The Value That is ActiveRain
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