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Finding Success Your Way!

I have never met two real estate agents that run their business exactly the same way. Each has their own personality, their own style and their own way of connecting with clients.

I am often asked if there is one perfect formula for building a real estate business. I would like to be able to say, “Yes, there is this one perfect formula, just follow it and you will be successful.” However, it is not that simple because agents are so unique. What works for one doesn’t work for another. What one agent finds easy to do others find difficult.

There are however some common denominators that successful real estate agents seem to possess in their businesses. The key is to find your fit and create YOUR FORMULA FOR SUCCESS.

What might work for another agent in your office could be the very worst thing for you to be doing. Trust your gut but analyze your results. If what you do is not getting you to where you want to be then you have to make the changes necessary to up your game.

Here are the first five of my top ten list for what seems to make the biggest difference in an agent’s business:

This is by far one of the most important elements of any successful agent I have ever trained. They know who they are and they are willing to overcome the peer pressure they have experienced trying to run their business like everyone else in their office. They are unique and they do things their way. They have finally figured out that in order to have the success they want they need to be true to themselves and trust their gut more. When an agent can tap into their uniqueness and use that as a benefit in their business they will start to thrive.

Every successful business has a brand. Try to think of a business that is successful that is not branded. I can’t think of a single one. Branding is crucial because real estate is a highly competitive market. Almost everyone knows at least three real estate agents. You have to stand out and your brand has to convey who you are so potential clients can easily decide if they can relate to you and if they want to work with you.

Concierge Client Care
Every person has a different definition of concierge client care but successful agents learn quickly that in order to provide it they need to listen carefully and personalize their client care to match each client. Get to know your clients’ communication preferences, searching preferences, and data preferences. One client might want data-rich information while another just wants to talk to you on the phone for five minutes. Concierge client care demands the very best of an agent and successful agents deliver it.

Database Upkeep
Successful agents know that their database is their gold mine and they tend to it like a garden. They add new names regularly, they purge names that need to be removed and they stay in contact with their database. They have a system of regular contact and upkeep with their database and it is the one thing they are diligent about. They know that what they do today will pay off in big dividends in the years to come. They know that they can’t keep the level of business they do without caring for their database.

Systems Systems Systems
Systems are essential in an agent’s business for so many reasons. Agents need a system for lead generation, follow-up, client care, potential clients, data management, file management, and a dozen other challenges. You get the idea. Without systems an agent “floats” from one transaction to the next hoping that they remembered to do everything that is on their mental checklist. Systems reduce stress and improve efficiency in an agent’s business. I could not run my business or my personal world without them.

This is the first five of my list of ten. Check back next week as we finish our discussion of the top 10 list of what is making a big difference between thriving and surviving in this business: visual presentations, tech savvy, quality personal time, task awareness, and a willingness to work.


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI – The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Branding Spotlight: Cindy St. Jacques

This week’s design spotlight features the brand of our Semi-Custom PRO client Cindy St. Jacques, from Irvine, California. Cindy selected design #016 from our gallery and made it her own with custom colors, fonts, and a unique foiling effect. She paired a vibrant green agate in the header and footer with her brokerage’s charcoal and gold palette. We also added a custom gold sparkle to a couple of layers within the agate to convey her precision-based business style. She selected a script font that is friendly and easy to read, Read more »

Ask Denise: Mobile Office

Q: “Denise, I am trying to create a mobile office in my car since I seem to be out and about so much. I have also been called to meet with new clients at the last minute and I want to be prepared. But with my dogs and kids in and out of my car so much, I am concerned that everything is going to get beat up and hairy. Any suggestions?”

Yes! What you need is a sturdy storage solution (and perhaps two depending on what you need to have in your car) and some rules. Read more »


We just had a great two-day Safari workshop this week. What I love most about Safari is that no two are alike! Although the principles and foundations of each are the same, the application of those principles of each are driven by the unique needs of the agents in the room.

At this last Safari, there were agents with years of experience, some that were brand new, some whose business had stagnated and needed new energy, and even some agents that were overwhelmed with business and were trying to put together transactions on the breaks. Some were there for clock hours but some were there because they really needed to take some time to focus on building or tweaking their business.

Read more »

Ask Denise: Breaking Away from Bad Leads

Q: “Denise, I have about 50% of my business coming from a relocation company which sounds great, right? I get around 20 transactions per year from this lead generation source. But at the end of the day, what I am paying in referral fees back to this company is atrocious! I did the math and for 2017, I earned less than $25 per hour on those leads and that was before some of my other expenses! I can’t go on like this, but how do I make a break?”

Read more »

Free Webinar: Open Houses, Strategies for Success

Business Boost webinars are free and open to the public. Each focuses on solutions to challenges faced by real estate agents and brokers in a one-hour format. Join us Tuesday, February 27 at 9am Pacific for our 4th episode.

In the past several years, agents have shied away from holding open houses because they felt, or had heard, that open houses are a thing of the past. With all this technology, hi-def photos, and 3D tours, there is debate about how valuable open houses really are for both the potential buyer AND the agent holding the home open. However, done properly, an open house can be an AMAZING method for finding both qualified buyers as well as potential new clients with properties to sell.

This is a great opportunity to get your business open-house ready for the exciting spring season ahead. In this webinar we will cover:

  • How some agents turned open houses into effective lead generation faucet for their business that they can turn on and off as needed
  • The components of a memorable open house from what you do before the open, during, and after.
  • How to engage reticent buyers into being excited about working with you, without feeling as if you are pressuring them.
  • The most effective tools that will give you an enormous advantage over every other open-house agent.

Register Online

What are You Avoiding?

Do you ever get that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you think about that certain thing that you have been putting off?  That thing you know you should do and would make you feel better to just get it off your plate? But the thought of tackling it is so overwhelming that you just push it back to the recesses of your mind and hope to forget about it?

If your thoughts went immediately to that thing…or things…that are weighing heavily on your mind, I am talking to you. Read more »

Branding Spotlight: Holly Furen

This week’s branding spotlight features the brand and marketing of Seattle-based MASTERY agent, Holly Furen. Holly requested a brand that communicates her local expertise and professional services for absentee owner investors while remaining approachable to her other clients. She began branding with a sunset-inspired palette and a unique dragonfly logo centered around the Space Needle. We gave her logo a vintage chalk-on-slate sign treatment to create a custom emblem in two sizes for maximum versatility. Our design team avoided the typical Seattle skyline photos and Read more »

Ask Denise: Laptop VS Tablet

Q: “Denise, I have been putting off buying a new laptop. I don’t know if I want to get a tablet, a laptop, or what! I have a laptop now. I like the functionality of my laptop, but there are so many people who are telling me to get with the program and get a tablet. I think there is less functionality on a tablet, but then why is everyone so gung-ho about them? My laptop is hanging on by a thread and I need to make a decision. What do you suggest?” Read more »

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