ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Frequency AND Content Matter! - 05/16/17 01:17 PM
I see it every now and then:
Blogging doesn't work.
ActiveRain isn't getting the job done.
I used to rank better and didn't need to work at it nearly so hard.
And maybe it's true to some extent.  Maybe ActiveRain doesn't launch you straight to Page 1 the way it did 9 years ago...when there were just a handful of real estate bloggers in any local market...if there were even that many.
Now it's a lot easier to broadcast to the world, and blogs aren't the only mechanism.  Pinterest, videos, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and 43 more I probably haven't even heard of yet, but that each … (30 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: ERR-RANT Temptations - 05/09/17 03:01 PM
This is a business that REALLY tempts you to blow your cool.  Vent some steam.  Unload on someone that REALLY deserves it.  Just let them know how shortchanged they are in the IQ department.  Give 'em the verbal slap upside the back of the head.  Tell 'em to get a pair of big boy pants.'s probably not the prudent thing to do except in VERY specific circumstances.  There are times you need to defend yourself, your clients, your beliefs and when you've tried the sugar and spice and everything nice approach multiple times and the behavior doesn't change, then maybe the … (41 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Morning, Noon or Night, Just Write! - 04/25/17 01:44 PM

Jim Cheney recently asked in the Q&A section about when people prefer to blog.  The answers of course vary as blogging is a personal endeavor and we each have different demands on our time and attention.  Mix in whether we are more creative at certain times, the environment around us and a host of other factors and it gets a bit complicated.
For me personally, I'm scattered on the when (and even the where for that matter).  When I first started I was a morning blogger AND an afternoon blogger.  Just had to get those points!  But over time that changed.  One … (21 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Expert, One Of The Most Abused Words In Real Estate - 04/18/17 06:20 PM

Expert doesn't mean what I think it should in our business.
Apparently Facebook thinks because I spend time in real estate groups that I need ads pertaining to real estate, especially ads from other local agents!
So I see an ad come across my feed for a local agent and it's an agent name I haven't heard, and the ad proclaimed her a local expert.  Well since I had about 60 seconds to spare I decided to do a quick check of MLS for this agent and check sales.  Five sales in the last 15 months.  Now maybe she truly is an expert … (11 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Market Reports Make Music To My Ears! - 04/11/17 05:07 PM

"I love reading your market report blog."
Not exactly the message I expect to get on a Sunday morning, but there it was in my Inbox!
And a little email back and forth later and I've got a buyer 2-3 months out that knows where they want to live and what they want to buy.  Score one for blogging!  All I have to do is make sure I continue to maintain contact and prove the actions back up the blog posts.
Now for those of you that might think writing market reports is a grind, I'll not argue with you about that.  It's far, … (44 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Blogging My Humanity - 04/04/17 01:45 PM

I've been a human all my life.  I started off without much awareness, bad eyesight, not much hair and pooping myself regularly!  :)
Over time, a lot has changed and some things haven't.  I'm still a human over half a century later!  With that comes the same Life challenges we all face accompanied with a full range of emotions from the highest to the lowest.  Wants and needs are there, and sometimes the challenge is understanding the difference between the two!
Now if you wonder where I'm heading with this ramble, recently Tony Lewis asked a question about a blog post about Easter and … (34 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Avoiding Vampires - 03/21/17 07:07 AM
What many new real estate agents may not realize is that as agents we are a small business.  Whether you work for a big box brand or a small brokerage, you're responsible for your own success. 
Establishing goals, a business plan, understanding your sources of business, your costs, recognizing your limits, planning for taxes, that and much more are a critical part of being successful.  And it's not just a matter of grossing the most, but a matter of keeping a good sized piece of those earnings in your own pocket.
So to be successful, you've got to avoid vampires.  While there … (52 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: 10 Things You Learn In The Rain - 03/14/17 01:19 PM

We've been doing our best to put the "Active" in ActiveRain for almost 7 years, and there are many key lessons to learn.  The quicker you learn and apply, the better your Rain experience: 
1.  Playing nice in the sandbox mattered in kindergarten and it matters here too.  This community isn't a place for bare knuckle brawls.  If you're looking to fight, I've got a few places to suggest for you to look, but the Rain isn't one of them.
2.  Posts and comments are permanent.  Thank you Interwebs and it's a double edged sword.  If we do things right, we get … (46 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: ActiveRain Commenting Etiquette - 03/07/17 10:46 AM

I have rarely deleted comments in years of blogging in the Rain.  Vulgarity on a consumer facing post, yep that'll do it.  But otherwise if someone wants to act like an
I've preferred to just leave it there and let others draw their own conclusions.  But under the right circumstances, I WILL use the Delete key.
There are a some key ways to get yourself in trouble with your comments:
1.  Not being aware of the blogger's target audience.  If they're writing to the consumer, you can bet the author isn't looking to have you try and destroy their credibility, ethics or professionalism.  If … (67 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Why We Blog Daily - 02/21/17 01:51 PM

It's Tuesday, and it's a "normal" week so returning to our regularly scheduled AAA schedule.
Anyone that has known us in the Rain knows there's one thing they can count on:  We WILL have a new post every day.  If we didn't show up I suspect there might be a missing persons call made to Bob Stewart.
There's a host of reasons why that is the case:
1.  It's a habit.  It started off with a 30/30 challenge back in 2010.  I got used to it and got tuned into ideas and after that the dominoes just started to fall into place.
2.  I … (35 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: My Client Said He'd Knock Me Out! - 02/13/17 11:08 AM

