Apparently I need a GROUP Therapist. Is a Doctor IN?

Mortgage and Lending with - Grow your e-Profile & Brand

I'm a mortgage lender in Texas and want to be able to promote my blog articles and read other Texas oriented blogs. So I now currently belong to....

 Lone Star Real Estate Professionals

 Texas Real Estate

 All Thing's Texas

 I'm needing help with understanding how to manage my group participation and here's why.  For example, take the group "description" for each group:

Lone Star Real Group = A place for those in the real estate industry and affiliated business's to network within the state of Texas.

Texas Real Estate = For the Real Estate Community of The Great State of Texas ...EVERYTHING posted here has to be about Texas or at the very least have Texas woven into the post

All Thing's Texas = A place to discuss issues, listings, trends, football ( all things Texas).

Does that help anyone? I'm still in need of some guidance because to me it seems that a post on "The Bluebonnet Festival in Nowhere, TX" would be posted in all 3 groups. Trends on coastal market values? Still all 3. Updates on the next Texas down-payment grant program?

So I read some of the articles to try and get a feel or "vibe" for each group. Apparently I'm not alone in this confusion. Take for example, the really good article by Carl Winters on Greune, TX which is posted in....

Lone Star Real Estate Professionals Group

Texas Real Estate Group

All Thing's Texas Group

or the really great article by Marchel Peterson on Property Taxes in TX which is also posted in all 3 groups. To add to my confusion, Marchel is a co-moderator of the Texas Real Estate Group!

Please understand, that I mean absolutely NO disrespect to any of the group moderators or participants. But if you read the featured article on the Lone Star Real Estate Group titled "Important Group Announcement" by Judi Morgan you see that this group in particular has suffered from lack of leadership and Judi is kindly volunteering to moderate and lead the group. Am I the only one that thinks a merger of these groups would make more sense?

So can somebody write me a scrip for prozac and help me understand why we need 3 groups that are seemingly the same?

©2008 Ken Stampe

Ken Stampe is a Mortgage Loan Originator, Mortgage Author and Mortgage Loan Officer Instructor living in Dallas, TX. Ken provided his first client a mortgage loan in 1996 and writes about home buying and mortgages to help clients make smart home mortgage loan decisions. Contact by email at

What resource do SMART home buyers use?... Mortgage Calculator

Comments (11)

Rich Jacobson Kitsap County WA Real Estate
Windermere Real Estate/West Sound, Inc. - Seabeck, WA
Ken - I completely agree that there are many groups that are duplicated or triplicated, and are simply rendundant, and could be merged. Contact the group founders, and make the suggestion. There's more power with more members!
Feb 28, 2008 04:06 PM
Ken Stampe - Grow your e-Profile & Brand - Dallas, TX

Now I'm going to show off my uber-geekness....

All things Texas group has 67 members, Lone Star group has 146 members and Texas Real Estate has 206. 

Of the 67 members of All Things Texas group, 24 are unique to just that group of the 3. 

Of the 206 members of Texas Real Estate, 98 are unique to just that group of the 3.

Of the 146 members of Lone Star, 43 are unique to that group.

So 64% of All Things Texas members, 52% of Texas Real Estate members, and over 70% of the Lone Star members belong to at least 2 of the 3 groups.

So why not invite the 43 unique members of the Lone Star Group and the 24 unique members of All Things Texas to Join the Texas Real Estate Group and merge them into one group about Texas with 273 members?

