Tap, Tap.......This thing on?

Real Estate Technology with ActiveRain

Hi, my name is Bob and I'm new to the community.

(Or at least I've been a very very bad participant for way too long).

Since, like many of you, I'm taking precautions given the recent events happening in our world, I'm locked down in my house (for the most part) given that I live in one of the epicenters of the the coronavirus, Seattle. So what better time to reintroduce myself to this amazing community that has been a part of my life for over 14 years. 

A lot has changed for me since the last time I was active here in the Rain. Some of you are connected to me on Facebook so you'll know I've been happily married for the last 5 years and my wife Erin and I have two adorable (but of course I'm biased) little boys, age 2 and 3. My older son Kelan, who lives with his mom and step dad 8 miles from us, is about to become a teenager, turning 13 in June. Some of you long time Rainers will remember when he was born. We kept a blog for him for a while. He's no longer that little baby you see in those posts........crazy enough, he's starting to grow hair in places men have hair......not quite a man, but well on his way. 

The last 5 years of my professional career have been spent as part of the Ben Kinney organization. For those of you unfamiliar with Ben, he owns ActiveRain. But more than that, he also owns 7 brokerage operations in Western Washington, has a sales team with 30 locations around the country and he also owns a variety of software companies (Brivity, KWKLY, ActiveRain) and other companies that revolve around the real estate industry (Forward Coaching, BrivityVA, BKCO Mortgage). My role inside the company has been vast and varied. Everything from training our expansion teams on how they leverage technology and software to helping our team decide what products and features we want to build in our software business. 

I have been putting my time away from ActiveRain to good use. It feels like I've gotten a real estate MBA in the last five years. Working closely with teams that are out selling (and they sell a ton btw.....decent chance their 3000+ transactions in 2019 is going to make them the #1 or #2 team in the entire United States when RealTrends publishes those numbers soon) real estate every day, and watching how they do it has re-energized me to come back and start sharing some of this with the ActiveRain community.

Should I have done it sooner? I should have. No question. 

Can we start sharing that information today? Well.....let's just get reaquainted and we will start talking shop tomorrow? So how about this.....if you've read this far, and decide to leave a comment, tell me something good. That's something we recently started doing on all of our teams, in all of our brokerages and in our software company. We start each meeting or group session by having everyone in the room tell us something good. I'll start......

Even though I have to limit my interactions with other people right now because it's the responsible thing to do, I have my wife and kids at home with me all day and it's been an awesome chance to form a stronger connection with my family. On our walk last night our oldest son Chase, the 3 year old, insisted on pulling his younger brother in the wagon. I briefly had visions of them being self sufficient......which were quickly interupted once the road starting being uphill.....and it was back to daddy horse pulling the wagon. 

So let's hear it....tell me something good?

Posted by

Bob Stewart


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Comments (79)

Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE
KLSM CPA Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX
Strategic Accounting & Tax Solutions

Nice to meet you Bob! We have a staff member from Seattle, she's exctied to see your hat and son's jersey. Go Hawks! And boy don't they miss the Sonics!

Mar 19, 2020 12:38 PM
Bob Stewart

Now you are talking my language! 

At least once a day, for the last 11 years I think about missing the Sonics. The idea that my boys are growing up without an NBA team to root for stinks. I want them to have the option for a similar experience with sports that I had growing up. I fondly remember going to Sonics games with my dad. For now, we have to stick to college but maybe one day soon.......

Mar 19, 2020 03:40 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Mr Bob is back, so can we get Carrie back as well???

Mar 19, 2020 02:11 PM
Bob Stewart

I wish! Love her. 

She actually introduced my wife and I. We still see her and Lani and their son often. We were suppose to see them this weekend before everything got shut down. She's doing great and I'll let her know she is missed. 

Mar 19, 2020 03:41 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

BEST news in a very long time, hearing you're back, Bob!! Business is booming - even with COVID-19. I am so looking forward to seeing you here more! 

- Love, Aunt Debe! 

Mar 19, 2020 02:41 PM
Bob Stewart

My favorite! We are long overdue to chat my friend! Glad to hear that things are still happening in your market. Same here despite all of the precautions. Granted, agents in this market are changing exactly HOW they do business but real estate sales are not stopping here. 

Mar 19, 2020 03:42 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Good to see you back Bob. It does sound like you have been busy. I do love the sound of telling everyone something good. Up until last week I had lots of good. This week it is tough to find anything good. I am suppoed to be in Seatle in April to cruise to Alaska but that looks out the window.

Mar 19, 2020 03:17 PM
Bob Stewart

Definitely harder to find something good but it's an exercise that we do where it gets easier when you do it often. The more we think about what we have to be thankful for and the actual good going on the easier it is to find those things....especially when things get harder. 

Here's the cool thing....Alaska and Seattle will still be here/there when this passes. We'll see you in Seattle at some point! 

