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Ask An Ambassador: A Pointed Discussion

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747


The nature of ActiveRain is that it is for many people a points driven culture. 

Leave a comment.  Get points.

Write a post.  Get points.

Answer a question.  Get points.

Reblog another's post.  Get points.

Accumulate enough points, your price of participation goes down every 100,000 points.  Rinse, lather repeat until you reach 500,000 points and a free account. 

Gather more points and you move up the leaderboard, be it city, county, state or national.

Frankly it's pretty easy to get points in the community, participate and they're there for the taking.  Type and type some more.


But pursuing points just for the sake of points can be detrimental.  The goal needs to be point collection combined with meaningful content.

By itself, a high spot on the Leaderboard isn't going to do much for you.  If merely being #1 was all it took, I should be swamped with referrals for the Cincinnati to Dayton corridor, but instead... Bueller??  Bueller??

By the same token if you think a lot of feature posts is going to cause your business to explode, again, more Ferris.

What makes things tick is writing meaningful content, especially when it's consumer facing and what your local home buyers and sellers want and can't find elsewhere.  For us, that's niche posts about patio homes, subdivisions and similar topics.

Hollow activity just for the sake of gathering points can actually harm you more than help you.  Your reputation with your peers is driven by whether they can expect a copy/paste comment or something that indicates you actually read the post. 

I'll freely admit I don't participate heavily in the Rain outside of making sure I have a daily post.  It's the hazard of the dual career life.  Only so many hours in the day so I leave a handful of comments as I can, answer a question when I think I can add meaningful info, or maybe just leave a smiley face icon to let the author know I stopped by.

But for me, it's definitely not about points because I know it isn't the points that make my phone ring.  And it's not the points that have built friendships across the country.  No, it's about the activities that cause the point total to grow that keeps me going day after day.   We can have fun, play around the watercooler a bit, but the more you put into this community, the more you get back.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!

Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz


Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

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Comments (34)

Melissa Jackson REALTOR
Trinity Premier Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Congratulations on the Feature, Liz and Bill Spear  Took me a while to understand the benefits of becoming a member. The first few months I had no idea how much I could gain by participating. No, I'm not here daily. Blogging is still a challenge. Q&A is interesting and helpful to share lessons and ideas from members across the miles.  Most members offer genuine content and assistance.  

Gaining points -  I have enjoyed moving up the list. I do not post just to gain points.  It's a personal challenge that takes work and discipline. I could be doing more.  Hopefully soon my phone will ring from blogging!  Yes.  I'm  now working toward my 500000 points & a free membership.  

Jul 25, 2017 09:13 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

That's the beauty of this community.  We can each do what fits our needs, be it daily, weekly or even less.  This place will be here waiting for us.

Jul 26, 2017 09:25 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Bill, you know where I stand on this issue. People just don't get the point. I'm here for one reason only...to get business. Google loves AR content and I currently have 6,100 backlinks from my AR blog to my website and another 1,700 links from my outside blog to my site. Those backlinks help push me up in the Google rankings so you'll find me on page one for just about anything related to real estate in Franklin TN. I'll take backlinks and the business they generate over points any day of the week.

Jul 25, 2017 10:16 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I keep getting evidence that AR helps me drive traffic.  I get calls on a regular basis for our niche.  Some turn into clients, some don't, but blogging served its purpose.

Jul 26, 2017 09:27 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


As you alwways do you have made some excellent points especially for those who are newer here. The points come as a result of many opportunities to learn, share, develop relationships and grow your business. That all comes first.


Jul 25, 2017 10:19 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

They serve as the carrot to get us in the habit, but at some point we should recognize the benefits and act without that carrot.

Jul 26, 2017 09:27 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Liz and Bill Spear - I can simply say, you have a huge point in your post!

It's all about blogging for business and building relationships. Points should be just a by-product.

Jul 25, 2017 11:31 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

They are, and for me they're no longer a necessary by product.  I'm blogging daily with or without them.

Jul 26, 2017 09:28 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

"But pursuing points just for the sake of points can be detrimental.  The goal needs to be point collection combined with meaningful content."  That's an important point, Liz and Bill.

Jul 26, 2017 01:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's easy to hurt a reputation by doing things that disrespect the community for the sake of points.

Jul 26, 2017 09:28 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Even if friendships are just cyber friendships AR allows us to get to know each other. I now have plenty of people I would trust clients to around the country. Yes, I agree we need to write content that meets the need of our local readers, not just to earn points, but it is nice when those points add up and it is impressive as well to see others who have committed to that daily post and comments and been consistent over time.

