Welcome to Saturday| part II this week

Hello Saturday morning! As shared yesterday in Part I in a sweep of this week (weekend essentials) here is Part II along with that 5 minute cup of coffee – here.

I was asked the below question for a response inside a Windermere Insights blog and it become the perfect tie into content to which I wanted to share with you as we continue to set focus early in the year in moving the market and helping people amidst inventory levels being our market challenge.

*yes, I acknowledge from the get go here – condominium inventory is not necessarily a challenge (a market challenging in other ways). Windermere Wedgwood broker, Cisca Wery coined it perfectly this week as she is “finding a way to balance between the two barbells of the market. Kind of like Main Street economy vs the stock market? Different worlds.

Q: Assuming inventory remains as tight as it is now, what can your brokers do to help their buyers find additional housing options? My Answer:

A: In short, the answer is to help identify more homeowners willing to sell. We are coaching brokers on how to uncover more potential inventory by doing equity analyses with homeowners. The lens of education is key here – educating prospective sellers about their equity, their home’s market prospects, what it will take to get their home prepared for market, etc. This way more prospective sellers will be able to make informed, confident decisions.

We have a program – Windermere Ready – that helps sellers prepare their homes for market with minimal effort and no upfront costs. We also have a fantastic bridge loan product that enables sellers to make their next move before selling their current residence. So if some homeowners don’t feel fully empowered as prospective sellers (or buyers), our brokers have access to programs and tools that will boost their clients’ confidence as they consider entering the market.

…so, for all of us – the real answer becomes: what can we do to engage in activities that create conversation starters for & with more people who need that extra nudge to evaluate if this is the time they should be selling their home. Here are a handful of activities we know that work. Where can you add them into your efforts in educating your people that know + like + trust you? Ps, these activities naturally amplify that “trust” in you – making you their go-to referral broker to amongst friends, family & co-workers.

A monthly automated option; set it and forget it option? Neighborhood News. Need help?

The newest video is on the Hub under my Tuesdays with Todd.  Here’s a link: https://vimeo.com/412454199
Todd also did a second video on how to edit a NN subscription: https://vimeo.com/455878920

Fun fact around Neighborhood News? As one of my offices evaluated NN this week with respect to the correlation between a broker’s annual GCI and their Neighborhood News subscriptions. Answer in 2020 is: The top 1/3 of users in the office earned 2.15x more GCI then the lowest 1/3 of users.

Annual Property Reviews. If you don’t yet have these in your activity playbook each week, 2021 is your year and I am going to make this easier for you along the way. Over the next couple of weeks I will provide a deeper dive in what to include, how to create and how to deliver. Done right & consistently, providing annual property reviews can have the highest return on your investment. The end goal, as described above, provides a conversation starter (less about the home – more about creating a possible next step); an opportunity for someone to raise their hand and ask for more information & more guidance from you. Ps, you also become much more likely to receive referrals from this activity. Gold.

Note: if you aren’t yet comfortable with your Moxi Present tool – start there. You’ll thank me later – I promise! Hint hint: this is where you’ll want to create & maintain your Property Review template.

Todd’s most recent video on Moxi Present here.

What have you noticed with the two activities above? They are focused on education. They become conversation starters. They help your people move beyond headlines from general media sources and instead gets to the heart of the matter = them. Do make sure you have a digital option at least monthly to provide a touch of education. What was the true intention of social media? Answer is: start a conversation. How are you doing that? Below is a sample (Seattle Residential, January 2021) – which I have seen many of you providing “socially” – well done!

Ok, everyone – back to Saturday we go! Enjoy the cup of coffee, pour someone else a cup an unforgettable cup of coffee and we’ll connect again next week. And oh, in 2021 I’m going to start a virtual book club. More details too follows. First FWL pick? “It Takes What It Takes” – Trevor Moawad. Yes, his name might sound familiar – keynote speaker on January 26th at our Windermere 2021 Kickoff event. #RESET

That’s a wrap for this week. All IN. – Laura

Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep | Part I of II: the essentials for the weekend

Welcome to Friday everyone! And for those in my neck of the woods; the sun is out! As Madison Park Broker, Veronique Hval just said to me, “I feel like moss is ready to grow on me.” Hilarious. Let’s go shake that!

