activerain: VIVA Las Stage-Us... thanks in part to Active Rain! - 01/05/11 09:54 AM
Well I've done it. I am all signed up to go to this year's Home Staging Conference hosted by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA). I so look forward to the magic that can only take place when a group of like minded people meet to share, learn and grow. If you have ever been to an ActiveRain RainCamp or a NAR Convention I am sure you know what I mean.
But I bet you don't know that the growth of the home staging industry actually began to take root and is due, much in part, to ActiveRain. For just about the time ActiveRain started up, home … (34 comments)

activerain: I is Gonna Splash Actively in this Big Rain Puddle Again - 12/15/10 04:17 AM
Well, I guess you can say I am back. After a SHORTER break from staging and a LONGER break from blogging I have decided to come back in and splash around in this MUCH larger puddle called ActiveRain.
Why did I dry up and leave? Well, it is partially because of ActiveRain I left in the first place! You see I was noticed here by a consumer product technology company in California. After many discussions about social media in general, they asked me to come aboard and help create a splash for them in their industry using social media.
So about a year and 1/2 ago … (33 comments)

activerain: First Impression-ist Masterpieces Now Hang in the Active Rain Gallery - 04/14/08 04:05 AM
Last week something new began to be seen in the great hallowed halls of Active Rain. Beautiful blog masterpieces started to appear. Active Rain gave to us all another great new improvement to help us all better differentiate and further brand ourselves through our blogs. We now all have the access to a FREE tool, the ActiveRain Customizer, that allows us to easily create a visual masterpiece of our own blogs. I have scoured Active Rain's walls to find 15 fine examples of blogs that have a new and improved branded" look. I encourage you to click and open the examples below, to see in detail what others have already done. You … (58 comments)

activerain: I FINALLY Gots Me a Purdy Puddle... in the Rain - 04/11/08 08:09 AM
The ONLY problem I have EVER had about Active Rain was it is UGLY. YUP UGLY and I have not been afraid to let the Rain Gods (Matt Heaton and Johnathon Washburn) know how I felt.
But there is a saying, "you only get to complain if you are willing to provide a solution." So not only did I register a complaint, I also tried my best to get them over to the "pretty side". I sent them mock-up ideas JUST to get this site LOOKING better.
But the AR guys could only move so fast on all the improvements they were providing us. I could no … (32 comments)

activerain: Ruffled Feathers makes for some Good Flapping in the Rain - 04/09/08 02:20 AM
When Active Rain "works" it does something quite wonderful. It grows, and expands, and teaches, and challenges. It creates dialogue in places and spaces where there was none.
I think sometimes we forget that we all here are a community. An ever growing community, but a community non the less. In the "good old days," when there were only a few thousand members, there was a daily banter of ideas bouncing back and forth. Those of you who were lucky to be here then know what I am talking about. Some of what was shared was of great "industry" value; some was just plain "trivial … (20 comments)

activerain: Best Blog EVER Finally Hits Its Target... of ONE - 04/01/08 11:39 PM
Daily hundreds and hundreds of bloggers post here on Active Rain... all with the hopes that what we write connects to an audience. What makes blogging on AR uniquely different from other blog platforms is the fact that because it is a social network, posting here first reachs a tighter member audience made up of professional from all areas of the Real Estate industry.
Comments from our peers can give us the immediate "gratification" of knowing if what we said, what we wrote, worked or not.
Sometimes when we write something particularly well, the All Mighty & Mysterious Rain Gods will feature our posts and send it into the … (15 comments)

activerain: "What, How-N-Why?" This was How Our Day Flew By... - 10/04/07 11:51 AM
Blogging was QUITE a popular topic yesterday at Emagine 2007 Expo... and educational event Coldwell Banker held for its agents in Chicago.
I'm happy to report back that the day FLEW BY as ActiveRain's Caleb Mardini and I answered questions about blogging in the "Blooger's Lounge" set up at the Expo. I gotta admit it was very clever and forward thinking of Coldwell Banker to devote an area to where its agents could come and inquire about blogging. The Blogger's Lounge was very, very popular. (See Photo - Left) In fact, at one point I actually thought I was going to loose my voice as we answered over and over again the same 3 questions about blogging, … (20 comments)

