Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Tic-Toc !Tic-Toc! How much ACTIVE TIME do you clock?

 While ActiveRain has proven to be a down pour of good and insightful information to and for the real estate community... it is not free.

Well, actually the information is "free" in the fact that it costs nothing to be a member, post a blog, read a blog, or write a comment. But being an ACTIVE participant in the rain can be a huge INVESTMENT in time.

Lately. searching for images, researching and writing original blog material, inserting links, and reading other's blogs seems to be taking more and more time.

THEN on top of that... I feel a bit obligated to comment on other's blogs.  WHY...  because I can appreciate what they invest in their blog, and I want them to know I DO appreciate their contribution to the storm of information. BUT that takes time too. 

Recently, THE LOVELY WIFE roared and scared the crap out of me with her post Did You Know Active Rain Has Become My Full Time Job?  because at times THAT is what it feels like to be an Active PARTICPANT in ACTIVE RAIN.  

Then I stumbled upon and read a great post by a new member here in the rain Skip Wiseman's thought provoking blog Two Tips To Tackle Time Management Challenges. (OH... and after reading this post I INSTANTLY assocated myself with Skip  because I don't want to "skip" past what this guy has to share in the future. Skip is going to prove to be a fresh, unique, and helpful voice here in the rain for many.)

So, while I have been called a "veteran" on Active Rain (which actually is laughable considering I have ONLY been a member for 5 months) I am still trying to figure out how to best utilize Active Rain and the time I invest in it.

So this "Veteran" Rain Drop has 3 quick questions...

1.) Considering "Time is Money" how much ACTIVE TIME do you spend here in a day or week?

2.) For this ACTIVE TIME investment.... what has been your ROI?.

2.) What tips/suggestions can you share to increase one's ROI for their ACTIVE TIME spent here in the Rain.

Thanks for your timely advice,


Comment balloon 26 commentsCraig Schiller • December 06 2006 06:20PM



Thanks for featuring me in your blog posting, I'm truly humbled by the offer and am thrilled to know you (and others) are finding value in my postings.

Your make an outstanding point regarding the ROI of the time spent posting, reading, associating, etc. here in AR.  It's a challenge, I've only been here a week, and I'm spending probably an hour a day right now. 

I'm trying to build a reputation as a value added resource to members and trust that ultimately it will lead to generating either direct or indirect business in speaking, training, consulting and coaching in the real estate, mortgage and related industries.

I'm a firm believer that you have to fish where the fish are and this looks like an outstanding group of like minded individuals who want to take their business to the next level in fields I have experience in, then if I can help in this environment, by giving with no expectation for receiving, then at some point I know it will come back to me.

Just like it did last week (original post - Giver-s-Gain-Philosophy )   when I went out of my way to assist a person I met at a networking event and it got me to reconnect with someone who is now a serious consulting prospect. 

So, we'll see.  All business is built and sustained on relationships and so far its starting out pretty good.  Thanks!


Posted by Skip Weisman (Weisman Success Resources, Inc.) almost 14 years ago
Craig, Let me see..........A LOT!! I usually spend about 90 minutes in the morning while I'm having my coffee and waking up. I spend this time commenting on posts. THEN when I get done my real job at around 4:00 I usually write my post for the day. This may take 2 hours. THEN I sit around in the evening watching TV and doing some more reading and commenting on AR. I normally cut down about 9:30 and read a book for an 1 hour or so before nighty night. Hey it's fun and very relaxing. ROI? Who cares. I make enough money.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 14 years ago

Byrant's answer "A Lot" is my answer too!   I always check in first thing in the morning and make a few comments.  I check in throughout the day but I multitask pretty well so no guilt there.  In the evening, while watching TV, I catch up on comments usually going over the maximum point allowance. I always check my associates posts once I day to be sure I haven't missed any. I only blog a couple times a week max since I do have another blog.   

ROI - The friendships I have made and the knowledge I have gained here.  I do other things to make money.  This is for fun!

Posted by Linda Davis (RE/MAX Home Team) almost 14 years ago


Yes, I know what you mean. I'm trying to keep my total daily time here down to one hour. Luckily I can read quickly...and I can also write quickly.

And, I don't tend to write War and Peace postings so I can generally get 'em done in 20 minutes.

But, now that we have so many people, it's impossible to keep up with them...especially, as this is NOT my full time job.

ROI? Can't tell yet. I've had a relocating buyer call me...and it's possible he found me here, because he said that I was all over the net. And, I've had a newspaper writer call me about our market. Has it resulted in business? Not yet.

And...sometimes, we just can't measure it...but, we sure have met some wonderful, giving people.

Posted by Eileen Landau, ABR, CRS, e-PRO (BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE) almost 14 years ago

Unfortunately Eileen, I'm a slow reader and a slow poster.  A blog usually takes me 2 hours.  The number of times I've started a post and didn't finish is pathetic!

