Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World

Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World contest is getting a bit testy. Apparently my comments regarding “credibility” were personalized by the contest sponsor. I love his comments “you think you can walk into someone else’s house and tell them to start moving the furniture around because YOU aren’t close enough to the TV”

Hey pal, I didn’t walk into your house, you invited us to be in this contest to “learn something from one another”. Did you mean learn something from you? Sorry…I thought it was a come as you are party.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

49 thoughts on “Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World

  1. LOL, you have to go to a different blogpost to watch the whiners who don’t get that “credibility” is a blog term vs. a personal trait. or lack thereof. That’s what happens when people try to take blogging and RE blogging in particular, off on a Win/Lose mode.

    There is no place for Win/Lose in the blogosphere – Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World is not a competition, it’s a way of life.

    Loved that quote though. So much for the contest really being about learning. So very Swann-like.

  2. I liked the part where the guy demanded that you prove your credibility yet you’ve already done that by being at or near the top of google with the search term “greatest real estate agent in the world.”


  3. Like a child stamping their feet at the candy display at the check out lane, no less.

    He didn’t remotely get the point that moderated comments diminish credibility as it suggests you only let certain ones through. That has nothing to do with him or his site, it is a comment to those in the contest who are supposedly trying to learn something. I guess what they want people to learn is that they are GREAT, they being the people hosting the contest. Whatever…

    I guess I’m “poisoning the well” again. Like I’ve never heard that before.

  4. I read it that in defending moderation he was saying that he was protecting his turf from persons writing taunting, vulgar, hostile, or defamatory comments. Does that equate to limiting freedom of speech? I think not, your microphone is loud and clear! Does the moderation make one less than credible? I would think that 100% of the fortune 500 and 99.9% of the business’s have a need to protect themselves from letting someone run loose within their property. I don’t see that this business person would be any different. I think a person should be able to freely moderate an outlet that he is responsible for without criticism. Suppose there were derogatory posts that attacked a protected class within one of these comments, would this person stand liable for discrimination within his domain even if he were not responsible for the comment? Is he not responsible for the content of the site? Would having an unmoderated comment section mean that he condoned any possible discriminatory comments? I leave my comment sections in moderation mode so that I don’t have clients, customers, friends, or family see materials that are offensive or less than wholesome placed in the territory I am responsible for by some kook that I do not know of and who may be wishing harm on me or a class at large. For those seeking something offensive or less than wholesome, we know that it is available to them, but that freedom to express ones self is not necessarily in the living room of another. IMHO 🙂

  5. Cal…it just is not the kind of activity you would expect to see on a site that gives advices to real estate agents.

    Could you imagine an agent who screens all of their calls and lets them go to voice mail first? Same principle.

    It’s not a criticism in the sense that there’s a right or wrong answer. Blog Credibility is important and credibility diminishes the more the comments are moderated. Just a fact. Not MY fact. A fact.

    But then there’s the Swann-like style of blogging “my property!” LOL

  6. Jillayne,

    Clearly my credibility doesn’t live or die with how this dumb contest ends up. I feel like a stuck my finger in a socket that was camoflouged as a nail dryer.

  7. Blog Credibility is important and credibility diminishes the more the comments are moderated. Just a fact. Not MY fact. A fact.

    Ardell – I’m not here to get into a spitting match, I’ve just heard you lay this claim a couple of times. Do you have a source where we can verify this fact?

  8. Derek,

    “remove” being the keyword there. It’s one thing to remove a comment, it’s another to have them screened before posting. It’s like the secretary asking “who’s calling” before she will answer whether or not someone is in. Once she says that…you don’t believe her answer.

  9. I used to screen my comments on my personal blog when it (or I) was new…guess I was just getting the feel of blogging. I no longer screen them however, on my blog you have to do the “captcha”…which even I have to do when I’m commenting on my own blog.

  10. I posted this in the other post, but it is probably more appropriate here.
    Do you know what a red herring is? You keep saying I don’t “Get it” regarding moderated comments. I am certainly capable and willing to listening to your point of view regarding moderated comments but that is the issue you would like to make this into, as opposed to what my issue with you actually is.

