1 Year Anniversary With ActiveRain - Reflections, Observations & Questions

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Christian Real Estate Network & SpeakMyLanguage

Today is my 1 year anniversary on ActiveRain… and I have some observations I’d like to share, and questions I’d like to ask the ActiveRain community.

It has been an interesting ride.  I remember my first week vividly... I wrote like a mad man.  In the first 4 days, I wrote 3 posts per day, and hit 10,000 points in that first week.  I was addicted to the points, but most of all I was addicted to the community.  Name one other place on the internet for the real estate community where you can come on as a beginner, post something, and have 100 comments in 24 hours.  It’s unbelievable.

ActiveRain has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings in the summer of ‘06.  We have seen many people come and go.  We’ve seen many members that began blogging on AR become top bloggers around the country.  We’ve seen Project Blogger, member carnivals, member contests, many great upgrades, and 40,000 new members.

Here are some of my observations and reflections on the AR community:

  • Many critics discount the value of ActiveRain as a lead generation source citing that very few buyers and sellers are actually reading.  I say: “nuts to that”.  So what if there aren’t a large number of consumers on the site… there are opportunities galore if you know how to look for them.  And by the way; I’ve never heard Jon, Matt, or Caleb tout the great success of ActiveRain as a lead generation source.  It’s a community!
  • For the beginning real estate blogger, ActiveRain is still the best place to start.  I’ve been happy to refer hundreds of people to activerain that have never blogged before.  It’s easy to get started, it helps beginners get their feet wet, the SEO results are quite good, and you have a whole community behind you willing to help.
  • ActiveRain groups are one of the most undervalued and underused parts of the community.  They are a fantastic place to learn tips, tricks, and ideas.  I look at my group as an example.  As a one stop shop to get news and tips on internet marketing for the real estate professional, it works very well because it filters out posts so you don’t have to look through a long list of postings for a particular day to find what you’re looking for.
  • ActiveRain is currently the greatest opportunity on the web for vendors looking for real estate agent customers.  It’s a gold mine out there.  45,000 hungry real estate professionals all online and looking for new ideas and networking opportunities.  You couldn’t ask for a better place to market your real estate related services.
  • ActiveRain is currently the greatest opportunity on the web for real estate agents looking for referral business.  I’m not necessarily talking about AR’s new Referral Exchange.  I’m talking about relationships.  Networking opportunities.  Friendships.  I’ve never seen so many people come together as a community online than with the members of AR.  There’s camaraderie.  What a beautiful opportunity to create referral business.
  • One of the best places online to get free real estate advice, and “insider” tips on internet marketing from some of the vendors that are willing to share.  The thousands upon thousands of posts that have been written are a gold mine of information.  If you’re doing research for a real estate related post, ActiveRain search is one of the best places to go.
  • I’ve always been really impressed at the speed in which new enhancements and services are rolled out.  This was especially true in the early days.  I remember when someone would write a post, or post a thread in the forum about a bug or new feature, and most of the time these were addressed in hours, not days.  More recently with the addition of Q&A, groups, localism and referrals, the design and functionality are all very good.  The development team has really done a great job.

 

And now… it’s your turn to reflect on your time with ActiveRain.  Here are some questions you can feel free to answer in the comments section of this post:

   1. Name Yourself
   2. Are you a real estate agent, loan officer, vendor, other?
   3. How long have you been a member of AR?
   4. What do you view as the greatest benefit of being a member of AR (including Localism)?
   5. Have you ever met another AR member in person?
   6. Have you ever received any direct buyer or seller leads from AR?
   7. Have you ever received a buyer/seller referral from another member?
   8. If you are a vendor, have you ever received leads/inquiries/sales from real estate professionals on AR?
   9. Have you you noticed your ActiveRain posts/pages in the search engine results pages for your keywords?
  10. Why are you involved in AR?  1.community 2.buyer/seller leads 3.referrals from other members 4.other (please explain)

 

Thank you to all the staff at ActiveRain for a great year!



Justin Smith

Real Estate Tomato Coach

Christian Real Estate Network

 

 

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Rainer
455,369
Jacqulyn Richey
Prominent Realty Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate
Congrats on your anniversary. I have to agree with you about the updates. Matt, Ben, et al have done a wonderful job of listening to the community and responding to their suggestions. We joined in June of 06 when there were just a few thousand members. The growth has been phenominal. -Charles
Sep 11, 2007 10:05 PM #17
Rainer
136,920
Kimberly Grant
Exit Leon Crawford Realty - Huntsville, AL
Real Estate Agent - Huntsville Alabama

Justin, its good to see you back!!!  You have returned with a fabulous post!!

