My 11 Years ActiveRain Blogging ~ Reflections and Gratitude

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I just realized that it actaully has been 11 years since I joined ActiveRain. 


I started blogging on ActiveRain in June of 2007. 


Sometimes it seems like just yesterday and other times it feels like long ago. I think the feeling of long ago comes from so many of my first peeps here in the Rain are no longer here. Time goes by so fast so the feeling of yesterday seems is quite commonplace these days. 


I found ActiveRain in the beginning of June in 2007 and joined after lurking for a couple of weeks.  I was doing SEO for our real estate company and in those years, forum commenting was a very good SEO technique.


I was in some real estate forums to get the link back to our crappy point 2 agent website back in the day from the forums. The people in one of the forums were very rude and mean. Yes, they were agents. Quite a rude bunch. I remember doing my forum tasks was one of the first things on my list each morning for SEO steps. I would tell myself, "don't pay attention to their rude remarks, you are only here for the link".


One day, I read a comment by someone who said that there was this website called ActiveRain that had a 'do follow' link to your website. The person was one of the mean ones and said something to the effect that AR members were idiots and did not know anything about SEO, etc. I thought they would not be as rude as that person!


I searched for and found ActiveRain. I noticed the board with featured posts. I read a few of them. Then I thought I would search for information about Hawaii since I lived in Hawaii for 5 years and wanted to see what was happening there. I found Sally Cheeseman's blog. I started to read her blog. And I started to read the comments on her blog posts. I noticed people were communicating in mostly a civil manner. 


I decided to start my profile. After I entered my information I noticed right away I had been rewarded with points. I did another task and got more points! Hmmm, that is interesting! I thought --- because I reach for my goals when there is a carrot dangling in front of me! I was hooked! 


Then I started to be competitive... I saw the leaders in Florida and figured I could climb the same ladder, and I did. Mostly though, I started my ActiveRain blog because:


1. I wanted the do follow link

2. I wanted to pay it forward and help other agents experience the success we have

3. I wanted to get listings


Many agents don't want to remember 2007. Here in our MLS in Palm Beach County more than 10,000 agents left the business. Our market had crashed. No one even know what a short sale was. There were no attorneys advertising for short sale negotiations, and no agent here wanted to touch a short sale. 


I decided to blog about short sales; the negotiation process, the banks, the requirements, and how we can help. You see, Nestor's first real estate transaction after he got his license in 1995 was a short sale. I had been through another short sale recession here in Wellington in 1997. We knew how to do short sales. At that time for a good year or so after, I was the only one along with an agent on the west coast of Florida, Dan Forbes, who blogged about short sales. I remember getting comments from other agents who said they would never do a short sale. 


The real estate bust happened in Florida first and overnight the home values dropped by 50%. In July we received our first listing referral from a mortgage broker on ActiveRain.  In August we got a call from a homeowner who had to do a short sale.


We still have his testimonial! In September we received a lot of phone calls and we ended up listing about 21 properties that month. Investors started calling us because we knew how to get their short sales approved.  We ended up being in the top 1% of top closers in our MLS. The next year, a repeat with getting at least 4 listings per week just from my blogging on ActiveRain. 


I blogged about expired listings, short sales, SEO for agents... and so on... I was being featured on ActiveRain a lot. I was invited to be the keynote speaker at one of our ActiveRain Rainmaker live events. That was an amazing time in Atlantic City!


We hired one of our sons and one of our daughters to help process our short sale files.


I was able to then start coaching agents as they reached out to learn how they could do what we were doing. From there, I started to develop SEO courses with all my first customers being AR members! From there, I launched our SEO bootcamp, my Listing Experts Academy, my 30 Day SEO challenge, and now the proud owner of Get It Done For Me Virtual Services.


I have so much to be grateful to ActiveRain for. I joined ActiveRain during the second to worst recession in my memory. I was depressed because we lost a huge land development deal with a huge developer due to the fact they saw the writing on the wall and defaulted on a quarter million dollar deposit. I was not sure how to get the word about about short sales or if anyone would ever type short sale help into the google search engine.  It was all a gamble. But we are not quitters. In recessions there are huge opportunities, we used our faith to believe we would find those opportunities and we did. 


The support system from members in ActiveRain was just what the doctor ordered and then some. I wanted to help because I believe in the BNI motto: GIVERS GAIN. 


There were no ActiveRain webinars in those days. There were no tutorials, videos, etc. To learn the ropes of AR you had to reach out to other bloggers and ask. There were no ActiveRain Ambassadors.  We picked up the phone a lot in those early days. I reached out to many agents. We also had niche support systems within the support system. For instance, we homeschool. I soon discovered there were other members here who also homeschooled. We created an aliance and supported each other. It was great! None of those members blog on ActiveRain anymore. One of the humble brags I earned was to become the most subscribed to blogger on ActiveRain. I am still here after 11 years and ActiveRain continue to be a big part of my marketing and networking. 


