I joined ActiveRain several years ago, in late March 2007. At first I didn't know what I was going to do with ActiveRain, but eventually I realized that joining ActiveRain could easily be the greatest thing of my career.
On ActiveRain, I learned about Jeff Turner's awesome RealEstateShows virtual tour program. On ActiveRain, I learned about using a Kodak v705 camera. Though I no longer use that handy little point & shoot, it was a big and economical help for me before I could afford to buy my DSLR. On ActiveRain, I learned about great marketing ideas, great internet programs like Realbird.com, and how to optimize my website and blog posts for search engines. (SEO.)
I am not going to name names because there are many people who have helped me in one way or another. Some are still here actively blogging, some are blogging elsewhere, some sadly have passed away. I don't want to leave anyone out so I'm just going to say - folks from all across this entire network have maddened, enlightened, and inspired me to be a better agent.
I quickly learned that ActiveRain had power. I got my first listings because of my ActiveRain activity - I did not even have to give a presentation; the sellers hired me basically over the phone or moments after we met. My first buyers found me because of ActiveRain, and I had to leave my first brokerage because of the power of ActiveRain (long story, doesn't need to be said.)
While I spent some time on fun stuff here on ActiveRain, and I have cultivated some cyber-friendships that have spilled over onto Facebook and Twitter a little (again, thank you ActiveRain), my primary purpose for being on ActiveRain always has been, and always will be, to grow my business.
I rarely have time to go around building "blogger relationships" because, I am busy building client relationships. While I have been here since 2007, there are very few people here who know me anymore. That's OK.
I am not here to earn points. Being at less than 400,000 after 4 years is kinda sad, if I cared. But I don't. Points don't bring me customers.
I also am not here to make bold or brash statements, show myself to be some sort of badass or wiseguy or guru. I am here, plain and simple, to grow my business and procure clients. I read blogs that help me do that (I read a few for fun too but that depends on my time).
I do not, generally, get involved in pissing matches or controversial debates. I'm not here to be controversial, my blog isn't about that. Some may dismiss me as bland and boring and that's fine - I'm not here for their approval; I'm here to win clients (and I do, cause they don't care how I feel about controversial issues; they care to know what I know about real estate.)
Occasionally I've gotten into discussions that I wished I hadn't because it ultimately just served no purpose other than to make someone mad. I've ranted a few times about things that bother me and jumped on someone else's bandwagon in a form of cyber-solidarity.
Once I got into a discussion about photography, for example, and it ended up with some "professional" sneering because he visited my blog and made fun of my latest listing, going back and commenting that "Karen Rice peddles TRAILER HOMES! Ha ha ha! Who does she think she is, talking about listing photography! She sells TRAILER HOMES!" He showed himself (or she showed herself, whoever it was, it was anonymous) to be an immature idiot. That kind of behavior should have been left behind in junior high. Of course that is why the person remained anonymous. But not all of these controversies stay anonymous. They can be far reaching and if not handled properly, they can really get out of control and turn into a train wreck.
Someone else (A FB friend, who is still my FB friend, :) ) took my comments on that same thread, over to Facebook and started a thread there because of my opinions. We had opposing viewpoints. That's OK...I bantered a little but then eventually backed off. I really didn't want to get into some kind of argument over it. What would my customers think if they came across me arguing about something like that? I stated my opinion, and I let it go at that...and the issue died down somewhat. Cool. It got me some traffic on my blog which was fun.
BY THE WAY...Yes, Yes, I do sell trailer homes. And I sell Wallenpaupack lakefront homes, and I sell ordinary vacation and primary homes. I work all of my listings with the same enthusiasm I would use if I were selling Donald Trump's home. I spent most of today setting up a new Realbird site for this unique lake / vacation home for sale on Lake Wallenpaupack. It's what I DO.
I've been privy to some of the recent drama - if you don't know what it is, good; you're not missing anything important exept an example of how not to behave online.
If you do know what it is, you're probably like me - mesmerized like witnesses to a crash on the freeway. You know you shouldn't look, but you do anyway. And like what happens if I see an awful crash, I have a sick stomach over it all. It's just so crazy. It could have ALL been avoided. I feel bad for some of the parties caught up in it - it quickly escalated out of control and I hope it is resolved soon.
Which brings me to my question: Why are YOU here?
I guess some people are here to pontificate, some are here to show off, some are here merely as part of an internet strategy, some are here to voice political opinions (not the platform I'd choose for that but hey...), some are here to share recipes but I think most are here to gain business. I've gained business from ActiveRain in the past and I hope to continue to do so. I'm not going to do that if I show myself off to the world to be a hothead; people expect real estate agents / REALTORS to be cool, level headed, and rational.
I am using ActiveRain to market myself in order to gain the trust of clients. Not to be some kind of rock star. I've had very few posts featured, but that's OK. I'm not here to be featured. I'm here to gain business. Every sale that I get, every hit on my northeast pa real estate website, every customer that calls me, I think ActiveRain had a part in that. If being milk-toast helps, so be it. Folks who know me in real life know I have opinions and am not a weenie. ;-)
It does take all kinds to make the world interesting, but I'll just continue plugging along, taking the milktoast approach and avoiding too much controversy. I've pissed off enough stagers and professional photographers in the past to last me a while, anyway.