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Is Active Rain still relevant?

Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

I am a member of Lab Coat Agents ... a large "snarky" group of real estate agents on Facebook that posts fairly regularly with membership totally over 163,000.  An impressive collection of Realtors, I think most would agree, if only in size.

I was having a discussion, just yesterday, with an Active Rain buddy of mine, and we were discussing Lab Coat Agents, and talking about how rough it is to be a member of Lab Coats, since they love to throw elbows, as every discussion, every conversation inevitably turns into a knife-fight.  It doesn't have to be a cutting-edge convo (pun intended), it can be be light-hearted, and you will quickly find yourself under attack.  You have to have extra think skin to join the fray.

Yesterday, Active Rain was mentioned, and a brief conversation ensued... in a "does anyone remember AR? ..." kind of way... and I piped in saying.... "I'm still there... not as active as I once was... blah, blah, blah..."  Several people popped up and said "oh, I used to be there... I remember you..." A few names I recognized, a few that I didn't.  It was actually a nostalgic topic.  Today, the same author posted the question above... and the resounding answer was "NO". AR is no longer relevant and nobody is making money blogging on Active Rain.

I did not join in on the conversation, because quite honestly, I don't blog on AR to make money... my posts here don't generate income for me.  They have in the past, mostly through referrals from other AR agents, and through SEO.  As we all know, SEO has gone the way of the Dodo bird.  But I don't really blog for referrals anymore... I blog for me, when, and if I feel like it.

I wonder... what Active Rain / Ben can / should do to keep Active Rain from simply disappearing into the digital dustbin of the information superhighway.

And please...  NO bashing!!  Assuming that we can keep it civil, I will ask Debe Maxwell to use her contacts to share any productive suggestions with the powers that be.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois


Comments (37)

Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

It is relevant.  It still has a place on the Internet.  It is informative.  I see the same 15 to 20 folks doing the work of the rest 250K + members in regards to consistent blogs and postings and responses.

Does it make me money? I used to believe so. 

But in all honestty...I KNOW IT DOES!  Yes I know it makes me money. But even more importantly it makes me online friends and contacts all over North America.

I send a lot of my potential clients to AR to learn more about me and I have done referral business on AR.

I have been around the platform for over 10 years and hope it is around another 10 or more years.  Active Rain for the win!!

Dec 21, 2023 06:28 AM
Alan May

Good to hear that it's working for you.  Clearly, I've been around a long time, and have no plans to leave soon... so it's working for me.  I have some evergreen posts that continue to show results... but it's not what it once was.

Dec 21, 2023 07:52 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Not that I ever had much respect for Ben, but when he made promises that he didn't keep, I lost all respect for him, haha.

Dec 21, 2023 07:19 AM
Alan May

I think AR was just a little side schtick for Ben.  But I'm glad it allowed us to keep the lights on.

Dec 21, 2023 07:52 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
HomeSmart Stars - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

I've never heard of Lab Coat Agents and now, for sure, I'll not be checking it out. I'm content here in my little corner of Active Rain and will continue blogging for as long as AR is around. 

As for suggestions - clean up and clear out those that haven't used the platform in a few years. I'm sure it's not helping that if a member of the public clicks on a deceased member (remember Karen Anne Stone?) it doesn't get them to a real, live, agent.  Clicking on a Rainer no longer in real estate (remember Steve Shatsky?) isn't helpful either. Make AR relevant by making it USEFUL.

Dec 21, 2023 07:33 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert

caution, just because a person does not post or comment does not mean they do not visit the site on a regular basis

Dec 23, 2023 09:48 AM
Alan May

That's a subject that's come up now and then.  Personally, I'm not a fan of deleting inactive agents.  Their archives still have value. 

Regarding agents who've passed, or retired... maybe there's a way to mark their blogs as "emeritus"... but I wouldn't be a proponent of removing their contributions.

Dec 21, 2023 07:55 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Agents today , still know that being found online is important. Yet they are at a loss as to howthey should seed their way to Internet Success . 

Dec 21, 2023 11:55 AM
Alan May

I think that's one of the questions being asked about AR's relevance... the SEO really isn't what it once was.