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Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Congratulations on an incredible milestone - I, for one, can't imagine AR without you. Only 6 years for us!

Jul 10, 2018 05:31 AM #10
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

That is a great story Katerina Gasset , in 2007 i was knee deep in bank owned homes. I have to check the year but I found AR when someone mentioned it on Trulia when they had a great platform before it was gutted by the buyer back then. 

Jul 10, 2018 05:36 AM #11
Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around

Good morning, Katerina!

I have been here for 11 years, also, although the last one I haven't been too active since I have had many things going on in my life in addition to real estate.  Hope to get back into it soon.


Jul 10, 2018 06:43 AM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Katerina- Congratulations to you and we too are the beneficiaries of your being here. You have contributed a lot to the many agents here and elsewhere and your sharing your knowledge has been a gift to all of us. 

Jul 10, 2018 07:55 AM #13
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

You and I stgarted at about the same time, but it took me a few years to realize how valuable this site is - both for business and pleasure.

Although I do slack off on blogging when life gets too busy, I can't imagine why anyone would leave...

I'm glad you're here - love reading your posts.

Jul 10, 2018 08:31 AM #14
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I also joined in 2007 but was too timid to write my first post until 2008 and now I'm up to 1500! It took a while but it was definitely a sharing community that was always willing to help.

I'm sorry though that so many good bloggers have left - I get it but I miss them.

Jul 10, 2018 10:05 AM #15
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Katerina, I kinda miss the old "lurking" days. It was so very great to have AR in those dark times to get through the muck you might say! Here since December of '06 in the shadows. What an excellent and memory filled post!

Jul 10, 2018 10:13 AM #16
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

We leave our signature wherever we go & in whatever we do in this short time

Jul 10, 2018 12:26 PM #17
Mott Marvin Kornicki
Waterway Realty, Realtors® • Broker • South East Florida • - Miami Beach, FL
Waterway Realtors, Notary Public 786-229-7999

I've been here for a long time too - I don't remember the date I actually joined - but I'm sure it's here somewhere! I recall when A|R was also full of rudeness - it has changed.

Jul 10, 2018 04:04 PM #18
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Love hearing the "this is how we got started on AR" stories. I've been here long enough to clearly remember the Sally Cheeseman posts and the names from the past make me sentimental.

Jul 10, 2018 06:37 PM #19
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

You have had an amazing journey, Katerina.  It's so wonderful how you've evolved your offerings.  oh, and you reminded me that I missed my 8th anniversary on here...last week.  So, I should probably do a post on that soon.


I've learned a lot from you, and I think you'd be proud to see what I've accomplished over the last year or so on affiliate marketing.  I'll try to call sometime to catch up.  Maybe in a few weeks. I'm a tad busy right now (w/ family stuff). 

Jul 11, 2018 04:46 AM #20
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I've followed you from the start. I haven't posted regularly which is why I am lagging behind in points. But I enjoy the friends I've made here and it does generate calls. For that I am grateful.

Jul 12, 2018 08:30 AM #21
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Congratulations, Katerina, on your 11-year milestone here in the Rain. I started in 2008.

Jul 12, 2018 12:43 PM #22
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

I lurked for longer and was never as active but have made some fabulous friends here. I don't have much time for AR anymore, like you I have found my why. -- Golden Retrievers, both owning, breeding and now rescuing. Time passes way too fast these days. Real estate changes too. Enjoy Tristan while you can, he's growing up so fast.

Jul 13, 2018 07:34 AM #23
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Katerina Gasset You and I were "newbies" together in 2007, but you were way ahead of me then and you still are. It has been a pleasure to "know" you. One of these days I will make it to So. Fla. to meet you in person.

Bill Roberts

Jul 16, 2018 10:14 AM #24
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Bill Roberts Oh yes, I remember we were commenting on each other's posts, and networking together as well as some politics :) 

Jul 16, 2018 10:09 PM #25
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Well Katerina Gasset I remember very vividly that you "explained" to me about watermarks in photos. I haven't used other people's pictures ever since. Thank you.

Bill Roberts

Jul 17, 2018 08:09 AM #26
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Wow Katerina ...oh how I remember those days, I was green as grass with SEO and reached out to you to coach me SEO. It resulted in me being number one in Google on the whole first page of neighbourhoods I blogged about, Wow that was cool and rewarding. Thanks for the memories and coaching

Jul 23, 2018 04:17 PM #27
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Katerina Gasset I remember suggesting to try doing webinars...Well Done. Can You Imagine doing what we did ten years ago with the Facebook Audience of today...Interesting to see and hear every saying do Videos ...Heck I was doing drive through neighbourhood video market reports and showing the homes ten years ago,,,Now I going start again...

Jul 27, 2018 07:38 AM #28
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

You've come a long way since joining Activerain and I'm glad to hear it's been so successful for you.  It's been enjoyable watching your progress. I also joined in 2007 and can't believe it's been so long!

Sep 08, 2018 06:38 PM #30
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