The Power of the “Rain” Can Create Many Opportunities

You just never know what will happen when you post good content to your ActiveRain blog.  In December I wrote a post about what Realtors expect from loan officers when they refer a client (  The featured post led to a frank discussion about what agents and loan originators should reasonably expect from each other.


In addition to being a virtual assistant for Realtors, I also have a job providing marketing support for 35+ loan officers in the mortgage division of a Pacific Northwest bank.  I summarized the comments from the post and used them to help the loan officers better understand what Realtors expect from them.  One of our 2012 goals is to increase purchase loans generated from Realtor referrals.

 Silver Falls State Park, Oregon


Except for having a stronger showing in Google, I thought the benefits from this post had pretty much run its course.  That is, until I opened an e-mail sent to my ActiveRain account.  A media company in the Midwest had seen my post and wrote in part:


Jason Hartman, host of the Accredited Income Property Investment Specialist show, would like to invite you to participate in a brief phone interview regarding your expertise in your field…AIPIS is an education program for real estate and mortgage professionals and investors, additionally bringing up-to-date information and advice to professionals.

Jason Hartman is also the host of the Creating Wealth Show ( and President of Platinum Properties Investor Network located in Orange County, CA and Tempe, AZ. In addition to the former, Jason is the "go-to economic commentator" on KABC 790 AM, the #2 Los Angeles talk radio station.


I took a look at the link provided to learn more about this podcast (  Real estate coaches Dirk Zeller and Craig Proctor were previous guests, so I called and scheduled the interview.


Naturally I posted the news of this success to my Facebook page.  My Facebook friends include real estate professionals at the local and national levels.  My boss at the bank left a positive comment.  The owner of a top brokerage in town did the same.  Family, friends, and international students we’ve hosted, all followed suit with likes and comments.


Silver Falls State Park, Oregon


Karen Deis, publisher of Loan Officer Magazine, commented that she’d been interviewed by the New York Times as a result of one of her ActiveRain posts (  She said that she encourages her readers to become active members of ActiveRain.


I sent Karen an e-mail saying that I wanted to write an AR post about the events that transpired from my simple post.  I asked if I could include her name and success story in this post.  She quickly wrote back, said “yes”, and asked if I’d be interested in writing an 800 – 1,000 word story for Loan Officer Magazine (


After a phone conversation, the one story turned into two.  The articles will focus on how ActiveRain can be beneficial to a loan officer’s business and the supportive relationships that can be found here.  I’ll be completing the draft of the first article right after I finish the post that you’re reading now.


All this happened from writing an AR post on a subject of interest to many of the members here.  You never know who is reading your posts and where your writing will lead.  There is power in the Rain that you’ll find in few other places.


Help me with your success stories that I can use or link to in the Loan Officer Magazine articles I’m writing.


How has the power of the “Rain” here created opportunities for you?

Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest.  He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.

To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook.  You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.


Comment balloon 78 commentsRick Obst • January 20 2012 12:45PM



Thanks for posting this. This is the kind of success I am hoping for by continuing to stay active here on the Rain. congrats and cheers cvc

Posted by Curtis Van Carter, Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire (Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group) almost 8 years ago

Well done, you!    And, as you point out, it all started with stellar content.

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) almost 8 years ago

What a story, how it all unfolded.  I'm not surprised that this occurred, it's always interesting to see a blog or connection can turn into something bigger and really take on a life of its own. 

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Rick, that is so awesome. You are doing a great job here and people are taking notice. Good for you.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 8 years ago

Hi Rick,

Congratulations on the interest created by your post.

You may be on the verge of superstardom!


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for bringing out the importance of Realtors working together with loan officers to determine reasonable expectations.  When we work together, the buyers and sellers benefit from a less stressful transaction and that will result in more referrals for everyone.  Happy clients tell their friends.  Thanks for your efforts.

Posted by Doug Bullwinkel, Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609 (Envoy Mortgage, NMLS 6666) almost 8 years ago

I was contacted by the Wall Street Journal last month myself and I do have to say, I love the power of the rain! Can't wait to see some of the articles.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 8 years ago

Congratulations on your success. I too look forward to hearing more on your articles.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 8 years ago

What an incredible success story.  Congrats.

Posted by Debora Nichols, Realtor Anthem,Phoenix,Scottsdale,Glendale,Peoria (Residential Sales, Purchases, Investors, Vacation Homes) almost 8 years ago

Good to hear how Active Rain has made our members famous.  Glad to hear that folks take Active Rain seriously.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 8 years ago

Congratulations! Keep up the good work.

Posted by Bernadette James, Broker-Associate, Keller Williams Realty SW (Serving Sugar Land, Missouri City, Richmond and Pearland) almost 8 years ago

Excellent job now off to read the post about what top agents expect from Loan Officers.

