Bob Stewart, ActiveRain (ActiveRain)

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Ambassador
3,983,049
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

In some ways it would be a blessing...in other ways not so. There should be a reward for those that are faithful and supportive and provide good content. The Hyperlocal category helps our post be found and also those that have higher points are placed on the page. I like that part.

I don't like that good content ranks equally for points with poor content. If you can figure that part out I am all for eliminating the point system. However I do think you will have some participation drop off because as silly as it seems, some of us have personal goals of reaching certain levels of points. It is a mental game we play. Give us something else and we will forget about points.

Jan 22, 2016 03:00 AM
Rainmaker
1,834,013
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

The points are not the problem and shouldn't be made the scapegoat ! Most sales people by nature are competitive . The points to me are not only fun , but have always symbolized AR commitment by it's members. No one accidentally has 500,000+ points, it took Daily Disipline to acculate that total(or more). If someone doesn't want points allow them to disable them like we can do now with comments .

Jan 22, 2016 06:11 AM
Ambassador
1,256,118
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Bob Stewart I would love to read the email that made such an impact on you.  I find it interesting that the majority of people saying eliminate the points are people who have accumulated a great number of them!  The points are one of the most positive and encouraging aspects of AR and because of them, this platform has flourished.   As for "quality" ?  It is subjective and personal.  What one loves another will click away.  I dislike Market Reports personally yet, many swear by them for attracting business.  Others swear that listings have no place here in the rain.  That's what makes my phone ring!  I say leave well enough alone.

PS   More people need to keep their heads down and their eyes on their own paper!

Jan 22, 2016 06:57 AM
Rainmaker
1,560,731
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Trust me, the points aren't making the content lower quality.  Those types of posters/bloggers would blast any real estate platform with dribble, so the points don't matter (to them).  I like the points.  They are nostalgic to me.  For the long-time AR members, they reflect our efforts.  And the newer AR members, they can get there too.  It's incentive to many.

Jan 22, 2016 03:01 AM
Ambassador
4,217,563
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Points are the main difference between Active Rain and all the other failed real estate blogging sites.  There is a chance that AR has enough clout now to survive without them, but why take that chance.

Jan 22, 2016 06:38 AM
Ambassador
1,703,510
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Wow, I'm surprised at the comments I'm seeing here. I want AR to be known for good quality content. I believe I have provided that over the years but it burns my butt to think that someone who posts jokes, photos and recipes receives the same rewards that I do. Unfortunately, it's too difficult to say only good quality content will receive points. That means someone must judge the content posted. That's not a good idea.

BTW, I rank #1 in my city of Franklin. I'm #2 in my county and #5 in my state. That is determined by the point system. Truth be told, I should rank #1 in Franklin. No other agent on this venue provides more relevent information about Franklin than I do. I gotta tell you, if I lost that spot to someone who came on here and posted nothing but jokes, Wordless Wednesdays or re-blogged recipes, I'd be mighty pissed off. Given our current system, that could happen. As an added note, I've never gotten a call from a consumer because he saw I ranked #1 for Franklin. It's meaningless to consumers, if they find it at all.

As for the people who say they'll leave if we remove the point system, they must not be seeing any business from this site. I'm here for one reason only--to get business. Points or no points, I'm not going anywhere. The backlinks to my website and ranking for quality content in my area through my outside blog and AR blog, brings a whole lot of money to my business, a lot more money than what I've saved by having a free membership.

Two years ago, I was contacted by a buyer moving to Franklin. He admitted to me that he had purchased 5 homes in his lifetime. He had never used a buyer's agent. He contacted me to be his buyer's agent because of posts I've written here.  That's what AR does for me. It's just one example of the business I've received through my blogging efforts here.

Take the points away. Let's get rid of some of the garbage people post here and become what Inman News has become. A site known for providing good information about buying and selling homes.

Jan 22, 2016 04:15 AM
Rainmaker
529,000
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Bob Stewart I like the points for two reasons.  

#1 -they allow ranking of members in their communities --- if you can find a different way to reward the active members of the Rain, that might change my mind. 

#2 -- they offer encouragement and help you keep track of your efforts.  If I have a lower point total in a month, I need to account to myself and ask myself why and also ask myself what I need to do to get back on track?

I do feel that there are too many low-quality posts.  We have Community guidelines which say:

The point system is intended to encourage and reward genuine effort. Points for blogging will only be awarded for your own original content.Examples of what doesn't qualify for points: jokes, recipes, inspirational quotes, poems, re-published marketing materials (newsletters, press releases, articles, etc.), information from government websites, bible verses, large copied sections of the MLS, or posts that only contain links and keywords, but offer no value for consumers

I think that guideline should be enforced.  I admit, I have received lots of points for photos and have now adapted my ActiveRain goals to provide more quality posts and only use photos to accent the posts.

I do get upset to try and contact someone for a referral who has a good point total and find out that they left the business a few years ago.  It would be great if inactive members could be moved to an archive area 9possibly if they did not post or comment within 6 months).  If they did come back, their first post or comment would return them to active status.

 

As to quality, maybe we need a "Down-vote Button".  Lots of down-votes might wake up a few people.

Jan 22, 2016 06:06 AM
Rainmaker
4,449,470
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

In our conversations with AR Members, we have concluded that points make a difference.  Since social media began, we joined every real estate related blog platform both national and global...guess what they are all gone!!!the latest was a global one for non-payment of their fees.  The only one left standing is AR.  The points appeal to our competitive nature.  It is what made AR successful and different.

Quality content depends on the individual.  You either put shlock up or you don't, and from a branding standpoint, you are messing with what works, and the first rule of marketing is Never Mess With What Works.  A

Jan 22, 2016 06:14 AM
Rainmaker
1,516,122
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

The points, while not worth a plug nickel, signify effort and contribution. Whether the quality of the contribution is mediocre or worthy of awards, it still represents individual effort.  I think a better idea is to strip the membership roles of those who have been inactive fro a period of time (you determine) and clean up the roles.  I was trying to reach out to newer folks in my County a few days ago and realized that with twenty five pages or whatever I had no way of identifying who was really "active" when looking ta the lower point levels. I really wanted to reach out to someone who  maybe had 5-15K in points who was just starting out.  I gave up though.  As for points, they still serve a purpose although I went the long way to give an opinion!

Jan 22, 2016 03:10 AM
Rainmaker
2,791,330
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

I like the points.  I do not feel that points should be awarded for jokes, recipes, weather reports, and just daily musing posts that are not related to real estate.  HOW would all of that be sorted out? You would have to have a body monitoring ... and that would not be a good solution.  Contrary to what others feel/believe, I do feel that if people did not get points for posts that have nothing to do with real estate  ... they would not continue to post. I really do believe points are the motivation not just getting their name out there.  Google knows better.  Let's not forget Google is smarter than all of us

Jan 22, 2016 11:51 AM
Rainmaker
1,239,156
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Bob,

 

As a new member here are my views:

  • I like the points.
  • I have a goal of the 500,000 point level to obtain the free account status.  I see it as a prize or status earned for being seriously involved in the site.
  • The particular goal has driven my level of activity.  It makes me do my 9 market blogs and 1 area events blog each week.  It drives me to logon each day and play "20 Questions" and comment on 20 blogs.
  • Would users with the free accounts be grandfathered?
  • Would we all have free accounts?  How would we distinguish rainmakers from non-rainmakers?
  • I'm competitive by nature, I actively check my rankings and I'm chomping at the bit to move up a notch in the county rankings and beat yet another person I know!
  • I freely admit, some days my blog comments provide value and other days they are "congrats on the new listing..." and provide no value (other than congratulating someone).
Jan 22, 2016 07:24 AM
Rainmaker
782,315
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Bob,

It seems like many are focusing on posting as the culprit for poor content on AR,  but if a person were in it just for points they could only get 2,225 points a week from doing that.  

On the other hand, if a person really wanted points they could earn 6,300 points a week  by maximizing their comments, answering questions on Q/A, and logging in every day.

If people are bothered by the jokes and recipes etc.  for points there is a REPORT button so have at it.

AR doesn't even make the top 20 in Listhub for consumer visits for listings or information, so are the points really important for an AR member to be on the state, county, or city home page???  I think not.  The only value I can see to the points hierarchy may be for an AR to AR referral, but being the leader of the pack is no guarantee for being a great real estate professional.

I do think there should be a limit to the number of posts in a day to prevent robo-posting which I do think is hurting AR;   if members are really bothered by posting in violation of points guidelines they can kindly drop the individual an email or call them.  You have better things to do than act as policeman, Bob.

I really don't think there would be much change in content if the points went away as people believe they are boosting their presence online by posting more about ANYTHING.  

Great question, and lots of GREAT responses.  Thanks for asking! 

 P.S. Bob:  Can you upvote my answer so I can get 10 more points???   ^_~

Jan 22, 2016 05:05 AM
Ambassador
2,694,012
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Bob, My answer isn't going to surprise you is it?  For me personally, points aren't my motivation for being here.  Sure I get they're nice to initially encourage participation, but at some point I feel each of us should recognize the true value of this community and it's not points.  We should participate because it's the RIGHT thing to do.  For our business, for our friendships, for what we learn and teach.  I'm not posting daily for 225 points, I'm posting because it will either cause my phone to ring some months or years down the road, help teach someone something, or remind people we're still out here.  Consumers find us via Google and Bing and such, not via the AR Leaderboard for our state.

