How Do You Choose an ActiveRain Agent? Is it by Points or by Content?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Franklin Homes Realty LLC

How Do You Choose an ActiveRain Agent? Is it by Points or by Content?

My primary reason for blogging is to bring myself business. That's why I started blogging and that's why I continue to blog.

Prior to blogging on ActiveRain, you couldn't even find me in the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Now, you will find me popping up for many of my longtail keywords--in most cases, on page one or two.

Tammie White Franklin TN RealtorUnder the current point system, I am ranked #1 for my city, #3 for my county (Michael Thornton is #1 and I'll never catch him) and #8 for my state. I am very proud of these numbers considering I didn't start blogging until August '09. In that time, I've written 462 posts, been featured 29 times and have 80 subscribers. A special thanks to those who deem my writing worthy of a subscription.

If I had one complaint about the current point system it would be how the points are determined. You see, we all have our own agenda. Everyone wants a system that would better reflect upon them and I am no different than the rest.

When I write a blog post, I spend a considerable amount of time researching, writing and editing the post. I usually write 250+ words. I find it difficult to convey thoughts properly with fewer words. On average, it takes me about an hour from start to finish to publish a post. (This post took me an hour and a half.)

How do you choose an ActiveRain agent? Is it by points or by content?My complaint...I see agents who post a photo, add their obligatory 50 words and get the same 200 points I work so hard to get. That hardly seems fair.

I haven't written a post in several days because I haven't had the time (at least an hour) to sit down and write, what I would consider, a meaningful post. If I wanted to game the system, then it would seem the best thing for me to do would be to post a photo and add 50 words.

Fortunately, points aren't my primary concern. Readership is. I want people to find me and come back to my blog because I have provided meaningful information. Whether that information be about my area, Franklin TN,  or my experience as a real estate agent. My hope is to consistently provide good content.

How do you choose an ActiveRain agent? Is it by points or by content?With the current point system, agents are able to rank highly even when the information they are providing has no value. Yes, I said it. Some agents here aren't really providing useful information to consumers or to agents.

If I'm not here for the points, then why should this concern me? Consumers really don't know about the points system and very few probably even find the leaderboard. However, agents here do understand the points system and do view the leaderboard. Especially, if they are looking to refer a client to an agent in a new area.

What means are they using to determine who they will refer to?

Are they looking at the leaderboard and choosing an agent who ranks highly for their area based upon points? Or do they read that agent's blog posts to determine how knowledgeable they are about said area? Does it matter to them if an agent consistently misspells or can't string a few words coherently together in a post? Or just posts photos with 50 words and calls it a day? Just because an agent may be the highest ranked by points for an area, doesn't make her/him the best agent for the job.

The points system provides us with a way to measure our participation in this community. It's not a perfect system. There are good parts (free membership) and there are bad parts (points for very little effort). But when choosing a real estate agent, whether you are a consumer or another agent, more should be considered than the number of points or the rank on the leaderboard.

How do you choose an ActiveRain agent? Is it by points or by content?

Posted by
Tammie White, Managing Broker/Owner
Franklin Homes Realty LLC
Franklin, TN
(615) 495-0752 
This posting with the content written here and photographs displayed are the intellectual property and opinions of Tammie White of Franklin Homes Realty LLC. Any party who uses this material without the written permission of Tammie White is subject to copyright infringement and possible lawsuit.

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Jean Hanley
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters - Hemet, CA
Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes

Im not sure how people find me but they do and that makes me happy.  Hurray for ActiveRain.

Jan 14, 2012 09:44 AM #3
Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Tammie ...You do a great job!  I try and do a mix of content ....Listings, market info, Localism posts and I do a lot of neat photos from my area (barns, sunsets, sunrises, etc) and link them back to my web-site ...I feel these are important and give the reader a broad view of my area ....I also try and make most of my posts reach the first page of Google!  Points are important ...your rank is also important ...just keep doing what you are doing!

Have a great night!

Jan 14, 2012 09:50 AM #4
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Tammie -- when finding agents to refer, I look how that agent will work effectively with a client.  Is this going to be match that works with both personality types?   I want it to be a win-win for both the agent and client so both will contact me in the future.  

Jan 14, 2012 11:09 AM #5
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good afternoon, Tammie. - LOL! I had to laugh at your comment about me. I really think that the points system is out dated...

Jan 14, 2012 11:09 AM #6
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

I'd add another twist too, Tammie.  If one state, where there are fewer members is compared to a state with many many members ... do you come off looking like a slacker, if non-industry members are comparing rankings??  Nothing is weighted ... so rankings don't really tell the entire story.  I agree.  The point system isn't perfect ... but I"m not sure what would be.  And we certainly have no or little control over what non-members think or how they react.  Not sure what the answer is and what would be completely correct or fair ...


Jan 14, 2012 11:47 AM #7
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

David - What if the person who has the most points isn't the best man for the job?

Cindy - I think that is a better way to choose. Start with the rankings but then look at what the agent is posting and how knowledgeable they are about the area. But I go one step further. If they sound like an idiot in their posts, I'm not going to refer them. I don't care how highly ranked they are or how many points they have.

Jean - You do have to love what AR does for us.

Rob - I agree you have to do a mix of posts here. I love your photographs. Especially, the ones of old barns. I live in an area that also has quite a few of those. This was specifically meant for those who might choose an agent because they rank high in their state and no other reason.

Michael J. - I think it's hard to tell how well an agent will work with a client. Unless, you know them both very well. But I do agree with the idea of creating a win-win.