Posted by Markita Woods NMLS#196099, Queen of Mortgages - FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA (Fairway Independent Mortgage) almost 8 years ago

All seeds must be planted and never know which one will take root....good post here...thank you

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 8 years ago

Wow!!!  That is an extraordinary AR success story.  Congratulations!

Posted by Former Agent (None) almost 8 years ago

Awesome! AND, now you are on the feature board twicE! WAy to go!

Posted by Kristin Moran, San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397 (Owner - RE/MAX Access - almost 8 years ago

Rick, you are a rock star and watch for the article this Friday, January 20th,

P.S.  I was also interviewed about the mortgage qualifying by the magazine THE NEST, which is a magazine for newlyweds. 

Posted by Karen Deis almost 8 years ago

My first article was accepted as written and the podcast interview is tomorrow.  Thank you for your supportive comments.  There is power in the "Rain" to create opportunities when you least expect it!

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago


It is definetly a big congratulations on the success.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) almost 8 years ago


I'm so encouraged by your post.  My loan officer should be my Robin but due to the Mortgage/Real Estate meltdown, I've lost whole companies & loan officers.  Many companies have gone out of business, some L/O's retired or went into another field of business.  I've been researching loan officers and I believe I found 2 good ones among so many disappointments.

Posted by Carmela Jacobs, Ventura Co., Los Angeles Co., CA, & Global Realtor (Carmela Realty) almost 8 years ago

Hey Rick,

What a good news success story in the Rain!  Best of success to you this year!

Posted by Jordon Wheeler, J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service (The Jordon Wheeler Group) almost 8 years ago

Yes, there is a lot of power in Rain! Congrats for all the success you have here. ActiveRain is a perfect platform for people who want to promote themselves with a simple plan - blogging in Rain!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 8 years ago

Thank you.  My goal is to help people that I come in contact with that wish to follow the Golden Rule.  Material success is nice, but life is much deeper than that.  I'm only being who I am, and whatever results from that is fine as long as it's positive.

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago

Praful Thakkur, You were one of the initial commenters when I first posted to ActiveRain several years ago.  I don't forget those that were supportive of when I first made my presence known here.

Please remember that this is a special online community for real estate professionals that will hopefully remain that way.  My goal isn't to promote, as my current, main job doesn't require additional business (except in nothern CA and Oregon).  Let's just enjoy the free sharing of knowledge and experience to make us all better at what we do.

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago

Hi Rick,  always nice to hear success stories in Active Rain Land.   thanks for sharng with us.

Posted by Ronald DiLalla, No. Orange Cty Real Estate (Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824) almost 8 years ago

Kudos to you! Thats the power of the rain and the web!

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) almost 8 years ago

So far all I've gotten is requests to do guest blogs for regional sites, but it's more than I would have had were in not for ActiveRain

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 8 years ago

I just finished the podcast interview with Jason Hartman mentioned in the post.  Once it finishes the post-production process it'll go live.  I'll post a link in the comments section if anyone is interested in listening to it.

The first article about why loan officers should be on ActiveRain will be published tomorrow in Loan Officer Magazine.  I'll probably use excerpts from the story in a future blog post.  The power of the "Rain" continues!

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago

Rick, I closed my first referral transaction that was a direct result of blogging here at AR. My wallet is happier for the experience! I wrote a blog today about how I need to do some marketing instead of writing that feature, but you have changed my mind. I will go ahead and post a decent blog before the end of the day. Thanks for the inspiration!

Posted by Barbara Le Pine, Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast! (Advantage Real Estate, serving Lincoln County) almost 8 years ago

Congrats to you.  The rain is a great place to post and get recognzied.  As you point out, good content is the key!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 8 years ago

Congratulations on all the referral success.  That is the key to business heaven, versus a revolving door and constant trolling which tires you out!

Posted by Jennifer Chiongbian, Real Estate Broker - NYC (Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses) almost 8 years ago

Great job! Just goes to show we never know who is reading our blogs - and then bam!  Congrats!

Posted by Jo Olson, Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt (HOMEFRONT Realty) almost 8 years ago

The Power of Rain...I sharpen my skills, and meet a lot of motivated and giving real estate professionals.  Kristine

Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Sisters, Realtors (Compass) almost 8 years ago

Rick - all good and congrats.. I was interviewed by Mortgage last year as a result of my blogging, and I have just be asked to advertise a UK company on my web site.. so good things come from posting a blog!


Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) almost 8 years ago

Thank you very much for sharing, Just attempting to start up again.  Very encouraging.

Posted by Gina Lollo, "Love where you live" (Northshore Properties Realty) almost 8 years ago

Wow, that is incredible!

Posted by Catherine Ulrey, Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist (Keller Williams Capital City) almost 8 years ago

Love these great ActiveRain power stories. We love ActiveRain community because it is a great place to learn, better ourselves, network, and earn business.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Rick - such a powerful story about AR and reaching out.   When you help others it comes back to you and benefits everyone.  Great job and thank you.

Posted by Teri Eno, Melbourne FL Homes (RE/MAX Alternative, Melbourne FL) almost 8 years ago


You probably get more rain in Eugene Oregon than we do here in Southern Cal

Marlene Dietrich, Tony & Mike

Posted by Marlene Dietrich, Neighborhood Real Estate Specialist (Marlene Dietrich Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Hi Rick

-Good post & you are so right! San Diego County Credit Union found my Blog post where I discussed moving my money from a large bank to a credit union, and how much I loved their online Bill-Pay & Customer Service. The Marketing Director od SDCCU saw my post, contacted me and asked if I would like a testimonial to be on their site. My photo/testimonial is on the SDCCU Home Page!

Posted by DEBORAH STONE (Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA) almost 8 years ago

In addition to all of these great connections, I wonder how many love connections were made on Active Rain. 

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) almost 8 years ago

Rick it is so great to hear your story of how AR has helped your business! It is very inspirational and makes me excited to keep participating and see what benefits I will see. Thanks for your post and congrats on your success!

Posted by Elizabeth Straessle, MRP, ~Military Spouse~ (All American Home Source Realty, LLC) almost 8 years ago

This morning, Loan Officer Magazine published my first article on why loan officers should be blogging on ActiveRain. You can read it at

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago

That's awesome, Rick!! It sounds like 2012 is going to be an excellent year for you, and your hard work is paying off big time!

All the best to you, and please let us all know when to tune in, so we can catch you in action ; )

Hava a wonderful weekend,

Gina Lemos

Posted by Momentum Realty, Orange County CA Real Estate Agent (North Orange County CA Real Estate Specialists) almost 8 years ago

It is great to hear that participation in AR does pay off!

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Rockwood Realty) almost 8 years ago

Yeah.  AR is a great place to be. Great synergy for sure. 

Posted by Paula McDonald, Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) almost 8 years ago

Rick, it is always good to hear about successes on AR.  It sounds like you really got some peoples attention.  You have peeked my interest and I am going to go back and check out some of the links you mentioned.

Posted by Jerry Hill (Hill Realty) almost 8 years ago

Rick , besides blogging, the SEO power of AR is amazing.Not long ago I wrote a blog with a title"Brickell Short Sales Specialist"and recently I "goggled" that title and low and behold ,my blog was on the first page of Google.There are many SEO companies promising to get your website or whatever on the first page of Google for  a price, but AR does it for us at no extra cost .I was really blown away.Since I specialize in real estate in the  Brickell ,Miami and Miami Beach areas , I decided to duplicate what I did and posted a blog on AR with the title "Miami Beach Short Sales Specialist"....and WOW. It got on the first page of Google.Of course now my challenge is to  convert people who click on my blog  link to buy and that will not be easy but at least being on the first page of Google is a major step in the right direction.

I remember when I first joined AR only 4 months ago , that they claimed AR blogging could put you on the first page of Google ,but I didn't have time to take the training but evidently found out by just blogging .I thought I would share this with fellow AR members as it is a valuable technique.

Yes ,Rick....the power of RAIN continues.......

Posted by Michael Correra (Piquet Realty) almost 8 years ago

Hi Rick - Congratulations!  Active Rain is becoming quite a source for news and educational outlets to recruit writers.  It's great for them because they have samples of our work and can pick the best of the best - and I guess that's you!  I used to write a regular column for one of our local newspapers, but the economy forced them to shut down.  I think you'll enjoy it.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) almost 8 years ago

Great article! This is exactly what Ben Lang Properties is focusing on right now!

We too have been aiming at a stronger standing in Google and other search engines by blogging, but it is even more inspirational to think that one reader could change the entire success of our business. Thanks!

Posted by Lang Premier Properties, Metro Detroit Real Estate Group (Lang Premier Properties) almost 8 years ago

Way to go Rick! Congratulations on your success. Curious to learn more about what you do as a virtual assistant for agents. Maybe blog that next? Or if you already did, please forward me a link. Thanks!

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) almost 8 years ago

Good Going,


I have always remarked to new realtors confused if not daunted by the latest realtor marketing fashion, that they should 'lead with their strength' regardless of what others are doing ... simply to harness their passion and focus their authentic vision in the direction they want to grow professionally.  Your story demonstrates this very nicely.

