Ask An Ambassador: Should You Give A Bleep About Points?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

Some day I'll reach 3,000,000 points on ActiveRain. 

Or maybe I won't.

Maybe I'll retire from real estate, stop blogging and quietly exit stage left or right before I gain the last 30,000 points needed.

Considering some people here in the Rain will go to just about any length to add to their point total, how can I be so apathetic about points?

Sure, once upon a time I did care about points. 

Driving to get that 500,000 points and the free account that comes with it motivated me.

Gaining points and moving up the leaderboard motivated me.

I'd max out weekly posts, daily comments and enter just about every contest that dangled the points carrot in front of me.

Along the way I built a lot of relationships, some still thrive today, some not so much.  Some are here in the Rain, some have moved to Facebook and other places.

In my early time in the Rain I wasn't all that selective about what I'd blog about because I was still figuring out what worked and what didn't, so my topics often were more oriented to gaining comments (and points) rather than (bang the drum AGAIN) producing UNIQUE, RELEVANT CONTENT THAT CONSUMERS SEEK.

But there certainly is genius in the ActiveRain point system.  It's a hook that gets you initially engaged and (hopefully) keeps you engaged until ActiveRain starts paying off for you.

The work I've done over the years results in emails like the one I got this evening:

"Hi Liz,

My name is Xxx Xxxx..my wife Xxxx and I are interested in patio homes in Heritage Pointe. Please let us know if anything becomes available."

Now maybe it leads nowhere, maybe it leads to a closing table later this year.

But what I do know is this.  They didn't find me because of my point total on ActiveRain, but because of the things I learned here and implemented.

An incognito search for Heritage Pointe has our Wordpress IDX page at Page 1, spot 1.  An ActiveRain blog post WRITTEN IN 2011 is Page 1, spot 5.  Our Facebook business page for Cincinnati patio homes, Page 1, spot 6.  Spot 2 is a web page by a competitor that offers no information about the community, just raw listing inventory, and spots 3 & 4 are old listings from R.com and Movoto. 

NONE OF OUR THREE SPOTS ARE PAID PLACEMENT.  STRICTLY ORGANIC.

Given that information, the chances of the long tail search result creating the outcome it did is pretty good.

Those results are why I no longer give a flip about points.  I do what I do because I know it works, not because I want to see my point total climb.

A consumer isn't likely to even find ActiveRain's Leaderboard, much less use it to make a hiring decision.

And if I have a referral to give out, it's not based on your Leaderboard position, but what you do when you're here and how you do it matter to me. 

If you're reading the posts you comment on and leaving genuine comments, it shows.  If you're a drive-by cut/paste/copy/click commenter, that shows too.

The first method takes more effort, but the reward can be much greater than your point total.

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

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

 

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Alliance
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

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

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Comments (21)

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

Regarding the points system perhaps about the time we reached 500K points and were able to stop paying is the time it actually started paying off for us. There is genius in the point system because it is an incentive to engage and engaging is where the value is long term.

Jan 25, 2022 07:05 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Anita Clark gave me some great advice early on, and once I FINALLY made the shift it paid off within a year, and continues to pay off.

Jan 25, 2022 07:37 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Bill,

The point system does hook people into the system.  And back when, there were dozens of real estate blog platforms, this is the only one that is still in play.  A

Jan 25, 2022 07:31 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It amazes me some times thinking about how long we've been here.  The babies/grandbabies at the start are now close to high school age.

Jan 25, 2022 07:38 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Bill  points is not what brings in business.  Have we seen point hounds over the years, sure. Are there still some out there. Sure.  Doesn't bother me.  I know what has brought in business for me and it has been my A list of clients and referrals over the years.  I don't think I've ever had to pay for AR.  I was grandfathered in somehow.

Jan 25, 2022 08:28 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

My paying period was relatively short thanks to a Twitter contest AR held.  I think it was for reaching 200,000 members?  But I answered a question and got move to FREE. 
I know my spot as #1 in Ohio on the Leaderboard is if not worthless financially, very close to it.  It's the consumer facing content I've created that makes the phone ring.

