What ActiveRain Means to Me in Pictures - Okay, in a Few Words Too!

Real Estate Agent with www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

What ActiveRain Means to Me in Pictures - Okay, in a Few Words Too!


Well, pictures - and words! I’m not even sure I have the words for how amazing this platform has been for me. It even feels ‘cold’ & sterile calling ActiveRain a platform - it’s become family for me!


For the past 15 years, my family has grown exponentially - through ActiveRain! It’s incredibly easy to share my gratitude for my ActiveRain  friends & family. From Jonathan and Bob to Brad Andersohn & Rich Jacobson, Ben Kinney & Jeff Turner, we learned from THE best in the business! 

ActiveRain Collage


I began on ActiveRain very slowly. It was absolutely THE most uncomfortable thing for me to write my first comment--UNTIL I finally got the courage to write my first POST - now, THAT was nerve-racking!!


I watched the original AR members - day in and day out - for 6+ months but, simply could not muster up the courage to write a post. With great trepidation, I joined and made a comment or two, watching closely as those wonderful, helpful members like Lenn HarleyMargaret WodaMargaret RomeJeff DowlerLoreena YeoElizabeth WeintraubWilliam JohnsonKen CookJason CrouchJudi BarrettTeresa BoardmanRich JacobsonGary WoltalBroker Bryant and TLW, and the entire lot of them--made blogging look so incredibly easy! 


How on earth could they be so comfortable posting day-in and day-out yet, it seemed so darned scary to me? As an aside, at that time, Facebook did not exist so, online communication was not very common to most of us. 

ActiveRain Collage

When I finally did get the courage to write a post, the stress was almost immediately gone!  POOF! People actually commented--not many but, hey, I didn't know them from Adam and couldn't imagine what they found interesting in my boring, local posts! Once I realized that people (Charlotte area consumers) were actually finding me here and saying, “I feel like I know you already,” I decided I’d better start letting more of ‘me’ show through on my posts.

I jumped in with BOTH feet…and that’s when my world changed! I began participating in classes, meet-ups, learning everything my mind could soak up from the brilliant minds here. In the early days, my ActiveRain family taught me how to create a Facebook & Twitter profiles, then Facebook business pages, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram - every social network with the exception of My Space - the only one that existed pre-ActiveRain! RIGHT HERE IN THE RAIN, we have learned so very much - together.


I remember learning about SEO - soon (in 2009), landing my very first $2M deal in my career. During the course of The Great Recession, Broker Bryant helped a multitude of us train for our CDPE and mastering short sales. Those short sales got me through putting my two sons through college! 


OH, the lifelong friends I have gained here, which, a very short couple of years before, would have been absolutely unimaginable to me! I have sent and received tons of referrals, found two fantastic lenders, an amazing local stager and, of course, received wonderful direct clients from my blogging here in the Rain!


ActiveRain Collage - What AR Means to Me


Bob, Ben, Kerrie La Guardia (love, love, LOVE [and terribly miss] this girl), Brad, Rich and Jeff taught us more than they probably remember! We absorbed everything we possibly could! We then began meeting in different cities, hearing all of the ‘new’ and up & coming business practices, social media tips and unbelievable tech tips that we never thought imaginable. 


The real eye-opener for me was attending RETSO in Atlanta and later, Inman in New York City - both covered 'new and trendy' topics that were at LEAST 3 years behind what we had been learning in the Rain. I kid you NOT! Not long ago I heard an agent telling someone that they were the ‘first’ agent in Charlotte to have a home search, website, etc. - OH NO! I was at least 2 years ahead of that agent - and it was 100% thanks to ActiveRain! I have been actively involved in several wonderful ActiveRain groups, even building websites for members, including the late Russell Lewis. I still meet regularly with two of those groups.


While building our business was the motivating factor to participating fully here in the Rain, attending conferences and learning all we could from here came with the most amazing bonus - FRIENDSHIPS! When members of my own family were ill, AR members were as devoted to me as my own family and lifelong friends, phoning me every day, sending cards and praying for our family over and over again. Many even donated to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America when I lost a family member who was suffering from Alzheimer’s.


More AR member meet-ups

*The top picture was a group meeting in my home, a couple of weeks after we had moved in! Now, THAT is family! The bottom right picture was taken at Seattle RainCamp, one of the 4 RainCamps that I was invited to speak - how crazy is that?!


RainCamp was an amazing opportunity to meet many ActiveRain members and boy, did I ever take all of that in! I attended RainCamps from Seattle to Orlando & Dallas to hosting our own, right here in Charlotte! I have hosted countless AR meet-ups and have loved meeting more amazing people and making wonderful friends from California to Vermont, than I ever thought I would experience in a lifetime.


For the past 2 years, I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing speakers from all different realms, share their knowledge with us on our weekly Tuesday ZOOM calls. It’s been a weekly hour of loving camaraderie and from those calls, I have also sent & received even more referrals from AR members. 

ActiveRain Meet-Ups


From RainCamps, REBar Camps, CRS Sell-a-brations, NAR conferences and now, our own ZOOM calls, we always meet wonderful ActiveRain members. We always walk away with at LEAST one tidbit of information that would rock our world the following year too! One of the things that I have loved about learning with fellow AR members, we wind up spending time together in a meeting-of-the-minds, of sorts. I can’t say how much that has meant to both my personal life and my business. I've even had a few AR members who have moved to Charlotte and I had the honor of representing them in their new home purchase! 


