You are here: GeekEstate Blog »

Author Archive

About Sam DeBord

Sam DeBord is a former management consultant and web developer who writes for for Inman News and REALTOR® Magazine. He is Managing Broker for Seattle Homes Group with Coldwell Banker Danforth, and 2016 President-Elect of Seattle King County REALTORS®. His team sells Seattle homes, condos, and Bellevue homes.

Homesnap + Broker Public Portal: The Unofficial Why and How (and the case for more PR)

by Sam DeBord on 11:04 am January 23, 2017

Homesnap and Broker Public Portal

I’ve been seeing a lot of questions about the direction and makeup of the Broker Public Portal and its relationship with Homesnap. I have no direct influence or investment in either group, but plenty of interest. Let’s clear the table first—some of these questions come from a great post/discussion earlier here on GeekEstate, others I’ve heard out in the field. Unofficial answers about the Broker Public Portal and Homesnap (caveat emptor): Why? Brokers want a national search experience for consumers in which the brokers control … Read More »

Real Geeks Releases Facebook Marketing Tool

by Sam DeBord on 8:18 am May 5, 2016

Real Geeks Facebook marketing tool

We don’t spend a lot of money on real estate marketing, but Facebook is one place where we dabble in ads. For those of you in the Real Geeks platform or those considering it, they just released a new feature that really improves the Facebook marketing process for Realtors (Disclosure: We have multiple Real Geeks products, but are not paid for promotion or referrals). The hassle with Facebook ads on a large scale is the reproduction of campaigns over time and across different areas. The … Read More »

Conspamulations! The Waning Influence of Static Digital Messaging

by Sam DeBord on 5:19 pm April 13, 2016

Static Digital Messaging - Conspamulations! LinkedIn

I posted an update to my employment profile on LinkedIn recently. Shortly thereafter, I received a nice message from a past work associate: “Congrats on the new role! Hope you’re doing well!” I quickly thanked the sender. Seconds later, another message came through: “Congrats on the new role! Hope you’re doing well!” I shot back another thank you. It seemed odd that two connections would write the exact same phrase in sequence. Then came the third, the tenth, the 50th message. While a few savvy users had edited their … Read More »

The Smart Squeeze Strategy of Zillow’s Premier Agent Summits

by Sam DeBord on 5:00 am February 29, 2016

Zillow Premier Agent Summit

I went to Zillow’s Premier Agent Summit in Seattle this week. It was a focused and well-run event, one that smartly ties in with the company’s current strategy of developing uber-Zillow-agents as its core following and revenue stream. I’ll get back to that in a second, but I know that a few of you are shaking your heads in disbelief after that first paragraph. I have a reputation in certain circles as being “anti-Zillow”. I’m unapologetically quick to criticize the company when they don’t play … Read More »

Innovate for Consumer Mortgage Experience–Not Lead Generation

by Sam DeBord on 11:30 am December 7, 2015

Google announced a new mortgage shopping product in late November. Partly powered by Zillow, it’s an advertising tool for lenders and a product comparison tool for consumers. Zillow already has the products, interest rates, and reviews of nationwide lenders across its mortgage shopping system. It makes perfect sense to integrate these into Google search results more seamlessly, reducing the number of clicks users must make to find the mortgage answer they’re looking for. There’s a lot of money flowing into those companies, as they continue … Read More »

Zillow, DotLoop, and Your Data: Does It Matter?

by Sam DeBord on 9:47 am July 23, 2015

Zillow is acquiring DotLoop. Fires are burning in real estate social media. Let’s get this out of the way. There are tons of brokers and agents who dislike Zillow. Call them what you want. They’re here. I’m a regular critic of the company when they (regularly) make moves that don’t seem in the best interests of brokers, agents, or their clients. I was also a big user of Zillow in the early years, contributing to thousands of posts, discussions, photos, etc. There are plenty of really good … Read More »

The Swanepoel T3 Tech Guide – Software Edition

by Sam DeBord on 3:12 pm May 5, 2015

T3 Tech Guide

It’s perplexing how often real estate industry questions are referred to social media for answers.  Some of the most basic questions of brokerage model, pay structure, technology tools, and marketing systems lack a unified research database where brokers and agents can begin their searches on an objective playing field. In lieu of a go-to guide, we use personal references, anecdotes, and one-line Facebook comments and hope that the general consensus is the right answer for our businesses. That’s the gaping hole that the T3 Tech Guide is hoping … Read More »

For Brokerage Profits, Syndication is an Inefficient Stepchild to IDX

by Sam DeBord on 3:49 pm April 14, 2015

IDX is not Syndication

(Note: This post is about industry-wide brokerage profitability in an IDX scenario vs a syndication scenario.  It’s  not about an individual broker’s profits or decision to use IDX/syndication.)   We’re hearing more often that IDX and listing syndication are essentially the same (via Rob).  From a consumer advertising perspective, that argument may make sense.  From a broker-centric profit mindset, it’s far from the truth. Our company shares our listings with brokers via IDX and with portals via syndication.  It makes sense based on our clients’ requests, but to … Read More »

The Value of a Domain Name: What if Google Removed URLs from Chrome?

by Sam DeBord on 3:14 pm March 9, 2015

Google Chrome Domain Names No URL

Real estate media is all about traffic right now.  Broker sites, agent sites, and the national portal websites are battling for SEO, ad placement, and brand recognition. Those of us in the SEO-centric crowd focus a lot on domain names, and how much value they create for an online venture.  There’s clearly still value in an “exact match domain” (though it’s shrinking), in a shorter domain name (too long and it’s spammy), and a memorable domain name that aligns with your brand (you don’t need … Read More »

Zillow Zestimate and Mr Humphries Go To Washington

by Sam DeBord on 11:49 am March 7, 2015

Stan Humphries Zillow government data

Zillow’s data aggregation prowess has pushed its chief economist into a new position as a member of the federal government’s open data advisory council. Stan Humphries will take a position as an advisor on the Department of Commerce’s panel intended to help government make better decisions based on open data. The move will undoubtedly generate criticism, so let’s get that out of the way.  Zillow’s research projects are vast, but the zestimate is still the most iconic piece of data–and it’s notoriously inaccurate. That ironic coupling … Read More »

2008 - 2017 GEEK ESTATE · ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - THEME BY Virtual Results
Hosted by Caffeine Interactive