denise lones: Client Events for Anyone - 09/16/22 11:43 AM

Client Events for Anyone How do we plan a client appreciation event that keeps everyone happy? Simple - we don't! What we need to find is the sweet spot that appeals to the most people.
When I started planning a client appreciation event, my first step was to classify my past clients. I had groups of families, couples, single professionals, seniors, and more. Then, I tried to think of something that would appeal to all generations. Watch the video for some of my most successful ideas—and my least successful event idea—and the keys to creating a winning past-client event that … (8 comments)

denise lones: Client Gifts and Events - 09/09/22 09:25 AM

Client Gifts and Events Don't let 2022 slip by without recognizing your clients in a big way. Although the pandemic is still affecting us, our celebrations had to be tamped down over the last couple of years. So, dust off that past client database and let's do some big planning between now and the end of the year!
Gifts? Events? What Do I Do? If you have never done any gifting or live appreciation event before, now is a great time to dive in. There are really only a few things to consider:
What would be meaningful to you? What … (8 comments)

denise lones: Past Client Neglect - 09/02/22 03:29 PM

Past Client Neglect We've all done it. There's not a real estate professional out there that hasn't at one point or another (or many times) neglected their past clients. It's easy to do. Just like anyone else, our current clients and urgent to-do list can take up all our attention and time. So, we need to have a system to ensure that we don't forget those past clients.
In today's Zebra Report I share how I created systems to stay in contact with my past clients and the key factors in making your system work for you.
While you are … (2 comments)

denise lones: Increasing Return Cash Flow on Your Investment - 08/26/22 09:19 AM

Increasing Return Cash Flow on Your Investment If you own an income-producing investment property, cash flow and appreciation are top-of-mind. What if you want to increase your monthly cash flow? Increasing cash flow either means increasing income or decreasing expenses (or both!). Here are just a few ways to take a magnifying glass to your investment property bank register:
Yes, you can certainly raise the rent if the market will bear it, but below are some other things to look at.
BANK SERVICE FEES - If you are allowing the tenant to pay rent with a credit card, do … (8 comments)

denise lones: My Worst Real Estate Investment - 08/19/22 09:59 AM

My Worst Real Estate Investment Earlier this week, someone asked about real estate investments that I regretted. I've been really fortunate over the years, and all of my real estate investments have done very well for me. However, that good fortune comes with a lot of hard work. I believe the more research you do and the more information you have, the better. This includes information about the area, the property type, the financials, and the local demographics. You have to do your homework before you invest.
But... there was an investment that I made that just didn't suit my … (2 comments)

denise lones: Analyzing an Investment's Pajama Money Rate - 08/15/22 03:15 PM

Analyzing an Investment's Pajama Money Rate Investors love their formulas - cap rates, gross rent multipliers, cash-on-cash return - but don't let a bunch of fancy terms intimidate you. The basics you need to know when getting started in real estate investing are really appreciation and cash flow, or what I call a Pajama Money Rate. At the end of the day, you need to know how your asset is growing in value and you need to know how much cash it produces every month.
The reason I like really drilling it down and keeping it simple is I see … (3 comments)

denise lones: Pajama Money - 08/10/22 05:25 PM

Pajama Money One of my favorite topics is pajama money! It's a term that I use to describe getting your money to work for you. Whether you are awake, asleep, out sick, or on vacation, those little dollar bills are recruiting more money into your accounts. It's how you can make money without putting in a lot of extra work. Some people also call this, "passive income."
One of the ways to start making Pajama Money is with real estate investments. We have other investments, like retirement funds and 401K accounts. The challenge with those types of investments is that … (10 comments)

denise lones: Investing in Vacation Rentals - 07/28/22 06:31 PM

Investing in Vacation Rentals Vacation rentals, when done right, will print you money in your sleep! They can be extremely lucrative. However, if you invest in vacation rentals wrong, they will drain the life out of your bank account. I see this most often with people who buy properties in areas they don’t know, without doing their homework. There is a strategy to successful vacation rental investments.
Joining me today is Jay Agoado, a vacation rental and investment specialist. Enjoy this week's Zebra Report as Jay and I share our experiences with vacation rentals and talk about an exciting 3-day … (1 comments)

denise lones: Referral FAQs - 07/22/22 02:04 PM

Referral FAQs Over my real estate career as an agent, managing broker, and real estate trainer, I have given and received many agent-to-agent referrals. I believe there is a superior process for referrals and that setting expectations is important.
But what happens when things don't go according to plan? Below are some questions I have been asked over the years:
Q: Denise, I gave a referral to an out-of-area agent that came highly recommended. At first the communication was great but now…crickets! Both the agent and my referred clients are non-responsive. Did they buy? Did the agent drop the ball? … (5 comments)

denise lones: The Power of Referrals - 07/15/22 01:44 PM

Zebra Report: The Power of Referrals This week I want to talk about how referrals can help you build a strong referral business with other agents. Two of the questions I am frequently asked are, "What is the best referral that you have ever had? What is the best referral you have every given?" So, I wanted to share a couple of those stories with you to show you how powerful referrals can be in your business.
I often say, "Referrals are like having a wholesale business." You can work with the same agent over and over again and you … (6 comments)

denise lones: Referrals: A Money-Making Powerhouse - 07/07/22 04:33 PM

Referrals: A Money-Making Powerhouse How much money do you think you could earn from sending out referrals if you really made a concerted effort? $25,000 a year? $50,000? What if I told you this amount could easily exceed six figures per year if you had a system for attracting the type of lead you were willing to refer out and a system for working with the agent on the other end? Would you believe me? 
I can tell you with certainty that I have set this up for myself when I was selling and it earned me hundreds of thousands … (5 comments)

denise lones: Selling Over 100 Homes a Year Almost Ruined My Life - 07/01/22 12:31 PM

