Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


"How Does Active Rain Make Money?" Chicago Wanted Answers.

 I swear EVERYONE, at this past weekend's Midwest West Celebration for Active Rain, wanted to know the answer to the GREAT mystery.... How does Active Rain make money? People even were grilling ME (as if I had an inside scoop).  But like I told them... ask Matt. So sorry, you won't find that JUICY and complelling revelation here in this post.

However I DO have some other secret tid-bits about Matt & Lydia you might not know.

First, Matt does NOT like eating seafood. So I guess taking them to Navy Pier to a seafood restaurant, probably wasn't one of my best ideas! Also Matt has never seen fire-flies..., so when he did, he was so totally intrigued and delighted by them we had to find a jar to catch one... which he ended up releasing soon thereafter.

Lydia, (Matt's own TLW) had her own insect encounter here in Chicago. However Lydia was freaked by Chicago's Cicada infestation. This, I fear, proved NOT a good first impression of Chicago for her. To help her cope, she drank her Crown & Coke and tormented my cats. (Although she claims to LOVE cats.)

All in all... the gathering was a WONDERFUL and actively fun time! It is odd to see how quickly "strangers" can come together and start laughing and sharing as if they were the best of old friends. Equally amazing was to see how far some people traveled to be there. Lucky Lang came from Iowa, Lola Audu came from Michigan, and Kimberly Wester traveled from Indiana. 

Not pictured are all the husbands and wives who accompanied their spouse to meet this quirky group of people. Let's face it... if you don't blog, and if you don't blog on Active Rain its hard to understand just what this place means to us. But I think they soon realized that whether you on-line or in person, Matt and company have created a wonderful way for people to connect and share ourselves and our lives. And that was why we came together to celebrate.

So, Matt and Lydia are next heading to Florida to celebrate and MAYBE finally provide an answer the Great mystery... How does Active Rain make money?

Celebrate It Forward...


PS: Here are links to festive recaps of this weekend's Chicago Active Rain 1st Anniversary celebration posts.


Comment balloon 35 commentsCraig Schiller • June 18 2007 07:22AM


I think they sell our personal info as a database list. I have been contacted by a third party selling services and I believe they confirmed the purchased my name in this manner.
Posted by Jenny Croshaw (South Florida Structured Real Estate) over 13 years ago

Hi, Craig!  Thanks for sharing your pictures and behind-the-scenes info!  What a shame we still don't have that answer, though. 

Around here we call them lightning bugs and my yard is full of them!  Kind of magical, aren't they?

Posted by Sarah Cooper (Real Estate Shows) over 13 years ago
Good question, has anyone asked the guys at AR?
Posted by Paul Moye, Broker, GRI, SRES (Benchmark Realty) over 13 years ago
Are you telling us there was a swarm of locust at the Chicago Active Rain function?  LOL?  ;)
Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) over 13 years ago
We are in south Florida.  Once per year we might see a lightling bug (thats what my kids called 'em).  Mosquito Control also controls lightening bugs.
Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) over 13 years ago
Yes CHRIS... there are ZILLIONS of Cicadas here. It grosses out most. But we are getting used to them. They come out every 17 years. I don't know what is worse... the look of them or the SOUND the make. Noise levels like you would not believe!

Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago
In Florida twice a year we are hit with Love Bugs, they hang around for a couple weeks and then are gone.  However while they are here they plaster our cars while we are driving therefore making the car wash companies alot of money.
Posted by Linda Reynolds, Bradenton Real Estate (Bradenton Real Estate - Linda Reynolds) over 13 years ago
It's all about getting people addicted.  Once they create addictions, they'll be able to ask for anything.
Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) over 13 years ago
I asked how they can do this when they obviously AREN'T making any money.  I will not share the answer, but Michael has gone on and on about what geniuses they are....
Posted by Kimberly Wester over 13 years ago


Great job summarizing the event!

I guess the answer to the question remains with those who attended the event!  (This should increase the Orlando attendance) :)

Thanks for linking me and thanks for making the arrangements for this fun event!

Lucky :)

P.S.  If anyone wants to see what Craig REALLY looks like, check out my post! 


Posted by Lucky Lang, Marco Island & Naples Florida Real Estate (Premiere Plus Realty Marco Island) over 13 years ago

Hi You...

It looks like everything went great. I'm so pleased to see everyone looking so happy to see each other. As I said in Lucky's post...This is just awesome. It is truly inspiring to me to see that AR is creating exactly what they set out to create. An on line community of Professionals who do mind being themselves. Love it :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 13 years ago

Craig - you are such a cool guy....have I told you that before?  I wish you could join us next week here in Florida, but know you had a lot of work there in Chicago.  I can't wait to party with the Florida Crew. 

