Every day we receive new ideas, suggestions and requests to make ActiveRain better from our lovely members and we take those little golden nuggets to the Round Table. With all hands on deck, we decide what is actually possible and what requests will make ActiveRain better. Some of your gems don't get too far but others make it all the way through to production.
Here's what we have in store for our release on Wednesday May 23rd. This release will not require us to take the site down so there won't be any outages for you to worry about.
We've had a Q&A board since shortly after our launch in 2006 but it was hidden and not given much love, from us, or from our members. In fact, almost every day some consumer would ask a question and often those questions would go whispering in the wind. Why? Mainly we didn't have the resources to focus on expanding the feature and getting it on the appropriate pages.
Today, we've breathed new life into the Q&A section and added it to the state pages for every state. If you go to the states menu on the top navigation bar and click on your state, you'll see the ability for anyone to ask a real estate related question.
For our members, providing answers is a great way to generate leads, gain exposure and build rapport with consumers in your market who need professional opinions. You're the professionals out there in the field each day and if you'd like to share your expertise then please by all means take a look at the Q&A. Notice a new addition in the blue bar?
If you click the Q&A link in the blue bar, you'll be able to answer any questions as well as look over recent questions and answers. In addition, on the left hand side of your 'my home' page is a new link that says 'New Questions' and let's you know how many unanswered questions there are from your state. You can click that link to check out all the unanswered questions. Or you can browse through all the questions on your state page, as I know consumers would love to get as many opinions as possible when asking for professional assistance.
It's not a first come first serve type of thing. Anyone can answer a question even if there have already been answers left for the question. Consumers are looking for awesome answers. I know as a community we are more than capable of providing them with awesome answers.
We hope that our members will keep this Q&A section focused on real estate related questions as opposed to asking questions about how to use some component of ActiveRain......but I suppose if someone decides to use it for that, our gracious members will probably help out with answers for those kind of questions as well.
When someone asks a question, we get their email address. When you answer a question, your answer is emailed to them along with a link to your profile on ActiveRain. This is another great way to demonstrate your expertise online. To that I would suggest that everyone stick to answering questions in a state for which you have a license.
We'd love to have you check it out and help us answer some of the hundreds of outstanding questions. There will surely be more to come in the future now that we've made it more readily accessible.
Ever been bummed about not being able to list your commercial or land listings? Or did you put in a perfectly valid address yet get kicked out because the system wouldn't identify it as one? Well it's been fixed! Previously the Listings Tool required each field completed in order to activate; well that didn't work for your land or commercial listings that didn't have beds or baths. As of today, the only field required to activate a listing is a City. You're still allowed 20 listings so go get 'em tiger!
We have some new faces working for AR. Check out our newly updated About page to see some familiar faces and some new ones too. I'm very proud to be a part of such a wonderful team and you should feel good knowing we've got the best of the best working hard to keep this wonderful platform rolling!
We made a few additional SEO updates that dealt mostly with some of the ways we displayed pages to search engines. Just some additional clean up as we head toward really putting our best foot forward to the Google monster. Nothing that impacts any of your content specifically. It had to do more with what happens when content is removed from ActiveRain or the search engines find a page that was eliminated.