Modelry - A Random Walk through Internet Real Estate: My Six Month Review, Market Leader Makes Further Investment in ActiveRain

My Six Month Review, Market Leader Makes Further Investment in ActiveRain

Nikesh Parekh at Keller Williams MegaCampEveryone,

It has been six months since I became CEO of ActiveRain, and as many of you know, it has been an eventful six months.   I started as CEO of ActiveRain on April 11, 2011 with a commitment to invest in the underlying technology of ActiveRain, continue to foster a vibrant ActiveRain community, and make training investments to see greater success with our RainMaker premium blogging subscribers. 

We have made good progress towards those goals.  We have invested significantly in the ActiveRain technology, thanks to our technology lead Chris Paredes, Chris Beahm and Patrick Lesher from Market Leader and a team of consultants from around the country.  The platform is much more stable now.  We are not experiencing the outages that we have seen in the past.  We have developed ActiveRain University with online training, webinars and guides to help both RainMakers and the community as a whole learn about real estate search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, and social media.  Now ActiveRain University conducts 10-15 webinars per week on a wide variety of topics, some associated with ActiveRain and others which are just great training in real estate. 

We also transitioned RainCamp from an in-person event to an online webinar, complemented by local in-person MeetUps.  This was a tough decision, but we were losing money on in-person RainCamps and needed 3-4 people full time to support the activity.  The new RainCamp Online format has appealed to a broader community (rather than just the members living in one area like Dallas or Los Angeles) and the first round of ActiveRain MeetUps were more successful than hoped, with more than 300 people attending 45 MeetUps around the country.  Watch for much more to come around RainCamp Online and MeetUps.

While we have made progress in many areas, we continue to face challenges. 

ActiveRain as a platform is now stable, but we want and need to be faster from a page loading perspective and easier to develop upon.  As I have blogged about previously, the ActiveRain software platform (Ruby on Rails) and database (PostgreSQL) have not been updated in 5 years.  Imagine not changing the oil, sparkplugs or filter in your car for five years and then asking it to race the Indianapolis 500.  Because of this, ActiveRain suffers from occasional stability problems, slower page loading speeds, and challenges in developing new technology.    More investment and capital is needed in the technology and in the business overall to take ActiveRain to new heights.

Today, ActiveRain has two large shareholders: Market Leader who owns 51% of the company and the founder Jon Washburn who owns 45% of the company.  Market Leader decided to make an additional investment into ActiveRain and offered Jon Washburn the opportunity to participate equally / pro rata alongside them.  Having started a new company called Daily Ticket, Jon Washburn chose to sell his shares to Market Leader and focus on his new company and other activities, rather than investing additional capital into ActiveRain.  Though I am sure this was a very hard decision for Jon to make, it is the right decision from an entrepreneur’s perspective.  He was a minority shareholder in ActiveRain without day-to-day involvement in the business.  Jon is also a savvy entrepreneur with great ambitions for Daily Ticket, so being asked to put more money into ActiveRain was a challenge.

Market Leader has owned 51% of ActiveRain for more than a year, since September of 2010, when two ActiveRain founders Matt Heaton and James Hillyerd sold their shares in ActiveRain.  Market Leader has invested close to $4M (!) into ActiveRain to-date and believes in the vision of ActiveRain as an independent community of real estate professionals, with an editorial voice.  In the past, Market Leader has been a great partner supporting ActiveRain in visible ways through our technology challenges and sponsoring our new business initiatives.  Market Leader has also been very helpful in ways less visible to the community, but very important to the company like lending ActiveRain their HR department to help with employee benefits and recruiting.

Going forward, Market Leader will own 100% of ActiveRain and will continue to invest to make ActiveRain the leading blogging platform and social network in real estate.  ActiveRain will operate independently from Market Leader just as it has been doing for the past five years, and I will continue as the CEO.  ActiveRain has a separate office in a different location. Market Leader does not plan on integrating ActiveRain into Market Leader, though we at ActiveRain will have more access to assistance from Market Leader (like with technology and HR). 

So, where does ActiveRain go from here?  We continue to focus on building and fostering the ActiveRain community.  We here at ActiveRain are excited by the opportunities to invest in and enhance the community and the website  Over the next three months, you will see us improve the technology platform, re-design key pages on the site, and leverage the collective knowledge of the community to assist both real estate professionals and consumers through the home buying and selling process.

Watch for great things. 

As most of you know, I am very available and will answer questions and comments posted as best I can.


Nikesh Parekh

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Comment balloon 146 commentsNikesh Parekh • November 02 2011 02:25PM


Hi, Niki

     You are doing a great job... keep up the good work!

     Thanks for the update on Market Leader now being 100% Owner of ActiveRain.

     Looking forward to continued progress on the Technology.  Keep the pressure on Chris P, Chris B, and Patrick!


Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Thanks Fred!  I appreciate the support. 

I actually moved ChrisP's desk right next to mine so that we can "work more closely."  I am not sure if he likes it or not, but I like it.

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Niki, Thanks for the update and glad to hear ML will have AR continue to operate independently other than the obvious advantages of leveraging HR and technology.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 over 6 years ago

May I humbly suggest...Free rainmaker accounts for agents who use the Marketleader website. That would be a nice touch...


Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the update Nikesh. I'm excited for all of the upcoming improvements! My market leader site and Activerain blog will go together better than ever.

Posted by Andrew Lamb, Search Vacaville Homes For Sale - Vacaville CA Real Estate (The Andrew Lamb Team - over 6 years ago

Great update Niki, and also thanks for letting us know about the ownership. The pages loading faster will be a huge improvement when that comes along, also MY request from DAY ONE, a more robust built in editor. So many bloggers edit offline it is a real shame when you could do it with the product itself. This work around is being done cause the tools here are very primitive.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 6 years ago

Nikesh, I have totally noticed we had stopped going down like every-other day.  You have been doing a fabulous job - THANKS!

Posted by Linda K. Mayer, Realtor, SRES, SoCAL, A REALTOR YOU CAN TRUST (License # 01767321) over 6 years ago
Niki I have to agree with Doug. I have both AR and ML. I doubt I will keep both, and since AR is one of a kind, looks like ML will be the budget cut treatmet
Posted by Scott Hayes, Realty Austin, Broker Associate ((512) 786-8300) over 6 years ago


A few questions.

1. Will you change the rules about grandfathered customers like myself. Will I be requried to pay at some point.

2. Now that ML fully owns AR should we expect censorship in the blogs we type. In otherwords, can ML customers say negative things about them on AR? Willl you allow your members to freely blog about whatever they like, so long as it stays within the community guidelines?

3. Will you be adjusting the community guidelines at some point?

4. Now that you have full ownership I have to wonder if your competitors will still be interested in advertising on your companies website - Activerain. Will these lead generators be banned from attempting to pump business out of your own fishing barrel so to speak?

5. Does this mean Bob Stewart gets a raise? We'd like that very much.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 6 years ago

All I can do is hope that the actions undertaken will work out for the enterprise and the community members. 

I too am a client of Market Leader's and I hope the extra investment they made will yield the intended outcome. 

But make no bones about it- the secret sauce to this platform is not the technology, it is the community. I could go out tomorrow and start my own self hosted web page with blog with 2011 bells and whistles and it would still not be the same as what we have now. And I say that with the full knowledge that the outside blog feature is every bit as outdated as the other things you referred to. So whatever you do, please keep the community in mind!

And, maybe someday, the outside blog feature will actually be a Wordpress blog we can host ourselves. That would be on my personal wish list.  

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the update.  Very interesting to learn what is going on behind the scenes in Active Rain.

Posted by Anonymous over 6 years ago

Thanks Niki ~ I ditto Greg in saying that Bob should get a big raise! And perhaps you should as well.

