The Zebra Blog

Personalities and Pending to Close – Your Golden Opportunity!

A highly-overlooked referral opportunity in an agent’s business is the “pending to closing” process. And the more you can tune into a client’s personality during this time, the more effective you can be with that client. In fact, when done correctly this process can yield an incredible referral business.

When a buyer or seller is in the “active” part of their home-buying or selling journey they are usually consumed with the many appointments they need to look at homes, review offers, keep the house clean, and get their lending in order.  But once the offer is pending the client moves into a whole new phase of their journey. Read more »

Branding Spotlight: Rhonda Bleck

West Seattle agent Rhonda Bleck is absolutely in love with mid-century modern style, and embraced a retro aesthetic in her Mastery design. Her selection of brilliant orange and turquoise is both eye-catching and nostalgic. She emphasizes her low-to-no-drama business style with minimal lines and clean blocks of color, and throws in some fun with asymmetrical angles. Her branding is bold and unforgettable, just like Rhonda.

Read more »

Ask Denise: Past Client Care

Q: Denise, I have been burned by past clients this last year. I have had 3-4 people who wound up going with another agent. I am mailing my past clients and sphere each month, but I don’t call or see them live. Is the monthly mailer enough? Do I need to do more? I am competing with a lot of different real estate agents with a lot of different business models and I think that my past clients keep getting lured away my new shiny business models and they are not even giving me a call! Just tell me what to do. Read more »

Systems Can Make You BIG MONEY in Real Estate

I have always been a “systems” girl. I need things in their right place. I don’t like things out of order and I like to be able to control my environment. I am not a neat freak, but I am an organizational one. I like things to have a “home” and I like things to be part of a system or process when possible.

I remember when I was a little girl, I used to organize my dolls based on their height. I would arrange them first by height and then I would organize their clothing based on color. For whatever reason I just felt more comfortable living my life that way. Fast forward many years and I am still the same way – I need things to be organized by color and categories and I like systems for almost everything I do.

I didn’t realize until I got into real estate just how much my need for systems would help me to build a successful real estate career. Read more »

Ask Denise: Does it “Ad” Up?

Q: “Denise, I have an opportunity to do an ad on a bench in a local golf course. Is this a good advertising opportunity?”

A: It depends! When doing any sort of advertising whether it be an ad in a local magazine, an event sponsorship, or even an ad on a bench in a golf course, in order for that ad or presence to have high impact, it needs to have layers. Read more »

Branding Procrastination = Costly Missed Opportunities

When I first started working with new home builders who were developing large residential communities, I was in awe of the amount of effort that went into the branding and naming of the community.  I remember sitting in meetings and focus groups for what seemed like weeks to come up with the branding concept and the name for the development.  We would come up with a short list of names we liked then we would hire people in focus groups to tell us what kind of homes they thought they would find in a community with that name.  It was critical to match the brand with the type of product we were building.

Once the name was chosen, we then picked the colors and visual elements that matched our overall “brand story.” I used to sit in shock as the branding and marketing companies pitched their ideas to us and then presented us their bids which were almost as much as one of the homes we would be selling. I recall asking one of my developers how they justified paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the branding and marketing plans we were pitched and I will never forget what he said: “ROI – it is the best return on investment because it attracts buyers and it sells homes.”  That said it all. Read more »

Ask Denise: Delivering Bad News

Q: “Denise, I get so much anxiety when I have bad news to tell a client. I get shaky, I can’t breathe, and I just dread their reaction because I can’t tell how they are going to react. I know I overanalyze and should just jump in, but I just can’t!”

A: Handling conflict…even if you didn’t do anything wrong, they didn’t do anything wrong, but you know there is going to be disappointment and maybe even anger, is something we learn in childhood at the family level. So if you grew up with a very negative conflict model, it is no wonder you are doing everything you can to avoid it now. Read more »

The Marketing Triangle

Every real estate professional at some point in their career must face the cold hard facts about ineffective marketing.  Marketing is an essential part of running any successful business and real estate is no exception. Without good marketing you will never be able to predict what your business will look like year to year.

Can you imagine Coke a Cola, Nike, or Johnson & Johnson with no marketing? I certainly can’t, and I have seen their marketing change and evolve over the years.  That is exactly what real estate agents need to do-they need to utilize multiple types of marketing to get that perfect blend of effective marketing.

If you have ever peered into your empty pipeline and wondered what you could do to get that steady supply of leads into your business, then you need the Marketing Triangle to evaluate what you are doing (or not doing) to adjust the type and frequency of your marketing.

I am sure you have heard the terms Relationship Marketing, Promotion Marketing, and Attraction Marketing. Read more »

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