In May of 2010, we asked our members to send us pictures of checks they had received as a result of closings they attribute directly to their participation on ActiveRain. We even offer 2500 points for doing so. We've gotten quite a few success stories, complete with pictures of our members holding checks, in the last 10 months.
Recently, we started displaying those stories on the home page of ActiveRain. Immediately, we were contacted by a few members saying they didn't like this new feature and couldn't understand how it had any value to a consumer visiting ActiveRain. My immediate thought was, "Consumers don't visit the home page of ActiveRain. When they end up on ActiveRain, it's usually by doing a search on Google and they end up directly on one of your blog posts". After investigating a little bit, we found this to be true, the vast majority of visits to our home page are by logged in users, or by IP addresses that have logged in to an ActiveRain account in the past.
We want those members that aren't as engaged to see that being an active member on ActiveRain can lead to more business, and since our home page is primarily viewed by members, we decided showcasing success stories would help us convince agents (who aren't already convinced) that ActiveRain can help their business.
It wasn't until a well articulated email from Rick Phillips, that I realized success may not be best (or only) expressed as a bank deposit. (Alright, I already knew this, but his email made me realize we could probably use some variety on how we have our members express their success).
"Just my opinion, and I'm sure it's in the minority, but the recent theme of posting agent's pics up in the right-hand corner, holding up checks, makes me cringe every time I log on.
To me it illustrates the bad things about the industry. There is a perception that real estate agents are crass or greedy.
Do you know what kind of success imagery I would like to see? Something where the agent is shown as HELPING someone: like the family in front of the new home, or the keys, or everyone sitting down at the closing table"
We all know that the members of this community are neither crass, nor greedy. However, I completely understand where Rick is coming from. So with that being said, we'd like to invite our members to send us stories, with images just like the ones Rick suggests. We're still going award points when an agent sends us a picture of them holding a check that was a direct result of their participation on ActiveRain, but we'd like to extend the offer to cover 'success' as Rick (and I'm sure many of the rest of you) defines it.
If you're interested in 2500 points (a one time thing), we'd love to have you send us a picture of you with your clients (who became your clients as a result of ActiveRain) in front of their new home, or you handing over the keys to their first home, or all of you at the closing table. We ask that you be in the picture and that your clients give you (and us) permission to use their image. All images submitted must be at least 960pixels W by 640 pixels H. (The bigger the better).
Please also include a small story about how the clients found you, or how the closing related in some way to ActiveRain. We'd also love to hear a little about how you were able to help your clients have their own 'success'. You can send the image and the story to firstname.lastname@example.org.