The Value That is ActiveRain: An April Challenge

By
Real Estate Agent with Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 REB.0759001

The Value That is ActiveRain

The Challenge this month, sponsored by Debe Maxwell and Margaret Rome is to offer up what ActiveRain means to us. I prefer to describe it as the value it adds to my business and my life.

Back in 2008, I received a call from a loan officer I knew encouraging me to check out this site called ActiveRain. He was responsible for his company's online presence and appreciated that he could blog and ping and get a quick response from the Google-bots for positioning.

At the time, he could have been speaking a foreign language for what I knew about blogging, much less blog and ping.

And thus began the adventure.

As so many do, I lurked for the longest time just trying to appreciate what it was about. Those people that did post blogs, seemed to have special writing abilities far beyond my capabilities and I would not even dare to make a comment for fear of coming off as foolish. 

In time, that changed. A rain ride into New York City to attend a RainCamp and attend what had to be the most intense lecture I had ever experienced. And as I looked around the attendees, everyone was diligently writing and taking photos of the stage as information was spewed from the speakers.

I could not have imagined a 7 hour lecture where no one was bored ad all felt that it ended too soon. Let's compare notes, send me what you have and it was a meet and greet and please share your notes event as well.

With me, this played out 5 times as I attended the subsequent Rain Camps in Boston, Atlantic City, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Not because I was a slow learned, but it was like going to a reunion to meet the gang and catch up in person. 

Each session allowed me to learn more and collect what I missed at a previous camp. The art of blogging was presented with the appreciation for Google Analytics to get the right titles; long tail tags to reach a specific target audiences, and a blog and ping that would be effective and carry to the top of page 1 where the big money players tried to capture real estate leads.

Of course there was always the other members. To encourage more interaction the Platform encouraged Meet-ups within regions and even offered additional points for attending. Like that was a needed incentive!

The interaction between the people at all of these events was more like a big family reunion. People would catch up on the rest of the family; learn about new children or grandchildren; offer comfort to a member whose spouse wasn't doing so well. or just appreciate a few moments with people that are only seen as a photo connected to a blog post.

Of course there are the intangibles such as education; advances in technology, and a database of names that offers the best referral network in real estate.

Education:  We learned to be effective bloggers. We had challenges to write all manner of localism posts that was a way of being the source for all things in the area as well as a proficient real estate agent.

Technology:  Some of the members would offer up information on new tools that were coming out and how they would enable us to be more effective. Not only the tools, but also different apps, which at the time were just tools, that allowed us to change the view of our posts to make them more attractive and easier to read.

Referral Base:  At the time, my national brand offered me a list of names across the country to use for sending referrals. That required a bit of effort to get to know the other agent in order to make it a better experience for the client we were sending their way, some of whom may even have been a close friend or family. Usually a blind experience. Yet with ActiveRain, a check of the area would give names and a few reads of their blogs gave us a better appreciation of the agent and the manner in which they would do business. Always first for me was the ActiveRain referral base.

While the platform is not the same today as it once was, it still carries a great deal of importance for real estate online. It is a strong brand and the bots will still come here regularly to glean information. We are told, and hope it will be the reality that years of changes to the core technology of the site are being re-worked and the anticipation is that it will be brought current and once again the strength will be as great as it once was.

A part of the Challenge was to include some visuals, in the form of collages. It took some time, but my visuals are of the ActiveRain members I have met personally during my 14 years on the site. To me, they are all Hall of Famers and I hope to add to it as time goes on.

The Value That is ActiveRain

 

Posted by

 

Edward (Ed) Silva
Broker Associate

Serving Central Connecticut Sellers and Buyers

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Comments (36)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Ed - you have certainly traveled far as a former (and fellow) lurker.  

Apr 27, 2022 05:57 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Great post...it's crazy what positive things have come from this.

Apr 27, 2022 06:09 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Ed Silva  You found all the pictures I was looking for! You said it all so well and I am so Happy this post was featured. We have learned so much and made so many dear friends. I have been looking for pictures of Brad Andersohn  I know I had some, Thank you for a brilliant post. Have a wonderful Day 

Apr 27, 2022 08:47 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Ed,

I never attended a Rain Camp. I could see the benefit of doing so.  You have met a lot of Rainers over the years, some faces I remember.  What a wonderful accomplishment.

