Annual Tech Checkup

By Sam DeBord

It’s winter again, and that means it’s time to do our yearly technology maintenance checkup. You may have to spend a little bit of money to prepare yourself for the coming year, but it’s an investment in the foundation of your ongoing business.

Tip 1

Make sure your clients are seeing the best of you.

Start with your personal accounts and profiles. Make sure your title, brokerage, and contact information are all current. Update your experience, awards, and sales history in your profiles. Verify this across as many platforms as possible:

  • Your personal website
  • Your brokerage’s website
  • Your franchisor’s website
  •, Trulia, and Zillow
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social platforms
  • Yelp and other review websites


Tip 2

Say cheese.

We’ve all laughed at a joke about how old most of our headshot photos are. But we don’t change them. When a client meets us and doesn’t recognize us, that outdated photo isn’t benefitting us. It’s saying we’re not organized or current.

Invest a couple hundred bucks in a professional photo. Schedule an hour and make the commitment. All of your marketing materials will benefit from an image that makes you look like a successful modern salesperson. Your digital presence online grows every year, and your personal photo should reflect a professional who is managing that presence regularly.

Tip 3

Stage your digital home.

Are you proud of your personal website? If not, can you afford $5/mo? Placester recently inked a deal with NAR to host brokers’ websites for just $60 annually. These are IDX-powered, mobile-friendly, blog-enabled, easy-to-setup websites that will outshine 90 percent of real estate brokers’ current profile websites.

Just go to and sign up for the service. You’ll be shocked at how easy it is to manage your website and make yourself look like a tech-savvy real estate pro. Your MLS may have an additional IDX fee it charges to you, but it’s well worth it for the slick property search features available.

If you’re so inclined, start writing a market update blog post once/week on your website. It will not only keep you on your toes with local research, it will enhance your image to your clients and readers as an informed adviser.

Tip 4

All signs should point to you.

Now that your personal website is updated, you should be pointing consumers toward it. Make sure that all of your social media profiles, broker websites, and review websites have a link to your personal website.

When more links are pointed at your personal website, the search engines are more likely to show them in search results for consumers. You might not show up for “Seattle homes for sale”, but when a client searches for “Jane Doe, REALTOR®” you want Google to display your professional personal website first. When consumers view your personal website, you get to deliver the story of your business.

Tip 5

Enhance your digital communication.

Use e-signature and transaction management software. Not only will you save yourself time and money, you’ll make your clients much more satisfied with their experience. Take the time to sit through a course and learn the system. Next year you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Add a signature to every one of your devices. Your clients and other professionals want to be able to quickly respond to you. Add your signature to every software client you use, from Outlook to Gmail, native iPhone and Android apps, etc. Every app on every device, from phone to laptop to tablet, should have a signature embedded in it.

The fax is dead. Some may argue, but they’ll be the last ones off the sinking ship. Invest in a multi-sheet scanner printer combo. They’re only a few hundred dollars, and they deliver faster, more accurate, more easily storable results. The combination of e-signatures and scanned/emailed documents has improved the readability of contracts and the speed of delivery significantly. Your associates will be glad you made the switch, and your record-keeping will improve. (P.S. Don’t forget to cc broker and managing broker email addresses when you deliver contract documents — every time!)



Sam DeBord
Sam DeBord is Managing Broker of The Seattle Homes Group with Coldwell Banker Danforth.  He serves on the Board of Directors for WA REALTORS® and is the 2016 President-elect for Seattle King County REALTORS®, as well as writing for, Inman News, and the Seattle P-I.  You can find Sam and his team at

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