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Ask An Ambassador: There is Only ONE Right Way To Use ActiveRain

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

As the Mandalorians say "This is the Way".

Or is it?

There is only ONE right way to use ActiveRain.

Not a true statement, is it?

And while I have some pretty strong parameters developed for how I CHOOSE to use ActiveRain, it's a personal choice. I don't do rants (any more).  I prefer to focus more on real estate posts that attract consumers closer to making a decision with a scattering of posts that give a glimpse into who we are personally.

But as long as we operate within the terms of the Community Guidelines, all should be good, right? 

But to every rule there are exceptions, and you can technically be within the boundaries of the Community Guidelines and still be committing what is perceived as a community faux pas.

Some might view my refusal to be bound by a requirement to reciprocate comments as a most heinous act.  No referrals for me, ever.  Doesn't matter that I've shown that I know my market, try my best to be level headed in my interactions, know how to balance competing demands, take care of 14 cats and 9 Chihuahuas on a daily basis, and have almost 20 years of real estate experience.  No comments on their posts, no consideration.  Period.  And I can live with that, because I've got my own path in how I can best use ActiveRain to meet my needs and still support this community.

Many members are not a fan of serial commenting.  Whether it's you personally or a hired assistant, dropping 25 comments in 5 minutes of a generic nature just to get the daily points maxed out may not TECHNICALLY be a community guideline violation, it's not exactly within the intent of the founders.  Ideally, points are the measurement of doing the right thing to gain relationships, attract business, etc, and not just points for points sake to climb the Leaderboard.

Once upon a time single Rainers could drop 100s of posts in a matter of hours, completely dominating the blog roll. Again, not technically a Community Guideline violation, but was certainly an irritant to the majority.  Staff put a governor on the number of posts to bring behavior back in line with intent.  We see that periodically, with minor adjustments made to how points are awarded to stay within the intent of the system.

The bottom line, we're always being watched.  Every post, every comment.  ActiveRain is a lot like an iceberg, you may see a certain number of other Rainers in sight, but there's a larger number lurking out of sight.  Compare your stats for viewed vs. comments and it's obvious that posts attract more attention than just comments.

Finding the path that enables you gain what you need from ActiveRain without alienating other members is critical if you want to attract the right kind of clients, gain referrals, build relationships both personal and professional.  What works for you may not be what works for me.  YMMV.

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 Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

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Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

For those that have been here a while, it is a matter of what works for their tastes and their market. Posting just for the sake of posting makes no sense anymore than seeing a repost on the blog roll right after the original

May 07, 2024 02:01 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Ed, those do tend to make me scratch my head a little.  At least let the blog roll move a page or two first :)

May 07, 2024 03:32 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

Great, honest post Liz and Bill Spear .  Doesn’t matter to me if you comment or not.  Heck, I’m so behind in my blogging that I’m sure I owe plenty of comments.  I hope no one holds that against me.  I have never done rants.  It’s not my style.  Just good honest blogging about what I know best

May 07, 2024 03:24 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

The best I can do is acknowledge each comment on my posts, and then wander around as I can and scatter a few comments here and there as time allows, and time frankly is pretty short for me.  I don't expect others to comment on mine just because I comment on theirs.

May 07, 2024 04:26 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

There IS only one right way to use ActiveRain - your way, or my way if I'm talking about me, or Elyse's way if we're talking about Elyse. Whatever way works for each of us is the one right way for us.

May 07, 2024 05:55 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

There are a lot of different ways to be effective.  For me, posting recipes wouldn't get the job done because I don't have an established following.  For someone else, that may be a perfect approach because everyone's got to eat :)

May 07, 2024 08:29 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Bill- excellent!  From time to time, there have been members who will comment on whatever the max is each day to earn points and that's it. Doesn't matter if they may be missing a good post. End the end, they get out of it what they put into it. 

I used to obsess over commenting on as many posts as I could just to be courteous. I soon became comfortable not adding a comment if I had bupkus to add. The exception to that is to try to reciprocate to members who have repeatedly commented on my post. 

That said, you and I have known each other long enough that I know you're out there and have my back. No comment from you necessary. 

May 07, 2024 07:08 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

And I appreciate that you understand my situation and why I don't get out and about the way I used to.  Engineering got busier, real estate got busier, our zoo (and bees) got bigger and more time consuming, and some other volunteer work grew too.  Something had to give, and that was my social time in ActiveRain.  I know you (and others) have my back too, and that's one of the best perks about membership in the Rain and the relationships gained.  Just chasing points won't develop those links.

