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MY FIRST 6 MONTHS WITH AR! Remember, "Rock em Sock em Robots?"

Mortgage and Lending with Funky Quail Vintage

Well, after my first 6 months witih Active Rain, I thought I might share my questions, comments, observations, suggestions, problems, antics, and issues that I have encountered in a very short period of time!

So far, my overall impression of ACTIVE RAIN, is that it is a "combination" of 145,000 people all playing "rock em sock em robots".  It is BLUE (ego) vs. Red (actual working knowledge).  The Mortgage / Realestate Industry has a way of "pitting" people against each other!  Good or bad, we have to work smarter not harder, and ALWAYS be open to suggestion and be willing to accept change, if we are going to vaccinate this problem! 

Questions  1.  AR, why dont we have a better tool bar for these blogs?  I sure would like to increase type size, change my fonts etc..and should be able to do it from right within the blog.


2.  AR, why can't you just delete some of the profiles that havn't been used in years??  Here in Wisconsin, there are several that havn't even been in BUSINESS for years...

3.  AR, who responds to the "contact us" emails, and why do they take so long to respond?

4.  AR, how long does it really take to "add" a category to be listed in? For example, there are people that want to JOIN AR, but dont have a category for what they do...and dont want to be listed under some of the ones you have in there that dont really match.  And, why can't we be listed in multiple categories?? For example, a Realtor could also be a Broker, or a Bank, could also be a Mortgage Company, or Loan company. Also for clarification purposes, we are allowed to pick a category to show up as...for example, Loan Officer.  When a consumer goes to the STATE selection, it immediately picks up everyone within the state.  Say they want to narrow it down to finding a Mortgage Company.  Then, it pulls up in order JUST the Mortgage Companies.  It would be nice to see where you rank not just in your own category, but also under a title like Loan Officer. Not every consumer searches in the same fashion.   That's all!  Hope this helps..

5.  AR, how are the blog features actually chosen, and why is that some of the same people are chosen so frequently?  I would assume with 145,000 members and growing, there are others that can write well, have good information, and understand the importance of current events! 


Can't we utilize this site for honest, passionate and most of all ACCURATE information?

  I have been apalled at the childish comments left behind and the petty bickering over WHO IS RIGHT AND WHO IS WRONG!  This is unprofessional, and I think that EVERYONE needs to think about WHO is reading the blogs...it is NOT just people in our industry!  We are HOPING customers are reading too aren't we??

Why is it that I leave consistent comments on people's blogs, and they do not have the courtesy to return the favor?

Why is it the people get SOO defensive when you question their so called "facts"?

There is a HUGE difference between discrediting someone, and asking for the person to post accurate information, wouldn't you agree?

Sometimes these blogs are a battle between ego & stupidy as well as the "undercard" of  knowledge vs. rhetoric.  This is sort of like Rock Em Sock Em Robots!




1.  Let's TRY to remain positive, even when we don't agree with someone.

2.   Lets try NOT to make things personal and ATTACK a persons character!

3.  Let's re-read what we type before we hit send or submit!

4.  Let's not correct people in their blog about spelling and grammar errors shall we??  I know I for one rarely use the spell checker!  LOL



You know I am VERY GRATEFUL TO ACTIVE RAIN for the following reasons.

1.  I had never BLOGGED before, and you got me going with it!  Thank you!

2.  You encouraged me to read the book on the right! 

3.  Because of you, I have TONS of more professional friends, and a fantastic EVIL MORTGAGE GENIUS GROUP of people I can always contact with questions!

4.  You have increased my passion for the business again, and for that I am deeply grateful!

5.  Overall, it has been a GREAT experience! 




In my first 6 months I have ONE feature, of which I was/am very proud of. It came in my first 3 weeks, so still out there looking for the next one!

I have learned SO much in my first 6 months, and truthfully more in that time than probably the last couple of years combined!  With all of the changes our industry has gone through, I think now more than ever, it is CRITICAL that we form solid alliances, build trust in our colleagues and customers, remain positive, remain focused, that we don't dwell on the negatives, and we try like heck to not play "ROCK EM SOCK EM ROBOTS" unless it is with our children!   


"You are not here to merely make a living.  You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.  You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. "

Thanks for reading, and here's to another 6 months!

Your "lender for life"

Proudly Serving the State of Wisconsin since 2003


Please enjoy my other blogs at your convenience!




Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

Well now, those are some very good questions and observations.  I'll be watching to see what answers come...

May 02, 2009 03:36 PM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Hi Janna-  Me too!  I am looking forward to Brad's answers as well as the comments of EVERYONE here on the rain!  Thanks for reading!  :)  oh, and commenting!!


May 02, 2009 03:39 PM
Joseph D. Federico
MVP Realty - Naples, FL
Southwest Florida Homes with Joe Federico

Darin-I hope you enjoyed and learned a lot in your first 6 months, Heres to many more months of blogging here in the rain!

May 02, 2009 03:57 PM
Sandra Mathewson
RE/MAX 4000 - Grand Junction, CO


Yours is one of the best posts I have read (on AR and other sites).  I agree with everything you said, and you put it so well!  You should head over to some of the Linkedin groups, they could use a good dose of your wisdom!



