Ask An Ambassador: Features Or Phone Calls?

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


I lied the other day.

I didn't mean to, but I misrepresented what I thought was a fact.
As this community is prone to do periodically, someone asked "How do you get a featured post?".

But I said I'd never gotten a consumer phone call due to a Featured post (and I've received a LOT of featured posts during my current 8.5 year run of posting daily).

I actually have.  Below are my most viewed Featured posts and the ones with the arrows next to them?  Those have all caused me to receive home buyer calls, and in some cases even led to a closing.




Now here's the caveats:

  • The calls had NOTHING to do with the post being featured.  It was content the consumer sought and found, sometimes years after the post was published.  NONE of those calls happened while a post was on ActiveRain's front page.
  • As far as I can tell, there's ZERO extra SEO for being on the front page.
  • Those posts that caused calls AND were Featured?  They wouldn't meet what appears to be today's selection criteria.  Note those posts are from 2012 and 2013.  Localism posts no longer make the cut and haven't for years, but once upon a time even a market report might get featured.

Now if getting Featured is more important than getting calls, here's what I can tell you.  Featured posts ARE good for the ego, and aren't most of us in this business pretty competitive? 

So how do you increase the odds?  Watch the Feature Board long enough and you'll see some patterns:

1.  Those posts that highlight other members do well:

  •  Kathy Streib 's AHA posts on Sundays.
  •  Carol Williams' Saturday Second Chances
  •  Anita Clark's Facebook Fridays  

2.  Tutorials/Tech tips that help ActiveRainers blog better, improve their website, etc.

3.  Posts about ActiveRain tend to do well (milestones, meet ups, etc.)

4.  Posts with BROAD appeal to the membership.

5.  Current events. Be one of the first out the gate when some new "earthshattering" news comes out that is going to end real estate as we all know it!! 

6.  A good story about life in real estate.  It's common ground, we've all had those roller coaster moments and high or low, we can identify with them. 

7.  Posts that are easy on the eye with font/spacing/pictures.  A wall of words can be tough to read.


What's NOT going to get a wave of the Feature Fairy's wand?


Open Houses

Market reports

Subdivision/Community posts

Local events.

You know...those things that are MOST likely to make your phone ring with new business either this week or 5 years from now.

The other thing not to expect?  LOTS of comments!  While once upon a time a Featured post might generate 50 comments minimum, take a look on the front page and you'll see is MOSTLY low counts for comments. But for the most part, getting a Feature DOES still reach a wider audience in the Rain, especially if it gets picked up for the Daily Drop.

The other thing to consider is the odds are smaller than ever of getting featured.  Years back there were 18 spots on the front page and they typically rotated a full page during the day.  If you watch now, there are fewer slots and the cycling is slower, MUCH slower.  Obviously feature posts are NOT the priority for ActiveRain that they once were.

Do deserving posts get missed?  Every day. 

Do some that probably shouldn't get Featured get the nod?  You bet.


Okay, that's the Cliff Notes version on Feature posts from my observations.



Any questions?  Ask An Ambassador.  I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


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

Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz 


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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
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EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hey Bill:

There's a whole lot of sense in what you say, and some pretty savvy advice.  And that analysis was an eye opener. Features have been a hot topic as long as I have been around, and we've seen a lot of shifts in what gets featured, how many posts get featured, and how much commenting they generate.


Feb 20, 2019 07:13 AM #6
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life it's not automatic? Featured > Sale?

Sure, there is a bit of work involved.

Feb 20, 2019 09:33 AM #7
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

The key word is likely "due".  You've never had a client call due to a post being featured.

(My mind is still reeling from the "I lied" part)

Feb 20, 2019 11:04 AM #9
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Well I think I'll go against the grain and that for now, I'd rather have features.  Why?  Because I'm getting way too many phone calls and emails and messages.  I can't keep up!  I want to tune the world out.

BTW, I think I'm getting 375,000 pageview/month now!  Overall that's great, but now everybody wants my help and advice (and yes, many of them pay me just for my advice on the phone...and that is a nice feeling...but I need a vacation LOL).

Feb 20, 2019 11:30 AM #10
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Oh, and there is a bit of SEO for being featured because the Page Authority on the home page is higher.  that is something Lenn taught me.  But, it's simply an added bonus and probably has fleeting effects after you move off the page.  That's my guess.  I don't try to get my posts on here to rank anyway.  It's all about getting the posts on my site to rank.


Feb 20, 2019 11:34 AM #11
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Well looks like you got featured again. Thanks for the reminders.

Feb 20, 2019 01:25 PM #12
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Thanks for the shout-out, Bill. When I stopped posting daily on AR I made it a point to at least contribute 1 post a week that helped the community. I am thankful the Feature Fairies often shine favorably on Facebook Fridays.

Feb 20, 2019 03:09 PM #13
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Bill- I couldn't have said it any better myself. Years ago I think one of my local posts was featured.  And yes, back in the day local and market reports were featured. Commenting has been noticeably down for a long time now. In the past it was nothing to receive 50+ comments. Thank you, btw, for the mention!!!

Feb 20, 2019 05:30 PM #14
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Thank you for all the great tips! 

Feb 20, 2019 07:57 PM #15
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

This was well thought out and creative.  Being featured is a plus on AR. Thanks for yoru tips.

Feb 20, 2019 08:03 PM #16
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

Are you saying bribery has gone out of fashion?


Feb 20, 2019 08:20 PM #17
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

For me, features do help make the phone ring. Why? Because my target audience is real estate professionals, not real estate buyers and sellers.

Feb 20, 2019 08:20 PM #18
Tom Phelan

Over the years I have posted many times but I have never been featured. After analyzing my posts I realized most, if not all were very controversial; e.g. your IRA isn't the best retirement vehicle nor is your 401(k) really worth keeping.

Or, my being Toto who reveals NAR as the the "Oz" behind the curtain?

I think AR avoids hard hitting articles even when what they claim can be backed up by fact.

Feb 21, 2019 04:29 AM #19
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The lie (?) are lemons and the posting (this) that came from it ...lemonade

Feb 21, 2019 07:05 AM #20
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

The featured posts I have received are usually ones I never saw coming.  And the ones that make the phone ring for me are never featured.

Feb 21, 2019 07:12 AM #21
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Stella has to find her blogging groove big time....


Feb 21, 2019 02:40 PM #22
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

You are spot-on with your assessment, Bill. The featured posts that have had calls - last being in 2013 is a bit scary to me. I know featured posts don't make the phone ring but, that 2013 seems telling to me (about the SEO). Anyone who disagrees with your assessment...well, you know... LOL Seriously, I've noticed the same thing with the indexing - it's just not happening as it was 5-6 years ago. 

As for the 'lie,' it was what you believed at the time - truly believed - so, no harm, no foul! 

Feb 21, 2019 02:47 PM #23
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

The phone ringing is better than a feature to me lol...however, back in the day, it felt really good to get a featured post.  I remember my first one and it was so exciting and it was great just with all of the commenting etc.  It would probably still feel great though...

Feb 21, 2019 02:55 PM #24
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Liz and Bill Spear ,

So glad to see your post featured..great information that clarifies your take on featured posts. The whole object is to make your phone ring...its true..that connecting with business..paychecks.

Feb 21, 2019 05:15 PM #25
Nestor Gasset
International Properties and Investments LLC - Wellington, FL
Wellington Luxury homes & Equestrian Expert

As long as you have the desire and the heart to move on forward you will do well!

Feb 26, 2019 06:36 PM #26
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