Ask An Ambassador: How Can I host an ActiveRain contest?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KD Realty - 408.972.1822 CA BRE#01366594

I know that I no longer officially wear an ActiveRain Ambassador Badge however when I read a question on the Q&A this morning I decided to write a post about hosting a contest in ActiveRain


I don't know if there is a formal process for hosting contests. I've hosted several contests over the years. This is how I've approached hosting a contest. 

 ActiveRain Contests


I sent an email to Kerrie La Guardia outlining my suggestion for a contest. Given that Kerrie is no longer a support staff at ActiveRain, I suggest sending an email to Bob Stewart


Bob may approve the contest with some suggestions or simply approve the contest as you outlined in your email. 


If the contest is approved then you will be instructed when to publish an announcement post with all the rules, contest deadline, etc.

The announcement post is generally Featured for more exposure and Featured on the ActiveRain Contest Page.  This is the page point junkies check frequently. 


Many contests simply instruct members to put a link to their entry in a comment on the contest post. This is primarily used for tracking participants to award points.  


At the end of the contest, you, the host, will send a list of the participants to Bob so that he, or another staff member can award the points. I've created a spreadsheet that included the members name, profile, and a link to the post.

For example:  Kathleen Daniels / SanJoseHomesForSale / link to post 


First Place Winner



Although I have not seen a contest with judges in some time, if the format of the contest includes "judging" 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winners, then you will need to solicit a panel of judges. The judges agree to read all of the entries and then "judge" them.  That's just what judges do.  You as the host must read all of the entries as well, and "judge" them. 




Either the host of the contest determines the winners after viewing the judges votes, or the host and judges may decide collectively.  The winners are outlined in the email to Bob indicating the additional points the winners receive for winning 1st, 2nd, 3rd place. 


Either way, it is up to the Host to track participants so that points can be awarded. It is best to check the contest page daily. Click the link to the post entry and read it.  It is always nice to comment on the post and thank the member for participating. Then add the entry to your spreadsheet. Waiting until the contest deadline has passed may make the task of tracking feel overwhelming. 

Hosts are awarded POINTS for hosting a contest.  As far as I know there is not a pre-determined number of points awarded for hosting. I believe Judges are awarded points for judging as well. 


As with many things in life, there is more than one way to do something. This post is simply sharing how I have hosted a contest. 



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  1. Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI 07/10/2016 12:38 AM
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Fantastic explanation of what it takes to do a contest. I hope your post has inspired many to step up. They can be a lot of fun and educational too. 

Jul 10, 2016 12:21 AM #27
Eagle Ridge Real Estate Agents
Eagle Ridge Realty - Gilroy, CA
Representing Buyers and Sellers in Eagle Ridge

Kathleen, you explained that very well, as always.  Are there really point Junkies on this site?  HA!

Jul 10, 2016 12:33 AM #28
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I had an idea for a contest about a year ago and contacted Bob, but someone beat me to the punch! Bob encouraged me to come up with another idea. One day I might try again, but I imagine it is a lot of work keeping up with the entries. Congrats on the feature, Kathleen. 

Jul 10, 2016 01:48 AM #29
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Thanks for the explanation. I've never had the urge to host a contest but  hey, maybe someday!

Jul 10, 2016 01:51 AM #30
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Kathleen -- while I have never hosted a contest/challenge, I have been a judge. As Debbie Gartner presented in her response to the question in the Q&A section, it's a lot of work and a detailed plan and utilizing the KISS method will bring the best participation.  There have been some contests that have me scratching my head with so many rules/guidelines.   

Jul 10, 2016 01:53 AM #31
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Congratulations on being 8 years in the 'Rain, Kathleen Daniels , and you have put a lot of time and effort helping the rest of us over the years. I also applaud you for stepping down as an AMBASSADOR once you realized you could not spend the time anymore. Wish some others would do that. But who is complaining, we all know who are still putting in the time. I know I have not been entering many contests lately, but maybe I'll do so again the next half of the year.

Jul 10, 2016 03:12 AM #32
Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale
Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260 - Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers

Kathleen Daniels - This is a question I've always wanted to ask!  Great information on how it has worked in the past!

Jul 10, 2016 10:27 AM #33
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Now we know how to run an AR contest. Good stuff

Jul 10, 2016 12:26 PM #34
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Thanks for sharing the tips on how to host an Active Rain contest.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jul 10, 2016 01:06 PM #35
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Kathleen Daniels - I miss the crowdsourcing from Kerrie La Guardia - it gave me an opportunity to connect with some members!

And yes, this post is perfect guideline for hosting AR contest.

May be, one day, I will....

Jul 10, 2016 03:27 PM #36
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Congratulations on your feature recognition. Thanks for sharing this information.

Jul 10, 2016 10:29 PM #37
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Kathleen, thank you for outlining the process; I've wondered about it myself.

Jul 11, 2016 01:44 AM #38
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Mesa, AZ

Thank you for the info-packed write-up Kathleen! We are really hoping to amp up contests in the coming months as they are usually a great way for people to find something to focus on for their blog. If done correctly, many of these contests really force people to think about some aspect of their business and I think people get a lot out of them if they choose to participate. 

Love the recap! And you'll always be an Ambassador in my book :-)

Jul 11, 2016 05:37 AM #39
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I love contests, I think it is time i host one. I will work on some ideas and send them off to Bob. Thanks for the advice Kathleen Daniels 

Jul 11, 2016 06:41 AM #40
Retired from ActiveRain
Baker, OR

In early 2015 I e-mailed Kerrie La Guardia with an idea for an AR contest.  She liked the idea and scheduled the contest for April 2015.  AR members wrote and posted a lot of great content after I announced the contest in this post.

Jul 11, 2016 08:22 AM #41
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Kathleen Daniels  Awesome info here . In your heart you will always be an Ambassador

Jul 11, 2016 12:10 PM #42
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660

Kathleen, your loyalty and prolific contributions to the rain continue to be impressive!

Jul 12, 2016 04:34 AM #43
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Hi,'ve offered some great information here. I see Bob Stewart says we are going to get into doing more contests. I think that's great. 

Happy Friday. Have a great weekend. 

Jul 15, 2016 08:51 AM #44
The Villages Realty
The Villages Realty - San Jose, CA
"Our Performance Will Move You!"

Hi Kathleen, just going through some of your archived posts.  Love the market reports!  Keep those coming.

Feb 16, 2017 07:05 AM #45
Eagle Ridge Realty
Eagle Ridge Realty - Gilroy, CA
"Our Performance Will Move You!"

Hi Kathleen.  Just going through some of your older posts.  I especially like the market data ones and the localized posts.  Very good stuff to know.

Feb 17, 2017 06:49 AM #46
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Kathleen Daniels

San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist
An Independent San Jose Real Estate Brokerage
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