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) over 6 years ago

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your comment.   I appreciate your starting it off:

1) We currently have no plans for changing the rules on grandfathered members which would require gradfathered members to pay.  As in the past, we may add additional features (like Outside Blogs) which are an additional fee for grandathered members, but included in RainMaker pricing.

2) The power of ActiveRain lies in the editorial voice of the community (just like the New York Times or the Washington Post).  There will be no censorship of opinions or information as long as they are consistent with the Community Guidelines and the Weltanschauung.  In fact, I believe the diversity of opinions is the strength of the community and will continue to be encouraged and fostered.  (You will see us come out with some interesting and controversial things in the near future).

3)  We do not have any plans on changing the community guidelines in the near future.  The community guidelines will continue to evolve (especially every Presidential electon year), but there will be no changes based on our relationship with Market Leader.

4) We will continue to welcome advertising from everyone in the real estate industry, regardless if they have a competitive product to Market Leader.  Keep in mind that Market Leader has owned a majority interest in ActiveRain for more than a year already.  We are striving to maintain ActiveRain as an independent voice in real estate.  I don't believe we have done anything to ActiveRain that has compromised its voice or independence.  If I have, I expect that you (and the broader community) would let me know.  ActiveRain is generally not known for holding its tongue.

5) I take care of my team.  You should reach out to Bob or Kerrie directly. 

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

" . . . believes in the vision of ActiveRain as an independent community of real estate professionals, with an editorial voice."  Please keep it that way!!  ;-)

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

I hope it's clear from my actions that the health of community is the highest priority for me and everyone at ActiveRain.

In the same way that I have ChrisP in technology next to me, KerrieG is in the next desk over.  (Bob lives in Michigan so I have a harder time moving him next to me.)  Trust me, Kerrie,  Bob, and KellyP keep the rest of the company in check regarding the importance of the community.

Kerrie's Desk

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago


I think I would trade a vacation for a raise!



Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

so long as we are allowed to remain the "family" we have become I'm fine with that.  But the person who called my daughter today to try to either delete her account or get her to become a rainmaker was kinda pushy.  She likes to comment.  Technically she is an employee of Lane Realty... is there harm?

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 6 years ago

Hi Tammy,

Does your daughter remember his or her name?  If so, email our VP of Sales Kate Yackley and we will provide that person with feedback.   Any real estate professional can join ActiveRain for free and comment for free.  RainMaker subscriptions are the majority of our revenue at ActiveRain today.


Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago


As wonderful as it all sounds, I think what's happened with the smaller investors borders reprehensible. Without us, AR wouldn't be a viable product right now. I've spent a better part of my day thinking about this. And the more I think on it, the more the old proverb comes to mind "You can tell a lot about a person/entity by the way they treat someone who can nothing for them."

It would have been just as easy for The Directors to conclude that the "The Small People" should, at the very least, break even. But no, the conclusion was a collective screw 'em. A show of goodwill would have been a much better business decision. But hey, that's just the way I do things. I'm not naive enough to believe others see what I see, or feel the way I do when it comes to the way we treat others.

Yeah, Niki, I'm still feeling at odds with the way this has played out. 


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Niki, I think I can say at this point we all trust you to keep moving us foward without changing the family feeling of AR. Thank you for keeping us informed.

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) over 6 years ago

Like Tammy, someone called our office and was very pushy with my assistant who didn't want to "pay" and had just joined to read my posts.  Maybe you better talk to your "callers"

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

Thx for the update.  Sounds like good progress and more to come.  Glad to hear the responses to Greg's q's as many of us had that on our minds.

Oh, and to Phil's comment, the outside blogs (as well as localism) seem to be rather outdated.  Importantly, for me, my outside blog is barely generating any I'm guessing I'm doing something really wrong or missing something very important.  I don't get why it's not working for me (and everything else is).  I have to get this figured out in December.  (let me know if there is someone I can talk to then...I've taken ARU).

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

thanks for the straight forward and rapid response. I think i'm starting to like you Nikesh. ;)

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the "behind the scenes" update.  The time management part of my day would appreciate more speed when moving from page to page on AR--it still is way too slow for this Type A gal.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 6 years ago

I'm unclear as to Bob Steward & Kerri getting a raise? Or does Nino have to send them cash? I think that needs clarification.

Thank you for your update. I am personally concerned that Market Leader is now the direct owner of AR. I am suspicious of your word 'leverage' and what that might mean to the community.


Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 6 years ago

Actually she didn't know his name.  Even right after the phone call.  She said he asked her lots of questions about WHY she'd even want to have an account if she didn't want to blog.  Just said the "reach out" wasn't very friendly.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 6 years ago

I was just laughing at how long it took for this page to come up...


Posted by Paul Francis, Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes (Francis Group Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Congrats, hard to believe it's been 6 months already.


Posted by Gail C. Harris, Reach the BEACH with Gail C. Harris (cell: 703.868 (Resource Network, LLC SFR, AHWD, ACRE, SMAR Board Director) over 6 years ago

Thanks much for the update Niki. The stability is head and shoulders above where it was and I second the motion regarding a more robust editor.

Posted by Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views (Tucker Associates Real Estate Services) over 6 years ago

WOW and today I found out my IDX provider's new parent company is Zillow. 

We shall see what comes of all this.  Hopefully positive on all fronts!

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) over 6 years ago

Is there any way you can authorize and start giving a white Mercedes to all the bloggers that reach one million points? 

or at least a fruit basket.. just sayin'



Congrats on the 6 months! 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 6 years ago

"Going forward, Market Leader will own 100% of ActiveRain and will continue to invest ..."  From the very early days of AR, there was always discussion among members about how the founders (Jon, Matt, James, Bob and Caleb) would monetize the site. Part of that answer has been Rainmaker accounts and Localism sponsorships. Today that changes. Businesses don't invest millions without the expectation of receiving millions more.

So how does Market Leader (a publically traded company, LEDR on NASDAQ) plan to get a return on investment that's acceptable to shareholders? It won't be as easy as 200,000+ members at $5/month = $1 million, because AR's true membership is really only 10-15,000 along with a ton of dormant accounts.

Will Market Leader repackage or syndicate our content through its other holdings? Maybe there's a clue in some of their other recent acquisitions -- SharperAgent and Will they try to leverage their relationship with Keller Williams through eEdge to sell 80,000 new Rainmaker accounts? Stay tuned ...

On another note, I've noticed the site has been much more stable over the last few months and appreciate your efforts in driving that. Congrats on six months, Niki, and thanks for keeping the communication open.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 6 years ago


I think your situation is different from the rest of the community.  I apologize for the situation and I hate to the bearer of bad news.  As I discussed with Bryant this morning via phone and you TLW via email, I would be very happy to speak directly about this.  You have my cell, so do call.

For the information of the rest of the community, there were four members of ActiveRain and three outside investors who had invested directly in ActiveRain in 2007.   Broker Bryant and TLW represent one of the investors.  All four of the ActiveRain members represent 0.69% of the shares outstanding.

I spoke with each of the four AR investors this morning and last night.  All investors in ActiveRain will receive the same price per share that Jon Washburn receives for his shares in ActiveRain.   Unfortunately, the price per share that investors will receive is less than the 2007 purchase price for the shares.  

I won't sugar coat anything and I hope you would not expect me to.  This sucks.   No one will argue with you.  I personally hate to lose money, and I hate to see others lose money on an investment.  

The fact is that ActiveRain is a high-risk start-up, requiring additional investment to be sustainable and competitive from a technology and product perspective (Zillow raised $87m before going public to raise another $100m or so).   

Also, the real estate market has fallen off a cliff since 2007.   Other than Zillow, the entire real estate market is down 60-100% from 2007 (LendingTree, ZipRealty, Market Leader, Move, CoreLogic, Lender Processing Services, Stewart Title, Fidelity, and a list of companies who did not survive).  

