Modelry - A Random Walk through Internet Real Estate: Boston ActiveRain MeetUp:, Leads, and Expireds - Oh My!

Boston ActiveRain MeetUp:, Leads, and Expireds - Oh My!

ActiveRain Boston MeetUpBoston ActiveRain MeetUp:, Leads, and Expireds

September took me to Boston for the Council of MLS's (CMLS) conference.  CMLS is the largest meeting of MLS executives in the country.  With all the excitement over listing syndication with Zillow and Trulia, it was a good meeting to attend and learn how the MLS industry is thinking about these new companies in the real estate industry.

Whenever and wherever I travel, I try to organize an ActiveRain MeetUp.   I learn a lot from the members of ActiveRain on what is working and what isn't working on ActiveRain and in the real estate industry in general. We had a GREAT ActiveRain MeetUp in San Antonio at the Texas Association of Realtors meeting.  

Boston is a bit more complicated to organize a MeetUp.  Boston is a hub and spoke of a city and very few ActiveRain members who I emailed with actually work in the city of Boston.  My conference was in the city proper and I could only meet in the mornings.  All that being said, we had some last minute cancellations, but I had three loyal Rainers come out to meet: Christine Smith, Ray, and Larry Lawfer.


Christine Smith Nikesh Parekh Ray StockwellChristine Smith of Canton, MA is a hard core blogger.  She works for Buyers Brokers Only LLC which is team of agents & brokers that all have their law degrees and only represent buyers.  Christine blogs actively on ActiveRain and for Canton and Stoughton, MA.  She noted that J. Philip Faranda also blogs for in Nanuet.   Patch is AOL's local blogging initiative (and they have taken some heat regarding the costs of their hyperlocal initiatives).  ActiveRain and Patch provide her with plenty of exposure so that she has not needed to buy leads from Zillow, Trulia or  Christine had been blogging 5x per week and now is blogging 2x per week.  Even at blogging 2x per week on ActiveRain, she is seeing a steady flow of contacts from her efforts.  Christine has tried out, Happy Grasshopper and as Angie's List.  Her brokerage buys advertising on Angie's List and is now rethinking the investment.   They initially advertised on Angie's List to get and manage reviews on Angie's List.  They subsequently learned that there is a free way to manage their reviews and they are thinking of cancelling their advertising.  Christine proactively manages her reviews on Zillow, Trulia and Yelp, but does not pay to advertise.  Christine also subscribed to and has received a significant number of seller leads, but was unable to work them since her brokerage only works with buyers.

 Christine Smith

Ray Stockwell was BRAND new to ActiveRain and came to meet us for breakfast too.  Ray was just about to start Blogging Bootcamp with Bob Stewart.  Ray works in Jamaica Plain, which is one of the more liberal areas of the very liberal Boston, MA.  Jamaica Plain attracts a lot of post-graduate students who are working in the nearby hospitals.  Ray was hoping to use blogging as a mechanism to organize community events in Jamaica Plain and promote low income housing related issues.  Ray spends about 50% of his time working rentals and then 50% in real estate brokerage depending on the time of the year.  Ray works for a Weichert broker.  As a Weichert broker, they participate in the Weichert Lead Network.  Weichert Inc. generates leads from the web site and then sends them to local real estate agents for follow-up.  I was under the impression that there is a referral fee if a lead closes, but Ray indicated that his broker does not charge him.  Seems like a really cool service and a good differentiator for Weichert and its franchises.


Larry LawferFINALLY and certainly not lastly, I had breakfast with Larry Lawfer who is an ActiveRain Ambassador.  Larry could not meet us the previous day, but scheduled breakfast with me on Friday before I left for my flight back to Seattle.   Larry actually spends most of his time on expired listings, which sounds like having root canal to me.  But Larry has found a system that works well for him.  Larry works with Borino and Expired Plus.  Larry speaks very highly of their program, telling me the majority of the his transactions in 2012 have come through Expired Plus.


It was a real pleasure spending time with each of them.   


Any suggestions for my next city to visit?  Where will my yellow brick road lead?


Will travel for good vegetarian food and good conversation!


Nikesh Parekh

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Comment balloon 13 commentsNikesh Parekh • November 26 2012 03:45PM


Nicki Great information about how different Active Rainers generate business, The Patch is catching on everywhere, we have one in Marina Del Rey, Redondo Beach and the list goes on...

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 8 years ago

I gotta say boss, your photoshop skills are out of this world!!! 

Posted by Kerrie La Guardia, Let it Rain! (ActiveRain, Community Manager) almost 8 years ago

Craig Rutman taught me a thing or two!

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Nicki.. where are your ruby red slippers??

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) almost 8 years ago

Oh they are there!  I just had to crop them out for space reasons!

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Niki- - ok.. at some point you're going to want some nice warm weather!  May I suggest Delray Beach!  We need a super star Meet UP here!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 8 years ago

I gotta say, I thought I recognized that group from that movie, what was it called again?  Did you go far from home for that meet up?  There is no place like home, as you know...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Niki, It was my pleasure to spend time with you discussing real estate and the internet.  I believe your availability and willingness to meet with us like this is the surest way to the success of your businesses and our real estate community. Thank you again for your time and insight.

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®) almost 8 years ago

Learned a lot just from this one post.  Thanks, Niki!

Posted by Marshall Enterprises, Antiques, Lawn Care, and Trashouts (Marshall Enterprises ) almost 8 years ago was fun & I wish more local Rainers joined us.  Boston's a fun place to go when you don't have to do that commute every day!!  I am honored to be considered a hard core blogger!  I still consider myself a new blogger.  As for those photos....well....they're much better than the ones I put up on my post about the meeting!

Also an update - our results started to change on Angie's List and we are re-focusing advertising there.  I recently blogged about Angie's List for Real Estate Agents.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - almost 8 years ago

Thanks Christine.  Great to meet you as well.  I need to check out your blog on Angie's List and the changes you are seeing!

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Wow,more great ideas.  I have to, right this minute, look at the expired listings in the area of Northern Arizona we a focusing on.  Thanks. 

Posted by Judith Ritter, Rural Land & Homes Specialist (Dirt Road Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Christine Smith -Do you still blog on I was just on the site and decided to type in when this blog came up. And Angie's List how is that working for you. Are both of these along with still generating buyer leads for you. I use to blog very consistently here. Then I went M.I.A from Active Rain two years ago. But now I am back writing and posting Market Reports in the areas that I cover everyday hoping it will get me more exposure as well as buyer and seller leads.

@LarryLawfer-Do you still use the Borino system? I have seen many of his videos. I like his Expired videos. But I want to know if it is still working for you. 

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) over 2 years ago