The Active Rain Family -- It's More Than A Referral or a Learning Center!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living 272617

Come this August, I'll celebrate 5 years since I stumbled onto this place, site, whatever called Active Rain. I know it saved my real estate business. I never would be where I am, know what I know, or have the successful website I have had I not found Active Rain.

But, you know, it's really more than a website. It's more like The Active Rain Family. An Extended one for sure....

Active Rain Family at RETSOBack in April, a big part of my "family" was here in Atlanta for RETSO (Formerly known as RETech South....THE place for social media knowledge in real estate!) Now some of this family I've known, and met on numerous occasions. Debe Maxwell from Charlotte has been a friend since we met on Active Rain, and then met in person at RETech South --like 2008! But this year's RETSO took on a whole family reunion flair, when I had the opportunity to meet some people I've been working with weekly for the past 18 months! To finally meet In Real Life, the likes of Sharon Paxson from Newport Beach, CA, Larry Brewer from Nashville, Michelle Gibson from Wellington, FL, Renee Burrows from Las Vegas and Jane Peters from Los Angeles...well it was what I'd call maybe a once in a lifetime kinda of memory. Thanks to "my ladies" for coming to ATL and sharing a cocktail or two! #625 will never mean the same thing again!

But the family also gained a couple new members too...I was able to meet Cindy Jones from Virginia and the one and only Eric Michael from Detroit! I just love when the family gets bigger!

However, last week, I got a little bit sweeter (and tasty too!) taste of my Active Rain family. I'm currently getting some much needed dental treatment via the College of Dentistry at the Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, GA. Now, it may not sound like a big thing to you, but try a $5000 dental implant for $1400. Yes, it's a 300-mile round trip visit to the dentist's office...but worth every penny I'm saving.

Tammy Lankford-Baker Lane RealtyWell, another member of my Active Rain family lives and sells Lake Sinclair. Her name is Tammy Lankford-Baker. Since most of my returns from Augusta, I'm numbed up from dental work, last week was an opportunity that I would not be. I've always wanted to see more of where Tammy carries on and writes about, so we made lunch plans. Little did I know I was getting a lunch treat!

Tammy's office (she designed and had it built) has a full kitchen to compliment the variety of offices, conference room, a front rocking chair porch and even a screened in porch off the kitchen! It really feels more like a home than an office!

Tammy's Home Cooked LunchWhen I arrived shortly after 1:30pm and opened the front door, I was greeted with two wonderful things....a hug from Tammy and the aromas from the kitchen! What followed, was 3 hours of conversation along with a homemade lunch of meatloaf, sauteed zucchini and onions, stuffed mushrooms and a cheesy potato casserole! Oh yeah...and later came cake, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Oh yeah...there were corn bread muffins and butter.... I mean, come to ATL, and we'll head to a restaurant. But, it's really amazing to have the hospitality of a family member like Tammy to make you feel right at home.

After a couple cups of coffee, I was ready for the drive back to the big city. I waved goodbye to Tammy on her rockin' chair front porch and headed off into the sunset....with a full tummy and a warm feeling inside. Thanks Tammy!

The Active Rain Family! It's really something amazing. And if you're not a part of it, might be kinda hard to explain the feeling.



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Amy Hahn
Pine Knoll Shores Realty - Morehead City, NC
Realtor/Broker - Crystal Coast, NC

Thom - I can't imagine my life without my AR family!  I joined for business (and can't complain), but the relationships built here are amazing!  I look forward to meeting as many members as I can!  That lunch sounds & looks absolutely fabulous!

May 29, 2012 04:12 AM #6
Richard Weisser
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Coweta Newnan Homes for Sale


First of all, I missed RETSO this year because I was just too busy. But I met Tammy at Raincamp and we have done some referral business together and she is AWESOME!

I am going too try to get out of town more often, looks like I may be caught up enough soon to get back into the swing of things.

