Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep! | Insights.

Welcome to Friday everyone! I have two things for us as we sweep this week & prepare for next (and beyond)…both of which I’ll speak to as “insights” as we get further into our 2023 together. The puzzle pieces are all out on the table from strategic planning, commitments, habits & crystal ball predictions – now we build; piece by piece.

Thru our Moxi toolbox we have a new program this year.  It’s called – you go it – “Insights” where business intelligence is combined with quick feature training modules that can have a big impact.  The plan is to do this at least once a month and I’ll post here as released. So, with that, here is our first…

Insight: Brokers using Neighborhood News do anywhere from 30% – 100%+ more transactions than non-users.

Now, is it Neighborhood News in and of itself that is driving this? I would argue no. Instead, use of Neighborhood News is an insight into Brokers with a commitment to a combination of activities in “flow” with their sphere. This insight is simply an indicator of working a plan – and in this case – an automated plan with your sphere (at your fingertips).

Click here to learn how easy it is to subscribe clients to Neighborhood News within your Engage, 2min video.

Well, it sure doesn’t look like we are turning our warm drinks into iced just yet and while we anticipate our spring market heating up I am sharing a handful of insights taken from a recent Luxury Portfolio webinar. While the deep dive featured the State of Lux Real Estate and 2023 predictions, the conversations and talking points apply to all price ranges – not just luxury.

Before I share these insights – please help me thank your peer, Broker Susan Stasik for putting these together for us. Susan continues to show up with her palpable collaborative spirit and drive for excellence thru service within our industry.

Full webinar here – a great line up of panelists!

A few highlights Susan pulled out for us…

  • Buyers are returning to quality and not glitz.
  • During International uncertainties, buyers want to invest and live in America and English-speaking countries. Cities like Seattle and Vancouver B.C.
  • GenXers are buying homes online sight unseen.
  • Site-unseen buyers want to buy from brands they trust.
  • As brokers, we can 1. Have great digital information. 2. Great social media presence. 3. Great websites with information. 4. Demonstrate trustworthiness. 5. Video. 6. Word of Mouth. 7. Google ads. 8. Podcasts. 9. Expert interviews. 10. Online reviews. 11. Point of contact (direct people to website and social media). 12. Have educational content, success stories, engaging content (interviews), show them what you are doing (being there) in videos and graphics, Social connecting – join a movement, be joyful, fun, make it fun, share it.

No doubt these insights will be good conversation & content to circulate during our meetings, networking, and roundtables. More reasons to commit to engagement this year – see you out there – in offices, on tour and the like; piece by piece.

And, as the webinar wrapped up, I too will wrap this week with this – “Stay hungry and stay alert” in 2023. I know I am.

– Laura

It’s Friday, let’s sweep the week! | responsiveness

Hello Friday! In looking back at this week I want to give space to another responsive concept to the market that helps Buyers focus more and more on the house and a tiny bit less on rate sensitivity. Lenders and clients are getting better at creative solutions.

As the market works itself towards more normalcy (yes, time will tell), to date we’ve see financed buyers successfully using ARMs or interest rate buy-downs. In transactions without competition, buyers are often negotiating for sellers to pay the cost of the buy-down. These buy-downs may be the tool that helps bring buyers and sellers together on price.

This week I was introduced to Penrith’s buy-now-refinance-later plan, which allows buyers to refinance their loan within three years of purchase if rates go down, and they can do this without paying the lender admin fee on the new loan, plus their appraisal fee would be significantly reduced for the refi.

Penrith Home Loans Adam Boss gave me a good reframe in refi consideration down the road:

“A good point to make for refinancing is something I picked up from Mathew Gardner

The old adage that rates need to be lower by 1% of your current rate to signal a refinance opportunity is no longer true.  

I ran the numbers @ 700,000 loan 6% vs 5.5% 

$4196.85 /mo   vs  $3974.52 /mo – that lowers the payment $222/mo   

Penrith’s Rate protection program fits nicely with this  strategy.”

If you aren’t yet connected with Penrith mortgage consultant on this – feel free to text me and I’ll make a warm introduction. 206.227.7133

And as we get further and further into 2023 I’ll have a focus in “back to basics” – as I strongly believe that is where we’ll need to be our best this year. Here to help with that every step of the way. – Laura

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | “Unreasonable Hospitality”

Before I get to a story from this week – sharing a foundational item that deserves a highlight as we set out further into 2023. When your real estate license is up for renewal AND so are your fingerprints – you will receive an email from the DOL roughly 4 months in advance that reads like this…

Your fingerprints expire on 10/27/2022 and it’s time to renew. Schedule your fingerprinting: Go to www.Identogo.com. Schedule and pay for your digital fingerprinting. Save the receipt number (you’ll need it for your license renewal). Questions? Need help? Real Estaterealestate@dol.wa.gov 360.664.6488 Thank you. Department of Licensing http://www.dol.wa.gov

Pro Tip! Go do this right away so that it doesn’t become a problem later! We’ve had a few lag issues in license renewals based on not knowing or forgetting fingerprints were also up for renewal. It is not an overnight thing – often weeks to have fingerprints reviewed and in the system – thus weeks in lag before your license is renewed.

