ActiveRain Anniversary!! 5 Great Years On ActiveRain!

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The one thing that really struck me as I thought about the past five years we have been members of ActiveRain and that is how fast time flies!! It seems like just a few short months but it has really been 5 years.   ActiveRain anniversary story 5 yrs

We joined ActiveRain on June 25, 2007. I wrote my very first post about how excited I was about sharing referrals with members, making friends and paying it forward. Wow! I have come a long way from the first post I wrote;). You can see your progress by going back to your first post- see how far you have come and how much you have learned. 

What are the reasons that we joined ActiveRain back in the day? The time that I was posting, there were very few members. There was no ActiveRain guide, no ActiveRain University, no RainCamps, no Trainings.. it was learn as you go mostly. That was a blessing though because it incentivized me to reach out to other members. I sought out advice and asked questions like how to add a photo that did not stick to my words:). Those members who I reached out to became very good off line friends as well. 

Loneliness online also drove me to find a friendlier real estate community online than the forums I was a member of. Since I knew that I needed links to our websites I joined forums to get the link back to our site but in return tried to help in the forums by actually answering questions. That was not met with the warmest of welcomes. Many of these forums contained a lot of infighting and putting each other down. It was a super turn off. Each morning when I walked to my computer I would tell myself, "you are only doing this for the SEO so pay no mind to the agents hating on other agents." 

Active Rain Katerina Gasset storyBlogging on my outside blog was like living in a cave back in 2007. It was not as easy to get any type of two way interaction going with anyone. In those days, comments were very scarce on blogs that were all alone and not part of a network. 

One day I read a comment from a poster on a forum that ActiveRain was a great link to get and that it was free. I visited the site but was not very impressed in the beginning. I also was not accustomed to the format of the site. So I did not join right away.

I lived in Hawaii for five years when I was younger. Every couple of years or so I would Google Hawaii terms to see what is going on these days in Hawaii. Out of all the places I have traveled and lived, Hawaii has been my favorite home. Well, can you guess who showed up on the SERPS for Hawaiian local information? 

It was Sally Cheeseman. I began to read and follow her blog. Sally Cheeseman Real Estate Agent Hawaii   I read the comments that other members were making on her blog to see if they were kind or nasty. I saw one little fight going on between someone not being happy with something Sally had done with her "Positive Attitude for the Weary Soul" group that she founded. It was kids play compared to some of what I had witnessed in other forums. Mostly it felt like Sally had a lot of support from the members on ActiveRain. I was very impressed with her hyper-local posts. 

So we joined ActiveRain. 

Then I discovered the point system quite by accident. That was all it took to get me hooked. Dangle that carrot in front of me and I will jump through hoops to get it. The genius of ActiveRain was and is the point system. It created for me a momentum and desire to do my best. I did not see the point system as something to write crap with and take advantage of but rather, I looked at the point system as a way to motivate me to write well enough to get featured. In those days, you got a lot more points for getting featured. In five years we have been awarded with 250 featured posts. 

We worked hard during a slow real estate period here in our market. This was the same time that the market went bust. In this latter part of 2007- over 9,000 Realtors® left the market. We survived by listing and negotiating short sales at that time in the market. You can read what the Florida Short Sale Market was like then here. We went from one or two listings to over 50- 70 listings in just a few short months. I have to contribute most of those to blogging on ActiveRain in the beginning phases of short sales here.  We wrote over 250 short sale posts and the listings came. Now the market has contracted and inventory is very short. We don't have more than 20 listings these days and that includes contingent listings. There are very few listings in our market right now. 

Members ask me all the time if you can really make money blogging and working on SEO. Yes, you can. If we can do it, anyone else can do it too. You just need to be blogging about the right topics and in the right niches. Paying it forward helping members on ActiveRain was our way of saying, 'Thank You' to ActiveRain. Consistancy is the key. 

ActiveRain member Katerina Gasset story of 5 yrsTransparency was a piece of connecting that I totally embraced. This led to some very great moments in the rain from moral  support, prayers and solidifying relationships not just with members but with consumers also. 

While I love to share the great sales we have closed as a result of blogging and networking on ActiveRain by far my greatest memory in the five years that we have participated was when a post I wrote about the domestic violence I went through in a previous marriage saved the life of a young girl.  Here is the post that I wrote.  It was a hard post to write but I knew in my heart I was moved to write it.  Here is the post with her email about how she was going to take her own life until she read my post. 

Every week for 5 years I have written 10 posts per week until this past couple of months where I have been in too much pain physically to do so.  When we first joined, I made 20 to 30 comments a day developing relationships with members. And I used to reply to each comment another member left for me on our blog. I can no longer do that, physically or time-wise. By taking massive action we were able to achieve becoming the top bloggers on ActiveRain. We have 2381 subscribers to our blog today. 