I've thrown it out there before, keep the points until whatever level garners the participant the AR free account.  After that, we should have learned our lessons enough to keep participating, with or without points as the carrot. 

And as for poor quality posts, I suspect those will continue with or without posts.   You could eliminate the points and I suspect the serial commenters would continue serial commenting because they don't read anything to know the points were no longer being given

And that's my two cents and a bit more.  Bill

Jan 22, 2016 04:17 AM
Rainmaker
846,015
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hi Bob, for me it would be pointless to write, comment or answer questions everyday without the reward. Keep the points. If someone is complaining about content that is there issue-they are not forced to read it. 

Jan 22, 2016 03:48 AM
Ambassador
2,190,069
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Maybe if the guidelines for points were followed then we wouldn't see all of the lower quality content that we do see. Recipes and humor are still being written and there are probably members still getting points for these posts. I think there has to be a way to enforce the guidelines. Although I really don't care what someone else wants to post. I'm blogging for business, and it's also a creative outlet for me. 

I would like to see the letter that was written to see the spirit in which it was written. Is this a member that just lost their position in the state and now that member is disgruntled with points? 

I personally like the points. When I was new it motivated me to be more active. I do set personal point goals for myself. It's fun. I'm not out to set any kind of point record, I just want to mark my own progress and meet a goal. 

The points are a motivator and a way to measure progress. They are also fun.

There is something really rewarding about hitting a point milestone. Other members think so, too, and congratulate the member hitting a milestone. I think something like this helps to increase the site camaraderie. Maybe it even encourages other members. 

I like to use trite phrases and I'll use one here...If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

 

Jan 22, 2016 10:05 AM
Ambassador
1,924,650
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

personally I would not like it ..it makes AR fun and competitive also keeps me motivated

Jan 22, 2016 05:32 AM
Rainmaker
1,116,227
Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Great question Bob.  I do have to say that finally achieving the million point mark made my day.  I know that like Gary Waters said above that they are not worth a plug nickel is true. I certainly don't live and die by the AR points. I do enjoy the ranking in my county and city though. I have worked hard to get there and would want to make sure that being a regular contributor here would keep the ranking.  

Jan 22, 2016 04:33 AM
Rainmaker
514,643
Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

Bob, I think that points/rewards do result in more posts. So contests that reward points for thoughtful, full-bodied posts around a certain subject or theme should continue, and those that simply require x-number of blogs in x-number of days should be discouraged, for these are the challenges that seem to encourage slipshod posts just to meet the deadlines.  That's my 2-cents.

Jan 22, 2016 03:30 AM
Rainer
56,989
Jack Gerbehy
Egg Harbor Township, NJ

I have a bunch of points I hope are heard...

  • The following people have a lot of time invested in this site and the numbers prove it. They and the people like them are its core and life blood of this site and the points are a badge of commitment to this site.
  1. Patricia Kennedy 2.9M 3,906 blogs
  2.  Roy Kelley 2.8M 13,610K blogs
  3.  Barbara Todaro 2.7M 7,732K blogs
  4. Lenn Harley 2.6M 7.685 blogs
  5.  Gabe Sanders 2.5M 6,414 Blogs 
  6. Christine Gerbehy 64,131 56 blogs 

 I cant speak for all of them, but I can voice my opinion for at least one, my wife, she's a excellent blogger and an outstanding Realtor... She's a published writer outside of this community and just as busy as everyone else her, yet everyday as she goes throughout her day she looks for quality items to blog about here. We both have leader points and people that we look forward to passing each day and year end goals we want to accomplish on this site. If the point system was removed, part of my goals here would stop and potentially my motivation for contributing.   

  • RE: This sites SEO: Things might have change since I had my Realtors website... Relevant content by Realtors about the industry makes you an authoritative site and the spiders love that stuff. Back links, Page views, page visit, time spent on site all boost this sites Google rank. So what does this have to do with AR. I'm on the site about two hours a day going from page to page gathering points while trying to add value to the site ( I'm sure you can see I have been here for 2.5 hours already today. If there were no points this would be more like Craigslist for me, log in search for what I need and leave, The site would become sterile & I would have no reason to go page to page hoping to trip on something interesting.
  • Its the only social site I'm aware that has a points system for contributing.
  • Don't fix it if its not broke
Jan 22, 2016 06:43 PM
Rainmaker
1,492,544
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I talked to a few members about it and we all agree that members will stop checking others blogs, liking, living comments. They will focus only on self marketing and random networking will get down to nothing. 

Jan 22, 2016 04:50 PM
Ambassador
1,769,790
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

I hate to answer a question with another question Bob but what about the idea that of consumers search by local info/state/city the two members with the most points come up as the featured member for that state. How would the elimination of points effect members? I am not saying I am for or against your question I just wonder about the time and work people put in to get to the top.

Jan 22, 2016 04:33 AM
Ambassador
3,990,266
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Well if you are looking for a question to garner the most responses ever, this should do it! LOL.

I would hate to see it go but I would definitely still be writing and participating. There are aspects of the point system that lead to some bad behavior with people gsming the system, although I think that has always been the case - it seems to have gotten worse but maybe that's due to the # of bloggers

I think overall the content would still be good, but there clearly are some who just throw stuff out there, sometimes in violation of the guideliness and I suspect some of that is due to the points. A 3 sentence post that meets the minimum word count probably does not represent, in many cases, quality content. But then Google won't necessarily like it either!

Jan 22, 2016 04:29 AM
Rainmaker
2,455,679
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Read my lips?  lol

Bob Stewart 

Look at my picture. If you can somehow come up with a way where my lips move when someone clicks on me and it starts talking Real Estate and other passionate subjects, then do that and drop points. Until then, leave points alone. All work and no play makes (Jack, Bob, Richie, AR), a dull boy

Jan 22, 2016 08:38 AM
Rainmaker
533,471
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

I may be the lone ranger, but I really don't care one hoot about points.

Right now I would have to log into my account to check, because I really don't know how many I have.

I have a great life outside of AR and don't need points to make myself feel good...besides points do not translate into income.

In fact, I wonder how all the point mongers ever have time to actually do business...

Eve

Jan 22, 2016 05:21 AM
Ambassador
2,215,299
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Bob, Since you asked...The points system shows tenure and status per state, county and city for our efforts. Doing away with that may no longer encourage daily blogging and will change the spirit of participation among members.

Jan 22, 2016 04:39 AM
Rainmaker
1,229,941
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

I have mixed feelings about it, Bob Stewart .  While I don't think the points are of great value to me personally .. they do represent a kind of measurement for me to judge the frequency and quality of my own posts.  And they also indicate to me how active and participatory (on any level) another member might be.  I find that valuable in some ways .. especially within my own area.   I guess I compete more with myself utilizing the points than any others, so on that level they are meaningless ...

I know that didn't help you much ...

Gene

Jan 22, 2016 04:19 AM
Rainmaker
5,384,462
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Without hesitation, I would recommend the elimination of the points system. Allow the quality of the content to attract comments.

However, many members are set in their ways and will object to change.

 

Jan 22, 2016 04:11 AM
Rainmaker
1,026,990
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I am a "gold star" kind of gal...and the points are important to me as they do motivate me to post, comment and answer questions.  I get competitive when someone in my local community passes me and it makes me want to up my game.  Of course, making the phone ring is the ultimate goal, but I prefer a little friendly competition along the way.  I doubt I would log in every day without them, that's how important they are to me.  They provide structure. 

Jan 22, 2016 04:01 AM
Rainmaker
761,266
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Good question Bob.

Occasionally I like to receive an "Atta Girl" for the things I do.

Points on AR is one form of acknowledgment. An "Atta Girl."

So, BOB, what "I SEE YOU" would you put in the place of points?

You will be tempted to believe that engagement from the community would be sufficient acknowledgment. That would be incorrect. The end game for that action would be AR will die off at the same rate as the current users. 

Like others have noted the point system and the quality of participation are unrelated. Yes, a few game the system. but that just noise, and of no concern. ANONYMOUS is a different story. BOTs should be banned.

What would I recommend?

1. Null all points or something that purges those who are not longer active.

2. Provide 'acknowledgement' through badges or points for milestone achievements or at least a email auto-responder 'Atta Girl.'

3. Promote innovation if AR is to be relevant 2020. That means challenging the status quo. That is a hard decision only Bob & company can make.

 

Jan 22, 2016 03:33 AM
Rainmaker
2,050,768
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

I probably would not particiapte as much. The points are incentive to keep blogging. 

Jan 22, 2016 03:02 AM
Ambassador
4,300,186
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Bob Stewart - Not everyone is expert here. So quality of content will not be the same.

Fortunately for those who participiate are encouraged by points - and their ranks within their town, county, state and overall, too.

Now it is impossible to award points based on content - so yes, it is likely that we will have posts that have no value at all!

The fact is - point system encourages participation. Whoever thought of this is genius. It encourages members to go up the ladder.

I very strongly believe, ActiveRain would have been like any other blogging platform but for the point system.