Jul 26, 2017 04:24 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've been fortunate enough to meet about 30 Rainers IRL (so far).  It's never felt like meeting a stranger.

Jul 26, 2017 07:26 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Liz and Bill Spear - confused.

"By the same token if you think a lot of feature posts is going to cause your business to explode, again, more Ferris. What makes things tick is writing meaningful content..."

Are you saying that some members get a lot of featured posts without writing meaningful content?

Jul 26, 2017 07:14 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Not at all my intent.  What I'm saying is feature posts are meaningful content, but they're primarily Rain facing and not consumer facing.  I've collected bushels of gold stars over the years, and they're not what makes my phone ring (e.g. my AAA posts won't ever get a buyer or seller to call me).  The most successful posts from a business standpoint are the ones that don't ge featured, get almost no comments from this community, but make my phone ring because they're exactly what a local home buyer or seller is looking for.

Jul 26, 2017 07:18 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers

Thanks for the clarification.

Jul 26, 2017 07:54 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

Jul 26, 2017 09:29 AM
Luke Acree
ReminderMedia - King of Prussia, PA
Making Agents Memorable

Good perspective

Jul 26, 2017 07:36 AM
Liz and Bill Spear


Jul 26, 2017 09:29 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Being at the top of the leaderboard doesn't do anything for your business.  It is the content, and content alone, that is going to make the phone ring.

Meaningful interaction is the key.  It's embarassing to read nothing posts that someone cut and paste for their points, or to see questions that are there to cash in on the points there.  Worst of all, the drive by comments.  

I read a post the other day where the author was talking about a recent medical problem and the recovery from it.  The comments above me were just ridiculous.  They commented on the title, or how they found the post.  Nothing about the post itself.  I got a note from the author, which indicated he appreciated my comment.  Sad when reading and commenting on the post's message is not a given anymore.

Jul 26, 2017 08:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I had the same happen years ago.  Wrote a post about my brother-in-law being diagnosed with brain cancer, and someone commented just off the title or the picture in the post.  They stepped right in a massive pile of crap with their comment.  And some of my AR friends lowered both barrels on the offender.

Jul 26, 2017 09:30 AM
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

There are many ways of getting business.  Blogging is a great one, Liz and Bill Spear.  Through blogging I've found that I have a bit of a "teacher" in me.  I like sharing info.  Especially info that I think will advance and benefit my readers ... and motivate them to contact me.

There are those here on AR that have a huge numbers of points.  Their posts are listing after listing ... or interest rate update after interest rate update. Some of these members comment or interact very little ... or not at all.  Others leave only drive-by comments.  We all know who they are.  If I need or have a referral:  Given a choice between their articles, points and level of activity ... and others with fewer points, but greater, more meaningful posts, comments, and interaction?  I know who gets my call and that referral.  

Points in and of themself don't impress me much.  HOW they were accrued does ...




Jul 26, 2017 09:38 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Gene, we're of like mind.  It's the engineer in me, I want substance over quantity.  It's possible to do both, and it's easily evidenced pro or con by the body of work available.

Jul 26, 2017 09:53 AM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Have you noticed how many times "points" was written in all of the comments! Lol.  You make a great point <---see! ;-).  I will say that points were important to me in reaching the 500k free account.  You see, I've been a member since 2008 before there was a paid membership but I made a very bad mistake and left for too long and when I came back I hadn't been active enough to be one of the grandfathered in.  I've been paying monthly ever since.  I actually came back here in January after a nearly year and a half hiatus (paying monthly all the while) to cancel my account. It was the beginning of the year, I was doing budgeting and cutting all the deadwood expenses including membership and fees that I didn't make use of.  When I logged back in  I decided it would be a waste of so many years to just cancel, but I did want the free account so I did spend a lot of time racking up points, but I always, always still tried to comment with relevant responses and helpful answers, even if I was trying to max out points every day.  I finally made it and points mean less to me now.  I sort of feel a freedom I didn't previously have to interact more the way I want to and at the leisure I want to.  Perhaps people see/saw me as only a point seeker because I also spend a lot of time in Q&A, but I have gained meaningful relationship in the meantime and have emailed and spoken on the phone with several agents that I met specifically in the Q&A.  So, all in all, you make great points.  Everyone has a purpose for why they do what they do in AR I guess, whether it's helpful or not in the end. Have a great day, Liz and Bill Spear, you are always wise and helpful here on Active Rain. -Kasey  

