The ActiveRain Listing Router

Real Estate Technology with BoomTown

The ActiveRain Hit-Router

Feature Your Listings, Get More Traffic and Get Paid to Participate. 

On Tuesday October 28th, ActiveRain we launched a new service called ‘Hit Router’.  As the name implies, it's ActiveRain's initial move into the Property Listing aspect of online real estate search, albeit with a twist.  Instead of trying to disproportionately aggregate listings directly into the network, we are instead going to route visitor traffic to our member's existing IDX sites in a Pay and Get Paid Click Campaign. 

*Warning*  I write long posts and this one is no exception :-)  My style is to address as much and be as thorough as possible.  To break up the reading, as a team we are going to release information regarding Hit Router in multiple stages and formats, beginning with this post.  Brad Andersohn posted 'how to' tutorials as well as screen shots of the new service and Bob Stewart has a 'white board video' explanation of the new release.  

Before I get into the nuances of Hit Router, allow me to first offer some basic explanations as to how most consumers find ActiveRain, and what they typically do upon arrival…


Google and the other search engines love fresh relevant content, granting a high degree of authority to sites that produce such and ranking them accordingly on given search results pages.

Google also grants authority to websites that have other like websites linking to them.  The more linkbacks a website receives, the higher the authority of that website through Google's goggles. 

These last two paragraphs very generally encapsulate what is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or ‘Google Juice’.  The better a website's SEO for a given term, phrase, topic, question etc. the higher Google will rank that site when someone (a consumer) types in a relevant search query, thus increasing the likelihood a given site (or page within a site) will appear on the Holy Grail of search results: The First Page.

ActiveRain’s community members produce a TON of fresh relevant real estate related content.  AR also has an incredible amount of other relative sites linking back to a multitude of pages within the community.  As a result, Google can’t help but consider ActiveRain and the content its community members generate as an authority for a myriad of search topics when it comes to real estate.  Proof of this resides in the fact that 80% of ActiveRain's 2M+ unique visitors a month come from Google and other search engines.

Google is very smart, however, it’s not perfect and cannot read someones mind.    Google knows when people are searching for a specific type of real estate information that ActiveRain is a highly authoritative resource for that information.  What Google doesn’t know is that the next logical step in a consumer’s journey, after they find information on ActiveRain, is a Search for property Listings.

Although many AR members have been extremely successful with generating business from AR, we believe the success found to date is just the tip of the iceberg, so the question we posed to ourselves was:

‘How does AR further leverage its valuable Google Juice to turn prospective traffic into MORE business for our members?’

The answer became this little but powerful property search tool called 'Hit-Router'.

What is Listing-Router and How Exactly Does It Work?

For a visitor, it’s a new header that will permanently reside at the top of every page within the ActiveRain network.  It will feature a search box preceded with phrase “Find Homes for Sale in: _________”.  Once a user completes the search box and hits enter, “Hit Router” will send the user directly to an ActiveRain members existing IDX (or other property listing) site.


Hit Router Property Search Bar

Listing Router


The idea here is that the prospective homebuyer now has a clear option to continue along in their home buying journey.

For an AR member, Hit Router is effectively a Pay Per Click account campaign that allows AR members to buy traffic from other member’s sites and pages, with one major additional member benefit that I will share with you right after the example below.

For example:

Jane is a AR member who works in Bellevue WA and likes to write about equestrian property. Bill is a horse breeder near Lawrence, KS and stumbled upon a blog post by Jane after doing a search on Google about equestrian property. Bill found the exact answer he was looking for in Jane’s post and is now more excited than ever to start his search for a new home. Since Jane is not licensed to sell real estate in Kansas, Bill would normally at this point leave ActiveRain in search of real estate listings from a website that served Kansas. 

At the same time, Todd (also and AR member) would love for Bill to come to his site and would gladly pay for his delivery or ‘click through’ for the increased potential of converting him into a client. 