Just curious - what were the thoughtful and compelling reasons from this long-time AR member that made you think that point system is no good?

Jan 22, 2016 03:42 PM
Rainmaker
1,678,929
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I blog on AR for the opportunity to build my business and create relationships that will lead to future business. I have taken your challenge of niche marketing to heart and am focusing on the Bethesda condo market. For that focus, I thank you. 

I like the points because it tracks for me and me alone - my participation, my commitment to a regimen of daily blogging and communication, an effort to learn something every day. Do 700,000 points tell me that I am a rock star - no - of course not.  Will I be better when I break through 800,000 in a few weeks. No - of course not - But as I get closer to 1,000,000 - do I feel a sense of accomplishment - that I set a goal and achieved it - Absolutely! 

Jan 22, 2016 10:45 AM
Rainmaker
1,080,501
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Seems to me the points have won out.  

I would also like to keep them - but I wonder if there could be a way to award them to serious content as opposed to the other fluff.

No doubt that there is a lot of low-quality blogging going on due to points. It's obvious if you scroll through the blog roll.

Jan 22, 2016 06:46 AM
Rainmaker
620,990
MaryKay Shumway
The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948) - Sister Bay, WI
Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert

I think it helps with goal setting.  This year, I obviously want to top the half-million mark (and go higher).  I like to see the posts that made more points, too.  I like to see who is posting the most in my state---and I like the Ambassador Status, which is also tied to points, for their mentoring and fabulous posts.  It's a great system--not a PERFECT system--but please do not change a thing!

Jan 22, 2016 06:07 AM
Rainmaker
1,498,754
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Bob, not everyone is able to motivate themselves, they need public recognition. We all know points really don't mean anything to most of us, we can't cash it in nor use them for marketing product, vacation etc Not everyone who blogs on AR blogs to get business or to be found on google, it's fun for them so I can't really say their "joke" or "recipe" posts are not quality. I think we should encourage everyone to participate on this great platform. So, you have to think about everyone in ActiveRain before you make any changes to the points, I don't think taking away points will affect the quality of posts.

Jan 22, 2016 05:41 AM
Rainmaker
532,544
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

I like the points, they have been here forever.  It is sort of a way of recognizing the long term members.

 

I think they should remain, but be improved.  For example, I think those members who have been here long enough to have put up 1 million points should never again pay for this service, or receive some other reward for the effort they have put in to make this community successful.  I see that as the only problem with points, that they should come with some sort of additional benefit to those who have accumulated them.

Jan 22, 2016 05:26 AM
Ambassador
1,893,189
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

At one point in my blogging on AR I thought the points were the bomb.  Then I realized that that I could spend hours writing a good post, putting in the right graphics and get the same amount of points as someone who threw up a joke or snipped an article from the local paper.  It was demotivating and demoralizing.  Realizing friendships and the business were more important than points is a realization that many overlook.

Jan 22, 2016 05:02 AM
Rainer
14,363
John Cooper
John Cooper Realty Team - Roseville, CA
Residential and Rural Residential

I think the point system is cool. It creates a sense of competition and gives me a barometer on where I stand with my blogging status. How does the point system create bad content? If bad content is posted I am sure it doesn't receive the same attention. I see people on here with millions of points and it make me want to reach out and do more to increase my productivity. 

Jan 22, 2016 04:58 AM
Rainmaker
1,535,036
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I don't think that it encourages lower level content. Those people are going to post what they want anyway.

I think it is used as a measure for who's still active & who's not. There are many people that have disappeared because of the point system that's for sure.

I like it & as always there are a few that wreck it for the rest. Those are actually a small minority if you really think about it.

Jan 22, 2016 04:52 AM
Rainmaker
161,411
Wendy Remley
Utah Prestige Real Estate - Syracuse, UT

I can see the point of eliminating points. I've seen some responses to blogs that are clearly there JUST for the purpose of gathering points. Something along the lines of, "Great post, good thoughts. I agree" and it's in response to someone listing a house.

On the other hand, I've  noticed people with really high post counts (I aspire to be a rainmaker one day!) tend to have good, high quality content.

Jan 22, 2016 04:34 AM
Ambassador
3,873,733
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Bob Stewart I have a love/dislike them relationship with the points.  Most anyone in any kind of sales job needs something like the carrot dangling at the end of a stick to motivate them.  Those who want to produce quality posts every day for their SEO and such, will continue to do so.  After all, it's benefiting them in the real world, as in money in the pocket. 

And there will always be those who will game the system, or make the allotted number of comments and stop.  Their loss. 

Basically, my behind is on the fence. 

Jan 22, 2016 04:10 AM
Rainmaker
1,322,512
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

Hi Bob,  
I am all for whatever will encourage and reward good quality content.  On the webinar this morning, I got the impression quality content is the primary goal for AR to become THE site for real estate content... and I fully support that... whatever it takes.

I am a goal oriented person and the points do motivate and tempt me.  I am currently working toward getting enough points to qualify for the FREE level. That said... I think the points do tempt people (me included?) to post when they don't have anything particularly compelling or useful to post. This doesn't really help in the end, though, because it is our individual reputations we are developing.  

I'm sure we'd all love to read the "compelling" email you received.  Will stay tuned.  

Jan 22, 2016 03:29 AM
Rainmaker
1,011,950
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

Are you out of your mind! LOL. While I don't have an issue with the points aspect, how do the bloggers that excel in their community get to the top. The points make it easy for me to keep my top spot in Barrington and I believe the content I put out to be superior to anyone in Barrington. Top spot is the reward, points is how I meassure my achievement  and keep me there.

Do points encourage lower quality. Well maybe for a short time but most that do that drop off in short shrift anyway, so who cares. 

Comes up with a different angle, let me know and I'll revise my thoughts 

Jan 22, 2016 03:27 AM
Staff
1,241,543
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Mesa, AZ
ActiveRain

By the way, we don't have any plans to do this at this time. But the email I got was so compelling I had to ask what others think.....

Jan 22, 2016 02:53 AM
Rainmaker
3,337,115
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

I don't think the point system should be eliminated but it certainly needs to be revised.  Most of us are here to be "found" by clients and our peers(for referrals).  

After listening to Friday's webinar, I find the direction AR is considering to be a good one but points should remain a part of this forum in some manner.   

Jan 22, 2016 09:40 PM
Rainmaker
520,722
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

Hi Bob - we are an industry motivated by awards. In the case of AR, Points. I do think that the "algorithms" that score featured listings (ha, ha) should also be "modified" (I can't edit and strike out "kick in the a@s") to redact points for jokes, recipes and pretty pictures of flowers, etc. (and a new one - points generated by students of College Professors). By doing so,faith in the system will be maintained.

We know who the leaders of AR are- they don't neccessarily need to have a lot of points or longevity to be sage advisors. We've rehashed how the Ambassador tag was handed out during the "Z Days" and the expectation gap of (certain) members - not all Ambassadors are leaders and not all AR leaders are Ambassadors.

Points. Oh yeah, points. Keep em. I think the masses want them.

Jan 22, 2016 12:33 PM
Ambassador
1,640,494
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Based on the comments that have preceded me, it's clear that we have a love/hate relationship with points. No big suprise, eh?

The points were one of the unique things that this site offered, that appealed to newbies, and drew them into the whole "blogging thing", and I think that's still true.  People are attracted to that sense of competition, and the ability to rank upward in their communities.

Personally, and it's easy for me to say from the vantage point of the millionaires club, I could do away with the points now.. 'cause I have already learned how to blog.  I've got the bug and the habit ingrained in me, in large part due to Active Rain and their point system... but the point system no longer carries any motivation for me. 

I don't know how to answer the "ranking" system.  All I care about is how the CEO I obtain by blogging on AR can make my phone ring.  But the ranking does seem to have some impact on that.

I, too, will happily accept a $1,000 donation to the "Send Alan to Bora Bora" fund, in return for all of my points.

I, too, would also love to review the content of that anonymous letter.  I'd love to hear those compelling arguments.

Jan 22, 2016 07:40 AM
Rainer
138,489
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski
Re/Max Real Estate Connections - Haymarket, VA
HOME~There is no place like it!

The points have given me a goal to reach. I would think the higher the points, the more active the member was. As far as poor content, a first blog is encouraged, and maybe that person needs to be reminded (somehow) what is actually content, and what is not. Poor content is also probably different for every user. If people want to post recipes, maybe they should start a group? And maybe there should be no responding to blog posts if you feel they owe no value.

Jan 22, 2016 06:37 AM
Rainmaker
734,915
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I've always maintained that the point system is one of the brilliant aspects of AR. It's free and knowing the competitive nature of most people, it certainly encourages participation. Luckily, most take that participation seriously and provide meaningful, quality content either in blogs, comments, questions or responses to questions. The issue is how to curtail the seemingly "for points only" comments or answers and I don't have the solution. Trying to establish a "value system" would be next to impossible (who's to judge?), so until there is another brilliant breakthrough, I would vote for keeping the current system. Having said that, if the point system disappeared, I don't think my participation level would change, but some adjustments might need to be made to the monthly fee schedule since the free accounts at 500K points would no longer be available.