    So if you truly want to “understand” where I am coming from and start over I am completely willing to do so. So please do me the courtesy of reading this comment in it’s entirety.

    This blog post was the first time I had even heard of you – when I came here and read it I thought to myself “wow that isn’t very nice I was trying to contribute a prize that I thought others would appreciate and she is ripping me a new one for it” but I tried to be objective and see it from your point of view, and certainly I can appreciate you not being familiar with REW websites (Or the very high demand for them) might assume the worst and may just be on the looking for your own – so I ammended the prize so that it met with your approval. Instead of a “wow someone who can actually take criticism and instead of getting upset with what could be seen as an attack, instead takes measures to address the issues being discussed” – perhaps you may have spoken to soon here? Perhaps the correct thing to do would have been to append an update to the article itself, or change it altogether as the entire premise was moot, but I am in “your” house currently so will not begin to start telling you what to do, especially because you never asked me to.

    The next time I encountered you, was your comments on my blog.

    Here is IN order what bothered me about your comments:

    #1: Hijacking: For clarity purposes I will define this for you as it applies to REW forums and blogs. Hijacking is when an individual attempts to “hijack” a thread, post or series of comments with a subject completely unrelated to the article being discussed or the subsequent comments that follow. Characterized as “off topic” “low quality / relevance” and “negative / unprofessional” – I still fail to see what my choosing to moderate comments on my blog (Only for non registered members) has to do with the contest or any other part of the discussion.

    #2: Negativity: For the second time out of 2 that I had encountered you, you had nothing constructive to add to the conversation and you seemed to be choosing to focus on a negative to draw attention to yourself. If you make your first comment on someone else’s blog a rude off topic criticism, how do you expect the author to respond? The guest in another persons house analogy is quite apt in blogging – if you walk into someone’s house a stranger (Invited by a friend or not) and start disrespecting their home and guests, you really should expect to get tossed, don’t you think? (Ironically, you were not, and all of your comments came through just as they were written)

    #3: Arrogance: You write as if you are an authority and “seemingly” with the expectation that everyone knows and respects you. I don’t know you, and thus I have nothing to gauge you on except what you write, and this is what you wrote “You just lost credibility with me due to the moderated comment feature…The general public rarely reads comment moderated blogs.”

    No one asked you for your opinion with regards to my commenting policy at REW blogs, and your comment was completely irrelevant to the discussion – even so I still responded explaining why our policy was in place and also clarified for you because you were a new commenter that “If you have an REW Blog account comments are automatically posted with no moderation. Comments are only moderated for “non” members”

    And yes, I did say that your “very authoritative statement was laughable at best” the reason I said this was #1 because you are not an authority #2 because you provided no evidence to support your statement (Which once again was off topic and rude) and #3 because you are just plain wrong. I made reference to the fallacy of red herring at the beginning of this comment, but per the “appeal to authority” fallacy is more apt.

    Anyways – I could be wrong, and will admit freely when I am, so perhaps you would be so kind (As I invited you to previously) to support your claim? Forgive me but we are in a “burden of proof” situation here.

    Perhaps you would like to point me to a Realtor blog (Maybe even your own) where the “general public” makes up the majority of commentors? Or perhaps there is an emperical study of return readership of non member visitation based on the existence of comment moderation (Or lack there of)

    Ok – there is my little rant

    You said in your last comment:

    “I seriously think you guys just don’t get the point about moderated comments. It truly is not this big of a deal, so where’s the real beef coming from?”

    Here is where your red herring lies – This is not about moderated comments Ardell, this is about YOU – you are pretentious, arrogant and rude, you rub people the wrong way with your attitude and negativity. As much as you would like to shift the focus away from your own behavior and inadequecies by changing the subject – the fact remains, you have been nothing but unkind to me (A person you have never taken the time to get to know) for no reason other than the fact that it gets you attention.

    (And just so you don’t have to look it up) “A red herring is a metaphor for a diversion or distraction from an original objective.”

  11. Jeepers. Never seen anyone get their panties so twisted out of shape about something as simple (and generally unimportant) as moderated comments. There are bigger things to be concerned about.