The days I actually log into the Rain, I spend 2-4 hours just reading posts.  The problem is that I get caught sidetracked EVERY single time.  I start reading the 'more abouts'....... then go to other's websites which leads me to.......... it goes on and on.

And everything is interrupted every 5-10 minutes with one of my 2 children; so I lose track of where I was and have to start all over.

As far as ROI, it has been priceless for me.  I have learned so much from everyone here and this knowledge has helped me in my business to add value to my customers.

And I enjoy being a part of this community for the personal perks as well; my virtual friends!

The thing I worry about most is whether it will cost me my marriage!  Right now hubby is cooking dinner and juggling 2 babies so I can sing in the rain!  I really need to start to manage my time better.

Posted by Jessica Hughes (Ambiance Staging) almost 14 years ago


I average about 2 hours a day.  About 1/2 hour in the a.m., check in several times during the day when I'm taking a break, and spend time in the evening instead of watching T.V.

As to the benefits, I am impressed.  I started in early October with Active Rain and received a referral late last night.  A fellow AR member was visiting our city for a conference and referred a local buyer to me.  I spent all day today telling everyone in my office about the AR benefits.  I've talked with the new buyer and she is getting in front of a lender.  Thanks AR!


Posted by Steve Hewson, Denver Metro Comnulll Real Estate (KW Commercial Real Estate, LLC - Denver) almost 14 years ago

Skip: Like I said.... I am gonna skip over to your blog more often. TOOO much good stuff there to ignore.

Bryant: Ok now YOU are scaring me... LOL. NOW... I can see why TLW wants to redesign the bathrooms.

Linda: I was hoping someone would point out ROI is not just $$$. Because you are so right.

Eileen: Ya now that you mentioned it... you do have a talent to "bottom line" your message. Hmmmmm.... that gets my brain thinking.

Jessica: PERFECTIONIST that is what you is! WHICH at times will work against you. You know how I know?

Steve: WOW still is a lot of time... That is 14 hours a week and 60 hours a month.

Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago
How do you know?
Posted by Jessica Hughes (Ambiance Staging) almost 14 years ago

I bet Craig knows because he is well versed in the challenges of perfectionism.  He probably is challenged by some of those traits but has found a way to manage them or break through them and can easily identify them in others because of his experience.

One thing everyone, including myself and Craig, must guard against, and it's probably why he asked the question, is that this type of site can become a very addictive place and can become a form of procrastination that keeps us from doing real business activity.

We can get lulled into thinking we're doing stuff to improve ourselves and our business, when in reality we are coming here because its comfortable, friendly and we don't really face the rejection we may subject ourselvles to by making the calls and putting ourselves in the position we need to, to really build our business.

I know this because I guard against it every day.  Come here wtih a direct purpose in mind and set a time limit.  Get in, Get Out and Get something of value every time but don't lurk around and surf endlessly.

Procrastination is a killer of our hopes and dreams, its a killer of our self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth and causes much undo stress.  A few years ago I created a program to help business professionals with this issue, it's called, "End Procrastination NOW!" and perfectionism is really just a fear of failure and rejection and is another form of procrastination.

Just my two cents (or maybe 3-4 cents)...hmm, maybe this should be my next blog posting, thanks CRaig for stirring my thoughts on this subject...

Posted by Skip Weisman (Weisman Success Resources, Inc.) almost 14 years ago

SKIP:  WOW I got goose bumps reading that comment. TURN THAT INTO A BLOG!

THAT was awesome! I even got goose bumbs RE-READING what you posted.


Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago

Craig, Thanks for this blog on Skip

Skip, we NEED you. Welcome to AR!

Jessica, and Craig. count me in with the "P" group.

Hey do you think we should form a "Perfectionist" beta group so we can procratinate some more?


Posted by Ginger S, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) almost 14 years ago


Thanks for the greeting and positive reinforcment...

I strongly advise against your suggestion. But that's just me, you guys can do what you want.

Remember that the capital "P" should be for 'Procrastinate' and the little "p" on perfectionist.  As the latter is a subgroup of the former.  Too many people wear both as a badge of honor instead of doing something about it that can really set them apart from the rest of the field!

Posted by Skip Weisman (Weisman Success Resources, Inc.) almost 14 years ago

Hi Craig... great pic for this post BTW. I try to limit(budget) my time to no more than an hour per day. I'm not a prolific blogger(yet) so I spend my time on AR reading & commenting on posts that catch my eye and lately, keeping up with the new changes on AR.

 As for the ROI, the simple answer would be the great connections I've made, as well as some very promising business contacts.

Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... ( almost 14 years ago


You have good insight overall.

But, I was joking about the perfectionist group. Don't need any more diversion. LOL!

BTW I don't wear the badge of honor! I want to overcome! HELP!  

PS, I am only a PT perfectionist, Some things I am very casual about.

