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
Grout Recolorant To The Rescue! - 04/29/08 04:51 PM
When Staging existing homes, I am constantly looking for inexpensive techniques that I can recommend so sellers can make upgrades and improvements to their homes. One of my biggest pet peeves is dark grout lines with light colored tilework, especially in an entryway. Dark grout lines really break up the visual expanse of a floor and just scream "I'm old!". Nothing turns off buyers more or negatively affects the first impression than an outdated floor in the entryway. If the tile is in good condition it is not necessary to replace the grout to get it updated - just recolor it! (20 comments)
Grout Recolorant To The Rescue! - 04/29/08 04:50 PM
When Staging existing homes, I am constantly looking for inexpensive techniques that I can recommend so sellers can make upgrades and improvements to their homes. One of my biggest pet peeves is dark grout lines with light colored tilework, especially in an entryway. Dark grout lines really break up the visual expanse of a floor and just scream "I'm old!". Nothing turns off buyers more or negatively affects the first impression than an outdated floor in the entryway. If the tile is in good condition it is not necessary to replace the grout to get it updated - just recolor it! (2 comments)
Grout Recolorant To The Rescue! - 04/29/08 04:48 PM
When Staging existing homes, I am constantly looking for inexpensive techniques that I can recommend so sellers can make upgrades and improvements to their homes. One of my biggest pet peeves is dark grout lines with light colored tilework, especially in an entryway. Dark grout lines really break up the visual expanse of a floor and just scream "I'm old!". Nothing turns off buyers more or negatively affects the first impression than an outdated floor in the entryway. If the tile is in good condition it is not necessary to replace the grout to get it updated - just recolor it! (3 comments)
A Striking Financial Reason To Address Price & Condition Immediately - 04/27/08 10:16 AM
Okay, so I am a professional Home Stager and NOT a financial wiz :-) However, I learned something very interesting last week at a presentation that is ANOTHER striking financial reason to price right and stage a home before it's listed on the market. I do not have all of the technical terms down but I will do my best to quickly and accurately explain what I know. In response to our nationwide increase in housing foreclosures and other related economic injuries, the mortgage industry is tightening their lending practices (some voluntarily, some federally mandated). As a result, if a home is (3 comments)
But you should have seen it BEFORE we did all this work .... - 04/26/08 06:18 PM
Inevitably when Staging existing homes I run into several that have been updated at least half-way. At least MOST of the wallpaper has been removed and replaced with paint, at least MOST of the flooring has been upgraded, at least MOST of the lighting has been replaced with more fashionable options. But the key word in that sentence is MOST - i.e. not all. Often times the sellers neglected to update a few areas of the home, areas that can be very important when selling a home, such as the entry way. When I suggest to sellers that the wallpaper covering the giant (7 comments)
How Closely Did You Supervise? - 04/25/08 11:35 PM
How closely to you supervise your furniture movers while they are moving things into or out of a vacant Staging job? I usually watch my guys fairly closely, but not like a hawk. I use two vendors; one team is very careful, usually wraps moving blankets around doorways, cover wood floors before assembling furniture, etc. The other is a local team that probably has never had formal "moving man" training, but still strive to do a good job. I had a situation arise awhile back from a very particular seller (read: Total Grinder). They had dated wallpaper and lighting throughout the home (15 comments)
The Power of a Handwritten Note - 04/23/08 09:22 AM
In the last three weeks I have received three hand-written thank you notes from clients - one from an agent pleased with the Staging work I have done for several of her clients, one from a builder-owner happy with the results of a vacant staging just installed, and another from a regular agent client who had played an April Fool's joke on me (Thanks for including a gift certificate, David! Went to Cheesecake Factory last Friday and had a blast). What struck me as I was opening my mail was that these people took time out of their very busy schedule (6 comments)
Steps for Removing Lingering Cigarette Smell From A House - 04/22/08 03:00 PM
Even though smoking is no where near as "chic" as it used to be, there are still some die hard smokers who eventually decide to sell their home. Their addiction to smoking then becomes an agent's problem as homes with lingering cigarette odors are much harder to sell than clean smelling listings. There are several steps that home owners can take to eliminate the overwhelming odor. They are listed below. 1. Repaint all offending rooms, possibly the entire interior, depending on where the sellers smoked. Don't overlook the ceilings as they can be dingy, yellowed, and also contribute to the lingering odor. 2. Fabrics especially (10 comments)
