Most Positive Experience: Active Rain Changed Many Aspects Of My Life

Real Estate Sales Representative with Keller Williams 302218

If you ask my husband, he will tell you that one of my biggest downsides is that when I get discouraged about something, I go looking for something to replace whatever is causing the discouragement.  A little over a year ago, I found Active Rain, but had no idea what to do with it.  I played a little here and there.  Slowly I began to catch on, and the rest is history. It is hard to admit that at age 39, I really wasnt sure where I was suppose to be or what I was suppose to be doing in life.  However, there are a few members (some of which have no idea) that helped me become a better person. I would like to introduce you to some of my favorite Active Rain members.  If I don't mention you, know that your just as special...but I only have so much time to type

Mark Flanders : Mark was the first person to ever acknowledge my writing.  He was the first person to ever "Feature" one of my posts.  I really am not that great of a writer, but he gave me the confidence to keep writing.  Once, I had not written for awhile and he sent me an email wanting to know where I was.  Now that I think back, it didnt really matter how bad the post was, he was always positive about it. 

Mark hasnt been on AR in a long time. Atleast he hasnt posted, but I do check daily in the hopes that he might reappear someday. He was very involved in Active Rain in the beginning and I am sure that others really miss him as well. His encouragement is the reason I never quit blogging.


 TLW, what a hoot she is!  She was another one of my first contacts.  However, my contact with her was more than most could understand. I lost my mother in June of 1997 to cancer.  Growing up with my mother was difficult for many reasons.  She was basically a suicidal alocoholic. Many time I can remember driving down the road with a gun and suicide letters sitting next to me.  Many times I convinced her to turn around and go home to sleep it off.  These events caused me to not allow my children around her much. Our relationship was very strained for others reason as well, some that I was at fault for.  Since my mothers death, I have had a real hard time remembering the good things about my mom.  The bad times and the weeks before her death seemed to over shadowed everything good.  When I first read TLW's blog, I was hooked.  She reminds me of my mom in the "good" times.  Her wit, antics and smile.  I often find myself visiting her blog when I am thinking about my mom. She just simply puts a smile on my face.  TLW added me as an associate and wrote, "Her mom and I would have made a good team".  LOL... it would have been a scary team.

Michelle DeRepentigny, my virtual sister.  Shortly after I started on Active Rain, Michelle and I became Associates and subscribed to each others blogs.  For me anyways, there was a sisterly bond there and still is today.  Michelle and I dont live that far apart, but have yet to meet.  I guess I need to take a day from my busy schedule and treat her to lunch.  After all, I know she is slammed to the wall busy.  Michelle is a real animal fanatic. She is a broker and it is obvious that her caring attitude cares over into her office.  After reading some of her posts on what she does for her agents, I thought about moving from the family business to work with her.  Ok, not exactly, cant leave the family business.  Her dedication to the industry is something that I really admire about her. I will never forget Project Blogger, we were both so disappointed that neither one of us were chosed as apprentices. Michelle, we gotta do lunch!


Broker Bryant, is anyone else intimidated by him? Since day one I have followed him on Active Rain.  He has so much to offer those of us just starting out in the business.  I went back and read every single post he ever wrote.  He makes a lot of sense and can yet be so diplomatic at times.  His approach to the business and his clients is something that everyone should want to emulate.  If someone was to ask me who I thought was the best on Active Rain, he would be at the top of my list. 

I have been posting a lot lately about my expired listings package.  What I havent mentioned is that it is because of Broker Bryant that I even started working expired a year ago.  Being consistent and putting customer service first are two of the things I will remember him for.  Big Bertha has also brought a lot of good laughs into my Active Rain experience. Only BB could get away with that.


Rich Dansereau and Danny Thornton of Home America Mortgage have helped me to stay sane. For a long time I have used other mortgage companies to only find that they left a lot to be desired in the area of customer service.  Rich and Danny are dependable, honest and are quick to get my clients to the closing table.  Without their services, I would be struggling today.  My clients love them and that is all I need to know.  They rock the mortgage business and forever have a believer in me.  Beyond business, Danny is one of the best friends that a person could have.  He is not judgemental and always there when you need to vent about something.  His out look is always positive and he will always tell you just how he sees things.  What a real asset both are to Active Rain.

Marey Hoeppner, my dedicated and hard working Virtual Assistant.  I can remember when I convinced Marey to start her business.  Little did I know just how well she was going to do.  Marey and I have been very careful to keep Active Rain all about business, but I have to let you in on a secret.

Marey and I are best friends.  Eight years ago, she introduced me to my husband Chris in an online business chat room.  That is all history.  Several years ago, we lost contact.  I was going through some rough times, and quite honestly shut her out for reasons that I cant explain.  Last fall we reconnected.  It was like we never missed a day.  The joy of having her back in my life has made me realize just how special "REAL" friends are.  Not only are we there for each other when our kids are hurt, we are upset or more often just need to yell at someone for something, but she does a superb job of marketing my listings.  My business would not be where it is today if it wasnt for her efforts and desire for me to be successful.

Katerina Gasset, the person that I want to be just like when I grow up.  Actually, Katerina came into my life at a time when I was reconnecting with the Lord spiritually.  I was struggling with some identity issues and trying to learn to deal with my past.  She quickly taught me that when I could come to terms with my past, I would then be able to grow for the future.  I am attending a program at church called Celebrate Recovery, its for members who are dealing with hurts, hang ups and addictions. (Geez, who doesnt have one of those three things).  Katerina has shown me that we can overcome our past and become amazing people.  Not only has she helped me on a personal level, but my business is exploding and I am looking at an amazing future. 