Listing Router with Sample Dropdown


Using the Hit Router search bar, if Bill, on Jane’s site searches ‘Lawrence’ via Hit Router, he will be routed to Todd’s IDX site and Todd will pay approximately $2.00 for Bill's visit.


And Now for the Really Cool Part!

Hit Router will credit Jane’s account a percentage of the $2.00 click to route the visitor to Bill’s site!  Jane may use these credits to purchase traffic of her own from other member’s pages in the same dynamic fashion. 

This is worth repeating: 

Any time a visitor uses an AR members Hit Router search interface to locate listings outside that agents area of service, that member receives credit to buy clicks from other member’s visitors.

How many credits do you earn?
How much you earn depends on a number of factors including how much someone pays to have traffic delivered to their IDX site.  The easiest way to track how much you'll earn is to sign up and opt to run Hit Router on your blog pages, then check your Account Billing page.

In the Account Admin and Billing section you can purchase credit that can be used to buy traffic from other member’s sites and monitor the 'Click Credits' you receive.

Listing Router Click Credits

Keeping Visitors in Your Market for Yourself!

No ActiveRain member wants to send visitors to their own blog, searching in their own market away to someone else.  To insure this doesn't happen, there are two ways that a member can capture visitors in your own market and insure they get delivered to you FOR FREE.

1) Pre-select as many cities as you woud like to direct to your own IDX site.

In the My Markets section of the Hit Router admin panel, you may add as many city markets as you wish.  When someone searches for any of these cities while on your blog, your blog posts or your profile, they are routed directly to your IDX site's page for that city.  Again, this insures the traffic interested in your market is routed to your IDX listing pages.

Listing Router My Markets


2) Opt out of the program completely.

Simply unclick the checkbox you see below.

Listing Router Settings


If you choose to opt out of the program, the toolbar will default to a hyper-linked text message of your choice. 


Listing Router Opt-Out Screen Shot


While opting out is certainly your choice, doing so prohibits you from accruing credits from traffic that would otherwise leave your site and pages anyway, so why not get paid for it?  


As always, your feedback is vital and greatly appreciated.

Here are links to tutorials and the 'whiteboard video explanation'

Setting up a click campaign

Saving your own traffic for free

Opting Out of Hit Router

Whiteboard Video Explanation of Hit Router




Re-Blogged 7 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mirela Monte 10/27/2008 06:23 AM
  2. Rich Jacobson 10/27/2008 06:51 AM
  3. Belinda Sanchez, Realtor 10/27/2008 11:43 PM
  4. Michael Hamby 10/28/2008 03:11 PM
  5. Nick Good 11/03/2008 08:32 AM
  6. A. Keith Hebert 12/26/2008 02:52 AM
  7. Ken's Home Team LLC. | 360.609.0226 | Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA Real Estate Team 06/25/2010 04:52 PM
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Show All Comments
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Missy..thanks for jumping in.  But in the case of Houlton Maine...we set up the main and all the sub communities...and in localism, all the main and have "check on Houlton Maine real estate" with a link you have to buy. You yourself are a steady, constant quality blogger and I am sure in a community of others contributing AR members with some population.  But what if you have no other contributors in your AR broadcast center that you set up in a little little Mayberry size town...same treatment, no credit for all you did do? Across the board same fares and sponsor ship with $9 per each community here, $19 for outside blog there and more to come? Still have on top of every blog you do do ...the space to ask about real estate information in the town of the blogger that attracted them? I can see the refer to another area out of state part etc.  But when they specifically like the piece, video, images you crafted on say Maine winter recreation and why you ought to live hook 'em, and then have to pay to keep them into your shop to peddle properties which is how we all make a living. I know you can say they will eventually find you because of all the other pieces you have blogged on...but would you want / expect from your own blog to have them to work with automatically if AR is selling ads, has revenues generated from other outlets too? 