I hope you can see why ActiveRain needed additional capital and why Jon decided to sell his shares.

As always, I am happy to chat and I find speaking via phone generally most productive.


Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Nikesh, Thanks for the update. As you know the community loves AR. We appreachiate the open, honest communication

Posted by Scott Fogleman, New Home Team (New Home Team 804-573-9592) over 6 years ago

Tammy, Joy, my VP of Sales Kate is talking to and further training our sales team.  As Kate would say, "On it."

Philip, Debbie, yes and yes.  Outside Blogs and Localism need work.  ActiveRain first though.

Philip, Gary and Doug, we are working on making the blog editor better.  We need to upgrade the entire platform first.  This may be unpleasant to hear.  We will NOT be writing offline, desktop software for blogging.  We are good at Internet stuff.  We are not that good at desktop software.  More people are online more of the time these days.

Lyn, yes, Greg Nino is providing raises to Bob, Kerrie and myself with all the money he makes from running the Cave.  We are not expecting very much :)  I don't mean anything financial or evil by the word 'leverage'.  The core strength of ActiveRain is the community and the collective voice of the real estate industry.  We need to figure out how to turn the collective voice of the real estate industry into something more powerful.  Watch for some interesting things on this.

Fernando, I have your fruit basket.  It's just sitting here in Seattle. 


Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Hi Niki,

although I understand it, and can't argue any of the financial reasons to be owned by Market Leader, at the same time it troubles me to be owned by any one company......specifically with a track record like ML

I would be worth exploring to allow us the members to invest (intellectually as well as financially) in the company in more that just our efforts, and as such ensure that over time the commercial part of Active Rain, does not taint or overshadow the community.

Market Leader has a less than stellar reputation in working with its clients and our personal experiences with ML have not been very good, some of which has to do with over-promises, and under delivering..........

We will approach this change as a new opportunity, an open mind, and a healthy degree of skepticism about the "unchanged" future of AR community.

We are looking forward to see improved, reliability, editor updates, and integration with 21st century technology, increased speed, and better outside blog functionality.

Thak you for the new open door and open communication approach over the past 6 months, it has made a big difference, and whatever you are paying the support staff, that we have had the pleasure working with....... it is not enough.....

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC over 6 years ago

Quite a day. 

We passed the hat and collected a few bucks but Market Leader has slightly deeper pockets, so the well-deserved raise for Bob and Kerri will need to come from them. it...them...well, you know, just sign whatever crosses your desk and we'll appreciate it. 

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 6 years ago

Hi John Novak,

Thanks for your comments on the site stability.  ChrisP, ChrisB, Patrick and the whole team are working really hard to keep ActiveRain stable and working properly.  And frankly our gerbils are getting a little tired these days.  The Pivotal Labs platform upgrade will be an important step to taking AR to new heights.

I disagree with you.  Nothing changed today.  Yes, ActiveRain has had a lot of different product ideas over the years: RainMaker, ShareAds, HitRouter, and Localism to name a few.  Like most start-ups and companies in general, you will try a lot of product ideas and most of them will fail so you need to be flexible and keep trying.  This is true at ActiveRain and is also true at Microsoft, Google, GM, FaceBook, and 3M.  The majority of our revenue now comes from advertising and RainMaker subscriptions.

Here is ActiveRain by the numbers (so you don't need to guess);

  • 220k registered members
  • 6 million page views with 2m visitors per month (most to RainMaker blog pages)
  • 40-50k members logging into MyHome each month
  • 50k+ blog posts per month, 200-220k comments per moth

So where is the business opportunity?  As they say, "You can't make a duck into a chicken. You can put him in the barnyard but soon as he smells the water coming off the pond he will run to that water as fast as he can."   I have learned that in business it is really important to play to your strengths rather than be somebody else's company.  I can honestly tell you that we won't be charging per user.  We have a number of ideas that play to the strengths of ActiveRain as the leading community of caring real estate professionals.  I am not sure if all of them will work or not.  We will certainly try.  Watch for great things.

In terms of content syndication, one of the challenges that ActiveRain faces is that we collectively as a community need to improve the QUALITY of our content.  We have some excellent bloggers and writers.  We also have duplicate content and plagiarized content issues that need to be addressed.  It's a real problem that hurts the entire ActiveRain community.  Right now, selling content or syndicating content isn't viable until we improve our game dramatically.  I have a lot of thoughts on this and would be happy to chat more.

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Niki. In all fairness, I have never left my customer, clients or investors out to hang. It's not about the money. The amount is small enough that it would hardly affect market leader or AR moving forward and you know that. However, it certainly affects the integrity of these companies. Don't you think?

ML could have very easlily made a decision to make the very small investors whole. After all we were the ones that kept the lights on back in the very early stages of AR. But hey I understand that we have no recourse. We invested and we lost. It happens. Just fully understand that we invested far more than money. We invested our faith in the company. I'm sure that part never came up in the board meeting. We were disposal and we were disposed.

I won't post anything  more about this. I will continue to use the paltform as it is definatley beneficial to my business to do so. I love ActiveRain. Just don't expect me to believe any of the company rhetoric and rah rah rah any more. Those days are obvioulsy gone. And that's sad.

I do hope you guys have continued success.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 6 years ago

Peter, Linda,

The ActiveRain community and the support we have received from the ActiveRain community are what keeps our entire team excited and coming into the office every day.  I told myself that I would quit my job at the point I am no longer jumping out of bed at 6:30am and speeding into work at 7:30am.  In Seattle, it is still dark at 6:30am which is painful in the winter.

That being said, I would NEVER take investment from members of the community.  Zillow has raised $187m at this point.  Redfin has raised $46m to-date.  These are large amounts of money and it would be nearly impossible for our members to support ActiveRain or any other start-up on their own.

Also, start-ups are really, really messy, as evidenced by my exchange with TLW.  99% of start-ups fail.  It is frankly a great testament to Jon Washburn and the other founders of ActiveRain that ActiveRain is still alive and kicking after the real estate market we have been through.  I would never ask anyone to invest in a start-up unless he or she can mentally "write-off" the money and never think about it again.  And if you are investor in small start-ups, you need to invest in 10-20 for 1 to work out.  If 10% of your investments work-out, you are one of the best venture capitalists in the world.  The rate of return on venture capital investments for the last ten years is basically zero.

As I mentioned above, Market Leader has effectively "owned" ActiveRain for the past 13 months.  We have continued to make the technology and service better with Market Leader as our largest shareholder and owner.  I don't expect much to change from a day-to-day perspective.  Market Leader has invested about $4m into ActiveRain now, and frankly, they like what we are doing.

Expect more from Market Leader.  Expect more from ActiveRain. 

And frankly, don't be surprised if ActiveRain is able to make some big changes over at Market Leader, instead of vice versa.   I am not shy and neither is the rest of the team at ActiveRain!




Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Niki, love that you're keeping it real by making sure we're all up to date on what's going on. I'm sure I can speak for many when I say We just don't want it to become to "corporate." We love the community and really hope it stays this way.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 6 years ago

Hi Bryant,  I completely understand your point of view on this.  It is terrible to lose money on ActiveRain especially given how much heart and soul you, TLW and the other 3 investors have put into the community.  I hope ActiveRain has helped your business and personal lives in immeasurable ways.  As I have said in the past, I don't expect you to believe any company rhetoric or rah rah on this or any other topic.  We are continuing to improve the ActiveRain Community and do the right thing for all members of the community and all the shareholders in the company.   Niki

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago


Your post here is pretty open and honest and no sugar coating! Just like how you were in person when I flew to Seattle and met with you and your team, Kate, Anthony, Ryan, Emily and others. Keep the plates all spinning in the air sir!  - Craig

Posted by Visualshows .com ( over 6 years ago


Even now, you seem to be completely missing the entire point in what we have to say. Again, for us, it's never been about the money. It's been our faith that plowed us forward on this platform. Our faith that AR could change the very nature of this industry as a whole. When people like myself, and Bryant, become disposal all is lost. Faith is lost. We were the nuts and bolts that held it up every time it started to crash and burn. Niki, I understand you were not there to see any of it unfold, but make no mistake, now or in the future, that we gave far more than we have ever taken from this platform. We gave it our love. That has always meant something to us. It's troublesome that it means so very little now. Heart breaking really, in light of the fact that I was AR's Mother for years and years. I broke up fights between the kids, grounded those who needed it and spent many long, late, nights helping to grow this site. Years actually. It's these fine details that you're not quite getting Niki. They may seem unimportant to you, however, they are just as relevant today as they were back then. We're talking about commitment, trust and loving others. The very moment we disregard these things is actually the moment we fail.