May 02, 2009 04:20 PM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Darin... some good points.  But I am really confused about #4, in your first set of questions. Are you talking about the type of member that we are on here?  meaning, that I am in the group of loan officers, not mortgage companies.  Those groups?  if so, how or why do you think they would help you in SEO???  Google searches your name and things that you blog about, and quality of the blogs, and good information... with bold words and links.  But what group you are listed as???

In any case, congrats on your first 6 months and yes, I remember the robots.  Still remember playing with them at my friends house when I was little.

jeff belonger

May 02, 2009 04:29 PM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Question:  AR- Can you kick Darin Osenberg off this freaking network? 

"You are not here to merely make a living.  You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.  You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. "

Awesome quote, man.  You know I love you.  I honestly believe you are a wonderful addition to this network.  I know I've learned a lot in my short time in knowing your mortgage soul.

May 03, 2009 05:21 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Jeff still plays with robots, for the record.

May 03, 2009 07:34 AM
Tim Rogers
Coaches Corner Radio...The Real Estate Guy - State College, PA


Excellent post and good analysis.  I know others have asked the same questions of AR but never received an answer.  I think your feature was an AR algorithm mistake.  I think the feature formula only contains about 20 people out of 145,370 and clearly the computer made a mistake when it selected your post as a feature.  Perhaps they'll add a 21st feature person to the algorithm--YOU.

Keep on blogging.



May 03, 2009 10:49 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Joseph -  I see you have been on AR for some time and I especially like comments from seasoned veterans!!  Thank you!  Always appreciated & it is nice to have our perspectives appreciated.

Sandra -  THANK YOU SO MUCH for your wonderful comments!  You know, I have found that many people that leave comments for people ON their blogs, are just as destructive and attacking as the old neighborhood bully who constantly picks on you...but then pretends they dont do it!  Many hypocrites!! Sadly... Is is always curious to me!  I actually am signed up on Linkedin, but havent had time to do anything with it, as busy as we are in the loan side of things!  It is alot of effort to stay on top of all the program changes, and then also on top of bloggin, marketing, advertising, and everything else!  I am working on my time management, but it is ALWAYS a struggle.  I am gong to be making ONE modification for clarity purposes, but the TRUE sad part is that I got sucked into this "vortex" of attacking...and that is why I wrote the post.  Trying to change MY OWN way of thinking!

Thank you so very much, and I will head over to Linkedin today later!! Thanks!



May 04, 2009 02:21 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Jeff- Thanks for your comments, as they are appreciated.  I altered #4 to make it easier for you and everyone else to understand where I was coming from.  I hope that it helps.  As far as search engine traffice, I contacted Google customer service this morning for clarification...so I took my search engine comment OUT of #4 to avoid confusion.  There are many things that go into the search, and quality of blog and good information are not two of them.  HOWEVER< you are VERY correct on all of the other comments.  Additionally,  there are other things as well that DO affect the "google" juice so to speak.  There are things like if the customer is PAYING GOOGLE to increase it's traffic or commonly known as positioning......there are also regional & statewide applications as well.  I took your advice, and DID bold things, and added Keywords, and it certainly has helped me....and if anyone would know about this..it would be you.   I just know that if I were searching for a mortgage in a certain State FROM another State, I would first look for a Mortgage Company, Mortgage broker and the like.  I dont think I would search for a loan officer first, UNLESS i knew of one and was trying to track them down.  Thank you very much for your suggestions! 


May 04, 2009 02:34 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Mr. Sardi -  You are a very funny guy!  I think the State of Pennsylvania is very lucky to have you!  I like the fact that you are inspirational and personable, and not just geared toward being the SMARTEST GUY on the web!  I think that is truly already 80%of the battle!  I have always found that if I can be personable, personal, and have empathy, I get ALOT further than someone who tried to "out NUMBER" me, or tries to be smarter than me....because, there truly are smarter people than me out there!  If I dont know the answer to something, I quickly admit it, look it up or call, get the answer, and then become the best I can be in that arena!   I think AR is lucky to have you and your attitude!  It is nice to be liked, as well as respected and smart! 


Thanks again!>>


May 04, 2009 02:38 AM
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

D....good stuff.   I just wrote on this as well.  Kick all the dead weight to the side.  A.R. should at least send out warnings after 3 months without any activity.  Everyone needs time off, but being absent....fogetaboutit!

May 05, 2009 01:10 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Larry - You know, I have a black n white BOWLING SHIRT, that has the LOGO from the Bada Bing Club from the Sopranos on the back.  In small letters down below it says, "come on in and fogettaboutit...!"

I was hoping from some responses on the blog from AR people, but sadly have not received any!!

It is still nice being only 3/1451 mortgage companies though in Wisconsin!  If they kicked out the dead weight...I would be 3 /988...so...maybe I should shut up...it looks better!  :)

Thanks for the comments!



May 05, 2009 04:48 AM
Charlottesville Solutions - Charlottesville, VA

Great post thank you for sharing with us here on AR.


Jun 04, 2009 04:17 AM
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

HI Peg!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hopefully you will enjoy my OPEN HOUSE blogs!  They are pretty applicable today!

Thanks again for sharing!


Jun 04, 2009 04:34 AM