ActiveRain Real Estate Questions

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ActiveRain QuestionsHi Everyone,

Active Bob and I were chatting today about ActiveRain (as we do most days). 

It turns out that ActiveRain actually has a Questions & Answers section, which is hard to find.  But the pages rank very highly in Google for Real Estate Questions

Consumers are asking questions, but there are very few real estate professionals answering the questions (since it is hard to find the section).

Has anyone answered consumer questions on ActiveRain?  Why or why not?  Did you know this area existed?  Would you be more active if we improved our questions area?  Anyone generate a lead by answering questions on ActiveRain, Trulia or Zillow or another site?

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Nikesh Parekh

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Maureen McCabe 06/02/2011 01:12 AM
  2. Debra Davis 06/02/2011 05:56 AM
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

You know Niki that's one of the first things I used at ActiveRain when I had an issue with a house and I got great answers.  It used to be right up there in the bar with all the other easy clicks.  I honestly thought it had been nixed.  Why is so hard to get to?  Are we working on that?  and when I say we... I mean you.

Jun 02, 2011 07:23 AM #36
1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Yes, I was aware... I checked it out when it was first put on AR.. I may have answered a question or two but quickly decided that the questions were better posed to the questioner's agent or attorney.  The liability to answer the type of questions that are often posed is NOT something I want to take on. :)

Jun 02, 2011 07:35 AM #37
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

I used to use it way back in the early days. It never really caught on here at AR.

And I agree with Leslie that most of the questions get answered by unqualified people. Unqualified people that answer questions tend to be incompetent as well.

Jun 02, 2011 07:46 AM #38
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

I answered questions WAY back but gave up for many reasons. 

  • There were MANY Active Rain members thinking it was a "tech support" kinda spot for THEM to ask questions
  • There was a good "backbone" for the Q&A meaning the notifications never seemed to work for me if i answered a consumers ?'s and then they had a followup.  I wasn't notified and I would just have to scroll the questions to see if there was anything additional
  • Like others above - I found many of the questions posed were simply to second guess their current agent
  • Members from other areas of the country answering questions that were specific to my local area that they knew nothing about - Real Estate is NOT the same in every state! 

Those are a few of my reasons for abandoning it.  :(

Jun 02, 2011 08:06 AM #39
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

it's actually through Active Rain's question and answer section that I first found Active Rain.  I answered a handful of questions when I first arrived, and then found the the blogs to be of far more interest, and far more trafficked, and haven't been back since.

Jun 02, 2011 08:53 AM #40
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

1. I had no idea they were there.

2. From what everyone that has seen them is saying, I don't think I want anything to do with them.

3. I agree with Leslie Ebersole. Always.

Jun 02, 2011 09:06 AM #41
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Niki - I don't really have a comment because I have not seen or used the AR Q & A.

HOWEVER - I do have a comment which I feel strongly about.  I think that the bigger issues with AR should be fully addressed before spending time and money on something like this.  I have had issues for the past two days working in AR and this is much more important to me.  Thanks!

Jun 02, 2011 10:54 AM #42
Nikesh Parekh
Trulia - Bellevue, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Hi Barbara, 

Bob and I stumbled upon this.  I thought it was interesting, so I thought I would share it to see if others had opinions.  We have no plans for Q&A right now.  This feature has existed since 2007 based on what people are telling me,

Please give me a call if you have had issues with ActiveRain recently.  I feel like ActiveRain has been working significantly better recently so I am interested in the problems you are seeing.


Jun 02, 2011 11:29 AM #43
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Niki, The Q&A used to be visible on the right sidebar amongst many other links.  Don't know where it's stashed now.

Jun 02, 2011 01:15 PM #44
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

That section has been there for a long time. Too many out of area agents answering questions that are not in their own state. A lot of liability there.

Jun 02, 2011 03:50 PM #45
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

I didn't know it was there.

I would put a safe guard in that only agents can answer questions can answer in that State. I see too much abuse and wrong answers on Trulia.

I am sure if you gave POINTS for answering questions it would get more folks involved here. (((munch, want points.


Jun 03, 2011 01:19 AM #46
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Hmm.. I'll check out the link. Had no idea it existed.