1. Name Yourself  Kimberly Grant
2. Are you a real estate agent, loan officer, vendor, other? Real Estate Agent
3. How long have you been a member of AR?  4 Months
4. What do you view as the greatest benefit of being a member of AR (including Localism)?  All the great information we have to access and all the outstanding professionals we get to know
5. Have you ever met another AR member in person? Only the ones I knew before joining
6. Have you ever received any direct buyer or seller leads from AR? Yes 
7. Have you ever received a buyer/seller referral from another member?  Yes and No-- I was contacted for a referral but it was not an area in which I specialized so I referred the referral to someone I know very well that handles the types of transactions they were seeking
8. If you are a vendor, have you ever received leads/inquiries/sales from real estate professionals on AR? N/A
9. Have you you noticed your ActiveRain posts/pages in the search engine results pages for your keywords? YES YES AND YES 
10. Why are you involved in AR?  1.community 2.buyer/seller leads 3.referrals from other members 4.other All of the Above... its almost impossible to separate one from the other.  The benefits of being a member and the results that I see that help my business keep me coming back day after day!

Sep 11, 2007 10:54 PM #18
Anonymous
Ian Mariano

 

  I agree with with every point you raised. The management did one heck of a job in establishing this site.

I haven't seen anything come close. Great post Justin

Sep 12, 2007 01:27 AM #19
Anonymous
Ian Mariano

 

  I agree with with every point you raised. The management did one heck of a job in establishing this site.

I haven't seen anything come close. Great post Justin

Sep 12, 2007 01:27 AM #20
Rainmaker
268,125
Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA
I've been building web pages and blogging for a long time. ActiveRain is one of the most interesting professional hangouts that I've seen. Most web writing is a solitary affair, written alone and posted for a hidden audience. AR lets you know who's around and introduces you to like minded people from across the country. It's a great resource. I still blog on my sonoma.net/blog site for an audience of people interested in the wine country of Sonoma County California and Healdsburg in particular, but I really appreciate the camaraderie on this site.
Sep 12, 2007 02:06 AM #21
Rainmaker
143,081
Joshua Jarvis
Keller Williams Realty - Atlanta Real Estate - Duluth, GA
Putting the REAL in Real Estate in Gwinnett County
  1. Joshua Jarvis
  2. Real Estate Agent
  3. 3 Months
  4. Adding to the SEO of our current sites, having a place to go for feedback on ideas and situations.
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. *  I found an AWESOME inspector from AR
  9. YES, I wrote 1 post about a small town and it ended up #12 in Google.
  10. 2: Ultimately, I am trying to increase the traffic to my site
Sep 12, 2007 04:19 AM #22
Rainer
262,848
Teresa Boardman
Saint Paul Home Realty - Saint Paul, MN
Hope it's OK if I don't answer the questions.  I will if I have time later.  I just want to say it is great to have you here on Active Rain. :)
Sep 12, 2007 07:23 AM #23
Rainer
19,464
Tracy Thrower Conyers
REtrending | Coldwell Banker - Marina del Rey, CA
Real Estate For A Connected World....

Congratulations, Justin, on your anniversary and a great post!

  1. Name Yourself- Tracy Thrower Conyers

  2. Are you a real estate agent, loan officer, vendor, other?- Online Marketing Solutions Vendor

  3. How long have you been a member of AR?- 1 month

  4. What do you view as the greatest benefit of being a member of AR (including Localism)?  Keeping my finger on the pulse of agent and broker needs and concerns in this changing market, sharpening my writing and my thinking on realtor topics and gettin an extraordinary opportunity to share what I've learned in five years of developing and selling online marketing solutions for realtors.

  5. Have you ever met another AR member in person? I had a near miss with an official AR get together last month.  I'm looking forward to future get togethers.

  6. Have you ever received any direct buyer or seller leads from AR? Yes

   7. Have you ever received a buyer/seller referral from another member? Not a direct referral yet, but kind words in print that will likely lead to referrals

   8. If you are a vendor, have you ever received leads/inquiries/sales from real estate professionals on AR? Yes

   9. Have you you noticed your ActiveRain posts/pages in the search engine results pages for your keywords? Not yet, but I've just started writing

  10. Why are you involved in AR?  1.community 2.buyer/seller leads 3.referrals from other members 4.other (please explain)  Community, helping realtors understand and leverage online marketing opps, google juice and business leads (probably in this order) 

Sep 12, 2007 08:48 AM #24
Rainer
201,047
Ed Vogt
Midwest Properties of Michigan - Grandville, MI
Grandville, MI Midwest Properties

Hi Justin - Congratulations on your first year!!