This post is Part I of II this week in a FWL sweep; Part II coming to you on Saturday morning with your cup of coffee. After a full week back in office meetings, I have a lot to say in recap – yet going into the weekend I want to fill your cup with the essentials – literally! Coffee included.

As we head into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, regard this Monday January 18th as a legal holiday with respect to Computation of Time. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a legal holiday under Washington law.

Next on my agenda today? Find an envelope, find a stamp, find an old fashioned check and send in my estimated tax to the United States Treasury. Yup, January 15th, 2021 is here. Wow!

…and how about serving up an unforgettable cup of coffee? You just never knows who needs one? And heck, I’m always here to serve up your favorite order! A 5 minute cup of coffee here.

FWL, Part II will be served up tomorrow, Saturday morning. – Laura

Welcome to Friday, hello 2021

Have you officially hit the reset button? I have – and – we are here to help with that early in the New Year; specifically Tuesday, January 26th, 2021. Details of our reset button together:

10:00am – 11:30am

Welcome: State of the Union/Services Update

Keynote: Tevor Moawad, “Limitless Minds”

Economic Forecast: Matthew Gardner

Trevor Moawad

Renowned Mental Conditioning Expert

Trevor Moawad is a renowned Mental Conditioning expert and strategic advisor to some of the world’s most elite performers. In 2017, Trevor was named the “Sports World’s Best Brain Trainer” by Sports Illustrated. From Ft. Bragg to Harvard Business School, from elite Quarterbacks to top level CEOs. Moawad’s mission is clear – to motivate the motivated.

Trevor Moawad recently partnered with Russell Wilson to form Limitless Minds whose mission is to both optimize performance and enrich culture within some of the world’s top organizations and elite performers.

Generosity & Gratitude; a stunning relationship between the two.

An idea worth spreading (for some of you, an idea to amplify), by Simon Sinek. I know, why is Laura sharing a video from 2020? – that is so yesterday! Maybe. In this case, not so much. I believe this is a perfect moment in time, that if we all took inventory of who was “giving” to each of us in 2020 (in any way), that right now is the the time to thank them. Why? Two things – 1. Easy meaningful engagement with our people and 2. Well, Simon says so…(video clip from IG under 2 minutes):

Continue to take care of yourself, continue to take care of each other. And yes, if you haven’t yet hit the reset button on the new year – let’s do that too. “See” you on the 26th to aid in that!

Next Friday we’ll get back to market chatter, identify ways to move the needle (inventory please!) and help a whole lot of people in 2021. Hello 2021, we are ready for you. – Laura

Welcome to Saturday, let’s sweep | the good, the bad, the ugly +…

Before I sweep this week, a reminder that on December 8th, Gov. Inslee announced a three week extension of our restrictions put in place to curb the surge in new COVID-19 cases. These restrictions are now effective through Monday, January 4th. Yup, by the time we relook at any change, it will have a 2021 on it.

Extended Through January 4th Real Estate Restrictions

  • In-person open houses are not permitted.
  • Brokers must work from home when possible.
  • Real estate offices must be closed to the general public and occupancy must be limited to 25% of maximum capacity

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – [7th annual] – Best & Worst in Marketing in 2020 – with Valerie Garcia

If you missed yesterday’s FB live webinar – here’s the full replay. For those of you who want a cliff note version, here are 5 things we can ask ourselves to be sure we don’t end up on Valerie’s “ugly” list for 2021!

WHO am I talking to?

Does this add value?

Will this help them?

Will it make them smile?

Is this how I would want to be marketed to?

Talk about the “good list”! We are in the good company of Inman’s Person of the Year!

