Bob Stewart, ActiveRain (ActiveRain)

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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Bob, I think most of it has been covered, but key are:

  • Getting a profile FULLY set up so that when someone leaves a comment we know WHERE they're from.  Building a referral possibility starts with associated geography with names
  • How to format a blog.  White space, where to find free/low cost graphics.  How to use the editor, spacing around a picture, etc.  Point out the blogging templates that exist to provide a head start.
  • Basic DO and DO NOT of AR:  copyright/plagiarism/self advertising in other posts, how to play nice in the sandbox, etc.
  • The different categories of members:  Staff, Ambassadors, Rainmakers, Rainers, etc. 
  • How to have blogging MAKE money for you in the shortest amount of time  (blogging isn't a quick fix, double your business in a week silver bullet)
Dec 17, 2015 08:18 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Those are definitely good ideas.  I would say videos to address all of those, plus common tasks.

  • Liking and following someone
  • Posting product reviews
  • General "how to use the blog section" and "Q&A" section - ask question, filter to speficic topic categories, etc.
  • How to write a blog using the editor basics - lists formatting, images, links.  Advanced - tables, sharing the blog, etc.
  • How to modify your profile and include a blog signature (gets asked every once in a while on here).
  • A video covering the basic types of blog posts (market reports, listings, community events, fun stuff, the different templates and how to use them...).


That's all I can come up with off the top of my head.  Hope it helps!

Dec 17, 2015 03:19 AM
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

First, thanks for being there. Many of us have renewed our participation because of your return as a key figure in AR management.

For me, six areas:

# 1 How to do the various nuts and bolts things in AR.

# 2 How to maximize our use of AR. There are a number of people like Craig Daniels, Tammy Emineth and many others who could help us get more out of our efforts. Pay them a little to help.

# 3 Spotlight people who are using AR well in some way. Explain how they are using the platform well and how we can do the same.

# 4 How to integrate AR with our external web sites (especially WordPress) or other social media.

# 5 Help us find ways to invite new agents. I know agents to invite but it isn’t worth the time as almost all don’t start or quit very quickly. They want me to help them learn to blog and use AR for free.

# 6 AR should be the national hub for paid content. Allow members to post content that would be available for members to watch for pay.

Broker Mary is great at getting new listings. She creates a video and posts it. AR members can view it for a reasonable amount, $5 to $20. There is a review feature. If we watch Mary’s video and find it helps she gets a positive review and more agents will pay to watch it.


The AR platform is being WAY underutilized.

Dec 17, 2015 05:58 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

I would begin with one titled 'Why Active Rain?'

In this video the intended purpose such as education, community and network should be expounded. That by itself would be boring.

Which means there exists a need for some 'off the farm' ways ones of genius has found to leverage AR in sustaining or growing their business. Big picture stuff. One may even suggest unconventional or plain old whacky or what's soon to be in your future mixed media presentations..  Be aware, it is highly possible those who know of these practices are unlikely to volunteer what they know because it is a secret. Make every effort to stay away from same old type and same old content. 

When new users are properly equipped and oriented with the potential one can harness through AR participation, then you do the practical training of how to organize the image portfolio and tag a member, etc, etc.

You don't want folks spending two months here then asking "Now What?" 

I believe, the video of greatest need at this very moment is  showing how to get AR blogs onto the other SM platforms.

Consider placing this library of helpful and instructional videos on links where the user can access them within the context of their activity, without going mining.  (can be accomplished with 'text search' function in header)

Although somewhat dangerous, some would find accessing the 'source code' function an increadible shortcut to creating dynamic content.

These clearly go way beyond inserting and text wrapping an image and may not even make it to the new projects board.

Dec 17, 2015 03:57 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

The first three would work for me.


Dec 17, 2015 03:39 AM
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Im unsure adding personal videos, do we have to start w. youtube or not  ?? I want to start doing local tours via video for my blog. 

Dec 17, 2015 03:53 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I'd like to find out what is no longer current on Active rain that still remains in the control panels.  Outside blogs, Hit Router, groups, etc?

