The Zebra Blog

Safari Real Estate Coaching Comes to Seattle Area This Fall!

2015 Safari Seattle Area

We are very excited to announce the return of Safari, our premier real estate coaching event. There are two opportunities to attend in the Seattle area this year. Will we see you there?

September 23rd & 24th – Renton, WA

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!

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Design Spotlight: Lavender Sunshine

Lavender Sunshine design

This week’s design spotlight features the “brand new” Instant Identity design, “Lavender Sunshine.” Smooth blocks of lemon yellow and lilac give a bold color scheme and contrast beautifully against a solid white background. A soft gray swirling graphic fades into the white of the page, providing a soft watermark framed in with crisp, white lines. Rectangular photo placements allow opportunities for your personality or specialty to shine. Playful and visually interesting fonts add a distinctive touch to this modern design. Clean, colorful, contemporary, and easily customizable this branding design is a perfect place to start your own unique brand identity.

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Ask Denise: Farming Follow-up?

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, after several months of farming, I just got my first call (yeah!) and I am going to a listing presentation this week. I have created my farming bible that you recommend and I want to have some current market information with me. What should I bring?

A:  Congratulations! I am so proud of you and am so glad that you stuck with it. Some of the most successful agents I know got to where they are now because they chose a farm, mailed consistently, and stuck with it (even though it might have been months before they got their first call).

What I would bring with you in addition to your information on the individual properties that have listed, pended, and sold are market trends. Show where median home prices (and price per square foot if your area warrants it) are now versus where they were last year, five years ago, ten years ago. Show supply and demand comparisons by showing in a graph how many listings there are versus homes that go under contract in a given month and at least a year back. This sets the stage for the pricing conversation. You may also want to have some information on days on market and list to sales price ratios. These are also very helpful in painting a realistic picture of the now market for that area.

Don’t Panic! Market Fluctuations Are Very Normal

Stock Exchange

I am sure in the past week many of you have had buyers or sellers voice concern over the state of the real estate market in relation to the stock market challenges as many people are sensitive to stock market fluctuations.

While there is no disputing that China is experiencing a market correction which has a ripple effect across the globe (and even as I write this, we are seeing a rebound in our stock market as China’s market has improved over the last few days), market fluctuations are not uncommon. This was a big one, but do you remember last fall when the Dow Jones dropped from $17,279.74 to 16,380.41 in a manner of three weeks? By December 1, it was back up to $17,958.79. What about January 13, 2014 when the Dow Jones started at $16,458.56 and slid to $15,698.85 by January 27th? Or how about July 18, 2011 when we started at $12,681.16 and slid to $10,817.65 by August 15th? Unless you keep these kinds of stats in your head, you probably don’t remember these because unlike the big systemic problems we had back in 2008, these were more momentary market reactions and corrections. We kept calm and moved on.

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Ask Denise: Two Client Events?

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I am looking ahead towards fall and I want to have a client event this year. However, I have a diverse group of past clients. I can see an oil and water situation happening if I try to have one big event. What do you think about two different events?

A:  You can certainly do that if you like. In fact, I have many clients who have multiple smaller events every year and love it (their clients do too!). The key is to find something that works for you and your clients.

If the thought of booking two venues, sending out two sets of invitations, and making sure you remember what client was invited to what event in case you run into them at the grocery store is enough to stress you out to the point of not doing an event at all, then consider doing just one event. You can find common ground for all your clients somewhere, whether that be booking a movie theater for a screening of It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmas (family-friendly and it appeals to all age groups) or Thanksgiving pumpkin pie pickup (even if a client doesn’t enjoy pumpkin pie, they can always bring it to Thanksgiving dinner wherever they are having it). The point is to just find an opportunity to have an event that gives you the opportunity to get in front of your clients live and thank them for your business.

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Interpreting Cues and Clues from Your Clients

two people talking with hand guestures

One of the biggest challenges facing salespeople is picking up on the cues from your clients. Whether in a conversation or through their actions, clients give us cues all the time. Your challenge is to interpret these cues as clues to your next move.

We do presentation role-playing work with agents in our Mastery coaching program and our ENCORE group. It is not unusual to be working with an agent doing a presentation and have them miss a cue I have given. Sometimes that cue is avoided intentionally because the agent doesn’t want to address the conflict hidden beneath, but more often than not, it is because we go into client meetings with an agenda and a picture in our head regarding the anticipated result and we stay on our path until the result is reached.

Sales is all about the ability to read your client—to know when to push and when to pull, when to start talking and when to stop talking, when to back off and when to close in. The great thing about all this is that clients will often give you BIG signals as to your next move.

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Ask Denise: No Legroom?

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, the new cars for the year are coming out in a few weeks. I have been longing for a new car for a looong time! However, I am torn because the car I want doesn’t have enough legroom in the back for my passengers to ride comfortably. It seems, though, that buyers usually want to ride in their own car anyway. What do you think?

A:  Well, if you get the car with the limited legroom, then you will almost guarantee that buyers aren’t going to want to ride with you. If that is your goal, then you can certainly proceed. However, think about what you really want from a client care point of view. I know some agents who find that car time with buyers very helpful in hearing their comments about a property when they are analyzing it afterwards. In addition, you may still run into buyers who do want to tag along in the car with you. Will you be comfortable making apologies for your lack of legroom?

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Aging in Place: What You Need to Know

an older couple talking

Every year when I do my annual predictions I make a prediction on home renovation activity. It is no secret to anyone who has read these predictions that I have been predicting record high renovation projects to be started and completed in the next five years. The reason for this is very simple, people are making the decision to “age in place.”

What this basically means is that many people, specifically Baby Boomers, are taking a good hard look at renovating versus selling and having to buy again. For some it is because of the rising prices and they don’t want to participate in such a fast market where they would have to pay top dollar on the buying side. Others like their location but need different space which can be accommodated by doing a renovation. And for some it is the sheer joy they believe they will get out of making something good even better.

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