Dec 22, 2023 02:33 AM
Mike Tolj
Tolj Commercial Real Estate - Los Angeles, CA
Commercial Real Estate Without the Stress!

I resonate with Leanne Smith's sentiments. As a newcomer to the ActiveRain community, my main focus is to use AR to connect with brokers/agents and other professionals across various states. 

From my personal experience, sharing articles or listings in Los Angeles real estate groups on Facebook has been less than ideal. Unfortunately, none of my posts have been displayed so far. The group administrators haven't checked off posting them or provided any notification regarding issues with my articles or listings.

As for ActiveRain, it should explore strategies to regain its former glory from competitors like LinkedIn. Emphasizing SEO ranking, boosting brand awareness through its services, and building membership would be key components of this effort.

Dec 21, 2023 01:44 PM
Alan May

That's interesting, Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ.  When I search for mine, by exact name... mine do show up.  I can't explain that.

Dec 23, 2023 04:40 PM
Alan May

Mike Tolj Active Rain's SEO, at one point in the past, used to be stellar.  Today, not so much.  But as you, and Leanne, point out... it is still a great place to connect with fellow professionals.

and I'm not sure if it's the "price" that's keeping us from being better at SEO, Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ.  I think there are a lot of reasons.  We have a lot of competition on the internet today, that didn't exist when AR first started.

Dec 22, 2023 02:38 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ

It seems the price of more/any SEO is too pricey.  Revamping this site has undoubtedly taken a lot of time, effort and $. I've been on since 2009 and, like many, have experienced this site being bought and sold repeatedly, which killed my SEO given the extensions in the domain.  If you want to get to know some peeps that have been around a long time, log onto our weekly zoom calls! 

Dec 21, 2023 04:08 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ

Agreed Alan, but if I search for my old posts on google, with the exact title, they don't surface.  The domain changed to include "profile" at some point, instead of just dot your name.  So much more competition

Dec 22, 2023 08:43 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

One way I utilize this site is by telling my clients verbally that I can connect them with live agents across the country instantly.  Just telling them that makes a HUGE impact.  They love the idea and it's working currently with referrals in and out of Arizona.  I don't blog as much as I used to.  These days, the words don't seem to flow as easily, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't blog more.  I need to blog to keep ideas and creativity flowing.  I share my posts in my newsletter occasionally and my clients love it.    

I prefer to follow those that remain positive.  That's my mission these days.  There's enough negativity in the world already. 

Logging on weekly for zoom calls is a highlight of the week.  Love seeing AR friends from across the country.  It's priceless hearing stories, even if I already know the content of the topic.  There's always something to learn, a nugget.   

Time to read some posts and follow up on those that commented on my recent posts!

Dec 21, 2023 04:15 PM
Alan May

I haven't logged into the zoom calls in an age-and-a-day.  The always fall in the middle of a busy work day, and it's difficult to schedule. But I do the same as you, and tell clients that I have a national network of agents that I can tap at a moment's notice.

Dec 22, 2023 02:40 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

And here I thought it was just me. Up until a couple of years ago, I wrote real estate related material. I got cut and paste comments predominantly until I got an email saying my blog was boring.

I tried different formulas to try to motivate both myself  and my readers and I at least felt better. In October I received another email asking what my 10 posts per week had to do with real estate. I now don't know...

I, at one time, got 5 to 6 referrals a year from ActiveRain, now none 😌

Dec 21, 2023 04:32 PM
Alan May

Hey!  I'm impressed that you got an email!!  I don't post nearly as much as I used to, but even during my heyday, I didn't post 100% real estate.

Dec 22, 2023 02:41 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS well, I miss your posts... they always gave me something to think about each morning.

Dec 22, 2023 04:23 AM
Bob McCranie
Broker Associate / Team Lead - Texas Pride Realty Group - Carrollton, TX
Your best advocate when buying or selling your hom

ActiveRain is still very relevant.  I would run this company tomorrow if offered the chance. 

Dec 21, 2023 11:17 PM
Alan May

ahh.... but HOW would you run it Bob McCranie, is really the question?  What would you do differently?

