Best or Worst Dressed ActiveRain Local Pages 2010

By
Real Estate Agent

We've recently tried on a new look for our local pages (state/county/city), and to much of our chagrin it has been received by some in our community with a thumbs down. I'd like to let our community know that we are reading every post written on our network about this change, and following the comment stream intently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our members needs are our #1 priority.  Every change we make is always done with the goal to bring value to our community.  In this instance our primary goal was to increase relevancy to these pages and add valuable information to consumers landing on these pages. We also needed to make these changes to prepare the foundation for some exciting changes coming to ActiveRain in the near future.

However with that said, we hear you all loud and clear and now understand that having a points based directory by state is very important!

For everyone who is trying to catch up on this debate, I've included an image of the state page before the change, and after. Please let me know in the comments below which you prefer and why. 

Before:

After:

close

Re-Blogged 8 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Charita Cadenhead 07/19/2010 09:09 AM
  2. Michael Collins 07/19/2010 09:13 AM
  3. Ken's Home Team LLC. | 360.609.0226 | Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA Real Estate Team 07/19/2010 09:36 AM
  4. Maureen McCabe 07/19/2010 09:49 AM
  5. Not a real person 07/19/2010 09:59 AM
  6. Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team 07/19/2010 10:22 AM
  7. Kathy Clulow 07/19/2010 12:33 PM
  8. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 07/19/2010 01:43 PM
  9. Harry F. D'Elia 07/20/2010 02:25 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
463,356
Eva Aliaga
Partnership Realty Inc - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton & Delray Beach: SE Florida Real Estate

I like the new look, but in the old version at the county level I did like the option of the pull down list of the different categories, ex RE agent, Broker, Mortgage, etc.

Jul 21, 2010 05:22 AM #179
Rainmaker
463,356
Eva Aliaga
Partnership Realty Inc - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton & Delray Beach: SE Florida Real Estate

Jon, I also would agree with Mitchell Hall about the NYC categories. 

Jul 21, 2010 05:29 AM #180
Rainer
80,641
Mark Gridley
eXp Realty, Reinventing the National Real Estate Office! - Fountain Hills, AZ
TecKnow Real Estate Agent, Fountain Hills, AZ

Looks like you got my criticism answered! Now the page reflects Local again. The new format will be consumer friendly and represent the needs of smaller communities.t

Jul 21, 2010 05:42 AM #181
Ambassador
174,320
Jon Washburn
Seattle, WA

Eva, Check out our new leaderboard. You can look at different categories on the local level.

Jul 21, 2010 06:19 AM #182
Rainmaker
1,012,395
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Springfield, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Jonathan, Thanks for asking the community for input.  What I am taking away from this whole change is how it happend.  There was no preparing the community of this event.  No heads up that I have read about that said something like "Changes coming Monday July......  We are making these changes in order to.........And this is how it will work in a nutshell.  Take a look and give us your feedback".   Please correct me if I am wrong or out of order on this point.

Members are in relationship with the staff and all of you at AR, and in most relationships, if a change is made by one part of the relationship and the other part discovers this change after the fact, that in itself can set up some defenses and resistance.

My hope is that in the future, if a change in format is going to occur, maybe a heads up with it's intended goal might soften the blow to the change.  Ultimately, any change made by AR is made in the hopes of helping us all grow our business. 

Thanks for taking the time to read all these comments.  ---Gloria

 

Jul 21, 2010 07:47 AM #183
Ambassador
174,320
Jon Washburn
Seattle, WA

Gloria,

Your comment was extremely well stated. I especially liked: "Members are in relationship with the staff and all of you at AR, and in most relationships, if a change is made by one part of the relationship and the other part discovers this change after the fact, that in itself can set up some defenses and resistance."

