The Zebra Blog

Branding Spotlight: Alex Cury

With a background in engineering, Eastside agent Alex Cury specializes in helping international residents settle in the Northwest and make the most of their investments. He had a vision for a brand that incorporated his Brazilian roots with a minimal-contemporary style. Unique to his design is an intricate cobblestone pattern characteristic of many streets and sidewalks in Brazil and Portugal. We used it to create a tone-on-tone effect so that the design packs lots of cultural impact without distracting from the important marketing content. Read more »

Ask Denise: Lead Generation Overload

Q: “Denise, I am a newer agent and need to generate some leads. I have a direct mail company who keeps calling saying I can mail to thousands of people every month and it won’t cost me too much. Should I do it? I am also doing some online lead generation with another company and am working a lot of open houses.”

A: While I love that you are open to the idea of different kinds of lead generation, I actually want you to slow down a bit. Doing a lot of different kinds of lead generation means you need to have materials to serve all those different clients if you want to generate leads effectively. Read more »

The Top 5 Actions of Super-Producing Agents

Are you working with clients you don’t really mesh well with? Are you spending money getting and chasing leads who don’t return your calls and emails? Do you agonize over keeping in contact with your past clients and in the end, never send anything? Do you find that every year you are working harder but aren’t earning more money?

You are not alone. Our industry is full of great agents who are tired, burned out, and are one bad transaction away from quitting. What if I told you that a better business was just around the corner?

As a top-producing agent and now as a real estate trainer, I get it. I have been in the trenches just like you and I train agents who have been in that same boat. There is hope – I promise!

Earlier this week we hosted two sessions of a brand new webinar that centered around five actions that set super-productive agents apart in the real estate industry. If you weren’t able to attend, we recorded it and we are making it available here for you to watch and learn from.

Click here to watch the webinar

Enjoy the webinar! And if you are ready to make a change in your business then get in touch with us at [email protected] or call our office 360-527-8904 (M-F 8:30am-5:00pm pacific).

King County Assessor, John Wilson – Strong Leader, Innovative Ideas, Powerful Voice  

I am not one to actively search for speakers about government policy as quite frankly I think they can be a little dry and often too focused on what is in their best interest politically.  So, when I first heard about some innovative things that the Washington State King County Assessor’s office was doing, I was intrigued.  While furthering my research I learned that the Assessor, John Wilson, was leading a number of initiatives including one to further help seniors be able to stay in their homes by expanding senior tax relief.

It wasn’t just that the program existed that intrigued me. It was how passionate John Wilson was about expanding the program by increasing income limits, and having an innate understanding about how rapidly increasing property values are affecting taxpayers. Read more »

Branding Spotlight: Lindsy Russell

Lindsy Russell is a Seattle-based agent with a strong background in sales. She specializes in providing her clients with emotional support and has enduring passion and enthusiasm for helping her community. She needed a no-nonsense Semi-Custom design with space to highlight her creativity, so she choose a design with symmetrical slim sidebars. In her free time, she enjoys drawing mandala flowers, so we choose to incorporate this illustration style in her logo, and repeated in a pattern on the sidebars. We choose a rich shade of raspberry to convey her compassionate and empathetic nature, Read more »

Ask Denise: Analyzing Change

Q: “Denise, I have a brokerage that is trying to recruit me fairly aggressively. There really isn’t an issue with my current brokerage, but this has me wondering about what I am missing. My gut says that staying put is the better fit, but it takes me a long time to warm up to change so I may not be the best judge of what is in my best interest. What do you think?” Read more »

The Impact of Trends in Real Estate Investing – What You Need to Know

Smart investors are always on the hunt for the next big thing. I have been studying real estate investing trends for years, and I have identified trends that greatly affect investors. Here are a few of them:

“Secondary” City Growth

Many years ago, I began predicting great areas to invest in based on criteria I personally follow. These criteria have never let me down. One of the criteria I always look for is the incline and decline of “Primary” or “Secondary” cities.

In order to understand real estate markets, you must research both the primary and secondary cities in an area. For example, in the Pacific Northwest, if you want to see where the trends in real estate investing are, you must first research the primary city and then its surrounding secondary cities. Read more »

Branding Spotlight: Chan Davies

Chan Davies wanted a refreshing brand design that appeals to new buyers in Bothell. The crisp geometric pattern around the edge of her marketing materials creates a soft frame for her valuable content. The rich teal tone combined with luxe gold perfectly blend to convey modern minimalism. To provide additional approachability and comfort, her name treatment is in all lowercase letters, which compliments the smooth calligraphy font in her diamond shape monogram. With this bright and cheery brand, Chan is ready to catch the eye of her target market.

Read more »

Ask Denise: County vs Community

Q: “Denise, I am working on creating some mailing templates for my database with your company. My question is regarding statistics and information. I have clients all over the county, but I would ideally like to work in a smaller area. Do I include stats for the whole county or just the area that I want to work in?”

A: This is a problem that many agents have, especially as their businesses grow: Clients move out of the neighborhood, referrals turn into past clients who deliver their own referrals. It’s a good thing! However, when faced with an introspective moment like this, it provides an opportunity to narrow down your focus IF that is what you want to do (and it sounds like it is). Read more »

Direct Mail vs. Email

There isn’t a week that goes by that an agent tells me that they have decided to keep in touch with their past clients and sphere database primarily by an email newsletter. That email may be created by their company or it may be custom-created in MailChimp or Constant Contact, but the more important issue is that they have decided NOT to mail.

The reasons they give for making this change are predictable:

  1. It’s cheap or free.
  2. It’s easy. (Especially if their company puts it together or it is done automatically.)
  3. It may be “hands off.”
  4. Some of the content is better-delivered and received in an e-format.
  5. They say that their clients prefer an enewsletter.

While I agree that some content is absolutely better-delivered and received in an e-format (more on that below), I will say that reasons 1-3 should be thrown out the window. Read more »

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