Jul 26, 2017 10:02 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Kasey, We also had a profile and then went poof for 3 years.  We paid when we started blogging until we won a free membership during an AR Twitter party for reaching 200,000 members.  The points are a great motivator for those trying to reach the 500k, and I'd hope after that milestone activities are less point driven and more because the comment left, the post written, etc., is done because that is what the author wants to do rather than point driven.  Some make the change, some don't.  I don't get the shakes any longer when I don't max out comments or posts :)

Jul 26, 2017 10:08 AM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Thanks for your post, Liz and Bill Spear. I really like your graphic of Kermit typing away.  I liked your pencil point graphics too.

Where do you find such GREAT Graphics?

Jul 26, 2017 10:37 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've always liked the Muppets!

Jul 26, 2017 10:39 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Great post on points, it makes it fun to see the points add up but that is not the reason why to be here. Take a tour of posts see if you enjoy reading them and commenting and then try it out . Have a blessed day. 

Jul 26, 2017 12:42 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

The points are fun, especially at the beginning.  Then after awhile it's tough to move the dial.  You need 100k or million point increments to ring the bell and those spread out.  Someday we'll hit 3 million, but it won't be any time soon!

Jul 26, 2017 03:13 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Do what ever you will to get in the game...To stay in it, find what works...

Jul 26, 2017 01:14 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

The inherent beauty of the place, many ways to achieve satisfaction, just have to aware of what works may just chafe someone else if perceived as an AR etiquette breach.

Jul 26, 2017 03:14 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Well stated post. I participate in AR to find value. I get excited when I read a post that is thought provoking and generates some quality comments that add to the discussion.

When I post or comment, I think in terms of does this "add Value"?

The more members who get off the points mentality and think about adding to others the more valuable AR becomes.

Jul 26, 2017 02:30 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Thomas Nelson's featured post on ownership of the community was spot on to me.  Are we adding value?

Jul 26, 2017 03:15 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

As a member that has not earned a free account (or even a discount), I fully concur. I started out fanatically seeking points so I could be #1 in my area, then my state (it's much easier in Wyoming!), or to work my way towards a free account. It got tiring. If I'm going to add anything to activerain, I want it to be quality content and not just more blather.

Jul 27, 2017 06:39 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I think it's a process we all go through, the desire to rack up points as quickly as possible, then the realization that how we get the points does matter, to what, we get points???

Jul 29, 2017 05:26 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'll freely confess there was a time I was "point consumed" but I got over it.  I really just wanted to be #1 in my county.  Then I wanted to be #2 in Georgia when Richard was still blogging daily and I had zero hopes of ever being #1.  

But now with closing on on 9 years of relevant content I get phone calls from post of potential clients.  Even posts I wrote years ago about different aspects of my market, and neighborhood posts.  I have got to figure a way to get back to posting regularly.  

But like you, points no longer concern me.  I value MANY relationships formed here, I value the posts getting found and I value the continuous learning opportunities I find here. 

Jul 27, 2017 10:09 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I KNOW I have people reading that never leave comments, and some of them are clients or potential clients.  So what I write matters and another reason I don't write rants.  And I love getting calls from posts that I know I wrote years ago that are still working for us.

Jul 29, 2017 05:28 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear BLiz,

It seems to me you are doing plenty enough.

Jul 27, 2017 10:44 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's just a personal thing, wishing that I was getting out and about more in the community.

Jul 29, 2017 05:28 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Bill and Liz... loved all your points about points!  I'm hoping lots of people who still don't understand that we are here for more than just the points read you post and think on it.

Jul 27, 2017 11:02 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

In time the points do become less of a driver of our activity, and may totally lose their appeal to influence us.

Jul 29, 2017 05:29 AM
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

I have always enjoyed writing, so blogging comes relatively easy for me. Finding the time is sometimes challenging. But I will admit that I am trying to get to the top of the leader board for my city. It keeps me coming back to blog. I am only 10,000 points away from that and 20,000 away from hitting 100,000 points. I guess it's just my friendly competitive nature. Blogging has also helped me learn a lot and I am grateful to all the rainers that share their information. I'm honored to be a part of such a great community!

Jul 28, 2017 09:55 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Sam, That's one of the beauties of this community, the willingness to share.  I know basically everything I know about blogging because others were willing to provide their insight.  From there, it was up to me to take that knowledge and put it to work in a way that will work for my local market.

Jul 29, 2017 05:31 AM