Before You Sign Up for Active Rain, You'd Better Read This!

By
Real Estate Agent with Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission SALE.74032-ACT

- or 3 tips for starting off on the right foot.

I love it here on Active Rain. I've enjoyed meeting new people, learning new things, and getting my name out there. I'm just getting started, but here are a few tips if you're trying to figure just what Active Rain is all about, or you've just signed up and now you're stuck.

Tip #1 - Choose a professional username

that you'll be comfortable with over time in a business environment.kewpie doll

Your passion may be collecting Kewpie dolls, but you wouldn't want your prospective clients to see Username: Kewpiedollfanatic front and center when they get to your profile page, now would you?

Back in March when I first ran across AR, I wasn't at all sure what Web 2.0 or social networking was. I may still not know completely, but I've learned that it's powerful stuff and that my username, heatherg, wasn't all it could be. I used it to set up my account way back then, because I wasn't sure I wanted to be known by my full name. I thought I might just lurk some and check things out. Big mistake, but not fatal.

The AR staff may kill me for it, but if you've tagged yourself with a username that is less than professional, just click the Contact ActiveRain button at the bottom of the page and ask them to change it for you.

Tip #2 - Don't overanalyze it. Just start writing.

blog writer

After you set up a professional descriptive profile page with a picture or two, start posting to your blog. If nothing else, post one of your listings, post about your neighborhood, or an upcoming community event.

Yeah, if you've looked around AR enough, you'll be envious of all the Active Rainers here whose posts get featured and who get a gazillion comments on them, but don't let that intimidate you into inaction.

Your purpose here is not to win the Mr./Ms. Popularity contest or to dazzle the other AR members, but to show clients with money in the bank just who the local real estate expert in their area is - YOU!

Tip #3

Okay, this post is long enough. I'll have to save tips 4-99 for another day, but Tip #3 is perhaps the most important. Once you have a few posts under your belt, and you get a feel for what's going on around here,

seek out friendship and support

from your fellow Active Rainers. Subscribe to blogs that interest you. handshakeAdd those members as associates. Comment on their posts that you think worthy of it, or email them with a question or point of clarification if you prefer.

Because we are scattered throughout the country, we're not so much competitors as we are colleagues. And I, for one, have found the members of the Active Rain community to be unfailingly generous.

I look forward to the day when I can start giving back. Okay, just because I can't help myself, I'll give you

Tip #4 - Keep your posts short

and try to include some pictures! I'll have to work on the first part of that!

Comments (19)

Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

Great points - I wish this was readily available before signing up - my user name is bland and apparently I misread ... but it works.  I'm here!  All 4 points are great, especially 3 and 4 - wow, I read slow and if its more then a couple of paragraphs - Fo-get-it.

Oct 08, 2008 07:53 AM
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Welcome. I am glad you joined AR. Good luck with your next blogs and don't give up! It does get easier!!

;)

Oct 08, 2008 07:54 AM
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Welcome. I am glad you joined AR. Good luck with your next blogs and don't give up! It does get easier!!

;)

Oct 08, 2008 07:55 AM
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Welcome. I am glad you joined AR. Good luck with your next blogs and don't give up! It does get easier!!

;)

Oct 08, 2008 07:55 AM
Glen Russell
eXp Realty - Limerick, PA
Real Estate Professional, Limerick, PA

Deffinitley good information for someone just starting out. I didn't know that you could have AR change your name though. Interesting stuff!

Oct 08, 2008 07:55 AM
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD

I think your post is great.  Visually and content. Good basic stuff.  Sometimes it is all so overwhelming.  I am one of those that tends to make it harder than it should be.

Oct 08, 2008 08:04 AM
Evelyn Panning
Property Connections Realty Inc. - Alturas, CA

Nicely said.  Glad you took the time to post this.  I wish I had seen a post like this when I started out. ~ Evelyn

Oct 08, 2008 08:18 AM
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
Results That Move You

Steve - If the post had been any longer, I don't think I ever would have gotten it finished.  Thanks for stopping by.

Betina - As per my response to Steve, I certainly hope it gets faster

Glen - I think it's still showing the old one, but Aaron promised he'd change it!

Audrey - (Love your name)  Thanks for the compliments.  I'd be ashamed to say how long it took.  Surely, it'll get quicker?

Hi Evelyn - Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Oct 08, 2008 09:30 AM
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

All good points, Heather -- I need to start working on the 'include pictures' part.  Good info for newbies.

Oct 11, 2008 03:13 PM
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Heather - Oh I have to agree with all of these, but especially about #2 Don't Over Analyze...Just Start Writing.  I think the more we read, comment and of course write the better we become as writers and hopefully AR content providers :)

Oct 13, 2008 08:33 AM
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
Results That Move You

Shirley, pictures for me are still an afterthought.

Jessica, I think that's the way it goes.  At first you think everyone has written about everything worth writing about, but then a post you read will give you an idea for one to write.  I'm still trying to be more active on localism, too.

Oct 13, 2008 09:21 AM
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Heather - I'm actually trying to set up a schedule to tailor my blogs to various audiences(thanks to Loreena Yeo and Katerina Gasset), along with some standard SEO principles - so far posting to buyers and sellers locally, promoting my area or something interesting about my area(new restaurant, event, etc), AR members, etc. and maybe specifically to some of the niche audiences I want to build a reputation in (Like Older Homes, etc.)  I think if we have a standard topic or audience list, along with a weekly schedule I think it will definitely help buid our businesses locally and keep us focused on the prize.  Hope that helps.

Oct 14, 2008 10:41 AM
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
Results That Move You

That would give a good balance to your blog posts, while letting you know what's next so you can be thinking about it.  Most of my blogs are formed in my head and are written in one fell swoop.  'Course I do lots of editing and rewriting.

Congratulations on your featured articles!  Way to go!

Oct 14, 2008 02:08 PM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Heather - I love these tips! However, I feel that there is a contradiction here. This blog is GREAT for those who think of signing up, but you also have made this a "Member's Only" post. I dont think others who are not members could view this prior to signing up. What are your thoughts?

I think it's a great blog, worthy of a feature in the Best Business Practices group. Kudos to you.

Oct 14, 2008 11:23 PM
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Thanks Heather!  and I have to agree with Loreena - Think it be a great non-member post, post.

 

Oct 16, 2008 05:42 PM
Gregory Lohr
West Columbia, SC

Short blogs....really?  We can do that?  How?  LoL!  I have trouble with that too.  I should probably considering breaking things up into multiple parts with links to each.  BTW...love  your tips!

Oct 17, 2008 03:43 PM
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
Results That Move You

Loreena & Jessica - You're right, I'll make that change.  And thanks for the kudos!

Greg - I hope you find them helpful.  Thanks for commenting.

Oct 18, 2008 03:02 AM
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Heather - Glad to see the change.  I'm sure over time it will positively impact many newbie and soon to be AR members.

Oct 18, 2008 03:58 PM
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
Results That Move You

Jessica - I hope so.  That was my reason for writing.

Oct 31, 2008 12:34 PM