So, with that I shall dismiss myself. I've said my peace and I've said it for all to hear. I've no hard feelings. Frustration yes. I fear every sacrifice made may have been in vain, and I find that frustrating. G'Night Niki and good luck now and always.


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Nikki -- Thank you for the update and the uncensored comments regarding the change.  It is nice to see such openness in today's society.  

Thank you also for the numbers update - which tells us what many of us knew that though there are 200k+ registered members, the number of active members is actually quite a bit smaller. (Thanks to Kerrie for taking off a fake entry yesterday.)

Congratulations on  your six months - and may the future continue to shine brightly on your work with ActiveRain, even if the sun isn't shining as much lately.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 6 years ago

I've had a busy day & just getting a chance to log on & read both the post & all the comments.  All very interesting.  I do appreciate the open & honest communication & keeping us informed.  I'm not sure what else I can ask for.  I have no experience with MarketLeader so have no opinion on that one way or the other.  I do appreciate that the site has been way more stable recently.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 6 years ago

Niki - I appreciate you keeping us updated and the fact that there is more stability on AR. 

I hate to see the small investors come out at a loss as they have added far more than money to the community.

Still I hope to see good things in the future though the "big company" mentality makes me more nervous than with Jon in charge.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 6 years ago

Niki, thank you for your honesty about ML and AR. I will hold judgment until later though. I do hope that it does not affect my wallet, and that is my bottom line. Although I love AR, love what it has done for me, I cannot afford any changes to my wallet!

I am ignorant of many behind the scenes things, I know that many people poured their hearts and souls into it and I appreciate that. Without their vision, love, nurturing and hard work I would have missed out on some of the most amazing things in the past few years. And my business would have suffered too.

If the site works better, that's a big plus. I have issues a few times a day with logging on, but they clear up faster than before. That is a good thing I guess, but I am still surprised that I would have any issues like that.

I just want to write, continue to have the best teachers in the world teach me everything under the sun, continue to meet the most amazing people, and have fun! But I cannot reach into my wallet, these days it is just a bit too thin.

So, ask me in a year how I feel, I will tell you. Today, I have a knot in my stomach but will wait, as I said, before passing that judgment.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago

PS. look at you with one of my most favorite people!!!!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago

Niki thanks for this update and congrats on not only surviving but apparently thriving during your first 6 months at A/R!!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 6 years ago

Niki, appreciate your honesty in sharing the information many of us are clueless about...I look forward to AR growing and maintaining & sustaining this you know many of us are feeling the pain of financial stresses...holding the financial line is in order & i am very thankful for the improvements here.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Niki- from what I've seen these past 6 months, everything is A-OK with me.  I appreciate the updates.  And, I know that with growth comes growing pains, and that's ok too.  

I can handle any little glitches or "Oops" moments as long as the basic platform and community are not compromised.  

Thank you again for keeping us informed!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 6 years ago


Niki,  Congratulations on being CEO of ActiveRain for 6 months.  My gosh, has it been that long already? The MeetUps were a great idea and a huge success.  Indeed, AR needs a technology tune up.  I look forward to the upcoming changes and wish us all continued success!


Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 6 years ago

Niki,  First of all congratulations on the big success with your six months tenure as CEO of AR and for the positive changes that have taken place in the rain.   I have to say I did shy from Active Rain for awhile as I was getting frustrated with having a hard time to sign in because of server issues.   I know the RAIN is an important tool in my business and it has help me develop many close friendships along with amazing support.  Keep up the great work and pat your team on the back for doing a great job as well!

Posted by Stephanie Stringer, Mortgage Loan Originator (First Choice Loan Services NMLS#210764) over 6 years ago

Janna rocks! So great to meet everyone in person at KW MegaCamp.  Thanks to everyone that stopped by our booth.

By the way, the great Kerrie will be at NAR in Anaheim if anyone will be in town!

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Are you saying that Market Leader has diluted the value of stocks from some of the original investors to the point that they're worth less than the invested amount? Were the original investors forced to sell their shares? I know Market Leader isn't suffering financially, as they recently purchased for $8,250,000 - ($8.25M).

It is refreshing to hear straight talk though, without sugar coating anything.

Posted by David Myre (VIP Realty) over 6 years ago


I'm glad you pointed that out. The CRM, which I've used since 2006 is insanely outdated, man. PLEASE get those guys to update the templates, newsletters, drip campaigns. PRETTY please. I pay for four data bases and am slowly walking away as I go through thousands of contacts.


Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 6 years ago

Congrats! and faster is always good and happy to us users here in the RAIN.......... ;)

Posted by Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS, "Your California Real Estate Broker" TM #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) over 6 years ago

Let's just hope this does not change things to a negative>>>.

Posted by Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS, "Your California Real Estate Broker" TM #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) over 6 years ago

Niki - I didn't realized it's been 6 months. Here's one thing I want to personally tell you - although I don't know you, but based on the short little visit we had in Dallas as well as the blogs you write, I can see your sincerity and genuity in sustaining this. For that, I thank you.

Even the best of Niki Paresh, Bob and Kerrie G, I hope that ML recognizes the value of the human side that makes this platform so very unique.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co.) over 6 years ago

David #56. Yes and Yes

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 6 years ago

No Internet based company with an unstable platform can compete or succeed at this stage of consumer Internet awareness.  Is it simply impossible.  The competition from social media, Google and MS blog platforms with superior performance is overwhelming.  They are also growing while ActiveRain appears to have reached a plateau.

The patience, meaning span of attention, while waiting for a web page to navigate is in nanoseconds, not seconds and surely not minutes.

IMO, without a technically stable platform, ActiveRain will remain a real estate toy, not a serious Internet based business model.  Reliance on real estate agents/loan officers/inspectors, etc. for operating funds has been the ActiveRain model.  To which I can only say, "apparantly you don't know how cheap real estate agents can be".   

Members contribute the content and that is no small part of the relative success of ActiveRain.  IMO, operating funds (and profit) should be coming from advertisers.  That's the Internet model that succeeds in raising the big $$$$$$ needed to compete and succeed and profit. 

ActiveRain is my hobby.  I do not and cannot consider it a serious business tool as long as the platform is unstable.  I love ActiveRain and contribute a significant amount of time here.  I've also invested many, many dollars into ActiveRain advertising sources.  However, the money from members for features is "little money".  The money from major corporate advertisers is "big money". 

Google makes money on "clicks", not monthly fees. 

The ActiveRain platform has been deteriorating for over 3 years that I can recall.  New features have been added, membership fees have been introduced in lieu of advertising revenue.  All while the platform continued to deteriorate. 

I, for one, am grateful to see the focus on making ActiveRain a first class Internet based network.



Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

David #56....

Yes, much, much less.

Yes, we've been given no choice.

More importantly than the money is, of course, seeing ourselves become disposal. No one likes to feel as if giving from the heart was worth nothing. The moment that happens, is the same moment that faith and trust has been lost. And that is so very sad.


