When we first set out to create ActiveRain, we wanted to bring the real estate industry together in a way that never existed before – a way that many thought impossible. What we imagined but never expected was the impact a community like this would have on its members.
Since our launch in June of 2006, we have been marked by two extraordinary achievements: our exponential growth and how we accomplished it without any institutional funding. We never budged from our pledge of free membership -- which now extends to over 65,000 real estate professionals. And we’ve steadfastly maintained open access to useful real estate information to the more than 10,000,000 visitors to our network of sites.
I am proud of what ActiveRain has accomplished so far, but there’s more to do. There is more you have asked us to do. To accomplish this we needed financial resources. Which brings us to a special announcement I want to share with you. ActiveRain has accepted a minority capital investment from HouseValues designed to help us grow and become more of what we had always hoped we could be.
A great deal of thought and consideration went into this decision. I’d like to share some of that with you.
2007 taught us a few things. The biggest perhaps is how prudent we need to be about who we do business with. Despite the many hands held out to us over the past few months, the right one had to gain a firm grip on our trust. HouseValues did that – above all others.
Financial terms were important to us, but throughout the entire process we continually asked ourselves "who understands us and our culture the best?” and “Who will help us keep our commitments to the community? HouseValues, a local company with a wealth of experience in our industry, hit the mark.
Daniel Burnham, the visionary architect from Chicago, once said, "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will themselves not be realized."
We never set out with little plans and we are going forward with big ones. The future of this community – and this business -- rests on three pillars: ActiveRain (our professional network), Localism (our consumer destination), and our soon-to-be-released Outside Blogging platform. These things stir our blood. We hope they will stir yours.
We can barely contain our excitement over the promise that this year offers. Our community has a new member and they are committed to seeing it stay exactly as it is and becoming exactly what it desires.