Best Wishes to Doug and Steven

Services for Real Estate Pros with Suplari, Inc.

With heavy heart, I regret to inform the community that our VP of Sales Doug Ching and our Blog Trainer Steven Graham have decided to leave ActiveRain to pursue another opportunity.  I was informed about their decision this afternoon.  We wish them well in their new positions.  Doug shut his mortgage company down in 2009 (in the heart of the real estate downturn) to come work for Jon.  Steven worked with Doug at his mortgage company.  They are a package deal and they travel together.  They are a great team.

Everyone here at ActiveRain wishes them all the best in their new positions. 

We believe 100% in the power of training our members on social media.  We will be following up with the community on our new classes and training schedule shortly.

Everyone, we appreciate your patience with the changes at ActiveRain. 

I can assure you ActiveRain will continue to deliver amazing value and results for our members, community and the broader real estate community.   

As always, I am here and buckled in with ActiveRain.  I love this company and the product.  I would love to chat with anyone in the community.


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Nikesh Parekh

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Anna Banana Kruchten Broker, CRB, CRS
HomeSmart International - Phoenix, AZ

I trust that from out of all this drama going on - good will prevail.  It always does. I wish both the guys well. Change happens.

May 21, 2011 03:16 AM #91
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Best to Steven and Doug. I had very little exposure to either... talked to Doug on the phone a few times went to a couple of Steven's classes but of course their departure and whomever takes over their roles at ActiveRain affects me less than it does new members or customers of ActiveRain.  As someone who invites people to the community I can see the value of their daily tasks.

I've been a member and a customer (or client) since the beginning of ActiveRain. Newer paying members and those who are paying for services above and beyond what they are grandfathered into may make decisions in a different way than those who are just here for camaraderie. <---- thank goodness for spell check... I know that word in my head but that is not what I guessed.

This drama will end and then some new drama will unfold, or not.  Only time will tell.

May 21, 2011 03:45 AM #92
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

Steven and Doug are great and were a huge asset to AR & they will be missed! 

I do understand that change produces uncertainty and people will move on.  Not a lot of people decided to stick out the declining market here in Vegas and about 8000 REALTORS® moved on to something else leaving us with about 12-14K in the last couple of years.  What that produced was more business for those that stuck around (even though commissions were smaller.)

It happens and I know the biz will bounce back.  Glad one of my favs (Kerrie) weighed in :)

ps:  REALLY like the updates and thank you for keeping us all "in the loop"!!!


May 21, 2011 05:00 AM #93
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Maureen in #92 and Patricia in #42:  Yes, I zeroed-in on the use of the word "customers" as well.  I don't think I have ever seen that here on Active Rain until today.  It might just be me... but I can only remember words and phrases like the Active Rain "community."

Perhaps it is nit-picking.  Perhaps not.  But... the last person who tried to "pick my nit"... heck, I slapped him pretty hard !

May 21, 2011 06:13 AM #94
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I too like the idea of reaching consumers....isn't that why we are all here? The Community can help us all reach consumers, if not...then we are just having a virtual office meeting.

Niki....hang in there. I am optimistic for AR and the future. ML has always been about reaching consumers and driving business to agents, that's great!

May 21, 2011 07:08 AM #95
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Everyone, thank you for the kinds words and the encouragement.  It means a lot to me personally, Kerrie, Bob and the entire ActiveRain team. 

I am TRULY learning the value, the power and the meaning of ActiveRain every day.  My college fraternity Sigma Chi is an organization near and dear to my heart.  In Sigma Chi, we talked about having "strong arms" around us and "true hearts" for sympathy and caring in the good times and the bad, regardless of the circumstances.  I never thought I would find another organization or community like Sigma Chi.  Though I have not personally met anyone on this post, ActiveRain embodies those words.  It is amazing and eye opening for me. 