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

The first rule about the cave is that we don't talk about the cave.  :)

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

Niki thank you for the updates. It is refreshing to hear what happens behind the scenes. Often boards of directors do not take into consideration the people that make up the community that supports their site. Take for instance Trulia and Zillow which just dont seem to care about the feelings of their users or their concerns, their management style has driven away alot of users.

I do appluad you for making the site more stabile as teh freezing issues and slow loading have seemed to be fixed.

Thank you for your hard work

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 6 years ago

I am having a hard time responding to this from where the comments have gone.  I have been here for 5 years when there was less than 10K members come end of this month.

I am not being prompted by anyone to say this - I am judging only from comments and my past experience:

"Take care" of the investors with the small stake.  They did play a pretty instrumental role in building this community!

Just like when I go to a restaurant and I get phenomenal service:  I tip based on the service and sometimes that industry standard of 15% just ain't enough given the value of everything you received.

I know this is business, I love AR and will continue to contribute.......for the time being.  I know ML has had a majority stake for a little over a year so I am not expecting any huge changes.........for the time being.

Keep it real.  That's why people love this place.

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) over 6 years ago

That is an interesting background update. I did jot know the affiliation with Market Leader.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge over 6 years ago

It's disconcerting to hear that the small investors were considered "disposable", and were bought-out (really SOLD-out) without any choice.  It would be different if Active Rain had failed, and they lost everything... but since it didn't and was simply bought-out by MarketLeader, it would seem that the new buyer should have to buy-out the original investors at a price acceptable to them.


In lieu of that, allow them to make the choice to hold their shares.  if MarketLeader insisted on buying them out... then they should have had to pay a rate acceptable to the investors to be bought-out.

That's not an issue of "start-up" risk.  As someone pointed out, it's not like MarketLeader is a penniless corporation.  They could have afforded to, at the very least, make the initial investors whole again.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 6 years ago

I'm appreciative of the progress report. I'm not familiar with all the politics in getting to this point, but I trust that the future of AR is solid. I hope that not too many people were hurt in getting here.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 6 years ago

what cave?

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 6 years ago

there is no cave

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 6 years ago


Thanks for the update. I found it very informative and appreciate the time you took to keep us informed.

Great job!

Posted by Victoria Lorusso, Florida and CT Real Estate (Illustrated Properties) over 6 years ago

It will be interesting to see how the next 6 months pan out with changes to the underlying technology. 


Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) over 6 years ago

The AR ommunity, as many have mentioned, is the most valubale asset of AR. The hard core daily bloggers represent the cream of the crop of agents active in real estate today. Keeping this core group happy and blogging during the down times in the real estate industry is an accomplishment in itself. Making something greater out of this group is the entrepreneur's challenge. Good luck.

Posted by Dave Roberts (Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty) over 6 years ago

I agree with Alan # 68. It's actually very disappointing that this very small percentage of investors were not taken care of. 

I read the post and the resulting comments and until I came to the debate regarding TLW and Bryant's investment and contribution, I was optimistic about the changes. Now I'm nervous. If this is how two loyal members of AR are treated after all their contributions then how can the rest of us feel confident with the assurances from you that you have the best interest of the AR members at heart?

Billie was one of the first bloggers I subsribed too when I first joined AR. I loved her style and her signature ROAR. She and several other bloggers are the reason I stayed and paid. Since then I have encouraged several of my agents to join and pay, not because of how AR works but because of how much we can learn from Billie and all the other amazing bloggers.

Nikesh, do the right thing. If TLW and Bryant are being forced out make them whole. Don't make them dispensable because they are indispensable to so many of us. They are Activerain and without them and all their faith and nurturing in the early days, AR would not be here today. Acknowledge, appreciate and give thanks to those that took AR from the cradle and nurtured it into what it is today. 

You will earn a lot more faith and confidence from all your members if you correct this. 

Posted by Jody Keating, Broker/MM/Realtor, Bryan / College Station, TX (Jody Keating Connective Realty,LLC, Bryan/College Station,TX) over 6 years ago

I think it's a tribute to this community that this can be discussed openly.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 6 years ago

I personally wanted to thank Active Rain for 'grandfathering' in my account. The Google Juice as well as the things I've learned here have been invaluable.

Thank you Active Rain!

(Although, I too hope that the 4 original investors can be made whole again. Maybe an arrangement could be made that if ML ever sells their stake, or the company is made public, the 4 early members/investors could be paid in full.)

Posted by Michael Collins, CDPE, SFR , Wisconsin Short Sale Specialist Realto (*ROCK REALTY|Broker|Realtor|Real Estate|WI Short Sale Agent*) over 6 years ago

I've definitely noticed the increased stability on the site and appreciate that.  However, I find it very disappointing that the in-person Rain Camps have been cancelled.  I personally hosted two of the Meetups and spoke with the agents that attended on how to imrpove them.  They will never come remotely close to replacing RainCamp and online classes are a commodity.  I personally would have paid more to attend RainCamp if that was necessary to make it a profitable endeavor.

Posted by Kate Akerly, Brooklyn Residential Sales and New Development (Halstead Property) over 6 years ago

Market Leader raised a pile of money with its IPO, and the pile has been shrinking since then.  Likewise, the stock has never approached its IPO price.  When it went down to $9, I still had faith in the company and bought some.  I got out when it dropped to $5, my Dolly Parton stock-- 9 to 5.  Today stockholders are only dreaming of $5 share prices.

Given the low mark on the Market Leader cash gauge, I expect that there will be an IPO of ActiveRain that will refill the Market Leader cash cow. What will be different when AR is a public company?  I have no idea.

How does the Market Leader executive team feel about an online community?  I can't say or even guess.   Maybe someone could fill me in on how their own MasterMind Forum is faring these days. 

Posted by Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about. over 6 years ago

I'm not sure if I should be thrilled or be prepared to run away.  While having ML as a backer of AR means that the system should remain stable and (hopefully) get updated to this century, ML has a less than stellar record of working well with their clients.

In fact, since their purchase of AR 6 months ago, I've been hounded via email by them.  After unsubscribing at least half a dozen times, it only stopped once I threatened legal action for harassment.  Not cool.  Apparently, from the comments, there is a similar tactic going on with AR memberships now.

Hopefully, (as someone said above) ML can figure out that it's a bad business model to attempt to charge the very people that provide you content that makes the website what it is in the first place.  I've seen the decline in AR over the last few years and it can be tied directly with the start of paying memberships.

Hopefully, ML can finally get around to fixing some of the obvious issues with the system, like having a fully functional blog editor, capable of viewing in WYSIWYG and HMTL (vs. OR) as well as being able to change fonts, colors, etc.  There are free online editors that do this.  Why can't this be done on AR?

Posted by Roger Johnson, Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate (Hickory Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Hello Niki:

Thanks for the open and candid update. Just when I think I know what Active Rain is, I learn something I didn't know.  The jury is still out on the impact Market leader will have on the business going forward.  Having 51% allowed them to do what they wanted, but a 45% stakeholder had influence. At 100% ownership the influence is gone.

My own dealings with Market Leader have been limited as their pricing is just too high for a small office like mine which is a start up in a new market in 2011. I'll continue to use AR since it helps my small office compete with the big boys on Google and other venues.

Posted by Anonymous over 6 years ago

Well done and explained....Get used to the sights high above because that is where ActiveRain is heading...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

Honestly, I have no idea what to say about this. I cannot believe ML owns 100% of AR, and I can't see that being a good thing. From my past dealings with ML, I've felt cheated and taken advantage of.

I understand that they will "try" to remain separate, but if they start making a serious presence in AR and changing things around here, for what I see as bad changes, I'll have no choice but to choose a different platform for my business.

Niki, you're a great guy, and you better do everything in your power to not allow ML to "take over".

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 6 years ago

Thanks for the to the point update.  Love what AR has done for my business and google rankings and hope that it will continue raining success!