Ed Vogt, REALTOR, Grandville, MICHIGAN - yes, to leads and google and meeting others:)  It's been great!! 

Sep 12, 2007 10:01 AM #25
Rainer
6,330
Bob Fortner
Keller Williams Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Real Estate

Hi Justin - Great article!

I'm a Realtor with 5 years experience.  New to blogging and new to Active Rain.  Just started RaleighRealEstateTalk.com and am really enjoying writing there and here at AR.

To be honest I struggled with getting my mind around the benefits of AR before I joined.  As soon as I took the plunge and became a member several things became clear right away.

1. The SEO benefits are great.  A popular article can get on the front page of Google and get consumers to my blog at AR and my own site.

2. The community is awesome!  Within 20 minutes of posting my first article I had 3-4 members make comments, welcome me aboard and offer any help and advice that I needed.

3. Just getting my own blog started recently I sometimes feel like I'm writing to myself as I wait for my traffic to increase and  the regular comments to come.  Here at AR a well written article will get you plenty of comments within minutes.

4. Although I've only been a member for a few weeks, I can already see the possibilities of building the relationships you wrote about and enjoying sharing referrals and business building ideas with others who are interested enough in their careers to be here at AR doing something positive. 

5. I plan to get much more involved with the AR community in the coming weeks and months.  Any suggestions from other members as to the best place(s) to start are welcomed.  This is a great thing that the owners of AR have built for us Realtors.  Thank you! 

Sep 12, 2007 10:22 AM #26
Ambassador
551,432
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Okay Justin...I'll play...

Name Yourself ...I am TLW or The Lovely Wife or Billie Tutas. If they call me anything else I don't need to know :)

Are you a real estate agent, loan officer, vendor, other?...I am an "Other" ie Owner of a Real Estate Company :)

How long have you been a member of AR?...1 Year and 20 days :)


What do you view as the greatest benefit of being a member of AR (including Localism)?...The people dude. The people :)

Have you ever met another AR member in person?...Oh. Yes. Several times :)

Have you ever received any direct buyer or seller leads from AR?...Yup. Got one yesterday :)

Have you ever received a buyer/seller referral from another member?...Yup. Got one last week :)

If you are a vendor, have you ever received leads/inquiries/sales from real estate professionals on AR?..NA :)

Have you you noticed your ActiveRain posts/pages in the search engine results pages for your keywords?...Yup. Pretty cool huh? :)

Why are you involved in AR?  1.community 2.buyer/seller leads 3.referrals from other members 4.other (please explain)...Ahhh. Explain 'other'. That's easy. If I didn't blog here I would be "The Lonely Wife" instead of "The Lovely Wife" :)

TLW...ROAR!

Sep 12, 2007 11:14 AM #27
Rainer
20,241
Jaynee Acevedo
Capital Style Home Staging - Kensington, MD
Capital Style Home Staging

Well, Justin, I won't be as disciplined and technical as many of your other respondants, but suffice it to say that I've been around a few months, and stop in periodically to keep a finger on the pulse.  For me, as a new stager and as a new Rainer, the business and information traffic on AR helps me build a foundation of confidence; a platform of professionalism, if you will.  As I baby-step myself from a part time concern to a full time business, I will expand my role within AR, and therefore my footprint in the community....methinks!

Thanks for starting the conversation.  May I have some more wine?

Cheers! from DC...

   Jaynee

Sep 12, 2007 03:21 PM #28
Rainer
35,223
Robin Siddle
Tucson Expert Agents LLC - Tucson, AZ
CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker

Hi, I'm Robin Willis, Real estate Agent in Tucson, AZ.

It has been a few weeks since I have been very active on Active Rain, but I am working to budget more time to this.  Why?  Because I am starting to get calls from people who read my blogs (yes, non real estate agents) and today I got a referral from another agent who read my blog and felt "safe" referring her clients to me.  So AR works for me and it has been an incredible source of information on topics that are important to me in representing my clients to the best of my ability.

Sep 12, 2007 04:24 PM #29
Rainer
50,520
Kim Carpenter
Coldwell Banker - Alton, NH
Lake Winnipesaukee REALTOR -Lake Winnipesaukee Real Estate, NH

Hello,

I feel like Im pretty new to AR (and real estate for that matter) so I dont want to answer these questions just yet but I am slowly becoming addicted!  I did however visit the Christian Real Estate Network site.... that is awesome and something I may consider joining after Ive got a few more sales under my belt!!!  Its cool to know its out there!  Thanks for the info and I hope that someday I will share the same feelings about AR as you do today.  It is great to know that people are learning so much here and making so many vaualbe relationships.  It makes me excited for my future here!

