Welcome to Friday, let’s plan! | If you can dream it, we can find it. All in, for you.


passion + belief + determination + risk taking + entrepreneurial mindset + courage + vision + discipline + adapt + instinct + inspire + learn

These words continue to come to mind when I think of what success looks like in real estate. They are key ingredients. As we wrap up 2019, I’ve assembled a simplified business planner along with additional resources should you choose to go even deeper in your preparation. My planner has been pared-down from 12 pages to 1!

No greater gift can we give ourselves in planning is to plan as a business owner; this is exactly what you are. What I’ve assembled are tools to assist in checking in on your vital signs; the health of your business.

A review of what you’ve currently been doing and the results that followed.

Your strengths (amplify those!)

Your weaknesses (delegate?)

What worked? (do more of)

What didn’t? (do less of – even stop doing)

Is your “why” clear?

Key objectives and targets moving forward.

Does the size of your database align with your financial goals?

No one size fits all in planning – as a plan is uniquely yours. What does “fit all” is that those with a plan + those committed to working that plan = will find success vs those without a plan. Once you establish clarity in your plan, the “how” will follow. We’ve proven this out this out time and time again. Focus on the right activities in alignment with a strong mindset and the results will follow.

If you’d like me to email you my 2020 planner, just ask. Send me a quick text or email: 206.227.7133 | laurasmith@windermere.com

Where will you SHIFT in 2020? I’m excited to find out. I’m excited to help you along the way. I’m all in, for you.


People First. Business Second.

Laura Smith | Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.


Thanksgiving Edition :: common days + ordinary blessings


Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

Headed to the our family’s beach home on Whidbey Island. I’ll be spending these next days and all moments focused on gratitude, family, nature, preparing food, enjoying food, football, family games, laughter and the ultimate…hitting “pause” on everything else. May your “pause” button be surrounded by “common days” and “ordinary blessings” that surround us each day, when we choose to look and create beautiful days.

To put the final fixings on this week, sharing two written pieces that have inspired me of late; bring perspective as we head into our thanksgivings.

Kudos to Sand Point broker, Edward Krigsman’s wife Brooke Pinkham; an amazing attorney, educator and tireless advocate for Native people, for her thoughtful article published on the occasion of Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month in Seattle’s Child magazine. Awesome resources for parents and educators here.

A special shout out to my cousin, Abby Lane – a human that inspired me to begin blogging 176 posts ago. She has just returned from her “wildest dream” in Africa and I will spend my next few days at the beach with her reconnecting. I share her final blog post from Africa – an example of bringing perspective to our common days and ordinary blessings. Warning: I needed a few tissues to get through this one. Trust your rebel heart, take the road less traveled.

All in, for gratitude.

All in, for you.




People First. Business Second.

Laura Smith | Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep! | by the #’s = gaining trust


Welcome to Friday! As we approach year end, it becomes a time to gather. And with gathering, people will naturally ask you about the market. Real estate – different than so many topics – is and has always been a social topic. It effects everyone in some capacity. With that, this is a good time of year to be able to digest the #’s, understand the #’s and share the #’s. Thru your storytelling (art) and back-uped by the #’s (science) you will gain further trust with your people.

And oh, by the way – a reminder in your first response when you are asked that juicy “how is the market” question:

Don’t say:I’m so busy” (no one really wants to hear that).

Do say:great question, which market are you asking about?” (the conversation then meets them where they are at in actual inquiry and becomes all about them (not you).


Below are the talking points associated with our Seattle Residential and Condominium Report now available for you. As always, windermerestats is password protected: your office has the password or text me anytime, 206.227.7133

*Data current thru October 2019*

*Pages referenced below corresponds with full Seattle Report*

• Interest rates down over one point to 3.69% from 4.83% last year [see page #5].

Note: I already refinanced this year and have been in my new home less than one year. Who in your database could use this information and may not be thinking about a refi? Might as well be you to let them know!

Fun fact: A one percent change in interest rate is a 10% change in purchase price.