Posted by Judi Monday, CRS-Green Valley AZ Expert, Green Valley Arizona R (RE/MAX Valley Properties) over 6 years ago

Not sure that I am a big fan of the Rain being a subsidiary of a market participant.  I just glanced at Donna's comments above and support her statements 100%.

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) over 6 years ago

Good morning everyone.

David #56,

The purchase price for the stock in 2007 was higher than the sale price per share in 2011.  Why is that?  There are two components:

1) The 2007 purchase price per share was very "healthy."  In 2007, ActiveRain was seeing incredible member growth and was able to paint a vision of what ActiveRain could be both as a community and as a business.  There were other competitive dynamics at play in 2007 that increased the valuation on the company.   For those of you that remember this history of ActiveRain, Move/ had tried to buy ActiveRain which increased the valuation of the company.  Zillow, Trulia, and a new Redfin launched in 2006. 

2) Fast forward to 2011.  A lot of things have happened:

  1. Real estate market and stock market fall dramatically in 2008.
  2. All companies in the real estate industry are valued at 60-99% less than what they were in 2007.
  3. ActiveRain does not achieve the financial plan laid out in 2007.  ActiveRain continues to lose money, though we are making progress towards break-even.   Having started in the same year, Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin are all generating $50-80m in revenue.  ActiveRain is less than 5-10% of their size from a revenue perspective.
  4. ActiveRain requires significant additional capital to update the technology.  Our technology platform has been underinvested in for too long.

All these things together lead to lower valuation in 2011 on a price per share basis.

But, NO, Market Leader has not "diluted" anyone's ownership in the company.  I can honestly tell you that not one new share of equity has been issued since the 2007 venture financing of ActiveRain (not even to me).  I know that some AR members question Market Leader, but Market Leader has been kinder to ActiveRain than any investor, partner or bank could be.  In 2009, Market Leader extended a line of credit to ActiveRain to pay off back payroll taxes for ActiveRain when capital was not available.  In 2011, Market Leader added to that line of credit to pay unpaid liabilities for the company.  Market Leader never converted that debt into equity to dilute shareholders. 

And, unfortunately, yes, shareholders in ActiveRain are required to sell their shares to Market Leader.  I assume most members own shares in the stock market or any company that has publicly traded shares.  Whenever a company is purchased by another company or a company has greater than 90% ownership of the shares, the other shareholders are required to sell.  Think back to Disney Pixar or another merger.  Generally, this all happens magically in your Charles Schwab account since these companies are publicly traded.  Charles Schwab takes your shares in Pixar and exchanges them for cash or stock in the new company depending on the structure of the transaction.  In the case of ActiveRain, Market Leader will own 96% of ActiveRain after purchasing Jon Washburn's shares.  Why does corporate securities law allow companies to purchase shares from minority shareholders?  If I have even one outside shareholder, ActiveRain is legally required to maintain a separate balance sheet.  So every time, I purchase a laptop for an employee, I would need to account for these transactions separately and be able to provide a complete reconciliation to shareholders.  The cost and overhead especially in a world of increased public oversight like Sarbanes Oxley (post Enron) is significant.     

Again, I hate the situation, but I want to lay out the facts for everyone.

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the update Nikesh. Companies change, combine, split all the time. If the base is solid, the beat goes on. I just signed with Market Leader and so far have nothing but positive interactions to report. Service has been great. I also worked with them 10 years on the House Values side and again, the leads provided paid for the service and allowed me to break into a market where I didnt' have name recognition. In my humble opinion, a company that has been leading the edge in technology for real estate agents for over the past ten years isn't a flash in the pan. They are committed to our field and growth so give them a chance.

Posted by Julie Moorhead, A Love of Selling Homes (Edina Realty, affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway) over 6 years ago

Even since I joined I have seen the stability of the network improve and I'm glad to see that. When I first started, I wasn't so sure about the network because it always seem to be down.

Posted by Knipe Realty (Knipe Realty NW) over 6 years ago

I also want to clarify one thing.  I spoke with the four ActiveRain members who invested in ActiveRain yesterday.   Yes, they all lost money on their investment in ActiveRain. 

For the majority of these investors, the response was:

  1. It is too bad to lose money on an investment.
  2. I have received more personally and emotionally from ActiveRain than the money I lost.
  3. I have generated many fold more in commissions due to the ActiveRain community and blogging on ActiveRain, than the money I am losing on the investment.

Keep in mind, Market Leader and ActiveRain have invested $4m in the community.  No one has any intention of making the community or the voice of the community dispensable.   If anything, I am and we are committed to continue to foster and grow the community.  I know how some of you may have a hard time believing me right now, but I welcome you to judge me by actions in the past, today and in the future.

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

By the way, when will you guys just let me in the Cave?  ;)

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Niki,  I think you have made some great improvements to the stability and reliability of the site.  Do I wonder how AR will have positive cash flow?  Yes.  Do I think you are committed to figuring it out?  Yes.  You have exhibited a level of business transparency to which all companies should aspire.  Keep up the great work.

Posted by Michael Goodheim, Cash Flow Expert for Real Estate Pros (Commission Express of Western Washington) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the 6 month review.  It helps since there are so many changes going on at AR and the real estate community at large. I definately believe that the 4 small investors of this community should be handled better.  Aren't they customers? Supporters of Active Rain.  I understand that a numbers/investors point of view is being taken.  Their situation is a bit different.  A little bit of honey goes a long way.  This treatment smacks of putting the corporation/numbers first and not the community.  I hope the future does not reflect this attitude. Somebody needs to re consider the treatment of these 4 investors whether it should have been the past owners, current owners, staff, or print out these responses and put them in front of a decision maker that has an eye on the future.  They are not disposable they are members!  Kristine


Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Realtors (, Santa Monica Real Estate :) ) over 6 years ago

what cave?

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 6 years ago

Ya know - the Cave.  Let me in.

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Cave?  I know nothing of what you are referring to Niki.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 6 years ago

WTH is a cave?  Is it a new online portal for real estate professionals?

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the update.  It is always interesting to know the behind the scence kind of stuff.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Forget it.  I don't want to be in the Cave.  (sour grapes)

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Been here since AR was a little tyke back in 2006 when there were maybe a few hundred people who blogged. I think I was like number 7,000. Contributed a lot for them and never asked for anything in return. I'm not as active here as I was but I've been through so many changes..was at the very first get together. Wrote sum tutorials and helped people out. Seen the moderators fight and also had some really good times. I think when the very first big change came...people were very surprised and so was I but with every company comes growth and change. I'm not so surprised at this but i know there are people that are going to be disappointed and there isn't much anyone can do to mend that..whats done is done. But that's ok with me. I'll just do my thing. I'm glad I joined...things are a lot different then back in 2006 when the majority of people here probably didn't know what a blog really was or the power of the blog. I get leads here and I'm grateful. I'm kind of glad that I didn't invest in the company ..although I was offered that chance..can't remember why I didn't but thats all in the past...good luck with whatever happens.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

there are sour grapes in a cave?

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 6 years ago

I've always been partial to CHEAP caves!

Posted by Eric Lyons over 6 years ago

I love lamp.  

And IF there is a Cave, I love Cave too.


Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) over 6 years ago

Cave Beast

Portrait of an ActiveRain Cave Dweller.

By, Lenn Harley, Circa 1980


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

I love Amanda Hall so if she loves cave I love cave.  If she is in a cave there are no sour grapes there is wine.

Posted by Renée Donohue, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - (Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate) over 6 years ago


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Lenn's last comment caused me to grunt out loud..thank you Lenn. My ancestors supplied the chalk for the drawing...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

Niki, You don't want to be in the Cave. Even I got kicked out of the Cave for creating the Market Reports Challenge. It's not as prestigious as you might think. It's a bunch of whiny agents with nothing good to say. I know many agents who have gotten out because of the negativity in there. Stay away if you want to keep a smile on your face!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 6 years ago

And then there's those of us...

