Our Commitment to Change: A Message to Our Community

It’s been a year of listening and learning for me this year. I’m sharing Windermere’s community message that was released this week on my blog as a reflection point to look back on one day and see what short & long terms goals we are able to accomplish together. Our industry is human and I will never lose sight of that. All In, for community. – Laura

For nearly 50 years Windermere has been deeply rooted in the communities where we do business. However, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has made us realize that our roots don’t extend as deep as we thought. It also made us realize that over the decades, the real estate industry has played a significant role in exacerbating systemic racism through redlining and steering, which has prevented many members of historically marginalized communities from building wealth through homeownership.  

This summer, we began a robust diversity, equity, and inclusion journey supported by an organization called Moving Beyond that specializes in helping companies integrate and operationalize DEI. Next, we formed two internal workgroups, with a diverse makeup of Windermere franchise owners, managers, agents, and staff to guide and implement DEI efforts across our 10-state organization. 

Following three months of collective conversations, we have identified several short- and long-term initiatives on which to focus – all with the aim of building a diverse organization that fosters a sense of belonging and provides equal opportunity across all aspects of homeownership for people of color. Some of these activities can be acted upon right away, as we develop a long-term strategic direction for our DEI efforts. 

We’re committed and in it for the long haul, and believe transparency is a critical part of this journey, so here is an update about our goals and progress thus far:

  • In August, we conducted an internal survey among our owners, managers, and staff, to create a benchmark of where we are as a company and help guide the direction that we need to take to advance our DEI initiatives. An agent survey is forthcoming in 2021.
  • We are producing informational content related to CC&Rs to educate homeowners on how to remove racially restrictive language from their title reports in the 10 states where Windermere operates. 
  • We are working with an advertising agency that specializes in inclusive and future-forward marketing to evaluate our digital marketing products through a DEI lens. 
  • We have designated funds for a scholarship program that invests in people of color who want to work in real estate, and are designing training and mentoring programs to aid in their success. 
  • We are building internal DEI training and development programs, starting with franchise owners, managers, and staff, with plans to expand to agents in 2021. 
  • We are analyzing our hiring processes to ensure broader representation by people of color.
  • We’re generating insights from all these efforts to help us develop a set of thematic pillars to guide our DEI goals and strategy over the long term. 
  • We’re planning on listening sessions this fall for the Windermere community to continue to have input in this process.       

This is just the beginning of what we know will be a long-term journey of awareness and accountability. We are focused and determined to do our part to address discrimination, racism, and inequity within Windermere and the real estate industry. Our efforts stem from the recognition that there is a long history of housing discrimination in the United States and that the inequality in homeownership has deepened the racial divide. Through our work we hope to play a role in finding ways to correct these inequalities. We realize we were late to this movement and should’ve spoken up sooner, but our eyes are open, and we are committed to leading the way towards positive change from here on out.

If you would like to share this message with your communityhere is the full link.

What else happened this week? A lot. Safety protocols around open houses released this week at your office. Windermere Stats updated; including Seattle & Eastside talking points. Need password? Your office staff has it or text me: 206.227.7133.

I’m off to a WA State Statewide task force meeting with leaders across all Firms to evaluate NWMLS forms revisions. “Off to…” – aka, logging back into zoom. Welcome to Friday everyone!

All in, for community. All in, for you. – Laura

Let’s sweep the week! | closing dates + let’s VirtuCon + collegiality + WinderKids #hope

A little ray of sunshine on this Saturday morning coming into my kitchen keeps me focused on hope! Nature’s arrangement at my nook table credit broker, Dina Harvey Jardine – thank you! Ok, let’s sweep this week…

What have I noticed? All parts of the Closing process is being tested in bandwidth. I’m seeing delayed Closings – at no fault of Buyer or Seller. No finger pointing here; only a heads up. Ps, Friday Closings never ideal – especially now. Give yourself and your clients the gift of time and of setting expectations – being there could be delays simply based on high volumes of transactions. Idea: as taken from WRE Form 64, item #6 – consider this:

Automatic Extension of Closing Date. If, through no fault of the party whose performance is delayed, the Agreement cannot close by the Closing Date due to circumstances outside of the control of such party, then the Closing Date shall be automatically extended for up to ____ days (5 if left blank) (the “Extension Period”). Closing shall occur as soon as reasonably possible within the Extension Period.

Join us on October 27 & 28th for our first go at a VirtuCon? We were to be in Hawaii this year for Symposium – instead – we are adjusting in gathering and going virtual. I can’t wait to see my Windermere friends far & wide late October! Intro, video here!

