Ask An Ambassador: Two Tone Tuesday

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

As I've mentioned before, we're getting closer to making a major move.

We're scouting for the right parcel of land on a mountainside to build a new home and we're in major information gathering mode.

Among our sources of insight?  Facebook communities dedicated to our new location.

The first group I found was very useful.  Good insight into local living conditions, and has been particularly useful during this latest snowstorm to know which streets are the hardest to navigate, less likely to get plowed quickly, etc.  We'll go in eyes wide open knowing our risk of getting snowed in for a few days is a real possibility.

There are also recommendations about good contractors, restaurants and other useful information that we know about where we live now, but would know zip about in our new area.

The overall impression of the community:  very friendly, very helpful and a great place to call our new home.

The second group?  The group is composed of the same area residents, but the tone was completely different and too much of what I've become used to seeing on Facebook.  Divided.  Political fighting. Ridicule.  Just an overall negative place to be and not nearly enough useful information for me to want to wade through the mess.  I unjoined within a matter of moments.  If I want to brawl, there are more than enough other places offering the same service.

What's my takeaway?

Moderation matters. 

Culture matters.

Foster cooperation, it grows.

Allow misbehavior, and that grows too.

It's one of the things I've always liked about ActiveRain.  For the most part, the culture here keeps behavior reasonable.  Even without much (or any) obvious management presense, there's a sustained expectation of how we behave and interact with each other.  Someone steps over the boundary, someone will nudge them back in the right direction.  And if someone insists on staying on the other side of the boundary, they're probably going to lose the social aspect of this social community.

For me, any group that behaves as the 2nd one did is not where I'll invest my time.  I don't need social vampires sucking the joy out of my life.

We can present the same information with a range of tones.  Negative or positive.  Our blogs, our comments, our actions here and elsewhere reflect on who we are and what & who we attract. 

It's your choice which tone to broadcast.

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

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     
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Comments (24)

Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Social Vampires, eh?

Feb 02, 2021 12:49 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

They're close relatives of Internet Trolls.

Feb 02, 2021 03:05 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Liz(and Bill too) - as I read your post, it had me thinking of an inventory-review of sorts of related experiences in my own life.  Yes, it's all about choices - pick and choose - soap/rinse/repeat/rinse again - reduce/recycle/recycle.  Yikes!  So many things in life.  

Feb 02, 2021 01:06 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've been putting some emphasis on the reduce aspect of my social media time. 

Feb 02, 2021 03:06 PM
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 am a moderator in a couple of FB groups and moderation absolutely matters!

Feb 02, 2021 01:08 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

No doubt, it makes or breaks a group.

Feb 02, 2021 03:06 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Moderation absolutley matters.  I joined a few FB groups and it didn't take me long to say adios, no thanks.  As for AR for the most part members are respectful. At times I've seen a few social vampires but that's about them. Next. As for groups we've had a great group of folks on the BananaTude group for years and they all know the rules of the road and what happens if they don't follow them.  Thanks to all the moderators things work out well for us.


Featured in BananaTude


Feb 02, 2021 01:33 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Post twice, say buh bye to that 2nd post :)

Feb 02, 2021 03:07 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Love this Bill- Whether here or on another platform, most people don't want to be brought down with negativity!  The helpful information we find on some of these Facebook groups is what I like. I see the same thing on our local Nextdoor app. It helped me when we moved back to Houston and I just skipped over the snarky ones. 

Feb 02, 2021 03:25 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

If a group is good, I'll give them some attention.  If they're not, no need to keep them around. 
Haven't used Nextdoor, not as popular in our immediate living area.

Feb 02, 2021 06:18 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Sounds like your search is providing some good, and not so good, learning! I suspect many people would prefer to avoid the negativity, name-calling, and other bad behaviors we see pretty regularly on FB, and somewhat on Nextdoor, while some appear to thrive on it. Broadcasting the wrong tone, or perhaps being a member of the wrong group, can certainly have unintended consquences if you hope to derive business from social media sites.


Feb 02, 2021 05:22 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Always consequences, both planned and unplanned.  I've learned that if I see certain people in a thread, ONLY opinions that agree with them are allowed, and with that...exit stage left.

Feb 02, 2021 06:19 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

There is a community here that comes to mind Bill. They were so divided that they actually allowed some homeowners to opt out the HOA because of the negativity and verbal brawling. I observed from a distance because, like you, getting in it, would not win it! 

Glad you're making some headway and getting informed.

Feb 02, 2021 06:43 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

One of our criteria?  No HOAs!

Feb 02, 2021 08:23 PM
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

Good points.  Hanging around with negativity and Misbehavin is not fun.  

Feb 02, 2021 08:09 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It can sometimes be entertaining if you're not in the midst of it.

Feb 02, 2021 08:23 PM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Very well put and appreciate your insigth. Especially the 'social vampire' comment...loved it!

