The Zebra Blog

Safari Comes to Lynnwood, October 24-25

This October 24-25 we invite you to come on a real estate Safari in Lynnwood, WA. Safari is our premier real estate agent coaching event, led by nationally recognized coach, Denise Lones. This fall we are celebrating our 40th Safari with our new format: Total Transformation: Proven Systems – A Customized Approach.


Attend both days for just $49. Fifteen Washington State continuing education credits are also available.

Safari is one of our favorite things that we do. Every time we see agents transformed, energized with new ideas and more confident going out than when they came in. Every time!

This is an interactive event, not stuck-in-your-seat education. This Safari we will be covering building a referral based business without cheesy gimmicks, overcoming client and prospect objections, connecting with different client personalities, how to win presentations and building on your unique strengths. Prepare your business for success in this exciting, challenging real estate market with Denise Lones! See you there!

Smart Agents Start Business Planning For 2018 NOW!

A successful business plan consists of three very important parts. We will be talking about each of these over the next three weeks. To create a business plan that helps you increase your income and improve your quality of life you have to first analyze your past business to get a really good assessment of how you have been operating your business. The three parts of a successful business plan include ANALYZING, VISUALIZING AND STRATEGIZING. For today let’s focus on analyzing.


Every successful business plan begins with analyzing the numbers. This includes all your numbers, you income numbers, your pending numbers, your listings, your closings and yes even your expenses. Start by looking at the numbers below. Your numbers will give you the best clues about your business. Remember, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. You need to track your numbers for the past three years to really be able to see the full picture of your business:

  • Your income (track your GCI (gross commission income)
  • Actives, Pendings, and Solds (to see your personal work pace you need to track each of these in the appropriate months) This will help you to see if there is a pattern to when you do and do not feel like working.
  • Buyer and seller sales (you want to be able to see what percentage of your business comes from each) This will help you decide whether or not you need to be working with more sellers to have more control over your time.
  • And of course, your expenses (And know what your NET income is so you can make better decisions about what you need to change moving forward.

We have made it easy to track the first three items with our free Agent GCI Tracker – complete with self-creating graphs. These make it easy to see the gaps and trends in your business and plan for correction.

For example:

If you see that your business always tapers off in November and December but surges forward in January, consider continuing to do what you usually do to get that January business, but put away the stress that comes with a business lull and just enjoy the holidays.

If you see that you do a ton of business between February and April, don’t schedule big projects or expect yourself to do any more than maintain your business during those months. Oh, and schedule some time off in May.

If you want to have a more-robust September and October, make sure you are connecting throughout the spring and early summer and that you have enough in your pipeline for the early fall you want!

Want some help putting those numbers together? We have a tool you can use to do just that! Download our Agent GCI and Activity tracker now.

If you know that 2018 is the year that you will really catapult your business to the next level, then you may be a great candidate for our Mastery program. We have a few more spots left before the end of the year so you can start off strong. Are you ready? Click here to learn more.

Call us to schedule time to talk with me about whether you are a good Mastery candidate. The call is free! Email: [email protected] or call (360) 527-8904.

Branding Spotlight: Semi-Custom Pro #146

This week’s design spotlight features our Semi-Custom Pro branding design template #146. Minimal and Natural, this design takes four photos with a central theme to create an elegant sidebar. If the easy-care succulents don’t appeal to your demographic, your Semi-Custom Pro package includes the purchase of 4 unique photos for your brand. Every sidebar is unique and eye-catching, whether The header and footer grounds the design with bold contrast, and provides space for a clever tagline. A fun script with elegant swashes is paired with an energetic serif font to appeal to first-time home buyers, which can also be changed to fit your personal style. Read more »

Ask Denise: In Person vs Online

Q: “Denise why is it so important to get buyers out looking at more properties in person and less properties on line?”

A: Buyers today are getting so frustrated because they think they find their perfect home online only to find out that the home smells, or it doesn’t quite look like it did in the online photos.  With today’s high definition photography  it is easy for homes to photograph better than they look in real life.  Read more »

October Mailer Content for Your Clients is Here

Club Zebra Pro members, this October’s content for your mailers has arrived, with versions in both long and post card sized short-form too. Usable with no attribution to The Lones Group – as always some rules apply. Check out an article for your seller prospects on how the memorable features of a home can mean money in the bank. For your buyers we have an article on the benefits of being loan pre-approved. Get your October content here.

Predicting Real Estate Inventory: It’s All About the Permits

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have been talking about inventory challenges for years. Many markets across the country have experienced severe shortages of inventory caused by reduced new construction building. This has resulted in dramatically increased house prices.

Don’t forget that the real estate market is just like the stock market in that prices change based on supply and demand. Markets across the country that have experienced inventory shortages have been also experiencing sharp price increases.
Read more »

Branding Spotlight: Semi-Custom Pro #130

This week’s design spotlight features our Semi-Custom Pro branding design template #130. If you love the dramatic effect of a black background, but want to keep the readability of a white page, this design is perfect for you. Bold yet Understated, this template takes advantage of photography techniques that place a single object on a black backdrop. Confined in a sleek sidebar on newsletters and letterhead, the full drama and luxury of the dark background is perfect for business cards, note cards, and postcards.  If flowers aren’t for you, we can find something that is! Other popular photo subjects include keys, antiques, sports equipment, animals, food preparation, bokeh textures, and more! Read more »

Ask Denise: Jump-Start a Stalled Farm

Q: “Denise, I have been marketing to a farm area for about six months now and I am very happy with what I am sending out – meaty market info, information on sold properties, etc. It is all stuff that is really relevant to the area. I have had a call, but things just aren’t selling in here right now. Last year was busy which is why I chose it. This is definitely my long-term farm but I am wondering if you have any tips to jump-start this?” Read more »

A Day in The Life of a Realtor – Jack of All Trades

The one incredible benefit of being a real estate agent is that you get to set your own schedule.  Imagine the freedom to work when you want and to be able to sleep in when you want.  Sounds good, right?  That is a fantasy that many real estate agents like to believe but in reality, the business of selling real estate can overcome your life.

The challenge for so many of my clients has been how to juggle it all.  Being a real estate agent in today’s market means you must be a Jack of all trades.  You list of duties is long, including but not limited to Read more »

Branding Spotlight: Semi-Custom Pro #153

This week’s design spotlight features our Semi-Custom Pro branding design template #153. This design is ready for a classic, elegant, and understated agent. The crisp header and footer hold delicate metallic swirls that overflow onto the main body. This example uses classical scroll-work to emphasize luxury, and together we can find the perfect graphic to convey your business style. The soft-gray background offers a luxurious stage for your content. A slim serif font is paired with an elegant script font for an efficient and gorgeous branding message. Read more »

Ask Denise: Negative Reviews

Q: “Denise, help! It has been brought to my attention that I have a negative review online. It is on Yelp and since I only have one other review on Yelp, it stands out when someone searches for me. What is worse is this review isn’t even from someone I wound up working with. This was a buyer couple, I met with them, they had major credit issues so I referred them to a lender to help them clean up their credit. I have a rule in my business that I will show buyers neighborhoods before they are preapproved but I don’t show them houses, especially in this market. Apparently they were upset by my rule. What do I do?” Read more »

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