More AR meet-ups, RainCamps

Oh yes! We had a collage challenge that I was working on! I honestly could write a book about what AR has meant to me. OMG, I cannot say enough about what ActiveRain has meant to me over the past 15 years - and will ALWAYS mean to me. 

*Please know that if I left out a picture of you, I truly apologize. I spent hours digging through and enjoying reminiscing about my time with AR members/family members!


Boston AR Meet-Up
Boston AR Meet-Up


I do hope that if you’re reading this and contemplating joining this extraordinary community, you will dive in and join us right away. You are going to LOVE it here!!


© Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | SavvyBroker@me.com | What ActiveRain Means to Me in Pictures - Okay, in a Few Words Too!

Comments (41)

Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Another great testimony to our wonderful Rain family! I enjoyed your photos!

May 01, 2022 03:36 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Debe- absolutely love your post and all of your photos. I wish I could have attended a RainCamp but loved the MeretUps we used to have in Florida. This is such a wonderful community of members who give and support each other. And I thank YOU for being a big part of that. 

May 01, 2022 06:16 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker, you were not scary at ALL! I never trash a photo and would certainly never trash one of YOU, my friend! ❤️

May 01, 2022 06:31 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, I am so lucky to be a part of the ZOOM calls, Dorie Dillard Austin TX. I can't imagine Tuesdays without them! Don't we learn SO much?! What a great group!!

May 01, 2022 06:32 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

You, my friend!! SO happy to have gotten the opportunity to meet and chat with you! 

George Souto 

May 01, 2022 06:32 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Isn't it amazing? Did you ever think we would wind up in such a safehaven, filled with amazing friends (and family)?! SO glad you're a part of our family, Sharon Tara!

May 01, 2022 06:33 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Hi Kathy Streib! Thank you so much for your kind words and RIGHT BACK AT YOU!!

I always wished I had made some of your meet-ups in FL - what a great group you had. I would LOVE to have met you, Lou, Elise and many other regulars! You all always looked like you were having so much fun!

May 01, 2022 06:35 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Debe Maxwell, CRS what an amazing post, I wonder who met more AR members you or Jeff Dowler, CRS  thanks to you and Lisa Von Domek  you shamed us leaving Los Angeles to meet up in Boston, MA.... Diane and I often talk about that meet up and always asks about the member who were there.... no other platform can provide this type of camaraderie and friendship...

May 01, 2022 08:01 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Debe:

What a wonderful journey these past 15 years has been for you. What a fun read! And the photos are wonderful...I loved seeing so many people I recognize, plenty of whom I've met over the years!


May 01, 2022 09:42 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

What a great album of AR memories ! Next time I'm in Charlotte I will have to stop by your office and say hey to you and John also :)

May 02, 2022 03:48 AM
Mona kelly
WannaCoupons - Autaugaville, AL


May 02, 2022 07:28 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Debe Maxwell, CRS A few words?  Ha!  What a wonderful, wonderful post!  I so enjoyed reading all about your years in the Rain.  Some of the events, I remember; some I don't.  But I have to agree, it's been a huge part of my life too, and the people have been great.

May 02, 2022 07:58 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Hi Debe Maxwell, CRS .  What a great blog full of your great memories and experiences.  I enjoyed ready it.

May 02, 2022 01:02 PM
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Congratulations on your post, very encouraging. I’m still working in progress when the subject is blogging 😂😂. Sucess to you.

May 03, 2022 04:33 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hey Debe Maxwell, CRS 
What a journey we've all been on! Don't you kind of have to laugh at your hesitation to comment and post in the beginning?   And, look at you now! You are the leader of this asylum of bloggers.

To say that the ActiveRain community is extraordinary is an understatement! 

May 03, 2022 07:20 AM
Toby Barnett
KW North Sound - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

Wonderful post and that is a lot of real, offline connections! Wish I could say the same in my tenure being a member of ActiveRain.

May 03, 2022 09:12 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

It's definitely not jus ta "platform".  My most trusted "can I bounce something off you" friends are among these pages.  

May 03, 2022 01:20 PM
BethAnn Long
RE/MAX of Spokane - Spokane, WA
Realtor, CRS, e-PRO, Spokane Wa Real Estate

Debe, what a fun post! We have a few things in common, RE/MAX, CRS and Active Rain. I can't even recall what year I stumbled in here, by accident. I heard blogging was good for real estate, and I had no idea what blogging even meant. I wish I could say I focused and made the most out of being here, but I usually just got overwhellmed trying to understand what people were talking about, it was and often still is, greek to me. I have. not taken advantage of the community, or the proper ways to blog for business. But I always enjoy checking in, and it makes me realize, I should perhaps try and give it a go for real. Blessings to you !!!!!!

May 03, 2022 06:33 PM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Oh my gosh Debe!  You win the prize for the most experiences and the most travels with ActiveRain. Seems to me that no one can match the depth of your experience with ActiveRain Meetups, making friends, learning and applying all that you've earned through ActiveRain.  Congrats!   Loved reading your post 

May 03, 2022 08:25 PM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Very cool! What a way to remember events!

May 04, 2022 05:27 AM