Feb 03, 2021 05:51 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's the old saying about some people make you happy when they arrive, others when they leave :)

Feb 03, 2021 05:55 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Great post - I think we are all exhausted with the negativity and attack mode of many social media platforms

Feb 03, 2021 06:18 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

There are people I like but I'll rarely comment on their posts because I know what happens with "their crowd".

Feb 03, 2021 06:37 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

There was a time when Active Rain had some nasties in the group. There were posts that went way off the rails. But it was the community that self-policed and I haven't seen any of that for years thankfully.


Feb 03, 2021 06:25 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Fortunately I only have to add a small number of people to my "avoid" list each year.  Most get it.

Feb 03, 2021 06:37 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Liz and Bill Spear, how someone behaves on a social media platform is a reflection of their character. Luckily, we can control where we spend our time and who we associate with. 

Feb 03, 2021 06:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've done a lot of filtering over the last few months.  The political militants on both ends of the spectrum have gone POOF.

Feb 03, 2021 10:01 AM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL

Bill & Liz,

Very interesting subject to address! After reading the comments, I reflected back as to why my husband and I built a home in our subdivision and what has transpired over the twenty year period of time residing in our gated community, where I might add, new homes are still being constructed. 

When we built, there was one other existing home in the subdivision. It was owned by a "weekender" who rarely set foot on his property. As things progressed, we noticed several things which seemed somewhat peculiar, everyone who built, whether fulltime or weekender, was about the same age as us. During rare conversations, we would find out the reason these people, of varied backgrounds, purchased a lot and built, was to settle in an environment free of the normal hustle and bustle, so common in metro or suburban neighborhoods. The current ratio of fulltime and weekender property owners remains about the same, eighteen percent fulltime with the rest weekenders.

We do, as a neighborhood, have a scheduled Association meeting annually. In addition, we do schedule one social event at our neighborhood park during a warm month of the summer. On a rare occasion, a member of the neighborhood may host a gathering (special event) such as a retirement party, etc. Everyone, whether fulltime or weekender, is friendly when meeting another property owner in the neighborhood or elsewhere.

My point here, our neighborhood places a high value on "the right to privacy". Other than a rare Homeowners Association neighborhood cleanup or other maintenance project, everyone keeps to themselves.

For the record, the age of fulltime residents varys between early fifties to seventy plus. The weekender population age parallels that of the fulltimers.

It's nice to be free of barking dogs, highspeed motorists racing through the neighborhood, loud music or frequent raucous private social events within the community. 

Strangely, we have had almost no issues regarding covenant violations or efforts to modify or recind the same.

As a realtor, I speak with others on a regular basis, who live in a number of subdivisions on our lake. To be polite, the behavioral environment within many of these communities, can be considered "questionable". 

My advice to those looking for solitude and tranquility, invest in making a serious determination as to what type of "environment" exists within a given community......before jumping in with both feet. Not all communities are created equal.....whether that be your place of residence or social media!

Hope I have provided some useful information as it relates to "qualifying a neighborhood" for consideration. 

Feb 03, 2021 08:38 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Sharon, that's essentially what we've been doing, looking for a general area close enough to Liz's family, then parsing down to exactly where we can find a lot that fits us.  We value our privacy (if our Chihuahuas bark, it won't bother anyone else) and having the freedom to do what we want (have our beehives, add some chickens later, etc.).   We've got our eye on a two lots at the top of a mountain, both on cul de sac streets and both offering great views.  Now mostly a matter of narrowing down to one and making it ours after due diligence on site construction and other factors.

Feb 03, 2021 10:00 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear BLiz,

What a slick idea for scouting your potential new neighborhoods. The crazy thing about trying to slam the door in the face of those behind you is that when everyone does better, you will too. 

Feb 03, 2021 09:29 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've been monitoring the one group closely and it's been useful to get some insight.  See roads we're specifically looking at mentioned as being plowed (or not) gives us a good feel for what to expect.

Feb 05, 2021 05:07 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Stay positive, be productive, make a difference. Rise above and life is what you make it, how you react to the people in it. Have watched some 40th year Survivor shows, somehow missed the series year ago. The ones voted off the island are the ones complaining, not pitching in or that don't just easy does it go along without strong opinions or scolding. Critical spirit, folks that tend to zero in on the negative can suck the joy out of a room for sure. Good luck finding your hilltop hideaway best location.

Feb 04, 2021 03:47 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Definitely not one for kicking the beehives, and not looking to live in the middle of folks that live to fight with their virtual and real life neighbors.

Feb 05, 2021 05:08 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Congratulations on your feature recognition.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

Feb 04, 2021 07:02 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

Feb 05, 2021 05:08 AM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL

Liz and Bill,

You seem to have a well thought out criteria with selecting the ideal location for your new home. As realtors, we often run into potential buyers who don't share all their primary considerations with us, as a consequence, they may wind up making poor decisions, which ultimately creates a "do over" situation. I see evidence of this on a routine basis with second home or vacation home purchases, where after a short period of time, the owners realize, "this environment isn't for me" and put their home up for sale! In the years I've been selling out here on the lake, I have sold the same homes four or five times.

