Active RainCamp 2010 - The Power of Learning & Networking - A Day in New York City

Mortgage and Lending with Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc


Active RainCamp



Like minded professionals from all over, because of Active Rain & Networking…. not only networking, but a family.

Again, late to the party has seemed to be my theme for the last 2 months.  LOL  Just that I have had a lot on my plate and it's just not all business. But I did want to share with you not only my story, but so many other stories from other AR members, aka Rainers, that were in NYC for RainCamp a few days ago.




An excellent time in less than 24 hours….

Even though I have been blogging on Active Rain since October 2006, I still get something from these types of events. Thanks to Jonathan Washburn, Bob Stewart, Brad Andersohn, and several others of the AR staff for putting this together. (sorry for leaving some names out)  Ben Kinney also gave his successful knowledge as a realtor who gave us many tips and advice.... so thanks Ben.

So what was one of the most important things that I learned from the 1 day session? Brad Kinney was talking about content & keywords - You want good/quality content and make sure that you show your keywords 2 to 4% of the time in your blog. And you want to keep your words at 300 to 500 words per blog. 


Bob Stewart touched upon 5 things in order to have a successful blog and why you should blog. One main focal point of this was to successfully create links from your AR site to other sites. This helps generate traffic also. But keep in mind, Google won't usually recognize more than two outgoing links, so don't get link happy, thinking that this will work.


Secondly, Brad Andersohn shared many of his free links to many sites which I will leave you with a few.

  • - Aggregate all your online social profiles and contact details into a portable interactive profile rich with content.
  • - Walk Score helps home buyers and renters find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods. It also calculates the walkability of any address.



Lastly, the fun part about networking.... socializing with friends, good conversations, and some cocktails. You can see some of the pictures below. I only had my cell with me, so many of the pictures are from other members with their permission of course.  Enjoy...


Just a good basic blog about blogging....

Blogging and Time Management  by Brad Andersohn




Jeff Belonger & Bob Stewart


Well, I thought Bob wouldn't do this to me, but I think he let one loose, hence my expression on my face. See how cool he plays it off.... lol  Seriously, I wasn't expecting the bright double flash.

(Jeff Belonger & Bob Stewart)

PS... Bob... it's 2010, not two thousand and ten... lol


Christa Caaulk & Lauren




Now, don't mess with the girl on the right, because this is Bob Stewart's fiancee.

(Lauren and Christa Caulk, aka Missy Caulk's lovely daughter)







When I talk about Active Rain and family all in one. It's great when you follow people or people follow you for a year or two, and then you finally get to meet in person. Or you lost touch, meeting once before, yet a year later you meet again. These are the Active Members that I got to meet for the first time or a year later for a second time.

Mitchell Hall and I met for the first time in 2008. He introduced me to his associate, Adina Greenberg. We had lunch with Concetta Pepenella and her husband, Joseph as we ate at Sophia's restaurant in Manhattan. Also got to see Caroyln Tann-Starr again, always a pleasure. And our own Helpful Hannah, Hannah Williams, who works in Philadelphia, across the river from me. (that is one way on how you brand a name)



Others that I met mostly that night when AR held a cocktail party at Latitude Bar & Grill.


Lisa Hammerstein & Jeff Belonger

Lisa Hammerstein & Robert Hammerstein - First time meeting ever, after reading each others blogs and phone calls in the last 2 1/2 years.  It was about time and way long overdue. Just sorry that we didn't have much time to talk.

(Lisa Hammerstein & Jeff Belonger) - Courtesy of Robert Hammersetein


I got to meet the daughter of our famnous AR member for Feng Shui, Carole Provenzale. Her name was Laura Cerrano.

I was then able to meet Salvatore Poliandro and J. Philip Faranda, who both mentioned that they follow my blogs. I have even read some of theirs from time to time throughout the years. It was finally good to meet Sal after a few years.

And one point into the evening, I was able to meet Patricia Mortara and Gail Robinson.... I also wish I had more time to spend with these two lovely ladies, since we have met on AR over a year ago. Time just went to quickly.




And to wrap this up, here a few more pictures, all courteous of our own Sheldon Neal.  Thanks Sheldon and as always, it was great seeing my secret favorite British Agent... cheers.


Steve Kappre & Jeff Belonger


(Steve Kappre & myself)


Here is someone that literally lives in my backyard, about 20 minutes away, who I first started talking to on AR about a year ago. Well, we are also both in the mortgage business, and we finally got to meet. An awesome guy and sorry that it took so long.