Jan 22, 2016 06:12 AM
Ambassador
2,559,438
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I do think the point system has lost focus for the way almost every little thing gets points.  Originally you got the points for posting, commenting, and a re-blog.  IIt took a long time to accumulate 10,000 points.  Now all with all the chages, some people can game the system and pick up 10,000 points in little over a week.  With the points being a way of recognition for longevity there is value there. For those with less than 500,000 it has a monetary reward, but some of the other credits are just foolish.

 

Jan 22, 2016 06:07 AM
Rainmaker
1,945,937
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

If the return on SEO was rich, you blog for exposure and reach, the frequency.  If great blog posts were loaded into the feature vending slots and specific areas spelled out on the front page to tap in and glean, comment, run. But check back and follow the thread, AR would be greater than drifting along. The points are not the point, the quality of the material is. Whoever picks the features has a very very important job. If you write off the points, you lose the work horses. The founding members who are at the top of the charts and been with AR through thick and thin.

Bob, you asked Carla if she was offered $1000 for her points would she take it. Heck no, can't be bought. And how do you put a price on over 3700 blog posts that were not gaming the system hit and run. The points racked up because the hours a day put into the platform, believing in it and the fellow bloggers we rubbed shoulders with to learn how to be better, how to keep up with technology and avoid becoming dinosaurs wearing rusted blue and gold "R"'s and one by one dropping to our knees in the real estate trail dust.

Jan 22, 2016 05:10 AM
Rainer
355,882
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

After listening to your Webinar this morning on the State of AR, I'm convinced that the direction we're headed is towards uncompromising quality content. Receiving points for jokes, trivia, photos and other similar posts (and comments on those posts) simply diminishes the meaning of "points".

I agree that many of us are motivated by the point system. However, if there is no way to differentiate between quality posts that deserve points and quantity posts (like those mentioned above) that shouldn't get points, then I say dump the point system.

By the way, I'm paying for my membership in AR. If I don't get a free membership because of my lower point total--it's still a tremendous bargain.

Jan 22, 2016 05:02 AM
Rainmaker
4,997,331
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

yes, eliminate the points.... quality blog posts are the key.... posts that encourage conversation.... posts that Google will index.... posts that clients will read.... etc...

 

Jan 22, 2016 04:53 AM
Rainmaker
140,218
Joan Dickie
Keller Williams Premier Realty - La Crosse, WI
Keller Williams Premier Realty

I understand the member's concerns about lower quality posts and comments. I use the points system to keep track of my participation and I like that.  Ok, ok you've forced me to admit that I'm doing it for the possibility of a free membership too.  Maybe what is needed is a tightening of the rules.  Probably with regards to length.  I'm not sure how to judge quality, maybe only give vote points to the poster, not to the voter.  This might encourage higher quality.

Jan 22, 2016 03:34 AM
Rainmaker
427,033
June Tassillo
Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty - Franklin, NC
Let me help you with the next phase of your life!

Its always been part of the fun.  No matter what you do some will abuse any system. 

Jan 22, 2016 03:34 AM
Rainmaker
863,796
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Keep the points coming. I see the point system as a reward to hard work and dedication. Hard work should be rewarded and recognized. To those who are abusi ng the points systems, they do exist but are few in between. We see them and I don't even bother clicking on their posts. I am here to learn from members who take blogging seriously and are willing to lead me to my next level of business success. 

Jan 22, 2016 03:13 AM
Rainmaker
1,258,108
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

It seem smost of the complainer's have enough points already.

It is too bad there is not a way to only gey points for real estate related content.

I also like to go and help newbies and how would this be without the points.

My vote is keep them!

Jan 22, 2016 02:59 AM
Rainmaker
528,588
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

Bob,
I heard the emphasis on “quality” content on the webinar. I’m all for quality content.

However, my question is, is AR is for the benefit of each individual participant, or is it for the benefit of AR as an organization?

The webinar sure sounded like the ship is going to turn where it is more important that AR as an entity benefit and be held in high esteem within the industry rather than the individual participants benefit.

If that turns out to be the case, as perceived by your participants, I think you will see thousands of your most active participants bail out.

Each of us is responsible for our own branding and public persona. If some choose to post jokes, pictures of flowers and animals, so be it. They will flourish or not based on their behavior.

On the one hand points are artificial.

However,

I follow a fitness program where there is built in accountability and an easy way (fitness points) to track what I’ve done.

A fitness program that has target levels of activity is much more motivating that to say “do quality exercise.”

 

Real estate is a messy business where it is hard to know sometimes if you are going forward or backward. It is nice to have a quantitative system where you can say at least I got my blog posts in, comments made, questions answered and I found some people worth following.

As someone who has worked in fortune 100 companies, the number one rule is never tamper with something that is working until you have your clients (AR participants) overwhelming buy in that a new system is better and worth replacing the old system.

I strongly encourage all AR decision makers to not just read but to study Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith.

A very significant and fitting part deals with making decisions based on “hard science” (focus groups, surveys, etc.) vs. “soft evidence.”

When you try to collect hard evidence (such as this question) the respondents are going to skew their answers because they are responding to “Bob Stewart” and because who wants to admit that points are really important to us.

 

I leave you with these two words “New Coke.”

Jan 23, 2016 08:05 AM
Ambassador
1,549,863
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

No! I think it holds us accountable and motivates us. Keeps some of us coming each and every day. Keeps momentum. I'll admit there are days I come and participate because of points, keeping my rank. Not proud of that, but true. Then I get here, get inspired and boom....off to the races. 

Jan 23, 2016 06:39 AM
Rainmaker
382,534
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

Good evening Bob,

I don't have many points, but I'm against dropping them.  It would be so disrespectful to great agents who have MILLIONS of points.  It would be like retroactively declaring a college degree null and void after someone has already done all the required work.

Is the point system abused sometimes?  Obviously!  My simple solution is to punish the abusers.  Please don't punish the people who have followed the AR rules for years.

Jan 22, 2016 01:37 PM
Rainer
303,314
Melissa Jackson
Citiwide Alliance Realty - Weatherford, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

I enjoy the point system. It keeps me motivated.  Not only am I working toward the 500,000 points  I would like to move up in the rankings.  I've visited the leader board and noticed some agents have not been active in quite some time. Another agent post listings and nothing of value. I may not make #1 but I know my contributions will be more informative and hopefully cause my phone to ring. Other options for rewarding?  Sounds like a difficult question, will be watching for changes - improvements.  Maybe.. what one thinks is low quality could be a beginners best.  Simple one word answers/copy cat replies - shouldn't be rewarded.  

Jan 22, 2016 01:00 PM
Ambassador
2,304,804
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Bob ... I heard rumors about this many years ago and eliminating points ended up being only a rumor.

The only concern I would have would be how the points rank ActiveRain members within States, Cities and Counties. So if the points were ever eliminated, all the rank placements would be gone.

Jan 22, 2016 11:39 AM
Ambassador
3,676,995
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Bob, I feel a post coming on.  And you know, I don't think it's a bad idea at all.  A lot of us will probably wind up selling a lot more houses if we stop being totally point obsessed!

 

Jan 22, 2016 09:39 AM
Ambassador
1,976,058
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

The day when I realized that I was blogging for points and it was negatively affecting my production...was a blessing for me ...I realized it and I cut it ...since then I wrote only meaningful posts and concentrated in ranking them with the power of SEO in AR and it has liberated me totally, More time for my business, dedicated focus to quality content and my production doubled in 2015 and so the number of agents I recruited...points?  what points? 

But I can assure you that are many comments written on this thread that say ...they don't care about points...but they do, really! 

 

Jan 22, 2016 07:49 AM
Rainmaker
561,964
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

I both love and hate the points.  But, I love them more than I hate them.

Yes, I see the meaningless stuff posted here and people just posting for points.  But, most of the time, I just laugh to myself and figure it's their loss and their waste of time.

I think overall, they do more good than harm and in particular are a good way to motivate the newbies at the beginning...keep them here long enough to realize the true benefits of being here - business, referrals, relationships, learning.

So, I would vote for keeping them, but maybe adapting them to weed out the chaff.  I will give some thought as to adaptations I would make to help w/ that objective.  But, overall it's trying to reward the good content and reduce the "waste of space" stuff.

BTW, I don't agree that many would post the junk stuff w/ or wo/ points. Yes, there are some spammers that aren't even aware of the points, and they'll continue.  But, the majority of the crap is from those trying to gain points.

Also, BTW, I don't have that much issue w/ those just going for points...it doesn't really hurt me.  But, the meaningless public stuff on the site reduces the quality...at least that's how it seems to me.

Jan 22, 2016 07:05 AM
Rainmaker
599,256
Tracy Lee Parker
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs/PLATINUM PROPERTIES & MANAGEMENT - Rockwall, TX
Buy*Sell*Lease

I like the point system and the fact that it moved me to be a leader in my sales area. I use that on listing appointments: " I am the number one real estate blogger on Active Rain in my city and # 5 in my county!" 

I do not like that some of the agents ahead on the points board have passed away and/or not posted anything in 5 years! Are they still paying monthly ? or do they stay on the boards? If they are still paying or someone paying for them I guess that is okay if they don't want to refresh their posts.

Jan 22, 2016 05:31 AM
Rainmaker
1,469,968
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I don't participate as much as I used to, but when I did, I loved the points as it showed me and others how hard I worked with supplying knowledge.

