Success is More Than Just a Check

Real Estate Technology with ActiveRain

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).

Rick Said:

"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

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tim Peterson 04/10/2011 10:12 PM
ActiveRain Community
success story

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Donna Malone
Waterfront, Luxury, Family, Affordable, Cottage, Deals - Bridgewater, NS
Homes and Property for Sale Nova Scotia

Seeing the check (or cheque as we write in Canada) is motivating to me because I can see that Agents are getting business from activerain. The other photo topics are good too. I think the mix will be better than just the checks. I look forward to writing my first blog about getting business through activerain. I'm still trying to get everything straight.

Mar 23, 2011 01:37 AM #59
Irene Kennedy RealtorĀ® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

While Rick does have a valid point, the public doesn't object to seeing us with our RainChecks.  In fact, my RainDance video caused a couple to call me. They made me promise to do my happy dance when they closed.  And I did!

Mar 23, 2011 01:40 AM #60
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

I need to get one of those pictures soon either way...thats my goal.

Mar 23, 2011 01:52 AM #61
Virginia Gardner
Roy Wheeler Realty Co. - Charlottesville, VA
Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia

Yea yea yea, so much better this way!!

Mar 23, 2011 02:07 AM #62
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I think both ideas are great--depending upon how your perceive your own personal success. I'll see what I can come up with.

Mar 23, 2011 02:34 AM #63
Jim Courtney
OklaHomes Realty, Claremore Oklahoma - Claremore, OK

I'm all over this one...when I actually get some business from AR. I've only been a Rainmaker for a few weeks and have been blogging only a couple of months. I don't mind the check pictures but would really like the buyer/seller pictures better. Looking forward to more of them! :)

Mar 23, 2011 02:54 AM #64
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Good Morning...I agree with the email and your shift in direction.

 I recently stopped mailing my newsletter to my database and now email them a success story monthly. So what is my success story? It's a true story about how I made a difference helping a client...

Another idea I find popular...I recently posted here a client ttestimonial on Video...

AR Members also like success stories that outline how AR helped them with their Clients and their personal lives too.

Mar 23, 2011 03:08 AM #65
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
Couldn't agree more ! I saw at least one image and immediately thought of how it reinforced the greedy agent image, blah, blah....
Mar 23, 2011 04:35 AM #66
Lindsay Pendleton
Relocating To Baton Rouge & Surrounding Areas - Baton Rouge, LA
Marketing Agent - Property Management in Baton Rou

I think this is a much better idea and more personable. While I totally respect the agents who have already had their picture posted with a fabulous check, it somewhat played down the true meaning of an Activerain Success Story.

There's a lawyer here who has a commercial who says, "Got in a wreck? I'll get you your check" or something like that. Then, there are a number of customers showing their check and smiling, (John Doe got me $20,000 for my wreck and I got my check) this is kind of what it reminded me of.

I think its a better idea to go beyond the commission standpoint and delve into something more personal. Although, I'm hesitant to say I agree with having to take photos with out clients...I do not like getting in front of the camera. Ugh. What if I just take a picture of my hand handing them the keys? Would that suffice? lol

Mar 23, 2011 06:09 AM #67
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Bob ..I wrote a blog post with a check and explained how refering to an Active Rain member made a successful transaction wit a picture of my check was never viewed by Active Rain or extra points is the link..I am starting to feel unloved..:0(

Find Referral Agents Here Best References


I know ir is not all about points ;but I do like them anyway



Mar 23, 2011 07:17 AM #68
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

I think expanding the idea of success is great!!! Thanks !!! you guys always are great!

Mar 23, 2011 03:37 PM #69
Kim & Kristine Halverson
Compass - Santa Monica, CA
Sisters, Realtors
Thank you for making this change, feels more personal which is what this biz and AR is ALL about. Kristine :)
Mar 23, 2011 06:42 PM #70
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains

Excellent idea all the way around.  Very positive to include showcasing the service we provide and that we actually do earn our paychecks.

Mar 23, 2011 11:38 PM #71
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Personally, I have sent in a few pictures of me holding checks because I've closed many sales directly because of AR. I'm proud of it. Also, I personally never go to the main page as I'm busy either writing a post or reading others, so I had no idea pictures were being posted.  I've had a couple of bad hair days in my pics...

Mar 24, 2011 02:10 PM #72
Pam Guthrie
Seaside Realty Company - Myrtle Beach, SC
Seaside Realty Co. Owner/Broker In Charge, REALTOR

Wish I had checks instead of points.


Mar 24, 2011 05:24 PM #73
Torgie Madison
Quicksilver Real Estate Solutions, LLC - Portland, OR
Websites and Contact Management

I love this idea! Success can be so much more than a check.

Mar 25, 2011 10:07 AM #75
James Loftis - West Palm Beach, FL

great ideal and insight.

Mar 27, 2011 07:50 AM #76
Tim Peterson
Wisconsin Realtor Safety and Concealed Carry Classes - Madison, WI
Realtor Safety Training Classes

I certainly agree with Rick on this-it is how we are perceived as Making way too much money for the little???? we do

Apr 10, 2011 10:10 PM #77
Nyssa Smith
Keller Williams Advantage Realty - State College, PA
REALTOR, State College Area Real Estate

Woo hoo!  Thanks for quoting JoePa!!!  I'm in State College, PA!  Home of the Penn State University!  So it was cool to see you guys quote Joe Paterno!  Thanks!  You made my day!  WE ARE ...  PENN STATE!

Apr 12, 2011 03:41 AM #78
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

I just sent you guys my "Succes is More Than Just a Check" picture and story!

You just gotta love the Rain!

May 28, 2011 05:39 AM #79
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