Building A Vision for ActiveRain

Services for Real Estate Pros with Trulia

Sunrise Over Mt FujiThank you to everyone in the community for the wonderful feedback on my blog post on what we are doing here at ActiveRain to improve the stability of our techology and Greg's Nino's great interview with me as CEO of ActiveRain.  You have all made me feel incredibly welcome.  Your words of encouragement via comments, blog posts, FaceBook, Twitter, email and, yes, voicemail and phone have been overwhelming and heart warming.  Thank you.

A number of people (Missy, Jon, Jim, Ron, and Alexandra to name a few) have been asking, "OK, we understand what you are doing for ActiveRain right now.  But where are you going?  What is your vision?" or "We understand that technology stability is job #1, 2, and 3, but what are jobs 4 and 5?"  These are great and natural questions.

At this point, I would just answer saying that technology is my focus BUT jobs 4 and 5 are to listen and learn.

It would be foolish for me to walk into ActiveRain (or any other company) and proclaim that I have any or all the answers, and that I have a bold and different vision for the future.   I have also learned that the community, our customers, and our team here at ActiveRain know A LOT more than I do and more than I will about the core of ActiveRain. 

SO, the near future is really ALL about listening closely and learning as much as I can.

What I am doing to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible?  Here's a sample of what I am up to:

  1. I speak to 2-3 members of the community every day about what does ActiveRain mean to our customers, what does ActiveRain do well, and what we can do better.  I am trying to talk to a good sampling of customers ranging from our long-time members to new RainMakers to customers thinking about cancelling.  I am making great friends along the way.
  2. I am on our customer service phone queues.  Today I spoke with Cheryl Kitsch in Katy, Texas.  Cheryl had copied some pictures from the Houston MLS (HAR) into her blog.  She had then deleted some table HTML from the blog post which then caused apparent chaos on the rest of her blog.  We went back and forth looking for a fix (I am no HTML guru).  We ended up deleting the post with the pictures and her blog when back to normal.
  3. I am on our sales queues.  I will randomly pick up the phone to either speak to members calling in to upgrade to a RainMaker subscription and I will call out to new members to speak to them about RainMaker.  Like Sharon Harkness and her technology coordinator Melinda Branch from Champaign, IL.
  4. We are launching our first customer survey.  In the five year history of ActiveRain, tomorrow Tuesday May 17 represents our first customer survey.  Click here to take the survey.  It will be emailed out to all members who have registered for ActiveRain.  We will keep everyone posted on what we learn.
  5. I am meeting as many customers as I can.  I will be at RainCamp in Dallas and plan to attend others in the future as well.  I like to watch our customers use our products.  I will be doing some other things in the community which I am keeping under my hat for now.
  6. I launched a Collage Competition for the month of May on ActiveRain.  Some have questioned the Collage Competition as silly, but here's my thinking.  There are many things in life and business that can be counted and analyzed.  But what ActiveRain means to our community and members is FAR better visualized.  My goal is to really understand what the "promise" of ActiveRain is to our community.  Below are some examples that have already been posted and submitted (randomly picked).  They are amazing and really help me get my hands around the true meaning of ActiveRain and WHY we are different from WordPress and the rest of personality-less blogging platforms.  If there is one thing I have learned, ActiveRain has A LOT of personality.  I am extremely proud of all of the collages that have been submitted.  Please keep them coming.  Two more weeks!
  7. I am using ActiveRain A LOT - the great, the good, the bad, the ugly.  I am reading ActiveRain as much as I can.  I am blogging as much as I can (and saving often).  I am attending all of Steven Graham's seminars on ActiveRain.  I am uploading pictures and having many of the challenges others have.  

At some point in the future, I will be able to talk openly and coherently about the future direction of ActiveRain.  But not today.  The company and community are amazing.   Just like the technology, I need to build a strong foundation here on ActiveRain for myself before I can credibily think about the future.

As always, I would love to hear from you via email, phone (206 470 2908), telegraph, Twitter, Skype, pony express, mail... what other ways can we be in touch?


ActiveRain CollageActiveRain CollageActiveRain CollageActiveRain CollageActiveRain CollageActiveRain CollageActiveRain Collage



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Nikesh Parekh

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Re-Blogged 7 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900 05/16/2011 08:46 PM
  2. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 05/16/2011 10:51 PM
  3. Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070 05/17/2011 02:50 AM
  4. Toni Weidman 05/18/2011 02:00 AM
  5. Mike Mayer 05/18/2011 06:08 AM
  6. Praful Thakkar 05/18/2011 08:58 AM
  7. Tim Peterson 05/18/2011 01:49 PM
nikesh parekh
activerain ceo

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Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
California Homes for Sale in the East Bay

I think it's great you are taking the time to be so visable and keeping us all informed. It's just wonderful! I've submitted my survey, hope it helps!