Members vs. Customers: Karen, Maureen, Patricia, I have been soundly chastised by my team at ActiveRain and others here on the post, for using the word c*st*m*ers.  I am learning and have learned.  In the end, I believe the ActiveRain community, many of whom pay us, deserves better from us in terms of technology and service.  That was my only point and I apologize.

Happy Saturday to everyone!    

May 21, 2011 07:21 AM #96
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

Niki, I am glad you set them straight.  Someone in Doug's blog post just about had a cat.  Wow, they do get worked up!

May 21, 2011 08:20 AM #97
Doug Anderson
Tucker Associates Real Estate Services - Danville, CA
Bay Area Real Estate Views

"In hoc signo vinces" Beta Iota '89...UofO. All the best to you Niki.

May 21, 2011 08:40 AM #98
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Niki, Steven & Doug will be missed, and especially Steven who taught many of us thru AR University HOW to blog and how to do it with SEO.     I thought giving a NOTICE was appropriate working in the Corporate world, or I have I been self-employed too long?       Even if they got better jobs, it does look better on a resume!    I hope the coming weeks we have less drama and the site works well.    The best part is you keep us informed both here and on FB --- THANK YOU!    Kerrie --- SURE GLAD YOU ARE STAYING PUT!

May 21, 2011 12:04 PM #99
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC

Hi Niki.   Steve was great and I enjoyed his classes, but I have no doubt there are many others who can take on the job and do as well, or better!  ActiveRain will benefit in the long run from new perspectives and insights.  Onward!

May 21, 2011 01:16 PM #100
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

It was great working with Steven and Doug. Steven is a hard worker who is very good at what he does. Doug is a close friend of mine and someone I will miss working with very much (Doug's really good at what he does as well).

I have no question they will both be successful at their next venture. Good luck fellas.

I'm not going anywhere and look forward to continuing to do cool things at ActiveRain that our members can benefit from. This place has touched my life in a very powerful way and I don't see myself going anywhere as long as ActiveRain has the best community in the industry......and I certainly think we have that.

Looking forward to great things Niki!

May 21, 2011 02:01 PM #101
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Niki, Can you chain Bob Stewart to his office?  Pleeeze.  We don't want one more AR veteran leaving.  This has to be rough on you.  Thank you for being so transparent.  (And, put the bars on Bob's window please)!  Hang in there through this transition.  We are looking forward to greater stability of the platform and higher performance.

May 21, 2011 02:26 PM #102
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Nikki are you familiar with Freudian Slips? (Customer.....) FYI I sent an e-mail 5-6 days ago to AR about an issue I response.....Two days ago I responded to a "customer service satisfaction survey" no response nor as promised added points...Just another neglected customer

Patricia comment #42 It was not a memeber survery:)))

May 21, 2011 06:45 PM #103
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

@Bob Stewart - So happy that you're not going anywhere. I can't say enough positive things about this man. Such a great guy and such a big help.

May 22, 2011 03:32 AM #104
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Have been with Active Rain a long time myself.  I was on the Ambassador call with Doug .  And had the opportunity to meet Doug at Philly Rain Camp.  Am not familiar with all the behind the scenes at AR but have been a part of lot of changes over the years and through all the changes, AR has always come through. 

I feel confident that they will come through again.   It is important that AR stays ahead of the curve from a technology and innovation standpoint and continues to bring in top talent. 

May 22, 2011 07:53 AM #105
Sarasota & Manatee Counties FL
SaraMana Properties - - Bradenton, FL - Listings In Paradise

I find the subtext to these company announcements and posts fascinating.

May 22, 2011 06:55 PM #106
Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin
C2 Financial - San Diego, CA
C2 Financial

Niki, (Seems presumptuous to call you that since we haven't formally met.  Hello, my name is Deborah...feel free to call me Dee Dee)....Thank you for the updates.  Wishing the best to Doug and Steve (and any one else who leaves AR).