Feb 28, 2008 04:42 PM
Liz Carter
Liz Carter & Team Realty-Your Real Estate Resource For Life! - Katy, TX
Broker/Owner of Liz Carter & Team Realty, Katy TX (Houston)

Hi Ken, I will try to enlighten you from my prospective.  I joined AR about a year ago, and of course wanted to be a part of a TX group, but the 3 group that were available that you mentioned did not seem to have any direction, leadership, featured post, no rules, no guidance, etc.  It was the lease of the three evils in my humble opinion for 2 reason, it had more members and I liked the name better.  So I joined and would post to it every once in awhile.  Several other groups I was in were/are great, so I tired to contact the guy who founded Texas Real Estate Group and he e-mails came back and come to find out he was MIA.  So I contacted Bob and the AR gods to ask if I could take over the group, and they said fine.  I then ask Marchel to be my do moderator and she agreed.  This was on Fe. 9th, my 60th birthday.  We laid out some simple guide lines, aka rules, started giving our gold stars  and recognizing people for their good hard work, stated the by-weekly top 10 roundup, where we pick the top ten post we feel were the best written during the prior two weeks, and give them a gold star and they are featured on our Texas Roundup (have you read it).  I also have come up with a very cool contest (have you read that), were each month we select something and whoever wants to join in the fun, writes a post on it and enters it in the contest.  I got approval to give out 600 free points for 1 st place, 400 for 2nd place and 300 for 3rd placePlus you get your regular 200 points too.  I also have come up with a mascot  (have you seen him), and we are having fun coming up with a name for him,  Just kidding this is not our mascot, he/she is a fine looking long horn, and Carl really wants to name him TEX, others are Molly, it, it's cute.

Marchel and I have been pushing the group, inviting others that are not in a TX group, sending e-mails, etc.  So far in 2 short weeks we have accomplished a great deal and improved the group considerably.  We now have 205 member so have added 30+ in 2 weeks.  We have put in many many hours of work on this group, to bring some value, fun and reconize and appauld the quality post that are written.

I had a person get so mad she left the group and went to Lone Star, because she did not like " what we were doing."  She wanted the group left like it was, no rules, and you could dump any old thing in here like how much weight you lost that week. She also said that regonizing someone for a good job was not necessary. Mine and Marchel's vision for the group is to have it all about Texas or at the very least have Texas woven into the fabric of the post.  We never had intended to be Nazis about it like some groups are that will just delete you post, but she never gave it a chance and wrote some nasty, childish things and went to Lona Star and the other group were you can put anything.  We wanted this group to have more substance, quality, and post that we would be proud to show our clients.

The ideal for the contest is to find the best of the best in Texas.  I titled it, L & M's Eyes of Texas (from the song The eyes of Texas are upon you), the fist contest is the best old church in Texas, after that we have the best BBQ joint in Texas, then, The best place in Texas to view Bluebonnets.  I have ask the members to please give us ideals on what they would like to see.  I am also going to continue hopefully being able to award points to the winners.

The other groups have nothing like that so I believe we are the best Texas Group on AR.  I would love it if the others wanted to join this group...but they would have to play by the stuff that has zip to do with Texas, etc.  I'm not sure they want that, but if they do, I would welcome anyone with open arms to join and have one Texas group.  When I first looked at the 3, I thought it was a shame, that the greatest state in the US (yes I'm a native Texan :) did not have a group that meant something, so I took on this group with the full intent to make it the best group on AR.

I am a overachiever in my real estate co., and give everything I do 110%...that's just me + I like to have FUN too.  Marchel is great and we work well together.  She is on her way to being #1 on the rain, or #2 behind Jason, who is also a friend of mine on the rain, and he runs the group Family Ties, and is a regular on this group.  He writes some great stuff, if you have not had a chance to read any. 

So I hope I cleared up some of your questions?  If not ask more.  Please read the Roundup and the post I wrote on the Eyes of Texas, they are both at the top of our group page here on Texas Real Estate and let me know what you think?  Look forward to getting to know you better.  Let me know your thoughts now? spreading love on the rain, Liz

PS, you might want to also read my profile and a few of my blogs to get to know me better.  L

Oh by the way Judi found out that the orgional founder of Loan Star was MIA slso, so she ask AR for that group and has started doing featured post, and some good changes.  She did not ever come to either Marchel or I about compining the 2 groups, so I guess she wanted to do her "own thing".  At least they have some direction there now.