Orange Glo - Miracle Wood Restorer - 04/20/08 03:13 PM
I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes! A few weeks ago I was at a client's house beginning our Staging walkthrough. I had mentioned that the wordwork was pretty beat up in the floor trim and around the doors. The seller stopped me to excitedly explain that she had found the product to save her lots of time and money! She brought out her spray bottle of "Orange Glo" and quickly demonstrated how spraying and wiping this product on the woodwork amazingly filled in some of the nicks and freshened the whole look of it. Not (7 comments)
Another Striking Financial Reason to Stage Before Listing - Omaha, NE - 04/18/08 02:05 PM
Okay, so I am a professional Home Stager and NOT a financial wiz :-) However, I learned something very interesting this week at a presentation that is ANOTHER striking financial reason to stage a home before it's listed on the market. I do not have all of the technical terms down but I will do my best to quickly and accurately explain what I know. In response to our nationwide increase in housing foreclosures and other related economic injuries, the mortgage industry is tightening their lending practices (some voluntarily, some federally mandated). As a result, if a home is flagged as being (12 comments)
A Free Consultation Can Be Helpful - How To Reduce Your Time - 04/17/08 12:01 PM
Sometimes in the name of building a business it is helpful to offer some time to do a free consultation. I am not a proponent of working for free or reduced fees just because someone asks, but when trying to recruit a new high volume client or someone who can be significantly influential in referrals, it may be wise to break my usual rule on this. I have found that in using the right phrasing I can offer a mini-consultation and not have my time abused. I typically have a two hour appointment which includes a full consultation and some work. When I would like to (3 comments)
Becoming a One-Stop Shop for Clients - 04/16/08 06:38 PM
I was invited to participate in a presentation today by a real estate agent. There were three of us industry professionals; one agent, one mortgage person, and little ole me! The presentation went very well and I bet all three of us will earn several clients or transactions from our time. One of the attendees approached me after the presentation and asked if I was interested in hiring her part-time. I am not currently looking for a new part-timer so I tried to let her down gently. She asked if I ever needed anyone just to help organize and pack for people (11 comments)
Real Estate Agents Are Interpreters of the Market - 04/15/08 06:05 PM
I really hate it when people operate with misconceptions. Blame gets misplaced, anger is misdirected, resentment builds. In the end nobody wins. The housing market operates the same way as other markets in our capitalist society. Supply and demand dictate pricing. Supply and/or demand change to make corrections when things are slow or moving too fast. Supply and demand can be interpreted by an expert but cannot be set by a single force. Real estate agents are expert interpreters of the market. They can do their homework and use their experience to guide sellers in establishing a price for their listing, but (6 comments)
I Was Wrong - Wallpaper Can Successfully Be Painted Over - 04/15/08 05:20 PM
Okay, I have to admit that I was slightly wrong in a blog I posted last week. I really HATE to admit when I am wrong :-) Last week I discredited the theory of painting over wallpaper as a quick fix. I have seen the end result in person several times and it always looked terrible - seams were obvious, the pattern of the wallpaper showed through no matter how dark the paint was, etc. TODAY I stand corrected! I was staging a home and the owner told me she had painted over wallpaper in the kitchen and I didn't believe her. (7 comments)
Proud To Be Omaha's Naked Home Stager - 04/12/08 11:32 AM
That's a title that will get some attention! I just read a great post from one my fellow AR members and finally learned the definition of a "naked" home stager. Before everyone gets too excited, let me explain. There are literally HUNDREDS of staging courses/training sessions/materials that a person can purchase if they desire training on becoming a Home Stager. In 2004 when I stumbled across the world of Home Staging I did quite a bit of research on these courses in addition to some analysis of my local market. In the end I elected to purchase two sets of study at (8 comments)
People Sell Houses, Manequins Do Not - 04/11/08 11:05 PM
