Recent Articles by Sam DeBord

Shortcuts: Zillow Group’s power play, actual intelligence, and NAR’s next move

Shortcuts: Zillow Group’s power play, actual intelligence, and NAR’s next move

Zillow Group has been using its leverage in more dramatic fashion recently. The headline this week is an upcoming moratorium on agent-posted listings ......
By Sam DeBord | Thursday, February 16, 2017
Why growing agent splits can refine a broker’s value for the better

Why growing agent splits can refine a broker’s value for the better

Brad Inman’s piece on the breakup of a broker empire hit home. I may be in the minority of those working in a traditional brand brokerage, but I’ve always felt that growing agent splits are a positive trend for the industry. They reinforce where ...
By Sam DeBord | Wednesday, December 21, 2016
A payday loan application on a computer Is Opendoor the payday loan of real estate?

Is Opendoor the payday loan of real estate?

To Opendoor’s credit: There is a need in some specialized cases to turn real estate into a liquid asset in short order. There’s good cause for some buzz, but the fawning over Opendoor’s value to the consumer seems off-key ......
By Sam DeBord | Tuesday, December 20, 2016
What’s different about the Inman Connect experience

What’s different about the Inman Connect experience

Agents in the Seattle area often ask me why I include two annual trips to Inman conferences in San Francisco and New York, when I have no official responsibility or specific business outcome that I’m hoping to achieve each time I attend. Here's why...
By Sam DeBord | Tuesday, December 6, 2016
A young woman wearing a satisfied smile Human satisfaction: Can a bot fake it?

Human satisfaction: Can a bot fake it?

Excitement about new technology in real estate is usually followed by long delays in practical application. Logistical, territorial and legal hurdles often stand in the way. Bots seem to be overcoming those barriers with ease ......
By Sam DeBord | Thursday, December 1, 2016
A robot driving a car You still can’t have my car: The challenges of a driverless future

You still can’t have my car: The challenges of a driverless future

Many of you probably live two separate lives, as I do. When traveling to real estate conferences, it’s upscale venues, fine food, plentiful drinks and Uber at your fingertips. Then I get home ......
By Sam DeBord | Tuesday, November 1, 2016
A big tree with expansive branches Why the real estate industry loves to cast shade on Upstream

Why the real estate industry loves to cast shade on Upstream

The past week has been an intensified microcosm of Upstream’s industry relations progress. Education has always been one of the initiative’s most important duties. So when a leader as widely respected as Realogy’s Alex Perriello questioned the ...
By Sam DeBord | Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Inman Connect speed wrap: Provoking, flipping and dropping bombs

Inman Connect speed wrap: Provoking, flipping and dropping bombs

Last week was Inman Connect in San Francisco, one of the best events of the year (and no, not only for the parties). I'm writing to you from a campground in the Cascade mountains, so I'll try to wrap up a lot of content quickly ......
By Sam DeBord | Thursday, August 11, 2016
How long can aging agents dance on the bar?

How long can aging agents dance on the bar?

I’ve been trying to write this for some time, but it’s difficult to put a positive spin on it. I’ve put it back on the shelf a half dozen times, but after having a chat with Brad Inman in Seattle last night, I thought: “This is Inman. Just le...
By Sam DeBord | Friday, July 15, 2016
A man fueling up a car The broker-driven future of the MLS

The broker-driven future of the MLS

New technology initiatives are reshaping the future of broker relationships with MLSs. The sheer magnitude of the changes coming to the MLS portion of our industry is creating uncertainty for some and unease for others. These initiatives are complex....
By Sam DeBord | Friday, May 20, 2016
You got your AMP in my Upstream!

You got your AMP in my Upstream!

There continues to be confusion about Upstream and AMP (Advanced Multilist Platform). They are two separate projects. They are not dependent upon each other. Allow me to explain ......
By Sam DeBord | Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Will ‘smart contracts’ replace real estate closers?

Will ‘smart contracts’ replace real estate closers?

Most of a real estate closing revolves around trust and verification. Buyers and sellers use trusted intermediaries to verify that properties, funds, contractual obligations and insurance safety nets are all properly vetted before closing a sale ......
By Sam DeBord | Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The no. 1 rule for disrupting an industry? Do your homework

The no. 1 rule for disrupting an industry? Do your homework

Picture the scene: "Tech bros" with money to burn surround the table. The disruptor-in-chief is rallying the troops to the tune of nine figures. The pitch is some variation of a model that has failed repeatedly and without exception for decades. "Tod...
By Sam DeBord | Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Broker Public Portal: Angling for a new face

Broker Public Portal: Angling for a new face

Organized real estate has undertaken some potentially transformative ventures in the past couple of years. Project Upstream, RPR-AMP and the Broker Public Portal have aligned the vision of brokers in numbers that would have been unthinkable in the re...
By Sam DeBord | Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Can real estate technology ever replace a Realtor?

Can real estate technology ever replace a Realtor?

Two great conversations came across my inbox this week in the realm of real estate technology. They're topics that are older than Inman (20 years, if you're counting), and still just as timely. Rob Hahn penned a detailed post questioning the existenc...
By Sam DeBord | Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Could the Supreme Court put an end to open house signs?

Could the Supreme Court put an end to open house signs?

Open house signs dot the sidewalks on a weekend morning -- it's a sight of familiarity for our clients and our businesses. Based on a recent legal ruling, those signs might disappear in short order. That's unless Realtor associations nationwide step ...
By Sam DeBord | Friday, December 4, 2015
Will RPR fears hold back industry vision for Upstream?

Will RPR fears hold back industry vision for Upstream?

Broker conversations about data today usually take on a grim tone. That was the case when I recently moderated an industry panel of MLS and broker executives. The topic was the future of organized real estate, and the conversation was filled with wor...
By Sam DeBord | Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Dumping IDX: Don’t burn our safety net

Dumping IDX: Don’t burn our safety net

We're hearing more often from brokers that they want to go back to a more traditional way of doing business. Keep your listing leads. Close more sales in-house. Build a broker public portal to send all inbound contacts to the listing agent -- just li...
By Sam DeBord | Tuesday, September 15, 2015