Posted by Charles Balducci (Coldwell Banker Preferred :: Rittenhouse) almost 8 years ago

Thank you all for your comments and support so far.  It's been exciting to receive recognition and interest resulting from a post on what Realtors expect from loan officers.  You just never know what can happen or where it will lead when you publish your words in ActiveRain and send them into cyberspace.

Liane, I haven't written a post yet about what I do as a virtual assistant for agents.  Two of the future posts that I'm working on are "Why Using a Virtual Assistant Can Benefit Your Business" and "How Can I Find a Good Virtual Assistant."

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago

Some call it luck, in the right place at the right time, maybe.  One thing for sure, never know till you try, good going.

Posted by Michael Blue, REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad (Home Smart Realty West) almost 8 years ago

Rick -- thanks for spurring the rest of us on, with your success story.  I also appreciate that you have provided a link to one of the articles that were spawned by the initial AR blog.

May you and yours be blessed in 2012!

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 8 years ago

The blogging thing, I see will start to take many forms as the information starts to circulate. Just yesterday, I learned about Google Alerts and how people will find you on your blogs.

Posted by Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA (Winston Realty, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

That is impressive.  I got a call from the local paper once.  Good post this and the original that I think I remember.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

SO impressive! Thanks for the link to the recent article, and can't wait to hear the podcast! Keep us posted...

Posted by Debbe Perry, 828.439.3084 Morganton/Lake James NC (Real Living Carolina Property ) almost 8 years ago

Hi Rick, my best success story so far has been to hook me up with an Insurance ARer (Frank Laisch) who really helped with my investments.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 8 years ago

Wow, it's amazing how great things can sometimes snowball!

Posted by Kate Akerly, Manhattan Beach Residential Sales (Kaminsky Group) almost 8 years ago

Very, very cool story and I hope the magic continues for a long time

Posted by tinagleisner almost 8 years ago

Wow!  Very exciting for you! Congratulations! And thanks for the little lesson that a simple psot CAN make a difference.

Posted by Anonymous almost 8 years ago

Was this posted yesterday in the daily drop, I thought I had made a comment which hasn't changed, Let it Rain

Posted by Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA (Winston Realty, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Great success story, why won't people believe that if they write good posts others will find them?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 8 years ago

Doesn't work the same for people like me as a members only blog. But my outside blog helps draw the outside attention.

Posted by The Derrick Team - Indy Metro Realtors, Your Pet Friendly Realtors (Carpenter Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Awesome netwroking story and I hope that it brings you much success....goes to show that you never know!!!!

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D ( almost 8 years ago

To Connie & Dennis with the Derrick Team: Consider upgrading your ActiveRain account to Rainmaker status.  That frees your blog posts up to be picked up by the search engines and indexed.  Members only posts are visible only when you're logged in to AR.

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago

Hi Rick - Way to go!  Sounds like you are on the way to being a celebrity.  Keep up the good work.

Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) almost 8 years ago

Congrats on your success and additional writing, interviews!  What a great story.  My success has turned into sales and I hope to create more branding because of it as a green realtor.  Keep up the great work!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 8 years ago

Jan, I was at a Home & Garden Show today that emphasized eco-friendly lifestyles.  Eugene, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest encourage green living.  How are you branding yourself as a green Realtor?

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago

Very nice, Rick. Thanks for sharing the path of these successes.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 8 years ago

Rick, Enjoyed our conversation today. I could write a book because of AR..Oh I did that already. I had a front page article in the Washington post and was one of 12 National Masters chosen by Realtor Magazine. A book review by Elizabeth Weintraub, and a  listing because of that review. Going on a listing appointment because of a seller following me right here on AR. That's just a few.


Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 8 years ago

Dear Rick,

That is pretty cool. Good for you.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) almost 8 years ago

Yes there is power to activerain but you also took the initiative to write the first blog!  Congrats!

Posted by MaryBeth Mills Muldowney, Massachusetts Broker Owner (TradeWinds Realty Group LLC) almost 8 years ago

For those of you interested in what a virtual assistant is, what they do, and where to find them, I posted to my blog with a lot of informational links -

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago

My podcast interview with Jason Hartman about using virtual assistants is now active on his Accredited Income Property Investment Specialist website.  I hope that it will encourage more people to consider hiring a virtual assistant to help build their business.

Posted by Rick Obst almost 8 years ago


Way to go Rick !!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Dick Obst almost 8 years ago

Rick, just read this on a reblog from Winston Haverly - ActiveRain is so far reaching! Congrats on the recognition!


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 7 years ago

Sharon: Thank you for reading and commenting on this post.  It's been read over 15,000 times already since I first posted earlier this year.  ActiveRain is an excellent platform to network with real estate professionals nationwide and to share your knowledge online.

Posted by Rick Obst over 7 years ago