4 Home Design Trends to Implement in 2020

With every new year, a new set of home trends comes to the forefront. While you don’t want to remodel your whole home based on a whim of style, it is important to be aware of current home design trends to ensure that your home stays modern and welcoming. Here are the top trends to implement throughout 2020.

Add Color to Your Kitchen:
The all-white kitchen trend is on its way out the door. White cabinets are still the most prominent choice, but it has some up-and-coming competition. Breath life into a sterile white kitchen with a little paint. Opt for tuxedo kitchens (featuring color on the bottom row of cabinets and white on the top) or ditch the white entirely and replace it with soft and rich hues. Light blues and greys will star in your kitchen for the subtle pops of color.

Imperfect Wood:
Rattan had its heyday in years prior, but exposed or lightly stained wood will be the highlight of any room in 2020. Wood’s organic imperfection is the perfect compliment to any style of decor, but will especially complement existing trendy boho or minimalist decor.

Embrace the Blues:
Navy blue increased in popularity in 2019 and gained fame when classic blue (a shade of navy) was chosen as the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year. This rich and warm hue pairs nicely with maximalist and minimalist design alike. Whatever your decor preference, navy blue should find its way into your home to ground and add depth to your current decor.

Wild Wallpaper:
If the thought of wallpaper makes you cringe, you’re not alone. It should come as no surprise that the generations cursed with removing the stubborn wallpaper of the past, are naturally a bit hesitant to embrace the burgeoning wallpaper trend. However, animal print and large floral or fauna prints are on-trend and will find their way into foyers, hallways and bathrooms all throughout the year. Thankfully, with new easy to apply (and removable) wallpaper, you don’t have to be afraid of embracing a bold choice.

Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

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Heart + Hand: An Evening of Education on Homelessness

Minimizing homelessness takes greater awareness, deep empathy and real collaboration. It also needs education and inspired action. Interested in lending your heart and a hand? Join us at Metropolist for an evening of conversation, education and coming together to learn more about how the Evergreen Treatment Services REACH team is improving the quality of life for adults who are living outside – and how you can help. REACH improves lives for more than 3,500 King County residents. Whether it’s a visit to the doctor, a warm meal, or getting into substance use treatment, their work changes lives. Come learn how you can support this critical work.

Thursday, February 13th 5:00-7:00pm

  • 5 pm Mingling and Munchies
  • 5:30 pm Conversation and Education
  • 5:45 pm Breakout groups to inspire action
  • 6:15 pm Request for support
  • 6:30 pm Stuffing of supply bags


2931 1st Ave S.,

Ste A Seattle, WA 98134

RSVP/Questions to: [email protected]


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The Power of Presence

The fact is, not being present can cost you not only listings, but relationships, as well.

If you’ve ever heard me speak, you know that I share that one of the problems with “canned” or memorized listing scripts is that they create a wall between you and the people you’re in a conversation with because you can get so caught up in what you have to say next that you aren’t listening to anything the other person is saying.

That’s not communication or a conversation. When you instead come from a place of service—not sales—your goal is not to “get the listing.” That will be a natural byproduct of a great conversation. Your goal is to listen to and learn about what the seller’s goals and commitments are, then figure out together how you can best help them achieve that goal.

Here are some additional tips for being more present in your conversations:

Slow down. It’s not a race to get all your words out.

Make it all about them. When you’re asking open-ended questions and really listening, people feel heard and seen. That’s the foundation for true communication. Why are you looking to move? What do you like best about this house and this neighborhood? Where do you want to go from here? Then let them share. They’ll give you all the information you need to coach them to make a great decision—but only if you’re present enough to hear their answers.

Speak from your heart, not your head. When we come from a service mindset, not a close-for-a-signature mindset, our purpose allows a more powerful human connection. We get out of our heads and are better able to speak from the heart.

Use stories, metaphors and analogies. Part of being a great communicator is using stories, metaphors and analogies to convey your tools and skills. Stories allow you to better convey information in a way that’s more relatable, opening doors for active understanding and listening without memorization.

As I’ve said before, there’s never been a more important time to improve your communication skills. They’re critical to your success in a way that can and will be game-changing. Ready to fire up these skills and every skill you need to make the next year a breakthrough personally and professionally? We can help.