    “the reason I said this was #1 because you are not an authority”

    Uh, yeah Morgan, Ardell kinda is. Perhaps not on the technical aspects of real estate blogging so much, but certainly on the implementation and success side of it.

    25 Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers: 2007

    (and before anyone tees off on me, there is plenty more to support Ardell as a real estate blogging authority that some Inman article.)

    Am I the only one that sees irony in Morgan pointing out the rules in “his house” and then coming into “someone elses” house and ranting?

  12. @Jay – I don’t think the issue is moderated comments. Read (don’t scan) Morgan’s post again…he outlines what his issue is. Everyone here is smart enough to understand what the problem was/is.

    Just to put that issue to bed, though: Unless someone can find a case study, I think we all should review this link:

    Good link on the inman article. I definitely agree that Ardell is an authority in the However, having an authority position doesn’t give you license to make claims that you can’t back up, or that you back up w/ a broad generalization of “I know so b/c of experience.”

    Any time I make a claim that I truly believe, but can’t back up w/ any evidence, I toss in “IMHO” to get it kicked off. Even though, in some circles, I would be considered an authority on a couple of subjects. This, IMHO, is how you blog & differentiate fact & opinion.

  13. Jay,

    Your input is much appreciated. This is all just part of the WEB 2.0 learning curve for Morgan. We learn from the people who comment on our blogs or we say “How dare you – who the hell are you to tell me HERE in “my property!”

    Not any different than the whole Greg Swann thing when you think about it.

    If you can’t learn from those who comment on your blog, you shouldn’t have a blog.

    One of the commenters from whom I learned much was the guy who said “Sheesh! Did you say the word “I” enough times in that post?!” I thanked him profusely and was and still am grateful for his input. I didn’t ask him to prove he was an authority on what he was teaching me. I learned from it. Now count the “I”s in that paragraph 🙂 Still I notice every time, and try to keep them down in the posts if not the comments. What a wonderful thing it is when someone notes their reactions in real time. It is a gift to me from him, and I much appreciate it to this day.

    The contest’s claim was that it was supposed to be a learning and sharing experience. We have adequately uncovered that apparently is not the case.

  14. I could be wrong, but I think you may have attracted a mentally unstable stalker, Ardell. The dude has written several novel length posts on several forums about a minor quip you made two weeks ago.

    The only bright-side is he’s 2000 miles away. That’s not going to help you avoid him in the ether, however.

    I recommend placation and soothing tones, and maybe he’ll find more interesting prey to latch on to.

  15. Your’e rigth Eric. Seems Morgan’s issue isn’t what Ardell said about moderation.

    To quote Morgan:

    This is not about moderated comments Ardell, this is about YOU – you are pretentious, arrogant and rude, you rub people the wrong way with your attitude and negativity. As much as you would like to shift the focus away from your own behavior and inadequecies by changing the subject – the fact remains, you have been nothing but unkind to me (A person you have never taken the time to get to know) for no reason other than the fact that it gets you attention

    Again though, the irony is stunning…

    “you are pretentious, arrogant and rude, you rub people the wrong way with your attitude and negativity.”

    Here Morgan, who said himself he’d never heard of Ardell before this, is judging her character based on two comments. And in “her house” no less. (Morgan’s term, not mine).

    “other than the fact that it gets you attention” (my emphasis)

    That’s not a fact, that’s Morgan’s opinion.

    Oh the irony. What’s that saying? something about the pot calling the kettle black?

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  17. Biliruben,

    Can we have your opinion please? Are you less likely to comment on a blog that sends your comment to moderation vs. posting it instantaneously? I think one has to be long term and very interested in a blog to become a member just to post without moderation. In fact for a long time I did not post comments on Seattle Bubble that I otherwise would have, had I not had to register in order to comment. I broke that stance when the conversation in the forum was about me and my house and that compelled me to want to be int he conversation. Otherwise I would have read only what I could read without being a member and without commenting.

    What are your opinions as to moderated comments? I would very much appreciate your thoughts, and hope it doesn’t get you flamed for responding. Blog readers are the experts on that issue IMNSHO.

