It’s Friday, let’s sweep this week! | Audit, ChatGPT & Rick.

Welcome to it, Friday all and specifically, Friday before Presidents’ Day Weekend. For those of you in the midst of transacting, please regard Monday, February 20th as a legal holiday with respect to computation of time.

 Today’s post is short & sweet as I’m knee deep in a DOL audit. Will expand on concepts below next week & beyond!

So, I did the thing this week. I also dove deep into AI for Real Estate and have taken a brief spin (so far) into ChatGPT. Remember when the word “hashtag” was new? Well, here is a new(ish) word for us as we explore this topic – “prompts.” In this space we will together learn how to have have excellent conversations with ChatGPT. Think of this tool as a “brain you employee” then add your knowledge for an end product…and over time this “brain” learns your voice as a content writer. I’m looking forward to discovering more with all of you. For now, I’ve begun down the path and will help to lead those that want to join me in productive & safe ways to use AI within our industry.

This week I couldn’t help to amplify Rick Franz’s recent video message on his YouTube channel – if you know Rick, you know. If you don’t yet know Rick Franz of our Windermere Bellevue South office – this is classic Rick. And guess what? After 32 years in the business, he plans to have his best year ever. He has a relentless pursuit of mastery in our industry, excellence and doing what is right. Sharing this 1 minute and 22 second video as a pause for all of us in our efforts thus far in 2023 – how do we stack up in our mindset & planning? Maybe this his a reboot in focus & what we know works…

A reminder from Rick here!

And for me, back to the DOL audit. Catch you all on the other side! – Laura

It’s Friday, let’s sweep this week! | A theme song. AI. Weekend Ready.

I’ll give one more plug for this book. If I have a theme song for myself in 2023, it is in the form of this book! Just wrapping it up and it has creating great dialog for those turning the pages with me. Cliff note version: “Hospitality means being more thoughtful.” I can’t recommend this read enough. Ps, chapter 19 even speaks direct to our industry.

Next week, I’ve been made aware of a class that is getting lots of attention. I’ll be digesting how AI & ChatGPT for Real Estate might play a role in our industry – well, turns out – it sounds like it very much is.

…”We’ll show you LIVE examples of ways to create content and implement it immediately. Discover how to format prompts that work, how to use the info it generates, and how to improve every single part of your business using this tool.

Listing presentations. Client emails. Drip campaigns. Listing descriptions. Video scripts. Marketing strategies. Blogging. Social Media posts. Ad copy. Phone scripts. Text responses. Lead generation and follow up… Literally every part of your business can benefit from this technology.” – with Valerie Garcia & Michael Thorne

Class details & registration here! I’m very curious.

Are you Weekend Ready? I am. A nice line up of Open Houses are ready – here!

And, will it be the Super Bowl football commercials or the game itself that gets you to the couch and some great eats? We’ll rank commercials in our house and enjoy the game. But first, this 8th grade squad will play for the CYO championship Saturday night! You’ll find me court side…

Have a wonderful weekend in productive work & play. Here to help – the ultimate goal. – Laura

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | on tour.

Welcome to Friday! Yes, the groundhog saw his shadow signaling six more weeks of winter this week – yet my gut tells me spring is feeling right around the corner in our local real estate market. This week’s blog post is short & sweet with a thank you and one focused topic.

On getting back on tour

Thank you listing brokers for getting back in the habit of putting your listings on broker’s tour. That is a first step toward moving our industry further and further back into the habit!

Thank you to those of you that have already adjusted your practice and have recommitted to this weekly practice in getting out there. By touring weekly we engage with each other. We know the real story – beyond the stats and pictures. We connect. We “show” support of each other – Sellers happy! We have better responses with our clients in “how is the market?” And, we have fun!

What to tour you say? Naturally you tour for clients, yet the practice moves beyond this “why.” Tour for open house prep. Tour new inventory (track how market reacts). Tour to support your peers. You’ll want this on your listings! You’ll be better & quicker at your real estate reviews. You’ll see what works in staging. You’ll price better. You’ll market better. You’ll pick up ideas. The list goes on and on…

And did I mention tour for fun? Yup, meet up with peers, fill the cars and go…

This week, I scrubbed my recurring calendar. I carved out 1.5 hours on Wednesday and 1.5 hours on Thursday. By time blocking this, it will happen for me more often. Might that pro tip help you?

If you take me up on this activity in making it again a weekly habit, I passionately believe you’ll be grateful for what comes of it. Every single time I commit to this practice, there is a connection, a market conversation, a follow up & a story that comes of it. It builds the core of a local real estate business.

I’ll leave you right there to ponder your next step in touring. Turning our focus to the weekend in productive work & play. Let’s get after it! Here to help.

Ps, have a high 5 for something this week? Share at – let’s lift each other up as we endure six more weeks of winter and anticipate spring!


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 Schedule and pay for your digital fingerprinting. Save the receipt number (you’ll need it for your license renewal). Questions? Need help? Real 360.664.6488 Thank you. Department of Licensing

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!