Commentary by Darryl Davis, CSP
Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit

Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash

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2020 Luxury Market Forecast

By the end of last year, many homeowners found themselves with more equity than they realized, and at the same time their wages were increasing. When those two factors unite, it can spark homeowners to think about making a move to a larger or more expensive home in the luxury space. That said, now is a perfect opportunity to take a look at the forecast for the 2020 luxury market.

Three Things to Think About in the 2020 Luxury Housing Market

1. Prices

The U.S. economy is strong today, with buying opportunities throughout the luxury end of the market. Thomas Veraguth, Strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management, says in,

“There’s a good link between luxury real estate prices and [economic] growth.”

Available inventory is a key element that can impact home prices. At the upper range, the inventory is greater in comparison to the entry-level market, making moving up to a luxury home a growing reality for many buyers right now.

2. Activity in the Market

With more buying opportunities at the higher end, we should start to see an increase in activity. The same article states,

“Affluent homebuyers will start to come out of the woodwork as they find rising luxury rents less appealing and sellers get even more negotiable on price.”

Buyers looking in the luxury market are taking the opportunity to negotiate on price in a segment where there are more choices, too. According to the Luxury Market Report, homes sold for an average of 96.94% of the list price in December.

Buyers are also getting more for their money with greater purchasing power due to the current low interest rates.

3. Buyers Are Coming Back

Keep in mind, buyers are often sellers too, especially those looking to move up. Homeowners with an entry-level home can take advantage of the inventory shortage at the lower end of the market, thus driving higher sales prices for their current homes. Combined with growing equity in the homes they’re listing, it’s a great time for those who are ready to make a luxury move.

The extra equity and greater purchasing power are bringing many buyers back to the market. The same article mentioned that,

“We’ve already seen buyers who’ve been on the sidelines for two years tread back into the market.”

Bottom Line

If you’re considering entering the luxury market, 2020 is shaping up to be a great year for those who are ready to make that move. Let’s get together to set your real estate plan for the year.

Photo by Stephan Bechert on Unsplash

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10 Outstanding Shopping Destinations in Seattle, WA

Seattle is no stranger to fantastic finds and remarkable shopping spree experiences. If you are looking to splurge soon, here is a quick list of the Emerald City’s top retail destinations:

Shopping malls

  • Nordstrom

500 Pine Street

One of the most recognizable names in shopping is headquartered in the Emerald City. The freshly renovated, 383,000-square-foot Nordstrom Seattle flagship store is located downtown, providing a glamorous home to the biggest names in fashion and home accessories.

  • Westlake Center

            400 Pine Street


Whether you’re there for a quick errand run or a day-long shopping spree, Westlake Center makes sure that you find everything on your list. Its eclectic selection of outlets ranges from world-famous designer brands to local icons like Made in Washington.

  • Pacific Place

600 Pine Street

Conveniently located near the Washington State Trade & Convention Center, this high-end shopping mall features a generous lineup of brand-name retailers. It also has a cinema, along with top-rated restaurants, if you feel like taking a break from your shopping spree.

Outdoor retail complexes

  • Pike Place Market

85 Pike Street

A truly beloved fixture in Seattle’s shopping scene, this iconic farmers market first welcomed shoppers in 1907. Here you’ll find everything from fresh produce to fragrant flowers, flavorful seafood, collectible trinkets, artisanal creations, and even the world’s first-ever Starbucks café.

  • Pioneer Square

            Downtown Seattle

This historic downtown has been a thriving hub for commerce and culture since the mid-19th century. Today, its vibrant, open-air environment makes it an ideal destination for art collectors and connoisseurs. Art galleries and antique stores are practically everywhere you look, with fashion boutiques and gift shops scattered in between.

  • University Village

2623 Northeast University Village Street

Located in the Ravenna neighborhood, just north of Downtown Seattle, this outdoor retail center offers a literal breath of fresh air with its distinctive shopping experience. A casual stroll will treat you to a lively mix of signature fashion brands, locally-owned boutiques, and diverse options for your dining pleasure.

