It all started rather innocently for me, exactly one year ago today. At the suggestion of our Patti Kouri, our Team Business Coach, of Accelerated Performance Coaching, as well as several of her guest speakers at her annual Jumpstart Workshop in LA last year, I plunge and joined something called Active Rain.
Of course, many of my colleagues had a lot of nice things to say about AR as well, including my good friend and mentor Chris Tertzagian, a top agent at Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston SC. It was Chris who referred me here, and benefits from invite points from my many, many rants and shares.
Actually, it was the day before Thanksgiving last year, my wife an my mother-in-law were putting on the finishing touches on holiday pumpkin and pecan pies, and stuffing the turkey, and I had a bit of time on my hands.
So I wrote two posts that day - one saying "howdy," and a second one commenting on increasing median home values in Chicago over the past year.
To date, I have written nearly 530 posts, and accumulated over 146,000 points for posting and commenting (not for this one, however - I'm over my ten-per-week scored maximum). And I have either learned or acquired a number of things.
First of all, Active Rain really does help your SEO! I usually write on topics that would be of interest to those moving within or to Chicago or the Chicago Metro Area. These topics cover specific Real Estate subjects, of course, but also items like mass transit, taxation, no-smoking laws, our renown local political environment, and things to do here in town.
More recently, we have covered the home town of our Soon To Be President, Barack Obama. Mr. Obama, his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha live in the Kenwood Neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, roughly eight miles south of Downtown Chicago and The Loop. It's so cool when I realize he eats his corned beef sandwiches at Manny's Deli on South Jefferson Street - the same place I eat mine!
We've also enlisted our 11 1/2 pound Lil' White Dog - Pekingese Buddy Holly Moss, who writes Real Estate and other Chicago News, from the perspective of a small furry creature who spends the lion's share of his time marking trees in our neighborhood. If you haven't read Buddy recently, he posts every Friday morning - and he's a pretty good writer!
Number Two - this really is a community of sharing professionals! Need help finding a place to set up your masthead - someone has a solution. Having trouble handling a difficult agent-client problem - there's someone to offer help. Sharing info on new (or dead) loan products - dozens of lenders are here to help.
The world would indeed be a different place if AR would have been around ten or 15 years ago - yes?
Three - many around here have gotten "Points Happy." Post 10 comments a day, 10 new posts a week - just to get the POINTS. Indeed, more points may result in higher positioning in your home city, county, and state - but I have seen many "game" the system.
One fellow in my home county "earned" 14,000 points over the last week using cut and paste MLS Stats and various other tidbits, as well an inordinate number of outside invites. But I've found this kind of approach a minority one.
Fourth point - many bloggers are VERY SAVVY on the Internet, which I am not. Cool widgets, photo enhancement sites, keyword strategy, and on, and on, and on. I am very grateful to you and your accumulated knowledge - I eat this stuff up, and then hire and pay someone to help me get it right.
Item Number Five - most of you folks LOVE CHICAGO. You've been here a time or two, and love to come back. It's got to be because of our lovely parks, architecture, shopping, dining, and lake shore. Most likely, it's not about our winter weather! Hey - if you all moved here, we'd CONTROL THE MARKET in this town!
Finally, Item Six. Many Realtors are Very Conservative Politically, and this surprises me. I say that not only because I'm from perenial Blue City Chicago, but also because so many were very PERSONAL about it. Even HOSTILE, at times. Glad the election is over, and we can all be friends again - you think?
In any event - I'm glad to be a part of this all. You'll keep hearing from me and our Team - almost daily - way past the next few anniversaries.
Thanks, always for your shares!
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO