I FINALLY Gots Me a Purdy Puddle... in the Rain

By
Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner

 The ONLY problem I have EVER had about Active Rain was it is UGLY. YUP UGLY and I have not been afraid to let the Rain Gods (Matt Heaton and Johnathon Washburn) know how I felt.

But there is a saying, "you only get to complain if you are willing to provide a solution." So not only did I register a complaint, I also tried my best to get them over to the "pretty side". I sent them mock-up ideas JUST to get this site LOOKING better.

But the AR guys could only move so fast on all the improvements they were providing us. I could no longer wait. To be honest, the reason I went OUTSIDE Active Rain to start my second blog (Home Staging; Rants & Ravings) is because I am in the "first Impression" business. Much like an advertising agency or an architectural firm or landscaper... I knew that HOW I looked in my blogging media was as important as what I had to say.

But I did not give up on Acitve Rain I knew that when they finally did work on the "pretty," they would do it right, as they have done with so much here. VICTORY! You guys did it.

Active Rain has given us all a FREE and very easy tool to make our blogs look great. Now it does have a few quirks and glitches that need to be addressed. But I did play with it this morning... and I just wanted to say that it only took me about 3 1/2 hours time to do what you see. You might say I now "staged" my blog.

Which leads me RIGHT into the real reason I am writing this post. For all of you who think your blogs can compete soley on what you have to say... then you really need NOT to alter ANY anything visual about your blog here. BUT if you want your "property" to stand out a little bit more, because let's face it... WHAT you have to say isn't the only think that is important when you are selling your message to your readers, then I am sure you will take the time to visually "package" your message.

I don't care if you are "staging" a blog or staging a property that is for sale... visual impressions matter! I hope you all have as much fun purdy-ing up your puddle in the Rain, as I did mine.

Thanks again to the AR guys!

ME

PS: For more information check out this post by Brad Carroll. ActiveRain gives the "Green Light" on Customizing - ActiveRainCustomizer.com  His company devevloped the tool that gives us this purdy ability.

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Rainmaker
358,592
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

I've been noticing more and more blogs with this great personalize look.  How do, where do, I find out about it?  How do I keep missing this type of information?  Is there a group that I should belong to? 

Yours is great Craig..love it!  I'm so happy that someone finally posted about this.  Thanks.

Apr 11, 2008 08:22 PM #14
Rainmaker
226,716
Craig Schiller
Baird & Warner - St. Charles, IL

OOPS... like daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

HERE IS THE LINK: http://www.activeraincustomizer.com/

You have to sign up for it as it is developed and offered thru another company. But it is a FREE tool.

Me

Apr 11, 2008 11:12 PM #15
Rainmaker
358,592
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging
Thanks Craig. I will look into it today. 
Apr 12, 2008 08:11 AM #16
Rainmaker
358,592
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Well, it never ceases to amaze me at how stupid I feel after attempting this techno stuff.  I went into the customizer, and I thought that I did everything that it told me to do, including copying the code snippet (whatever) into my blog description under my settings AND nothing is different.   Do I contact Brad for help? 

BTW for others that want to see Brad Carrolls blog on this it's activerain.com/blogsview/463206/ActiveRain-gives-the-Green

Apr 12, 2008 08:48 AM #17
Rainer
56,633
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE
Wow - thank you for sharing these resources.  As an AR newbie I am reveiwing all of these posts and someday soon hope to sit down, figure it out, and implement some of these ideas.
Apr 12, 2008 08:53 AM #18
Rainer
83,312
Matthew Zgonc
Aksland Real Estate - Modesto, CA
Realtor, CFS, CVS
I agree visual impressions do matter. You only have one chance to make a good first impression.
Apr 12, 2008 09:23 AM #19
Rainmaker
226,716
Craig Schiller
Baird & Warner - St. Charles, IL

GINGER... how DUMB am I.

THANKS AGAIN... I am gonna ad that link to the general body of this post.

Me

Apr 12, 2008 09:42 AM #20
Rainmaker
358,592
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging
No problem Craig.  BTW, I guess that my purdy new blog is up.  I wouldn't have known except for Elaine commenting. 
Apr 12, 2008 10:04 AM #21
Ambassador
551,222
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Hey...

We do have the same color. Speaks volumes...Yes?

Love your take on first impressions...Can we say "Misty" :)

TLW...ROAR!

Apr 12, 2008 05:17 PM #22
Rainmaker
51,985
Patty Hill, BS, CIAS, SFR
Hill & Associates, LLC Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate - Summerville, SC
Hill & Associates Real Estate Team
Thanks Craig,  I used this today.  I appreciate you sharing this!
Apr 12, 2008 09:22 PM #23
Rainmaker
128,640
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media
Craig~ I totally remember that post from a year or so ago, trying to get AR's homepage "staged" You've done such a great job with marketing...oh and blogging and staging too:)
Apr 12, 2008 11:20 PM #24
Rainmaker
226,716
Craig Schiller
Baird & Warner - St. Charles, IL

Laura... I totally forgot that I wrote that blog.

THANKS for reminding me.

Me

Apr 13, 2008 12:14 AM #25
Rainmaker
208,456
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CEP Realtor, Etc.

Purdy and staged. AHHHH it feels just right.  Thanks for the nudge to the AR gods...IT worked.

Apr 13, 2008 01:10 AM #26
Rainer
11,597
Brian Sharpe
Tierra Antigua Realty - Tucson, AZ
Tucson EcoBroker

Craig - Beautiful design....I love it and I'm going to get me one. Thanks for the post.

Brian

Apr 13, 2008 01:24 AM #27
Ambassador
901,133
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114 - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Wow, awesome, Craig.  I had to check it out after I saw your comment on my post.  By the way, love your shadow, your photo and your classy-looking widgets!
Apr 13, 2008 06:35 AM #28
Rainer
111,313
Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging
2 Hounds Design + Home Staging - Toronto, ON

I love what you've done.

You are much more patient than I...with 2 small children vying for my attention and having to log back in every time I saved changes...I gave up till I have some time.

Now I have a better idea just how much time!

Apr 13, 2008 08:13 AM #29
Rainmaker
574,710
Neal Bloom
Keller Williams Properties, Weston FL - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate
When I do find time to set something up ...I'll be surprised if i look any better than I do now...I doubt it...I always look so dam good even without all the bells and whistles...then attention wouldn't be on the new template....just me!
Apr 14, 2008 07:37 AM #30
Ambassador
2,389,816
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Thanks for the inclusion.  Now my posts all look like a mini-web page.

Lenn

Apr 14, 2008 09:49 AM #31
Rainmaker
240,845
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC & CB First Realty - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

You have motivated me to spend time working on my "first impression"

.... i am open to your advise  / critictique. Yours looks beautiful... youve staged your posts!

 

Feb 25, 2009 07:54 PM #32
Rainmaker
292,328
Monique Hailer & Todd Combs, PA
Schooner Bay Realty - Cape Coral, FL
Waterfront Specialists!

Craig ~ Thank you for the info, but I can't get  http://www.activeraincustomizer.com/ or a FREE and very easy tool link to work? Completely curious and want to make the change!

Nov 07, 2009 06:57 PM #33
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Rainmaker
226,716

Craig Schiller

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