I’m registered! Registration here. Looks like I’ll be with incredible company. Time to up my game – geez! I’ll be focused on opening our minds from resilience to resurgence…

Next week I will have Windermere broker Diane Terry mic’d up with me as we ponder together what collegiality means in our industry, as a nod to the passing of RBG.

Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.col·le·gi·al  (kə-lē′jē-əl, -jəl)adj. 1. Full of or conducive to good will among colleagues; friendly and respectful: an office with a collegial atmosphere. 2.a. Characterized by or having power and authority vested equally among colleagues: “He … prefers a collegial harmony that will present him with a consensus on the issues”

I’ll host the podcast recording right here next week.

…and it was fun to bookend this week celebrating many of the WinderKids in my hood that completed their 3rd week of remote school with a drive-by ice cream social. All smiles behind my mask in seeing this next generation. #HOPE

Our late September sun is trying hard to make a solid appearance today; next week looking G O O D! Let’s get out and get after this weekend in productive work & play. Around if you need anything. Here to help – the ultimate goal. – Laura

It’s Sunday :: special addition post

A new week is upon us and as I set my week I’ve moved a few things around on my calendar to accommodate attending Washington REALTORs Fall Business Conference; virtually of coarse. As I looked closely at the line-up I couldn’t help but share for other REALTOR members.

September 22nd 12-1pm | Keynote speaker: Dr. Quintard Taylor – Professor Emeritus, University of Washington

Dr Taylor will explain the history of housing in Seattle/Washington and the impact of communities and generational wealth…

September 23rd 12-1pm | Economist panel: Lawrence Yun, NAR + Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR + Matthew Gardner, Windermere

As a WR Member, we are able to join these events and listen in. No registration is required and there is no fee to attend. Please note, the events are capped at 2,000 attendees and admittance is on a first come-first serve basis.

Access all Conference Events Here.

And as a end cap to this special edition post, a note from one of your esteemed Windermere peers, Darci Gillespie on her involvement with WR…

…”One of the best things I’ve done in and for my career – actually, THE best thing – is to get involved with the Realtor association early on. The WA Realtor Fall Conference is this week. This usually takes place in person, but of course this year with COVID it’s online, which means accessible and cheap, and no excuse for Windermere agents not to check it out and see all that our Realtor volunteers do. Most meetings are open to all members.” – Darci

Have a good week. Here to help. Ps, Seahawks lookin’ good! – Laura

If you missed the link above to access the conference – here you go!

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | It’s raining!

Welcome to Friday everyone – best news – it’s raining in Seattle! Ok, let’s get right to it – this week at a glance…

Ps, treated myself to these beautiful dahlias – a reminder of simple pleasures as we find a pop of color wherever we can amidst the smoke. Be well, be safe as we await patiently for the smoke to clear. My heart, my everything is with those effected by the fires. And oh, if you are looking to donate to wildfire relief via our Windermere Foundation and want to direct those funds you may do so here.

My daughter took a break from remote school to tune into our WRE Luxury 101 zoom this week. She’s always wanted to meet Louis Muniz being he sold her dream home (and not to her – she isn’t happy with him!). Ha. Funny story, for another time. That said, here is the recording of the Zoom. Louis Muniz, Ty Evans, Cori Whitaker and Max Rombakh – thanks for sharing your gold! Tune in here with a weekend coffee or beverage of choice.

Keeping up on the weekly pulse of our local market. Seattle residential pending sales by week again outpaced 2019. Solid visuals below for Eastside, Seattle & King County.

There are a handful of items on the HUB this week worth bringing attention to. Check the HUB often – content coming out of our ears! I’ll give another plug for the HUB app – it gives me those notifications when new content is there; daily.

We won’t be in Hawaii for Symposium as planned, yet we are pulling together our first WRE VirtuCon – details and registration here. It took me 3 minutes to register. Plus, Marcus Trufant will be joining us. Go HAWKS this weekend on Sunday night football!

Tech Talk Webinars start September 28th. Moxi Engage + Agent Websites + Moxi Present with Todd Steinberg.

Virtual ProStart has begun which also means virtual WA clock hours for anyone! I attended Agency last week with Demco Law Firm. Highly recommend.

Ok, now back to that good news about the rain! I want to do a barefoot rain dance! Keep it up Seattle and spread that rain to places that need it more than us. Signing off on this Friday with a local market update – Laura

All in for you, all in for us.

Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep! | Back to school edition…


The school bell officially rang this week and yes, the school year looks different than one could have imagined. Hello 2020, you really are something! For many, this is a giant transition week in remote learning inside of our homes. The Smith’s are on day 4…what I learned you ask?