• Inventory is down 9% from a year ago (1,722 vs. 1,954). It is also up 212% from 2017 (810). [see page #1 + #8]

• Months Supply of Inventory is 1.8 vs. 2.2 in 2018 and 0.8 in 2017. [see page #1 + #8]

Spring 2020 should be somewhere between spring of 2019 and 2018…

Spring 2019 = 26% of sales over list price by median of 4%

Spring 2018 = 60% of sales over list price by median of 10%

There you have it, FWL by the #’s! How will you gain trust one conversation at a time by knowing the market #’s? Let’s enjoy this time of year as we gather with our people.

As Steve Harney likes to say on repeat, bring your heart of a teacher as keeping current – really does matter…

Keeping Current Matters monthly market update is also ready for your to digest – listen, watch, read, share. All right here – 27 minutes in total. Don’t have a KCM account, text me – give mine a spin! 206.227.7133

All in, for you.


People First. Business Second.

Laura Smith | Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! |”…but you will know and I will know”


Welcome to Friday! The last couple of week’s I’ve been focused on sharing digestible bites from this year’s Windermere Summit. I’ve shared with you my Top Ten list. #10 is worth expanding on, as promised…

#10 “but you will know and I will know” story – a Steve Jobs story about painting a fence.  A story about excellence.

I’m going to retell a story I heard on stage from one of our speakers that intrigued me. Note: I’m retelling it to the best of my knowledge – the details may not be 100% accurate however the overarching lesson is worth sharing.

Author Walter Isaacson was asked on several occasions by Steve Jobs to write his biography. Walter Isaacson – whom had penned the biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein – on several occasions deflected the idea of this request and told him, “maybe when you are closer to retirement.”

Early 2009, Steve Jobs’ wife called Mr Isaacson and said “if you are ever to write Steve’s biography, you’d better do it now” as Steve’s cancer was increasingly getting worse. New Years eve of 2009, Steve Jobs called Walter Isaacson – in a very reflective mood – and they began what would become the biography, “Steve Jobs.” > a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. *ps, I’m listening to the book right now!

One one of their long walks together, Walter and Steve walked the property of Steve’s childhood home. He pointed out the fence his father built. His father had too given him a hammer so he could work with him. As they were wrapping up painting that fence some 50 odd years ago, Steve thought they were done. They had painted at that point the inside of the fence. Steve was surprised to find out that they had the backside of the fence to paint. When he asked his dad about why they would need to continue because in Steve’s mind – no one will see the other side. His dad replied…

but you will know and I will know.

This lesson was firmly implanted deeply within Steve Jobs. His father loved doing things right. He cared about the look of the things you couldn’t see. Fast forward to the release of the first iPhone – you know, that business that started in Steve Job’s parent’s garage – yes that one!

Steve asked to see the first iPhone before the release. One of his techies brought it to him. Steve asked that the backside of the iPhone be taken off so he could see this inside. He looked at it. He referenced, “this is a mess.” The techie referenced, but Steve “no one will see the inside.”  Steve’s reply…

but you will know and I will know.

As Steve Job’s biography clearly depicts, he saw his products as an extension of himself. And yes, that “mess” was cleaned up before the release of the first iPhone – certainly caused a delay in coming to market.

Ok, back to us. As we look to 2020 and as we continue with a theme of SHIFT, where might your “product” become more of an extension of yourself. For me, I will double down in my mantra of people first, business second. The rest will take care of itself. How will we continue our story of excellence?

All in, for you.


People First. Business Second.

Laura Smith | Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Side note on setting a goal: Steve Job’s overarching goal was to create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive them. Did he succeed in his goal? I’d say so.

Welcome to Sunday, let’s sweep! | Top Ten from WRE Summit 2019


Welcome to Sunday evening after returning home from Spokane – home base for Windermere’s first annual Summit! I spent Thursday + Friday with 300 [sell out!] of our brokers across the network inside an environment committed to learning and doing. As we moved thru our TedTalk style event I pieced together a Top Ten. Looking forward to continued conversation in + around these digestible bites as we all prepare for seeing clearly in 2020.

Ps, if you make it to the end of the Top Ten list – a special announcement awaits you. Put aside a few more pennies for Windermere Symposium next year. I know I am, it will be worth its! Hint hint: pool party.

 “SHIFT” was the theme for our WRE Summit > In order to be responsible in a shifting world, we need to be ready to adapt to the needs of those whom we are influencing. 

 A rundown of our incredible lineup of speakers:

From Handshake to Hashtag – Understanding our Shifting TimesPhil GwokeDisruptors vs Innovators – A Shifting PerspectiveOB Jacobi + York BaurPitfalls of a “Normal” Market: Are you Prepared?Matthew GardnerWho’s Got Next? Shifting the Way We Lead Clients and ColleaguesPhil GwokeHow We See the World is How We Interpret the WorldKevin ParkerFlopportunity: Creating Resilience in Your Personal and Business LifeJustin RiordanUnlock Your PotentialRachel O’RourkeChange is Possibility – How to be “All In”Michael FanningWhen Generations Connect – Embracing the Strength of “All In”Phil Gwoke

 Where you will you SHIFT in 2020?

Let’s go! All in, for you.

1. 4.4 is the industry average in # of transactions sides per broker (NAR), per year; 12.7 per broker within our Windermere network.

2. Data inside of our Windermere tools shows brokers using Windermere tools are yielding 40% more transactions. That said: what are the best tools within the real estate industry? Answer is: the ones you will use. *Be sure you are using technology to reinforce relationships and bring efficiency to the client.

3. Were you selling real estate in 1999? If so, you saw the last “normal” market. It’s been 20 years. We are moving back to normal. Our industry will need to help both buyers and sellers bridge gaps in expectations. It will take a collective effort.

4. If you are not (yet) working with millennials, start now. Our abilities to work across different generations is more important than ever. You’ll need to “shift” in communication styles and approach. *anyone recall what “tl;dr” stands for?

5. Know your stuff. Be the resource.

6. Be one step ahead of your client.

7. Ask for their story, live on their interior.

8. Design a customized experience for each client. Become their partner.

9. Our moods are contagious. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.

10. “but you will know and I will know” story – a Steve Jobs story about painting a fence *this will be next week’s blog post.  A story about excellence.

I certainly realize the above Top Ten will mean more to those that were able to join us in Spokane. It really is about being there and digesting the content as shared on stage and with a mic. On that note…

 …it’s time to share our next big gathering Windermere network wide. Join our larger network in Hawaii in 2020 and create your own Top Ten list!

Special Announcement! 2020 Windermere Symposium in Hawaii!

Host location: Fairmont Orchid, Big Island

Save the dates: October 7, 8, 9 2020

 Where will you “shift” in 2020?

People first. Business second.


Laura Smith | Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.


*It’s Thursday! I’m on a plane!*


It’s Thursday and I’m boarding a plane! Why do I share this? Be on the lookout for my Friday sweep blog post. Preparing a Top 10 from this year’s Windermere Summit. A sneak peek at my next 48 hours. I’m a wee bit concerned my head is going to explode. I’ll do my best to put my Top 10 in digestible bites on the return flight tomorrow!

Ps, if you are joining us in Spokane, please share your favorite digestible bites over these next 48 hours within the comment section of tomorrow’s blog post. Let’s start a conversation. Where will you shift as you prepare to see 20/20 in 2020? It starts now, not in the New Year.

From Handshake to Hashtag – Understanding our Shifting TimesPhil Gwoke

Disruptors vs Innovators – A Shifting PerspectiveOB Jacobi + York Baur

Pitfalls of a “Normal” Market: Are you Prepared?Matthew Gardner

Who’s Got Next? Shifting the Way We Lead Clients and ColleaguesPhil Gwoke

How We See the World is How We Interpret the WorldKevin Parker

Flopportunity: Creating Resilience in Your Personal and Business LifeJustin Riordan

Unlock Your PotentialRachel O’Rourke

Change is Possibility – How to be “All In”Michael Fanning

When Generations Connect – Embracing the Strength of “All In”Phil Gwoke

It’s a beautiful day for a quick flight to Spokane! Wheels ups, heading East!

Let’s go! All in, for you.


It’s Friday, let’s sweep! |When will the next recession begin? Answer is…

Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep! This week I started out at our Eastlake office and shared the below content for discussion. As real estate professionals, people turn to us as one source for how economics impact the market and yet what they really want to know is how do market conditions impact me. When we speak to the “R” word = recession = it is important our vernacular is framed with an educated lens. We all remember the “Great Recession” – it was big. Let’s look at how Steve Harney and his Keeping Current Matters team is educating with respect to this juicy question, “When will the next recession be?

Let’s digest what Steve Harney has to say, in his words below paired with visuals below…


“And we’re going to start, as we always do, right with the news. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to give you a little bit of an update. The Wall Street Journal did a survey of economists and asked a question. When will the next recession begin? As you know, we want to keep you updated on that. We think that’s going to be a big issue. We don’t think the recession is going to cause much challenges in the market, but we are afraid it’s going to cause concern in the market. Meaning, I don’t think the recession is going to be anything like 2008. Morgan Housel said, “It might be over before we realized it began.” But, I’m a little nervous about people panicking over it since there’s so much talk to it, especially coming into a presidential election year. But, the Wall Street Journal did survey over 36 economists, and we added their results to our chart, which you have right in front of you now. So, we have four major surveys done by four major entities, the Pulsenomics survey, the Duke University survey, the National Association of Business Economics survey, and the Wall Street Journal survey:


So, there it is. You have that there, as you can see. And we lumped it together on the next slide. The almost 47 percent, 46.9 percent, think that the recession is going to occur before the end of next year, with another 28 percent saying it’s going to occur sometime in 2021, and much of that was early 2021. So, what we’re talking about is in the next 18 to 24 months, the vast majority of those analysts and economists surveyed think we’re coming to an economic slowdown.


Now, remember, I always want you to include this slide (below). Every time I’m talking about the recession, I’ll include this slide. You’re going to get sick and tired of this slide that’s how many times we’re going to include it. This is your home price change during the last five recessions. And obviously, in 2008, the recession of 2008, prices dropped dramatically because the number one trigger of that recession was housing crash and the number two trigger was a mortgage market meltdown.


So, of course, it impacted the housing industry because it was the housing industry that caused the recession. But, if we look at the four of the five recessions prior to that, home values actually went up, and the only time they didn’t, they went down by less than two percent. So, we don’t see prices dropping. If you have buyers, whether they be a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer, that are waiting for prices to come tumbling down before they buy, let them know that’s not happening. As a matter of fact, we have the Projected Home Price Percentage Appreciation Going Forward by six major entities, the Home Price Expectations Survey, the Mortgage Bankers Association, Zelman and Associates, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and Fannie Mae. And you can see that as far out as they project, some four years, most two years, as far as they project, they’re still looking at appreciation. There are no red numbers there. So, no one is projecting, even those economists that said that there’s an economic slowdown coming, are not projecting that prices are going to be impacted to a level that they’re going to start to depreciate. Appreciation has been decelerating, meaning we aren’t appreciating at the same levels that we have over the last couple of years. But, even that might change. Here’s the Forecasted Year-OverYear Change in Price by CoreLogic. Last year, the last 12 months, according to CoreLogic, prices went up 3.6 percent. But, they’re projecting that over the next 12 months – and here’s the breakdown by state – they’re projecting that prices will go up 4.5 percent. So, they’re really seeing a reacceleration of pricing. And I think that you’re going to see, in their next report, that that number is going to be over five percent. Again, there’s a lack of inventory with interest rates being so low. Buyers are out there. So now, that’s that supply and demand situation again.”

Ok, Laura’s voice returns here to this blog post! If you’d like to listen, read and digest the full 2019 Keeping Current Matters October report and do not have a KCM account – text me,  happy to give you access for a test drive. These reports come out after the 10th of each month and it is where I always start in digesting the macro news and industry updates.

Don’t yet have my cell # number plugged in? 206.227.7133

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for reading along and staying current, it matters.

In partnership with you, as so grateful to be.

Laura Smith | Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.