Jan 25, 2022 08:54 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

No doubt she could have some fun with this topic and those that abuse the point system!

Jan 25, 2022 10:26 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker

Yes doing what has worked for you is the key ingredient!  I do miss your Little Miss Bad Manners posts - just saying  :)

Jan 25, 2022 09:31 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I cared about the points when I first started - getting to "free" with 500K was a definite goal. Along the way I wrote a bunch of posts, met some people in the real world, and got to know a lot of people virtually. It was all a lot of fun! And what do you know? Now I don't care how many points I have but I still write, meet (when possible) and get to know people online. So the activity the points started remain. Smart system!

Jan 25, 2022 09:44 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Exactly how it should work IMO.  The activities that matter should become habits, with or without points. 

Jan 25, 2022 10:25 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience and some of your thoughts on the points system.

Jan 25, 2022 09:57 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It probably doesn't change anyone's approach, but here it is either way.

Jan 25, 2022 10:27 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Bill- I guess I've been here long enough that I was in a group that was grandfathered in. Getting to the 500K mark is important, though, for those who want to get to the free account. I get it totally. But if you bet me right now, I couldn't tell you how many points I have, nor do I start emailing Debe Maxwell, CRS after a challenge to see where my points are. 

What hooks me is and has always been the community. But everyone has a different agenda and one that works for them. 

Jan 25, 2022 10:14 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

If we'd become active when we first signed up we'd have been grandfathered.  But we did the profile, then went POOF for 3 years, so had to pay.  And I didn't mind a bit because what we gained here was fully worth it.

The community keeps me coming back daily.  Mostly lurking more than commenting, but still here every day.

Jan 25, 2022 10:29 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Hi Bill,

You are so right..the points you accrue in Active Rain don't bring you in business..its all in the content and engament you share! 

Jan 25, 2022 10:45 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

In general, my most productive work from a business perspective doesn't bring me comments or extra points.  They make the phone ring and the email "you've got mail" ding :)

Jan 25, 2022 11:30 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Lots of wisdom here, Bill, with experience to back it up. It's not about how many points you have but what you may have done to get the points you have, however many that many be. Just because you have the points does not mean your content is bringing you business, or you are creating positive relationships with others here who might refer to you, or you to them.

Jeff

Jan 25, 2022 08:15 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Jeff, there are some people I'd never refer to despite their mega-points because I've seen how they go about getting those points.  While what they do might not technically be a site rules violation, it's not the right way to do things as far as I'm concerned.  And if they'll skirt the rules on something that truly doesn't matter, what would they do with a referral if push came to shove?

Jan 25, 2022 08:30 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Points are fun but what is the most rewarding thing here are the relationships that are being and have been forged.

Jan 25, 2022 09:01 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's great to know that there are people across the country that I can reach out to if I need help.

Jan 26, 2022 05:41 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I no longer worry about points either but I think they encourage people to do the activities they should be doing on a daily basis which leads to more success for them overall.

Jan 26, 2022 04:55 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I think the point system is like the training wheels on a bike, giving us reason to do the right thing until we don't need them any longer to do the right thing.

Jan 26, 2022 05:42 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

You've done well and it's a great blog!

Jan 26, 2022 04:59 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Thanks!

Jan 26, 2022 05:42 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Bravo! Content is king. I kinda like the point system, though, as it motivates me. It's only one of the reasons I keep coming back.

Jan 26, 2022 06:16 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The points certainly serve their purpose, especially at the beginning.

Jan 26, 2022 06:15 PM
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

I cared about the points when I started here, even though it was FREE for all back then, it was my competitive nature.  I couldn't agree more, the points are not what matters, it is the relationships, the lessons learned and writing engaging content to hopefully connect with the audience you wish to connect with.

Jan 26, 2022 08:34 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've been able to dial back my competitive nature when it comes to points.  If someone wants to pass me on the Leaderboard, they're more than welcome to.  I won't go into blogging hyperdrive to try to hold them off.

