ActiveRain Challenge: Never Answer the Same Question Twice (5000 points)

There are a TON of Challenges and Encouragement to meet your 2011 New Year's Resolution... but none of them are as easy as this one from Bob.  AND he's paying 5000 points!

Set Up Google Alerts... THIS is one challenge I can do! Yippee!  See you guys on February 11th!

Whether they choose to acknowledge it or not, most agents are doing a form of blogging every day. It's called email. When a client sends them a question via email, they take 10 or 15 minutes (or sometimes much longer) to respond to that person, giving them some of their valuable expertise. They sit at their computer, type up the response, and hit send. Those 15 minutes are wrapped up in a nice bow and delivered to the client, so they can absorb the answer at their own convenience.

Why would you waste that opportunity?

What opportunity? The opportunity to inform any of the millions that go to Google (or their search engine of choice) every day for answers to their questions. You didn't think your client was the only one that ever had that question, did you? When you wrap that little email up with the bow and hit send, you have just informed one person, instead of having the opportunity to inform millions.

For a lot of you reading this, it's old news. You have already bought into blogging as a way of informing your current clients, as well as building a library of content to reach potential clients. But I'm sure there are a few of you that still think, "I don't have time to blog". Or if it's not you, it's the person sitting next to you at the office saying that.

It's hogwash! (HA! I love that word!)

The reality is, you are doing it every day. You are answering questions from your clients via email and choosing to only share with one person, instead of millions.

For our next challenge, I'm asking you to share the emails that your clients are sending you where they are asking for you to explain something to them. And then I'm asking you to answer their question in a blog post. Of course, don't use any personal information, or feel free to change the email a little bit so that doesn't divulge exactly who your client is, or what their particular situation may be.

I'm going to give you until February 11th to submit your blogs. Since the holidays are upon us, and things get hectic this time of year, the extra time will give you plenty of occassion to pull together some questions which your clients have posed. Feel free to go back in your email archive and find questions clients have asked you in the past, where you only emailed them a response instead of created a blog post out of the answer. Keep a sharp eye out over the next month for questions your clients send you that would make for good blog fodder.

Here are some of the more popular questions people have asked in the last 30 days that have landed them on an ActiveRain blog:

  • How to attract great renters
  • How much does it cost to refinance a house
  • How accurate is Zillow Zestimate
  • How does Foreclosure work
  • How much does a septic system cost
  • How much earnest money to put down
  • How to tell if you have Chinese drywall
  • What does BPO stand for
  • What does sale pending mean
  • What does short sale mean
  • What does HOA mean
  • What is an origination fee
  • What qualifies for a short sale
  • What expenses to expect when selling your house
  • When is earnest money check cashed
  • Who pays transfer tax
  • Who chooses the title company
  • Who pays closing costs in a short sale
  • How fast can a turkey run (maybe not your area of expertise, but 15 people landed on AR last month in search of the answer)

These are just a TINY sliver of the questions consumers are asking on a daily basis. Many of these questions are obvious to you, but your clients often have no idea what the answers are. And potentially more important, neither do your future clients.

In addition, many of these questions (or search phrases) show up in our analytics with geographic indicators. 'Who pays transfer tax' is a question that often is followed by 'in (state, county or city)'. So I would encourage you to use geographic terms in your posts that will lead local consumers to you. Remember, like in last challenges, I would encourage you to review Brad's post about writing content consumers will find and, if you are a little new to the site, take the time to take one of our ActiveRain University classes about search engine optimization (SEO).

As in the past, I ask that you don't half-ass your posts and know that if you do, I most likely will not give you any points. In fact, I might take some away. The point of these challenges is not to get points, it is to encourage you to write about things that will help your business. If you throw something together at the last minute and make up some lame question, and give an equally lame answer, just to get the points, that's not going to fly. (it's so dumb I have to say that, but I'm sure a few of you are shaking your head in agreement)

You can do a maximum of 5 of these posts for points. Each post will be worth 1000 points. (But if I were you, I would be doing this type of post all the time) I ask that you leave all the links to your posts at the same time in one comment on this post. I repeat, put all five of your links in one comment on this post. Posts must be submitted by 11:59pm on February 11th. It may be that you write one post a week for the challenge, but don't leave the links as a comment until you have all five done (or if you only do 3, then leave the comment with your links once you have 3 done).

Ready? Set.......Go Answer your client's questions!




  Friends, followers, and connections are the way of the future. 

Follow Me on TwitterFollow Me on FacebookLets get LinkedinMy Outside Blog

 Make sure you check out some of our Facebook Fan Pages Too!

Follow Me on FacebookFollow Me on Facebook

Comment balloon 1 commentEleanor Thorne • December 22 2010 01:33PM


I did my first one last night.  It took me 3-4 times to get it across to a buyer that closing on a Saturday was not an option. 

Posted by Rodney Mason, VP of Mortgage Lending - AL, FL, GA, SC, & TN (Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611) about 9 years ago