I've suggested, for those who may be tentative with life in a remote environment, go rent a place on the lake for several weeks, you'll quickly identify your likes and dislikes of a rural, secluded environment. 

I've got to go but "Good Luck" with securing that "dream home on top of the mountain"!

BTW....My husband and I purchased a small farm (twenty acres) which borders the lake (two miles from our home). After completing our due dilligence, we decided to go ahead and make the purchase. I had this property listed for several months but it was a "tough sell".......those who were interested in lake property, don't want to spend their time cutting pasture or mending fences on the weekends. Others, who might want the property to raise horses, hunt or for other outdoor uses, would find the lake house, acreage and buildings too expensive for their needs. 

We rent out the house, care for a horse, house two dogs and keep three cats for "rodent control". For those who have read this far, we also take advantage of the tax right-offs, (maintenance expenses, depreciation and property tax deductions). There is nothing like creating an environment where one has a little "elbow room" to endulge in those activities which makes one's personal life unique! 

In closing, I'll share these words of wisdom, "Have a plan, work the plan and plan for the unexpected."

              Coach Paul W. "Bear Bryant"

See ya,


Feb 04, 2021 08:53 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

No doubt, the more buyers share with us, the better we are able to help them.
We've got a really good idea of what we want and are used to living without close neighbors, the big difference with this change will be the proximity of many of our relatives.  Right now we're 6-7 hours away from family, our new location would trim most of that to 30 minutes or less.

Feb 05, 2021 05:11 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Liz and Bill Spear - I really get what you are saying.  The culture of the neighborhood is important.  I think you can get an sense of that with local sites in the area using social media comments

Feb 05, 2021 04:30 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Definitely more convenient to use online resources to scout an area vs. the old days of needing to drive and look in person.

Feb 05, 2021 05:11 AM
Sharon Miller


At face value, "online resources" sounds like a viable means to assess an area, the culture or local social considerations. I thought about this for a few minutes as it relates to my particular environment. The overall "fulltime" population in my rural area is approximately fifteen to twenty percent. About half of these fulltime folks work a job in town, work from home, or farm their property. The remainder are retiree's or those who simply enjoy a rural setting. 

As a consequence, there isn't much in the way of online social venue's to scour a specific area in order to gather information about a particular neighborhood, its amenities or demographics. To clarify my intent, most online mapping programs available on one's cellphone, provide at best, intermittent coverage. For example, if one types in my street address, the Goggle Map or its equivalent, will point to a location of the nearest post office, fourteen miles away. 

There are several subdivisions within seven miles of my home. The size of these, can range from as few as ten homes to as many as thirty plus. This example is repeated throughout many areas located on the perimeter of our lake. A particular subdivision can be populated with mid-priced dwellings of 350K to 525K. Travel a mile or two and you'll find another development with pricing at 800K and above. As you can glean from my discussion here, with the rural nature of the area, the size, price range and amenities can vary dramatically. Searching online to ascertain the particulars of a given development most likely will result in reaching a developer's promotional site or a land sale advertisement.

I have never located a "public" social media site (FaceBook - Instagram, etc.) which deals with "cultural" or demographic conditions pertaining to our lake and adjacent area.

It's been a number of year's since I have lived in suburbia so I am not familiar with current social or cultural aspects as it relates to metro type life style wants and needs.

I can state with certainty, the vast majority of those who request help with finding lake property......the number one item on their list of criteria, secure a waterfront property which provides a peaceful environment, seclusion and is located off the "beaten path". The overwhelming majority of my customer base........resides in a city or suburbia? Regardless of the pandemic and lockdowns......I've been running at full throttle for the past eight months. I located four lots for sale for a customer three days ago, I went to confirm showing appointments the night before we were to look..........I was informed, all four were under contract. A properly priced home in the 550K to 700K range, will be under contract within ten days or less. As I said earlier.......these buyers are coming from the metro America.

Regardless, Real Estate is Local!

As we say here in Dixie......."if you've never tasted filet mignon, peanut butter tastes just fine!"



Feb 05, 2021 08:37 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Hello Liz and Bill Spear - moderation is necessary ... as we have discussed a few times ... sometimes the moderator's tone is a bit terse and snaky and they either don't know it ... because that is just the way they are ... and is accepted among the tribe ... or they don't care, or feel it is okay because they are the moderator. 

YOU always have a positive tone and never snark, always professional. Thank you for that! 

Feb 05, 2021 11:08 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The challenge of flat mediums, it can be a challenge to convey the intended tone.

Personally, I've seen too many people wreck their rep because of careless typing, so i try to avoid anything majorly out of line with my own comments.

Feb 05, 2021 02:52 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Getting to the right parcel can be a little tricky but well worth it in the end after a little bit of literal digging and figurative digging.

Feb 11, 2021 09:05 PM

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