May 07, 2024 08:31 PM
Kat Palmiotti

Kathy Streib - I definitely read posts and don't comment at times. Sometimes I just don't have anything useful or different to add (to what has already been said). And sometimes I disagree with the post and would rather not provide input. And sometimes I don't think the person wrote it themselves and I don't want to provide my own thoughts on something that wasn't their thoughts. It's all good!

May 08, 2024 05:47 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Kat Palmiotti , ditto, I may read a post and decide that's not a fight I have the time or energy for.  Note to mental file as to how the poster thinks/operates, and move myself along to something different.  On the other hand if they're bashing this community or Ambassadors, I may be willing to pick up the keyboard.

May 08, 2024 09:02 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
There are so many aspects that can help me and help help me through the Decade plus…
May 07, 2024 11:49 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

We learn from what others do, both good and not so good, to develop the right path for ourselves.

May 08, 2024 05:22 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, is this thought gathered over the years of membership considered path O'logic?  Mind you, I don't mean pathological by any means.  I admit to anticipating reading your AAA opinions each week - they consistently make sense.  

May 08, 2024 03:22 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I have an obligation to the National Association of Engineering Real Estate Agents to remain sensible with my posts :)

May 08, 2024 05:23 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have seen some use ActiveRain in an entirely different manner than I do and that is completely fine with me, haha.

May 08, 2024 05:12 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Sometimes it's obvious why people don't gain business from their posts, other times easy to see why they can claim business leads flow to them.

May 08, 2024 05:24 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I always love it when someone says that I tried AR and it didn’t work . Then I go look them up and they have less than 5,000 points !!!

May 08, 2024 06:22 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I haven't seen it lately, but used to see the same. And a quick look would see a handful of posts and not one of them giving the consumer a reason to call the agent.  Blogging works when we know how to use it, and have the patience to see it through to results.

May 08, 2024 09:05 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear - I like to write, and I like to comment on blog posts that interest me. There is a plethora of education on ActiveRain. I appreciate learning and continuous education. Although recognition and support from others are important, I don't expect everyone to like me or gush over what I write. I'm pretty transparent. A good comment makes good neighbors, in a virtual sense. I like that too.

As a rule, on AR I would never focus on negativity. However, if I wrote a blog post about heroic people honored by my local government, and a commentator wrote a snarky comment because they disagreed, well that doesn't make me happy. A comment that I don't appreciate is like vomit on my page, especially when that person doesn't even know my area. Afterall, my sphere is local, and they read my local news and blog posts too.  

I like to write different stories of interest. A good AR Challenge demonstrates a commitment to the platform and piques my interest. If I have time, I make a point to accept the challenge. I learn a lot about others too! I watch for opportunities like this, but I would never participate for points sake. For me, that's just a waste of time. 

Whether it is speaking, writing, commenting, or meeting people in person, it is all a form of communication. In my opinion, no matter how one chooses to communicate, a visible mark should always be positive and not canned or sarcastic. 

May 09, 2024 04:57 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP , I think one of the first questions we should ask ourselves before leaving a comment (especially if it's a contrary comment) is "Who is the intended audience?".  If it's to other agents such as my AAA series, fine, we can talk about just about anything, even disagree, and I'll probably be fine with it.  But if the intended audience is consumers, then we either need to support, or move on without leaving a comment.  Dispute in private, write another post, etc.  I've watched time and again people go on to what is clearly a consumer facing post and leave derogatory comments, or make demands such as "you need to be commenting on MY posts", and to me that's a bad look for the commenter, and leaves the author with little choice but to delete the comment or otherwise have the post's marketing value destroyed.

AR challenges have typically been good for pushing us to do things that should be helpful for our business and our relationship building.  The points now have zero motivation for me, it's not like there's some home buyer or seller out there watching my total and going "you know, I'd have hired Bill if only he had 3.3 million points, but he came up a bit short!" :)

May 09, 2024 08:13 AM
Michael Jacobs

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP and Bill Liz and Bill Spear - when I see or receive a negative comment anywhere, I think that action speaks volumes about them and not of the original author or their post.  It's the power and the failure of social media.  It's an odd combination - that's for sure.  But life is simply complicated.  

May 11, 2024 10:03 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Well done, honest post, Bill and some excellent advice.

There are no doubt many different reasons why people are here and do what they do, some perhaps more appropriate and effective than others.


May 09, 2024 09:20 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I can offer what works for me, and that may not work for someone else.  I have a fair number of competing demands, maybe more, maybe less, than some other members, and I'll continue to do what I can in this community, at least in the near future.  After retirement?  I don't know yet, but that time is coming sooner rather than later.