Specialty stores

  • The Elliot Bay Book Company

            1521 Tenth Avenue

When you just can’t get enough of that “new book smell,” this Seattle icon is sure to be right up your alley. This book store and café first opened its doors along Main Street in 1973 and relocated to the Capitol Hill neighborhood in 2010. Its selection of books includes more than 150,000 titles – featuring a mix of new releases and consigned, hard-to-find gems.

  • Glasswing

            1525 Melrose Avenue

 A fashion store, home goods boutique, and plant and flower shop all in one, Glasswing has a regularly updated selection of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. Around the block is their supplementary location called Greenhouse, where they sell artfully designed plant and flower arrangements, as well as hold workshops on plant care and design.

International showcase

  • Uwajimaya Village

600 5th Avenue South

Get your fill of authentic Asian food and other goods at this popular shopping center in Seattle’s International District. Exploring this unique retail destination is an adventure with all the great finds that await you.

  • MoMo

600 South Jackson Street

While Japanese in origin, this boutique blends both Asian and European influences in the variety of clothes and accessories available on its racks. You can also find plenty of eye-catching trinkets and keepsakes to accessorize your home with here.


Learn more about what makes Seattle a great place to live. Get tips on the best local highlights from top-producing real estate firm. Call 206-623-5118 or email [email protected] for more information.

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Investing in Commercial Real Estate

Investing in commercial real estate promises lucrative earning opportunities. To maximize all this potential, you must know the right steps to take – as well as the crucial ones to avoid – throughout this endeavor.

On this page, The Metropolist Group focuses on the latter. Here are five common missteps and oversights that can derail your investment:

1. Doing everything on your own

If you want a stress-free and cost-efficient experience when you purchase a commercial property, work with a real estate professional.

Look for an agent who has experience in the commercial property market, especially involving your preferred type of property (e.g. office space, retail space, industrial building, etc.). Their expertise and local professional network will be your invaluable resource as you navigate the property buying process from start to finish.

2. Using inaccurate property valuations

Paying more for what a property is actually valued on the market will snowball into larger losses for your business in the future.

Before agreeing to any deal, make sure that you are aware of every feature, highlight, and even flaw of the property you are buying. Equally as important is knowing that are spending the right amount for it.

3. Failing to perform due diligence

One thing in common between commercial and residential properties is the necessity for due diligence before closing any deals.

For commercial real estate investors, several factors are necessary to make deliberate, fully informed decisions. Examples include:

  • A full inspection of the entire property
  • Reviewing the lender’s underwriting requirements
  • Assessing the location relative to the nature, purpose, and target market of your business
  • Understanding how local zoning ordinances affect how you can use the property
  • Conducting a thorough risk assessment for the investment
  • Reviewing the business profiles and existing leases of current tenants
  • Searching for potential hidden charges in the property’s sale terms

 Simply put, always take your time when buying commercial real estate – even if you are competing against others for your targeted property. Act only when you are sure that the investment puts you in a position to generate returns, rather than incurring losses.

4. Focusing primarily on the return on investment

A commercial property’s projected return on investment (ROI) often stands out as a useful indicator of its viability as an investment asset. But don’t limit your decision on this factor alone.

Consider cash flow, property appreciation, and how much equity you gain as you pay off your mortgage. Inquire about any tax benefits that you may qualify for when you purchase a commercial property.

5. Lack of planning and foresight

Acquiring commercial real estate requires significant long-term planning. Equipped with a feasible business plan, consider your company’s growth trajectory. Will the commercial building be able to accommodate an increase in personnel and equipment?

Planning ahead also involves coming up with an exit strategy. Whether or not your investment pays off, an exit strategy will enable you to facilitate a smooth transition to your next move.

Make the most out of your commercial real estate investment opportunities in the Seattle metropolitan area. Get in touch with our experts today by calling 206-623-5118 or emailing [email protected].

Photo by Samson on Unsplash

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Here’s Why You Should Buy a Home During the Winter

With the holidays over, heading into the coldest months of the year, many people might assume that now is a terrible time to buy a home. However, now is the best time to score a deal on that dream house!

