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
Are your prospects stealing the property of your clients? This is a good reason not to have open houses and a reason to closely watch propects as you tour occupied homes.
Woman Charged in Thefts at Open Houses
Homes Not on Market Were Also Targeted, Authorities Say
Lauren Cooke of Leesburg has been charged with 34 counts. Authorities said Cooke, who worked for a local moving company, posed as a buyer and stole items worth nearly $200,000. (Courtesy Of Loudoun County Sheriff's Office - Courtesy Of Loudoun County Sheriff's Office) Enlarge Photo
By Jonathan MummoloWashington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, April 9, 2008; Page B05
A Leesburg woman posed as a home buyer at dozens of open houses in Loudoun County and stole items, including prescription drugs, jewelry and firearms, from four of them while real estate agents were elsewhere in the homes, law-enforcement officials said yesterday.
Lauren E. Cooke, 24, who worked for a local moving company as a marketer, also burglarized four houses that were not on the market, officials said. She has been charged with 34 counts, including grand larceny, burglary, possession of a controlled substance and credit card fraud in the theft of items totaling nearly $200,000, they said. She is being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.
Investigators said they recovered more than 360 pieces of evidence from Cooke's Leesburg apartment last month but said many items had been sold and re-sold through pawn shops in the Washington region. The investigation is continuing, and more charges might be filed, said Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.
"At this point, we have more stolen items than we have reports of victims," Troxell said. "We believe there's more victims out there who either don't know the items are taken or may have moved and believe the items are either misplaced or stolen by the movers."
The first theft was reported in November, Troxell said, but it took a while for law-enforcement officials to detect a pattern and come to suspect that the same person might be stealing from houses on and off the market.
Cooke emerged as a suspect after witnesses at the open houses were interviewed, Troxell said. Investigators then obtained search warrants for her apartment.
According to an affidavit for one of the warrants, Cooke was seen loading a plastic container into a moving truck near her apartment. When interviewed, she "admitted that [the container] was full of stolen items from various locations," the affidavit stated.
Authorities said Cooke was employed by Move-It! Relocation Specialists in Leesburg. Josh Devaughn, who said he was co-owner and manager of the company, said Cooke was not a staff member but had done some contract work for the business, most recently designing and ordering business cards about two months ago.
"After hearing about this, I was obviously very, very shocked," Devaughn said. "From what I know of her, she's an upstanding member of the community. . . . All of her work she's done has been great. . . . They still could have the wrong person. . . . I mean, how many Lauren Cookes are out there?"
Troxell said open houses can present an opportunity for criminals to roam freely in a home with little supervision. He urged sellers to hide valuables before showing their homes.
"The open house allows the ability of outsiders to come in and take a tour of your home, and sometimes they're left alone during that tour," Troxell said. "In one case, a credit card was actually taken and the credit card had a pin with it . . . and she was able to go to the ATM and use that pin and access cash."
Susan Lynch, an agent with Weichert Realtors in Fairfax, said that she always advises clients to pack up and remove all valuables but that showing a home to potential buyers is a balancing act in terms of supervision.
"You can't treat everyone like a criminal when they're walking in, but you try to keep an eye on them as much as you can, and, for the most part, people really are out there looking for houses," she said. "It's like going shopping in the store -- you don't want someone in the dressing room with you."
One Saturday in January, one of the victims, Mabel Meetre, returned to her Ashburn home after a shopping trip with a friend and noticed things missing, including a digital camera, her son's iPod and her checkbook registry. She suspected it was a prank by her children, but when about $500 worth of prescription drugs turned up missing, she knew something was amiss.
The burglar "cleaned out" the house, said Meetre, whose home was not for sale. "It was like, 'Holy cow!' "
Staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.
We represent home buyers and sellers as their exclusive agents in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC.
Roy Kelley Roy Kelley & Associates Associate Broker, RE/MAX Realty Group
Client Assistance: 301-670-8996
Recipient of the RE/MAX International Lifetime Achievement Award - 2008
Roy Kelley advises home buyers, sellers and REO asset managers, in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC and nearby counties. REO and foreclosures sales. Market area includes Montgomery County, Frederick County, Washington County and Prince George's County.
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.