Selling Over 100 Homes a Year Almost Ruined My Life I've talked about burn-out earlier this week, when I held my coaching webinar for Club Zebra members, and I was really touched by how many people emailed me to share their experiences with burnout.
When I was actively selling real estate, I sold way too many homes - and it literally almost ruined my life. One Christmas I really got a reality. I had missed a really important and very special Christmas dinner because I was working. I had let my family down because I was juggling 3 offers on … (8 comments)

denise lones: The Value of Vacations - 06/17/22 03:22 PM

The Value of Vacations I just got back from Greece and today, I'm back at Encore with my coaching clients. It's my favorite place to be, but I want to talk about the value of putting yourself first. Whether that is taking a special trip or going on a luxurious vacation or visiting a special person, you need that down-time away from your business to recharge and refresh.
A lot of us are passionate about our work - and we should be! However, I can tell you from personal experience that every time I take time off for vacation, I … (3 comments)

denise lones: 7 Mindful Tips for Finding More Time In Your Day - 06/10/22 09:50 AM

7 Mindful Tips for Finding More Time In Your Day Every one of us has the same 1,440 minutes in our day, right?
So why is it that some people seem to get so much more done?
They have found the secret to finding more time!
"GROAN! Denise, you aren't going to tell me that I have to wake up at 4 in the morning, are you? If so, I am out!"
NO! This article isn't going to delve into surviving on less sleep or getting up at 4:00 in the morning; instead, we are going to focus on time … (3 comments)

denise lones: 7 Traits of a Strong Real Estate Website Foundation - 05/27/22 11:44 AM

7 Traits of a Strong Real Estate Website Foundation Our topic of technology for the month of May would just not be complete without a conversation about having an online business presence. Next week at Denise Live our fabulous Director of Technology, Randy Bowers, will be presenting on having a hyper-local website. You can learn come enjoy that webinar for free – and all of our May technology topics – by becoming a member of Club Zebra. Learn more about that here.
Today I want to talk about websites. Specifically, what makes for a strong foundation. Whether you are a … (4 comments)

denise lones: My Biggest Technology Mistakes - 05/06/22 04:45 PM

My Biggest Technology Mistakes This week, I'm talking about the biggest mistakes I've made with technology. I've made tons of mistakes over the years, and I want to share them with you.
Mistake #1: Spending Money Before Researching
The first mistake on my list is wasting money on technology or software that didn't suite me. If something doesn't mesh with my workflow or learning style, there was a very low chance it would be effective. I didn't invest the time to research to see if they would be compatible with me before purchasing them.
It's really easy to do the … (17 comments)

denise lones: Following-Up After the Open House - 05/03/22 04:57 PM

Following-Up After the Open House Congratulations! You had a successful open house! You have some people to follow-up with to get their questions answered about the property, but what about neighbors that stopped in, the looky-loos who provided their contact info but you don't have a strong feeling that they will do anything, and the people who indicated that the home you were holding open wasn't a good fit, but you have their contact information? Is it worth following up or is it a waste of your time?
I want you to re-read that first paragraph because I hear this … (11 comments)

denise lones: The Right Props for Open Houses in Today's Market - 04/22/22 01:53 PM

The Right Props for Open Houses in Today's Market Hi everyone and welcome to this week's Zebra Report - I am so excited to share with you again on the topic of doing Open Houses. I know - a lot of you are out there in super-fast housing markets and you are wondering, "Wait a second, why in the world would I even bother doing an open house when I am listing a house on a Thursday and have an offer review by Tuesday? What's the point? There's so many showings and it's so crazy already!"
Well, the point is … (13 comments)

denise lones: Open Houses Can Generate Seller Leads - 04/18/22 09:33 AM

Open Houses Can Generate Seller Leads Some real estate agents are convinced that open houses are a complete waste of time. They make weekends unschedulable, everyone who shows up is represented already anyway, and open houses don't really sell the house.
And let's not forget to address the real elephant in the room - that open houses attract buyer leads. In a market like this, buyers = too. much. time.
Whether you believe all of this or not, open houses have, in-general, gotten a bad reputation. However, I am a strong proponent of open houses. In my business, open houses … (2 comments)

denise lones: Niche Marketing Done Right! - 04/01/22 01:09 PM

Niche Marketing Done Right! It's Thursday (#TBT)! I am feeling a little nostalgic today, so I am taking a trip down memory lane to some of my favorite niche brands that we have created through the years. Some of these are older than others (we HAVE been creating brands for agents for over 20 years) but all of them have done their job, creating a visual connection for a specific client base.
Property Niche Experts
Rhonda Bleck has a passion for mid-century modern homes, so we took that passion and ran with it when creating her brand!
Susan Shorett … (12 comments)

Denise Lones, CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding (The Lones Group, Inc.)

Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding

Bellingham, WA

More about me…

The Lones Group, Inc.

Address: 2200 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA, 98225

Office: (360) 527-8904

Email Me

Join Denise Lones each week as she looks at the world of real estate and the world at large from customer service to the importance of listing presentations in a one-on-one style. Denise has more than 20 years of experience as a successful agent, broker, trainer and coach. Denise is someone in the know when it comes to real estate.




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