Who knew that's how The Cave would be. Always good to find we were right :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Change is always hard, and this one gives me a knot in my stomach.  Fear of the unknown.  Time will tell, but as long as you're at the helm, AR is in good hands.  (And what a hoot and an honor to be the illustration in this most pivotal post of yours!)

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 6 years ago



Donna Harris,


You were booted from The Cave because you were doing exactly what you are doing right now. You also said my blogs "were junk that clogged up Activerain."

You recenlty surpassed the 1 million mark on Activerain. I can't help but assume you love my junk. Every time I post, you get points. You should just say thank you. Not to me, but to Market Leader. If it wasn't for them Activerain and all your 1 million points would be in the virtual toilet along with your self cheerleading posts.

And for the record, I've made more money because of Activerain than you have. And imagine this.... I have never posted one single market report.

Silly me.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 6 years ago

No Greg, You booted me from the Cave because you didn't like the Market Report Challenge because I said AR needed to get back to "real estate" and if you look back at your blogs, since we had that conversation, your "real estate" blogs have increased tremendously so you know what I said had/has merit. You might not be posting market reports, but you're posting a heck of a lot more "public" posts that actually relate to real estate.

AND, you wouldn't have made all that money if I hadn't told you to get your arse to AR, so I think you owe me a referral fee for every closing you've had. And naming your daughter after mine doesn't count.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 6 years ago


A small piece of me is flattered that you're still reading all my posts. I love how you're telling me what I'm thinking, too.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 6 years ago

Oh, I think it's time to get a bag of popcorn & sit back to watch this :)

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 6 years ago

Rainers, Rainers,

I do have one rule on my blog: if anyone is going to get yelled at on my blog, it better be ME!  Take it to your own blogs, or FaceBook, or wherever :)

FYI - I am just joking around about the Cave.  I like the fact that there is a safe place without me (gasp Big Brother) watching.  Like I have ActiveRain as a a safe place from my wife.  She's on FaceBook, don't you know.  Not on ActiveRain yet as far as I know.

I remember simpler times, like RainCamp Dallas when Donna Harris and Greg Nino sat next to each other in the fifth row and then we all hunkered down in the ballroom of the hotel so that we wouldn't be carried away by the tornado.  Good times.  :)  (I sometimes tell my friends and family about my first six months in the Rain and they can't believe it all really happened :)

Greg Nino RainCamptornado doubletree

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

Oh lord. lol

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 6 years ago

Donna, I don't really know you but I can say the Cave is NOT full of whiny agents.   The cave is now full of loving, caring adults that give to one another.  When Missy Caulks son was hospitalized the Cavers rallied around her and supplied the family with a place to gather in their time of need.  We came together as a family to support another member that needed lifting up.  Donations flew in from all of the cave members.  I was in awe of the love and true kindness that I witnessed first hand.  Honestly, I can say I thought the cave was just a place to hang my club (hee hee) until that tragic event.  Now, I know better.  Sure, there are plenty of fun and games and at times, a good deal of venting as well.  BUT, when someone needs help, the Cave was there for them.  I have so much respect for the Cave now.  I'm so sorry that you have negative feelings about it.  I feel just the opposite.  

Nikesh, I have heard only wonderful things about you (even in that so called cave).  You have earned your place in the rain and are a voice that we can all listen to.  I have been a member for about 4 years and can say without a doubt that I have learned more from this platform than any other source.  It has been invaluable to me.  I hope that AR remains a place where we can all write and know that it serves us all.  While I haven't been as active as I once was, I do plan on hopping back in soon :)

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) over 6 years ago

Who wants to be in a cave? My house is warm and dry-finally. It was a tough weekend for a power outage. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 6 years ago

I didn't realize the Rain camp was replaced by meet ups. thanks for keeping us updated.

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, California Homes for Sale in the East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) over 6 years ago

Did the sour grapes someone mentioned in the cave turn into Cabernet?  If so, if there was cave, I'd like to be in it.  And if there was a cave, the members would have risen above any negative thoughts to rally around a loved member.  We have one thing in common.  We all met at least a few of the members through their writing on Active Rain.  The crowd that welcomed me into the family on Active Rain included TLW and Broker Bryant.  I learned a lot from them and had a lot of fun in the process.  I thank them both for that.  I just wanted to acknowledge them here.  

I've enjoyed writing on this platform and I hope that the only changes are positive ones.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 6 years ago

Wasn't the cave where the Beatles played in Liverpool?

oh was the cavern.

Same thing?

Posted by Christine Hooks, Celebrating 25 Years in Real Estate! (Pino Agency) over 6 years ago

Hi Nikesh,  Thanks for the very newsy and interesting update!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 6 years ago

Nikki, I do have one request, if possible.  A "like" button for comments.  A dislike button would be nice too.  

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 6 years ago

Niki, thanks for the review. This is my first comment since Jamie went to Heaven. 

I started blogging here on Dec 4th, 2006, folks like TLW and BB helped me so much or perhaps I would not have stayed, Bob wouldn't have met Steve Jobs...just connecting the dots. 

If you look at my subscriber list you will see the majority of my subscribers are gone. Yet TLW, BB, Lenn have all stayed and like me have defended AR on many forums, blogs and social media sites. 

IMHO there would not have been anything for ML to buy had folks like the above mentioned not stayed and brought the wisdom to the platform. 

My husband and I attend a 5000 member church, how many do you think we can get to know? 

The cave has become a place like small groups in a big church. 

Members of the Cave provided my family and I a place to stay (beautiful place) for 2 nights close to Vandy Medical Center and stocked the kitchen with food, and snacks that we are still eating from.

But, more importantly members in the Cave gave us a place to stay all together to share, and pray for Gods will concerning our son. We had been scattered all over the Nashville area in friends homes so it was absolutely heart warming to receive such a generous gift. 

I am so very grateful for the support I have received in the Cave and contrary to what people might think it is a "safe" place to go and ask questions about specific transactions, reach out to one another...and be transparent.

Just my 2 cents!

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 6 years ago

If a tree fell, in a cave... and nobody was around to hear it fall... does the fallen tree cry?

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 6 years ago

Again I repeat the age old question, "What Cave?" 

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 6 years ago

CONGRATS, NIKESH.  Thanks for the improvements and keep it up. RE: the online RainCamps and local meetups, I think it's a tradeoff for sure, but it's certainly better than no camp at all. Can you make it more interactive, though, so we won't miss the idea exchange of the live camp so much?

Posted by Elva Branson-Lee, CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent (Solid Source Realty GA) over 6 years ago

Nikki - I'm with Susan on the like dislike buttons.  That would be fun.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 6 years ago

Welcome back, Missy.  Your calm, rational personality has been sorely missed here.  You've always been the voice of reason in the Rain and I totally agree with you.  Because the two mid-level investors (Matt & James) were paid the 'true' value of their investment, the four (0.69% total) investors who actually kept AR in business for ALL of us, including all staff and administration, should be fairly compensated as well.  I do hope to hear that ML has made a WISE business decision to do just that--I'd venture to say that it would be a sound investment as positive news travels quickly here, just as the negative did.

If not for this community, there would be no 'cave' and I, for one, think that the people who are in this so-called 'cave' totally rock and are absolutely NOT whiners!  Judging from the commenters above, I'd say there's a pretty rightous group of people in the 'cave' - those who I do consider dear friends and would open up my home or my purse for any of them, ever in need.

Hang in there, Niki.  I do appreciate your frequent updates and you keeping your finger on the pulse of change here in the Rain.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 6 years ago

Hi Debe,

Thanks for your post. 

