Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Standing Out in the Rain... a Lesson to take to Localism.

 Yesterday it was announced that of the 27,229 blog entries* posted on Active Rain since its début on June 25, 2006 my "very personal" post entitled "The Gift of Tears" was voted the Most Memorable post for the year. First, I have to say WOW and huge thank you to all who voted!

And while I am flattered and grateful, it got me to thinking... Why? Why THAT post? Did that post REALLY have anything to do with Real Estate?

As a professional in the Real Estate industry I know that working with people is at the core of what I do. It is not as if I am working with a thing like a machine, tool or instrument. I predominately work with and for people... the people moving in and out of my community... Chicago.

When I joined this site I did not know that what I was doing was becoming a member of a cyber community. As I observed and participated I began to realize that Active Rain, whose borders are far reaching and a bit non-conventional, is a microcosm of the communities in which we live, work and play. If you spend anytime here, you see the dimensions of life and relationships occurring in the words that we share.

And while it is good that this amazing cyber community was born and quickly built... the Active Rain gods saw there was not enough connection back to the people (consumers) we work with and relate to in the brick & mortar communities of our professional lives.  So to bridge that gap, they are in the process of creating and perfecting Localism. It will be a site for us to share and market our knowledge, our skills, our expertise, our abilities and our professionalism right to people who will be our clients.  

So if you think Active Rain grew fast... just wait! Localism is going to be a rocket, as more and more of your neighboring Real Estate colleagues discover it and find it a means to market their services to the local consumer market using the tool of community.

Initially, the best of us will find ways to connect to consumers making use of Localism for community oriented information. Statistics, demographics, well articulated ideas and information about the brick & mortar communities will (and always will) be key to the success of the site and its members.

But I have a question. Over time, as more and more educated and articulate professionals join and share similar content, what will differentiate you from any other? How will you stand out on Localism? How will you connect to the consumers of your community?

I believe my "very personal" post on Active Rain reveals much as to how members can ultimately tap into what is possible on Localism.  Once professional acumen is shown, the best way to connect to the consumer community is by sharing a bit what makes you uniquely you. Establishing and creating relatedness will require you to be a little more open, a little more revealing, and a little more accessible via what you say and do on Localism.

Always remember, who you are is as important as what you do. Both sides of you is what you bring to the brick & mortar communities you market your services in. So writing and sharing content that reveals a bit more of the real you will help make Localism feel more... local. And for each of us, how we go about doing this and just how much "sharing" we do will be different. There is no right way or amount.

NO ONE can copy what makes you uniquely and personally you. So if what you say is sincere and authentic... mark my words, people will be attracted to your "memorable message" and ultimately to you.

Rain it forward... locally!



*Based on 2,723 Blogs-No Ad pages with 10 blogs per page.

A POST SCRIPT of sincere Gratituted and personal Thanks to Maureen Francis, William Collins and TLW can be found in the first comment below.

Comment balloon 40 commentsCraig Schiller • January 04 2007 01:10PM


Maureen Francis: The amount of time it took to create the blogs and manage Memorable Posts of 2006: Carnival of ActiveRain is mind boggling. What would THIS community be without you? THANK YOU.

William Collins: Thank you for nominating this little post of mine. You are rare in the rain... how often I read your words and think how much heart and soul comes through what you contribute.

TLW: (The Lovely Wife and My Misty) early on you decided to share more of what makes you you. Your willingness to always be authentic gave me the "courage" to share this part of me.

To all who have read and commented on The gift of tears ... you have no idea how what you have said and shared has touched my family... especially my Mom and Dad. Thank You.

Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago
Congratulations Craig! Your blog was a special story and I think one of the first I read here. It was definatly a winner! Good Job!!
Posted by Lysa Napolitano almost 14 years ago

Craig, great post!  

You are an awesome example of the power of this community and and inspiration as to how much we can share within ourselves and the people we hope to serve. 

