If you are reading this on our blog, you most likely know a little bit about ActiveRain. But you may not be familiar with IMSD, the Internet Marketing Specialist Designation, so I want to share a little history.
In October of 2009, we hosted our first live RainCamp in Seattle Washington. Ben Kinney and I would carry the majority of the 8 hour presentation that day (OK, Ben did the heavy lifting, I just smiled and looked pretty) We presented to a full room of 300 real estate agents about what Ben was doing in his business that had allowed him to go from closing 8 deals his first year to closing significantly more than that only a few short years later. We shared SEO strategy, blogging advice, IDX implementation, (Brad Andersohn jumped in with) all kinds of cool tech tools, and a bunch of practical advice on generating more leads and prospects for a real estate business. It went pretty well.
In fact, we would do about 26 more of these RainCamps over the next 16 months and would rack up a lot of frequent flier miles traveling across the United States to bring Ben's business strategies to anyone willing to show up and listen. Along the way, A LOT of people wanted to know more. If you've ever been to an event that lasts for 8 hours (6.5 hours if you take away lunch and breaks) and it was worthwhile, then you know how challenging it can be to walk away and retain everything you learned (or sometimes even a fraction), let alone have a clear path of how to put what you've learned into action. Out of those last two sentences IMSD was born.
People wanted to know more about what we were sharing and people wanted clear actionable items made available in digestible doses.
From the IMSD about page: "One of the things that distinguishes IMSD from other training programs is that our content is managed by top producing agent Ben Kinney, whose team closed over 500 transactions in 2011. IMSD doesn't teach internet theory. Instead, we provide members with field tested strategies that actually work including ad copy, scripts, dialogues, systems, and tools. If the techniques aren't working for Ben and his team of agents, they aren't included in our program."
He and his team are actually using the strategies that IMSD teaches. And doing it very successfully. Ben was recently included in the Wall Street Journal's as one of the top 100 agents in terms of volume and GCI for 2011. That's super impressive. What may be even more impressive is he's willing to share all of this with anyone willing to invest in their business and follow through with what they learn.
But this isn't a sales pitch for IMSD. It's a blog post letting you know that IMSD and ActiveRain will be working a heck of a lot closer moving forward. We are both owned by Market Leader. Sister companies if you will. It made sense to bring them under the same roof and look toward the organizational skills of Kris Neese to put more structure around training at ActiveRain. We also get to utilize Chad Hyams, the community manager at IMSD, and his ridiculously great radio voice (not that that is Chad's only redeeming quality, it's just the one of which I am most envious). He'll be hosting our upcoming RainCamp (which has now moved online) and our Rainmakers will get familiar with him as we figure out ways to bring his talents to ActiveRain University as well.
(a side note on Kris Neese. He's very talented, thoughtful, smart and organized. He's the behind the scenes guy at IMSD. He would rather me not put his name in this post and could care less what he would rather. He's been a huge asset to me personally and I look forward to working with him.)
So what does this change for you? Doesn't change a whole lot. You had the opportunity to purchase IMSD before, you'll continue to have that opportunity in the future. Think of it as an ActiveRain education on steroids and super focused. On ActiveRain, you learn from some of the best in the business about how to make your real estate business better, but you sometimes have to go searching for it and then you have to take the steps necessary to implement what you learn. At IMSD, you learn from one of the best in the business about exactly what he is doing and exactly how to replicate that success for yourself, and they even give you homework to keep you accountable.
You'll still have a chance to utilize ActiveRain University and learn a few things here and there. As a Rainmaker, you'll still be invited to special IMSD (member only) webinars from time to time, just as we've done the last couple of months. It's just that the two companies will be sharing resources in an effort to make both companies better and more efficient.
(Kris Neese, Kris Neese, Kris Neese..........just trying to get him to come out of his shell a little.......haha!)