Ask An Ambassador: Rules Written & Unwritten

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

There rules aren't in writing, but they know what they areAny time you get a group of people together, you're going to find personality differences. 

Now let's form a group composed of real estate agents and the differences get magnified. 

You've got a bunch of strong willed individuals because real estate isn't for pansies is it?  You've got to work hard to get what's coming to you!  And sometimes that might mean stepping on some toes so get outta my way!!! (you've seen and met some of those type agents haven't you?).

Do I personally believe you have to be a (fill in derogatory description of your choice) to be successful?  Nope, I'm more of a Golden Rule person.  Treat people fairly and the rest will more or less take care of itself.

So how do you manage a community of extremes and keep everything on an even keel?  How do you avoid being just another Lord of the Flies group like so many real estate groups become?

In ActiveRain's case, you've got a well defined set of Community Guidelines that explicitly spell out expectations. 

The Community Guidelines are mostly common sense, but not everyone exercises common sense, so it's written out.  Run afoul of those rules enough times and you'll find yourself on the outside looking in. 

Over time a community culture has formed that is basically self-regulating (which is important considering we do not have the management presence we had years ago).

If you're routinely a jerk, you'll notice you're being avoided (little to no comments on your posts, no response to your comments on other Rainer's posts, etc.), or you'll have another member reaching out to offer you some advice.   If another Rainer is calling to help you be a better member of the community, LISTEN to them and take it to heart.

You'll notice that you don't see many members dipping into politics IN this community (on their Facebook pages is a whole 'nother story).  Your competence, professionalism and willingness to share matter more here than your political leanings.

You'll find some other topics to be scarce too.  Nothing really in writing, but the unwritten expectations are there to avoid causing a full scale melee.

There are other unwritten expectations, some agreed to, some not.

You may or may not agree with the expectation of reciprocating comments.

You may or may not be okay with someone posting a dozen questions in a row or filling up the blog roll with market reports by the dozens.

Bottom line, whether you agree with some of the unwritten expectations or not, you need to be aware of them and not be surprised if you get some pushback when you "break" those unwritten rules. 

Not certain about whether or not something is okay?  Ask an experienced member of the community and they should be able to tell you what's considered normal and what might be considered over the line.

Until next Tuesday, Ask An Ambassador if you have a question.

Bill of Bill & Liz 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
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


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Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

Great post... what a wonderful community we have here.  It is a living, breathing, and thriving group!

Jun 18, 2019 09:24 PM #1
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I think that when commenters/writers consider the people who will be reading their words, they usually do use common sense in a Golden Rule kind of way. When they don't consider the community aspect, that's when things can go awry. I'm with you - it's mostly common sense that should be leading the way. 

Jun 19, 2019 02:55 AM #2
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Liz and Bill - like many, if not most, that golden rule philosophy comes in handy. 

Jun 19, 2019 10:59 AM #3
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

You write such great posts about civility! I think AR is much calmer and less contentious than it was years ago. This has come about because of the committed membership of many participants.

I wish society could follow suit . . .

Jun 19, 2019 11:18 AM #4
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

Thank you for sharing this so politely.  I love the rain and have learned so much and I appreciate the wealth of knowledge here.  I am thankful for it!

Jun 19, 2019 01:56 PM #5
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Bliz I live by the Golden Rule with Kindness as Michael Jacobs wrote about the other day. And you're right their are common sense guidelines on AR and then there are the unspoken ones  of respecting others use of the platform. 

Jun 19, 2019 02:06 PM #6
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

As always the voice of civility, reason, common sense (not always common) and following the guidelines shines through your post, Bill. Unfortunately the emotions sometimes interfere or take over and the other stuff may go out the window.


Jun 19, 2019 07:50 PM #7
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Treat others as we would is no myth but instead our work until it becomes norm

Jun 20, 2019 06:16 AM #8
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

When I joined AR in '08 I was both a novice RE licensee and very novice blogger. In fact I barely new the term BLOG. It sounded like the mis spelling of a D rated '60's horror film. But during this past decade plus I've become a bit less rough around the edges on both fronts, have met some very interesting and fun folks and have managed to establish a few very good friendships along the way. But what's even more important we (most of us) are still here and still contributing and helping one another.

I consider AR my number one social media platform. It's almost like the NEXTDOOR of RE without all the garage sales, free stuff, prowler sitings and auto breakins.

Jun 20, 2019 06:32 AM #9
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

While my closest friends or family know my political or social views, anyone else would have a hard time figuring it out since I never post political, sexual, religious or personal issues on any social media platform. But boy do I want to sometimes. 

Jun 20, 2019 07:31 AM #10
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Thanks for sharing. It's always a good idea to review community rules and guidelines. We're on so many forums these days meant for different things that it is easy to cross the rule. I will say I've received a couple phone calls from people on AR and it was a very pleasant surprise to hear from some of the folks I see on here all the time. It was just to say hi, not to sell me on their services.

Jun 20, 2019 11:42 AM #11
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay

Hi Liz and Bill. Thanks for sharing this. It really is important to be part of this community. I have learned a lot over the years in Active Rain and this has always been a vital part of my business. I agree with you about the Golden Rule, treat everyone fairly and with respect. I always aim at sharing positivity and knowledge.

Jun 20, 2019 03:20 PM #12
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Hi Bill and Liz, a good reminder of the Community Guideline mid-year. I usually see the challenge at the beggining of the year - one more mid-year is helpful.

Jun 21, 2019 07:28 AM #13
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post! You are the guru to follow in the rain;-)

Jun 22, 2019 08:53 AM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Bill- I agree with what you said about the unwritten rules...know what they are and if you don't like them and choose to act differently, then know that there are often repercussions. 

Jun 22, 2019 07:17 PM #15
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

You guys are a perfect example of what a good ambassador should be.  And your little dogs are so cute!

Jun 22, 2019 07:22 PM #16
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