Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


I FINALLY Gots Me a Purdy Puddle... in the Rain

 The ONLY problem I have EVER had about Active Rain was it is UGLY. YUP UGLY and I have not been afraid to let the Rain Gods (Matt Heaton and Johnathon Washburn) know how I felt.

But there is a saying, "you only get to complain if you are willing to provide a solution." So not only did I register a complaint, I also tried my best to get them over to the "pretty side". I sent them mock-up ideas JUST to get this site LOOKING better.

But the AR guys could only move so fast on all the improvements they were providing us. I could no longer wait. To be honest, the reason I went OUTSIDE Active Rain to start my second blog (Home Staging; Rants & Ravings) is because I am in the "first Impression" business. Much like an advertising agency or an architectural firm or landscaper... I knew that HOW I looked in my blogging media was as important as what I had to say.

But I did not give up on Acitve Rain I knew that when they finally did work on the "pretty," they would do it right, as they have done with so much here. VICTORY! You guys did it.

Active Rain has given us all a FREE and very easy tool to make our blogs look great. Now it does have a few quirks and glitches that need to be addressed. But I did play with it this morning... and I just wanted to say that it only took me about 3 1/2 hours time to do what you see. You might say I now "staged" my blog.

Which leads me RIGHT into the real reason I am writing this post. For all of you who think your blogs can compete soley on what you have to say... then you really need NOT to alter ANY anything visual about your blog here. BUT if you want your "property" to stand out a little bit more, because let's face it... WHAT you have to say isn't the only think that is important when you are selling your message to your readers, then I am sure you will take the time to visually "package" your message.

I don't care if you are "staging" a blog or staging a property that is for sale... visual impressions matter! I hope you all have as much fun purdy-ing up your puddle in the Rain, as I did mine.

Thanks again to the AR guys!


PS: For more information check out this post by Brad Carroll. ActiveRain gives the "Green Light" on Customizing -  His company devevloped the tool that gives us this purdy ability.

Comment balloon 32 commentsCraig Schiller • April 11 2008 03:09PM


Very good...I am impressed.
Posted by Chuck Christensen (Your Financial Coach) over 12 years ago
Craig, I had mine staged a few days ago. I LOVE it! It really adds a whole different feel to the site. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I click on a blog and see it looking real yours does. Well done.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago
Nice Design ChrisVery Nice design, the best I have seen so far. Good Job
Posted by Ross Quintana, Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966 (Real E Smarter) over 12 years ago
I love the look of this blog -- maybe because it looks like it has a chocolate background and I looove chocolate....O.K., my mouth's watering now...
Posted by Lanette Branch, Bel Air, MD Real Estate Agent (RE/MAX Components) over 12 years ago sure have a purdy blog here, Craig! I "staged" mine, but I can't say it was fun, not when I had to redo it ten times, until I got it right! Ah, the downside of being anal retentive!
Posted by Elaine Manes Gage, Staging done ONLINE! (Home Staging Online Services) over 12 years ago


Your blog looks awesome!  How do I do that to mine????

Posted by John Karadsheh, ABR, CRS - REALTOR - Mesa, Arizona - Las Sendas (KOR Properties) over 12 years ago

Craig - that looks great!

Now you'll have to change that link over on the right.  This is the prettier blog.

I may work a little more on my header image this weekend.


Active Mike


Posted by Mike Mueller (Tech and Social Media Consultant) over 12 years ago
Yup, it's real purty - I got me a cement (pronounced "see-ment") pond!  And, of ocurse, I still have more work to do!  Julie
Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) over 12 years ago


I figured out how to do it!  I can't wait to start playing around with it!

Posted by John Karadsheh, ABR, CRS - REALTOR - Mesa, Arizona - Las Sendas (KOR Properties) over 12 years ago
Craig - I've done about 5 so far, can't seem to settle on a look.  Yours is FANTASTIC!!!  
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 12 years ago
Craig - Your blog looks great !
Posted by Maria Mastrolonardo, Realtor, Naperville, IL Real Estate (RE/MAX of Naperville) over 12 years ago
OK, so HOW do you do this????  I've been looking around and have seen a few blogs get the update, but I can't seem to find the link. HELP!
Posted by Connie Tebyani, Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County (Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro) over 12 years ago

I've been noticing more and more blogs with this great personalize look.  How do, where do, I find out about it?  How do I keep missing this type of information?  Is there a group that I should belong to? 

Yours is great it!  I'm so happy that someone finally posted about this.  Thanks.

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 12 years ago

OOPS... like daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.


You have to sign up for it as it is developed and offered thru another company. But it is a FREE tool.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 12 years ago
Thanks Craig. I will look into it today. 
Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 12 years ago

Well, it never ceases to amaze me at how stupid I feel after attempting this techno stuff.  I went into the customizer, and I thought that I did everything that it told me to do, including copying the code snippet (whatever) into my blog description under my settings AND nothing is different.   Do I contact Brad for help? 

BTW for others that want to see Brad Carrolls blog on this it's

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 12 years ago
Wow - thank you for sharing these resources.  As an AR newbie I am reveiwing all of these posts and someday soon hope to sit down, figure it out, and implement some of these ideas.
Posted by Tori Lynn Wallitsch (Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC) over 12 years ago
I agree visual impressions do matter. You only have one chance to make a good first impression.
Posted by Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS (Aksland Real Estate) over 12 years ago

GINGER... how DUMB am I.

THANKS AGAIN... I am gonna ad that link to the general body of this post.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 12 years ago
No problem Craig.  BTW, I guess that my purdy new blog is up.  I wouldn't have known except for Elaine commenting. 
Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 12 years ago


We do have the same color. Speaks volumes...Yes?

Love your take on first impressions...Can we say "Misty" :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago
Thanks Craig,  I used this today.  I appreciate you sharing this!
Posted by Patty Hill, BIC, Local Homes and Land, Inc (Local Homes and Land, Inc) over 12 years ago
Craig~ I totally remember that post from a year or so ago, trying to get AR's homepage "staged" You've done such a great job with marketing...oh and blogging and staging too:)
Posted by Laura Monroe, Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media (Inman News ) over 12 years ago

Laura... I totally forgot that I wrote that blog.

THANKS for reminding me.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 12 years ago

Purdy and staged. AHHHH it feels just right.  Thanks for the nudge to the AR gods...IT worked.

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - over 12 years ago

Craig - Beautiful design....I love it and I'm going to get me one. Thanks for the post.


Posted by Brian Sharpe, Tucson EcoBroker (Tierra Antigua Realty) over 12 years ago
Wow, awesome, Craig.  I had to check it out after I saw your comment on my post.  By the way, love your shadow, your photo and your classy-looking widgets!
Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 12 years ago

I love what you've done.

You are much more patient than I...with 2 small children vying for my attention and having to log back in every time I saved changes...I gave up till I have some time.

Now I have a better idea just how much time!

Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) over 12 years ago
When I do find time to set something up ...I'll be surprised if i look any better than I do now...I doubt it...I always look so dam good even without all the bells and whistles...then attention wouldn't be on the new template....just me!
Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 12 years ago

Thanks for the inclusion.  Now my posts all look like a mini-web page.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 12 years ago

You have motivated me to spend time working on my "first impression"

.... i am open to your advise  / critictique. Yours looks beautiful... youve staged your posts!


Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) over 11 years ago

Craig ~ Thank you for the info, but I can't get or a FREE and very easy tool link to work? Completely curious and want to make the change!

Posted by Monique Combs, Royal Shell Real Estate - Monique Combs (Royal Shell Real Estate ) almost 11 years ago