Dec 22, 2023 02:42 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

We’ve been at this for many many years, but I do think there’s a transition coming and that’s perfectly OK. :)

Dec 21, 2023 11:21 PM
Alan May

What have you heard, Laura Cerrano?  What have you heard?

Dec 22, 2023 02:43 AM
Alan May

What have you heard, Laura Cerrano?  What have you heard?


Dec 22, 2023 02:43 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Alan, 

Great discussion!  Each of us is going to have a unique reason why AR is relevant. If we come to this site and write blogs and comment on others' blogs, AR is relevant.


Dec 22, 2023 03:02 PM
Alan May

Clearly, AR is relevant to those of us who visit regularly.

Dec 23, 2023 08:49 AM
Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308
Stake Your Land Realty, Inc. - Eustis, FL
Broker/Owner, SFR®, e-PRO®, GRI, AHWD, REALTOR®

Alan May 

Good morning, I originally joined because I thought it was going to get my name out there on the internet world. I have learned a lot from the AR members. AR is a place where I can ask a question and not be bashed or slammed to the ground. Everyone from my experience has been cordial, respectful, supportive and informative. SO, YES, it is relevant to me and if it goes away, I will miss AR.

Dec 23, 2023 05:40 AM
Alan May

There was a time when bashing and slamming was more common, here in the rain.  It has become a little tamer... but just a little.

Dec 23, 2023 08:50 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I used to be part of LCA as well.  I left for different reasons.

Tristan is a great guy and super knowledgeable.  He's just down the road from me and he's spoken several times at our association.  I never met the other admin personally (he lived in NJ at the time), but he seems like a stand-up guy too.

Dec 23, 2023 10:22 AM
Alan May

I am still a member, and take no issue with Tristan, or any of the admins.

Dec 23, 2023 11:12 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Although I am also not as active as I used to be, I very much believe that AR is still relevant. An encounter a few weeks ago solidified that belief. I attended a memorial service and a friend of a friend - whom I had never met before - approached me to tell me how much she liked a particular blog post of mine, and that she reads all of them! That gave me pause and the encouragement to blog more again. 

Several of my past clients shared with me that they looked me up online after interviewing me and that they came across my posts. I like to think it was one of the reasons they hired me. 

I've noticed a lot more views on my blog posts lately, but I am not sure if it's because I'm sharing most of them on our FB pages, or - dare I say it - because of better SEO?!  

Besides online exposure/gaining new clients, it's the network that we've built that is truly valuable. I've sent several referrals across state lines. AR is the first place I look when I need to make a connection. 

Dec 23, 2023 12:07 PM
Alan May

That's encouraging.  I have occasionally had clients tell me that they read my blogs, but they've never commented.  Not even once.

Dec 23, 2023 01:27 PM
Cliff Johnson
HomeSmart Realty - Stone Mountain, GA
Personalized Real Estate whether buying or selling

Very interesting blog Alan. For me, active rain use to be gold but now it seems to be just metal. Every year,  I knew I would get leads that would lead to sales from active rain. I did not know the specifics but somehow, someway through blogging, points, etc. clients would come my way and it was never a waste of time. At that point, it was pure gold. However, it slowly turned to metal. It is very different now. Again, I do not know why. Maybe I need to blog more or something. I still like reading the blogs. I post every now and then, and I truly enjoy the community but I do not generate any leads and sales from active rain, and I no longer include possible sales for the uncoming year. I know technology changes alot and perhaps there is something better out there that is doing what active rain use to do for me. Again, this is just my experience. There are probably others that are getting leads and sales by using active rain but I am not (for whatever reason). However, it is still a great information source and I like reading the blogs and I have used some of those ideas to still improve my business. 

Dec 23, 2023 02:33 PM
Cliff Johnson

Yes I would agree and you are right I need to be blogging more but in my opinion active rain is very different than it use to be or it could be a change in technology. 

Dec 23, 2023 06:38 PM
Alan May

Interesting analogy.  Well, surely, you're not going to get the same results if you're not blogging anymore.  While Active Rain's SEO isn't "pure gold" anymore, it might be silver or copper... not mere 'metal'... but you're not going to see any type of precious metal if you don't put in some effort. 

Wouldn't you agree?