  18. “and had friends encourage others to link to her with specific anchor text with the other”

    Jeez, what a liar. If my friends encouraged anyone to link to me, it clearly was not I who “had” them do that. What is their problem? Did I say “hey everyone link to this post and get your friends to link to this post too?” Of course not. If people linked to it and encouraged others to do so, it was not at my urgence for sure.

    I think this is a case of accusing me of what they themselves do, as in “it takes one to know one”.

  19. Jay,

    Is it possible they are just espousing the Greg Swann rule of driving traffic to their contest entries by creating controversy where it doesn’t exist? Can this be a Black Hat SEO move on their part as part of the contest? That would make sense from the perspective of the contest itself and winning it and one of them clearly defended Greg’s position at BHB over Dustin’s and others on Dustin’s viewpoint. Are they learning from the Master of dressing down people for high ranking puroses?

  20. “Can we have your opinion please? Are you less likely to comment on a blog that sends your comment to moderation vs. posting it instantaneously?”

    Sure, since you asked.

    As anyone who has read here for a while knows, I don’t often agree with Ardell, but I do in this circumstance. I’m not a Realtor, I am a prospective client, so my opinion might perhaps be relevant to those looking for clients.

    If a site requires that my comment go through a gatekeeper, unless it’s “The Greatest Site in The World ™”, I will quickly stop visiting the site. It turns me off something awful. I’d rather they not allow comments at all.

    I’m telling you Ardell. Be careful in treading down this path. I’ve smelled this smell before, and I smell psycho.

  21. Maybe we could get Craig Blackmon, Esquire, real estate attorney and member of the Rainy City Guide to make a guest appearance on this thread and give his legal opinion of liability that may be incurred by owners of sites from unmoderated blogging. It would be nice if he would also tell us how he might advise a client that was torn between allowing his site to be unmoderated.

    Thanks! 🙂

    I think there are a few Realtor blog posters that need to review their Code of Ethics and get some authority on that. It appears to me that there must be some deals getting destroyed by their agents aggresiveness, one upsmanship, pettiness, and mean spiritedness. I won’t call any names, look in the mirror. I have learned absolutely nothing about real estate or blogging here and am sorry I was distracted by this thread. It fills my inbox with vile vitriole with no redeeming value. How do you cut off the new comment notification?

  22. Ardell asks: “Is it possible they are just espousing the Greg Swann rule of driving traffic to their contest entries by creating controversy where it doesn’t exist? Can this be a Black Hat SEO move on their part as part of the contest?”

    I wouldn’t call creating controversy to drive traffic Black Hat SEO. Black hat is something that generally: 1) breaks search engine rules and regs; or is 2) deceptive to user and search engines.

    I don’t see creating controversy as fitting either of those. Controversy, and “link baiting” aren’t Black Hat techniques.

    I personally don’t care for it, but that’s just me. (well, me and a lot of other people. But many see nothing wrong with it).

    As for their motives. I have no idea. And to be honest, don’t really care.

    Cal asked: “How do you cut off the new comment notification?”

    There is a link at the bottom of teh email notification Cal. Click that and it will take you to a place you can uncheck any threads you don’t want to get notification of.

    I’d love to hear a true attorney opine on comments and liability. I’ve read a lot about it, but am always looking for more.

    Posts on my blog are placed immediately (unless caught in the spam filter). But that doesn’t mean I don’t “moderate” comments. The spam filter isn’t 100%. I’ll delete spam, blatant advertising and exceptionally bad language. That’s about it.

  23. Interesting.

    ABC Blog author Jerry posts a blog. ABC Blog author Bob posts a dissenting opinion and he includes the citation. ABC Blog author Paul’s credentials indicate he is an expert in his field. Paul posts a comment agreeing with Bob. Jerry takes Bob’s comment as a personal attack. Offline, Jerry tells Bob knock it off.

    It smacks of de facto moderation to me.

