The Zebra Blog

Free Webinar: Power of Branding

We look forward to meeting you at one of our introductory webinars. Interact with our staff of experts who specialize in helping real estate agents, or just sit back and learn more about how real estate agents are using the power of branding to grow their business and influence.


June 29th at 9am Pacific   AND   June 29th at 12pm Pacific

Whether you are considering creating a brand for your business, need some help accentuating a brand or a logo that you have already created, or just need some additional templates and systems for your business, The Lones Group is here to help!

Who Are Your Best and Most Reliable Clients?

Imagine you are in a contest and were competing against 100 other agents.

The goal is to be the first to generate a bona fide buyer or seller – that is someone that is ready to put their home on the market with you or to write an offer on a property.

The prize is $25,000! But there can be only one winner.

What would you do to win? Would you:

  • Quickly sign up for an online lead generation company to send you cold leads?
  • Would you start knocking on doors or cold calling?
  • Would you call expired listings or FSBOs in your area?
  • Or would you open your database and start connecting with your past clients, sphere, potential clients, and people who know and love you?

Most agents know their path to the prize is with that special group of people – their database. Comprised of raving fans, that is definitely where they would spend their energy. Even if that group of people didn’t have a real estate need at that moment, they probably know someone who does and would definitely sing your praises.

So if agents know that their relationship with that database can translate into thousands of dollars in prize money, or commission, why are so many agents struggling to get buyers and sellers in this very challenging low inventory market?

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called: Leverage – A Way To Give Yourself a Raise. In that article, I presented an exercise where I asked my readers to analyze their last few transactions and rate the money, time, and stress costs for each transaction.

I just asked my ENCORE group (my coaching group) to do this exercise today and the results were very interesting and ties into the above concept beautifully. Not only was it easier to secure those listings and buyers, but those transactions ranked the lowest on the stress scale. This was due in part to the already-existing relationship as the agents felt they didn’t have to start all over “proving” they were the best person for the job. Furthermore, there wasn’t the stress that buyers would sign with an agent holding an open house or decide to go with a discount brokerage in the 11th hour. They found that cold leads that came from an online lead generation service resulted in some of the more stressful transactions.

In addition, they found the time costs were also less with the clients that were in their database. Again, that already-existing relationship resulted in the ability to be more proactive and in the end, served everyone better.

If you have not done this exercise for yourself yet, I encourage you to do so. The results may surprise you!

If this article convinces you to step up your game when it comes to your database, here are five easy things you can do to enhance those relationships over the summer and set yourself up for a great fall. Some of these obviously take more time than others, but all will provide you with some tools to strengthen your relationship with your database:

  1. Start a Monthly Mailing Campaign
    If you have not already started a monthly mailing campaign to your database, this should be priority #1. If you are a Club Zebra member, you are welcome to use my Club Zebra articles and some local stats or homes sold. Determining a print and mail plan isn’t difficult; you just need to do it!

  2. Reconnect with Your Database
    Call, text, email, etc your database and offer a complimentary in-person meeting to discuss what is happening in the market in their area and help them develop a five year plan. This will allow you to connect, see the state of their home currently, perhaps discuss improvements, and determine if they are considering a move in the next five years. This allows you to be proactive and let them know if you see a market change which could affect their plan.

  3. Hold a Live Class or Seminar
    This could be a class on anything from buying a vacation home or investment property, how to plan for a bathroom or kitchen remodel, or even how to create a backyard living space. The idea here is you are providing them with education. You can team up with other industry professionals so you aren’t doing the whole thing by yourself.

  4. Create a Neighborhood Report
    Break your area into ten or so neighborhoods and create a special neighborhood report. The goal is to let them know how their investment has fared from a neighborhood perspective which includes:

    • Stats: graphs on changes in median sales prices, active listings, pendings, solds over the last 10 years.
    • Current market information: include information on market time, list to sales price ratios, months of inventory or absorption, price per square feet, etc.
    • Current inventory: devote a section to the homes that have sold in the last 3 months or so and indicate any notable sales.