Michael T. - Well, it is true.

Gene - Good point. I'm a little envious of those who don't have any blogging competition here. I have tried to eliminate some of that in my area by focusing on Franklin TN, (an area I know extremely well) versus trying to work the whole Nashville area. Nashville is surrounded by 13 counties and thousands of neighborhoods. Who can know all that information well? I'd rather focus on a smaller geographic area and be the go to person. Similar to a doctor and a specialist. I'm more of a specialist.

Jan 14, 2012 12:23 PM #8
Laurie Clark CRB Angel Realty LLC Your Monument Realtor 719-502-6572
CRB-CCSS-ASD-HBS-RSD-Denver Short Sale Agents - Monument, CO
Angel Realty, LLC

I search rank in a specific area and then narrow down the search based on the quality of the blog and the information being generated. I have an obligation to make the best referral possible. As a short sale specialist and with so many distressed home owners, I think we have a duty to provide the best recommendation we can. Thank you for sharing. I hope that the Franklin Tn short sale agent to call has a wonderful weekend and continues writing quality blog posts.

Jan 14, 2012 01:49 PM #9
Lisa Wiseman
Intero Real Estate Services, San Jose, Silicon Valley - San Jose, CA

I try to do a little research on the agents after viewing their posts and profile. Points alone don't necessarily mean anything. Good point! (pun intended)

Jan 14, 2012 01:57 PM #10
Ken Brandon
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC) - Jacksonville, NC
Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC

Neither one. I would look for an AR member first...but I don't care how many points they have nor what they blog about. I want to know how many transactions they did in the last few months. (ESPECIALLY if it is a listing referral) It is neither points nor posts for is results.

Jan 14, 2012 02:02 PM #11
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Laurie - This is my source for referrals. What better way to find an agent in another state, than here? I agree that we have an obligation to make the best referral possible and I want to make sure I've done my homework.

Lisa - That's a good approach.

Ken - Good point.


Jan 14, 2012 03:32 PM #12
Gabrielle Nemes
RE/MAX Realty South - Tumwater, WA
206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate

Tammie, I've always just searched for any agent who's in the area in which I need to refer a client. But then take a look at their blog to see what they've done. If the last post was 2 years ago, or is little more than a series of listing posts or photos, I'll generally then take a look on Google to see if I can find out a bit more about them.

What I've found so often, however, is that the agents with the highest number of points really aren't the best suited for my referral. I make a lot of phone calls on their behalf looking to drill down to three agents with whom I feel comfortable. At that point I've quizzed them a bit about their approach, the type of business they do, and so on. Even the number of transactions they successfully complete doesn't necessarily make them the best referral choice. Sometimes I'd rather have an agent with less points, few transactions, and who will handle the transaction personally rather than someone with a team of agents or assistants who will be handling the needs of my client.

Jan 14, 2012 05:03 PM #14
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

wow very impressive, I would definately have to say content, homeowners don't care about points unless they're paying them on their mortgage.

Jan 15, 2012 02:32 AM #15
Pam Graham
All Real Estate Options - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties

I will tend to look at the higher ranking agents first then read through their posts. If they are just listing posts or not well thought out posts, you know that kind you described, just looking for points, then I will overlook them. Now if there is a particular area I'm looking in and I know of an agent there based on seeing their posts, then I will seek them out first.

Jan 15, 2012 02:58 AM #16
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I don't think the leaderboard has mattered for several years since the playing ground was neutralized.  I think whatever consumers are looking for is my best bet with topics :)

Jan 15, 2012 04:29 AM #17
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Great question Tammie, if I was looking for a referral agent, it would be combination of things I am looking for, in both points and content. I would like to see that this agent is active in ActiveRain and provide good market/local information. Perhaps if one was a buyer or seller, they would not care about points as much, but more of relevant information to whatever that pertains to them.

Jan 15, 2012 08:48 AM #18
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Tammie, when I'm looking for a referral agent I look for someone I know and read first.  Then if I can't find that, I start to read the blogs posted by the agents I don't know.  And I judge comment.  Pure and simple.  If I find a blogger with a lot of crazy stuff, politics, religion or that kind of stuff, I move on.  I won't holds points against someone, but content is more important.

Jan 15, 2012 04:38 PM #19
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Excellent post Tammie. As franklin tn short sale agents, You're doing a great  job. You shared some very interesting and good points here on this post. I know you'll continue to do better and sooner or later you're hardwork is all gonna be worth it, I tell you. Best of luck.

Jan 16, 2012 11:28 AM #20
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I suspect that prospective real estate buyers or sellers don't "select and agent" either by the points or by content.  They go to Google.

Jan 20, 2012 10:53 PM #21
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Tammie....good post.... much of our business comes from Google searches, at this posts are on a variety of topics and many are about our inventory (boring but necessary)..... I never write a lengthy post for fear people won't read it.....short and to the point works best for me but I've been told they should be 2000 words.... I decided against that.... 200 to 300 words does it and Google does index my posts, along with AR members reading them.

Jan 20, 2012 11:47 PM #22
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL

Hi, Tammie - it's never just points, though that might be a starting point. Best is to have blogged, commented and shared enough (and perhaps met as well) so that someone Automatically thinks of you when they think of Franklin or perhaps even Nashville. I look at how a person "feels", how they express themselves, common designations or memberships, similarities. If I don't already know them, I'll want to talk with them and try to determine the fit with my client in terms of area served, type of homes as well as person. 

Feb 01, 2012 09:59 AM #23
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Tammie White, Broker

Franklin TN Homes for Sale

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