May 09, 2024 09:45 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Bill,
ActiveRain is so versatile. Many members don't understand that until they actually participate and find their groove. I think most of us will admit that was the case when we first joined. My purpose has changed since I retired, which works for me.

May 09, 2024 10:48 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I don't know that it's possible for anyone without inside connections before joining this community to understand just how much it can become, if they're willing to put in the work.

May 09, 2024 11:23 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Even for me and my own use it has changed over time.  I'm exit planning now and hope to sell this joint in the next few years and then just visit friends by popping on once in a while.

May 09, 2024 01:57 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Once I get moved and settled, I'll put some more emphasis on creating some more IDX pages for our WP site, and maybe a few blog posts there.  But for me, the most effective blog posts I have, I wrote years ago.  They still work for me, and shouldn't stop.

May 09, 2024 02:19 PM
Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Longwood, FL
Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro

Good info and something to think about. Plan your agenda for social media, always.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dee

May 09, 2024 05:34 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Dee, Definitely good to have a plan for what we are trying to accomplish and work toward the goals that get it done.

May 09, 2024 08:42 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

May 11, 2024 06:00 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Bill. I try to comment own as many posts as I can fit in and like the information posted on members local markets. It works for me and has given rise to making referrals over the years. Enjoy your day.

May 12, 2024 05:14 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I think there's good value in market reports done right.  Good info for the consumers, and a good way to show other agents you know your market.

May 12, 2024 09:22 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I get annoyed at comments that make it obvious that the person did not even read the post.  Aside from that, serial commenters bother me because I feel an obligation to respond to comments. 

What does a non-agent like me say in response to someone who hopes I sell a house today?


May 12, 2024 09:58 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Marte, a joint frustration.  If someone spends time writing original content, the commenter should at least give an indication they read more than the title of the post.

And a comment such as one you mention makes it obvious that they didn't read your post.  Whether to ignore, delete, or respond, I'm not sure there is one right answer.

May 12, 2024 03:05 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Don't know how I missed this, glad Kathy featured it. Yes, we all have our own style and system of using the Rain, and it can vary as we use it over time too and depending how much time we have in any particular week.

May 13, 2024 10:55 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Nick, What I did when I first started is definitely not what I did in the middle years, and different middle to the last few years.  It has evolved because I can rely on those middle year posts to continue to work for me.

May 13, 2024 03:49 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

Thank you for sharing your thoughts again regarding AR.  I am sporadic at best and have resorted more to either posting successful transactions or a bit of lighthearted chuckle type stories. 

I do like to write and post on AR and a few other sites ... and many times I will write a complete blog and then say to myself...nope...not this one...and delete it entirely. 

Sometimes in a comment, I leave a long dissertation (like here) and sometimes about 5 words. 

Things I do not do: 

No one but me writes my comments. 

No one but me writes my blogs.

Rarely do I use a photo I did not take. If I do...I give the correct credit to the photgrapher.

Never do I argue on AR like I used to years ago. I might mention that I have a different viewpoint but that is about it.

I will however, delete a comment in a heartbeat on my blogs if I do not want it there.  

I long ago quit worrying about referrals.  I long ago quit worrying about family or friends using me as well.  I long ago quit worrying about other agents and brokers.

What is is and what was was...and what will come will come. So might as well enjoy the ride!

Have a great week! Mike

May 13, 2024 01:15 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker , I've done similar.  Write an entire post and whack it because I didn't like the tone or how someone else MIGHT take it. 
I'm solely responsible for all content (with the exception of I will use some photos from Pixabay).  I've seen what can happen when someone subs out their commenting and writing, and it's not always a good thing.
It's been quite some time since I've had a referral from ActiveRain, although I've had some indirectly because of the increased web presence from blogging.
Deleting a comment on our posts is sometimes the best thing to do, especially on a consumer oriented post.
Keep doing what works for you!

May 13, 2024 04:46 PM
Matt Brady
Watermark Capital - Del Mar, CA
One of San Diego's Best Equity Advisors

Thanks Bliz,

Great information! Thanks for Sharing, have a great day!

Just kidding, I do not understand what points do for anyone. I guess it shows a certain level of participation, but why earn points by not participating? 

May 14, 2024 09:22 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Points are great for getting people at the start to do things to participate, but in time, IMO, our behaviors should be driven by different things than just adding points for the sake of points.

May 14, 2024 10:30 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Engagement is important when posting but there is no one-size-fits-all way to do that here. Am glad that Robo blogging has passed and I enjoy the variety offered by members, Bliz

May 19, 2024 08:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Definitely, lots of different ways of achieving different end points depending upon the blogger.  Find a path and go with it.

May 19, 2024 10:53 AM