activerain: EMAGINE... Education is Part of the Silver Lining in a Slow Market - 09/28/07 09:17 AM
So the market is slow... ok its VERY slow. So what can you do?  Well I think with every dark cloud there is a silver lining. One "upside" to a slow market is it provides an opportunity for rapid professional growth and development... and in that opportunity lies the possibility to be successful in any market.
Next Wednesday, (October 3rd) Coldwell Banker has put together an amazing day full educational opportunities for their agents in and around Chicago-land. The Emagine 2007 Expo is a day for CB agents to come and learn of ways to increase their business by learning from marketing experts, top-notch panels … (34 comments)

activerain: I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours! - 06/18/07 11:40 PM

Revealing how I approach and how I actually study what I see working with my blogging here in the Rain is what this post is all about. (Its NOT about the goofy picture to the left... that is just to make you smile a bit.)
First I know that blogs that have fresh original industry related content reigns in the Rain. Yes, the fun and quirky personal posts add an interesting dimension and they do help to reveal your unique personality and differentiate you from your fellow bloggers. But all in all, industry related posts that inform are the posts Active Rain Moderators like … (31 comments)

activerain: "How Does Active Rain Make Money?" Chicago Wanted Answers. - 06/18/07 12:22 AM
I swear EVERYONE, at this past weekend's Midwest West Celebration for Active Rain, wanted to know the answer to the GREAT mystery.... How does Active Rain make money? People even were grilling ME (as if I had an inside scoop).  But like I told them... ask Matt. So sorry, you won't find that JUICY and complelling revelation here in this post.
However I DO have some other secret tid-bits about Matt & Lydia you might not know.
First, Matt does NOT like eating seafood. So I guess taking them to Navy Pier to a seafood restaurant, probably wasn't one of my best ideas! Also Matt has never seen fire-flies..., so when he did, he was … (35 comments)

activerain: Run Off and Join a Blog Carnival... You Might End Up Being FEATURED in the Rain - 06/11/07 02:52 AM
So, I just finished being the guest judge for this week's Carnival of Real Estate. Some really great and informative winning posts for this week's contest  can be found here on my "pretty" blog: Judging for Real Estate Blogging Award Ain't Just Easy as Black & White.
But that is not what I want to talk about. While judging it was fun and informative, I have to admit I was a bit shocked and surprised as I was reading through the variety of colorful and varied Real Estate industry posts that were submitted this week... it hit me that NOT MANY Active Rain Bloggers submitted their work for this week's carnival. And … (14 comments)

activerain: 100,000 DING DONG's, Stage It Forward Calling... with a Member Button for YOU! - 06/04/07 07:35 AM
With this post I have gone over the 100k Point. How befitting to reach this milestone with this post. While I did not time it as such, (I actually thought it would be this Friday with a Good Word Series post.) this post really does make this special for me ... because this post is about the Stage It Forward group created just last November here on Active Rain. This group, because of its many wonderful members, really has become a mini-Active Rain for the Home Staging Industry.
I LOVE the fact that being a member to both Active Rain and Stage It Forward is … (55 comments)

activerain: MANGIA! MANGIA! and Celebrate Active Rain in Chicago-land this June 16th - 06/01/07 09:47 AM

Don't FORGET the PAR-TAY RAIN CLOUD is moving to the MIDWEST on June 16th!
We picked a site that would be easy to access from surrounding states of Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.
In my original announcement post I pretty much knew none of the details.
BUT!!! No we've finalized the location at a Restaurant ICON that originated in Chicago as part of the Lettuce Entertainment Group of restaurants.
So taaaaa daaaaa! We will be celebrating Saturday afternoon for lunch, adult libations (if you want) and rain soaked Birthday Cake at: Maggaino's Little Italy in Oak Brook... where being loud and festive is a good thing.
Address: 240 Oak Brook Center … (46 comments)

activerain: Become a Paranoid Blogging Narcissist... in 3 EASY Steps! - 05/20/07 09:00 AM