Don’t take a work call when you are cooking lunch. Yes, first day of school lunch went to the garbage burnt – round two pizza bagels turned out fine! Oops. What did my kids learn? The concept of a “snow day” is probably out the door for good. Ouch. Can you tell which student realized this and which one hasn’t yet?…


Ok, in all seriousness – this week led me back to school too. Time for me to get focused on my license renewal. And not a bad reminder for our kids to see that growth never stops. I traded in my summer threads for a refreshed back to school outfit (thank you Stitch Fix) and sunglasses for blue light filtering specs…


I’m giving a shout out to the NWMLS live instructor virtual classes. My first go with their virtual clock hours and I enjoyed it. Upped my mobile app game this week. Did you know you can air walk property lines within the HomeSnap app? (Note: not the kind of true line that you’d build a fence on; instead the kind that gives your buyer a general feel for where the lines are while you walk the property!). This kind of “did you know” content was worth the $15 and time.


…and more learning for me this week as I continue to explore, well – I’m just going to say it – my whiteness. Scene on Radio has an excellent podcast series, entitled – Seeing White. Sharing here. This week I’m digesting Episodes 1-6.

2020 has provided an open invitation to bring meaningful conversations into our lives. Being that our real estate work is people work, I’m focused on creating ways in which we are able to provide an environment to host intentional “cafe” style conversations. Feel free to join me in this space. There will be opportunity.  

Curious how I’m planning for this? Welcome (again) the concept of The Knowledge Cafe. Episode 20 of my double down podcast describes what goes into a successful cafe model. Here. Currently working on this craft.


Did you too miss out on those summer Canlis drive-in movies? I have a fix for you! Next week – two nights – movie details – location all right here! I’ll be there both nights (Thursday & Friday) – why? Because I hope to see you (miss you!), it’s for a good cause and rumor has it the documentary is excellent! Win/win/win. Easy client event done for you possible – socially distant, of course. Certainly a reason to reach out to people.

It’s time to put a wrap on this week and roll into a long holiday weekend. Real estate continues, the remote school bell gets a pause and all the while once again the PNW looks to be showing off her good side for our region. Not ready to put those paddle boards away yet! Welcome to Friday in productive work & play – safely! Here to help.

Note: When computing time for purchase and sale agreements, regard this Monday, September 7th as a legal holiday. Labor Day is a legal holiday under Washington law.

Ps, next week on my back to school edition: stats! Want to go to stats class early? Go look at the Pending Sales by Weekweekly data updated thru 9.2.2020.  Bonkers. *need password? Text me: 206.227.7133*

All in, for you.





It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | our “surge capacity”


Good morning. Although I adore writing, I’m going to step aside today (kind of) and share someone else’s writing. Why? Because Tara Haelle penned just about everything that has summed up my observations and conversations this week – both in my head and with others.

How do you adjust to an ever-changing situation where the ‘new normal’ is indefinite uncertainty?

Our new normal is always feeling a little off balance, like trying to stand in a dinghy on rough seas, and not knowing when the storm will pass. But humans can get better at anything with practice, so at least I now have some ideas for working on my sea legs.

Full article here. It took me 13 minutes to read.


Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle is a science journalist, public speaker, and author of Vaccination Investigation and The Informed Parent. Follow her at @tarahaelle.



…and what about real estate Laura? Great question. I’m focused on stories of people being remarkable. How about this one!

This story reigns from the Windermere Wedgwood office; and yes I share names.

Broker wins in multiple offers (20) on a house on a lake. Pending Inspection. Client lives in California and flies up for the inspection. It was a hot day. Broker wakes up early that day and asked himself, “what would David Prater do” in this situation. This though pattern led broker to pack a cooler with drinks & snacks so “I could be the full service broker that I am.” But wait, it gets better…

…he packs two towels and two pairs of swim trunks thinking maybe his client would like to jump in the lake before he hops back on a plane to CA to go back home.

Post inspection, with 30 minutes left on their ShowingTime slot, he then tells his client he packed said towels & trunks and sure enough they jumped off the dock into the lake, took a quick swim over to a community beach and back to the dock. A quick change of clothes, inspection complete and they went on their separate ways.

I put this story in the “being remarkable” category! Certainly a full neighborhood review was done by water too! Well done Bill Reilly, well done! And oh, why the “what would David Prater do” internal dialog that sunny morning for Bill Reilly? Oh, just another example of a 30 year Windermere vet who has rubbed off on another broker within an office. This stuff happens all the time in our offices; it makes us, US.