Here are a few reasons why it may be in your best interest to buy a house this winter:

Motivated Sellers
The colder months tend to see less activity as far as listings and sales go. This may seem like a disadvantage; however, if you’re able to find a house that meets your needs, chances are you’ll also have found a motivated seller. The majority of homes are listed in the spring/summer, so if you’ve stumbled upon a listing that’s been on the market for a while, the seller will likely be ready to negotiate.

If the home is newly listed, the seller may be eager to sign a contract before the new year. Tax implications or forced relocation are a few reasons sellers will be willing to accept lower offers.

Less Competition
We’ve all heard the story of the dreaded bidding war. It seems today’s market is seeing this happen more than ever. Not only can it drive the price of the home above asking; you also run the risk of emotional overspending or losing the property altogether.

With the majority of buyers taking a break from house-hunting, now is an optimal time to start your search. With the likelihood of competing offers dropping significantly, buyers can regain some control during negotiations.

Lower Interest Rates
This is not a guarantee, however. Loan and mortgages interest rates fluctuate throughout the year, and historically hit lows during the holiday season. With less people looking to buy and borrow right now, interest rates tend to dip, which is a bonus for borrowers.

It may appear to be an insignificant rate difference; however, over the term of your mortgage, you’ll be in for some serious savings! So while you’re out and about this winter, make a trip to your bank for a mortgage pre-approval!

Professional Availability
With fewer homes on the market, real estate agents tend to find themselves with more overall availability. If you’re ready to buy a home, you’ll benefit, as your REALTOR® will have more time to dedicate to your search and negotiation once your dream home is found.

Not only does the real estate market slow down during the winter, so do related professions. Mortgage brokers, home inspectors and legal professionals all may have some extra time on their hands, meaning your deal may be able to close quicker.

Buying a new home during the winter can seem like a daunting task; however, if you’re able to close on a deal in January or February, chances are you’ll be enjoying the benefits for years to come! Lower purchase price and better interest rates are just a couple of the reasons why buying that dream house right now may be worth it!

This was originally published on RISMedia’s Housecall.

Elizabeth La Riva, (R) ABR®, e-PRO®, MRP, is a native of Lima, Peru, and speaks fluent English and Spanish. She services the area of Oahu, Hawaii, and assists buyers and sellers with their real estate transactions. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community.

Photo by Tracy Adams on Unsplash

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Real Estate Teams: Forget About Life Balance and Focus on Harmony

I was recently on a call with a client. She was sharing with me all of the challenges she had over the holidays. She ran down the list of things that she had to do and the things that she did not get to do that she would have rather done, and how it was all out of balance. She told me it was hard to focus at work, because she was thinking about everything she needed to do at home, and vice versa.

I am always fascinated by the words people use. Often when discussing time management, “balance” is used. Trying to create balance is the biggest mistake we make.

Balance is defined as a condition in which different elements are equal.

There are 168 hours in a week. We spend probably 56 sleeping; 40 (or more if we are being honest) working; another 20 grooming, running errands, cooking and meal prepping; five to six exercising; five to six commuting…the numbers add up fast and the time left over for life diminishes every time you add an hour to any of those, or even other activities I missed. It is out of balance, and likely always will be.

Now, consider harmony—a consistent, orderly or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.

Notice the concept of equal is not mentioned.

Time management is not about making the scales equal; it is about making the most of the time you dedicate to each part of your life and making sure you are making the highest and best use of your time. It is about being 100-percent present in whatever you’re working on. Jim Elliot said it best: “Wherever you are, be all there.” We would all do well to put this into practice.

Imagine if you followed your time-blocking plan and committed to it at that level. When you were at work, you followed a schedule that focused on money-making activities first and foremost. When you were at home, you were present—not with your face buried in a phone, telling your family to give you 10 minutes because you just need to review a contract really fast. Really present and in the moment.

This harmony is deliberately built and a critical foundation of a life by design.

There are times when we have to dig in and work more, and there are times our personal lives need more focus. It cycles as we grow our teams and businesses and grow personally. When you’re deliberate about the choices you make with your time, you’ll achieve harmony, even when it’s not balanced.

