Ask An Ambassador: Tone, Tests & Kicking Beehives

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

honeybee at workLast Tuesday's Ask An Ambassador post wasn't the topic I started.

I'd had a post basically fall right in my lap.  Someone doing something that IMO they shouldn't have been doing.  A warning to us all.

I wrote the first few paragraphs, talking about reputation management.  The words were flowing, but I slammed on the keyboard brakes.

I didn't like the post.

In particular, I didn't like the tone.

Tone matters.

We're working in a flat medium.  You're not looking at me and picking up visual cues as to my emotional state (yes, engineers have emotions).  Unless I explicitly convey that I'm wrecked or happy, my exact emotional state isn't going to be clear.  And unclear leads to misinterpretation.

If you've been following us for awhile you know rants have pretty much been kicked out of my repertoire of topics.  I lean heavily to the factual (patio homes for sale, subdivision posts, new construction announcements, etc.), tutorials or advice type columns.

You're not going to get opinion pieces from me about politics, the perceived threat from the latest brokerage model, etc.  Someone else can kick those beehives.

It's not what I do, and IMO kind of dangerous to write because the tone can so easily be misinterpreted.  Spend a few minutes on Facebook any given day and you'll find no shortage of instances where tone has been misinterpreted and two strangers are having a keyboard knife fight.

Basically there are tests that each of my blog posts has to pass through:

1.  Will it help my business?
2.  Will it help someone else with their business?
3.  Will it inform, educate or entertain (the public or Rainers)?
4.  Is it positive?

If a post can't successfully pass those tests, it's unlikely to see the light of day.

Someone else can kick the beehives.



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 RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

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

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


Search Homes:  Https://

Our Website:

 FacebooktwitterWordpressYouTube Pinterest






View Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite Primary Service Area in a larger map


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Active Rain Newbies
Ask An Ambassador
ask an ambassador

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I generally follow those rules.  Sometimes something gets under my skin enough to cause me to write a blog.  But I generally try to come across as "this is a question I want you to think about" vs. this is wrong.  I wrote a post early on here that had a tone that others pointed out to me wasn't good for business and I deleted and rewrote with a "softer, still the message being there, tone" and I've always asked "could this hurt my business since.  If the answer is yes, I don't publish it.

Jan 22, 2019 12:20 PM #1
Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Bravo Bill I so agree with you - 100% positive, uplifting, educational or business. I personally made the decision to no more FB as I was tired of the craziness. And the first thing I learned from an AR mentor was always, always keep it positive and ignore the other stuff which is just how I am anyway so it was a good fit. Excellent post and advice!

Jan 22, 2019 01:07 PM #2
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I wrote a featured post many years ago about rants. I actually thought they were okay if the subject mattered to people and something could be done better. Thus the rant.

But to rant or have a chip on one's shoulder could easily be miscontrued (I love your metaphor of the flat medium) and so I would avoid those too.

Jan 22, 2019 01:08 PM #3
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

oh... but those beehives, man.  those beehives.

Jan 22, 2019 01:50 PM #4
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Nice post. Love your very eloquent term for getting your point across. Kicking bee hives is not recommended. Not unless you're ready to get stung. 

Jan 22, 2019 03:06 PM #5
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Bill,

I love your litmus test for your posts! Those 4 items should always be remembered when posting..100% agreement!

Jan 22, 2019 03:53 PM #6
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

I like your tests, Bliz. You understand and practice civility.


Jan 22, 2019 07:01 PM #7
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Bill(and Liz too) - tone matters. That and so much more.

Jan 22, 2019 07:12 PM #8
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I do believe our tone matters in all our posts, and remembering our public posts are out there forever.

Jan 22, 2019 07:38 PM #9
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Hmmm... You've got me thinking.

I've written two posts this week about what not to do. I think they were important because some agents might be doing them without realizing that it's hurting them. In other words, they aren't doing something immoral, unethical, or bad for their clients. It's just bad for their business.

Jan 22, 2019 09:03 PM #10
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Those are good points to consider before posting anything. I've started writing posts that I canceled before hitting "publish." Some things don't belong online. 

Jan 23, 2019 04:07 AM #11
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

It is amazing to me the "tone" of some comments...and when pointed out ...the "Commenter" accepts no responsibility for being potentially MUST be the Blogger who is "too sensitive"...hmmm...probably not.

Jan 23, 2019 05:34 AM #12
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

We have to be careful and not read or take away from words or tones but instead hope to see motive or intent behind those words and actions...

Jan 23, 2019 06:50 AM #13
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Winter Haven, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

As a fellow hobby beekeeper, Dont kick the beehive!

Jan 23, 2019 10:16 AM #14
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Good one.  I have never heard of kicking beehives, and I particularly like this one: keyboard knife fight.

Jan 25, 2019 01:18 AM #15
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, I love the 4 questions to ask yourself, Bill! I wish more people would do that...although, I'm guilty for a rant or two - most of them are members-only though! LOL

Jan 25, 2019 03:15 PM #17
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome


Bliz... Thank you!

I do love your four rules and I love your Ask an Ambassador Tuesdays!

1. Will it help my business?

2.  Will it help someone else with their business?
3.  Will it inform, educate or entertain (the public or Rainers)?
4.  Is it positive?

Jan 27, 2019 09:30 PM #18
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post and a reminder to anyone thinking of blogging about politics or anything negative - don't.  It's so easy to be misinterpreted.  Staying postiive and building each other up is the best course of action.  Thanks to our code of ethics, it's also important to stay away from that stuff! 

Jan 28, 2019 10:57 AM #19
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Bill and Liz, 

I firmly agree that tone matters.  I stopped following a couple of people because ot their tone in the comments.  So, you are spot on !!

Jan 29, 2019 07:09 PM #20
Joyce Marsh
Regal | Christie's International Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty

I completely agree that your tone is just as important as the words that you say if not more so.  This post is right on point.

Jan 31, 2019 03:52 PM #21
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Liz and Bill Spear

RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)
How Can We Help You? Just Let Us Know!
Spam prevention

Additional Information