Posted by Blanca Cholewczynski, XCO (U) almost 14 years ago


I think that because you have shared so much of who you are here on AR, everyone who has read your blogs and comments feel as if they have known you for years!  You certainly are authentic and the blog that you refer to endeared you all the more to this community.

Your idea that  "writing and sharing content that reveals a bit more of the real you " in (not only) (but also here on AR) enables others to 'know' us better and, as you have pointed out, that helps each of us show how we are unique.

Thank you for all of your wonderful sharing to date!

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- I often struggle with how much "self" to put out there in my blogs.  It's easy for all of us to be on a mission to help educate consumers that we end up doing exactly the reverse of what we are aiming for.  We become the preachy-soap boxy-lecturer instead of developing those relationships so many of us prize. I posted an entry on my other blog yesterday about my grandmother and wondered if I had overstepped the bounds, but posted it anyways. After re-reading your 'tears' entry...I realized I was just fine.  You're a great example for us all to follow.
Posted by Lisa Dunn, (Edina Realty) almost 14 years ago
I agree about the example you set. You are 'real' on here; and you prioritize your business the way it should be. I can only imagine how much success you will get in Chicago because of localism.  Maybe even in Cleveland it can happen LOL
Posted by Carole Cohen, Realtor, ePRO (Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office) almost 14 years ago


my cyber buddy, yes, we do develop friendships and build upon that, whether in cyber space or in real space.

And, when you have these special friendships you can sing and dance in the rain!

Posted by Eileen Landau, ABR, CRS, e-PRO (BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE) almost 14 years ago
Hi Craig,  I hadn't even gone to the Localism site until now.  And what do you know, I am featured in Seattle!  Thanks for the information and good luck in the new year.
Posted by Leslie Bloss, Bellevue Real Estate Professional almost 14 years ago

Congratulations, Craig!

 It is so true in many areas of life - you only get out what you put in.

Posted by Marisa Ladd, Austin, TX Real Estate (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 14 years ago
I still don't get localism.  I have the national St. paul real estate blog.  I made it national a couple of days ago when someone told me that national is better.  Anyway when I write about real estate and about St. Paul on my regular blog I get leads.  When I write a post on Active rain about St. Paul I get few visitors and almost no comments.  i wish I understood all of this.
Posted by Teresa Boardman (Boardman Realty) almost 14 years ago

It was a well deserved win.

And you're spot on about Localism...

"writing and sharing content that reveals a bit more of the real you"

That sums it all up. I occasionally get "feedback" from "experts" that blog entries like my woe over the loss of Vanilla Pepsi aren't "appropriate". Yet I get feedback from CLIENTS that they love to see the "human side".

Hmmmm... do I listen to the "experts", or the clients/prospects?  THAT is a no brainer.

Elderberry wine!

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) almost 14 years ago

Craig, we may never meet in person, but through your blogging I have come to feel I do know you to some small degree. I missed your post the first time around and didn't read it until yesterday. I have thought about it off and on all day. If what I have learned is the real Craig Schiller, I am honored to know you.

I first learned to enjoy your sense of humor and playfullness. It is always a treat to meet someone who can laugh at themselves. And then your article on tears....

Thank you for your openness. Thanks for being you.

Posted by Mark Flanders (Consulting) almost 14 years ago
Craig, well done you have touched many on our AR site and with great information and insight.
Posted by Teri Isner, GRI, CRS, CIPS (Keller Williams Realty at the Lakes) almost 14 years ago
Hi Craig.. congrats on the award!  quite and accomplishment. you deserve it!!  Glad that TLW gave you the push to open up :)))    also, your thoughts on are right on!!   hey, what happened to your face.. I felt like I had some beer goggles on, so what it going on?. We want to see YOU! come back!
Posted by Nick M., Realtor-Appraiser in West Palm-South Florida Real Estate Appraiser (Certified Residential Appraiser- West Palm Beach Real Estate) almost 14 years ago
I am not surprised your post won Most Memorable of the year!  You once told me I have it and I don't even know it yet!!  Do you realize how much you have Craig?  If we could only be more like you.  Thank you for giving all you give and for being the most unselfish caring person I have encountered (besides my husband)! :)
Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) almost 14 years ago

This is your Misty. I am Misting here. I am touched in a way that you can only imagine. I am not going to address your post I am going to address your comment to me.