I would be remiss not to give a very special shout out to our colleagues Anne & Dave Jones! During the Inman Connect Now event on December 17, Windermere Abode owners, Anne and Dave Jones were awarded Inman’s “Person of the Year”! Inman gives this award each year to recognize the efforts of everyday Realtors who are making a difference in the real estate industry and in their communities. Anne and Dave have shown steadfast leadership amid the many crises of 2020. From feeding children every week in their local community to speaking up for greater social justice, Anne and Dave continuously use their voices to make a difference. Inman put it best when they said Anne and Dave epitomize the best our industry has to offer.

Please join me in congratulating Anne and Dave!

Read Inman’s story about Anne and Dave here (requires subscription). *don’t have a subscription and want to see full article – text me: 206.227.7133

Phone: sunrise on Whidbey Island, December 2 2020

This will be the last FWL post of 2020 – thank you for being the people I look forward to writing for every week. It brings me absolute joy every single week; even the tough conversations – we’ve had plenty of them in 2020. It’s been all of it – good, bad, ugly and this was one place space I could count on – a rhythm to which helped me endure. My commitment to this weekly cadence is much like the way each season moves us along throughout the year. There is peace in rhythm. There is security and predictability. Much like a sunrise and a sunset. And for each sunrise and sunset in 2020 it provided a place for me to know everything is going to be ok. I hope the consistency in my writing has provided you a place for predictability and something you could count on. The next post will be January 1, 2021. We will again “lean into the rhythm of our lives because they give us a sense of place in our story, clueing us in to where we’ve been and where we might expect to go…” – quote from an essay “on rhythm” a dear friend sent me today while sipping my coffee.

Where will we go in 2021? Wherever your and our story takes us; we’ll “go” together.

Signing off from Fridays with Laura for 2020.

All in, for together. All in, for 2021. All in, for our story.

It’s Friday, let’s shop! | And oh, if 2020 was a musical…

Photo credits throughout this post go to McIntosh Art Co.

…what would that musical look, sound & feel like? Oh wait, it’s been done for us. Welcome to Friday, as we anticipate the rest of the holiday season, shopping local and soon turn the page to a New Year. Turn up your speaker volume (and for me, I needed a little room to dance around my kitchen to this (almost) Broadway show: “2020: The Musical” – Jimmy Fallon and Andrew Rannells Recap the Year with Broadway Songs.

Live local. Shop local. Give local.

[Updated list of your local favorites shops as of 12.11 – new additions above the pink door]

I fell back in love with my city for the 4th week in a row…by shopping! Or better yet, by asking the social inter-webs where you all love to shop locally. And you again delivered!

Tis’ the season – believe it or not the holiday season is upon us in 2020. Now, more than ever, I’m doing my best to change my habits and shop locally. I do believe we can make a difference in supporting our smaller & local retailers who have made Seattle, Seattle.

Late November I lobbed a FB post out there…”Seattle! What will be your favorite spots to shop local this holiday season?” Your answers were too good not to share and I am grateful it has already inspired many to pivot their holiday gifting, shopping and giving to local.

Miir has it right, on their homepage, “Do Great Things with Great Love – meaningful giving made simple…” As I pen this blog post, I truly did fall back in love with my city and I am committed to seeing it’s vibrance resurge.

Note: some retailers are on-line only, some you can pop by (limited capacity) and heck, don’t forget gift cards that too will support the collective effort. What shops do you want to see make it post pandemic?

…and, throughout the holiday season I’ve been updating this post as I stumble upon more local finds & the people behind them. Come back soon, come back often, let’s inspire each other in our gifting habits and play a role in how we’d like to witness Seattle’s resurgence. Let’s get shopping.