One of the interesting dynamics about Active Rain is that it is a COMMUNITY of bloggers. Daily thousands of people log-on to read and learn from and of each other.
However while your blog informs, it might also inspire and/or provoke another blogger to write more. That "MORE" might be more about what your had to say in your blog, or about you personally and specifically in their own personal blog. Either way, they might make mention of or reference YOU, by name.
With so much blogging activity, how will you know if or when one of your fellow bloggers ARE saying something behind the front of your back here … (39 comments)

activerain: The Windy City to Celebrate 1 Year of the Rain... Actively on June 16th! - 05/08/07 01:03 AM
UPDATE ON PARTY DETAILS CAN BE FOUND HERE! MANGIA! MANGIA! and Celebrate Active Rain in Chicago-land this June 16th
Well the Rain Gods have spoken, (actually the Rain Goddess) and its official.
Chicago is to be a celebration destination for Active Rain's 1 Year Anniversary Party Tour.
The date for Chicago's event will be Saturday June 16th. Other events are scheduled for:
June 2,   Seattle, Washington June 9,   Los Angeles, CaliforniaJune 23, Orlando, FloridaJune 30, New York, New YorkHere is what I know so far...
Exact Time... TBA. Exact Location... TBA. Why are the details TBA (to be announced)?  Because the Metro-Chicago area is HUGE … (45 comments)

activerain: For a QUICK DIVE in Blog Readership... Go on Vacation! - 05/05/07 10:30 AM
I have read of the frustration that new Bloggers here on Active Rain have regarding not being able to "stand out" amongst the "power house" Bloggers who always seem to get all the attention.
One thing I don't think new Bloggers see is that fact that many of the best-of-the-best Power Bloggers have worked hard to work their way up to the top of the this Blog Pile. It takes time and commitment to generate good content that readers connect with and like to read. BUT Bloggers need to also understand the brutal fact that while it takes time to get to the top, it take MUCH … (29 comments)

activerain: ENTER THE RAIN... from a New, Beautiful & Different Perspective - 04/05/07 02:37 PM
Every Realtor knows that first impressions matter. So can I be honest here? (And this has bugged me about Active Rain from the start.) Active Rain's front door is UGLY.
Yup UGLY! Yes, Yes I know it is fully "functional" door... but let's face it... its ugly. It has NO SNAP, NO WOW! NO... DANG I gotta go in and take a TOUR of this site.
And as all my staging colleagues (and Realtors too) know... first impressions matter... so it better be good!
Sooooo...  I did a little cyber Staging, and made a new fully functional doorway into Active Rain for my … (63 comments)

activerain: Getting MORE RETURN for your Blogging Dollar - 04/03/07 11:59 PM
If you have blogged, for ANY amount of time, you know it is an investment IN time. However, one of the "PERKS" I have found in blogging is it gives me a means to capture and articulate, in a concise manner, just what I do want to communicate to my clients. So now instead of saying someday I SHOULD write something about XYZ topic... I find I HAVE written about that topic.
Which is all fine and good.
But... did you ever notice that ONCE you posted your blog it quickly becomes "yesterday's news?"  And all that investment seems a little lost. I have... and that bothered … (54 comments)

activerain: CALLING ALL STAGERS... go MAKE Broker Bryant SQUEEEEEL with delight! - 04/03/07 01:26 PM
Today Broker Bryant, one of THE most influential REALTORS here on Active Rain, posted a blog that EVERY STAGER on Active Rain could and should chime in on.
YUP Broker B DID US ALL A BIG FAVOR! He opened the door for us to step in.... go get'em and let the rest of the Rain know we are articulate, knowledgeable and a force NOT to ignore.
Here is a link RIGHT into his blog. Oink, Oink! Welcome to my sty!!!
Stage his STY of a blog with BEAUTIFUL INFORMATION...

activerain: And the FOOL in the Rain Award Goes to... - 04/02/07 12:59 AM

Yesterday, April Fool's day, was a special day here in the Rain. It was a day that brought out the "Fool" in many. So if you like to smile, I thought I would pull together one of those of oh-so-famous and much enjoyed REVIEW posts... but, for this review compilation I got it easy, I just had to go through one days worth of material.
Anyway, as they say, here are the nominees for the 2007 A.R.F (Active Rain Fool) Award in no particular order... (YES! This WAS a contest YOU FOOLS!!!... but only in my head)
In order to get to the bottom of this … (61 comments)

These are the creative writings of Craig Schiller, a home staging professional, passionate real estate marketing professional and founder of the Real Estaging, one of the nation's leading home staging companies.




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