Cindy Jones - Christopher Somers - Stephanie Somers - Patrica Kennedy

(Cindy Jones - Christopher Somers - Stephanie Somers - Patrica Kennedy)

I finally got to meet Cindy Jones, after networking with her on AR for 2 1/2 years and that she stood me up on our first Active Rain date.  LOL  Here is what took place when she couldn't make it. The FHA Expert on Capital Hill. My follow up - A VIDEO....

Then you have the Somers Team, Christopher & Stephanie Somers, who live across the river from me in Philadelphia, who I have met on several occasions. And then Pat Kennedy, who I have met now for the 5th time or so. PS.  Pat, you owe me one from last time, when your keys were locked in the car.






Part of the AR gang.... and AR members...left to right..

(Bob Stewart, Patty Mortara, Christa Caulk, Sheldon Neal, and Brad Andersohn in the front, as always, grabbing attention)






Again, fun had by all….  Learning, friendships, & networking… the POWER of ACTIVE RAIN





Here are some more blogs by other Active Rain members for January 12th, 2010.


WHAT A DAY !!! RainCamp NYC was INCREDIBLE - PHOTO RECAP !!!  by Sheldon Neal aka the British Agent

Are You A Realtor® Who Blogs Or A Blogger Who Sells Real Estate On The Side?  by Patricia Kennedy

RainCamp NY 2010 - Pictures and Videos and a Little Insight  by Steve Kappre

ActiveCamp in NYC, much more than the price of admission!  by Tom Re

Where do I start? RainCamp New York 2010 Recap  by Jon Sigler

Well Worth Trip from Boston--My New York Rain Camp Experience  by Elliot Topkins

Rain Camp NYC | Part 1| Pictures Recap  by Robert Hammerstein

Rain Camp NYC | Part 2 | Pictures Recap  by Robert Hammerstein

RainCamp: Ben Is Up And His Lecture Is Awesome  by Carolyn Tann-Star aka C Tann-Star

RainCamp: ActiveBob Has A Wonderful Sense Of Humor  by Carolyn Tann-Star

RainCamp: ActiveBrad and ActiveBob Interview An Inpromptu RE Panel  by Carolyn Tann-Star

Raincamp NYC I am late to the party  by Jennifer Fivelsdal

What I Learned At Camp Could Fill A Book...  by Paddy Pizappi

PS... if I missed anyone that met or any blogs, I apologize. Please let me know. The brain deteriorates as we get older.

RainCamp UpComing Tour Dates and Locations

January 12th - New York
January 27th - Orange County
February 2nd - Dallas
March 2-4 - Las Vegas (date to be confirmed)
March 18th - Chicago
March 22nd - Orlando
April 8th - San Diego
May 11th - Washington DC

We'll announce the locations of each event once venues are confirmed and secured.

RainCamp - "Because the way we do business has changed!" Find Out More at


For more information on FHA loans, please go to this link. The FHA Expert

For more information about the 2009 Tax Credit for First Time Homebuyers : 2009 Tax Credit

For important mortgage insight to watch for, please read : Consumers need to be aware of these Red Flags!




Copyright © 2010 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc

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For more information on FHA loans, please go to this link. The FHA Expert

For important mortgage insight to watch for, please read : Consumers need to be aware of these Red Flags!



For information about FHA myths & FHA rumors, please read : FHA Myths & Rumors


Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc


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Show All Comments
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

Glad you had a good time...we expect a report at the end of the week! LOL!  It sound from all that I have read that there was much good information shared and contacts made.  I would have liked to have been there, but being in Flyover Land, I had to settle for icefishing contests!

Jan 15, 2010 07:33 AM #1
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

Great time indeed and of course nice to finally not only meet but hang out.

Jan 15, 2010 07:58 AM #2
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Yeah, Jeff!  A good time was had by all, and I learned a whole bunch, too!  See you in May!

Jan 15, 2010 08:43 AM #3
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


DON.... . yea, I did... it just didn't last long enough to get around to more people to sit and chat some. Hope you had fun ice fishing... thanks

STEVE.... . yes it was nice to meet you and hang out some... next time we will need to hang out a little more.  thanks and talk soon..

PATRICIA.... .  yea, it's good to learn more,. even when you have been blogging for 3 + years.  And yes, see you in May.  thanks


Jan 15, 2010 09:24 AM #4
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA

Jeff, Thanks for the recap from the Right Coast. lol


Jan 15, 2010 11:44 AM #5
Robert Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Jeff - Nice re-cap and thanks for the nod... It was a long time coming us meeting you finally. We too wish we had some more time but so many people so little time... Thanks Jeff

Jan 15, 2010 12:14 PM #6
Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs

Do you know who knows if they have a schedule for this year. I went to the one in San Francisco and would go again if I could find one in Texas to Georgia. Let me know if you know.