And about bugs - don't show me a roach, unless you really want to see someone freak out!  I can hold reptiles, rats don't bug me, even frogs I can deal with....but roaches <deep breath> 


Posted by Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate (Majestic Properties) over 13 years ago
Craig - the Cicadas in your post are eyeing that lovely cake. . .I hope you protected the leftovers from being devoured by our winged friends!  I had a fabulous time meeting everyone!
Posted by Lori Gilmore, One Savvy Move Home Staging (One Savvy Move) over 13 years ago


I hope that the Florida event is just as successful of an event.  And I guess it is a good thing we are having our get together at a steakhouse.  Would not want to give Matt another bad exerience... :)

Posted by Jason Price (Mortgage Financial Group, Inc) over 13 years ago
Craig - thanks for sharing - what great pics - so fun to see all the faces and people behind the names. Looking foward to the one in Orlando this Saturday.
Posted by Cyndee Haydon, 727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 13 years ago
Craig, Thanks for organizing this!  It was great to meet you in person & to talk with so many other folks on Active Rain including Matt & Lydia. This was well worth the trip!
Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) over 13 years ago
Craig, sounds like you guys had a really wonderful time. Boy I sure hope Lydia gets over her bug phobia before she gets to Florida. Bugs we have. In large quantity.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 13 years ago

Dear Co-conspirator Craig,

Perhaps the cake should go in the freezer for next year's party. We can save it for years! Who has to eat it? It will be a reminder of our beginnings.

Maggiano's was fantastic. Great food that just kept coming and coming. And, we enjoyed talking with those around us.

And, it certainly did seem like we knew each other, didn't it? And, we should plan another Chicago area lunch...just for the h_ll of it!

Posted by Eileen Landau, ABR, CRS, e-PRO (BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE) over 13 years ago
Looks like you guys all had a great time. I am so jealous!
Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, NH Real Estate Broker (Prudential Verani Realty) over 13 years ago

Thanks for sharing your celebration.  I was there in spirit.


Posted by Fran Gatti, Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity (RE/MAX Integrity) over 13 years ago

Craig, thanks for the pictures of the event. Yes, I think everyone has wondered it at one time or another, how do they eat and pay rent? And what is the future of AR?

 If anyone can get it out of them it will be in Florida, with BB, TLW and Neal Bloom !!

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 13 years ago

What's said in Florida stays in Florida!

So sad I'll be in Colorado that day...

Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 13 years ago

They make their money on

Posted by Josh Ketner (Coldwell Banker La Costa Realty) over 13 years ago

Just gave the event a shout out on Zillow's corporate blog-

The question of how they make money links to this post, so people we keep coming to you for answers to this holy grail question!  :)

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 13 years ago
I'm impressed you halted traffic to take a photo of Matt and Lydia.
Posted by Linda Davis (RE/MAX Home Team) over 13 years ago
Well danget :-P  I saw the title and was like heck yeah!  They are finally planning revealing their mysterious V.C funding or where the bill payments are coming from, but guess not even still we wait :-p
Posted by Jordan M. Mackey, Overland Park Real Estate :: (Overland Park Real Estate (No association with Inc)) over 13 years ago

I want everyone to come for a giant celebration to San Diego in Nov of 2009 (NAR Annual Meeting). A national Rain Convention with all of us welcoming them.

Sounds like you all had a ball and I don't care how they make their money. For running this site whatever they make , however they make it, it is not enough. :)

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 13 years ago
Great post Craig! Thanks for sharing. It almost felt like being there as I read through your memoirs.  I love the layout, your design, your ability to pull me in as a reader, and your enthusiasm for the rain.  I know that if the folks at AR make money from this network, they are more than deserving.  It truly is a place to connect, get educated, make friends, and do business.  Keep up the great work on your blog, I hope that someday I can get to your level of providing awesome looking posts with valuable and useful information.  The best to you always, ME!!
Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 13 years ago

A note about this article. It was featured in Active Rain's Week in Review 6/18/07---6/24/07

This post was one of the Top 25 picks for the week! Congratulations and thanks for writing a great blog!

Posted by Angie Vandenbergh, A Crye-Leike Blogger (Crye-Leike, Realtors) over 13 years ago
Craig -  Sorry I missed the big party. I will be there next time (hopefully soon). Looks like you all had a great time.
Posted by Chuck Dellorto, "Talk To Chuck" (Coldwell Banker - Serving INDIANA & ILLINOIS) over 13 years ago
Active Rain is currently funded by Brio Realty.  Brio plans to expand nationally and will be using Active Rain as its recruiting platform.  Revenues will be generated through ad revenue and syndication of content from both Active Rain and Localism and the use of that content to sell advertising using either Google Adwords or via a merger with Inman, Move, or other company interested in social networks.
Posted by Michael Sumi over 13 years ago
Michael, think your a little off in your analysis :)  ActiveRain is not funded by Brio, though Brio Realty is a customer of our lead management platform.  You'll see several subscription based services launched in the next several months, plus some advertising from vendors targetting our members.  Content syndication does fall into our plan, but members content will not be syndicated out without their permission.
Posted by Matt Heaton (Timu Corp - CEO, ActiveRain - Co-founder) over 13 years ago
Matt - thanks for adding your comments. Information is always better than speculation.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 13 years ago
Hi Craig.  Sorry I missed it.  I really wanted to be there.  Next Year!
Posted by Michael Hutchins - Consumer Advocate, Chicago (Michael Hutchins Ent.) over 13 years ago

Locusts, Interesting... Smily

Posted by Mobile Austin Notary, (Apostille/Authentication/Embassy Legalization, Notary Public, Loan Signing Agent & Process Server Services) almost 12 years ago