Carolyn really captured the spirit of Margaret Rome's Active Rain Open House.
It's a great read, enjoy!
The ActiveRain Open House Was Awesome
I was thrilled to be there not only because spending time with the people living in my computer is always a sweet treat but because Lenn Harley went out of her way to attend the first ever ActiveRain Open House. I am star struck and in awe of this woman. I love the way her mind works and as far as I am concerned no one does hard core real estate the way Lenn Harley does.
While watching Margaret Rome and Lenn Harley chat I felt as if I were in the middle of an ActiveRain Group Club Chaos convention (LOL). The 991 writers of Club Chaos have produced approximately 27,591 blog posts since June 23, 2008. As one of the group's founders, and someone who routinely lurks on their real estate blogs, it was a pleasure and a privilege to get to spend quality time with some of the best minds the real estate industry has to offer. Lenn has a standing invitation to use any picture off of my blog she likes. Very few people get Card Blanche with me (especially with my work because Carte blanche is French for “blank card,” meaning one that can be filled in as a person wishes) but there are several that totally knock my socks off and I consider them family.
BTW, after our business is done we are doing a sleep over on Tuesday. When I check out of the Hilton I will be eventually checking in with Lenn. Yay! She is the copyright queen, a huge influence and my friend so I am doing the snoopy dance with the anticipation of a great visit. I absolutely adore her and am looking forward to being her guest on Tuesday because I am a sucker for sushi, shotguns and girl talk. There is more to me than Hagen Daz. The list is long. Seriously long and a wee bit twisted (LOL). ;-)
Have you ever had the pleasure to meet Erica Rome? She has an amazing musical gift and a wicked sense of humor that really appeals to my quirky nature. I'm into snarky banter and am already prone to say just about anything that is on my mind, so it is always mad fun to mildly misbehave when I am with her (LOL). You can't be snarky with just anyone because some people don't get irony. She's fun, still waiting for me to grow up and I keep hinting I might do that when I'm 50. "Might" being the operative word (LOL). Then again... why should I? I like having fun, giggle frequently and recently discovered kids have a way of keeping you young. BTW, I am having my second childhood with and without the little minions in tow, so I guess that means I don't mind playing with my blogging buddy's kids, even if they are already grown (LOL).
My kids have been teaching me how to frolic and the rule is practice does not make perfect unless you practice perfectly (LMAO). Sometimes, I slip into my practice shoes and have at it when I am really comfortable with the people I am hanging out with. You can not do that with everyone. You have to pick and choose because people tend to try you on for size before they trust you. Newbies, a small word of advice: The best jobs are the ones that do not feel like work and have the added bonus of being something you can share with the people you care about while you make new acquaintances and friends. Find something you love about your profession to hang onto (things can get tough), then make it your business to have fun with it. :-)
In my case, I am very happily addicted to blogging because I realize when my kids get older they'll have so much raw material to share with their hypothetical kids. Sometimes, bloggers can give perspective to history in the making, like with 9/11 eye witness accounts or mourning the destruction of Shea Stadium while learning to embrace Citi Field. Writing is fun for me and I look forward to having pleasant conversations with my readers, friends and family about the stuff that I find interesting. I look forward to sharing DVDs and PDFs with my potential grand-kids because if you get the right mix of professionals together in the same spot at the same time anything can happen... You can learn something from just about any type of story told if you bother to pay attention to what is going on.
Friendships can create magic and inspire comraderie to the point where a writer will drive 255 miles to share a meal and a significant moment. Business trips can become a major source of pleasure if the people you associate with are really nice. I think the ActiveRain Community is a wonderful place to park my digital diary because I think my friends are wonderful and when the shorties inherit the business they may be inheriting some of my best business friends as well. If you don't write about the people that matter to you, how will others know who they are? Sometimes, I wonder how many cases of paper it's going to take to print this puppy out and catalog all those notes. 882 of those 27,591 blog posts belong to me and if this keeps up I may have to create a library to store it in (LOL). ;-)
When you really like a writer you start printing them out and sending links so other people can discover them. Link love can be a lot of fun if you can get your friends and family to meet you at a particular place and time. There is no point in doing social media if you have no intention of ever being social. The cool thing about blogging is that people can take their time to catch up with you when ever they want. I think that's why I really enjoyed myself today. Yes, I did quite a bit of work but I also got to socialize, explore Maryland and play.
Prior, I got to spend a little bit of time with Margaret Woda during REBar Camp and I routinely lurk on her blog, so it was a real treat to see her again in MD at the ActiveRain Open House. Richard Iarossi and I have been chatting through social media accounts for approximately two years. Two days of lively conversation with Richard and I parted company feeling as if I've known him forever.
Bloggers who are transparent writers have a way of making you feel totally at home because you know them through their writing. You hear their voice through the rich texture of their diction and share what they see through their photographs and video clips so when you do get to finally meet you feel as if you just spoke with them the other day and are simply picking up where you left off from a previous conversation.
Realtor Magazine was on hand covering the event. If you ever get a chance to chat with Gabe you should. He's a very nice man who knows what he's doing and does it very well. I am sooooooo into digital tech and always enjoy watching film crews do their thing. One of the things I love about living in New York City is the fact that there is always a movie being made somewhere. :-)
I particularly enjoyed hanging out in the kitchen (the basket of cookies and good company caught my eye).