Jan 15, 2010 01:25 PM #7
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

I've been wondering where you were. Now I know... Rain Camp! lol  Actually, I want to go to one. I just need for them to come to Central Florida  =/

Jan 15, 2010 03:41 PM #8
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Nice job Jeff ! And really great job compiling all the blogs from the event ! Thats the first list of them Ive seen !

Cheers my man ! Always a pleasure !...we have more fun times ahead !

Sheldon :o)

Jan 15, 2010 04:27 PM #9
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

I am scouting for a list of new tech tools they covered at the Event!

Jan 15, 2010 05:46 PM #10
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


STEVE..... . hey left coast... lol  Hey, my pleasure... these things are not always a good time, but to be able to learn something new, so you can grow your business.. just added value.

ROBERT.... . thanks for the polite comment... and yes, it was a very long time coming. I hope to spend more time with you and Lisa next time.  thanks

ERIC.... . at the end of this post, I did put a schedule up. I am sure you could ask someone such as Brad Andersohn.

LISA... . well, I took a 2 month break and now I am ready to get back to blogging. If you look at the schedule above, there is one in March coming to Orlando.... thanks

SHELDON.... . thanks.. it took some time to link these.... but yes, it was great to see you again and hope to in the near future.  Cheers...

CHERYL.... . I am sure they are floating around here some where....


Jan 16, 2010 02:41 AM #11
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Jeff - Im excited about the Raincamp coming to Dallas. Hopefully I can create some memories like you did.

Jan 16, 2010 10:26 AM #12
Robert Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

OMG Jeff!  We were thrilled to meet everyone at this fun affair.  Love that picture.  You always do such a splendid job of recapping.  Thanks for the photo and thanks for another informative post.


Jan 17, 2010 12:43 AM #13
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

When we finally met I started thinking about the M&M Commercial where the two M&M's see Santa.  He does exist!  Yep you are more than just a wealth of knowledge and a photo on a blog.  You are real and even more fun in person than your on-line persona.  See you in DC...right?

Jan 17, 2010 01:42 AM #14
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Jeff - The Power of Active Rain is pretty incredible !  Great synopsis here.  Stephanie and I are still soaking in all the information we picked up at Raincamp.  And hanging out afterwards was a lot of fun.  It was great seeing you as always !  We look forward to the next networking events.  ~ Chris

Jan 17, 2010 03:27 AM #15
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


JOHN.... . I have heard and I know Tom Burris is looking forward to this. It's a great experience from both the informational side of things and from the friendship/networking side of things. Looking forward to hearing about your experience.

LISA.... . glad that you both enjoyed it.... i just wish we had more time.  But next time.. and thanks for that polite compliment.

CINDY.... .  lol.. great analogy and funny... I love that commerciall. and it was very awesome to have finally to have met you, even though you stood me up last time... lol  And thanks for those very polite compliments. Looking forward to DC and to get to sit down with you this time.. just chit chat some.

CHRIS... . yes, these are always very good.... I just wish that we were always rushing around, that we had more time to just sit and talk. We need to try this more, since we are near each other, and not just these gatherings.  Thanks for the comment.


Jan 17, 2010 03:50 AM #16
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Jeff, From what I've heard there wasn't a person there that didn't have a blast....and learn a LOT.  I am so sorry I missed it and will do my best to get to DC.  I put up Laura's photos (because her new computer will not het her upload for some reason) so there's another post on Raincamp out there.  And she's STILL talking about it!

Jan 17, 2010 05:20 PM #17
Robert Hammerstein
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Jeff - thanks for the mention and yes this meeting was long overdue for us Thanks for the credit as well.... onto the next one...

Jan 18, 2010 01:33 AM #18
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

oops, I was logged in helping Patty, my bad.

HAHAHAHA!!!! Too funny Jeff!

I thought we agreed that we were going to keep that between us? hahaha!

Jan 19, 2010 08:45 AM #21
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge

Hi Jeff - WOW!  How could I have been at Inman and we never connected? I met SO many Rainers and we never connected?  I met Pat, CTann Star, Jennifer F(we had lunch), Cindy Jones, Bob Stewart, Christa(I've shared a referral w/Missy and thought she'd make it), Brad Andersohn, etc. 

Again, thanks for all of your help!  My First Time Homebuyers Toolkit has been a big hit w/clients!


Jan 19, 2010 11:51 AM #22
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