I have endured (and survived) quite a few mergers, acquistions and upper management shake ups in my career.  None were easy...some were horrific (Bank of America's take over of Security Pacific Bank was epic in the lack of respect for either their customers or employees.  So much so that I vowed never to work for them!).  Humans are, by nature, adverse to change...a lot of people could benefit from reading (or re-reading) "Who Moved My Cheese"  by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

In each case of merger/acquistion/outright take over I found I had to access the philosophy and mission of the new entity/management and make a concerted decision of "This works for me, this does not" and make my career moves based upon my observations.  

In this case, time will tell.  I don't know Market Leader from Adam (other than I will say I was put off by the marketing and infomercials at San Diego Rain Camp and do not know that I would attend another unless the format were changed).  The facts are that, enjoy and respect many members in the AR community, I am involved and pay my subscription for pragmatic reasons:  Google juice.  That will continue until, or unless, there is no more benefit for me and my clients.

Sorry for the long comment, but it does lead up to one thing:  The one thing that you are personally excelling at is keeping the community informed (I realize this was not true in the beginning of your tenure...but you figured it out and adapted).  The worst (IMHO) thing management can do through times of great change and stress is allow the  discussions to migrate to the water cooler.  

Yes, there are those who thrive on water cooler drama...but it is never where the facts are found.  Thank you for being diligent to share what you know when you know it.  For me, I will take you and AR at your word until such time that circumstance proves different.

May 23, 2011 07:59 AM #107
Steven Graham
epropertysites - Mountlake Terrace, WA
Coach, ePs, Director of Training

There is no telling how long this comment will be active, so I will also be posting it on my blog!

Thank you to all of those who have given me well wishes on this post. It is very rewarding for me to know how much of a positive impact I have had in so many of your lives. I realize most of you don't know Doug, after all his role was more behind the scenes than mine. Please trust me when I say, if it had not been for him, the coffers would have been emptied long ago.

He sacrificed 100 times more than me to become part of the AR staff, more than I ever could or would sacrifice, but that is why I love Doug. 

Those of you who notice any changes in the language being used by the new management V.S the old are very astute.  

I must say I noticed the same as well. In order to make money you have to provide others with value.  Beyond the friendships made, on a business level I have always regarded all of you as most CEO's would regard large share holders. I have said it before and will say it again, you are ActiveRain. Jon had the vision and the rest of us who believed in it helped make it come true. 

Many have brought up wordpress and AR in comparatives regarding value.

Many have asked what is going on behind the scenes. Is it just change, or is it change that will effect me?

I feel the value of AR is and always will be the community. The SEO only came as a byproduct of that community and it's constant communication. What happens behind the scenes is only an afterthought to most of AR's 200K+ members, but trust me when I say that what happens behind the scenes shapes the environment in which the community exists. I hope AR's new management will keep this in mind as they try to further monetize AR.

May 23, 2011 10:47 AM #108
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Niki - I join you in wishing Doug and Steven the best in their new venture.   

I do believe this community is greater than any one or two or ten people, regardless of their role in the past;  I also believe it wil continue to grow and thrive under your leadership, in spite of or because of these and other changes. 

The Activerain I joined in 2006 has grown and changed constantly as new talent joined the staff and new members participated in the community... and others left.  I would expect this to continue with or without Jonathan, Doug, and Steven, just as it has without co-founder Matt Heaton, and Rich, Brad, and Jeremy, who are no longer on the staff.  New talent will join the team, others may leave, and the Activerain community will live happily ever after.

May 23, 2011 06:35 PM #109
Samantha Smith
214.422.0729 - Rowlett, TX
Sam I Am Houses, Simply Texas Real Estate

They will be missed ... Stephen was an awesome trainer! But I have no doubt that ya'll will find someone just as amazing if not more.

Keep your head up ... you're doing great. Life is a never ending ball of CHANGE. Through it all, ActiveRain will continue to be a top-notch community~thanks to those still committed to it & to the members!

May 27, 2011 01:48 AM #110
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