 

Jul 21, 2010 08:38 AM #184
Rainmaker
1,036,503
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Jonathan - at the moment the "new leaderboard" asks me where I left my keys

Jul 21, 2010 09:33 AM #185
Rainer
289,770
Daniel J. Hunter
REALTORĀ® - New Port Richey, FL

I  have no idea why 2 featured members followed by everyone else in the middle column is different than 2 featured members with everyone else in the right column.  One argument I can understand is the agents pictures seems smaller.  I dont get why so many are upset, hence my blog post, My first feature TYVM

Jul 21, 2010 09:48 AM #186
Rainmaker
503,040
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

Like the new look.  I don't think the points are relevant to the public, but they are relevant to members looking for other active members to refer to.  If the new format had the agents featured down the middle with the blogs on the side, that might be a good compromise.

That said, I appreciate you and your teams constant efforts to constantly improve things on AR for our benefit. 

Jul 21, 2010 10:49 AM #187
Rainmaker
902,476
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
RealtorĀ®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

I think the old format was fine.....change is good....... but I'll miss seeing the points. 

Jul 21, 2010 01:34 PM #188
Rainer
37,912
Janet Sebile
Coldwell Banker Apex, Realtors - Rowlett, TX

I like the changes on "My Home" page.  It gives us what we need - ability to see ranking, other Realtors, etc.  I don't understand what people are referring to for localism.  When I search the page I don't see anything about localism unless you have since taken it away.

I agree with the comment by Jon Solsky that this is just a different page and should be treated as such.  You gave us what we needed on the Home Page.

Finally, Gloria said it well about giving people a "heads up".   Unless I've missed it in the many comments, the word that seems to be missing is respect.  Reading between the lines it appears that most people just feel they were disrespected because they were not a part of this change.

I've only been on AR for about a month and it was very clear to me from the start that members have taken "ownership" of AR.  You see it in the contributions they make, how they care for members they may not have even met in person and their support to the AR staff.   We know it wasn't AR's intent or even a thought that you would offend or make people feel this way but at least you know you've got a great product and members invested in its success!

Jul 21, 2010 02:23 PM #189
Ambassador
749,660
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Jonathan... you stated this,,,

 

"We've updated the new state/county/city pages to address the most obvious bugs:

* Agents listed on the right are now selected properly
* Blog posts are now culled only from those marked for syndication to Localism, increasing relevance

Did we get this first phase right? Please check out the Local pages and let me know."

 

I think it looks good... I tried to read many of the comments... I said it before I and I agree with Missy... leave the points out... the other main thing left, or that was left out,,, a spot on the main page to search for individuals by a directory..such as a realtor, or if I am searching for a loan officer, etc... etc.. I miss that field because I know of a loan officer that I have a lead form, but I just remember his last name,, please lelp with this,,, thanks

jeff belonger

 

Jul 21, 2010 07:13 PM #190
Rainmaker
642,556
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Jonathan ~ I have read through the thread of comments.  Here are my thoughts:

1) bring back the state/county/ city pages for those of us here on AR.  Personally, I worked my tail off to move up in the ranks.  I like to see the points.  I am proud of those points.  The localism featured posts for my city are a joke.  It's the same agent that repeats his same posts over and over again on a monthly basis with not much content.  There are blatant gramatical and spelling errors.  It is embarrassing. 

2) Where did the county page go?  We don't just sell in one city.  That is important

3) Also, the agents got shoved to the right side.  Why?  I liked to be able to read a bio on the agent along with their photo and points.

I agree with  Jim Hale #127.  You took away our toy, our fun.

I think the look is sleek, but the functionality is shoty.  We need something with the look of the new but the functionality of the old.

Jul 22, 2010 01:15 PM #191
Rainmaker
642,556
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

I also forgot....why aren't the cities in alphabetical order for the state? How is someone supposed to find a city they are looking for if they aren't in any order?  Not even by size.

I understand that change is not eaily dealt with, however, I don't find a reason why there is no order/organization for searches.

 

Jul 22, 2010 01:28 PM #192
Rainer
96,676
Martin Dorgan
Prudential Indiana Realty - Columbus, IN

I'd like to point out something I'm sure others have noted but I'm not sure?  I came across this point while searching for information on other AR members.

