Cameron Wilson, Elizabeth Weintraub, Richard Weisser, Lizette Fitzpatrick, Poppy Dinsey, Melody Botting and Susan Mangigian have a very interesting collective sense of humor. I love reading their blog posts and enjoy bantering with them across the Blogosphere. They are part of the Active Rain group Club Chaos which was co-founded by three Realtors: Amanda Hall, Melody Botting and Carolyn Tann-Starr.
Membership is by invitation only because the members nominate and sponsor other members. We want to grow at a slow, careful pace because our personal relationships matter to us. There is a lot more to us than just a bunch of professionals networking for referrals. We take the time to get to know each other and have several hard working members, like Robert Swetz, developing very interesting (and quite effective) internal referral systems within the group.
Here's our group description: "Club Chaos is a Group by Invitation Only. We Post Members Only! Admissions Requirements: Must have a wicked sense of humor; must have a kind heart; must abide by AR Rules; must love Children, Pets, Music, Art, Dr. Seuss, William Shakespeare, Dead Rainers Society, English Literature in general and All Things Hollish, Wacked, and Jacked." Hmm... notice it doesn't say anything about Real Estate (LOL), yet we are all about the industry and helping each other grow our business. That group charter is based upon friends having a good time with friends while making new ones. It's about finding something in common while celebrating our differences. Just look at the criteria...(LOL) This group is very different from the 4,899 groups registered at the Active Rain Real Estate Network.
The Active Rain group Club Chaos was founded 06/23/08, has a current subscriber roll of 362 bloggers and our Blog Roll Posts to date total 5,292 articles. With 122,446 members (and growing) that computes to 0.002956 %. We don't even make up a one-half percent of Active Rain, but we sure are busy when it comes to being active and supporting one another. We have very interesting members who are committed to their professions, their communities and being the best that they can be whether Brick-and-Mortar or the Blogosphere. I hope you will take the time to visit our group's home page. There are a lot of outstanding, talented people posting their work there I would love to introduce you to.
BTW, don't let the name fool you, we are a dedicated little on-line family of highly organized, diverse writers with lots of interests we enjoy sharing. For example, check out Josef Katz's post, "Gift Giving and Giving Back" and Barbara Ries post "God Blesses The Broken Road." Some people would be shocked to see these posts in a real estate network but I am not. My question to those "shocked" people is, "Why? Why not share what interests you on a real estate network?"
This network is about the members having a forum to reach the public and other professionals in a virtual community. How they each choose to reach people is entirely up to them. A person's choice of post category does not make them any more or less professional than the next writer, it just means each writer is focusing on a different story and approach. Do not believe the hype when one Realtor (or any other member) feels the need to categorize another Realtor (or any other member) as "unprofessional" because their last three posts were about their goldfish, dog, and a baby-shower. Maybe that is what was going on in their personal life that they decided to share with you, the public, as well as their family and friends. Those members are trying to give you a glimpse into who they are. That Realtor is trying to help you see him or her as a person, a real person that you might decide you may want to do business with later on.
The highest compliment that you can give a Realtor is a referral. A referral means that you are trusting someone you know to someone else. When given the choice, most people will send someone they know to someone else they are familiar with. We, the Active Rain members, blog because we want you to know something familiar about us and we hope to hear something interesting from you about what you like and dislike. Knowing what you need makes it easier for us to adjust our service to please you.
Professionals are people first and practitioners second. Who I am and what I do are two very distinct things. I have freedom of speech. I have wants, likes, needs, desires, fears, triumphs and failures just like everyone else. It seems such an obvious statement, but the fact of the matter is sometimes the public needs to be reminded of this because when they hire a professional they sometimes fail to realize we are responding to them person to person as well as professional to prospect/customer/client. We do not divorce ourselves and disown our personalities to gain your business and you should not require that of anyone.
BTW, to my dear, new, potential buyers: Everyone is not in a financial crisis so when a hypothetical prospective buyer treats a seller as if he/she/they have to act like they are in foreclosure/short sale mode and accept an outrageously low bid for their home, commercial or mixed use property, you are doing them and us (the professional you have retained) a disservice. Check out the NYS Home Equity Theft Prevention Act . I and my Realtor peers are obligated to present all offers to our sellers on behalf of the buyer so it would be really nice if the offer presented were a decent one that conforms to the law.
See? Told ya' not to let the name fool you. I bet a whole bunch of you prospective New York buyers had no idea that Act was in place. No telling what you may learn from hanging out on-line with me and my peeps. We talk honestly about issues like this at Club Chaos and expand that honesty to you when we decide to go out on a limb and post a post you may not initially think you would like. Take a chance, read what the writer has to say - go to the very end and suck up that last word. Sometimes you may need to know something and that goldfish story may give a member the intro needed to sneak a little real estate wisdom in between sharing a personal moment. If you don't finish the post, how will you discover the possible fact that this writer just answered that question you had haunting you in the back of your mind. Unanswered questions whispering through your thoughts can be quite a distraction...
We also share jokes, pet peeves, take pictures of our refrigerator magnet collections, pass around family anecdotes and a host of other topics which does not make us any less professional than the blogger who only posts listings and market reports. It doesn't mean we know any more or any less, it just means we like to be ourselves and share information in a manner that we see fit. Unless you actually hire and work with us, the fact of the matter is you wont really know who the good and not so great Realtors are. Blogging means you, the public, now have an opportunity to try us before you trust us. It is not perfect, but it can provide some insights to help you make a determination.
As long as you remember that we are people enjoying other people who happen to work in a particular or parallel industry I bet we will all just get along fine. Active Rain members are people being transparent to the public about who we really are and how we think. Club Chaos takes it to a whole other level off the beaten path. We like jumping in and out of the box, so don't say I did not warn you. Pick a writer and put your feet up. Get to know us. Some of us drink beer. Some of us drink wine. Some of us (like me) can't drink worth a damn and should stay far, far away from that tasty stuff (LOL). See, you just learned something new about me today if you haven't already been following my life's saga as a Realtor within my blog pages. :-)
Realtors are so much more than listings and market reports... Sometimes, we turn into very good friends.
BTW, I've some new chaos to share with you about my Little Mini-Realtors in training. We have not found the headset or handset yet that Stephen the Minion Blur made off with to hide in his secret terrible-two-lair. Since my last post he has also managed to kill the L/R television set, so Sears will be very happy to see us during our Christmas shopping (LOL). My Commercial Real Estate Investing 101 studies are coming along quite nicely and I must say that this book is an excellent read. I love Donald Trump's work and am a fan of the Trump University writers. I shall be posting a few of my views about Real Estate 101 very shortly. If you haven't visited Trump University on-line, you should. Lots of good stuff there. It inspired me to take the little minions out to spend our day exploring Manhattan. They loved every minute of it and so did I. I am cultivating their photographer's eye and am having lots of fun introducing them to architectural eye candy. There are a lot of beautiful places to visit in the world. NYC is one of them. We visited uptown, downtown and midtown snagging lots of interesting views. We even took another buggy ride to see the Christmas lights, but I'll save that for another post (LOL).
Here' a little Manhattan eye candy personally selected by my two little minions for you to enjoy. BTW, as requested by my public, we will be talking more about New York County in future blog posts. My firm, REMAX People Realty, also has some very interesting listings there as well. Visit our resource center at http://www.TannStarr.com for more information. ;-)
Enjoy your day. Regards, C.
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