May 17, 2011 02:49 AM #11
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Thanks for being visible and proactive.  All the best, A

May 17, 2011 04:00 AM #12
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Dear Niki -

I love Item #6 on your list and with comments #1/3 and #12.

I am in your corner for the long haul.  I love AR and everything terrific about it.

Have a happy day -

May 17, 2011 04:37 AM #13
Aida Pinto
United Associated Brokers - Downey, CA
Real Estate Broker (562) 916-3237

I took the survey, by the way great idea, but now I was trying to link it to help spread the word and the link doesn’t’ work! Thanks for care to know what I think!  p.s.s I didn't get the email.

May 17, 2011 10:08 AM #14
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

Love that you take the time to get our input and feedback.  Love the collages too.  I personally would appreciate the ability to sort out bookmarked posts by date or author inliew of most recent comment. 

May 17, 2011 05:25 PM #15
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

I love the ActiveRain community. But I would like an easier way to search through my own posts (past) without having to go to Google.

May 18, 2011 01:53 AM #16
Vadim Zolotarevskiy
FunCoast Realty & Management, LLC - Daytona Beach Shores, FL


I tried the link a couple of times and it does not work. Is the survey over, or it is just a fluke?

May 18, 2011 03:02 AM #17
Patti Lyles
Century 21 Showcase, REALTORS® - Santa Cruz, CA

I filled out the survey and I want the points. Where are they?

May 18, 2011 03:56 AM #18
Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator
West USA Realty - Phoenix, AZ
Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro

I did the surevey as well!  Thanks for all you do!

May 18, 2011 06:16 AM #19
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Niki ~ Thanks for all you do and all that will be accomplished ~ To be involved in the community is quite a task in itself ~ The survey is done, good luck to the review board ~

Is there some way to make ALL of Active Rain compatible with smart phones? 

May 18, 2011 10:09 AM #20
Kerrie La Guardia
ActiveRain, Community Manager - Kirkland, WA
Let it Rain!

Thanks to you all and we are loving the feedback.  Bonus points will be awarded on Friday as we want to give everyone ample time to submit the survey. 

May 18, 2011 11:38 AM #21
1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK


Per your post:

"As always, I would love to hear from you via email, phone (206 470 2908), telegraph, Twitter, Skype, pony express, mail... what other ways can we be in touch?"

Please visit with Steven or someone.. or I can send you a tutorial on formatting your signature that will be at the end of your posts ... providing links to your email, telegraph .. :)  , Twitter, Skype, pony express... :),  etc.. (tongue in cheek here.. but providing info at the bottom of your post, on how to connect with you would be helpful)

so that when you invite others to be in touch... there will be a way.  I do not know how to connect with you on twitter or facebook. etc...............  please provide links.. :)


May 18, 2011 01:41 PM #24
Nikesh Parekh
Trulia - Bellevue, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor
We had 1800 survey responses. We will start awarding points on Friday. It will take several days as we will be doing this by hand.
May 18, 2011 07:59 PM #25
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Thanks for the update on the points, Nikesh.  I went searching to see if I had missed something since the points didn't appear, but your comment gave me the answer I was looking for!

And I REALLY like that you spelled "cancelling" with two l's instead of one.  I do that, too.

May 19, 2011 02:51 AM #26
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

I think your survey period is over, as to points, but I was happy to participate after I found out about it.  Great idea!

May 23, 2011 03:28 PM #27
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

You just got my reponse today.

How did I miss seeing this before?

That's a mystery for you.


Welcome to Active RAIN, Niki.

May 26, 2011 12:47 AM #28
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

The survey is a great idea.  I just completed it and hope that our input will be helpful.

May 27, 2011 04:44 PM #29
Sidney Kutchuk
Property Management & Sales at REALTY WORKS TEMECULA, CA 92590 (951) 217-6745 - Temecula, CA
Property Management & Sales Experts 951-217-6745

Did the survey.
Hope it gives you a good look under the hood of AR.

I just like to see your here and that I can leave you a comment.

Jun 02, 2011 06:33 PM #30
Carol Barron Cross
Sunflower Homes & Equestrian LLC

I am an original AR member, where is the survey. Thanks for the info. Were we emailed? Love Active Rain but got left out of this one.

Aug 06, 2011 11:43 PM #31
Nikesh Parekh
Trulia - Bellevue, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Hi Carol,

Thanks for your support.  We will be doing another survey in the near future.  The original survey was done in May 2011.


Aug 07, 2011 06:03 AM #32
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