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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.

Upstream & The National Broker Public Portal: Unearthing, Creating Super-MLS Data Layers

by Sam DeBord on 7:27 pm March 2, 2015

Upstream, Broker Portal, and MLS Data

Project Upstream aims to become the defender and gatekeeper of brokers’ real estate listings nationwide.  The National Broker Public Portal intends to provide a nationwide display of data that puts brokers at the controls.  The former is not intended to exclusively fuel the latter (though it seems like a match made in heaven–more on that later). Upstream is not an MLS and will not replace the MLS’s co-broker, commission, and professional standards roles.  Its creators do not intend for it to be public-facing on its own.  It’s … Read More »

The National Broker Public Portal: Simplicity, Differentiation Are the Paths To Success

by Sam DeBord on 3:30 pm February 22, 2015

Simplicity - Broker Public Portal

There has been a lot written about the possibility of a national Broker Public Portal for real estate–probably too much, for a project that’s nowhere near being off the ground yet.  Still, the idea rallies the spirits of many brokers, so it has legs. The hurdles in front of the project are massive, and they shouldn’t be ignored.  They should become the focus of the project.  Its success will not be driven by trying to overcome them, but finding a way around them. A member-led … Read More »

RealGeeks Websites, and the Secret Sauce (a totally biased review)

by Sam DeBord on 4:57 pm December 10, 2014

Real Geeks websites

I get a bunch of calls and emails every week asking for information about the RealGeeks website system we use.  I’m happy to discuss it, but I figured if I just wrote a review of our experience, it might save me a little bit of time in the future. To be clear, RealGeeks doesn’t pay me, give me a discount, or any other benefits for writing about their product or sending them referrals.  I’ll give you the highlights because we wouldn’t stick with the product if … Read More »

Placester and $5 Websites: Seth Price Responds To Your Questions

by Sam DeBord on 10:23 am December 5, 2014

Seth Price - Placester

We’ve had a lot of discussion in the GeekEstate community about Placester’s recent deal with NAR to provide IDX-fed websites to Realtors for $5/mo. I asked Seth Price, VP of Marketing at Placester, to answer a few of your questions.  We speak fairly frankly on this blog, so I tried to get to the meat of the critics’ concerns as quickly as possible. $5/mo websites are attractive to agents, but many wonder if prices will go up later, advertising will be added, etc. There seems … Read More »

Walkscore and Redfin: Is Real Estate Tech Too Profitable For Distractions and Discounts?

by Sam DeBord on 11:59 am November 3, 2014

Redfin Walkscore Tech Profits

Seattle’s technology brokerage, Redfin, recently acquired our local community metrics company, Walkscore. The guys who run WalkScore have grown their business into household name nationwide, and have remained the same gracious, humble, community-conscious entrepreneurs in the meantime. You can’t help but feel happy that Josh and Matt are putting a little bit of money in the bank now. Walkscore’s products have always looked like a goliath in terms of long-term potential eyeball attraction that hadn’t received their appropriate financial payoff.  That chapter has now been closed.  (Let’s … Read More »

Future Mortgage Option: Lending Insurance To Avoid Rate Volatility

by Sam DeBord on 9:41 am October 29, 2014

Future Mortgage Options

Imagine you’re one of the millions of Americans who have been locking in in record low interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages within the past few years. 4.0 percent on a 30 year mortgage is a good deal, but 2.25% on a 5 yr ARM, or 2.5% on a 7 yr ARM cuts your payment nearly in half. Since most mortgages are refinanced or the property is sold within a seven year time frame, it seems like a good financial bet. Still, five to seven … Read More »

New, Inexpensive Video Opportunities Explode For Small Businesses (Including Hyperlapse)

by Sam DeBord on 3:45 pm August 28, 2014

WrapVideo

If you haven’t tried out Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app (and your Facebook feed isn’t already full of your friends’ time lapse videos), stop reading this article, get the app, and try it out right now. My first reaction to this app was that its ability to shoot a time lapse video from a mobile phone was really interesting, but its ability to stabilize video through its programming that constantly monitors the phone’s gyroscope was the really useful feature.  Steve Pacinelli at Tech Savvy agent beat … Read More »

Price Per Square Foot in Real Estate: When Data Makes Us Less Informed

by Sam DeBord on 10:28 am August 20, 2014

Price Per Square Foot

As professionals, we’re often as fascinated by real estate statistics as consumers are. Price per square foot is one of the metrics that is frequently quoted in attempting to value homes for sale, and it has become a ubiquitous stat on real estate websites. While it’s an interesting piece of data in an online listing, frankly, it’s a waste of time. Price per square foot is a number that boils down dozens of unique factors in a house or condo and attempts to bundle them into … Read More »

Disqus vs. Facebook Comments: Barriers, UX, and Stickiness–Which is Better?

by Sam DeBord on 10:30 am May 24, 2014

Disqus vs Facebook commenting

As someone who spends far too much time commenting on others’ writing and discussing business online, I think I have a fairly good feel for user experience when it comes to online commenting systems.  Disqus and Facebook commenting seem to be the major 3rd-party players in the commenting world right now, and they deliver very different products. Barriers To Entry It seems to me that the most successful discussions I’ve seen over the years have been on the Disqus platform.  Facebook comments seem to be … Read More »

My Open House is Better Than Your Website: Getting Below The Surface in Real Estate Marketing Data

by Sam DeBord on 3:24 pm May 21, 2014

There was an interesting article this week on Inman News, which concluded that real estate agents are spending too much money trying to be found online. NAR’s 2014 Trends report was used as the basis for the conclusions, but the answers that those numbers should have fleshed out might actually be quite different. The study showed that around 10 percent of buyers who closed on a transaction found their agent through a website. Of course, this number is dwarfed by personal connections and referrals. Close … Read More »

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