ActiveRain Tutorials: Giving Consumers the Content They Need to Make Educated Decisions~ Jeremy's Newest Project

Giving Consumers the Content They Need to Make Educated Decisions~ Jeremy's Newest Project

If you haven't heard by now, we are in 2010, (twenty-ten, two thousand ten, or my favorite, oh-ten) and as this new decade begins I see this year becoming more of a shift in the way consumers gain the information they need as well as how other consumers share their experiences with others.  I read an article the other day about consumer review based site Yelp being offered 500 million from Google to be purchased.  Yelp, The Surge of Consumer Reviewshowever, turned down the offer from Google.

This being said, I really feel that as this year carries forward you will see more companies adopting the principles of consumer based reviews and question/answer sections on their sites.  The other day, I heard of a company called Formspring which allows you to easily add a Q&A to any site that you use.  This is a free service that takes virtually no time to set up, but could be very beneficial to your business.  Why?  Well, it is rather simple:

1.  Gives consumers an easy place to ask you questions about your business or your area.

2.  Gives you the ability to share your knowledge in a non publication type of arena with consumers.

3.  Allows consumers to find answers to other questions they may have without needing to fill out a form & feel as if someone will begin spamming them for business.  They can simply look through past questions & answers and possibly find what they need.

I said all this to get to the point of my post which was to tell everyone about what I have been up to these days. In addition to recently starting my own Social Media Consulting business with Jason Crouch called 210 Consulting, I also recently started a new job as a community manager for a company called SmartHippo.  SmartHippo is a site designed to allow the consumers a place to come and ask questions of lending professionals and receive free top quality answers directly from lenders.

Another awesome feature that SmartHippo offers is a platform for consumers to write reviews of the lender they used to benefit other consumers.  This should help to raise the bar of customer service provided by lenders as well as give other consumers a place to come and Read Lender Reviewsread unbiased opinions of a lender before making the largest decision of their life. A customer can read whether the rate quoted online was the same they received, the loan closed on time, the lender was prompt in returning calls, etc.  SmartHippo's main focus is to empower the consumer with as much knowledge as possible before getting a mortgage through these lender reviews. 

The last thing that SmartHippo allows which I think will be very beneficial to real estate agents is the ability to refer your customers to a site where the buyer can compare ALL the rates available in their area.  Unlike other sites that offer similar things, they will not be selling the leads to the highest bidder.  This means that buyers can see all the rates available in their area and make their own decision based on the reviews of the lender, the Q&A responses of the lender as well as the rate offered by them.

As a real estate agent, I see this being a great new tool to offer to your buyers to assist them make an informed decision on a mortgage as well as keep you from having to "recommend a lender" which we all hate to do for the liability associated with it.  You are no longer needing to make up lists of available lenders to share with a buyer or anything.  We all know how awkward that moment is when the buyer asks you "Which lender would you recommend?" You simply give the buyer a website and allow them to get all the information they need. 

So what are my duties with this new position?  Well, as the community manager, I have a few different roles.  The first is to help build our community through various different social media platforms.  (YouTube Channel, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.)  My other main task right now is to create and manage our community blog that will consist of some of the top bloggers in the lending industry.  This includes writers like Ken Cook, Eleanor Thorne, & John Cannata.  The community blog known as "The Herd" will provide valuable content to buyers who are in the process of purchasing a home. I hope over the next few months to add several other top notch bloggers into the community.

I am really excited to join up with this SmartHippo and am really looking forward to what the future holds.  So, if you are unfamiliar with SmartHippo, please take a few minutes to check out their site here.  I think this can be a great tool for your customers to "Join the Herd, Save Money" as their slogan states.  Also, check back on my blog over the next few weeks as I will keep you updated about some really exciting features & updates of what is happening at SmartHippo!

Visit SmartHippo Now!

I'm a full time Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent that focuses on homes for sale in Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest Real Estate.


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I am also the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors.  I have traveled the country as a social media speaker.  If you would like more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog, please contact me directly.  We specialize in social media training, online consulting, and the creation of your own custom WordPress site.


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Comment balloon 21 commentsJeremy Blanton • January 25 2010 06:04PM


Jeremy - This post is loaded with great information and links.  Formspring, SmartHippo - I'm bookmarking to see how these work with my plan.  Thanks!

Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) over 9 years ago

Good luck with your new ventures Jeremy.  I think you are on the right track BTW.

Posted by Douglas Lovitt (CENTURY 21 North Homes Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

This looks like its definitely on the right track

Thanks for the effort to collect al these great links in one post

Posted by Maria Vaill, Martinez GA, Evans GA, Grovetown GA, Fort Gordon G (ERA Sunrise Realty) over 9 years ago

Jeremy- I agree Yelp can be a force in the social media/community space.  I just open my account with them this past weekend.


Posted by Dora & Vincent Kwok, CNE - Chandler, Arizona Real Estate (HomeSmart Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Susan- Formspring is a lot of fun!  Give it a try!

Douglas & Maria-  Thanks for seeing this project as being on the right track! I think it has huge potential!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 9 years ago

Dora and Vincent- I myself have been so incredibly busy lately that I just found time today to write my first yelp review!  I definitely plan on using it more in the future!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 9 years ago


Sounds like you are hitting the ground running in 2010. Good luck with your new ventures.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 9 years ago

Richard- Running is probably an understatement.  I would say more like sprinting!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 9 years ago

Thanks for the links and information.  I have one question?  When do you sleep?

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 9 years ago

Sharon- Sleep?!?  What is that???

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 9 years ago

Hi Jeremy... Congratulations on your new venture and your new position with SmartHippo.  Why do I have an image of you in a big Hippo costume at trade shows and industry events?

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 9 years ago

Steve-  Sorry, ubt Jeremy doesn't do costumes.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 9 years ago

And what are you going to do in your spare time, Jeremy?  Congratulations on the new position and thanks, as always for the valuable information.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 9 years ago

Online social media and networking has become overwhelming. There's just no way to participate in everything. And I was a member of the YouTube "community" when it was an artsy sub-culture. Google owes me hundreds of dollars! When they bought it, I became part of the partner program.  But it kept getting bigger, and became so mainstream that I bailed. But my videos still have ads running on them. And I still haven't been paid! And Google makes it impossible to reach them. I finally found their physical address and am going to have to take that approach. My other partner-friends are getting there money, so I know there's a problem with my account setup, but I can't fix it =(   And I'm glad Yelp turned them down!

Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) over 9 years ago

Oh Jeremy.... are you sure???  Somehow I bet that if Isabelle wanted you in a costume for her birthday party you'd be in one pretty quickly!

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 9 years ago

Wow, you have been busy. A good busy.

I am just starting to do more with Yelp. I wish we could add photos on the reviews as I usually take them when I visit a good restaurant.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

Spare Time Jane?  What is that?  If I did find some, I would love to spend it on the golf course!  The weather this time of year is perfect for golfing!

Lisa- You need me to send them an email?  Here is what it would say:  Dear Google, Please give Lisa Her Money.  Thanks!

Steve- As previously stated, Jeremy doesn't do costumes.

Missy- I believe you can add pics there, not exactly sure, but I believe it does have that feature now.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 9 years ago

Jeremy, you sure don't  waste any time.  SO much good stuff in one post.  Sounds to me like once you get smarthippo up and running for lenders, you'll be doing a Phase II for realtors.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 9 years ago

How is Yelp different than Trulia as a Q&As platform?

Posted by Catherine Chaudemanche - Edison & Central NJ, Full Time, Informed and Involved- Results Driven (Metuchen Keller Williams Elite Realty / Middlesex County, NJ) over 9 years ago
1st of all ,I like this piece and think more like it should be wrttien by other leaders,and what I'm about to share is only my opion .One of the things that caught my eye when I saw your status on Facebook was that you researched for your denomination about this topic,I think that is the primary concern that causes confusion in the Body of Christ,denominations presents groups,that form their own views ,that causes controversies,that brings about confrontation ,that creates division,that eliminates any opportunity of unification that could bring any resemblance of a body that's working cohesively to build hope for people in dire straights.As long as the the enemy causes these issues in the church ,there can never be real productivity to command change and restore hope ,that gives sinners a chance for salvation,NOTHING PERSONAL ,JUST MY OPION
Posted by Luis about 7 years ago
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Posted by sunnslxzzhe about 7 years ago