So five years later we can say that ActiveRain has directly benefited us with: 

  • Helping to Achieve Top listers in 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Closed Business valued at over $250,000 annual in some of the years
  • Successful SEO consulting and coaching practice 
  • A new start-up company with someone I met on ActiveRain
  • ActiveRain RainCamp Keynote Speaker
  • Speaking engagements around the country 
  • 1,353,484 points on AR
  • 2531 posts written 
  • 2381 Subscribers 
  • 250 featured posts 
  • 56,712 comments received
  • 35,379 comments left 
  • Great friends and referral agents
  • Lots of Google Juice! 
  • and more... 

So here is to the next 5 years on ActiveRain! 


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Waynette Hoover Araj 07/04/2012 12:08 AM
ActiveRain Community
ActiveRain Milestones & Acheivements
Active Rain Block Party
Active Rain Goal Setters
Addicted to Active Rain
Active Rain Milestones
activerain anniversary
katerina gasset

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Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Keterina, I followed you joining here in Oct07. I have learned so much about SEO and 90% I learned from you. Thank- you and here's to another 5 years!

Jul 06, 2012 07:24 AM #25
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Wow!  That's quite an accomplishment.  Congratulations on five years of learning, growing, sharing and being an example to the rest of us!  Good show, and I look forward to the next 5 years.

Jul 06, 2012 11:23 AM #26
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Sorry about being absent this week and not getting back to each of you. 

One of our daughters just had a baby boy last night and I am taking care of her 3 yr old , my 9 yr old and my other daughter's 4 yr old!!! All at once for the duration that she is in the hospital. Hopefully she can go home tomorrow, but the baby has jaundice so they may need to stay another day. Anyhow, I am chasing little ones around the house:) And keeping up with facetime with our newest baby!!!! 

Jul 06, 2012 12:32 PM #27
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

I'm right there with you Katerina. 5 years in July, which coincide with going out and opening my own brokerage. This is a great learning platform and a place to make friends. Real friends.

Jul 06, 2012 12:37 PM #28
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Katerina....congratulations to you and Nestor for your 5 years on AR.... I'll always be thankful to you for offering SEO to the TOP.....that really got me off the ground with blogging.... I'm a great promoter of your courses....

Jul 06, 2012 11:17 PM #29
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Yup...passed my five year mark back in March too. Funny, I was invited by Randy back in Nov 2006 and didn't know what all this meant. Thanks to ActiveRain it brought much business and the information from all the members for anything and everything on blogging, real estate and more. Congratulations on your milestone!

Jul 07, 2012 04:06 AM #30
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Sally- Thanks for all you do on AR and your great writing on Hawaii topics. I am forever grateful to you for being the inspiration that created the way for me to take the plunge into the rain. 

Jul 07, 2012 11:31 AM #31
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Nestor & Katerina, congratulations on your 5th anniversity.  You sure have set an example of true success on AR.

Jul 07, 2012 11:28 PM #32
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

Katerina, your's is a very powerful story. Thanks for being who you are!

Jul 07, 2012 11:30 PM #33
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Thanks Kat for everything

Jul 08, 2012 12:06 AM #34
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Congratulations on your milestone and your terrific contribution to Active Rain.  Here's to your next five years.

Jul 08, 2012 01:03 AM #35
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

5 I think I'm coming up on 4 this year, can't remember. But I can't remember when I didn't have AR, so that's the point of a community.

Jul 08, 2012 01:17 AM #36
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

Congratulations on your 5th anniversary.  Your accomplishments and commitment to AR are incredible-- and have provided a bounty of benefits for you both.  Way to go!  K

Jul 08, 2012 03:56 AM #37
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Congratulations to you both...what a great post and success story....

Jul 08, 2012 04:11 AM #38
Marcy Moyer
eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales - Mountain View, CA
Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist

Happy Aniversary and Congratulations! You are an inspiration to us all. Take care of your health!

Jul 08, 2012 06:03 AM #39
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Congratulations on the newest grandbaby AND your Activerain anniversary! Your name is a household word in my family and my sphere - I can't begin to count the number of times I've said the words, "My friend Katerina, in Florida, said..."  'Looking forward to five more years as friends and colleagues - and maybe a personal meetup one of these days.

Jul 09, 2012 02:19 AM #40
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Margaret- You are the first person after Missy, Cyndee and Ashley Drake that developed a relationship here on AR. Remember how we did our localism posts back in the day? :) I consider you a very good friend Margaret. Katerina 

Jul 09, 2012 08:02 AM #41
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

ActiveRain built my business too.  Without ActiveRain I think I would be out of the business.

Jul 09, 2012 01:23 PM #42
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Gene- I am sure Nestor as resourceful as he is would have figured out something but I will tell you it certainly changed the way we do business. :) 

Jul 09, 2012 02:57 PM #43
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Wow, what an accomplishment!  I can't believe you are so faithful to post 10 times per week.  I'm lucky if I get 1 per week done.  I know it has done you very well, you are one of the most known blogs and couples in the Rain.  Congratulations and Happy 5 year Anniversary! - Kasey

Oct 30, 2012 04:21 PM #44
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