Posted by Ginger S, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) almost 14 years ago
Ginger: Yes a part-time perfectionist is the way I WOULD like the consider myself. UNFORTUNELTY the perfectionist in me calls that other 1/2 side of me "LAZY"! LOL
Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago

Craig, Your both 1/2's are perfection to your fans! LOL!

Check your email ...I sent you one a while ago

Posted by Ginger S, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) almost 14 years ago

You are so right that being an Active member of Active Rain can certainly drain your time, the first thing in morning and last thing at night is when I usually check in to see what is new. If I find myself on the site too long, I have to set limits because my day has way too much in it that  must get done.

The time spent away from the computer is totally freeing

Phyllis Pafumi

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) almost 14 years ago


I have started to manage my time on AR better, but it is still spend several hours in the evening.  I comment for about 45 minutes in the morning and then most of the time I go back on after dinner. However, my evening can go on a lot longer than it should, so I need to get that under control.

ROI - I enjoy it so the personal satisfaction is worth a lot to me, and like Linda Davis said, the friendships. For example if it was not for AR, I probably would have never gotten know Linda, TLW, and others that I now consider to be my friends.  I can't put a price tag on that.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 14 years ago

Skip, you have no idea how much you've impacted me by writing that!  I even printed it off to show to my husband.  I too had goose bumps!

Thank you so very very much and I look forward to seeing the blog. 

Posted by Jessica Hughes (Ambiance Staging) almost 14 years ago

Thanks for the feedback, Jessica, glad you find value in my writings and coaching.

So, I'm just wondering, as a coach I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you, 'what are you going to do differently now as a result of that impact? what decisions have you made?"

I'm working on the blog but it may be a day or two 'til I get back to it as I'm doing a workshop on Friday for members of my coaching program.  Of which the topic is Emotional Mastery and Breaking Through F.E.A.R. which has an awful lot to do with both procrastination and perfectionism.

Beause of this thread I'm actually working up a survey for AR members on the topic and so it may take me a day or two to get the whole thing set up.  Look for it soon, though...

Posted by Skip Weisman (Weisman Success Resources, Inc.) almost 14 years ago

OMG Craig - you've like totally read my mind!  Have you wondered where I've been or why I was suddenly so silent?

I, too, love AR and all of the wonderful people that I have 'met' here through blogging.  But I had to take a step back.  I had no quality of life left!  I would sit at my computer and literally turn my back on my family!

I also found that I was beginning to neglect the business that brought me here to this site.  I found that I would put off working on my website, or marketing in favor of making connections on AR.   I'm not saying that connecting with everyone here is not important to me, but everything needs to be done in moderation and I was spiralling out of control!

And so, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce name is Val Allocco and I am an AR addict!

I'm working on my time-management skills and fighting to limit my time here each day now.

I hope to be better soon!!!!!!  :)

Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) almost 14 years ago

Craig - this is a great post, and looking at the comments, it sounds like a good many of us are addicted to AR.  My name is Ann Cummings and I am an AR addict, just like VAL!!

I spend, as others have also said, ALOT of time on AR.  Some days, I spend less than an hour, and other days I find that I skip some of my work to get back onto AR.  And that's not a good thing.

Most of my blog posts take me a long time to put together.  I tend to be a perfectionist, and that costs me time when I put together a post.  Hours are sometimes spent on ONE post.

Skip, you are so on the money on your comments here.  I am going to go check out your blog and add you as one of my associates as Craig did - I don't want to miss anything you write, if your comments here are any indication of what I'm going to find on your blog.

Thanks Craig & Skip,


Posted by Ann Cummings, Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent (RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine) almost 14 years ago

Blogging is real work - I didn't know what it was until two months ago when I discovered AR and now its 1:16 in the morning and I'm typing this response.  At least it helped my search engine placement.  Something, then, other than just breaking up my days!

Posted by Gabriel Silverstein, SIOR (Angelic Real Estate, LLC) almost 14 years ago

If you were talking about actual financial ROI, right now, it hasnt generated any business yet. But I'm only on my 5th day. This place has proved to be very solid as a content provider. I have enjoyed the blog and have challenged myself to contribute effectively. So far, I've thoroughly enjoyed it. And the people that visit are courteous too.

PS: It makes me more conscious of what others have brought to the table, I plan to do the same.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 14 years ago
I am addicted also.  My other problem is that I am so damn competitive.  Why do they have to have points?  I see a score and my instinct is to figure out the system and start competing to win.  When I'm not on AR I find myself mentally composing my next post.  I go to sleep wondering who's going to comment.  Will I accidentally insult someone or will someone think I don't know what I'm talking about? 
Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) almost 14 years ago

Pssst...It's us. Happy New To You...Sorry we think it sounds better without the Year. SVW.

Last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. "T.S. Eliot"

From Broker Bryant and The Lovely Wife...Wishing You a Good New. ROAR!

Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) almost 14 years ago