Dec 23, 2023 04:28 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Alan May  , You are wonderful, and I always enjoy your posts. You have important things to say and a great way of saying it. I really do not think Ben Kinney is aware of too much that goes on. He is busy with other matters.  By the way, you have been missed 

Dec 23, 2023 06:10 PM
Alan May

I can't resist when a good-lookin' woman tells me that I'm wonderful. Awwwww...

Dec 25, 2023 11:06 AM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

I was a member of Labcoat Agents at one time, but I think I left the group. Perhaps because of said “knife fights.”  Although I come and go and come and go, as Liz and Bill Spearput it I still find value in ActiveRain.

As far as Labcoat Agents wondering if AR is still relevant, many would raise the same question about Facebook.

As with anything else, what adds value to one doesn’t equate to value to others.  Whether relevant or not in someone else’s opinion, I think AR will always be relevant to me and my uncle (😂) on some level.

Dec 23, 2023 08:15 PM
Alan May

Value is most certainly in the eye of the beholder.  Ain't no question about that.  And yet, it's nice to have you visit these hallowed halls oncet in a while, dearest my Ms. Cadenhead.

I'm still a touch wary of Uncle Vinny.

Dec 25, 2023 11:07 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

I was also a member of Lab Coat agents way back when but eventually left too.  

I've been in the Rain since 2009.  I learned how to blog here, made friends here, given and received referrals, learned an awful lot, and done business from blogs I've written. 

I think AR is still very relevant.  I send people here to read.  There is a ton of information on this site, and most of it is very good.  Every platform has their share of  a few bad apples, so that's not a surprise.    But all in all, there's a lot you can learn on many different subjects here.

I don't blog as much as I should these days.  Like Jan, the words don't seem to flow as easily.  But I think AR is as relevant today as any other platform.  The information is as good or better than many other sites I read.

Is the SEO as good?  I don't know.  Maybe it's because I don't blog as much.   But I do see my blogs come up on google.  In fact, I had someone call me on one from 2010!

I definitely think AR is relevant.  I, for one, would miss this site if it were to go away.  

Dec 24, 2023 05:34 PM
Alan May

I drop by at least once each day.  If AR went away, I wouldn't know what to do with that time slot.

Dec 25, 2023 11:09 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I am a member of Lab Coat Agents. For the most part, it seems those who ask questions should direct their questions to their brokers first for advice and training. The anonymous posts are almost always adversarial. Who knows if they are fake posts or sincerely written?

Re: AR, I don't put as much time and effort into posting as I have in the past. I value the agents I've met and have sent a few referrals over the years, and I believe I can attribute a few sales to AR. 

I'm not sure if AR is as relevant as it once was. I enjoy checking in from time to time to catch up and read a few posts, but I don't have the time to invest as much as I once did. 

Dec 26, 2023 05:37 PM
Alan May

Don't get me started on the litany of "ask your broker" responses.  Yes, of course we know that they should ask their broker.. and assuredly THEY know that, too.  But we all like asking our colleagues as well.  Ain't nuthin' wrong with that.  "Ask your broker" over and over again, just ain't helpful.

And while there are sometimes legitimate reasons for anonymous questions, I'd agree... I'd rather see someone sign their name to the question.  But at the same time, if you don't like them... just scroll past, no need to sharpen your knives.

Dec 27, 2023 03:04 PM
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

I’ve been gone a long long time, but my short answer is:Yes, still relevant.

Mar 15, 2024 10:05 PM
Alan May

Since you've been gone a long, long time.. Bruce Brockmeier  I'm gonna need a little more detail

Mar 16, 2024 03:35 AM
Cliff Johnson

I still get some benefit but not like I use too. However, I plan to start posting more. 

Mar 16, 2024 11:21 AM
Alan May

That would be loverly, Cliff Johnson 

Mar 17, 2024 03:37 AM
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

Good evening Alan,

What details would you like

Mar 16, 2024 08:05 PM
Alan May

More details on the original question... what makes AR still relevant for you.  You say you've been gone a long time Bruce Brockmeier, but it's still relevant... how so?  What're you getting out of AR?

Mar 17, 2024 03:38 AM