Sep 12, 2007 06:43 PM #30
Ambassador
897,832
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

1. Name Yourself    Missy Caulk
   2. Are you a real estate agent, loan officer, vendor, other?  Realtor
   3. How long have you been a member of AR? December 2006
   4. What do you view as the greatest benefit of being a member of AR (including Localism)? relationships
   5. Have you ever met another AR member in person?  Yes
   6. Have you ever received any direct buyer or seller leads from AR? Yes
   7. Have you ever received a buyer/seller referral from another member? Yes
   8. If you are a vendor, have you ever received leads/inquiries/sales from real estate professionals on AR?
   9. Have you you noticed your ActiveRain posts/pages in the search engine results pages for your keywords? Absolutley
  10. Why are you involved in AR?  1.community 2.buyer/seller leads 3.referrals from other members 4.other (please explain)  All 4

Congratulations on your one year anniversary, Justin.

Sep 12, 2007 07:33 PM #31
Rainmaker
246,193
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

Hi Justin...don't let the Tomato see you defacing his tomatoes. Happy 1st Anniversary...and many more!!!

  1. My name is Gena Riede
  2. I'm a Real Estate Associate Broker
  3. I've been a member of AR since October 2006
  4. The greatest benefit has been to find so many new relationships and learn how to blog
  5. Excitingly yes, I have met other AR members when I attended the Inman Conference in SF
  6. Yes, I have received leads from AR
  7. Oh my yes, I have received referrals from other AR members
  8. I am not a vendor - N/A
  9. I constantly see my posts on the Internet with my keywords
  10. All of the reasons you gave are the reasons I am a member of AR plus I think we all want to share with each other and help others be the best that they can be as well as learn new things ourselves. I love AR and I am very gratefully for having gotten my start here. It's a great place with some fantastic people!
Sep 12, 2007 09:38 PM #32
Rainer
19,464
Tracy Thrower Conyers
REtrending | Coldwell Banker - Marina del Rey, CA
Real Estate For A Connected World....
Love the new picture, Justin!  And love the tomato!  Send my regards to Jim.
Sep 13, 2007 09:17 AM #33
Ambassador
721,596
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

    1. Name Yourself:  Mike in Tucson
   2. I'm a loan officer.
   3. How long have you been a member of AR?  2 months
   4. The greatest benefit as an member is exposure to people I'd never meet otherwise.
   5. Have you ever met another AR member in person?  Not yet.  Lexa is a busy woman!
   6. Have you ever received any direct buyer or seller leads from AR?  Yes!
   7. Have you ever received a buyer/seller referral from another member?  Yes!
   8. If you are a vendor, have you ever received leads/inquiries/sales from real estate professionals on AR?  I'm not a vendor.
   9. Have you you noticed your ActiveRain posts/pages in the search engine results pages for your keywords?  Yes!
  10. Why are you involved in AR?  Blogging on Active Rain grows my business.  I've hired two people through Active Rain referrals in the past two weeks.

Mike in Tucson

Sep 14, 2007 12:27 PM #34
Rainmaker
1,072,293
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Justin, Congratulations on your one year anniversary!
Sep 19, 2007 05:06 PM #35
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Justin,

 

   1. Name Yourself Maureen McPartlan
   2. Are you a real estate agent, loan officer, vendor, other? RE Agent & Property Manager
   3. How long have you been a member of AR? 6 months
   4. What do you view as the greatest benefit of being a member of AR (including Localism)? I see it as an amazing resource for learning, support, insights, advertising, and research
   5. Have you ever met another AR member in person? Yes
   6. Have you ever received any direct buyer or seller leads from AR? Leads, yes, but no closes yet
   7. Have you ever received a buyer/seller referral from another member? Not yet
   8. If you are a vendor, have you ever received leads/inquiries/sales from real estate professionals on AR?   N/A
   9. Have you you noticed your ActiveRain posts/pages in the search engine results pages for your keywords?  Yes
  10. Why are you involved in AR?  1.community 2.buyer/seller leads 3.referrals from other members 4.other (please explain)   1. definitely the community, just getting myself out there and interacting with other professionals, although referrals and leads are ALWAYS welcome!  :)

Sep 26, 2007 05:45 PM #36
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