One of the reasons I don't come anymore is all the "junk" posts. A picture of your cat sitting by the window is not a real estate related post. Others with cats might say the posts about my kids are not real estate related, however, I usually always made the posts real estate related because I would mention where we were and that's blogging about local hot spots and such.

Question, how would you list people in the different areas if there were no points? If it's a random round robin, how do you justify putting someone on top with a mere 1000 points because all they ever did was fill out their profile?

Jan 22, 2016 05:17 AM
Rainmaker
138,411
Kelly Turbeville
Keller Williams - Lake Forest, CA
Turning Real Estate Dreams into Reality

Good luck deciding on this one.  I like the point system but do think it coud use a little revamping.   I stepped away from AR for a while and I was a bit sad when I came back and saw I lost my spot.  When I looked at who was above me... was sadder at the lack of content by most.  The good content certainly rises to the top, but I think effort should be rewarded to some degree.

Now I am on the quest to be #1... My reasoning,  yes I enjoy blogging and but it is an amazing marketing tool .

Jan 22, 2016 05:03 AM
Rainer
204,826
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

I vote to keep them. It's an incentive for people to post and while there are those that "abuse" the system the number of valuable posts, comments, etc, surely outweighs the few negative ones. If spam posts/comments were truly an issue I don't think you'd have as much engagement as you do now.

Jan 22, 2016 03:30 AM
Rainer
98,573
Becca Rasmussen
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Highlands Ranch, CO

I like them, as they give me a way to track how active I've been one month versus the next. They'll also eventually, I hope, earn me a free Rainmaker account if that offer is still in effect by the time I reach that fabled 500,000 points. So in that regard, they have a monetary value that I'd hate to see disappear. 

It would be nice if there were some sort of "recency of points" acknowledged in the rankings. e.g. person A has 145,980 points (34,987 in the last XX days), whereas person B has 802,921 points (0 in the last XX days) so we can tell if the person is active now or not. Or maybe a way to filter the rankings based on "active in the last XX days" or not. I know I've seen this sort of thing in some older q&as so maybe it has already been considered and rejected or too costly to implement. 

I'm not sure having points or not having points would have too much effect on quality. Quality is such a subjective thing that I'm also not sure how it could be vetted points or not unless someone monitors every post, question, and comment before it goes live. Can't see that happening nor would I wish to participate if it did as we'd then be subject to that person's or group's interpretation of quality. :0)

Jan 22, 2016 03:28 AM
Ambassador
2,355,604
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Bob Stewart 

     If you eliminate the Points, you will not eliminate the Gamers nor the Spammers.  

Jan 22, 2016 12:30 PM
Rainmaker
577,873
Dena Stevens Coriz
Rocky Mountain Realty - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004

Back when I remember competeing for points and ranking. I admit, I was printing dribble. And what for? To be number one in Colorado? I was once or twice.

Clients are looking for well informed, practical, common sense agents and their knowledge of real estate and their area. We all know when you look at Yelp or other service a good part of that ranking has been primed by the business owner, his family and friends. I don't want that sort reputation. 

I remember reading years ago on Active Rain that an agent had been contacted by a potiental client. That client thought the points equaled the dollars the agent sold the prior year. Meaning the agent was successful instead that agent had been writing a bunch of blog posts.

I've been "Putting the real into Realtor since 2004" I think keeping it real is far more important than the points. JMO

 

Jan 22, 2016 10:38 AM
Rainmaker
268,178
Allie Angeloni
Long Realty - Oro Valley, AZ

As a newbie of 3 weeks on AR Bob Stewart, I do like the Points System as it's motivational for me in a competitive way, though obviously I must not be an 'over achiever' (HA!) since I don't even have 10,000 Points.  I'm finding the relationships and knowledge to be priceless, and already feel that I am learning so much more from others, and have found some very interesting people to Follow (and have to add, that it totally surprised me, when others Followed me, being so new to Real Estate).  This is also my first time Blogging.

Jan 22, 2016 10:26 AM
Rainmaker
346,603
Brenda J. Andrew
ULTIMA REAL ESTATE - Corpus Christi, TX
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

I like the point system.  I am still learning about the Rain, although I have been in it for a while.  I am just starting to realize the importance of all of the blogging and content.  The point system makes it fun, and I like to see myself moving up the ladder.  I am finally starting to understand that all of the content makes a tremendous difference in business and am starting to see results.  With different sites continueing to make changes, even Active Rain, I hate to see this change made.  It encourages us & I like seeing the rankings in my area.

Jan 22, 2016 09:35 AM
Ambassador
1,974,101
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Aside from being a little motivator, many of us are naturally competitive and therefore love the points. 

Jan 22, 2016 08:24 AM
Ambassador
378,614
Karen Hurst
RICOASTALLIVING.COM - Warwick, RI
Rhode Island Waterfront!

I vote to keep them. It's something that makes Active Rain unique.

Jan 22, 2016 07:01 AM
Ambassador
1,229,656
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I might take the $1000 (or offer me a one with a few more zeros). The relationships and friends I've made here are worth more than the points. Plus, I'm not big into the points. There are some benefits to being the highest ranked in an area, though. But, even if I lost that ranking, I think I would still sleep just fine.

(FYI: I'm back to clarify that I had not read the comments when I posted this. I do agree that it might change the culture and the interractivity because some people might find no motivation to participate. Some very good comments on all sides.)

Jan 22, 2016 06:22 AM
Ambassador
1,154,790
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

There are those who will always find the "loophole" to any system to garner an advantage. So, in my humble opinion, eliminating points would just cause those who are point hogs to find another way to gain advantage. I say keep them. There are other ways, as yet to be discovered, to "reward" the faithful.

Jan 22, 2016 05:39 AM
Rainmaker
291,727
Jack Lewitz
IL Real Estate Specialists - Evanston, IL

Whats the point of having a point in a pointless forest...download this:

Jan 22, 2016 03:36 AM
Rainmaker
1,675,376
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

I think it would be a mistake to eliminate the point system, which helped grow AR in the first place.  It won't cause blogs to be better, but you will probably see less blogs and most of them being Listings and Market Reports. If that's what the majority wil be, then if you think the active member count is down now, then I believe it will be twice as inactive. I spend several hours a day reading commenting and writing.  I'm not going to spend several hours a day reading market reports and Listings on the other side of the Country.   So what, if I get 43,000 points per month.  The only one that it affects is me.

Maybe those who don't want the points, they can Opt out of the point system, so they are not annoyed by it. 

Points are an indication of how we have done.  If they don't have a lot of points, then that means they haven't blogged much.  Taking the points away won't change that.

My vote is to keep the points....at least for those that want to participte in it.

Jan 24, 2016 08:26 AM
Rainmaker
798,259
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Bob - I am not sure taking away the points would solve your biggest concern about the quality of the content on ActiveRain. People will write how they write, and write about what they want.

However, I do feel that eliminating the points may reduce the interaction among the members here. I don't think as many members would read other members posts, or answer the questions.

I would be afraid ActiveRain might just become a platform where members write their posts for SEO and that is it, or if they don't think they are getting enough SEO juice here, they just might start posting blogs on another site.

What I enjoy most about ActiveRain is the interaction with all the members, and I would hate to lose that.

Jan 23, 2016 12:41 PM
Ambassador
522,042
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

When I started on AR, I loved the points and watched "my score" - I did not know any better, and thought it mattered.  Well, it did, to me.  I kept posting and playing in the Rain and was so excited when I made it to 100,000.

But I was even more excited when I got Featured.  I strived to write well and wanted more features.  And I got more!!!

Somewhere in that time, I learned how to blog, my first posts were silly and contrived, eventually I relaxed and just wrote stuff.   My posts improved along that 100,000 point journey.

Keep the points.  They are a marker for new members who do not know the value of the good posts.  The value of course, is the Google juice, phone calls, emails - the true value that good posts bring.

 

Jan 23, 2016 10:45 AM
Rainmaker
506,030
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

I think the points drives someone to meet a target, like I'm going for 500,000 this year and if there was no points who know how often I'd Be Active!

Jan 23, 2016 04:59 AM
Ambassador
2,778,908
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Bob -

I've always felt that the points - meaningless as they really are - are one of the great genius moves you guys made when creating AR. They have, without question, served as a motivating force, fed our competitive spirit, and sweetened the pot.

Whatever sins they might be guilty of would not be worth rolling the dice to see what happens without them.

Jan 23, 2016 04:44 AM
Rainmaker
1,921,891
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Bob - I like the points and that is because I am a competitive person but I would not feel good if I had "cheated" to get them.  Let others live with their consciences if they do that.  It doesn't hurt me.  I blog for business, seo, and recognition for my content.

Jan 23, 2016 04:42 AM
Ambassador
2,758,551
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Bob Stewart .  There are some who believe that the point system should be abolished. I think it's fine until somebody passes the 500,000 point mark and then they go away. Some folks blog and interact just for points. I feel it does compel some to engage. On the other hand, competitive folks will compete. I feel that if you did away with the points, some folks would quit altogether. So depends upon their level of commitment to the platform and their business.