There seems to be a lot of misinformation or wrong perception floating around regarding the stock sales at ActiveRain.  In 2010, Matt & James received a lower price per share than the purchase price of the stock in November of 2007 as well.  Since November of 2007, there is no investor who has realized the value per share of that 2007 purchase price.  As I mentioned in comment 86, the 2007 purchase price was "healthy" based on a lot of factors happening at ActiveRain at the time and in the broader real estate market. 

The personal and financial contributions of the 4 AR investors and the broader community have been critical to the strength and continuity of ActiveRain.  Jon and his management team made significant sacrifices in 2009 and 2010 to make sure that ActiveRain continued (low to no salary for a period of time).  The line of credit, extended by Market Leader in 2009 and then again in 2011 was critical to pay off unpaid payroll taxes and back liabilities incurred during lean times at ActiveRain, also made sure the lights stayed on and the computers/servers continued to humm.

We are plugging away and having a great time! 

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Trulia) over 6 years ago

There is no Cave.

Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) over 6 years ago

Wow.  There is so much about Active Rain that I had no idea about.  I feel sort of like an outsider after reading this blog and all the comments.  Weird thing is that I signed up for AR back in 2006 I think after a GRI class I took.  I had no idea it was a start up and didn't really do anything for years so I missed all of this.  Finally wanted to start blogging and found out I needed to pay now - I couldn't be grandfathered because I hadn't made the appropriate amount of posts to count even though I was a member.  So I definitely feel like a newbie, and really am, but seriously I don't know any of this seedy underbelly or history and I have no idea what "the cave" is....very enlightening to find out just how much I don't know :-) -Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - over 6 years ago

Kasey in #132:   If I had anything to do with it, I would arrange to "Grandmother" you in... LOL.

Even though I have been "active" on Active Rain since August of 2007, I had not heard about "The Cave" until this post.  If I were to guess... and taking note of some of the names of the folks who have spoken on this post, and seem to know about it, and are part of it... I am guessing that is is a group of some sort of an "In Crowd" of folks who felt sort of a type of togetherness from towards the beginning of AR... and got together even before August 2007.

I also wonder if it was going on when I started, and I just wasn't "cool" enough to be an "In Crowd" type.  And... that is ok.  In fact... I kind of prefer it.  So... I have gradually just created relationships with folks like yourself, and many others.

What I also find humorous, is that I see myself as somewhat of a "loner" who lives in her own cave... and marches... somewhat wobbly at times... to her own drum.  Me and my kittie, Miss Mollie T... we like it in here.

Does any of this make any sense ?  <dorky grin>

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 6 years ago

Karen Anne, I love that I can always count on you to chime in and answer questions that I have or just converse with me late into the night :-)  (We both always seem to be online late at night, right?)

I often feel like I live in my own cave too Karen Anne, there's nothing wrong with that at all.  I like it in here by myself, actually.  I get out occasionally to talk to nice people like you :-)

I have to get off the computer now.  I have so many things I've meant to do tonight and AR sidetracked me, darn it!  Good night everyone!  Good night Karen Anne. -Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - over 6 years ago

I didn't know there was a cave, and I didn't there were ActiveRain members who lost money on their investment in ActiveRain. That sucks.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 6 years ago

Ok - I just screen captured all the comments here for my new series, plus I'm going to expose the "Cave" on my new "REALTY Reality TV Show" to be hosted over on KIKT television.  Coming soon....

But In my honest and most sincere opinion....wait... what was this post about again?  :-O 


Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus) over 6 years ago

I love the tangents that these comments have taken ~ indicative of the overall camaraderie that people share in ActiveRain.  Once again, Niki, while you can't have this many independent-thinking people together without having differing opinions, I am still impressed with your openness and honesty and leadership, and your willingness to freely share.  Congratulations on surviving the first six months.  Hope the next six put a little more spring in your step at 6:30 am

Posted by Mimi Foster, Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor (FALCON PROPERTY SOLUTIONS ) over 6 years ago about a suggest button..ha. Lively group, more of you can drop by more often on my blogs...Gish I'm one of the old dogs and still singing in the Rain...maybe because i've stayed away from the politics. this for sure, it sure is nice to see an end to the daily error messages, and slow loading days.

Listen, we have a great platform and a great family and even through our Gods change, yet still Wow us. AR has changed many of our lives,,now I just need to systematize my blogging to keep up..ha

Thanks to everyone for making what we have to day, a powerful family that shares and helps one another.

Thanks to all the Gods past and Present...TLW..Thanks to you both, you both shared a lot with us all in the Rain!!

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 6 years ago

You've made a lot of progress since becoming CEO! Thank you for continuing to make this great community even better! I like online Raincamp, live is awesome, but online makes it more accessible.

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) over 6 years ago

>>>>> still searching for the cave <<<<<


Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 6 years ago



You said "if anyone is going to get yelled at on my blog, it better be ME!"


Your wish is my command.


Seriously???? I gather that Billie, Bryant, and a few others who initially invested some money in AR in its infancy got the short end of the stick when MarketLeader purchased the company. The right thing to do is to compensate them in some way for their loss, not just shrug your shoulders and say "hey, that's life." Even in business, one will reap what one sows, whether it is good or bad. Bank on it.


But that isn't what I'm going to yell at you for, oh no. That's between you and Billie, and I know she's given you more than an earful. From the sound of things, you weren't wise and let it pass through your ears. Like I just said, you do reap what you sow.


What I have a serious problem is with that off-handed comment about Greg (#35). For being the CEO of a company, you really don't have much experience with exercising discretion when necessary. BTW, discretion is not just useful for business matters, it also should be applied in social matters as well.

I hope that in the next six months of your tenure as CEO of AR (if you last that long), that you seriously get some sense and be more careful about the things you decide to broach on your blog, or in your comments.

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 6 years ago


I need to set the record straight so that everyone knows the scoop about Niki and I, how things unfolded and eventually turned out:

<My Afternoon With Nikesh>

I meant to pop in here earlier and leave a link but my boomer brain passed a little gas and made me forget :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Bille, I just found out that I'm 2 and a half months late to the party. BTW, that wasn't what my angst with Niki is about, but again, as I'm late, I'll have to discuss some things with him as you did, in private, if it really becomes that important.

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 6 years ago


Gawd I have missed your blogs.  Nikki I support AR and have been around for years.  I do actually pay for an outside blog and gladly do.  I have been very grateful for everything AR has done for me and means for me.  I am not going to comment on many of the issues brought up here.  I do just wish that the platform would be stable. 

Posted by Larry Story, Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate (Total Care Realty) over 6 years ago


I strongly urge you to contact him. I wish I'd done that much sooner. Don't let whatever it is build up. Put the issue on the table and work through it. Just do it cuzz, well, I say so :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

I heart TLW...just sayin'

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 6 years ago

HI Debe! Hi TLW! And...Wow Hi Missy and so many other folks I've met here in the Rain!

I should pay closer attention...I was at Rain Camp Dallas and don't remember you at all. Or wait...were there 2 Dallas rain Camps? Just glad to finally figure out who Niki is ;-)

Please maintain the integrity of the communal voice here and as Lenn Harley mentioned, if things don't speed up our readers click off.

I love AR and all the things its afforded me as far as blogging, education and connecting with others and I recently learned that my blog is the most widely read real estate blog in Austin,  I also "employed" the AR outside blog in tandem with the AR blog as a way to connect with many clients, future clients ,friends, business associates and casual readers and AR was paramount in my success. I had to switch to a Word Press platform for my outside blog because it was so unstable and buggy that I received emails and calls daily about the problem.

You really do seem to be on the right track as far as being open, honest and willing to make things work better, intentions are good as long as you guys can fix what wrong under the hood of the awesome engine, tech wise and continue to build this as a platform whre ALL the excellent content is provided by the members.

I am certainly hoping for the best!   Thanks! the cave?

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 6 years ago