Feb 28, 2008 09:09 PM
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Hi Ken, The post that Liz refers to is mine.  As for "childish", you should see the emails I received from both Liz and Marchel where Marchel actually tells me to go join Lone Star.  They asked for opinions, and when I gave them my opinion privately, they didn't appreciate it.  They want to run the group the way they want to though giving an open-ended request for ideas that they're not going to listen to.

I feel the group is for all PEOPLE in TExas, not necessarily all POSTS being about Texas.  My blog is about me and my life and my experiences day to day.  Why does everything I post have to be about Texas?  Though, if something outside Texas happens to me one day, someone reading about Texas agents aren't allowed to find it in the group?  Ridiculous.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I could go on and on like Liz did, but I rather not.  And for the record, I even have a couple of emails from Liz stating that she only joined the Texas group because I was a member... what does that tell ya.

Feb 28, 2008 11:17 PM
Courtney Fontenot
Alpha Prosperity Management - Missouri City, TX
NAR Certified REPA, REW

Hi Ken,

I created the "All Things Texas Group," and I enjoy the posts that are written there. I did not create the group to have rules and guidelines. I created it to be exactly what it is, an easy going place to discuss things about Texas. If that includes you and your grandkids, that's fine. I see this group as a place to unwind, share ideas, meet others with like situations, or to learn coping mechanisms. (A great place for group therapy, don't you think?)

I am not sure what all the uproar is about. I am a real estate assistant and don't always find my posts and blogs welcome in some of the other forums. I don't have listings and stories about buyers and sellers. My business is about creating relationships so that when a real estate professional finds themselves in need of some real estate assistance, they will remember the relationship that I have developed with them, and give me a call.

I hope you consider joining the "All Things Texas Group," if for nothing else but the stress relief of it all.

Feb 29, 2008 01:23 AM
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Hello Ken - I can relate to your situation, I felt much like yourself when I first joined AR. As time went by I found a few ares where  I met and made some new friends; enjoyed their blog material and they in turn said they enjoyed my information.

In the beginning I only published home inspection information. I soon found out we were sharing much more amongst ourself, even made telephone calls to each other asking for help or specific information. I pretty well stayed in the area with other home inspectors. As I spread my wings I found other groups that were quite interesting and informative. When I asked for help someone was always there to help, even from other states.

I still post information for home inspection in those groups and localism; which has helped increase my business. Being from Texas and having my own group Hill Country Inspector others started joing our group. The postings are from other HI's, realtors, mortgage professionals throughout th U.S. This is great as we have found out things are quite different throughout the U.S. If they had someone moving to the Texas area they even gave them my contact information. This way we can reach further.

Back to all the Texas groups. I joined one around the first of the year. Thinking that being in this great state how can I help promote our state. Home inspection information is great but maybe I can share more. After posting in one group I soon received an invite to join another group; also Texas. I started going through all the Groups and was amazed to see how many different groups were on AR. I then decided to post in a couple groups; maybe duplicating my post, Yes, they are much the same but not everyone belongs to the same group so I can share information on one group and still post the same information with another group and reach a different reader.

AR is amazing. In less then a year I have seen people come and go. We have lost a couple new found friends completely, our friend in Hawaii to cancer.  Bruce ended up being someone that I knew when he was a loan officier in San Antonio.  Many of us corresponded daily with Bruce and his wife until the end. Some groups lost their moderator; perhaps changed careers and disappeared into the night.

Yes, we have many groups on AR; some are duplciated and it can be confusing. Last time I looked we had well over 2500 groups. When I joined AR last May I experienced exactly what you are experiencing. I found duplicate home inspector groups so I started reading, reading and reading. Finally thought well it is time for my frst "blog". I was so nervous I could hardly type but thought to myself, I have something to share, maybe someone will respond. What if I do something wrong? Well I found out I did have something to share. I did do allot of things wrong, and I was helped by many to get it right.

Everyone that knows me knows that my fingers don't work so good anymore. My pictures are not always just right, not enough or too many. My links don't always work. I choose several groups, some duplicates but it works. Whatever we are doing works.

One thing about Active Ran is that you have a choice. Keep asking questions and continue making suggestions; we will all continue to grow on Active Rain through sharing.