Plan to do your highest and best tasks with the available time. Commit to it. And wherever you are, be there.
By Sara Guldi
Sara Guldi is a 15-year veteran of real estate. She lives in Florida and co-owns a team in Maryland. In their best year, the group did $64 million in production, and they attribute their long-term success to a strong commitment to systems and coaching. Guldi loves helping others build amazing business and lives using the performance coaching systems developed by Workman Success Systems. Contact her at [email protected]. For more information, please visit

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

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Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future Wealth

According to an Urban Institute study, homeowners who purchase a house before age 35 are better prepared for retirement at age 60.

The good news is, our younger generations are strong believers in homeownership.

According to a Freddie Mac survey,

“The dream of homeownership is alive and well within “Generation Z,” the demographic cohort following Millennials.

Our survey…finds that Gen Z views homeownership as an important goal. They estimate that they will attain this goal by the time they turn 30 years old, three years younger than the current median homebuying age (33).”

Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future Wealth | MyKCMIf these aspiring homeowners purchase at an early age, the Urban Institute study shows the impact it can have.

Based on this data, those who purchased their first homes when they were younger than 25 had an average of $10,000 left on their mortgage at age 60. The 50% of buyers who purchased in their mid-20s and early-30s had close to $50,000 left, but traditionally purchased more expensive homes.Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future Wealth | MyKCMAlthough the vast majority of Gen Zers want to own a home and are somewhat confident in their future, “In terms of financial awareness, 65% of Gen Z respondents report that they are not confident in their knowledge of the mortgage process.”

Bottom Line

As the numbers show, you’re not alone. If you want to buy this year but you’re not sure where to start the process, let’s get together to help you understand the best steps to take from here.

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Start 2020 Right With an Event for Real Estate Agents

The real estate sector is currently undergoing a time of unprecedented change, and there are more challenges ahead in 2020. This makes it critical to stay at the top of your game in order to stand out and succeed. When you attend an event for real estate agents, you set yourself up with tools and strategies for a great year. There are a few challenges facing the industry right now that the right real estate event will help you overcome.

The Real Root of Disruption

Disruption starts with unhappy customers, not with technology. The truth is, many customers are dissatisfied because inexperienced, unskilled agents aren’t meeting their needs. This is the silent disruption happening in the industry today.

Future Fears
Even though the economy is solid, people tend to latch onto fears of where it’s going. An increasingly negative news cycle filled with trade disputes and a tense political climate are causing Americans to become more anxious. This can affect clients’ decisions to enter the real estate market.

Seek out an event with industry professionals and like-minded agents in your area to learn skills and tactics to address these challenges. Here’s what an event for real estate agents will do to get you started on the right foot.

Build Your Skills
There’s no secret formula or quick fix for success. You must consistently dedicate time for real estate training and skill development that’s based on an effective system. An exceptional real estate event should elevate your professionalism and your skills, which will help you stand out from the crowd in a rapidly changing environment.

Increase Your Level of Service
In this digital-first environment, it’s vital to focus on the customer. Agents must go above and beyond to provide an exceptional client experience that tech can’t replicate. Seek out a real estate event that gives you the opportunity to brainstorm with top-producing agents and take home new strategies for providing high-quality service.

Transform You Into a Total Pro
To skillfully deal with the negative news cycles and market fears, agents must be confident, reassuring and armed with knowledge so that they can bring perspective that’s based in truth and fact. Become an expert in your field by attending an event for real estate agents so you can help your clients swap their market fears with unshakable facts.

If you want to discover what the most successful agents are doing, and start 2020 off on the right foot, consider attending an event for real estate agents this year. I’ll be leading the all-new Buffini & Company Master Class in 2020 for agents who want to network and learn from one another. Sign up and find out why Master Class is the best fit for your office.
By Brian Buffini

Brian Buffini immigrated to San Diego from Ireland in 1986 and became a top-performing REALTOR®. He then founded Buffini & Company to share his powerful lead-generation system. Buffini & Company has trained more than 3 million people in 37 countries and coaches more than 25,000 business pros. Today, Brian’s a New York Times best-selling author and reaches over 7 million listeners a year through “The Brian Buffini Show” podcast. For more information, please visit

Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

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