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6 Years in the 'Rain

Services for Real Estate Pros with ActiveRain, Community Manager

Last month brought me to my my sixth year working for ActiveRain.  I use the word "working" loosely because you all feel more like family than work these days.  So much has happened in those six years I don't even know where to begin.

I was first brought on as a sales rep selling IDX sites to Rainers.  What the hell is an IDX and what is a Rainer??  I had just left the world of Countrywide where I was a loan officer so I knew a bit about real estate but nothing compared to today.

One of my first calls was to Alan May, his profile picture at the time was Elvis so that nickname kind of stuck.  He didn't bite on my sales pitch but he was such a nugget (this is a good thing) to talk to.  As I made more and more phone calls and opened with "This is Kerrie from ActiveRain" I could hear smiles light up at the other end of the line.  This was back in 2009.  We were in a tiny, tiny room in the basement of the Market Leader building and nobody had an office but the office manager, Claire.  When Jon, Bob, Jeff and Jorgen would come in, they'd grab a seat in the middle of the room and just work amongst the rest of us.  

I'd never worked for such a small company before.  Countrywide, AT&T and others had filled my resume before ActiveRain.  I enjoyed the fact that there was no HR department (I'm best at expressing myself with expletives), no rules or corporate bullshit to deal with.  We were all a part of something and that passion grew with every interaction.  Lunch was brought in EVERY SINGLE DAY.  From sushi to teriyaki to salads we ate together.  This was a perk of being a small company.  

When Jon found a new office space in the up & coming South Lake Union area I was not looking forward to working downtown.  My commute at the time was literally 4 minutes.  But after seeing the building, I was in.  Our office was a big brand new urban loft with exposed piping and we were on the ground floor surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows.  I could people watch all day long.  One of the more entertaining guys in the office would superglue quarters to the sidewalk  outside our office.  Business men and women (we were right next to Amazon so I'm assuming most of these people made about a million dollars a year) would walk by, spot something shiny and bend down to pick up the quarter.  This particular guy would then yell CHEEEAAAAPPPP out the window which always brought smiles to their faces and ours.  It sounds mean now that I type it but it was so much fun.  Nobody got hurt and the passerbys always smiled and laughed too.

By this point I had been off sales for a while and was focusing on community management.  And then it was RainCamp time.  We hit up almost 30 cities between 2009 and 2011.  We started in Seattle in Oct 2009 and ended in Seattle in June 2011.  I attended EVERY SINGLE RainCamp except for the very first one as I was in NY visiting family during that time.  From Boston, to Charlotte, to Houston...Chicago, Philly, Atlanta....it was the most formative times of my tenure here.  I met so many of you.  I felt a sincere outpouring of love for AR, its staff and community.  I knew the 'Rain was powerful I knew it was something special but it wasn't until I got on the road and heard it straight from your mouths, and felt your arms around me that I truly "got it".  And I've never been able to really fully explain the power of the 'Rain to an outsider.  I try, I get red in the face and my east coast accent comes out and my arms swing and my eyes get big....but I know they don't fully 'get it'.  You just can't unless you're a part of it.  Unless you've had someone drive 670 miles out of their way to meet you for lunch, or gotten that "hang in there sunshine I know today has been a hard one" email from a loving member, or a blog post written about you on your bday or members coming together to help another Rainer out when a loved one has passed or they might be going through a difficult time in their life. You guys built this place and I'm just lucky to live in it.

The MeetUps always pump me up and make me believe in this community that much more.  I love seeing the faces, smiles and surprise guests that show up.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard Charles Buell order breakfast.  He doesn't look at a menu just tells the waitress "a couple of eggs, home fries...", that is 'old school cool' in my eyes.

ActiveRain has now been through 3 acquisitions.. quite a ride.  And each time I get in a room and tell the new management about AR and its members and how they have each others back and can move mountains and say what they want to say.....they look scared.  As they should be!  You guys are not to be messed with!!!

Some members have moved on, some have unfortunately passed.  It's never easy to hear about one of our own passing.

And now I sit here on the 31st floor of the Zillow building overlooking this gorgeous Seattle skyline. My wife whom I met because of this job will be waiting outside for me soon and she'll carry my bags as we walk to catch the bus home.  9 1/2 months pregnant with our first child, this ActiveRain ride has brought me SO many blessings and they just keep coming.  I love each and everyone of you.  I really do, if it weren't for you, there is no way I'd of been here this long.  I can't tag and mention every one of you because this post would be never-ending.  You know who you are, I respect, admire and love you xoxo




Posted by

Kerrie La Guardia
Community Manager



Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Kerrie La Guardia  I agree with George Souto we can wait for you for the short maternity leave until you are back rocky that baby . Because you ROCK

LET It Rain

Jun 02, 2015 12:03 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

We are lucky to have you amongst us.  You listen to us, work for us, work with us and get things done.  You are indeed our lifeblood to whomever has purchased this huge living and breathing thing.

Jun 02, 2015 12:34 PM
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

I was afraid to finish reading this post. I kept chanting "please don't tell us you're leaving, please don't tell us you're leaving". What a warm, wonderful heartfelt message, loved it! Can't wait to see oodles of baby photos ... hint hint.

Jun 02, 2015 12:59 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Kerrie, I'm excited about the baby and look forward to seeing photos.  91/2 months is a long time! My daughter was two weeks late.  You are an amazing lady who gives so much to all of us.  We're glad you're here.

Jun 02, 2015 03:34 PM
ReadySetLoan Team
ReadySetLoan Condo Team LLC - South Windsor, CT
Residential, Commercial & Condo Financing Experts

This is a wonderful post, Kerrie.  You have effectively captured what makes AR so special and a huge part of it is you.  Great fortunes with your baby.  I can't see you as being anything but a wonderful Mom.

Jun 02, 2015 10:20 PM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Congrats Kerrie on another anniversary-keep up the great "work"!

Jun 03, 2015 04:30 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Kerrie - thanks for sharing your story.  I really love the meetups and wish I had been around for Rain Camp.  Thanks for having our back.  Everything I know about blogging I learned from Bob's webinars along with all of the other awesome members.


I hope you are returning after your child is born

Jun 03, 2015 05:00 AM
Claude Labbe
RLAH / @properties - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

6 years?  That's almost a lifetime of adventure in a very short time.

I'm also smiling at the 9 1/2 months pregnant.  I'd think you'd have preferred the 8 1/2 month option.

Jun 03, 2015 03:14 PM
Hillary Cochin
First Home Mortgage - Chevy Chase, MD
Personalized and Local Mortgage Finance

This post is incredible. Thank you for all that you do and congratulations on the milestone! Reading this makes me even more excited to join such a tight-knit community.

Jun 04, 2015 03:13 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

You're really the heart and soul of this community, I'm sure it's been said in the comments before me, but it's true. I think you are "our daughter, sister, etc," and you are obviously well-loved. Regardless of the Rain, your joy in marrying your gorgeous wife was celebrating by us all. Now, the impending birth of a your beautiful little boy brings tears to my eyes. We anxiously await the news. Much love to you Kerrie - we can't wait for your return - and all of the baby photos. 

Jun 04, 2015 05:49 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Amazing   hard to believe it has been 6 years!  You are a priceless asset to this community.

Jun 04, 2015 02:01 PM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

I'm sorry happy for you and yours... we met in Boston at an active Rain - RainCamp...and this past February was the begining of my 7 th year on the AR platform...I'll be sticking around. Best to you Kerrie

Jun 04, 2015 11:03 PM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

thats what I call a long term commitment these days. the view from the skyline sounds amazing.

Jun 05, 2015 06:26 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Kerrie - congrats on your super grateful attitude about being in the Rain for so long.  It's always great when we can be grateful for our time with whatever we're doing. You have brought countless joy to those of us in the rain and I have nothing but thanks to offer.  Whatever you do,  know that you are thought of with a smile :) 

Jun 05, 2015 07:17 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

 You are super. Time goes fast when you are having fun.......

Jun 07, 2015 12:46 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kerrie,

Hard to believe it's been 6 years..I remember meeting you in Rain Camp in Houston..congrats on your new family and we'll be here waiting for you when you get back!

Jun 07, 2015 09:10 PM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I remeber when AR came to Galveston for a meet up of all the Texas Realtors. I can't remember what the meet up is called because I have not slept in two days. I degrees... I was already posting on AR and became a paying member that day.  I won a jacket at that meeting! I was so proud and still wear that jacket to this day.

I am not sure when I started posting and now I am curious as to when I actually did start on AR. I love Active Rain.

Jun 07, 2015 09:39 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

What a great story!  And congratulations on your new baby!  I hope you get to enjoy some time off so you can bond.

Jun 08, 2015 10:20 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Yesterday they announced Ben Kinney bought AR and Bob Stewart is coming back.  This is all such exciting news and you Kerrie La Guardia have been mysteriously quiet since you left.  Please let us know you are coming back when your maternity leave is up.  You are integral to our happiness and we can't totally be happy without you.  Please say you are coming back! Right?

Jun 19, 2015 11:05 PM
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

kerrie, we all appreciate you and all of your hard work. I hope you are enjoying your maternity leave. Take care.. 

Jun 27, 2015 08:03 AM