The Zebra Blog

The Power of Timing

When do you list a property? Timing is everything!

In the past month I have heard agents talking about what they believe is the best tine to put upcoming listings on the market. Each of them has their own unique ideas of why waiting or listing right away is more beneficial. What surprises me, however, is that these are closely held beliefs that don’t necessarily have any proven merit. They are simply opinions.

So how do you know when is the right time to put a listing on the market, when a seller tells you they could list now or in a month? Read more »

Branding Spotlight: Mike Toomey

This week’s branding spotlight features the design of Custom Branding client Mike Toomey from Kirkland, Washington. Mike is a real estate industry veteran, with over 33 years of experience and a strong ethical compass. He needed a modern brand to establish consistency and streamline his workflow. The pseudo-stained-glass effect in his sidebar is eye-catching and provides a unique view of the Seattle area. Edge-to-edge charcoal backgrounds create a luxurious stage for his content and property photos. Read more »

Ask Denise: His & Hers Branding

The struggle to resolve his-and-hers branding

Q: “Denise, my husband and I have a real estate business together and we have decided it is time to develop a brand. We both have a background in the financial industry. I began in real estate about five years ago and my husband just recently joined me. We are tapping into this database of our clients and want to tell our story visually. The challenge is, we have very different ideas about what that means. We can’t agree on colors, fonts, layouts, style, or anything! I am getting very discouraged and don’t think we will come to a final product that will suit us both. Where do you suggest we go from here?” Read more »

Pop-Up Brokerages

This past year I have seen some interesting changes and trends in the real estate industry. One is a rise in what I call pop-up brokerages.

I define these as a real estate brokerage that has decided to open multiple locations in an entirely new market area in a very short period of time. Many of these new companies try to offer a new take or twist on the traditional real estate brokerage. Some are offering turn-key technology solutions in hopes of luring the agent who is overwhelmed and looking for a quick fix to their poor tech skills. Others are trying to lure agents through profit sharing or creative compensation plans. Many of these companies are trying to lure, sell, or entice agents to join their brokerages by dangling a new, bright, shiny carrot in front of them. Read more »

Branding Spotlight: Kim Schaaf

This week’s branding spotlight features the design of Mastery agent Kim Schaaf, from Bothell, Washington. Kim needed a brand that matched her reputation as the “bubble” lady, and wanted to feature bubbles in her brand. Each bubble also contains the reflection of a yellow rose, Kim’s favorite flower. Even her logo looks like a popping bubble. A rugged script font over the colorful wood texture gives her design a creative and rustic feel. The perfect blend of strength and whimsy, Kim’s memorable brand is sure to please clients old and new. Read more »

Ask Denise: Old Truck Blues

Q: “Denise, I have a seller who will be listing in a few weeks. He recently retired and will be moving out of state. His house is in decent shape with a nice view, but he has this old truck in his driveway that is a total eyesore. I am not sure if it is drivable and has some tools and items in the back that he has covered with those lovely blue tarps. I have the photographer coming in two weeks and this home will also be having drone video due to the view off the back. But I am concerned the view of the front and this terrible truck is going to kill the sale. He told me last night that he is not willing or able to move the truck for both the photography session nor the duration of the listing. What do I do with that?”
Read more »

Don’t Just Connect…POWER CONNECT!

Real estate is an industry that has seen many ups and downs over the years. It has also seen monumental changes in the day-to-day operations and processes due to technology and the creation of online real estate search sites.

Over the past two and half decades I have watched the industry go through monumental changes. I have seen many agents come and go and I have seen patterns that have led to agents becoming very successful and patterns that have caused otherwise good agents to get out of the business.

Read more »

Ask Denise: The Branding Payoff

Q: “Denise, I am considering developing a brand and some basic systems with your company. I appreciate that you offer monthly financing (as I am not cash rich at the moment), but I wonder what I can expect in terms of a return on that investment.”

A: In my experience, brand development pays off time and time again. But, it depends on how you use it. There are agents who never fully implement the brand and the systems and therefore never realize the full potential of the investment. Read more »

Branding Spotlight: John Haines & Missi Huff

John and Missi’s brand is just what this team needed to convey their combined power, professional approach, and winning confidence earned from years of experience. Their gold house logo features their common last initial and symbolizes the strength that their charismatic teamwork brings to each transaction.

In addition to a professional print brand, we also designed and built their custom real estate website. Crafted on the WordPress platform, this engaging website features a navigation that encourages visitors to explore, live listing updates from their MLS through a custom IDX solution, and a strong connection to the local communities that they serve.

Read more »

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