Apr 27, 2022 09:25 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Hi Ed,

What a nice travel through time. And an enjoyable read with familiar faces. 

Apr 28, 2022 12:08 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Friday morning, Ed.

Have a great day and an outstanding weekend.

Apr 29, 2022 06:26 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Grant Schneider   I have been most fortunate that my travels gave allowed me to do mini meet-ups.

Brian England   All things are possible, as we still have the National Parks in Utah on our bucket list

Apr 29, 2022 07:36 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Nina Hollander, Broker   yes, Raincamps had something to do with it, but also as noted this past February, when close, it is just a matter of reaching out.

Roy Kelly, I am trying to remember if we may have met when I went to the RainCamp in Washington DC

Apr 29, 2022 07:38 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Joan Cox   The platform has changed a bit due to the different needs of the previous owners Only time will tell if it goes back to the strength of SEO it once carried.

Kathy Streib   As with so much in life it is a matter of deciding it's something one wants to do and then taking the opportunity.  Yiu are one of the Rainers that got away as I reached out to you when visiting my nephew in Wellington but we couldn't get together

Apr 29, 2022 07:41 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Carol Williams   life offers opportunities as well as bumps.  Maybe we will get to ride off the first fairway together at some point in the future.

George Souto   I know I have left out a lot just for not finding the photos to jog the memory

Apr 29, 2022 07:44 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker   Maybe if the platform does get organized and better stabilized, a national meet-up at a NAR convention has a possibility.

Sharon Tara   It's quite possible that we crossed paths in Boston if that's the RainCamp you attended.  I drove up with George Souto  and Valerie Osterhoudt 

Apr 29, 2022 07:47 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Jeff Dowler, CRS   it was with your help that I got to meet the CA crew at a meet-up. We also shared a dinner with Rainers here in CT.

Debe Maxwell, CRS   We have the opportunity to meet again in the future as we try to visit with the family in Asheville on our way south

Apr 29, 2022 07:50 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400   I was very fortunate to meet you in DC more so as you were one of the guest speakers and would agree to chat with a lowly blogger like myself.  Kerrie was special and she had an energy about here that just made her shine. I'm sure she is still that same person wherever she's currently working.

I also have this one, a little more sensitive, taken at the Philly RainCamp

Apr 29, 2022 07:54 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP   Thank you for the kind words. I just took advantage of the opportunities presented and maybe also created a few opportunities.

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400   I don't think it's a matter of not being on the platform as the posts are still there.  They are just working their magic differently

Apr 29, 2022 07:57 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Kat Palmiotti   I did find a couple of you in the mix as well, but the clarity wasn't what I wanted.

Michael Jacobs   I do believe there were a lot of lurkers early on and may well be a lot of them currently.  There is no rule as to what makes a proper blog and practice makes better if not perfect

Apr 29, 2022 08:00 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Erik Hiss   A lot of effort was expended by early bloggers to try and make this the power platform we once knew and are trying to return to.

Hannah Williams   The Philly RainCamp was a long day for Dagny and myself as we started out in the dark to make it down there on time and it was dark when I finally got home as well.

Apr 29, 2022 08:02 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®   I was not as attentive when we visited AZ especially as we stopped for a few of days in Sedona. I also missed a chance to meet with Carra Riley in Williams AZ and was actually playing golf on a course where her back yard was on one of the holes.

Steffy Hristova   Thank you, this challenge, allowed me to relive some fond days with big smiles on my face.

Roy Kelley, and a tagless good Friday morning to you as well.

Apr 29, 2022 08:07 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate Brokered by Real - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

ActiveRain is so much more than just a real estate platform, it is a people place! What an amazing amount of ActiveRain members that you have met Ed. I remember planning for the next AR Meet-Up and it was announced there would be no more. Was so disappointed but understand the cost behind such events.

Hope you make it to southern Utah eventually and golf!

May 02, 2022 06:40 PM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

Ed Silva what a wonderful avenue to travel down Memory Lane!  Whether it iwas yesterday, today or tomorrow many of us have held the spirit of the AR community close to our hearts😎

May 03, 2022 07:41 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!   Any opportunity to meet other Rainers should be taken even if it means a little bit of driving.  I know we still want to see some of the Natural National treasures in Utah: Zion, Bryce, Arches, and you.

Eileen Burns    It is a very special place and all hold the friendships here very dear to our hearts

May 03, 2022 08:29 AM