Mar 20, 2020 03:20 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Bob, it's good to see you back in the game. AR changed my real estate business forever and I am thankful for you, Kerrie and the gang from those early days. It has made a radical difference in my view of how to do real estate. Welcome back.

Mar 19, 2020 03:22 PM
Bob Stewart

Awesome! Love to hear this Mike. I would make a small adjustment to your statement. Your decision to get involved in ActiveRain is what actually changed your business. All the credit goes to you. Everyone had the opportunity (and continues to) but you took advantage of that opportunity. Thanks, good to be back. 

Mar 20, 2020 03:22 PM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Welcome back, Bob. I look forward to your next posting with more details on what your daily involvement will mean for Active Rain. I saw the AR Virtual Assistance blog post. Does it mean the AR membership is being monetized and we should expect more paid service options??  Or?? When baseball season starts, Kerrie is still participating in the Active Rain Baseball Junkies fantasy baseball competition.

Mar 19, 2020 04:35 PM
Bob Stewart


ActiveRain is a business. That's not something we have ever tried to hide. Will you see more offers and advertisers.....yes, most likely. My hope and intention is that by participating more and getting back to doing our own education of people we will be able to balance those things. The last thing I'd want is for our members to feel like the value they receive from participating isn't worth having to see an ad every now and then. We've been able to balance that in the past and I expect we will be able to in the future. 

Doesn't surprise me that Kerrie is still participating there. She's a Yankees and baseball junkie, haha.

Mar 20, 2020 03:24 PM
Christine Wade
Christine Wade - Derby, VT
Operations Strategist / Online Business Manager

Welcome back! I just recently became active again here as well. I remember you well and know that your absence was felt by all here...and you have a beautiful family.


The good - business is going well and my family is safe and healthy...for that I am blessed!

Mar 19, 2020 05:10 PM
Bob Stewart

Thank you for saying that Christine. It's all my wife's fault. If it was just me by myself I can guarantee with 100% certainty that the word 'beautiful' wouldn't even crack the top 1000 words to describe me. :-)

Mar 20, 2020 03:25 PM
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

This is the best post I've read in a long time!  SO happy to hear you are back!  When I joined AR, you were very busy with educating all of us and I took so many of your webinars.  You were the foundation I needed to begin my online blogging journey and I'm very grateful to you and all that you did back in the day for AR.  I can't say it enough - I'm so happy to hear you are back!

Mar 19, 2020 05:10 PM
Bob Stewart

Thank you Francine, I'm humbled by your comment. Luckily I've picked up a few tips and tricks and systems and models over the last few years that I'm excited to share in the coming weeks and months. :-)

Mar 20, 2020 03:26 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

Hi Bob, 

Welcome back!  Boy, was it nice to see your post.

I was just talking about you and the webinars we used to have way back when.  Blogging changed my career in real estate.  I owe it all to you and RIP Lou Ludwig, who pushed me to join back in 2009.  So thank you for that!

I'm here.  I open my eyes in the morning. The sky is blue.  It's a good day and I'm grateful! 

I volunteer on the Grievance Committee for the past 3 years, which I absolutely love.  

You are a lucky man.  You have a beautiful family.  Enjoy them!

Mar 19, 2020 05:51 PM
Bob Stewart

Enjoying the family every day! Especially when the boys are little like this....so full of energy and a blank slate that my wife and I get to fill with love.

You're welcome for the push. I'm just thankful that you took it by the horns and ran with it and put into practice the things we talked about then. Every single person on this site that found a tremendous amount of value because of their involvement has themselves to thank. We just put the platform out there, you guys brought it to life!

Mar 20, 2020 03:30 PM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Hi Bob and Welcome back!! We were the last state to have the virus ... now I know it will spread, and we need to keep doing what we are told to do about spreading the virus. A lot of the restaurants and bars are closed and downtown is almost like a ghost town. Your family and you look very happy!

Mar 19, 2020 06:27 PM
Bob Stewart

Uncertain times, no doubt. My hope is that this brings our communities closer and helps us put partisanship aside and we remember that we are all just trying to navigate life in the best ways we know how. There are going to be some difficult times for a lot of people. My head is in the 'what can I do to bring positive to the world and how can I use my gifts to help people' space.

One of the things I feel like I can do it help educate people about running a real estate business. Thats my plan upon my return. 

Mar 20, 2020 03:32 PM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Hi Bob,

Welcome back. I was just getting started when you disappeared. I look forward to reading your posts.

Mar 19, 2020 06:57 PM
Bob Stewart

Thanks Steve. Look forward to getting to know you a little better. When I was a kid we used to play a baseball tournament in Kelowna. I have many fond memories of being there with my friends as a kid. 

Mar 20, 2020 03:34 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Good to see you Bob! Recently, I left a brokerage after spending 10 years there. It was time to move on and am excited about my future again!

Mar 19, 2020 07:08 PM
Bob Stewart

Change is what we make of it. It's neither inherently good or bad....we make it one of those things. Glad to hear you're deciding to make this change something positive!