You have come a long way since we first met. I have been amazed as I have watched you grow and reach out to other people with your heart. Just knowing that I had something to do with it  leaves me feeling very appreciative of your comment to me. This is one of those rewards that I speak of on my good God day posts. What you have said here will stay with me as I go into the new year. You have influenced a decision that I made that may not be the best decision for people like you who understand matters of the heart. I will re-consider what my best foot forward should be. That change of heart on my part is the result of the comment you left here for me. You have to admit that maybe the powers that be do not like my decision. Why do I say that? Well, just read your comment to me again. I think you'll understand exactly what I am talking about.

TLW "The Lovely Wife"...aka Your Misty...Congratulations On Being So Memorable For 2006. :) ROAR!

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


 Great stuff.  I can see why you got the award.  I just joined a month ago and now can't believe how this has grown.  I look forward to expanding twice as fast.


Posted by Ken Spencer, for Verrado, Buckeye, Sundance almost 14 years ago


So well written and so well deserved...thanks so much for sharing a big part of you..with us all.

Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago
A well-deserved award, as has been said by many before me! Your contributions go far beyond what words can convey. Keep it up!
Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 14 years ago

Craig - you touched on the essense of what makes this network a family.  We are learning to share ourselves and put our feeling out in the open.  I know some people are afraid this can make them vulnerable, but it's what makes us human and what we look for in REAL relationships.  Thank YOU for being here with us.

Posted by Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate (Majestic Properties) almost 14 years ago

As I've said before, you are the true spirit of the Rain ... compassionate, supporting of others, a postive influence on us ...


                              ....... with a red spot of humor to make us all laugh and spit coffee at our computers!


And you're a PEACH of a guy!

Posted by Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio (Real Living HER, Powell Ohio) almost 14 years ago

Craig---Thank you for taking the stagers of AR "under your umbrella" and setting the standards that we aspire to.  I have enjoyed and gained something from each and every one of your blogs.  I just love the phrase "remove beautiful distractions" that you wrote in your blog about talking to seniors and now use that phrase when working with clients of all ages.

Elaine...this must be a "PEACHY" blog....I got one, too!

Posted by Judy Kincaid almost 14 years ago

Craig, you have always shown yourself as a gentleman and I appreciate that. You are authentic and do not feel the need to toot your own horn...that is admirable and well noticed. I'm sure that you will go far and 2007 will be a great for you. You are a very kind man and well deserving. We are lucky to have gotten to know you.

Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) almost 14 years ago

This post has been featured in The Spirtual Rain Group.


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

Conratulation Craig.  You are so right, sharing a little about yourself is useful in getting others to connect. 

 I have use Localism and I think it is going to be a great tool for us.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) almost 14 years ago

Very inspiring story. We could all learn a little from the article.  It seems to have taken of so others can also share in your story. Congratulations agian!!


Posted by Tom Gillis (American Home Mortgage) almost 14 years ago
Craig...great post, as always. Congrat's again on your well deserved award for 2006. 

Your philosphy and approach to differentiation touches on a key element of leadership - as a person, in a business, in a market. PEOPLE WANT LEADERS WHO ARE HUMAN - AND VULNERABLE. That is counterintuitive and, therefore, hard to grasp - especially for men in our society. We're taught by movies and TV that the toughest and strongest never cry, never reveal their feelings, never doubt, never fear. What crap! The truth is that everyone has emotions and emotional reactions to everything. What people respect in a leader is that they have the courage to be human - and to demonstrate their humanness. There is always a fine line in how much emotion is too much. That's a judgement call. 