Ok, onto a story to wrap this week – actually an excerpt out of my new read. I’ve been waiting for this book to drop and yes, it arrived this week and now on audible…

Many of you might remember me getting on a high horse about hospitality within our business last year and I remain in that space whereas I feel strongly the things our clients wouldn’t expect from us (those little things that surprise & delight) are what truly set your business apart from others. The technical excellence of real estate is expected from all of us. The excerpt below comes from the restaurant business yet it makes my point…

…”They primed every one of us to seek out new ways to make our guests’ experiences a little more seamless, relaxing, and delightful. And so, the first time a guest mentioned she was going to have to get up, mid meal, to feed the meter a few blocks away, it was natural for us to offer to do that for her.

…”Eventually, that gesture became one of our steps of service. The host would ask guests, “How’d you get here tonight?” If they responded, “Oh, we drove,” he’d follow up with, “Cool” Where’d you park?” If they told him they were by a meter on the street, he asked which car was theirs so one of us could run out and drop a couple of quarters into the box while they are dining.”

…”This gesture was the definition of a grace note, a sweet but nonessential addition to your experience. It was an act of hospitality that didn’t even take place within the walls of the restaurant! But this simple gift – worth fifty cents – blew people’s minds.”

As we sink our teeth further into 2023, where will we provide a consistent grace note that will have your audiences telling their audiences about you? Now THAT is swimming in abundance!

Ps, for anyone wanting to join my book of the month club – text me (206.227.7133), I’ll add you! Hint hint: this is our next book;)

Welcome to the wrap of this week – I’m already looking forward to next! But first, go Seahawks!

And, I think I’ll go track down two quarters this weekend and put them in my pocket to remind me of meaningful grace notes. Let’s blow some minds in 2023…

Your fan, Laura

A reminder of Computation of Time this week & next…

For those of you currently transacting, a reminder of Computation of Time this week and next!

Did you know? Whenever any legal holiday falls upon a Sunday, the following Monday shall be the legal holiday.

When computing time for purchase and sales agreements, please regard Monday, December 26th & Monday, January 2nd as legal holidays. Because Christmas & New Year’s Day fall on a Sunday this year, the following Mondays area legal holiday under Washington law.

Hope this helps! – Laura

Home for the holidays. Wishing each of us…

Wishing each of us the ability to set everything down during the holidays and to find peace in the moments. Pause reflection. Pause planning. Pause the hustle. Pause the bustle. Be right here for the holidays. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and each other. – Laura

A beautiful announcement! “we are far from over…” – Tuna

I will never forget our 2022 Windermere Foundation Gala and I will never forget the emotions I witnessed as above pictured from our fearless leaders who helped drive tirelessly the end result for this year. Christine Wood (aka, Tuna) and Franny Wood – no words can describe well how I feel about this picture…

To everyone, as beautifully announced this week – we did indeed take the $50M in our 50th year challenge head on. It took our entire network coming together to made it happen. I can’t shake the goosebumps I have in arriving to this number. And yet, it is certainly more than a number; it is a reflection of collective generosity, relentless care & focus from each of you, our clients and each of our offices at the hyper local level. Every dollar, every transaction, every event – everything got us here.

It does not go unseen in your efforts & choosing Windermere as your business partner.  You are gold.

Cheers to you. Cheers to us. Cheers to the lives impacted. Cheers to collective generosity.


…we are far from over…” – Tuna

This week! | The magic of the season.

The @rainierclub did not disappoint this week to again gather & celebrate the year & magic of the season! We filled this iconic Seattle building with fireside chats, festive food, holiday attire (we clean up nicely!) and a beverage in hand – does it get any better? Oh, yes it does – the people – always the best ingredient of a good party!

While the magic of the holiday season comes in all shapes and sizes after gatherings being paused in our recent past, I raise a glass with each and every one of you. May you bring back that one tradition, that one gathering, that one feeling, that one extra peaceful pause between the hustle and bustle to soak it in.

As we anticipate new beginnings in a New Year being it is too a reflective period of all things. It’s naturally a time of taking inventory (not just gifting) of the people we choose to surround ourselves with. The gift of community tops my list this year.

My heart is full, ok- frankly – spilling over after this week. And look! I even got to talk with Santa. Life is good (thank you, Lyle George)

Cheers, to you. Cheers, to us. – Laura

ps, thank you Casey Holme & Anita Italiane Hearl for the blog pictures!