Here are the additions – inspired by YOUthis week (everything from previous 3 weeks below the pink door!):

Sip and Ship

Brimmer and Heeltap

Seven Hills Running Shop

Alair Seattle Gift Shop

Snapdoodle Toys


Home Cake Decorating Supply Co

Pike Place Market

The Old Ballard Catering co (aka, The Counter)

Bus Stop Expresso

Brick + Mortar

Ridge Pizza


Ida Loves Dresses

…The Emerald Palate also put together a list of an Insider’s Guide to the Best Seattle Gift Shops

…and King 5 put together this list: 2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Washington-made gifts for everyone on your list.

Edit *day trip to Whidbey anyone? If so, check out Prima Bistro, Saltwater & Seabiscuit Bakery

Salt Blade

Wally Pets Supplies Wallingford

City People’s Mercantile


Cloud City Coffee

The Acorn Shop

University Bookstore

Math & Stuff

Seattle Coin Shop

Labels Consignment Shop

Seatown Sweets

Sskein (pronounced skayn)

Bottle House

Easy Monkey Taphouse

Handmade Showroom

Winemaker, Lisa Callan Callan Cellers

Market Street Shoes

Opus Co. *currently featuring cocktails to go

Bakers on Sunset Hill *rumor has it, best Manhattan in town!

Eight Generation

Top Pot Doughnuts

Archie McPhee

Carmilia’s in West Seattle

Seattle Yarn

Martha E Harris in Madison Park

Seattle Candle Company


Deep Sea Sugar & Salt

Gray Pants Studio

Queen Anne Dispatch

All the Best Pet Care

Kari Gran skin care (former Windermere brokers, Kari Gran & Lisa Strain!)

A Bit of Taste Queen Anne Olive Oil Co.

Jarbo Madison Madison Valley & Bellevue

Filson Stadium District


Salt House Mercantile

Eat Sea Creatures, Renee Erickson’s restaurants and Larder

Made in Washington

Les Amis

The Woolly Mammoth

Coro by Salumi




Savor Seattle – Iconic Market Box is a collection of your favorite Pike Place Market vendors


Book Larder


Studio RA Boutique


NW Art and Frame


Husky Deli


Pegasus Book Exchange

Paper Boat Booksellers


Watson Kennedy


Big Johns PFI

Madison Books

Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets

McIntosh Art Co.

Third Place Books

Retail Therapy

LUCCA great finds

Blue Poppy Floral


Salt & Straw


Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery


Crunchy Red Fruit

Swansons Nursery

Refugee Artisan Initiative

KNACK modern gift giving

Mighty-O Donuts

ZINC contemporary

Scandinavian Specialties

Fiestas Gift Set – Frelard Tamales

Best of the Northwest – Seattle’s Premier Art & Fine Craft Show is virtual

Feel free to post a comment on the blog with your favorite local shops and I’ll add to next week’s update. Again, come back soon, come back often, let’s inspire each other in our gifting habits and play a role in how we’d like to see Seattle resurge. I’m all in, for local. I’m all in, for my hometown.

Thanks again to McIntosh Art Co. for the Seattle photography. Downtown Seattle, April 2020. During COVID-19 WA State Stay Home Order.

Live local. Shop local. Give local. Laura

It’s Sunday, Gov. Inslee addressed WA State | New restrictions, effective Monday

Hello everyone. While I set out to pen a Sunday blog post immediately after Gov Inslee addressed our state, our NWMLS did the job for me before I could hit publish. I am grateful for the direction. Please see our NWMLS homepage for full Updated FAQs; digestible bites below.

As per the text I just received from Windermere President / Owner, Jill Wood, “It’s back to basics.” Jill is spot on. We’ve been here before, we’ve navigated restrictions well in 2020, we’ve been productive and we can do it again. In short, here are our new restrictions within our real estate industry…

On November 15, 2020, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Inslee announced new restrictions that affect the real estate industry.  The restrictions, effective Monday night at 11:59pm, include the following:

These new restrictions are effective through December 14th.

  • In-person open houses are not permitted.
  • Brokers must work from home when possible.
  • Real estate offices must be closed to the general public and occupancy must be limited to 25% of maximum capacity.