Jan 22, 2016 05:37 PM
Rainmaker
625,886
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Sales people are competitive and they like to win....they also like motivation. From a young age we get gold stars or points or awards to keep us motivated and  on track for our goals.  As silly as points are they are our little gold stars, keeping us striving for more and aiming  higher to reach the stars!

Plus I am almost to 300,000 which was my goal for January... my next goal is 500,000 by June...take away my stars and I am bummed and done.

Surely there is  something more important to work on to improve AR than our motivational markers.

Jan 22, 2016 04:33 PM
Rainmaker
80,003
Linda Guess
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Branson, MO - Branson, MO
Branson area real estate sales.

I really like the point system the way it is.

Jan 22, 2016 10:58 AM
Rainer
118,654
Kaye Swain
Keller Williams Real Estate Roseville CA - Roseville, CA
Your Roseville Real Estate Agent

Very interesting question and comments. I blog on AND off ActiveRain. I enjoy the points but I mainly earn them via interesting contests that challenge me to write an interesting post that I am happy to have clients and others read. I only do them if I can write a good post with good info. So I don't have a huge amount but still, it is fun. I've also started posted featured listings and hyperlocal posts which I love doing and appreciate how well they are doing on Google when I post them here.  

 

As far as getting rid of points though, I personally think that it would be extremely frustrating to many who have spent years working hard to earn those points - especially the top points-earners.  I would vote to keep the points but, as many others have wisely pointed out, find ways to reward the good posts and not reward posts that are too short or poor quality. I would also agree with the idea to deal with inactive sites. I liked the one suggestion of moving inactives into a special place that doesn't show them if they are no longer valid BUT that makes it easy to reinstate them should the writer return and start being active.  OR if the writer can show that, even though they are no longer posting, the information is still viable and useful. 

 

 

Jan 22, 2016 10:30 AM
Rainmaker
3,982,614
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I would not eliminate them, but maybe cut down on the options.

Jan 22, 2016 08:35 AM
Rainer
200,800
Laura T. Perry
Keller Williams Elite - Lancaster, PA
CRP, GMS, Award Winning Relocation Specialist

My vote is to keep the points .

Jan 22, 2016 08:30 AM
Ambassador
2,864,479
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

They mattered at one time to me.  And still today if the bloggers in my city were listed say alphabetically I'd be ticked off. I've added a ton of great content and some of them have come and gone.  So if the points go away, what order will agents be listed when you look up an area.  Most recent content?  What if the "points" were only visible to the account holder and not to other members. 

Anyway, the fact is for me, that my phone rings with buyers and sellers from the posts I've added here.  So points gone and the phone is still ringing and I'm good.

Jan 22, 2016 08:19 AM
Rainmaker
275,382
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

PLEASE don't eliminate it - I don't consciously write for points but I really like the incentive to get to different levels. There are always going to be people who will write mediocre/poor content whether you have points or not; it would be interesting to compare the quality of posts on other platforms (WordPress, etc.) that don't do the points to see whether or not they have poor ones too.

I think that our poor posts are kind of weeded out though I will say that I find it very annoying when someone who doesn't ever write posts but gets people to sign up ends up with more points than I do......

The other question is, when we have the contests with specic requirements on what to write, are those posts any better or worse than the 'normal' contributions? 

I realize that the higher the content the more that the boat is lifted for all - I for one don't know if I would post without that bonus.

Jan 22, 2016 07:28 AM
Rainmaker
145,160
Damon Botticelli
Silver State Realty & Investments - Las Vegas, NV
Realtor - Las Vegas Real Estate

I wouldn't mind if they were eliminated. 

If they are important to other members, consider modifying the system to award only for valuable content, such as when you receive a like, upvote, bookmarked post, etc.  No points for comments, logging in, etc. 

Jan 22, 2016 07:26 AM
Rainmaker
4,432,217
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

There should be points for posts with maybe 200 or more words instead of 50 words. The number of posts per week should be reduced . I will gladly give up my points for1000 dollars.

 

 

 

Jan 22, 2016 06:03 AM
Rainmaker
3,609,085
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Hello Bob. I'm not sure if the point system encourages poor quality posts but I sometimes wonder if it is ego driven: moving on up and all. I don't care either way.

 

Jan 22, 2016 05:12 AM
Rainmaker
745,915
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I don't care much about points. Maybe after reaching the 5000 point mark where subscription is free, the points can go away. I blog on other platforms where there is no point system. There are cases where the quality of content becomes lower when someone is just posting for the sole purpose of accumulating points. CDPE started with a point system, then got rid of it. Some members complained at first, but eventually no one cared about points, because the main reason agents joined CDPE was to learn to help people complete short sales.

Jan 22, 2016 05:03 AM
Rainmaker
4,797,361
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Fine by me.  

Jan 22, 2016 04:57 AM
Rainer
284,476
Doyle Lee Austin Davison Iv
Surf City Realty 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
28+ years serving Investors Banks Buyers-sellers

I come for the related content not the points.........

Jan 22, 2016 03:17 AM
Rainer
28,484
Matt Keough, New Castle County, DE
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Matt Keough Agent New Castle County Delaware

I do wish I had many more points, but that does not change the content that I post nor respond too. 

The points system is valuable but not everything. 

I believe this is a great forum for numerous reasons. 

Jan 28, 2016 03:46 AM
Ambassador
891,818
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

2 thoughts here.

As it stands, points absolutely contribute to crappy contributions.  And I don't feel that's subjective.  If anyone thinks copy/paste posts, a couple paragraphs copied/pasted from a local newsletter with a few words changed to make it "original", jokes, or recipes are helping AR to build our business, they're simply wrong.  

 

That said, as it stands, things like jokes, recipes, etc should not even be getting points under the current rules of AR (unless they've changed) per the "this is not my content" box.....if that were enforced, the problem would be mitigated.

 

I don't know the answer, because I certainly wouldn't want to be judge and jury on what content stays & goes, but at the same time, I would have no problem at all seeing some folk's points removed for a lack of contributing relevent content.  What's relevent?  It's somewhat subjective, but I think it's easy to see ActiveRain's platform as a leading REAL ESTATE blogging site, and seeing material that's not in the slightest way related to that.  It's pretty easy to spot the people gaming the points system (robo-commenting, copy/paste from newsletters, a few sentences of blog followed by a 300 word signature) ------   I'd rather see those folks punished with point deductions than see the points system disappear.  

 

For me, the points system contributed LARGELY to my participation here, especially early on--- they encouraged me to participate in contests, which helped me to get to know other folks here in the rain.  Points encouraged me to read and comment on other's blogs, forming relationships and getting to know the community, and points kept me contributing during stretches when perhaps I didn't want to.  

 

That all said, it's frustrating beyond belief to know that I'll NEVER surpass someone on the leader board because they're putting out robo-garbage, robo-comments, or 50 word posts with super large signatures, and that it's keeping them above me on the local leaderboards, and diluting the site as a whole for those of us who are writing orignal, real estate related content.

 

Re: points, I guess overall I'd rather see the people putting out "low quality content" (your description is more eloquent than the 'garbage' description I used) disappear from Activerain rather than the points system that they're abusing.

Jan 26, 2016 08:21 AM
Rainmaker
1,606,800
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I could see some modifications Bob Stewart but please do not discontinue it. My one suggestion (at this moment) is that when we post a question I think we should get some points for responces, especially when some of us take time to respond to every one. Maybe I have two points on points, I'd like to see points for responding to comments.

Jan 24, 2016 10:18 PM
Rainmaker
1,550,205
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

The points are a side issue for me. I use them as a means of accountability for myself. They tell me how consistent I am, and they encourage me to work harder. I guess it's that competing against myself thing that I do. Low quality content isn't the result of the points. Check any other real estate website. There is plenty of low quality content out there on sites that don't have a point system. 

Also, when I see someone who is ahead of me on the points scale it inspires me to read their content to see what they have to say. It draws me to them. When I see a long time AR member with low points, it makes me think they aren't putting much into the site, and that makes me less enthusiastic to seek out their content. It only takes a few seconds to tell what level of content a blogger puts out. If they are only in for the points, they have their reward. If they are in it for business, they'll come up short.

Jan 24, 2016 09:03 AM
Rainmaker
2,394,954
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I have had clients call me and ask me to list their home because google said I was the number 1 agent in Indiana. I like the points. The public pays attention to what google says and that means dollars in my pocket. If the points went away I would be very disappointed.

Jan 24, 2016 06:55 AM
Rainmaker
2,020,083
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

PLEASE DON'T TAKE AWAY THE POINTS BOB!

I like them because it's an incentive to improve my blogging skills and build relationships with other people. When I look at how many points I've earned for writing consistently, and seeing how many of my posts were featured there's a sense of pride and joy! I measure what I've done with others on ActiveRain in Dallas and Denton County. When I see how many features I've had, it becomes an obsession for me to continue writing quality content. I hope and pray Bob Stewart and owners on AR will keep points in place but would consider removing inactive bloggers who have been absent for long periods of time.

Can I cash in my points for something else? I can't think of anything more valuable to me, than self-improvement. Featured posts are the greatest incentive for me to keep current on ActiveRain. Earning points for participation, whether it's on frequency, comments, or participation in contests builds confidence and improves my writing skills while incorporating new ideas and technology. 