May 29, 2012 04:18 AM #7
Amanda and Jared Christiansen
Century 21 Bradley (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Century 21 Bradley Realtors

I hope to meet you next year Thom.  Looks like you and Tammy had a good time.  Miss you guys.  :)                                

May 29, 2012 04:31 AM #8
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson - Hudson Valley Homes for Sale

Good Morning THom... Only here 7 months.. and the new family is amazing!

May 29, 2012 04:36 AM #9
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thom, that sounds like a great time.  I'm with you on the value of AR.  There are a lot of great folks on here.  The education is great, but the relationships are extra special.

May 29, 2012 05:00 AM #10
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Thom, sounds like you had a great time with Tammy. Its always nice to put a real face to the photos we see here on ActiveRain.

May 29, 2012 05:21 AM #11
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Thom, That's quite the crew that you got to hang out with!  And AR is definitely a lot more than we could have ever expected when we first joined.  Looking forward to meeting some more people in person in a few weeks.

May 29, 2012 06:25 AM #12
Teral McDowell
Murphy, TX

A great tribute to ActiveRain; it has certainly been a good experience for me. Thanks, Thom


May 29, 2012 07:29 AM #13
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Thom - I'm sooooo jealous that you had a homemade lunch with Tammy, she is such a wonderful person.

May 29, 2012 08:47 AM #14
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

So very true Thom!  Sometimes when I need a quick fix I hit on my AR family for a picker-upper!  :)

Sure would have loved to have made this years RETSO - hate not getting a chance to spend some time with you too!  Hope all continues to be well in your world...


P.S - Congrats my friend on the well deserved 35 Featured Posts

May 29, 2012 09:02 AM #15
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams of Central PA East - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Many of my favorite people included in this blog. Now that would have been great fun and now seeing the two of you in Georgia is on my bucket list. Have a great day!


May 29, 2012 09:03 AM #16
Barbara Le Pine
S & W Real Estate, serving Lincoln County - Newport, OR
S & W Real Estate, Newport OR

Thom, I recently had an AR visit with Todd Clark and his family who came to Newport when I had a big band concert (I play vibraphone with the Lincoln Pops 20 piece orchestra.) It was an experience I will never forget! I continue to get referrals and inquiries about my listings through AR, I am blessed to be a part of this online family. Great post, loved the bite of meatloaf!

May 29, 2012 10:36 AM #17
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA
- Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties

Thom -- what a great way to explain to newcomers about the AR family and what it can really mean.

May 29, 2012 10:58 AM #18
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Homes

You just reminded me that I started around the same time! We were 'hatched' at the same time! It's great to meet all the people that we meet finally in person here in the rain. Is Renee that short one?

May 29, 2012 11:54 AM #19
Kerrie La Guardia
ActiveRain, Community Manager - Kirkland, WA
Let it Rain!

What a wonderful tribute to your AR family Thom.  It really is a feeling that's so hard to describe to others that just don't get it.  When we hit the road for RainCamp I was always amazed by the gracious givings from member to member.  There really is nothing like it!

May 29, 2012 12:51 PM #20
Judi K Barrett
Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma - Idabel, OK
Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB

Thom, WOW!  Isn't it amazing the qualify of people that are here in the Rain.  That kind of cooking would definitley make you feel welcome and at home.  I'm envious.  :) 

May 29, 2012 05:48 PM #21
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Sounds like a great crew.  I often say AR is my water cooler and support system as I work alone.

May 29, 2012 07:41 PM #22
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors - Austin, TX
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale

Good morning Thom,

Loved the video of your meeting with Tammy and looks like you had your arms full with the girls at RETSO! So cool to have meet-ups with the ActiveRain Family!!

May 30, 2012 03:35 AM #23
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Thom, I agree.  Active Rain has so many familiar faces that feel like family.

May 30, 2012 02:05 PM #24
Tammie White
(615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty, Franklin TN

Thom, I have never had the pleasure of meeting any of my AR friends. I hope I get the chance very soon. Tammy did an awesome job of making you feel at home.

May 31, 2012 11:33 AM #25
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Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale
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