Ask An Ambassador: Protecting The ActiveRain Culture

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

how about a donation to the Salvation Army?ActiveRain has been a part of my daily life for almost a decade.

I come back for a host of reasons.

Blogging regularly with specific real estate related content that gets found by potential home buyers and sellers brings me business.

Blogging also increases my overall digital footprint, and that helps when agents are searching for "Mason Ohio real estate agents" or a consumer types in "real estate agents near me".

But the other part that keeps me coming back?  The people and the culture.  I've been part of other real estate groups outside the Rain, and they may start off with the best intentions, but absent a strong moderator presence things can quickly go Lord of The Flies.

Once upon a time ActiveRain had a strong management presence.  Believe it or not you'd actually get comments on your posts from people that were ActiveRain Staff.  If there was a skirmish between members they'd step in and address the issue, up to the point of ejecting members if that's what it took.

Obviously things change.  Multiple management changes.  Staff members not returned (#BringKerrieBack), emphasis on other Ben Kinney businesses at the expense of this community, etc.  I get it, Ben pays the bills and keeps the lights on and the platform (mostly) stable.  It's not like the old days when I didn't know if I'd be able to post at all, or if it would turn into an all day effort.  So we've had some bad & some good in all the changes.

But that change and absence of regular management presence creates a void in the community.  That leaves it up to us as a community to maintain the culture we value here.

And for the most part, the majority of the members know and follow the spirit and intent of the Community Guidelines.  New members may need some coaching (No you DO NOT self-advertise in comments on someone else's post!!!) & that it's best to leave politics at the door.  Save it for your personal Facebook page and have at it with machetes at 2 paces.

But sometimes, a member, even a veteran member, will go into territory that perhaps while not literally spelled out as against the Community Guidelines, is unlike anything else I've ever seen in the Rain, and I've seen much here in the Rain while cruising the blog roll.

So when I encounter something that I think is questionable and has potential to damage this community's reputation, what should be done?

Ignore or challenge?

You know the quotes about what happens when good men (or women) do nothing.

But challenging comes with its own risks too.

You know the can't tell ME what to do or say on MY blog.

And that's true, I can't.

I can advise strongly why the topic isn't appropriate for the Rain.

I can point out apparent errors in fact and why opinions are not facts.

I don't have to drop in one "Jane, you ignorant slut!" to do that (okay, you have to be of a certain age to know the reference). 

Maybe the comments get left, or maybe they get deleted.

But ultimately the member has to decide if they're truly doing the right thing leaving that post up to be associated with all of us as a community.

Maybe they realize the damage to their own reputation, their brand and even to this community. 

Or they don't.

Freedom of speech has consequences for all involved.

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

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
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Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
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Show All Comments
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

#Bringkerrieback   I'll donate to the cause.

Nov 26, 2019 07:46 PM #5
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It becomes harder and harder to police everything once the system gets bigger and bigger.

Nov 26, 2019 08:07 PM #6
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Alan May I get that point. I hope it works. I love the idea myself.

Nov 26, 2019 08:11 PM #7
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

I wonder if Kerrie knows how much she is missed. Maybe we should send her a group Christmas Card.  The reason Active Rain means anything at this point is the people who participate and contribute to it everyday. Blogs, Questions, Answers. Jokes, Trivia and yes even recipes are all part of the reason it is interesting and fun and compelling enough to stay engaged. Really an amazing group of people all involved one way or another in the Real Estate Industry sharing stories, information, tips, how to's and amazing hands on experience... unconditionally. All in all a pretty great group of people! 

Nov 27, 2019 01:16 AM #8
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

It appears a lot of AR regulars and oldies feel the same. Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

Nov 27, 2019 02:27 AM #9
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

You echo the sentiments of many . . . but for those who are led by ego and not common sense, they are in their own hell anyway . . . I just try to stay out of hell or I'd end up running things and piss off the Devil! 

We're the magic. And that overrides any misery!


But seriously, Jane, ya ignint ho!

Nov 27, 2019 03:23 AM #10
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Things definitely have changed, but that happens! I don't post as much as I used to, but I still enjoy reading blogs and learning more from others. This is the best place for that!

Nov 27, 2019 04:38 AM #11
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I think overall much is still the same, have things changed, yes, but you can choose who you follow and comment on, and maybe the SEO is not as good, but you have educated us over the years to write long tail posts that get found for what we want to be known for. The community is still strong, and there is still plenty of people to learn from and to care about in our midst.

Nov 27, 2019 05:20 AM #12
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I started on AR in late 2010/early 2011 and I do remember a lot more fun stuff went on then.

I haven't seen anything lately that was a bad reflection on AR except for all the spam. If I saw something truly troublesome, I might say something privately to the poster - but maybe not. It would depend on the topic.

Nov 27, 2019 05:42 AM #13
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Bill,

I ditto Michael Jacobs comment.."Well said." Lots of changes in Activerain management and community but I believe it's still strong. The friendships are priceless and information learned invaluable!

Nov 27, 2019 05:46 AM #14
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I know there is a large sentiment to @BringKerrieBack .  As much as we'd all like it to, it's not going to happen.

As special as Kerrie is, there are many "Kerries" out there who would be fully capable of doing the job she did IF the ownership was interested in paying someone to do so.  They aren't or it would have already happened. 

There are many here who would volunteer their time to fill in on those "Kerrie" tasks but ownership and management have shown no interest in that either. 

Those of us still active here each have our own reasons for staying. I'm sure AR will continue to evolve. We will evolve with it or move on, like many before us.

Nov 27, 2019 09:42 AM #16
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Bliz it is up to us to maintain the community spirit as things changed and that's what always happens, change happens. No Kerrie isn't coming back as much as we all love her but she's moved on as have others.  It's all good folk, it really is. Focus on what you can contribute as a member of our AR family and encourage new and newer members. AR strong!

Nov 27, 2019 11:55 AM #17
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

There are many things that have changed, I'd argue mostly for the worse (YES to #bringKerrieback), but the SEO is still present, many of the community members have become friends, and onward we go.  This is great info for new members, thanks for the post.

Nov 27, 2019 12:38 PM #18
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Hi Liz and Bill, thanks for sharing your thoughts. One of the challenges I find with ActiveRain is navigating through all the posts to find those that will be helpful or ones I can offer support and encouragement. It can be a challenge to do when there are so many posts that are being done just for rankings and not for the real purpose of what AR offers. A community of people trying to learn and help each other. Have a great holiday!

Nov 27, 2019 07:26 PM #19
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Well BIll I say bring back Brad Andersohn :))) Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Endre

Nov 27, 2019 10:22 PM #20
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Well said. 

I don't know if the absence of management is the cause of the shift in AR culture. Is it possible that the good ol' AR, like all good things, must come to an end?

Nov 28, 2019 06:40 AM #21
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

A moderator  comes to mind even more specific a host. Every game show, drama series and even movies were commonly presented by someone and we liked & followed them and their direction. Methinks AR is in the hands of the players now. With that said...let's play then. 

Nov 28, 2019 07:24 AM #22
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Congratulations on your feature recognition.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nov 28, 2019 08:34 AM #23
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Thanks Endre, but I am here and always watching and listening to see if there’s any way I can help any AR member? Staff or not, My heart and a piece of my soul will always be here in the rain!! Happy thanksgiving to all the rainmakers and those who still call AR their home 🏠 :-)

Nov 28, 2019 09:10 AM #24
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Bill, great post! Yes it's not the same, but I still get a lot out of it! I will take what I can get 

Nov 28, 2019 06:48 PM #25
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