You may think my blogging world is turned upside down.  After all, aren't my AAA posts on TUESDAYS??? (yes, normally) And WHY would my client be promising to knock me out?  Just how bad did that transaction get??
Well, those that follow me know that I blog with a purpose, and here it is:
You need a good title to pull readers in. 
You can have the BEST content in the world, but it you can't get that initial click, it doesn't do you much good.  It's no different than the wonderfully updated home that has an exterior with BLAH curb appeal.  That … (41 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Pros & Cons of Short URLs - 02/07/17 03:15 PM

What's a short URL you may ask?
It's basically just what you'd expect from that name, it's a tool to abbreviate a blog post's URL to something...wait for it....SHORT! 
E.g. we start with:
and it becomes
Both links will take you to the same post (well USUALLY, more on that later).
So how do you create that short URL for your posts?  They're just a click away.  On any post (not just your own), look to the bottom right for the SHORT URL button:
Click the SHORT URL button and you get:
And right next to that red arrow will be a UNIQUE short url generated for … (40 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Should I Enter ActiveRain Contests? - 01/31/17 01:24 PM

I'm going to use everyone's "favorite" answer to answer that question:
"It depends!"
Okay, don't shoot the messenger but that's my honest answer to whether or not you should participate.
ActiveRain offers two categories:
1.  Challenges.  Do X and we'll give you Y points.
2.  Contests.  There are judges, extra points for placing 1, 2 or 3 and points for participating.
So "It depends" on:
Where are you in your blogging life? How badly do you want the points? Do you have the time? Will the particular contest help you develop as a blogger or increase your business? Your answers to these questions help decide whether it's … (39 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Where Can I Find Help? - 01/24/17 01:41 PM

Are you having a problem and need some help? 
Where can you turn to for assistance?
For general How To questions or about how things work in the Rain, you have multiple options:
1.  If you see someone that's doing what you want to do, just ask them!  That's how I learned to hyperlink in our posts when we were first starting.
2.  Post a question in the Q&A section.  There's a fair number of people checking in there throughout the day and chances are good someone might be able to give you a solid answer.
3.  Contact one of the Ambassadors (caveat, not all … (31 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Eyes Wide Open - 01/10/17 01:39 PM

If ever there was a profession that demands attention to detail, we're in it.
We'd better have our eyes wide open and our ears on high alert.
Looking and listening for information that will lead to:
new knowledge and skills
new business new relationships Now our experience has been that ActiveRain is a perfect environment for fulfilling all three of those categories.
What we can do today is light years of where we were when we joined this community.  I won't lay claim to being a guru by any means, but I know what works for us and it's thanks to the sharing of … (44 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: From Sand to Pearls - 01/03/17 01:12 PM

It all starts with a grain of sand.  Just a measly, puny one in a trillion grain of sand.  But that grain of sand gets in just the right place on a oyster and the oyster gets to work, adding layer after layer, until the finished product looks nothing like a grain of sand, but instead something quite valuable.
Now what does this have to do with real estate and blogging?  Nothing and everything!
Now ideas for posts are quite plentiful, they're the grains of sand.  You can choose from the entire spectrum of purely personal to pure real estate to the nth … (43 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Evaluate Your Year - 12/27/16 01:44 PM

"Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."
~Attributed to George Santayana
Now that quote could be applied to our lives in MANY ways, and it certainly is applicable to those of us in real estate. As we wrap up 2016 it's time to evaluate what worked and what didn't work.
Where did our business come from?
How much did we spend to get that business?
What DID and DIDN'T work?
Are there sensible places to trim expenses?
It's SO easy to just keep doing the same old same old without really knowing if it works or not.  Busy work FEELS good but may accomplish … (12 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Streamlining Your Blogging - 12/20/16 12:31 PM

I make it no secret.  I work two careers.  I'm an engineer AND a real estate agent.  What that means is I have to be VERY efficient with my time, and that includes our blogging.
My goal is to blog with a purpose each day, every day, rinse, lather, repeat to the tune of in excess of 3000 posts to date.
To make sure I fit in a blog post into my daily routine, I need to be VERY effective with my time.
I don't sit down to write a post until I KNOW what topic I'm going to explore for the day.  White … (35 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Avoiding Headaches In The Rain & Elsewhere - 11/29/16 01:08 PM

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."  Reinhold Niebuhr
Most of us recognize this.  We've got it hanging in our home, or we know people that do.  It's a snippet from The Serenity Prayer  and understanding its meaning can take us from turmoil to peace. 
We never said it's easy to walk the path.
Let's face it.  We're not perfect.  Life's not perfect.  Paraphrasing Forrest Gump, "it happens".
A typical day consists of a mix of face to face interactions, emails, ActiveRain blogs, Q&A … (52 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Where Do Your Blogging Ideas Come From? - 11/22/16 02:25 PM
I make a habit of putting the "regular" in regular blogging for our team.  I enjoy it as it's a nice change of pace from my engineering work and even better, it's really added to our business.
The blog archives keep building and while some days I know EXACTLY what the topic of the day will be, most days I wake up and determine what to write about next based on whatever sparks my interest for the day.
So if you're interested at a peek into what makes this blogger's mind tick, here's some insight to the sources for my last month of … (30 comments)

Liz and Bill Spear,  RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 Ambassador large

Liz and Bill Spear

RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Mason, OH

More about me…

RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305

Address: 5720 Gateway Blvd, Suite 203, Mason, OH, 45040

Mobile: 513-520-5305

Email Me

REALTORS(R) serving Warren County Ohio and surrounding areas. Observing and reporting on real estate and related topics to help your quality of life! And if you're asking where is Warren County Ohio? We fill the space between Cincinnati and Dayton. Perfect for enjoying the bigger cities without living in them. Places like Mason, Lebanon, Springboro, Waynesville, Franklin and more. Plus lots of rural properties available too. We work with both residential home buyers and sellers.




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