Some inside baseball … this may not interest the non-real estate set, aside from the glimpse it provides into my thinking. Which could be interesting. Or frightening.
This past week I had the opportunity to interview with Redfin, a discount real estate company, about the chance to be an “overflow” referral agent. Seems that Redfin is getting more than leads from its Phoenix real estate website than the company’s handful of local agents can handle, so it’s looking for agents to help manage the flow.
Though the interview was one of my best, it ends up Redfin’s going another direction. Which is fine, as I’m sure I’ll manage to stay afloat as I have the past seven years even without their help.
But there’s one question asked that keeps nagging me …
During the interview I was asked if I use Active Rain.
For those who don’t know, Active Rain is an online blogging community that’s been around for a few years now. Many of my friends in the real estate blogging world are folks that I met there; some of them still write on the site.
At the time I was active on Active Rain, there were 20,000-odd members and we were writing for each other as education pieces and for the public. When you went to the site you’d have the ability to search for agents in different towns, you’d see some featured posts, you’d see some rankings …
A lot of that’s still there. But was also now exists on Active Rain’s front page are a series of smarmy testimonials to the financial wonders that come with paying for an upgraded membership there. Agents happily holding commission checks and wondering why other agents ever would question the brilliance of paying for premium account.
The visuals turn my stomach, to be perfectly honest. Since the first day I’ve been licensed I’ve been inundated with this same routine, all of which generally include the hook that “you’ll cover the cost with your first commission check.” Few ever pan out.
Reality is Active Rain is to real estate blogging what America Online was to the Internet back in the day … a safe haven for those unwilling to leave a secure environment and see what the real world’s like. If you’re not there you’re nobody to the regulars; except many of the originals, the folks whose content drove Active Rain’s growth, aren’t there anymore.
I’m currently running somewhere in the area of six separate websites, not including the single-property WordPress blogs I build for my listings. I don’t need Active Rain. Haven’t in a very, very long time.
If activity on Active Rain is in any sense a measure of a real estate agent’s technological expertise, then happily count me among the troglodytes who know more than the so-called evolved.