Please note that brokers must continue to follow the below protocols for any in-person activity (showings, inspections, walk-throughs, etc.) 

  • In-person activities must be by appointment only;
  • Face coverings are required to be worn at all times by real estate brokers, their clients, and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.). Brokers may not provide services to any client who does not wear a face covering;
  • No more than five (5) people, in addition to the broker, may be on site at any one time; and
  • Those persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.

We are here after watching exponential growth of new cases daily. With over 2,200 new COVID-19 just yesterday, we find ourselves amplifying our individual commitments to change the trajectory of this virus.

My personal commitment is one of demonstrating love, with the tools we have & within the restrictions we’ve been given. We each get to play a significant role in deciding the trajectory of COVID-19.

As Gov. Inslee stated today, “This isn’t forever, this is for now.”

…and thank you (on repeat) to our frontline essential workers. We see you. We hear you. We know you are exhausted. We are here to help. All in.

– Laura


Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep! | staying diligent + #’s showing different narratives

Staying Diligent

Hello Covid19, we see you and your exponential growth. With the surge in WA State and King County numbers, I am receiving inquiry in whether we’ll see a rollback of some kind in phases for our real estate industry coming from the desk of Gov Inslee. While I don’t know for certain; I do know that we have showed up in a tremendous way in protecting each other, our communities – and thus far – allowing real estate to remain as open as it has. With that said – right now it is imperative that we stay diligent and double down wherever possible outside of what is essential.

Where can we each find an extra gear for everyone around us and flatten the current frightening curve headed in the wrong direction?

A couple resources to digest as we evaluate the coming weeks…

Gov. Inslee’s travel advisory for Washington released today – here.

At dinner parties and game nights, casual American life is fueling the coronavirus surge as daily cases exceed 150,000” – The Washington Post – article here.

Windermere Statistics Update thru 2020. What have you noticed?

What I noticed this week in review is that our #’s are showing us different market narratives. Examples…

Months supply of inventory (residential) | Seattle 1.2 vs Eastside 0.6

Median sales closed price (residential) | Seattle up 3% vs Eastside up 17%

October 2020 “sold above asking price” | Seattle 37% vs Eastside 51%

Condo market? That will deserve a blog post in and of itself. Certainly a different narrative as compared to residential. Remember, monthly reporting available at Winderemerestats are available for residential, condo and combined (not sure why we’d look at combined right now; but, it’s there). Monthly reporting also available for specific NWMLS areas (scroll down on homepage). Take a deeper look; ask for guidance. We are all here to help.

What is consistent for everyone, “cost of waiting a year” graph. Buyer’s have the advantage of interest rates despite increase in home values. *New to our reports… Explanation of Monthly Payments Compared to Appreciation Trendline Graph (top graph on page 5)

Need password for November? Text me 206.227.7133 or ask your office!

I’ll wrap up today’s post with how I opened it. Stay Diligent. Where can we each find an extra gear for everyone around us?

Go Slow, Do no Harm. – Laura

Ps, refreshed my website – what do you think? wreimpact.com What will you refresh heading into 2021? My annual business planner will be ready next week – let me know if you want it.

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | the third 500…

Welcome to Friday everyone! Sharing a smattering of pieces from Windermere’s 2020 VirtuCon this week. For those of you who joined, I hope you enjoyed the content as much as I did. We had a great turnout across the entire network and I sure appreciated the space to gather + reflect + grow; despite our virtual setting. Huge shout out to WRE Events, ProDev and Services in pulling this 2 day event off – nice pivot!

I had the opportunity to host the conversation with Yasmin Farooq, head University of Washington women’s rowing team coach. The interview flowed from this season – one that started with hope of a third NCAA sweep in four seasons (no other program has done it before) to a story of resilence. I took Coach Yaz back to March 12, 2020 11:17am when it all began to change and change quickly. I’ll take you to that morning too – Seattle Times article, “Their season was swept away by the coronavirus outbreak, but the reigning NCAA champion UW women’s rowers remain unified.”