If I'm searching for the two top agents anywhere?  That is easy to find!  But! If I want to find other relative agents, not necesarily the top agents, but those I would like to communicate with, I have No Way to recognize them, because no points are present.  In addition the list sends you to their Localism page, which doesn't give you a link back to their AR profile, so you can't check there if they contribute via their points score.  So now, only the top two agents are relative!  Not fair and very difficult to work around to find other agents that are major contributors in a specific area, especially large metropolitan areas, but I'm sure even in rural areas as well.

Jul 23, 2010 03:04 AM #193
Rainmaker
342,754
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

I'm late to the party but in case you're still listening...

I think the change is a real bummer and some of the justification for it mystifies me... better for members - I simply don't see that whatsoever except for #1 and #2 members - for everyone else it is a huge take-away.

The two screen captures really don't tell the story - it's almost disingenuous in fact.  That big yellow box was always off putting so its elimination is a good thing.  But you've cut off the rest of the pages and given the impression that the pages are similar.  They are anything but. 

There is NO way to justify the removal of the small bios as a good thing.  Focusing on cities or counties is NOT a justification.  I - and most agents - sell in several communities (and my state is not particularly county-focused) and the info that you eliminated allowed me to list those communities.

A long list of blog posts in the middle with no picture next to them is BORING. 

I think you're wrong that posts are better than people / agents in many cases.  If people are searching by state I think that more often than not they're best served (and who knows - maybe they don't know that yet!) by finding an AGENT - not a collection of random posts that may or may not be relevant. 

Since the problem of maintaining quality, relevant posts in the huge middle swath of the page seems enormous - I think having the list of photos and small bios / summaries is far more valuable - to us and to users.

The "leaderboard" is no panacea.  That's all about the points - and fine and dandy as far as that small area of focus goes.  The state pages are about exposure and usability and fails miserably on both counts as far as I'm concerned.

I can remember a site that I used to go to all the time as a user. They changed the format (it was blog based which lo those many years ago I didn't even fully comprehend) and I never, ever went back. It just lost all of its magic for me.  Tweaks like these have a huge impact and really can close the door for many people.  Unfortunately, this change is starting to feel a lot like that one for me.

Liz

Jul 23, 2010 03:29 AM #194
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Liz:  I have written many comments that have been critical of the changes, and very critical of the elimination of the old state and county pages.  I think your comment above... # 195... probably says it better, and explains it much better, than anything I have written up until now.

Thank you so much for, as you said, coming "late to the party."  And Jon... I suggest you read what Liz had to say... carefully... as I know you will.  Liz is very wise... and what she says makes so much sense.  She's an excellent Realtor, and a credit to Active Rain.

Also, I read somewhere else... it might have been on your We'll See post... about a suggestion to just leave the old State and County pages as they were... but just make them Members Only.  That, pretty much, would solve quite a bit.  Thanks again for listening.

Take care...

Jul 23, 2010 07:18 AM #195
Rainer
34,505
Ben Schern
Target Building Inspections LLC - Scottsdale, AZ
AZ Home Inspector

I do not approve or like the fact that no longer can you search at the states tab for a Home Inspector, appraiser, broker etc. I receive a good amount of calls from realtors that utilize that and now its gone, May I add... If this continues I am gone with my subscription too...

Jul 23, 2010 09:54 AM #196
Rainmaker
985,918
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Nice Layout, but I don;t think everyone would agree to this. There are so many out there who have dedicated a lot of their time to AR to be featured, get point, blah blah blah. Let's leave it up to the AR Gods.

Jul 28, 2010 09:02 PM #197
Rainer
6,140
Joooo koooooo
Yorktown Heights, NY

Very cool layout! I am inactive for some time but I like the changes I have seen as of lately and plan to become more involved in the community.

 

jon kobeck

http://www.jonkobeck.com

Dec 31, 2010 05:07 AM #198
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Ambassador
174,320

Jon Washburn

Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention