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
The Kal-Haven Trail in Southwest Michigan - 08/31/11 11:51 AM
Once a railroad line connecting nine towns between Kalamazoo and South Haven, Michigan between 1870 and 1970, the Kal-Haven Trail in Southwest Michigan is now a State Park. The 34.5 mile Kal-Haven Trail is an active park all along its distance, even though some of the towns along this route have faded into the past. I began my adventure exploring the Kal-Haven Trail in Southwest Michigan last Saturday, where I parked at the 10th Street trailhead in Kalamazoo, and bicycled 3.5 miles to the first town on the map. The trail head features a red caboose as the information center. Being (4 comments)
Monroe County Sunset - 08/30/11 04:36 PM
I was over in Monroe, Michigan about a month ago visiting some friends and I looked across a parking lot and saw this sunset. I snapped a photo with my HTC EVO, and forgot about it. I came across it the other day, and thought this was just too beautiful to not share on my blog. I hope you all have a wonderful day.
Yarrow the Legendary Healing Plant - 08/24/11 11:13 AM
The herb Yarrow has a long history as a healing plant. It is a legend that Achilles used this herb to heal wounds of soldiers during the Trojan War. In fact Yarrow was used as a healing herb on the battlefield up until the Civil War, where the plant was crushed and applied to wounds. Its properties were said to be very effective in healing wounds from iron weapons. The Latin name for Yarrow is 'Achillea Millefolium' and its name is a tribute to the legends surrounding this well-known healing plant. Today, Yarrow is a popular addition to many herb gardens. (4 comments)
What Bird's Are Up To When We Are Not Looking... - 08/24/11 10:54 AM
I was in Marshall, Michigan not too long ago and was showing a foreclosure to a prospective buyer. The home was in pretty rough shape, and after a few minutes I knew it was going to be beyond the scope of work for his needs. When he were still upstairs checking out the bedrooms, I walked downstairs and went out on the front porch. Up in the corner of the porch was a bird nest and next to it was a little model general store with signs for 'fresh produce'. I suppose this did not turn out to be a very good location for that bird's (8 comments)
The Face Only a Mother Vulture Could Love... - 08/24/11 10:34 AM
A few months ago I was traveling in the area of Dowling, Michigan which is North of Battle Creek, in Barry County. It is mostly a rural area, and I was heading up there to show a house and check on a listing I had in the area as well. It was one of those days when I was ahead of schedule, and I drove past this fence alongside the road, and standing there on the fence was this vulture. I thought to myself 'Well, that is something you do not see everyday. Might make a nice shot for the blog.' So (4 comments)
Vermontville Township Fire Department - 08/23/11 01:08 PM
I was driving up in the rural areas last week in Eaton County, and had to go to Vermontville, Michigan. Vermontville Township is a very tiny community, and their downtown is just a few short blocks long. When I was driving around the area, I came to a stop light and across the street from me was the Vermontville Fire Department. It has what appears to be a ten foot tall carved statue of a fireman in front of the building, and I thought it was quite interesting.
It is great to see community pride for the men who serve the (5 comments)
Denial of a Loan Due to Poor Credit Only Means 'Delay of Game' Not 'End of Game' - 08/23/11 12:09 PM
Too many times I encounter buyers that have that disturbing experience of getting denied a loan due to a low credit score or poor credit report, and they take on the frame of mind that it is the end of the road. The truth is that is only means 'Delay of Game' not 'End of Game' as long as you remain determined to achieve your goal of becoming a homeowner. To avoid surprises, it is always a good early step for anyone considering making a major purchase to become a student of their own credit report. The way to obtain this (4 comments)
The 2011 U.S. Nationals Balloon Competition in Battle Creek, Michigan - 08/23/11 10:31 AM
The 2011 U.S. Nationals Balloon Competition in Battle Creek, Michigan is underway this week. This is the U.S. Hot Air Balloon championships, and this year Battle Creek has the honor of hosting it. There are 63 balloonists competing in this years competition from all over the United States. In addition to that there are 3 international pilots competing from Brazil, Canada and the Czech Republic. The competition will occur all week long from August 22nd to 27th, 2011. The pilots will launch every morning and evening from Kellogg Community College Campus, and spectors are allowed to enter, park and watch for (2 comments)
Summarizing Popular Loan Programs - 08/22/11 06:08 PM
In a new video series about 'Buying your First Home' I have been trying to break down the steps for prospective buyers on the process of buying a home. In my second installment in this series, I covered a summary of popular loan programs. Certainly one could go into great detail about ratios, and income limits per household, etc. However, I was trying to break it down into a simple, simple format to communicate just enough data for a buyer to understand a general outline of the programs, and then have them contact me or reach out for a professional lender (1 comments)
Buying a House in Pennfield Township, Michigan - 08/22/11 04:17 PM
When moving into the Battle Creek area, one can look at the various townships surrounding the main city. One popular township is Pennfield. Prospective buyers are often drawn to the idea of buying a house in Pennfield Township, Michigan because of the newer high school, and elementary school. These are great assets to the community, and the school system has a good reputation. However, there are some other advantages to buying a house in Pennfield. When one travels north of Morgan Road, and into the northern part of Pennfield township, one will find that the lots tend to be larger. (2 comments)
Taking Those First Steps Towards Homeownership - 08/20/11 11:44 AM
Taking those first steps towards homeownership can be a little unnerving for some. Not knowing exactly how to start, it is easy to get turned around or led off the path by not having someone knowledgeable to direct you. When you want to buy a home for the first time, it is important to to have some good direction from the start. To begin, you want to make contact with a local Realtor that knows the market area that you are wanting to buy in. That agent will be able to direct you to not only houses, but also put you (2 comments)
Rising to Homeownership & Achieving the American Dream in Today's Market - 08/20/11 10:43 AM
The new homebuyer faces challenges in rising to homeownership and achieving the American Dream in today's market. With constant government interference into the course of the housing industry, and the ever changing market, to many prospective home buyers homeownership appears to be a daunting task. The important thing for a new prospective buyer to know is that despite the seeming complexity at times, it has at its foundation a very simple foundation of basic ideals. The goal of homeownership requires a recognition that there will be barriers along the way, but also a lot of freedom too. It is all driven (1 comments)
Whiskey Barrels for Hassle-Free Gardening - 08/19/11 10:55 AM
I have gotten used to using whiskey barrels in my back yard for some of my planting in recent years. They come in quite handy, and have some great advantages for gardening and landscaping. One of the nice advantages is that they can be used to grow plants that you want to contain in a small area, because they are invasive and will take over your yard. Whiskey barrels are perfect for things like mint, for example. Another nice advantage of these is that they put the planting about 2 to 3 feet off the ground, so there is less bending over (11 comments)
A Summer Walk Through the Woods of Fort Custer Recreation Area - 08/16/11 02:26 PM
I know I have written a lot about the Fort Custer Recreation Area recently on my blogs. It is something that I consider as a valuable local resource for Southwest Michigan, and the park is located between Battle Creek and Augusta Michigan. I have gone on many summer hike there this year to get outdoors, and get some exercise. It has been a great escape for me. When you spend a great deal of your year as a Realtor always on the phone, or out showing houses or braving the winter elements it is nice to excape now and then when (1 comments)
Imagination Sky - 08/15/11 09:58 AM
I was driving to an appointment to show several houses the other day, and for several minutes on the highway there was this amazing cloud pattern in the sky. The sun was behind it, and the sky looked like cotton. I snapped a photo, and have included it here. Sometimes I look at the cloud patterns in the sky and think 'That looks so unusual, if I took a photo, everyone would think it is a fake.' Ever see a sky like that and think the same?
Rural Roads Less Traveled - 08/14/11 09:49 AM
So often I find myself driving all over a seven county area, doing assignments for banks to photograph properties, that I discover new places I have not been to. This photo is a rural road my GPS took me to in pursuit of a rural assignment. The road was unpaved, and it was completely wash-boarding. This means that the ride was bumpy, bumpy, bumpy unless you drove at a steady 10 miles an hour. Go over that, and you felt like you vehicle was going to come apart at the rivets! Anyhow I took this photo as I was patiently rolling (5 comments)
Visiting Downtown Detroit - 08/09/11 12:10 PM
This past weekend my wife and I journeyed over to downtown Detroit to meet some friends at the renaissance center on the pier, near Greektown. This building is a big beautiful piece of architecture, and it overlooks the channel between Detroit and Canada. In fact you can look across the water and see the Canadian side. It was a beautiful day, and we had a wonderful dinner with an unusual backdrop of large feighters, ferry boats, water skiiers and coast guard boats skirting through the channel. It was a great day, and we really enjoyed seeing all the activity of people walking (4 comments)
The Fort Custer Recreation Area Trail System - 08/08/11 10:49 AM
One of my favorite forms of excercise it to go hiking on the trails of the Fort Custer Recreation Area located between Augusta and Battle Creek, Michigan. The park contains over 25 miles of trails that are used for mountain biking, hiking, jogging, and horse back riding. In the winter the trails are used for cross country skiing, snow mobiling and bob sledding. I primarily use the trails for hiking because I enjoy the exercise, and like to take my time. I guess it comes from all my training as a boy scout when I was a kid in Arizona, because (3 comments)
Tree with Character - 08/08/11 10:26 AM
I was out in the Fort Custer Recreation Area hiking some of the trails this past weekend and paused for a drink of water, and took this photo. I thought this tree has such character, and decided to include it here. This one happened to be right off the trail, and easy to see. The forest is quite thick at points along the various trails, and there is such a mix of interesting trees that as a photographer I simply never run out of things to take photos of. This tree looked like it could tell some stories.
The Unexpected Turns of Summer - 08/07/11 10:35 AM
The last few weeks covering the close of July and the beginning of August have been an unusual time for me both personally and in business. On a business level, I had two sales that I had worked over a month on fall apart before the closing, never to be recovered. Both were to investors. One unethical individual, whom I can clearly see with hindsight, went right up to closing to drop the bomb on me, after two previous extensions, that he had spent his money on something else and needed to back out on the deal. The other had the buyer and (3 comments)
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.