent remodel reason: to add energy efficiency in the house.

Now, these are all great reasons to consider for a home remodel, but there’s a new reason that is rapidly growing and that agents should be aware of: the buyer who is considering remodels with their future retirement needs in mind.

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Ask Denise: Should I Take a Break?

Denise Lones

Q: “Denise, after a few tough months with my business and personal life, I think I just need to take a bit of a break from being fully involved in building my business. I think I just want to work with buyers and make them happy for a few months. Any suggestions and do you think this is a bad idea?”

Congratulations! It sounds like you have found something that will feed your soul and build your positive energy! I am proud that you have the self-awareness to know that this is something you need to do in your life right now. Read more »

Design Spotlight: Barbara Tissell


This week’s design spotlight features one of our MASTERY agents, Barbara Tissell, from Camano Island, Washington. Barbara serves the Stanwood, Camano, and Marysville areas. She came from an insurance background and wanted to start helping people with tangible investments. She now specializes in farms, horse properties, residential acreage, and waterfront properties. She wanted her brand to reflect her desire to support people as they make one of the largest investments in their lives.

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The 20-60-20 Principle


The 20-60-20 principle covers many different facets of a real estate agent’s business, but nowhere does it have a more poignant meaning than with past clients. In today’s busy real estate market past clients are often forgotten or agents simply do not have the time to be focused on their past clients while they are busy taking care of current clients and possibly potential clients.

However, if an agent doesn’t always want to be chasing new business, once the transaction is over, past clients must be kept in touch with or past clients will quickly find other agents in their day-to-day lives that they connect with. These agents are all too happy to pick up the pieces of what has been left behind.

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Ask Denise: I won! Now what?

Denise Lones

Q: “Denise, I just found out I won a production award from my company (my first time). I want to announce this to my database but I don’t want to toot my own horn. What do you recommend?”

A: First of all, congratulations! I know how hard you have worked to achieve this level. The way I handle any sort of award like this is by applying the WIIFM principle – What’s In It For Me? – or in this case, the client? Why should the client care that you have won this award? Read more »

Design Spotlight: John & Karyl Quevillon


This week’s design spotlight features our MASTERY agents, John and Karyl Quevillon, from Camano Island, Washington. The dynamic duo of Karyl and John Quevillon came to us as not only a new real estate team, but a newly-married couple as well! They grew up together on Camano Island and Stanwood as best friends, took other paths in life before reuniting and finally joining together.

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Coping With Life as a Business Owner


How many hats do you wear? As a real estate salesperson, you’re painfully aware that you’re not just a salesperson. You’re a marketer, financial consultant, troubleshooter, negotiator, computer repair person, legal consultant, and customer service representative, not to mention the owner of a small business. Yes, you are the President, the Chief, the Boss and CEO of You Incorporated!

Your job title should be changed to “juggler,” because that’s what you really are. You have to juggle it all – your time, money, relationships, and schedule. These are the four flaming torches of your life as a small business owner. If you drop one of them, the rest will fall and catch your toes on fire.

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Ask Denise: Open House Music

Denise Lones

Q: “Denise, I was hosting an open house last week and I was playing some rock music very softly over the home’s sound system (partially because I wanted to highlight the speakers which were throughout the house). However, I had a couple complain. Should I not play music?”

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Converting Leads After the Open House


An agent asked me recently, “Denise, how do I convert leads from an open house?”

Converting leads at an open house is easy because they already met you and I bet they developed some sort of rapport with you. Furthermore, they took the time to see a home so they probably are thinking about buying or selling.

Therefore, your conversion efforts should be centered on developing further rapport. And that comes from giving. I like to use my three favorite words for this: Would you like…

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