Mar 20, 2020 03:35 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Welcome back Bob!  You have been missed.  Congrats on the kids and stay safe and healthy.

Mar 19, 2020 08:06 PM
Bob Stewart

We are trying buddy! Lots of hand washing.....I'm on the verge of washing my skin off, haha.

Mar 20, 2020 03:35 PM
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

So good to see you back.  I've neglected AR for many years, looking daily for useful articles and great people.  You might just motivate me to do more again.

On the great side......my grandson in San Francisco is having twins tomorrow!!!!!  Great time for new babies and hopefully defeating the Coronavirus.  

Mar 19, 2020 08:31 PM
Bob Stewart

Twins?!?!? Awesome and congratulations! So cool. My roommates in college and two of my best friends to this day are twins. It's a really awesome bond that they have with each other. Something I think most people don't understand unless you are a twin or you have lived with twins. Lucky kids :-)

Mar 20, 2020 03:37 PM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

Hey Bob, I've enjoyed seeing your family grow via social media. You must be so proud of them.  Bernie is now a part of my AR life and we are both interested in seeing what you plan on sharing. Welcome back. 

What's good? We live in a beautiful spot in rural Camas and we are surrounded by nature. FaceTime allows us to connect with the family and friends we love. We are grateful for the soothing aspects of nature, and the best aspects of technology. Both are making life very manageable right now. 

Mar 20, 2020 07:55 AM
Bob Stewart

Sounds like a great place to bunker down and get through this. I grew up in the small town of Ashford WA until I was 8 and I have a soft spot in my heart for rural communities. So much I am thankful for having learned from coming from a small town. My wife still thinks it's strange that I wave at other cars that drive by our house if we are outside even if I don't know them. It's that small town kid in me :-)


Mar 20, 2020 03:41 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Wonderful to hear from you and get an update, Bob. Still loving living in Carlsbad CA and enjoying multiple trips to LA to see grandkids (well, not at the moment now that we are on lockdown). The family has changed since I joined AR, with 2 married daughters, 2 son-in-laws, and 4 grandkids.

Mar 20, 2020 10:32 AM
Bob Stewart

Love to hear the family has grown Jeff! Hopefully you are able to get back to seeing those grandkids soon. Until then, Facetime! 

Mar 20, 2020 03:42 PM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

Hi Bob, welcome back! Your post was a nice surprise...good to hear from you. Congrats on the beautiful family and I'm glad you are doing well. 

The good news is that, thanks to your help, my evergreen posts are still generating calls/business 6, 7, 8 years after they were written, same with localism. Many thanks for your time and expertise in the past and I hope we will be seeing more of you here on AR.

Mar 20, 2020 10:51 AM
Bob Stewart

Love to hear that Diana. Thank you for being someone that took the advice and ran with it. That is great news!

Mar 20, 2020 03:43 PM
Dean Eshelman
ReMax Best Choice - Festus, MO

What a coincidence I just decided to jump on this morning. I was seeing how I could improve my on line search results. Basically, finding out, that I don't know much. I don't know what I don't know. I need to figure out how my name, reviews and real estate affiliation can be consistent across web sites.
Anyway, I am from St Louis Missouri area where there is Stay at Home Order. However, I was in Weslaco, TX when that happened. My brother and I are working on my Mom and Dad's home to sell when that happened. My parents are no longer with us and every time I come across something, a flood of memories goes through my mind. So my fight back was cancelled. I was going from here to the Realtor Land Institute meetin 3/28 in San Antonio, which is now cancelled.
My wife is watching my youngest daughter's three kids. My Older Daughter has worker from home for years. My Son works for Boeing and is at home.

Mar 23, 2020 09:54 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727

Dean Eshelman 
Welcome to the 'Rain! I learned so much from Bob and theother AR "teachers" - that is other agents, mortgage people, inspectors, etc, - here over the years. Enjoy going through Archived posts - there is a lot of wisdom out in the AR cloud.
All the best - Lynn

Aug 26, 2020 08:09 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Bob Stewart 
Just reported interlopers who jumped on this wonderful "I'm back." post. My good news, as others have stated, is that you are back. I think of you, if not everyday, then five times a week with gratitude for all the joy and friendships that ActiveRain brought into my life! Contrary to "typical" internet friendships, here in the 'Rain, we have been able to establish true friendships. And that's thanks to you and the other Founders, the Weltanschauung/Community Guidelines and, of course, our beloved Kerrie!

More good news? Our family has stayed healthy - in different states, staying inside their homes and working from home. Miss them but makin' do! We have so many visual communication options now.

With enduring affection for you and delighted in your happiness and business success, Lynn

Aug 26, 2020 08:25 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

I was so excited to see another post from you Bob Stewart ... oh, wait.  It's just the same post from March.

Never mind.

Aug 27, 2020 06:30 AM