Jan 24, 2016 12:02 AM
Rainmaker
4,083,888
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

The points have been in discussion for years, and believe the points are what kept most here.    We do see a variety of topics posted daily.   I was told years ago not to be JUST BUSINESS, and to interject some fun posts to show our personality.    Some do post just to get the points, but most are posting to get our phones to ring. 

Jan 23, 2016 11:55 PM
Rainmaker
600,540
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Points keep people coming back. Points are also a way to compare people.

Is there a way to age-out non active Rainers?  By that, I mean if someone hasn't engaged in the community in 60 days (for example), then the oldest 2 months worth of their points evaporate.  That would allow ghost posters to fade away and give newbies a way to climb the ladder.  Those old veterans who are still active like the best of them will continue to accrue points like the newbies. Those who are resting on their laurels of points from 2007 will fade away.

 

Jan 23, 2016 03:51 PM
Rainmaker
459,131
Sandra Mathewson
RE/MAX 4000 - Grand Junction, CO
CRS,ABR,SRES,GRI,CDPE RE/MAX

I have been a longtime member and have only provided quality content.  I have never posted jokes and content not worthy of being read by the public.

I am ranked #1 in my city #1 in my county and 49 in the state of Colorado.  All of the others in my city below me gave up on AR years ago, they see no value.  You can read my posts,they are all quality content and local information  I want my points and to be rewarded for spending many nights and weekends at the computer. That is why I come back and spend my time researching posts to share, I do it for the SEO, and to be found.  Recently some guy in Colorado posted a lot of meaningless posts for the only purpose of claiming #50 in Colorado.  But, that was it for him he gave up.  I continued with my quality content and passed him up. Obviously he was only concerned with being "#50" .  Those types will fade away, but the true professionals will stay. We need to to be appreciated by AR for our loyalty, we need the points.

 

Jan 23, 2016 11:51 AM
Ambassador
940,057
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Bob, i am still trying to get to one million. Please don't take the points away.

Jan 23, 2016 08:56 AM
Rainmaker
3,247,836
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Bob

Points are way to keep score . . . . We didn't get a trophy for showing up on Active Rain or in life, we earn a trophy  by hard work

Jan 23, 2016 04:44 AM
Rainmaker
3,278,432
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

After a certain point, the friendships established mean more than the points. It does take points to get there!

Jan 22, 2016 11:08 PM
Rainmaker
705,573
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I see no reason to change the points system . . . it is meaningless and meaningful to the right people. :)

Jan 22, 2016 10:32 PM
Rainer
183,157
Judith Sinnard
SMARTePLANS; Houston, Texas - Houston, TX
The SMARTePLAN Lady

Wow! Starting at the top and reading all the way down was an interesting read. I never minded the odd posts because  I figured they were still finding their voice, their style or the discipline required to blog consistently well.  Since the pearl in the oyster (to me) is the A/R SEO and the community interaction online -- they were cheating themselves by missing out on both. Like many I'd like to hear the "compelling reasons" ..is it the burden on A/R to track and report? the staff hours to maintain the infrastructure? The notion that the quality of posts will suddenly  improve is a baffling idea .. and where is the data behind THAT? It is unique to A/R and a motivating factor for many in varying degrees of importance across the community --- and keeps them contributing and coming back. In reading down the comments.. I don't recall a single person who said the point system constrains them, is a detriment to their participation or keeps them from publishing ...food for thought.   

Jan 22, 2016 10:27 PM
Rainmaker
3,053,144
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Read all the answers.  My vote - keep them!

Update: Bob Stewart perhaps expirement on a new "pointless" platform - Localism? - to evaluate the idea?

Jan 22, 2016 10:20 PM
Rainer
43,781
Stephanie & John Webb
Latte Stone Realty LLC - Albuquerque, NM
Stephanie Webb Co-Owner, Latte Stone Realty, LLC

Keep the point system please

Jan 22, 2016 10:13 PM
Rainmaker
743,748
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

I like the points! I am hoping you will have a Super Store where I could redeem some of them for items. I will go with the washer/ dryer set first!!

Jan 22, 2016 10:12 PM
Rainmaker
3,018,004
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I sure enjoyed all the comments.

Jan 22, 2016 08:17 PM
Rainmaker
2,257,053
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Bob. I could care less about the points, the return I get for my invested time is much higher than all the points.

Jan 22, 2016 06:08 PM
Rainmaker
2,782,273
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Bob Stewart An interesting idea to research further.

Jan 22, 2016 12:36 PM
Rainmaker
681,888
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Weichert - McKenna & Vane - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate

Bob, I am not sure where I stand on this issue.  

But, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.  So I guess I am part of the problem.  I have no workable or possible solution to the problem.  

I use the points to measure my efforts to keep my market informed on the current conditions.  If you just made the count of my posts for periods of time available to just ne that would work for me.    I guess that is a solution.

Jan 22, 2016 12:11 PM
Ambassador
3,090,321
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I think the points system does tend to bring the content quality to a low point.  It could probably be solved by enforcing our guidelines...at least it would help.  

Making points different for the type of post might be interesting.  Market reports would get (totally pulling this out of my ***) 300; jokes/recipes/quotes 25.  That would eliminate some nonsense.

Jan 22, 2016 11:44 AM
Rainmaker
705,051
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

I never really understood the purpose of the points thing... It's kind of childish and... "pointless". Unless I can turn them in for a free trip to Hawaii.

The points remind me of the improv TV show "who's line is it anyways..." where they were awarding point for skits for absolutely no reason because in the end, it didn't matter at all.

Jan 22, 2016 09:09 AM
Ambassador
1,023,277
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Who doesn't like points? But I can't believe everyone would stop blogging if the points went away. 

As to the quality of content, I don't think points make or break it. 

Have you considered recognizing bloggers in other ways, maybe even their own milestone achievements? Or achieving certain levels like Silver, Gold, Platinum - measured by the millions, for example - and keep the scores visible to members only rather than the public.

Or... what if everyone started at zero again on January 1, but maybe they earned a star or something for every year they reach a certain threshold. many other possibilities besides "no points."

 

 

Jan 22, 2016 09:06 AM
Ambassador
3,315,353
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

WOW!  I totally understand why you lose sleep over this!!  After reading the responses, I'm also still on the fence!  Although an enjoyable break in the 'reading' day, jokes and short posts with recipes should not be counted if the point system continues.  

I have also noticed that several members make one comment into two on the same post (for the commenting points).  

Points do motivate but, honestly, I've never gotten a call from a buyer because I'm #1 in NC here....Google, yes!  BUT, what we post here gives our potential clients a chance to spend some time getting to know us.  THAT is what makes our phones ring...and our business is obviously a priority or none of us would be here.

Yes, lifelong friendships have been established here as well - but, not because of how many points anyone has - because of participation!  

I'm sure the tweaking of the point system is still a hot topic but, I do hope that by now, you're no longer loosing sleep over it!

Aug 28, 2016 10:39 AM
Rainmaker
331,048
Bruce Swedal
Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate

Personally I feel that the point system gives incentive and allows for goal setting.  Overall it is more positive than negative.  If the goal is improved quality of content perhaps the right way to look at improving content is to enhance the point system to reward quality content.

Quality content draws traffic so add a new way to earn points to the existing structure.  Award points for traffic generated to a post.  It will reward bloggers for quality content.

Feb 12, 2016 01:44 AM
Rainmaker
256,257
Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Winter Springs, FL
Residential Real Estate Broker Associate

Being competitive in nature, I enjoyed watching my numbers grow.Please dont eliminate them !

Feb 03, 2016 10:11 PM
Rainmaker
2,917,351
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Bob.  I feel if you do away with the point system there would be a mass exit that would ultimately cause the downfall of the site.  

Jan 28, 2016 08:43 PM
Rainer
35,294
Corey R. Roberts
Keller Williams Realty—Yuba Sutter - Yuba City, CA
Turning Dreams into Realty.

I think it makes it fun!

Jan 28, 2016 06:07 PM
Rainer
149,706
Michael Thacker - Re/Max Real Estate Center - Louisville
Re/Max Real Estate Center - The Thacker Group - Louisville, KY
Your best friend who just happens to be a Realtor

I see the points as being indicative of the engagement of the person, not the quality of their posts. I am not judge or jury, so if I don't like the question, I don't answer it.

Now, if there could be better response to make sure that the spammers are dealt with. I report them every time I see one, yet day after day their posts remain on the site it seems. I just would hate to see another Rainer to get caught up in a scheme by one of them.

Thank you for asking our opinion, I see you are getting a lot of feedback. I am sure you will do what it best!

Jan 27, 2016 10:12 AM
Rainmaker
567,374
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

For me personally it does not matter, I will still post and comment when I can.

Jan 26, 2016 06:50 AM
Rainer
30,977
Cheri Long
Metro Brokers/Priority Properties, Inc. - Centennial, CO
Metro Denver Realtor- Your Home is my PRIORITY

This is one of the best questions and fun to see all the view points from our esteem Rainmakers to Ambassadors.  Thanks for the answers everyone!

Jan 26, 2016 04:13 AM
Rainmaker
921,236
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

There is certainly a lot of valid reasons for eliminating the point system but I feel we will lose some of our folks that are so competetive.    If  they just read some of the blogs...they will gain knowledge from the experiences of others.