Welcome and I look forward to reading your blogs.

Gotta run, I have 10:30 home inspection.


Feb 29, 2008 01:45 AM
Cheri Smith
Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX - Cypress, TX
Realtor Prudential Gary Greene
Well, the good news is that you can choose to belong to one or all 3. Different/great minds do not always think alike even when they are from or living in the same state. I see Marchel (she is on one of the groups as moderator) as more conservative and Donna (on one of the other groups as moderator) as more liberal. One is older and one appears to be in her 20s or 30s. One is near Houston, one is near or in Dallas. They both lend a lot to Active Rain and help to keep it going in their own way and have their own audience or fan base. It's not like one is right and the other is wrong necessarily it's a matter of which one do you relate to more. You can love one and hate the other or appreciate them both for what they offer to the  groups.  It would be boring if we all thought and acted alike.
Feb 29, 2008 03:44 AM
Liz Carter
Liz Carter & Team Realty-Your Real Estate Resource For Life! - Katy, TX
Broker/Owner of Liz Carter & Team Realty, Katy TX (Houston)

Hi Ken, bet you never expected to get in the middle of this :).  Just to set the record straight, Marchel and I never said it has to be COMPLETELY about Texas, you can write anything you want, but at least try to weave some Texas into it.  An example is my post on African Dung Beetle, I mention that my family and I work together in Texas, duh.  If you live in TX, your kids are in TX, you work in TX, you can always put a little something about TX in the post, you can write about anything you want to, period!

We were simply tring to get the majority of post to actually be about Texas, and have quality, funny, unusual, let your mind be a canvas, posts.  So happy blogging everyone,  spreading the love in the rain, Liz

Feb 29, 2008 06:59 AM
Ken Stampe - Grow your e-Profile & Brand - Dallas, TX

thanks to all for the very passionate responses.

One suggestion perhaps to the moderators is to take the comment you left here, copy it into a blog and post it to the group. Then feature that post. This way people visiting the group can get a "feel" for the "flavor" of the group.

Cheri, you make a lot of sense about the differences in moderators.

Liz & Donna & Courtney - your candor and the expression of your "vision" for the groups you moderate really provides more clarity....thanks!

Carl, your perspective was spot-on and much appreciated.



Feb 29, 2008 07:21 AM
Liz Carter
Liz Carter & Team Realty-Your Real Estate Resource For Life! - Katy, TX
Broker/Owner of Liz Carter & Team Realty, Katy TX (Houston)

Hi Ken, glad you were able to wade through all the responses, and that it cleared things up for you.  As far as posting a featured post, we have two, the Round Up, which changes bi weekly, and lets you know which of the blogs posted Marchel and I thought deserved to be spotlighted (which gives you insight to us, and we think a lot alike so Marchel and I are a great fit).  The only problem with the Round Up, is it's hard to pick, since there are so many deserving blogs written, but we have to pick 10.  The other is the L & M's The eyes of Texas,which is our thoughts, so please read both, and I welcome yours and everyones comments and suggestions.

Cheri' nailed it, and it would indeed be a boring world if we all had the same thoughts.

So again, welcome and look forward to getting to know you through your post and comments.  There is so much good and good people here on AR as Carl said.  Most people don't judge you and will go out of there way to help.  You can count on that form me and Marchel. love chainspreading love in the rain, Liz

Feb 29, 2008 11:05 AM
Cheri Smith
Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX - Cypress, TX
Realtor Prudential Gary Greene
There are so many groups on ar and really that is a good thing because if you don't feel like you are "at home" on one group you can always go to another group. There are days when I am on top of the world, just got a great listing and feeling like nothing can stop me and I will post to X group and then there are days when I feel like I don't know anything and go back to the rookie group and some days I'm ticked at the hubby and kids and want to post to the family groups and then I get to thinking about election issues and want to debate those issues so I can work through that so really it is sort of a therapy session in here at times! lol.
Mar 01, 2008 03:48 AM

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