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!
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 Harley, Margaret Woda, Margaret Rome, Jeff Dowler, Loreena Yeo, Elizabeth Weintraub, William Johnson, Ken Cook, Jason Crouch, Judi Barrett, Teresa Boardman, Rich Jacobson, Gary Woltal, Broker 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.
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!
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.
*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.
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!
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!
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!