And to take this FWL blog post full circle – Tara Haelle’s article above speaks to a focus on maintaining and strengthening important relationships and being creative a this time to do so. She writes, “The biggest protective factors for facing adversity and building resilience are social support and remaining connected to people, Masten says. That includes helping others, even when we’re feeling depleted ourselves.

Let’s continue to help each other build our reserves & create resilience so that we may each find our resurgence along the way in 2020.

All in, for remarkable. All in, for you. All in, for us.


BLM_Social Graphic_v5


It’s Friday, let’s sweep! |checkpoint


…continuing to capture summer the Pacific Northwest with each blog post moving forward until we hit fall. Creating safe summer vibes where we can. Wherever I am, it always starts with an early morning routine – it travels with me, no matter what. The “Five Minute Journal” is gold to me – has been for years. What is non-negotiable to you?


On April 22nd of this year, I penned a blogpost in making that day a “checkpoint” within – our then, true “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. My gut tells me this is a good day to pay attention to another “checkpoint.”  Why?  This…

When our Stay Home order began, we sprinted through those days to adjust. Adrenaline got us thru. We stacked future transactions by checking in on people we care about. The market then hit bonkers while more and more brokers, buyers & sellers figured out how to operate their essential tasks safely. We set into longer miles of a marathon with endurance – a different set of muscles (adrenaline had worn off). Fortunately,  throughout these spring & summer months we were gifted mostly beautiful PNW weather as we stacked up long miles in what I will now state has turned into an ultramarathon.

Ok, deep breath! Checkpoint. I see an industry tired yet dedicated to showing up, helping people, continuing to adjust, commitment in helping & caring about each other and our communities. But, guess what…Sunday November 1st 2020 is coming.

Why does that matter?

November 1st 2020 is daylight savings time. The days become shorter, PNW weather gets wet & grey (sorry, it just does). We have’t done “this” (aka, 2020) as our landscape turns AND we have already ran an entire marathon (in life!). Are we prepared for fall/winter, are we prepared for the remainder of 2020 where we can control it?

Better stated, where are your reserves today; on August 21 2020?


That is our checkpoint today. It first starts with a check-in and an acknowledgment of going 100% full throttle in 2020. Could going 85% today give you space to build your reserves for the remainder of 2020?

 What is gold to you in building your reserves? What is non-negotiable? Can you get creative to still make these things safely happen? 

I’ll be sharing ideas worth spreading in the coming weeks – yet for today,, it is simply a checkpoint for each of us to take note of our reserves.

I’m here to help.  All in, for you. All in, for us.



It’s Friday, let’s sweep! |If these chairs could talk…



If these chair could talk! I’ve been enjoying seeing and talking with many of you in the summer months. These chairs have provided me a respite from zoom and a safe way to connect. I’ll be working from Whidbey next week, yet if you would like some “chair time” before the weather turns – just let me know! We are ALL going to need to be creative into the fall and winter months in connecting safely. Building our reserves and vitamin D right now will help us endure. 2020 began as a sprint, became a marathon and now…well, an ultramarathon. I’m running each mile with you…

August Market Report


Outside of monthly stats, what micro trends are you seeing? They matter!

I have one story to share this week (more next week)…

[note: This is a real example. The brokers representing House A & B are respected and talented brokers. This is not a reflection of poor agenting, more so a reminder to continue to study micro trends to nail your craft each week]

House A

House B

List Date



Original List Price















Year Built



House sqft



Lot Size




Seller Provided

Buyer Allowed 1 day inspection period

What do you notice?

Which house sold for more A or B?

Buy how much? ($25,000, $50,000, $100,000, more)


Answer is: House A

What is the value of a seller provided inspection and sewer scope? Seems to me this story shows a real value (other factors involved too – just pointing one out).

House A

House B

# of offers

30 +

8 offers

Selling Price



% over OLP



$ over OLP



Party of five: What are the rules?

Party of 5 anyone? I’m feeling the need to remind us where we are locally in flattening the curve. Answer is: it’s not flat yet. As the pandemic wears on and the summer weather turns ever more glorious, the temptation for us to gather with friends and relatives only grows stronger. But with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across Washington State, it is more important than ever to follow a few basic rules about social engagements.

Full article here.

Ok, let’s wrap it up for today and fill our cups with a cool Friday evening beverage. To creating safe summer vibes in work and play as we head into another beautiful August weekend! Go Slow, Do No Harm.

All in, for flattening the curve. All in, for you. All in, for us.

– Laura