  24. How did I become a stalker? I have only ever responded to 2 of Ardells blog posts, and both of them were targeting me in a negative manner – admittedly, I should not let myself get goaded so easily, but seriously Jay and the rest of you – how is it you are all so confused that you think I am upset with Ardell or commenting here because of a comment I disagreed with on my blog? I am upset with Ardell because she keeps writing negative blog posts about me – that are to quote myself “uncalled for”

    You guys really need to get off the moderated comments thing, that is not what this is about at all.

    And just to clarify – everything I have stated I personally feel about Ardell is “my” opinion, not fact – (Just so we are clear) I do think that she is rude, arrogant and an egomaniac. JMHO not facts 🙂

    But Jay this is not the kettle calling the pot black – Ardell is more than welcome to comment (On topic) at my blog as is anyone else – and seeing as I am the topic over here I must be on topic right? 😉

    Perhaps I should feel honored that with all her amazing blogging authority and abilities, it took one simple mention of something “good” I was doing for others (That she chose to take the contrarian position on) now holds the all time record for participation for one of her blog posts – honored is probably not the right word.

    Ardell, you can try to make your readers believe that I am upset with you because I disagree with your opinion about moderated comments or that I am attempting to draw attention the some SEO contest all you like but your readership is hopefully a lot smarter than that.

    The fact of the matter is (Figure of speech, this is actually my opinion)
    You chose to write a negative blog about me that became very popular, (Your most popular post ever) you have now followed it up with another negative blog post about me – (Likely to be just as popular) – but at the end of the day, all you have done is shown that you are willing to compromise good taste and dare I say ethics by choosing “attention” over “class”.

    OK – I told Judy, I wouldn’t post here any more – so I should probably get back to work

  25. “I personally don’t care for it, but that’s just me. (well, me and a lot of other people. But many see nothing wrong with it).”

    It’s nice to see that you agree with me on this one Jay 🙂
    Thanks (Off to unsubscribe)

  26. I probably agree with you on more than you realize Morgan. I have a tremendous respect for REW.

    I have no respect and zero tolerence for personal attacks. And IMHO, putting in print something like:

    …Ardell, this is about YOU – you are pretentious, arrogant and rude, you rub people the wrong way with your attitude and negativity. As much as you would like to shift the focus away from your own behavior and inadequecies by changing the subject…

    Is a personal attack, whether justifed or not (and I’m not saying it is or is not justified).

  27. Fair enough Jay, admittedly I am upset with Ardell and her attempts to use my name for her link bait (Again opinion) – but you are right that I really should refrain from behaving anywhere near like the persons I take issue with. Two wrongs don’t make a right and thus Ardell if my comments have offended you, you have my permission (Because you don’t believe in moderation) to delete anything you feel may be a personal attack.

    I’m done here – Thanks again Jay

  28. Thank you Biliruben.

    To Morgan and others, I asked Biliruben to respond because my source of information is experience and the opinions of people like Biliruben who have taught me about moderated comments. I was passing that on to Morgan to benefit him and to share knowledge that I learned from my experience over the last 2+ years of blogging.

    Honestly Morgan, I was trying to be helpful to not only you, but the other contestants, when referencing the issue of comment moderation. To me once you set something in motion, like this contest, so all can learn, the topics we learn unfold as they do. Clearly as many have pointed out, what I can share in knowledge to the others are things I have learned from my experience of blogging. So I gave of what I had. It really is that simple.

    To quote Biliruben:

    “If a site requires that my comment go through a gatekeeper, unless it’s “The Greatest Site in The World ™

  29. This seems like pretty obvious link bait here. Isn’t this whole contest about linking anyway?

    Pretty simple plan.
    Start a bait post complaining about the contest. If it stirs up controversy (and linkage), you’re in a good position to win. If it doesn’t, well, it was a lame contest anyway.

    The last post went well, so… rinse and repeat.