Jan 31, 2009 12:14 AM #248
Christopher Bonta
The Bean Group - Londonderry, NH
Realtor, Integrity and Honesty

Mike thanks for th advice about getting a cheap site and why I should do it. The one issue is that from the cheap site, if they customers want to search the MLS they go to my companies web site where I loose control of them. They don't have their site set up so that it identifies unique customers coming from agent web sites.

With this said I still will probably have to get a cheap site and risk things. Does anyone know of a search engine site that I can incorporate into my own site so I avoid sending people to my companies site?

Jan 31, 2009 06:47 AM #249
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Christopher contact  Her husband does IDX search set ups.

Jan 31, 2009 06:56 AM #250
Christopher Bonta
The Bean Group - Londonderry, NH
Realtor, Integrity and Honesty

Missy, I will check this out thanks for the info. I've looked into a few sites and I am getting excited again about getting back into having my own site!

Jan 31, 2009 10:42 AM #251
Dona Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Stein Summers - Saint Joseph, MO
St. Joseph MO

Hi Bob, I noticed the customize link on the upper right hand corner is removed. Is there any way to have it back up? Or Listing Router is the only option now? Please advice. Thanks

I activated my Listing Router but now can not customize.  One other thing I'd like to ask, from the drop down menu of city choice.   NO ONE. NO ONE  spells out Saint in St Joseph, can we get that as a abbreviation?


Feb 12, 2009 07:32 AM #252
Michael Hege
Beach Villa Realty,LLC - Kapolei, HI

It's so hard to keep up with everything. Thanks for taking the time to explain this one.

Feb 14, 2009 11:22 AM #253
Barbara Dougher
Coldwell Banker United East Texas Division - Tyler, TX
Realtor - 2008 Rookie of the Year

Wow!  I actually understand this stuff.  I'm getting ready to write a blog about I've been on AR all day just trying to learn some stuff and catch up! 

Feb 15, 2009 09:18 AM #254
Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

Not sure I understand the whole IDX thing

May 09, 2009 04:49 PM #255
Steven Nickens
Wailea Realty - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii


Thanks so much for explaining this to all of us.  This is cutting edge technology, I am working on this now.


Jun 01, 2009 06:47 PM #256
Rick Watson
My Loan Nightmare - Columbus, OH

Im lost......Any additional explination would be appreciated...I am not an agent, so , can I still earn hits by routing leads?  That what we actually do anyway?



<a href=""><img src=";jsessionid=BE2C3FC495ED5F283104622CA412CAB0?id=35547952"></a></p>


Jul 21, 2009 02:47 PM #257
Linda Lohman
Fonville Morisey Realty - Cary, NC
Former Teacher/Broker

I'll try it.

Sep 28, 2009 01:41 PM #258
Marcus Rice
Equity First Realty - Richmond, VA
Your Richmond & Petersburg VA Real Estate Broker

Thanks Jeff....

Apr 21, 2010 11:39 PM #259

I just joined, so i am definitely looking for ways to expand my network. I will give it a shot and see what happens.



May 15, 2010 10:46 AM #260
Alice Broadway
Parker & Rankin (Ms) & Azalea Realty (AL) - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

exciting hope i can figure it all out.


Oct 03, 2010 03:43 PM #261
Wendy Burns
Keller Williams Realty - Cary - Apex, NC

Hi Jeff - Is the whiteboard video still up?  I'm trying to access it, but can't.  I am logged in, etc... but no whiteboard video access.  Thanks - Wendy

Mar 23, 2011 12:48 AM #262
Maggie O'Connell
Reno, NV
Reverse Mortgage Purchase Specialist

Is there a way a mortgage broker can benefit?

Aug 23, 2011 02:42 AM #263
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

I am starting to get this idea that this is something I should have done along time ago. 

Nov 29, 2011 12:47 PM #264
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Jeff, How would I know if I had accumilated points?

Jan 28, 2013 10:32 PM #265
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Jeff is long gone from AR I would use the contact ActiveRain link!

Jan 28, 2013 11:01 PM #266
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Or I can show you where to find it.  I have $8.98 accumulated.

Jan 28, 2013 11:16 PM #267
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