Dec 17, 2015 03:16 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

I'm a tad it AR training or training on videos?  Maybe there's a typo.  I'll check in later.

Dec 17, 2015 03:08 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Lots of it please


Dec 17, 2015 09:10 AM
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

Referral alert would be great, I did not even know that is possible and would help a lot! I would say mostly just more about SEO friendly writing.

Dec 17, 2015 08:21 AM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I think it's great we are going to have video training. A lot of the topics that people have mentioned have already been covered over the years, but I'm sure not all members were around then and had the advantage of listening to those training sessions.

1) I think a review of what makes a good post and how to get it to rank high would be a good start and a nice refresher for some of us that have been around for a while.  

2) How to insert a photo would be good as well. I'm seeing a lot of posts without any pictures. 

Dec 17, 2015 08:00 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I would like to see " The do's and Don'ts" of blogging and commenting. Perhaps some examples of those breaking this lately? On a positove note, I love the examples you propose

Dec 17, 2015 05:48 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Everyone's got it covered I think for basics. Somethings mentioned go to the next level which you can do after you figure out HTML etc.

I liked the other series & thought you guys did a great job. I was just an idiot banging my head against the kitchen table - that's how I learned 

Dec 17, 2015 05:12 AM
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Any of the above, Bob.  I think that a lot of people get the writing part of blogging, but need help with the formatting to make things reader-friendly.  Any video series helping with that would probably go well.

Dec 17, 2015 04:36 AM
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

Hi Bob Stewart

I would like to see a video on the effective use of Groups.  Groups used to be an important, and lively, part of ActiveRain.  However many of them are just rusting away in the rain today.

Dec 17, 2015 04:18 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I don't know if this is video material, but I'd like to see some form of legal advice on Active Rain as to any possible liability regarding what we post. That might include annotating images properly, referencing sources and so on. Do we have access to any AR legal counsel? One of my platforms is to minimize risk for me, my clients and associates.

PS All the suggestions re AR training videos are great!

Dec 17, 2015 04:02 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I would like to see a series for new members on the basics of writing blogs and the set up on ActiveRain. It seems that many new members never get a good start. 

Videos have become essential elements of the business and a series on producing videos and using them in blogs would be helpful for many.

Dec 17, 2015 03:46 AM
Hamilton Landon Real Estate - Apple Valley, CA
...Marketing your home like no one else will.

Bob Stewart , more video posts in general.   The more the better for me. I am an visual leaner.  So I have a much better chance of getting it it I can see it and hear it.

Jan 05, 2016 02:55 AM
Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365
Frankly Real Estate Inc. - Manchester, MD
Specializing in Carroll Co., MD

Bob ~ How about video on how to do video? Not just for AR how to's but also for members to introduce themselves, community videos, etc. etc.

Dec 30, 2015 08:19 AM
Steve Houck
Real Estate Partners, LLC - Madison, MS

Bob, the key items for me are some already listed below, but I find it VERY important to know ASAP such items as writing the blog and using the basics such as list formatting, images, links. Advanced tables, sharing the blog, etc. 

How to use the blog section and Q & A for a specific topic without extensive research. Good blog templates and how to use them.

How to maximize the use of ActiveRain and intergrating ActiveRain with our external websites and other social media.

Thanks, Steve Houck

Dec 30, 2015 05:31 AM
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

How to or IF we should add a video to our blog post and if so, after we do it, how best to also get it out to other media?

Dec 30, 2015 03:58 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I'm excited about a new platform. More things to come? 

Dec 29, 2015 07:06 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

ActiveRain for Beginners/Newbies:

  Show how to surf the ActiveRain website, benefits of Rainmaker, the Points System, where and how to get help, etc.

Dec 23, 2015 10:49 AM
Peter Mohylsky. The Santa Rosa Beach Expert
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

I would like to see some nuts and bolts courses regarding making video's.  Are cell phone video's adequate?  Should I use the big camera?  how do I edit, overlay a sound track, possibly brand it is a watermark? 

Dec 23, 2015 01:57 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

How to do a video and upload and make changes to it on youtube.