Craig, you're doing a great job of being human and being an example. Keep it up.
Posted by Bill Leider (Real Estate Shows) almost 14 years ago
Craig - Thanks for the inspirational post.  We are true believers in the future of Active Rain and of Localism and are expecting a downpour in Arizona!
Posted by Suzanne Marriott, Associate Broker, CLHMS, e-PRO (Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 14 years ago


You continue to be an inspiration. You display an uncanny ability to intertwine, humor, business and the human element in very post you create. Thank you for being you and thoughtful enough to really care and share. I am honored to bare witness. The eyes are brimming and its time to go! Thank you.

Posted by William Collins, Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) almost 14 years ago
Gotta love ya!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 14 years ago

FC: I keep coming back and reading this and the part that sticks with me is your comment that you had no idea what kind of a community this was before and right after you got here. I keep thinking, if I HAD known, I might not have joined, and I would have missed out lol. I'm not even sure I would have believed anyone who told me what pearls of learning, experience and friendship were here. I guess we found out quickly! 3C

Posted by Carole Cohen, Realtor, ePRO (Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office) almost 14 years ago


I am so glad we all picked you

Posted by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky, Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel (Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel) almost 14 years ago


It is true that there is no one else like you, the true you in all of us and therefore we should not want to copy of emulate anyone else's style. When I try I am not ever happy. Being true to yourself is my motto for 2007.

Thanks for another great blog and for being you

Phyllis Pafumi

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

Ditto to what Maureen said. You exemplify all that is right and good about this community, Craig!

And I totally agree with you that Localism is going to literally explode onto the Web!

Posted by Rich Jacobson, Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker (Fathom Realty West Sound) almost 14 years ago

Wow... all I can say in closing is what wonderful honor this turned out to be.

Thanks again for voting and then all the great comments on both this post and the original post.

We give Active Rain a lot of credit... which is right to do, but forget what Active Rain is is PEOPLE. A gracious "audence" allowed this to be.

Thanks all.


Posted by Craig Schiller almost 14 years ago


What a pleasure to get to know you.  Thanks.  Tears are so purifing.  I find that the older I get, the more easily my emotions are touched.  Since 9/11 any patriotic music will find me welling over with pride.



Posted by Joan Snodgrass (Midamerica Referral Network) almost 14 years ago
Craig, I just wanted to let you know that this well-deserving post is included in the ActiveRain Week in Review.
Posted by S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist (United Realty Group, Inc.) almost 14 years ago
Greetings Craig...I have been reading through Leanne's AR Week in Review and have now come to these words, "Always remember, who you are is as important as what you do..." . I am a land specialist, where nature does most of the staging, so, drawn by the  energy of this post, I have come to your blog for the first time. I am now taking time to read what you have written...and I have arrived at the AR Holiday Wreath.   I see who You Are...and I will remember and come back to visit. THANKS so much.

I have just created a new "group" on ActiveRain for anyone who is interested in Localism.  I have called the group Localism Beta for lack of a better term.

I have seen a number of different blog posts on the topic recently, including yours and yet there is no central place to locate articles that are written on such an important topic.

I would like to invite you to join the group and the edit your post and include the group as part of the distribution for others to easily find.  I would then encourage you to look and see what others have posted on the topic and share your thoughts and insights.  I am sure most of what we will see is support for the site as well as a tip or technique to best leverage it's potential to our benefit.

I am also certain that there will be some lively debate over the direction that Localism should go.  Now, I do not know what the ultimate business plan is and how much tweaking management will do on behalf of the users who have their own ideas on the site and how much is already set in stone - but certainly a debate is good for all.

So please, post your article and join us.

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi. Hemet CA REALTOR®

PS - All who read this post are more than welcome to join as well.  Please get involved and learn how to make this your most valuable internet resource

Posted by John Occhi, SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate (Mason Real Estate) almost 14 years ago