Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Spring 2011 in Briarcliff Manor - 04/30/11 11:42 PM
I thought it might never come after the winter we endured, but Spring has arrived in Westchester County. As always, it is beautiful, with forsythia and cherry blossoms making their debut ahead of many other pieces of God's artistry.
This is Gregory (who has stolen Mom's iPad) and his faithful Max in the shade of the cherry blossoms in our back yard. We have three huge trees that have been there since Mrs Hilpert planted them in the 60's. I think of her, and how much she'd adore seeing my kids underneath them, every spring.
Gizmos Drive Me Crazy. 16 short months ago, I bought a Netbook laptop with a 3g Internet connection. It made me a tech savvy guy. I would see a client at their home and watch their jaws drop as I logged onto the Multiple Listing Service and produced a market analysis right before their eyes. There were huge advantages to this (and still are), but I got a dose of reality when Santa Claus left my wife her iPad this past Christmas under the tree. Watching Ann swipe her fingers along the iPad like a harp while she relaxed on (11 comments)
Exhaling - 04/27/11 12:28 AM
I have barely had time to notice Active Rain's server issues because of a frantic past two weeks in my own little corner of the world. Among many things, I had to take two days and drive to Rochester, 300 miles away, to handle some business with some properties we own. Like any busy broker, getting away in April is difficult. There is an art to driving 300 miles in a minimum amount of time without speeding. I used to make the drive frequently when Ann and I were first dating, and one of the keys is to not stop very (27 comments)
How to Submit a Low Offer - 04/21/11 11:37 AM
How to Submit a Low Offer on a New York Listing What is more compelling to someone selling a home when presented with an offer on their property: A voicemail or A well written offer sheet complete with a cover letter, proof of funds, pre approval and specific terms If you are like me, you'll choose option two. So let me ask a question: If a well presented, full package is more convincing, would it not be especially wise when the offer is low? Would a low offer not need even more justification and clarity? Would a seller not ask (40 comments)
Credit Shmeddit, it is a Team Effort - 04/16/11 11:50 PM
Is a sale any less valuable if a broker or manager steps in and helps? One thing I appreciate when I assist members of my firm in their transactions is that my guys truly care for their clients. It certainly shows in their actions, and I have the front row seat as broker to see how they approach things when they return to the metaphorical corner between rounds. I am asked for advice. I have scenarios run past me. They pick my brain. This past week, no fewer than three of my agents (well, one is an associate broker) have engaged (37 comments)
Ashley Oakland Investigation - 04/16/11 11:08 PM
Like many associations across the country, our own MLS had a moment of silence at our monthly meeting yesterday in memory of fallen Realtor colleague Ashley Oakland. The news has been a bitter pill to swallow for agents all over the USA, and I can't fathom her loved ones' grief and suffering. Today's news informed us that a search warrant has been issued in the investigation, which remains ongoing, with no arrests at this point. The details are sealed, which is just as well. I don't care about the details as much as I want to see justice served. Ashley was (13 comments)
Godspeed Ashley Oakland - 04/10/11 08:55 PM
If you haven't heard, another real estate agent has been murdered. 27 year old Ashley Oakland was shot twice while at a model townhome in West Des Moines, Iowa. Her company, Iowa Realty, has suspended all open houses. This tragedy sickens me as a father, as a broker, and as a human being. Here is, from everything I have read, a beautiful, upbeat, well regarded person out trying to earn a living who was brutally murdered on the job. And it wasn't at some vacant cabin out in the woods out of town, or some secluded place. It was in the (100 comments)
Good News and Bad News Around Ossining - 04/10/11 07:33 PM
Two follow up pieces of news on topics I have blogged on recently: Ossining voters have overwhelmingly rejected the $69,000,000 bond proposal for the expansion and renovation of the school buildings. I wrote a piece voicing my own opposition to the proposal, and evidently, other school district voters agreed with me by a 57%-43% margin. Over 2000 voted no, a little over 1500 voted in favor. On April 8 I wrote a post supporting the closure of Sing Sing Prison in favor of more suitable use of the land. The news that local politicians were asking Governor Cuomo to close the place (6 comments)
Big Bank Back Room Deals Begin - 04/10/11 08:28 AM
I read the NY Times far less because of the paywall, but today's editorial brings to light a new problem with big lenders embroiled in the robo-signing scandal: they are already making a backroom deal for a slap on the wrist and permission to continue with business as usual. The banks gameplan that they are "too big to fail" is back in play, and their powerful lobby is making the Obama administration guilty of complicity that makes the Bush administration-Haliburton connection so deplored by the left a few short years ago look like a church tag sale. Here's the irony pointed (34 comments)
I seldom re blog posts from other authors but this piece by John Mulkey is sound advice that more people should consider. All too often, I'll show a home that was bought at foreclosure and rehabilitated in a manner that addressed cosmetics but left mechanicals and structural matters in a dubious state. There is a certain type of buyer who is looking for a turnkey property. They have no appetite for doing restoration work and just want to move in. New kitchens and baths, fresh paint and refinished hardwoods influence them strongly, but in these cases a home inspection is (12 comments)
(No Subject) - 04/08/11 06:28 PM
Here is some good business advice for both colleagues and clientele alike: Put something in your email subject line whenever you send something. And and don't make it "For Phil" or "Attn: Phil." Getting an email with nothing in the subject line is a minor annoyance. But it can also be expensive. Here's why: 2 weeks or two years after an email has been sent, it may need to be retrieved for a variety of reasons. It could be a phone number, the confirmation of a the date of a showing, or one of a thousand other bits of needed details (20 comments)
Should Governor Cuomo Close Sing Sing Prison? - 04/08/11 01:15 PM
Wednesday's Journal News has a front page story on Ossining politicians urging Andrew Cuomo to close Sing Sing Prison. As a native of Ossining who worked a block away in a neighborhood market for years while in school, the idea gets my attention. Would closing Sing Sing make sense? Would it benefit Ossining? It is an intriguing thought. Sing Sing has been there since the early 1800's. It employs 824 people. It is a piece of history. But it is also a product of a bygone era when putting prisons, landfills and nuclear power plants on prive riverfront real estate wasn't (7 comments)
The Ultimate Answer to the Zillow Zestimate - 04/04/11 11:22 PM
Perhaps no phenomenon in real estate is as much of a lightning rod for strong opinions as the Zillow Zestimate. Most agents I speak with hate it; I have had instances where looking it up has helped a deal and I have had clients walk from a deal because of it. The Zillow Zestimate has been the reason for sellers to feel under-priced or under-bid, and it has been invoked by buyers as the reason that they feel they overbid on a home. I once got so exasperated that I asked a client if a Zestimate ever drove them around Westchester (122 comments)
Croton on Hudson Real Estate Market First Quarter 2011 - 04/02/11 08:58 PM
Croton on Hudson Home Sales and Values This is the market report for single family homes sold in the Croton-Harmon school district for the first quarter of 2011. All information is sourced fom the Empire Access Multiple Listing Service. In the first quarter of 2011, there were 15 closings with a median sale price of $540,000. In the first quarter of 2010, there were 11 closings with a median sale price of $542,000. 4 additional closings at about the exact same median is a step forward over last year. Median price is only $2000 different-negligible. Croton is enjoying what appears (11 comments)
This is the market report for single family homes sold in the Chappaqua school district for the first quarter of 2011. All information is sourced fom the Empire Access Multiple Listing Service. In the first quarter of 2011, there were 15 closings with a median sale price of $946,500. In the first quarter of 2010, there were 17 closings with a median sale price of $900,000. I would characterize this as about even with last year. Median price is certainly up, but we're two sales behind. Chappaqua is stable, which is not surprising for such a nice place. 21 homes (1 comments)
This is the market report for single family homes sold in the Briarcliff Manor school district for the first quarter of 2011. All information is sourced fom the Empire Access Multiple Listing Service. In the first quarter of 2011, there were 14 closings with a median sale price of $617,500. In the first quarter of 2010, there were 9 closings with a median sale price of $625,000. Things are looking up in Briarcliff. There is almost no difference in median price, but sales volume is up 55%. This is especially pronounced when one considers that 2010 was a stimulus period. (1 comments)
Ossining Real Estate Market Report First Quarter 2011 - 04/02/11 08:05 PM
This is the market report for single family homes sold in the Ossining school district for the first quarter of 2011. All information is sourced fom the Empire Access Multiple Listing Service. In the first quarter of 2011, there were 28 closings with a median sale price of $369,500. In the first quarter of 2010, there were 44 closings with a median sale price of $442,000. These are significant differences. I stopped doing monthly market reports because 30 day spans in these small communities had results all over the place. Quarterly reports had more statistical significance. Therefore, the decline in the (1 comments)
Welcome to the Sing Sing Gated Community! - 04/01/11 06:52 AM
The Sing Sing Gated Community... Our Residents Just Can't Leave! If you're like me and you love waterfront property, privacy, terrific security and and homeowners association that doesn't admit just anybody, the Sing Sing Gated Community might just be for you. Nestled on the banks of the scenic Hudson River in downtown Ossining, New York-my hometown- the Sing Sing gated community occupies 130 acres of prime riverfront real estate just a stone's throw from the Metro-North train station. A mere 30 miles from Grand Central, Sing Sing is "up the river" as they say from Gotham, a short ride on the (78 comments)
Phil Faranda is broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate LLC in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Since founding the firm as a sole practitioner in late 2005, the team has grown to over 30 agents & closed 350+ transactions valued at $140 million. He is in his 4th term as Vice President of the HGMLS. This blog commentary is geared toward consumers and industry colleagues alike. You can reach him at (914) 723-8900. Warning: *Sarcasm and irony advisory at all times.*
There is no doubt in my mind that the house would still be on the market if it wasn't for Phil's proactive efforts.
Phil was very responsive to our requests; he was very professional and respectful; he always gave us his honest opinion on the questions we asked. ... more
Phil is a very honorable and respectful realtor. He has gone way above and beyond the call of duty for me not only once, but twice. He helped sell ... more
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.