Jun 03, 2011 07:00 PM #47
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Niki - first time that I have seen it and I have really tried to explore every nook and cranny of AR links on the various pages - is there an inbound link still on any AR page or is the only way of entry for consumers via google search like ask real estate questions which you are right it does rank quite high on the google results

Jun 04, 2011 05:42 AM #48
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

according to Rich's allusion to it... there apparently used to be a Q&A link on the menu bar up above, e.g. next to search, raincamp, blogs, etc - but is no longer there, so the only way in is via direct landing from google search? Q&A seems like a great way for agents to connect with consumers - looks like you guys have work to do to bring it back to everybody's attention again and make sure there is a good notification system that would be nice to subscribe to new alerts (and does the consumer get notified when their question has been answered?)

Jun 04, 2011 05:52 AM #49
Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI
Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE - Carmel, IN
Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert

Nikesh--I have bookmarked the page, but how would I otherwise access this if I wanted to answer questions----where is it found?

Jun 04, 2011 06:20 AM #50
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Don't lesson the quality of AR with it.

I remember it on Localism pages, I never answered any, only remember one question for Mesquite.  I do remember that I thought it was pretty spammy, some questions, lot of answers.  Anyone could write a "question" - -

Q. Broker Courtesy: range $1,090,000 to $1,150,000 290 Deer Court, Incline Village, Nevada 89451 Be a Nevada resident this year and enjoy Paradise both summer and winter. Live the Tahoe dream in a gated community with freestanding luxurious Zahler built homes. Over 2,700 sq. feet of elegance will greet you in "the best home in Deer Creek", 4 bedrooms with 2 master suites, 4.5 baths with Jacuzzi tub and steam shower, 2 fireplaces or alternatively 3 bedrooms, family room, kitchen master dining area beauty with $100,000 of upgrades including faux paint, beautiful granite counters, lighted cabinets, etched windows, stained glass door and matching window, upgraded Kitchenaid appliances, Themodore cook top, a grand deck overlooking a natural mountain fed stream. For the practically minded a laundry room, central vacuum, work bench, garage cabinets, storage area and an oversize 2 car garage. Five minutes from Diamond Peak our local ski area and within walking distance to the Incline Recreation Center,the Championship golf course and only two blocks through the Village Green to Lake Tahoe's Incline Beach. (775) 832-7006

-- I guess the answer he wanted was, 'OK, I will buy it!'

Jun 05, 2011 09:06 AM #51
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

I had no idea about this! Thanks for letting us know.  It would be good if at some point you could add something where we could sign up for an email alert when a new question was asked in our area.

Jun 05, 2011 03:16 PM #52
Aida Pinto
United Associated Brokers - Downey, CA
Real Estate Broker (562) 916-3237


I used to go on that Q & A section when I first joined back in 2008 but I got busy in the last part of  2009 and 2010 with short sales, when I came back it was gone.....or I thought it was gone....I’m glad that it’s still around.....why did they hide it?  I’ll go to it right now....thanks for letting me know.

Jun 06, 2011 06:06 PM #53
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Yes, I have answered questions there, but I stopped doing so because I usually got so annoyed when I visited the site.  I find myself correcting incorrect answers by agents from other states who have different laws, and spending more time trying to figure out how to do that in a professional manner than it would normally take to simply answer the question. 

I really do think there should be some kind of filter which prevents out-of-state agents from answering questions.  Another idea might be for agents to subscribe to the Q&A section, sort of like we can for referrals, and receive notices when someone asks a question in our state - just like we get notices when there's a local referral.  I also think there should be a standard disclaimer on the answer (because some agents give answers they shouldn't) that:

1) This answer is the opinion of the author, and it should not be construed as legal advice; and

2) This answer is not intended to solicit the listing of any other broker.

Jun 07, 2011 03:55 AM #54
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

I kind of remember it's foggy.  I don't even know where it is at this point.  What would help the BananaTude group is being able to mass email them.  It's never worked and I keep hoping you all get it fixed so we can communicate.  Thanks!

Jun 07, 2011 01:57 PM #55
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Nikesh Parekh

Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor
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