Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.
The Lones Group, Inc.


Now—more than ever before—we live in a visual society.  From the “MTV Generation” to today’s Internet obsession, getting noticed is all about visuals—graphics, colors, designs, images, fonts, and pictures.

Surprisingly, one industry is particularly resistant to this trend.  Most of the people involved in this industry look exactly the same – essentially carbon copies of each other, dull and boring. 

Who are these behind-the-times cave-dwellers?  Yep, you guessed it—our own real estate industry.

There isn’t a week that goes by that a real estate agent doesn’t challenge me on the topic of whether or not they should put their photo on their business card.  Now, I understand that few other professions do this, but in what other profession is there as much competition as there is in real estate?

It seems like everyone you know is getting their real estate license—your neighbors, your friends, your associates—jumping into the market thinking it’s an endless pot of gold.  To win business in this vast ocean of competition, you’d better have something to set you apart.  And real estate—more than any other profession— does a terrible job of visual marketing. 

Visual marketing can be as simple as a color, a design, a theme or even a font.  When people see it, they automatically think of you.  Truly great visual marketing is when they don’t even need to see the entire picture—they see a fraction of it and recognize you instantly.

The other day, I was shopping in Safeway and a particular font caught my eye.  I immediately thought to myself: “What is the Boeing Employees’ Credit Union doing inside of Safeway?”  Before I even read the banner, I knew who it was.  Now, THAT’s good visual marketing.

Who else does a great job of visual marketing?  McDonald’s.  You see the big yellow “M” and who do you automatically think of?  Starbucks has done an incredible job with their visual marketing.  No matter what city you’re in, when you see the Starbucks symbol, a flash of recognition lights up in your head.

A common myth of visual marketing is that it has to be an incredibly stunning image.  True, this doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t have to be the best nor the most attractive.  It simply has to be consistent and different.

 So, take a second and ask yourself right now… “What is it about my business that makes me visually stand out?” For a moment, forget the fact that you’re the best agent in town.  Think visually. 

Now, look at the top and bottom of my e-mail.  See my zebra stripes?  I’m at the point now where I don’t even have to put my name on a piece of paper.  If I simply have a zebra stripe, chances are people know it’s me.

Denise Lones

Denise Lones CSP, MIRM The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things “real estate”.

Denise’s background in residential real estate sales and management includes an impressive list of awards. Using custom marketing campaigns and business development systems she personally created, she was consistently among the highest producing Realtors® in a marketplace of 3,000+ agents. Denise was the only agent in the State of Washington to be awarded the esteemed MIRM designation – the top national achievement for new home marketing. In 2004, Denise was awarded the prestigious Hugh Hawkins Instructor of the Year Award by the Washington Association of Realtors.

As a columnist for, Realty Times, the National Association of Home Builders, and the Washington Association of Realtors, Denise has a strong “voice” in the real estate community.

Denise is a certified instructor for many prominent trade groups and educational institutions, including the Washington Association of Realtors, Master Builders Association,, Washington State Department of Licensing, Windermere Real Estate, and the Washington State Housing and Finance Committee

With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.


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Sandy Nelson
Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. - Olympia, WA
your Olympia area Realtor


Glad to see you posting here again. You've done such an outstanding job in branding yourself. You're right, when I see zebra stripes I think Denise Lones. The layout of your blogging template looks great.


Oct 24, 2008 08:10 AM #1
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Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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