It’s Sunday, let’s talk local tech workers…

After a long holiday weekend I prepare for the week(s) ahead. Topics on my mind are the headlines around local tech companies, layoffs and real estate. Catching up on my reading this morning led my to Windermere broker Sol Villarreal‘s Civic Minute (the best Sunday reading in town). I’ve taken two excerpts below to amplify headlines and commentary from Sol – a very thoughtful guy who cares deeply about our region. Ps, if you’d like Sol’s Civic Minute to hit your mailbox each Sunday morning too – ping him, he’d be happy to add you: sol@windermere.com

Local tech companies continued to announce layoffs last week, while the state’s most recent unemployment data from October showed other industries adding jobs and the statewide unemployment rate remaining flat at 3.8%. For perspective, the roughly 18,000 planned tech layoffs that have been announced so far (only 5,900 of which showed up in the October unemployment data) represent just under 4% of the state’s tech workforce, and Amazon’s 10,000 layoffs will represent just 1% of the company’s total employees and 3% of its corporate employees; during the dot-com bust in the early 2000s, the tech sector lost around 10.5% of its jobs. [Seattle TimesGeekWire]

Gene Balk, (aka, Seattle Times FYI Guy) looked at the demographic and geographic distribution of tech workers in King County and put together a great countywide map showing the concentration of tech workers in each census tract. The map very clearly shows that aside from the area right around Amazon’s South Lake Union campus there are very few census tracts in the city in which tech workers make up more than 5-10% of the total population of employees, whereas the Eastside has a large number of census tracts in which 25-50% of employees work for tech companies. This likely helps to explain at least part of the huge divergence between home prices in Seattle and the Eastside in the last two years (before which they largely moved in the same directions at the same time), which saw home price growth on the Eastside eclipse home price growth in Seattle last year but then decline in the last 6 months at a much steeper rate, tracking well with the overall explosion in profits, stock prices etc. in the tech industry last year followed by the outsized impact on the tech sector of rising interest rates and a general stock market decline this year. Seattle’s home price growth, while not as strong last year as the Eastside’s, has been much steadier overall and as of last month is still at +20.3% year to date, vs. -10.9% year to date for the Eastside, likely owing in part to the fact that our real estate sector is less heavily dependent on tech workers than the Eastside’s. [Seattle Times]

Back to the offices I go tomorrow with a strong year-end wrap and planning focus for a New Year. I hope you each found pause and THANKS within Thanksgiving last week. Let all carry us thru year-end together.


Ps, a refresher from the NWMLS below around TOMK status and Listing Agreements Expiring at end of year…

Taking Listings TOMK for the Holidays or Listing Agreement Expiring at the End of the Year?

Please Complete & Send Form 19 to NWMLS

Does your seller want to take their property off the market for the holidays?  

If the seller would like to take their property temporarily off the market (TOMK) for the holidays:

  • Please complete Form 19 (Status Change Input Sheet) with the seller. Note that a listing must be in the TOMK status for at least seven (7) days and may not be TOMK for more than forty-five (45) days.

Is your listing agreement expiring at the end of the year?

If your listing agreement will expire on December 31st, please remember to check with the seller and decide if they would like to extend the expiration date:

  • To extend the expiration date while still Active, Contingent, Pending (all types) or TOMK, please complete Form 19 (Status Change Input Sheet) with the seller.

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | “adjust the sails for the current wind”

This week in my offices we’ve been working to, as broker Kristin Munger coined – “adjust the sails for the current wind” thru getting really good at discovering the micro markets thru stats. As I prepped for today’s post I am also fully entrenched in planning for 2023 and as I sat with that quote today it is too reflective of the natural business planning season we are all in or will be shortly.

Today’s post is focused on two tools in planning...

As we play architect with our business planning, no one plan nor one planner works for all. I will offer my planner here for anyone ready to carve out time away from distraction and commit to you and your next year. This link will take you to my website – the planner lives under the resources tab.

And what about for those of you who are feeling anxious about the market? Windermere Eastlake co-manager Dina Harvey Jardine dusted off a power packed exercise this week with her brokers. And now it is in your hands – video here.

…ps, what came from Dina’s group now hangs on the wall by her desk. This is in lock step with the importance of writing things down (aka, a plan) yet equally (if not more) keep it visual for you as a reminder. I challenge anyone willing to plan for the New Year to keep what you pen handy and yes, another secret – share it with somebody – that keeps us on track!

Luck is what happens with preparation meets opportunity” I’m not sure who penned this quote yet I love it! Sharing in the season of planning with all of you. Where are the opportunities in 2023 for you? Wishing each of you a sprinkling of luck to see them all thru…

And, along the way – keep focused on what you can control.

All in, for planning. – Laura