I started attending church regularly about a year ago.  I felt that it was something that was really missing from my life.  I have become very active in our church. I really enjoy helping those that are less fortunate.   I didnt realize just how much I was missing, until I started back.  I didnt realize how screwed up my life was either.  It wasnt until Katerina started coaching me though, that I REALLY believed I could do anything I wanted to do.  Her strength, belief and stearn words when needed will carry on with me long after the coaching is done. From the bottom of my heart, " Katerina, your my inspiration and you will never know just how much you have given me.  Thank you!"

Alexander Harb, Founder of the group, Christianity and Real Estate, you have formed one of my favorite groups.  I make it a must to visit daily.  I find that as I build my business there is no better business model than the Bible itself.

To my subscribers and consumers, it is because of you that I blog.  All I hope for is that I can make a difference in someone's life.  It doesnt matter to me if it is business related or personal.  I just want to make a difference.

Has Active Rain really made this big of an impact on me.  Yes, more so than I could ever write about here. For those of you wondering if Active Rain is all that...You better believe it.

Sally Cheeseman, thanks for a wonderful contest that caused me to get out of my comfort zone. Happy Birthday to a wonderful group.




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Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Brande,

A wonderful post! A few of the names are new to me, so I pay them a visit. I loved what you said about your virtual sister, who introduced you virtually to your husband, how cool is that?


Jun 18, 2008 05:08 PM #1
Brande Bradford
Keller Williams - McDonough, GA

Lynda - LOL...I lived in Kansas and Chris lived in Georgia.  We finally decided that the 16 hour drive was to far to go for a date, so I up and moved.  Things have never been the same since :-)

Jun 18, 2008 05:11 PM #2
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

I am humbled that you mentioned me in your "themthem" post,
sister......thank you....... my goal is to make "Christianity and Real
Estate" a LARGE light in the ActiveRain network that is loving and

Thanks you for mentioning the group...and we are here for you, sis!!


Jun 18, 2008 09:10 PM #3
Kim Peasley-Parker
AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc. - Sumter, SC

Brande- What a great post and tribute to all who have helped you along the way!  ActiveRain is full of some amazing people who give of themselves to help others.

Jun 18, 2008 11:30 PM #4
Brande Bradford
Keller Williams - McDonough, GA

Alexander - I love the group..was just there.

Kim - I dont think most people realize how much they help others.

Jun 19, 2008 12:32 AM #5
Marey Hoeppner
Kalamazoo, MI
Your Success Is Our Goal!

Brande, what a great post to some wondeful people.  Active Rain is truely a great place to be, where you can learn, laugh, even sometimes cry at the wonderful posts that AR members place. Thank you for the touching words, I will always be here.  :-)

Jun 19, 2008 06:06 AM #6
Chris Fisher
Your Virtual Assistant - Concord, CA

Wow Brande, what a wonderful blog!  Sounds like AR has been a great asset to you both personally and professionally.  Also sounds like you're on the right track.  Keep it up!  You have highlighted some wonderful, supportive people. 


Jun 19, 2008 07:14 AM #7
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Brande- What a wonderful testimony of how Active Rain and the people have changed your life! I am so proud and honored to be your coach. You have grown spiritually, financially, businessly, personally, and so much more! I am SO proud of your progress and the awesome market you are breaking into. I am touched that you would mention me as a part of your life. You are an amazing person. The thing I love most about coaching is seeing the changes in you all! IT is SO awesome! This is why I coach the WHOLE person, not cookie cutter systems. Thank you for choosing me to be your coach!

Jun 19, 2008 11:28 AM #8
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Brande- I enjoyed learning a bit about you, and this was a very postitive post.  I agree that with a little help from our friends we can accomplish so much, and you have shown that here.  Thank you for sharing it with it.

Jun 19, 2008 03:26 PM #9
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I enjoyed reading your post. I am glad you have so many good friends on AR.

Jun 20, 2008 10:40 PM #10
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Brande - What a nice honor to acknowledge those on AR whom you have found to be helpful to your life.

Jun 21, 2008 01:45 AM #11
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI

Brande, excellent ThemThem to some fine AR Family members. Great job!

Jun 21, 2008 06:51 AM #12
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Brande - Wonderful tribute to some pretty magnificent folks!  It appears that you are soaking up the very life that AR can help give an individual in our profession.  Well done!!

Jun 21, 2008 11:17 AM #13
Lisa Edwards
Aloha Coast Realty, LLC - Pahala, HI

WOW Brande ...what a wonderful post!!!! You were so candid and open about everything......and i am glad you were able to share all that personal stuff/challenges that you did...about you growing up under those circumstances shall and has made you a tougher person and you know, you did what you did so that your children wouldnt be around the same harmful issues as you had to suffer thru....and that takes some Say NOPE , im gonna protect my kids from an abusive matter who the person had to do what you had to do......

God Bless You.....

Jun 21, 2008 12:54 PM #14
Danny Thornton
R & D Art - Knoxville, TN
WordPress Guru

Brande, WOW. I just read this and I have to say I am left speechless. And of course you know how big of a task that is. With that said, thanks for the kind words.

Jun 21, 2008 03:17 PM #15
Rich Dansereau
Positive Real Estate Professionals - Knoxville, TN

Just found this and I can only say aw' shucks Brande in my best blushing kind of way. I appreciate your mention and your kind words. You too have been a bright spot in my life as well. Thanks my friend! While the Rain might bring us together, the friendship and respect keep us connected.

Jun 25, 2008 02:25 PM #16
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

This is a terrific post Brande - guess what? I really needed to read this tonight. It's so good to hear about making it past rough times when going through rough times. Thank you for being open and writing this post. I am touched by your sharing.

Jul 07, 2008 01:53 PM #17
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