  5. Target High-Demand Niche Properties
    If you have homeowners with special, high-demand niche product, do a specialized mailing to those owners in your database and show them how much their homes have appreciated. For example, in many markets, ramblers (single story homes) are a high-demand product. They may decide to sell and capture their increased equity. Other types of product that falls into that category may include condos in urban areas, homes with two master suites, or other product that is quickly consumed in your market.

  6. These are just a few ideas to get you started. The key is to find something that is a good fit for you and it needs to be something the folks in your database will value. Spend some time with and on your database this summer and you will be sure to win come fall!

Ask Denise: Email Newsletters

Q: “Denise, I am thinking about supplementing my mailing program with a twice-monthly emailed newsletter which will include stats from about 10 different neighborhoods (once a month) and a community focus which will include an interview with a local business as well as information on local events with photos. My challenge is that I want to really broaden my reach from more than just my database but am unsure as to how I can get those email addresses. Should I buy a list? Can you do that? And should I use my own email system or something like MailChimp or Constant Contact?” Read more »

June Content for Your Client Mailers is Here

Every month we publish several full-length articles that our Club Zebra Pro members can mail to their prospects and clients without attribution to The Lones Group. This June we have a template for explaining how prices have changed and another article on home inspections. Our third article for June covers how outdoor spaces are a trending driver of home sales. As always, we also have postcard length versions of each article. Get your content right here and have a great June!

Design Spotlight: Cris LeCompte

This week’s design spotlight features the brand of MASTERY client Cris LeCompte, from Bellevue, Washington. Cris has a dramatic and eclectic design style, which is a rare combination! He wanted a design that conveys professionalism and approachability, as he is dedicated to personalized and friendly customer service, which he has spent his lifetime developing. This attractive image of a sunrise over Seattle has special meaning for Cris, and was taken by a friend’s photography company called Some Like it Shot. On special pieces, such as the notecard, we use the image with a reflection, which enhances the overall impact.

Read more »

Millennials Out Number Baby Boomers: Big Changes Coming Because of it.

Baby Boomers are born between 1946 and 1964 while Millennials are those individuals born between 1982 and 2000.  They have now officially outnumbered the Baby Boomers and this is creating some interesting shifts and demands in the real estate market.  If you are helping Millennials to buy or sell in this market there are some things that you need to know.   Here are some interesting facts about Millennials:

81.3 million – there are currently over 81 million Millennials living in the United States.  They have now outnumbered the Baby Boomers. Read more »

Ask Denise: Revitalizing My Pipeline

Q: “Denise, my pipeline is looking a little thin these days. What are some things I can do to make sure I have a great fall and end to my year?”

Great question! I am assuming you are already doing some sort of monthly mailed communication to your database and doing something a little extra for past clients, so I am basing my response strictly on adding some gravy to what you are already doing Read more »

Design Spotlight: Shanon Yop

This week’s design spotlight features the brand of CUSTOM BRANDING client, The Shanon Yop Group, from Bellevue, Washington. Shanon’s team offers global real estate services, so she wanted a no-nonsense, highly functional and minimal brand that connects with her market. The color palette of gold, white, and contemporary charcoal, combined with a majestic crown and ornate swirls convey a tone of regency. The straight lines and symmetrical layout symbolize Shanon’s professional stability and reliability, while the fading lines in the header and footer communicate softness and approachability.

Read more »

Ask Denise: Doing Business with Family

Q: “Denise, my brother and sister-in-law are ready to become first time homebuyers in the next few months. They have asked me a few questions but haven’t really indicated they will be using me for that purchase. I don’t want to be pushy, but I would like their business. How should I proceed?”

A: First, I would like to commend you on providing information without pushing for the sale. But I actually think it is time to address the elephant in the room so it doesn’t become a barrier in your relationship whether they use your or not. I believe that having an honest discussion is the best way to move forward. It looks something like this Read more »

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