Margaret Rome selected a country house for the AR open and brought lots of goodies. It's a comfortable place with a huge yard, one I could very easily imagine my kids running amok in. I cell phone e-mailed a few of my buyers to see if they want to come down and take a look while I enjoyed spending some time with Gabe, Katherine and Helen. I am going to Barnes and Nobles after dinner to see if I can find Katherine Tarbox's book. Helen Dellheim is coming to New York City for a visit so we're gonna hook up and I am taking her to Yotveta and Kyoto. There are a few interesting little get togethers being planned and plotted by this group. I like small, intimate gatherings. You can really have a great conversation if there are not too many guests that need your attention. We had a nice turn out and the ebb and flow of visitors made me very happy that I and my TomTom only got lost a little bit. I would have been very upset if I had missed some of my fave writers. I didn't get to make the acquaintance of everyone today because a few people were leaving when I arrived. People kept coming when we started to leave for pizza at the Upper Crust. That was very cool. I think this is a tradition that is really going to take off if today was any indication of the things to come. :-)
I would love to fit this into my business plan because I am still blown away that I went to an open house with Margaret Woda, Dr. Stacey Ann Baugh and Martha Brown... What can I say except that I have a big, stupid cool aid grin plastered on my face (LOL). Tickled pink is an understatement because Martha and I have been Facebooking each other to death talking about one day getting together. I have been waiting to hug this woman for over a year and a half so today was a big deal for me. I finally got that taken care of and will happily admit to hugging several of my friends. It was even more fun to discover new things about them their blogs don't reveal.
Dr. Stacey is da bomb diggity. We have been chatting and laughing all afternoon. I frequently lurk on her blog and we are taking our wee ones on a play date to the zoo and the aquarium. Stay tuned for some very interesting Life With Wee People posts. She has a four year old waiting to meet my three year old, Stephen, the Blur Minion, who is a very adventurous, social little man. This might become a bi-monthly thing because it really is a nice ride and doesn't take that long to go from New York City to Maryland. We like going on road trips so get comfy with the idea I will be making more of them. The shorties need to get out more, stretch those tiny little minds and meet new people. They enjoy seeing themselves online and I enjoy watching them discover new things. The Brooklyn aquarium is an old friend to them so checking out the Maryland one will keep them very busy with the Localism project.
Did I mention I like invading states? I do you know... Frequently. I share a lot but don't tell you everything because I have been hoarding my eye candy and writing chapters. Yes. Blame it on the books (LOL). ;-)
We all know Bridget McGee as the Mortgage Mama. What you might not know is if you get Bridget, Richard and Dr. Stacey together for a conversation you will not stop laughing as long as the three of them are bantering back and forth. This is why I always advocate gravitating towards people who are witty and smart. If you select the right friends your vocabulary will improve and learning something new will make you very happy. Fun people make submitting to the process a no brainer. In the words of Granny Tann: "I will do boring once but I wont do it twice." (LOL)
I have some friends who tried to make it but couldn't. Maybe next time...
For a couple of them I found myself wanting to say you ought not to always be a passive reader only interested in trolling for business but you should come when bloggers invite you to attend free events. We invite you personally because we really want to see you. Social media tweet-ups can be mad fun as well as useful. That's why we have them. Some people think they are not missing anything by constantly ignoring invitations to simply show up and be because they don't see the beauty in allowing people to discover who you are and respond to what they learn and know.
If not for social media I certainly would not be hanging out with the Senior Editor of Realtor Magazine, a bunch of classy bloggers and an amazing attorney.
I'd be running the street with clients (as usual), watching BBC television on Netflix, skyping with my fave Brits, cooking dinner and minion sitting instead of hubby (LOL). I tried to get him to come to MD with the shorties but Mike declined. It would have been nice to let Noah run loose with the camera. He's quite the shutter bug. He would have loved this place. ;-)
Little Dude would have been all for the Christmas shot in front of the fireplace pose (LOL).
My kids would have enjoyed being surrounded by Realtors. They think they are mini-Realtors in the making. I hope the next time I come to Maryland I get to meet Ellie McIntire's wee one. If baby is anything like Mama I am in love.
To know Ellie is to love Ellie. In the blink of an eye we clicked.
I just wish I could figure out how I managed to spend the afternoon with Anne Hruby and not get a single picture. Talk about "Duh???" moment. She sat next to me in the pizza shop and I was going to take her hostage later on but I forgot (LOL).
Talk about having a senior moment (LMAO). She just recently joined ActiveRain and doesn't have a profile picture up. I was going to do something about that tonight. Virgin bloggers are a fun challenge for me and we all know what happens if you get remanded to the Club Chaos boot Camp. You can't go home until you write a blog post. Chicka escaped writer's jail because I got distracted by food twice. Bad virtual writing warden (LOL).
She's teaching a GRI class tomorrow. Hmm... Are you thinking what I'm thinking? (ROTFLMAO)
If you're not or clueless you obviously don't read my blog (LOL). Go here to bring yourself up to speed if you dare. It's fun helping newbies get started blogging. Mid April will be two years for me. ;-)
BTW, the pizza here was excellent.
Feel free to go to the Upper Crust Pizza/Grille located at 9161 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills MD 21117 to find out. This Native New Yorker has absolutely no complaints. It's a cool spot to hang out in and they were kind enough to push a whole bunch of tables together for us.
The first ActiveRain Open House was an awesome experience. The conversations and company was priceless. Looking forward to brokers hosting many more. :-)
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If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure!
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