Jan 26, 2022 06:17 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

For many of the members that have been here for a while the early points challenges were a sort of social interaction. From there friendships were created and even today those are very familiar faces to us.  Points don't matter as much as content

Jan 27, 2022 05:51 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

All yours if you want it!

Jan 27, 2022 05:56 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

True, those challenges tended to get us to interact with new people.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that we've been here as long as we have!

Jan 27, 2022 06:12 AM
Ed Silva

I just saw the comment you left above and as I am the closest to you I have the best possibility of passing you

Jan 27, 2022 07:39 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I was here early enough that I never did have to pay, but I can certainly understand working to get enough points to reach free status. Meanwhile - I agree with you. The points don't really mean a darn thing.

Jan 27, 2022 02:11 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

They don't motivate me any longer.  I have certain standards I try to uphold (e.g. I try to respond to every comment on my own post), others I just can't reasonably do (e.g. the expectation from some that every comment left has to be responded to on one of their posts).  At this point, the two job world + home zookeeping means I have minimal time for cruising the blog roll.

Jan 27, 2022 05:43 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Liz and Bill Spear Very true, it is just like getting featured here. If Google finds me and index my posts, but my posts doesn't get featured do I care  

Jan 29, 2022 10:54 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Featured posts for me are rarely business producing.  My best posts for business rarely generate comments, they generate calls from home buyers and sellers.

Jan 30, 2022 06:06 AM
Anthony Kirlew
Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

When it comes to content with regard to Google and other search engines (unique) content is still king. It's nice to have points but better to have a solid online presence. I have not upgraded yet, but I will this year as I have made a decision to grow my real estate business this year and become fully active in it (I have been a marketer and have referred all of my business to my team for the past few years.). The fee is nominal if it leads to even just one deal per year... which should lead to more deals down the road. Thanks for sharing.

Jan 31, 2022 12:57 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Anthony, This place has paid for itself in orders of magnitude.  Between this and our Wordpress site/IDX search pages, the bulk of our non-repeat business is sourced from evergreen posts.  The SEO competitive landscape is tougher than when we started, but unique content still gets us found.

Jan 31, 2022 01:53 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Liz and Bill - I think there is something ingenious about points in that it motivates but really serves as a means to an end.  We have gained something else during the point pursuit.

Feb 03, 2022 03:47 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

For me they're a good training mechanism to get you used to doing things that have potentially good outcomes.  But at a certain point I'd hope that points or no points, we'd continue doing the right things because they make sense for us personally and professionally.

Feb 03, 2022 09:37 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA
Realtor

I would agree, the true rewards from ActiveRain are not the points, but the points usually do reflect the hard work and persistence of the ActiveRain Member that receives them.  I find it remarkable how hard some members work. 

I also agree that genuine comments will lead to better results.

Not long ago, I wrote a post regarding hitting 400,000 and how bloggers could be rewarded by a real estate cryptocurrency.  I know, wishful thinking, but then points really could matter.  I did see that there is at least one other blog site that has gone down that road.

Feb 03, 2022 07:57 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I do think there is value in doing the things that get rewarded by points.  E.g. I've participated in challenges in the past that were very easy to see:  Do this, than THIS can happen type events.  Blog about subdivisions?  Don't stop at the 6 for the challenge, but keep on going!

But for me, the point ranking on the Leaderboard means less and less.  It's not what makes my phone ring and not what leads me to select a referral partner.

Feb 03, 2022 09:39 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

I have a feeling you'll get that 3M, just a hunch ; )  I'm with you in terms of content and focus though, I'll take the SEO and customer calls all day in lieu of points, but admittedly, that 1M hurdle is right in front of me and I'll be darned if I Don't want to get over that hump!

Mar 07, 2022 04:28 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

True, I'll probably reach 3MM, but I was perfectly happy to congratulate Ed for bumping me down to The Meaning Of Life position on the Leaderboard when he passed me last week :)

I've gotten a burst of phone calls in the last few days, all from subdivision/niche specific blog posts and IDX posts.  They won't all turn into clients, but there is at least opportunity for it.

Mar 07, 2022 07:46 PM