  30. <p>Amused Onlooker,</p>
    <p>I don’t disagree though that was not my intent on either count. As to the first post, it was my entry. As to the subject matter of my first post, it was my actual sentiment regarding the prize. I thought, “Hey, why would I want a prize that costs me thousands of dollars in the long run.” It truly was just how I perceived the prize. I am happy that Morgan changed the prize accordingly so whomever wins does not have to pay for their prize. My thoughts = positive result. So far so good. It had nothing to do with being contrary to gain attention and thus win. It simply was my honest thoughts at the time. I am what is called “a stream of consciousness blogger” and so that is simply my style of blogging to say what is on my mind at that moment. That is not a change for this contest.</p>
    <p>The second entry was a test to see if the initial posts will take position automatically and by how much and also I am not linking to that second post from my other blogs to see if they simply fall flat. I may link to that second one later in the contest after I study how it floats up or doesn’t in Google for a bit.</p>
    <p>So I am simply participating in the manner that I do…with no link bait attempts as to my demeanor. or tone of post. That is simply stream of consciousness like Reality TV. It’s what I am thinking at the time that I am posting.

  31. Makes it easier to excuse Morgan’s behavior, it’s tough not to respond to a troll.
    It reminds me of Casey Serin’s blogging tactics.

  32. Slotted,

    That looks like a cheap shot aimed at Morgan. Unless you can expound on why that is funny from your persepctive, I’m going to pop it out. We don’t know “Morgan and his posse” other than from what has been happening here, and would appreciate the enlightenment.

    The issue of moderated comments is regarding whether a post shows instantaneously or not. Every decent site deletes spam, commericals, pure flaming and pot shots. So unless you can give a more knowledge building response from your post above…it is a pot shot.

  33. It was a shot, but it wasn’t cheap.

    Morgan is famous for censorship on his forum, unless it involves his group blasting others. Several of those that have commented on your blog in these two threads are his fanboys. They can blast you, but you can’t say anything about them. Sound familiar?

  34. When regarding moderated comments, I much prefer unmoderated.

    Waiting for a comment to publish after approval kills discussion, and there are few blogs that could garner worthwhile discussion with moderated comments. They are out there, but rare.

  35. Amused Onlooker,

    We have thrown some commenters into auto-moderation for bad behavior from time to time. It’s like one of the hockey players in the penalty box for x minutes. Then they come out and act differently or go back into auto-moderation. That system has worked well for us.

  36. Wow, what a train wreck. This whole comment thread reminds me of a football team in the locker room arguing over who has the biggest penis. I hope you get it all settled before any home buyers show up. I wouldn’t buy an outhouse from any of you.

    /headed for the shower

  37. Austin,

    Not that I disagree with you, but many if not most of the people commenting on this thread are not in the real estate industry. They are in the industry of selling services to people in the industry.

    Selling TO agents is a huge industry. So huge I’m wondering what segment of the GNP it is. Any real estate blog that only talks about the industry from the perspective of buyers and sellers of homes, would be incomplete without a post here and there addressing the industry that sells TO agents. That segment is at least partially responsible for the commission structure, and for commissions not reducing as technology made things a bit easier for agents.

    Everyone looks for the cost savings to consumers for the expansion of technology. When technology adds too much to the agent’s cost of doing business, the consumer keeps ending up with the short end of the stick, time and again.

  38. Let’s assume we all agree that it is a train wreck. The ethics of blogging suggests that you don’t delete posts or close it off to comments just because it’s going sideways. So what would be the alternative to letting it get buried by new posts?

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  40. I noticed that you are moderating your comments now. Good move as there sure are lots of very mean spirited people coming to your blog and others wanting to post very defaming & untrue information.

    I read some of the comments made about commentors on your blog and wondered just how far they were from being sued for their defaming words and their actions on the internet. Some of these people are truely EVIL people who will stop at nothing to take done their precieved foe. They would be well advised to stick to their own knitting and forget what others are doing before they find themselves needing attornies to defend their vendictive actions.

    These several people know who they are, they have been on the attack for a long time, and their anger and dark thoughts show.

  41. Steven,

    We do not have “moderated’ comments on Rain City Guide, which is a function of moderating comments before they are posted.

    We always delete spam, profanity and WAY off topic comments.

    There was once a spammer who got the bright idea to post very interesting comments, but they had nothing at all to do with the post topic. A brilliant spamming strategy, but we finally decided they were spam comments.

    We also have askimet which is an automatic filter. And once in a while we put a certain person in moderation if they post profanity more than once or if they just are too mean spirited to add anything of value.

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