Jan 26, 2016 12:19 AM
Rainer
166,585
Demarco & Marisa
Remax Kings Realty - Riverside, CA
"The Choice is Clear!"

Although I don't participate in AR as much as I should, one of the reasons I do is for the points (and some for the exposure/SEO). With me, if it were not for the points, I'd participate less. Let's keep them, please!

Jan 25, 2016 08:16 AM
Rainmaker
1,014,982
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Total participation will be down 33-40%.  

The kudos or likes should reinforce how it is being perceived.

Jan 25, 2016 04:11 AM
Rainer
147,269
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I am new to AR so I'm not sure what the benefit is from the point system other than to motivate us to participate  actively. I kind of like that incentive.

Jan 25, 2016 12:48 AM
Rainer
347,103
Suzanne Laning
Springfield, OR

Points or no points, it's essentially a matter of what value AR provides for its members, particularly the paying ones.  High producing real estate professionals are busy and need to be judicious about where they invest their time.  When they login into AR to scan posts with information they can practically apply, post a question with hopes for more than a flippant answer, or spend precious time regularly blogging here - what is the return on investment versus focusing their time, energy, and efforts elsewhere?

Jan 24, 2016 08:57 AM
Rainmaker
438,752
Rain Silverhawk
Keller Williams Sandpoint rain@lakeandhomes.com - Sandpoint, ID
208-610-0011 Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Realtor

If it isn't really broken than why are we getting the hammers and screw drivers out.  If the point system helps even 10 people set a personal goal, make themselves come in and blog, make themselves take the time to network then it is worth it.  

While the points themselves do not make the world go around, they do inspire some people to keep moving forward.  If someone posts a joke, chances are it is not their content and it doesn't get points anyway.  Same with a recipe although they might just grab some google juice and bring in new visitors.  A photo?  Well unless they have a story to go along with it, it will not get points either.

 I can also guarentee that if someone afraid of losing their position on the leader board saw the up and coming runner getting hard earned points for something they shouldnt have than they would probably be so passionate that they started clicking the report button. 

 

When you have a good active community that is socializing, promoting, and active it is not wise to make changes that would potentially reduce it.  There are plenty of failed sites out there, Active Rain does not need to work  at being one of them.

Jan 24, 2016 04:26 AM
Rainmaker
2,999,982
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

The points are not the problem. Those that type, write or publish low quality blogs are missing out on the opportunity to teach, entertain and attract new clients. If you did not award points, they would still probably write crappy Post because they may not know any better. Bob Stewart points are what got me going, they were an incentive to become active in other parts of Active Rain i may of never found or tried. I worked hard to climb the ladder in NH and felt accomplished every spot i over took. It is important to reward those who are the most active. Active Rain should not become another "nanny" site where everyone receives a trophy. Work hard and get results, it should be that way in live along with here in Active Rain.

 

Simply put to any reader, if you do not like the content of any blog, skip to the next one!!! For those that dont like points, simply dont check them. I NEVER write a blog just for the sake of writing one. I write when i have something to say, a story to share or a market report to get out. But Please leave the points in place. 

Jan 24, 2016 04:08 AM
Rainmaker
812,236
Diana Zaccaro
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

You would be treating the symptom, not the problem.

"Quality content" is a highly subjective term and there is no way to quantify what constitutes same. The point system does not encourage lower quality content...there will always be people who "work" the system by posting poor content regardless of whether or not points are awarded.

Eliminating the point system would be a huge mistake for too many reasons to go into here. That said, IF the point system is eliminated, the only way I see that working is to keep it in place for current members and set an effective date after which any new members receive no points.  It is wrong and unfair to eliminate points for current members. 

IF you must toy with the points, there are many ways the system could be improved rather than abolishing them. Again, far too much to go into here but it definitely merits consideration.

I would love to read the email you received and know the "compelling" arguments that were made to scrap points...we are all freely and openly sharing our thoughts and opinions so it seems only fair and reasonable that we should know the "rest of the story" so we can respond to it more specifically.

   

 

Jan 24, 2016 02:17 AM
Rainmaker
1,537,880
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Well Bob - is your head spinning even faster now? 

I think the points are fun and a good way to encourage people to blog. However, they should not be the ONLY reason! 

As for poor content - who cares? We don't have to read it, and we learn pretty quickly which bloggers to ignore. 

Jan 24, 2016 01:55 AM
Ambassador
3,103,666
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I have gone back and forth on this question for years. I now feel this is my inspiration each morning although it has no monetary factor,  I would be very disappointed to see what set ActiveRain apart disappear Bob Stewart 

Jan 24, 2016 01:49 AM
Rainmaker
1,778,297
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Wow--reading the comments is interesting. I say the point system does more good than harm, so leave well enough alone.

Jan 24, 2016 01:34 AM
Rainmaker
1,052,887
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

During my blogging career I have noticed that some folks just go for points.  Do the same blog over and over?  Change it just slightly?  I like points but don't think they should be so easy to obtain without quality.  Perhaps you could have something like a maximum that can be gained per week? 

Jan 24, 2016 12:38 AM
Rainmaker
657,615
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Closing the barn door AFTER the horses have all run off? Leave it alone. I suspect nothing will change whether the points are there or not. Some might not even realize the points are gone...

Oh, and for those who say the points motivate you or give you goals to reach? Try blogging on a Wordpress blog for a while. And if you do have one, what motivates you to blog there? Clicks? Likes and shares? Generated business? How about because it WORKS. RESULTS should be your motivation, MORE RESULTS should be your goal.

Jan 23, 2016 11:57 PM
Rainmaker
1,573,177
Rick Obst
Eugene, OR

A cursory look at the leaderboard at the local, state, and overall level shows that a relatively small percentage of the 277,000+ people with AR profiles are active or even somewhat active here.  Take a look at how many people there are with just 1,000 points or fewer.  Also take a look at how many people with 100,000+ points have not been active in a year or more.  The true elephant in the room is why the attrition rate on AR is so high.

Jan 23, 2016 11:14 PM
Rainmaker
1,766,241
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Yes, ELIMINATE points!

The original purpose of the points is not relevant today. There was a time when we could write 20 posts per week, make unlimited comments, map communities, upload photos -- primarily to build content and authority, and secondarily to spur engagement.

Today, quality content is what matters. Every Rainer would benefit from writing 2-3 awesome posts per week instead of 10 average posts just because they need points or want to maintain their AR ranking. 

Hubspot found that companies with 1-10 employees (comparable to a single agent or small team) that publish 11 or more posts per month drive much higher traffic. SEOBlog recommends once per week. Moz says "you certainly don't need to blog every day, or even every week."

Any post, comment, or answer that is not our best work dilutes from the overall quality of the site. Eliminate the points and let us blog and contribute because it's the right thing to do for our business.

 

For more feedback, here's a similar question I asked two weeks ago. 

Jan 23, 2016 12:46 PM
Rainer
236,542
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

As you can easily see, I am not a super high grossing participant. I discovered AR in October 2010, and then forgot about it. I do wish I had stayed with it five years ago. Points are fun to watch them accumulate, and I am typically good for about 150-200/day. I think it would be a shame to those who have put in the time and garnered a following over the years to lose their total.

Jan 23, 2016 02:51 AM
Ambassador
1,641,860
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Points have always been a hallmark of Active Rain since the beginning. It has nothing to do with quality and it is up to the member to figure out what it means to them. I know that in Oklahoma we have a member that gives daily Bible verses and never post about real estate so her points total is pretty good. Another does a great job of being insulting and hateful and that builds points but not engagement. But another blogs constantly about real estate and does it well. Three examples of points, three examples of what content they want to share regardless of whether it builds business. Me, I want to post about real estate and community.

Jan 23, 2016 01:18 AM
Rainmaker
281,718
Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#11 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

I'm too new at this to have formulated a strong opinion.  There seems to be a ground swell of opnions that most folks like the point system. 

  

 

 

Jan 23, 2016 12:00 AM
Rainer
149,655
Jaretta Buckholtz, MBA
Pearson Smith Realty, LLC - Manassas, VA
Passionate-Professional-Patient

I would totally be supportive of eliminating the points system.  I log on every day to "get my points", but I would still log on every day without the points.  I read the blogs, get great ideas and sometimes answer questions.  I think that there should be criteria for "good" and "bad" blogs, but that would be subjective.  Also, I just do not know how one would be ranked without the points system, but I am willing to try it without the points.

Jan 22, 2016 11:39 PM
Ambassador
666,558
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Bob: I've always liked the points but agree the system is sometimes abused.

Jan 22, 2016 11:04 PM
Rainer
389,343
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

I like the point concept for being able to see who is posting and sharing information. The points help me track my own progress.  

Jan 22, 2016 10:30 PM
Rainmaker
359,144
Debra B Albert, PA - Keyes Realty
Keyes Realty Treasure Coast, 34986 - Port St Lucie, FL
Ron and Debbie 772.708.3292

The point systems serves no real purpose, It is kind of cool to say to yourself, OH! I made the next level, but other than "feel good", I am not sure it serves any purpose.

Jan 22, 2016 10:12 PM