The Zebra Blog

Design Spotlight: Dan Fouts

This week’s design spotlight features the brand of our SEMI CUSTOM PRO (formerly known as Instant Identity) client Dan Fouts, of Whidbey Island, Washington. Dan selected the “Business on the Water” branding template. We lightened the background and used his established logo as a watermark. The header and footer bars were enlarged to increase functionally and hold important contact information. He selected a handwritten script font for his name treatment and paired it with an elegant sans-serif font for the rest of his content.

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STEP UP or STEP OUT: What Buyers Need to Know About a Multiple Offer Market

I have had at least three calls in the past week from frustrated agents who were trying to figure out what they were doing wrong and why their clients lost yet another offer in a multiple offer situation. After long discussions that detailed every step of what these agents did, I was convinced that it wasn’t so much about what the agents did it was more about what the buyers didn’t do.

In today’s highly competitive, fast-paced market, the buyers need to STEP UP to the plate and put their best foot forward with the strongest offer possible.  If today’s buyer is not willing to do that then they need to STEP OUT of the market until they are. Read more »

Ask Denise: Getting Reviews

Q: “Denise, I have had a number of my clients review me on Zillow, but I also want those reviews to be on Yelp,, and Facebook. Can I just copy and paste?”

In a short answer, no. Each client needs to review you individually and rate you from their own account. If your goal is to get more reviews in more places, I suggest sending an email (yes, an email) to your past clients who have not yet reviewed you and send links to all the profiles they may review you on so they can choose the one that works best for you. Read more »

The Changing Climate of Real Estate

The real estate market has certainly seen its ups and downs over the past 10 years.  If you are a real estate agent that has been in the business longer than a decade you have been witness to a dramatically changed real estate climate.

Gone are the days where you can simply hold a real estate license and expect to call yourself a real estate expert.  Today’s true professional has to be like a warrior, able to fight for your clients in a multiple offer situation and able to fight off the negativity of other agents complaining about how tough the market is. Read more »

Ask Denise: Efficient Updates

Q: “Denise, I am having an issue with my bio. I have my years of experience listed in there along with the number of years I have lived in the area. My problem is that each year I have to update my bios because the number of years change and inevitably, I forget one or two. Got any ideas?”

A: I do! Two ideas that will simplify your world:

  1. Change the number of years to the year the event happened. Read more »

Design Spotlight: Powder Room – Refreshed!

This week’s design spotlight features one of our Semi-Custom branding design template “Powder Room” with a fresh and soothing color palette.  Formerly, this design featured pink sandstone in the sidebars and background, which (while beautiful) overwhelmed the entire design. In this refresh, we have scaled back the colors to make the content area clean white and the sidebars neutral gray. A little splash of color in understated pin-striping on the the sidebars, the monogram, and name treatment are easy to customize with your favorite hues. We have also switched out the elegant calligraphy font for a modern script and sans-serif combo. With all these changes, the overall structure has remained tall and elegant. Read more »

Safari Comes to Bellevue, April 26-27

This April 26-27 we invite you to come on a real estate Safari, in Bellevue. Safari is our premier real estate agent coaching event, led by nationally recognized coach, Denise Lones. This spring marks a special occasion as we introduce our new format: Total Transformation: Proven Systems – A Customized Approach.


Attend both days for just $25. Fifteen Washington State continuing education credits are also available.

Safari is one of our favorite things that we do. We’ve hosted nearly 40 Safari events over the past 15 years. 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 an exciting, challenging 2017 real estate season with Denise Lones! See you there!

Keeping Calm: Strategies for Reducing Buyer Stress

In a fast-paced market, emotions can easily run high. In this kind of market, buyers can quickly start feeling defeated – the possibility of winning in a multiple-offer can seem next to impossible. When this happens, it is critical that agents reflect on how they can keep their buyer both objective and calm so that they can make smart and effective decisions on their next offer.

Here are four ideas that will help your buyers keep a level head throughout the home search. Read more »

Design Spotlight: Karen Abbey

This week’s design spotlight features the brand of MASTERY agent Karen Abbey, from Seattle, Washington. Karen wanted her brand to reflect her bright and sunny personality, as well as her passion for Seattle. Previously, she used a brightly colored Seattle skyline image for many of her marketing pieces. She wanted to update the image and give a nod to her experiences traveling abroad. In her main graphic, we have fused elements from Beijing, London, Seattle, Paris, and Los Angeles skylines. The modern low-poly texture and abstract colors create visual interest. Read more »

Ask Denise: DIY Problem Solving

Q: “Denise, this has been a very tough winter weather-wise, and I have a listing that could really benefit from some landscaping clean up. This is a vacation property in an out-of-the-way area so it has been on the market for a bit longer than I would have liked, partially due to the rough weather. Should I just go ahead and clean it up? My clients don’t want to put any more money into this property so I don’t see them doing it. What do you think?” Read more »

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