I co-host a radio show called the "Real Estate Reality Hour" on Saturday mornings. My co-host is a builder client/friend of mine; his building company has several model homes here in Omaha, Nebraska. Steve Smithberg (co-host) is an interesting character. He likes to stir the pot and get people on edge or even angry sometimes. He's a little impish that way. He and I have lots of debates which can make for interesting listening. One of our long-standing debates is the use of manequins in model homes. He is strongly FOR it and I am staunchly AGAINST it. He believes that having manequins in (5 comments)
"Easy" Fixes Can Create Disasters - i.e. paint over wallpaper - 04/11/08 08:41 PM
In our incredibly busy world today it is enticing to take the "easy way out" whenever one is available. So many of us are overstretched with regard to time, money and energy in our daily lives; add the stresses of selling a home on top of that and it can seem impossible to make the necessary changes/repairs/upgrades to get a home ready for market. Wallpaper can kill a potential sale (so can bold paint colors, but that's another blog :-). Everybody knows that but most homeowners don't want to admit it. After all, they bought the house with wallpaper. Or they put up the (9 comments)
Agents Should Not Do Their Own Staging - Yet Another Example - 04/09/08 09:22 PM
Often times agents advertise "staging" services as part of their marketing package. If they don't hire a third-party professional home stager then they typically don't list a lot of details about their staging services in their literature. I usually chuckle silently to myself when I hear agents talk about providing their own staging expertise as a competitive advantage. I mean, it seems like any person with a command of the english language and the ability to see in color can tell a seller to repaint their red accent wall in a neutral and advertise that as "professional staging advice". My second (15 comments)
Protecting the Home Stager - "After" Photos Before A Vacant Install - 04/08/08 09:25 AM
Here in Omaha, Nebraska, Home Staging is still sort of a new concept. Most agents and many sellers have heard something about it by now but not everyone has employed Home Staging in their own selling strategy. As a full service Home Stager I am proud to offer Occupied and Vacant Staging services. When working on a vacant home I rent furniture, artwork and accessories for key areas. I am lucky to have two furniture vendors at my disposal. One is local and offers shorter minimums and aggressive pricing for my lower price range homes. The other is regional with slightly (7 comments)
Blue Sofa Set Key In Sale - Home Staging Omaha - 04/07/08 04:20 PM
Typically the golden rule of Home Staging is to go neutral. Neutral paint, flooring, furniture, etc. This works most of the time but is not always the best strategy. Awhile back I received a call from a frustrated builder with a beautiful new construction home for sale on a newer lake development. The home was well done, nice and neutral finishes throughout. Neutral, neutral, neutral! One of the biggest attractions for this home was lake living but it was difficult for buyers to look past the sea of tan and builder beige to even notice the lake. We decided to stage (15 comments)
"Take Your Child To Work Day" - A Little Extreme for an 11 Day Old Newborn! - 04/06/08 06:55 PM
I was blessed with the birth of my second born son in January of this year (my first-born is ten, going on 16!). Before he was born I worried about how I would handle business during his early days but had hoped that since it was winter - not really a slower time of year here in Omaha but you would think it might be - and I had a good independent contractor with my firm that I would handle it all okay and enjoy at least 4-6 weeks at home with my beautiful baby. Boy, was I wrong! My bundle of joy was indeed, (8 comments)
General Paint Recommendations for Any Seller - 04/05/08 04:39 PM
Often times my clients (real estate agents) have made upgrade/improvement suggestions to their sellers before I am scheduled to stage their home for sale. One of the most common suggestions is neutralize wall coverings/finishes - whether it is to remove wallpaper/borders and repaint or repaint over bold colors. Listed below is a something I put together at an agent's request that lists two types of Sherwin Williams Paint colors for the three different types of trim most commonly used in homes. Neutral Paint Suggestions for Home Staging/Selling The best way to select the perfect paint color when selling or decorating is to (10 comments)
Omaha Home Staging - When Neutral Paint Isn't Good Enough - 04/05/08 12:46 PM
I co-host a radio show in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday mornings called "The Real Estate Reality Hour". This morning's guest was Walt Slobotski, current President of the Metro Omaha Builder's Association, MOBA. Walt asked me an interesting question while we were on air; he was wondering what is the best color scheme with regard to interior paint in a home for sale. My approach to Home Staging is the same as marketing any product or commodity. Once consumer demand has been established, competition in the marketplace further dictates price and quality standards. Therefore a successful seller must know what their direct competition looks like (2 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.