…fast forward to now, and let’s look back at how this team remained unified despite a normal season ending within hours and the challenges of 2020 took over.

“The whole theme for the year was, “Thank you,” Farooq said. “As in, when you get into the third 500 and your lungs and legs are on fire, you are grateful for the opportunity to be in there together. You’re going to find an extra gear for everyone around you.”

Coach Yaz went on to share with us several intentions that became the focus in their blueprint of the 2020 season – out of the boat and off the water. Let me take all of us inside of their locker room (figuratively speaking)…and then look inside our own locker rooms for the remaining of 2020 and beyond…

Bringing gratitude into next year because we know what it felt like to have a season taken away from us.

Growth mindset, staying in the present and rolling with the punches; trust ourselves to adapt to what’s going on.

Be in the now / love in the now; dedicating training to others and not focusing on outcome.

Make the days count instead of counting the days, be at peace with bad pieces.

Forgiveness: removing fear of expectations after a bad piece and give yourself love for the next piece.

Understand one another’s individual needs in addition to being one team.

How we carry ourselves through this time / training now brings value to the team later.

Removing others expectations / judgment of yourself in the workout.

Embracing every moment we get together in the future and not taking it for granted. Remembering how hard this is now to make those future moments appreciated.

Internal vs external focus. Reminding yourself that you are doing this because you want to. Shifting your long-term focus to each week.

Expectations to be fast vs enjoying and trusting the process.

Taking back control, knowing you are trusted and can decide what is best for you, and if you carry that into fall you can handle the hard tasks when they come.

Self-expectations and doing your work with joy to remove them.

I’m hopeful we are in the “third 500” of this race and yes my “lungs and legs are on fireand yes – every day I am grateful “for the opportunity to be in [our boat] together“…

So I ask all of us – as we continue to stare resilience in it’s face – can we “find an extra gear for everyone around [us]?Can you imagine if we did?

I’ll leave you with this. Here is a cool video that takes us inside the UW women’s varsity 8 at the 2019 NCAA’s. Inspirational and as Coach Yaz shared with me, reflects their training mindset to life on race day. Check out their final 250 on this race day – here.

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | a key element to stability

…”A few decades ago, scientists conducted an experiment in the Arizona desert where they built “Biosphere 2” – a huge steel-and-glass enclosure with air had been purified, clean water, nutrient-rich soil, and lots of natural light. It was meant to provide ideal living conditions for the flora and fauna within. And while it was successful in some ways, in one it was an absolute failure. Over and over, when trees inside the Biosphere grew to a certain height, they would simply fall over. At first, the phenomenon confused scientists. Finally, they realized that the Biosphere lacked a key element necessary to the trees’ health: wind. In the natural environment, trees are buffeted by wind. They respond to that pressure and agitation by growing stronger bark and deeper roots to increase their stability.” – Think Like A Monk, Jay Shetty

Welcome to Friday everyone! I share the above passage this week being that these words helped me wrap up my prep for next week’s VirtuCon – our first go at an all Windermere virtual conference. It’s a jam packed day and a half. Well over 500+ registered – hope to “see” you there! I’m hosting 3 sessions; featuring a national championship NCAA coach, two brothers with a brand and a story of resilience to resurgence and a Windermere manager who will share her story in going from agent/broker into leadership. That is simply a taste of our time together. Windermere Services, Events & ProDev has worked so very hard to create a virtual space for us to gather – it’s not Hawaii as planned (2021!), yet I’m excited to carve out this time to “grow stronger bark and deeper roots to increase our (collective & individual) stability” as we continue to tango with 2020; finding strength & inspiration to look beyond…

Join me if you are game! Last call for registration – here.

I’m all in, for you. I’m all in, for us.

Laura Smith
Laura Smith 
206.227.7133 | wreimpact.com