Dec 21, 2015 12:03 PM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Hi Bob: 

Maybe in addition to the tactical "how to's" wouldn't it be wonderful to show what makes a blog magical, thought provoking, controversial, or heart-rending? Talk to people about how to color outside the lines? 

But back to AR University..I still have your templates for market reports and other formats. Those were (are) great. 

Hope things are going well. Merry Christmas. 

Dec 21, 2015 11:08 AM
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

All great suggestions, I can't think of anymore.

Dec 21, 2015 04:43 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I am looking forward to viewing the videos. I would like to see where we can get free photos and how to wrapt text around it.

Dec 20, 2015 10:42 PM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

How to upload photos and videos using iPad.  Please, please

Dec 20, 2015 08:17 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I like all your choices.  Ease in posting a blog makes it easier for people to engage with others. A

Dec 20, 2015 01:45 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Bob - I would say the more the merrier. Many of the agents have provided some great suggestions, and I would have to agree with David Gibson on his suggestions.

Best way to incorporate AR blog posts into your own blog, or vice versa.

How to blog for business (prospects).

Videos spotlighting people who are getting business through their posts, and blogging the right way.

I would like them to be more about the business of real estate, and not so much about the technical side, like how to insert a photo, etc. I want to know what to write about, and how to best utilize a title, keywords, content, etc. to find new clients.


Dec 19, 2015 03:07 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I actually find all four of those appealing Bob Stewart 

Dec 19, 2015 05:20 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

Best practices such as post on outside blog first? ActiveRain first? How to make sure Google knows it's MY content?

Dec 18, 2015 01:41 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

I love the referral alert idea.  That would be a cool feature. 

I also agree with Liz and Bill Spear  that more folks need to take advantage of their profiles.  It is so crazy how they don't have their location visible.  I comment on some post and can never find out where the person is from.  It's like they are in witness protection or something.  Silliness.

The other things is inserting photos.  I'm sure there is a lot of information posted about this everywhere on the site, but many continue to struggle with this process. 

Dec 18, 2015 01:27 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

The examples you share are good.  I suggest keeping the videos focused and short.  

Dec 17, 2015 11:32 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Is there a place we can see what already exists so we can identify any "gaps"?

Dec 17, 2015 09:10 PM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

I would like to see a reminder that when you accept a referral that is an AGREEMENT TO PAY.


Dec 17, 2015 06:36 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Bob. 1, 3 & 4.

Dec 17, 2015 05:25 PM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

None of the ones you listed interest me. I'd love a training on techniques to create very polished layouts for blogs. I find the AR platform difficult compared to others I use.

Dec 17, 2015 04:53 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Bob Stewart there are a some topics under 'Ask The Ambassador'.

Uploading the pictures, creating the link, tagging a member are common questions in Q&A, even now - just to name a few.

Setting up the profile and benefits of Rainmaker account are frequently asked questions, too.

(There are many good suggestions in other answers - perhaps I am not adding anything new, it seems.)

Dec 17, 2015 01:55 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I think you have covered all the essentials in the past, but you may want to check them over and update them so as to cover new procedures.

As far as the top three, check the number of hits they all have on them.

Dec 17, 2015 01:32 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Anything about improving SEO for blogs

Dec 17, 2015 01:01 PM
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Get Debb Janes in on the act.  Her stuff is fabulous.

Dec 17, 2015 12:10 PM
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I would like to see more templates that can be used and widgets.

I would like to see videos about setting up the right side bar and creating signatures for blog posts.

Dec 17, 2015 12:10 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I thought it was going to be about video?

I would like editing help, like how to stop the motion.

Dec 17, 2015 11:15 AM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

I would watch all of the above.

Dec 17, 2015 11:07 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I know the most important webinars were how to do a blog to rank.   I think that would help so many newer bloggers.  

Dec 17, 2015 10:35 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

I would like to see what should be included with a listing post, what to include so others get a feel for the area we represent & how long the signature line should and what it should include and last but not least choosing groups to post to and  tag lines.

Dec 17, 2015 09:29 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Have feature to search dated blogs with advanced search capability

Dec 17, 2015 07:45 AM