Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


ENTER THE RAIN... from a New, Beautiful & Different Perspective

Every Realtor knows that first impressions matter. So can I be honest here? (And this has bugged me about Active Rain from the start.) Active Rain's front door is UGLY.

Yup UGLY! Yes, Yes I know it is fully "functional" door... but let's face it... its ugly. It has NO SNAP, NO WOW! NO... DANG I gotta go in and take a TOUR of this site.

And as all my staging colleagues (and Realtors too) know... first impressions matter... so it better be good!

Sooooo...  I did a little cyber Staging, and made a new fully functional doorway into Active Rain for my friends and staging colleagues (especially my colleagues!) to use when they invite others for a visit to a "Home Stagers Corner" on Active Rain for the first time.

Click on the image to the left and you will see what Michelle Tsioles, an AMAZINGLY creative designer we have here on staff at Real Estaging, created. This an fully functional gateway site that is up and running.

HOWEVER, don't get me wrong, this is NOT going to be the MAIN door into Active Rain. But for those of us in OUR industry who have been working together as a group to sing one song, you gotta admit this is a more attractive way to enter our group's corner of Active Rain.

It is NO secret how much I admire and am thankful for Active Rain and all it has done and is doing to help open doors for sooooo many of us who are members. So... I did run this past the Rain Gods to make sure this was cool with them... I think Caleb's words back to me said it all when he wrote... "I have to say YOU'VE GOT IT! Craig this is great.  This really helps. Thank you for putting this together."

Its not a big thing, but do I believe doing what  I can to create a bunch of small things that work in harmony can only benifit all of my staging colleagues... Stage It Forward.




POST SCRIPT: ABC NEWS 7-DENVER picked up this post and published it HERE on their website.

Comment balloon 63 commentsCraig Schiller • April 05 2007 09:37PM



That`s truly a "Work of Art!". Your talent and Love of A/R speaks volumes!

Posted by Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission. (Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. ) over 13 years ago
Great work! Infact I enjoy reading all of your blogs/posts. Thanks
Posted by Christina Williams. REALTORĀ® TN property search & local insights (First Realty Company) over 13 years ago

UTTERLY AMAZING...... and what a PLEASANT and much needed change.  In regard to AR's front door, I couldn't agree more...and I love AR also!   To be honest, I never thought about it but your "front door" brought it to my attention and immediately I thought... HE IS RIGHT.

Thanks for brightening my morning.

Posted by Fran White, Kansas City North Real Estate, 816-682-3897 (North Kansas City Real Estate, Reece and Nichols Residential) over 13 years ago

Craig, you clever, clever man!  That is BEAUTIFUL.  And you're right, the site is functional but not beautiful.  I can see how that would bother a stager such as yourself.  Beauty does matter and does set a tone.  I'd say it's time to demand that makeover! 

Thanks, that was a very pleasant view of what could be.

Posted by Sarah Cooper (Real Estate Shows) over 13 years ago
Craig, YOU ROCK!     nuf said
Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) over 13 years ago

Yep- right on again! What a warm welcome for guest as well as prospective clients!

 I would love to see you spiff up LOCALISM. I am very disappointed about the litter that is collecting on the Localism site just to gain points.

 We all should participate in a Spring Clean Up and maybe we could peek into communities and see the real beauty.

Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) over 13 years ago
I Love It!!!! It is beautiful, inviting and functional.You are very talented Craig!
Posted by Leslie Godbold, Motivation Speaker, Radio host "Positively Living" (WZGM AM1350 Independent Asheville Radio) over 13 years ago
WOW Craig!!  I love how you think of EVERYTHING!!! :)  It's BEAUTIFUL!  If it is up and running...I'm going to re-send some invitations to the ones who haven't joined yet...maybe the new entrance will persuade them to have a look around!  Thank you!!!!
Posted by Teresa Meyer, Home Staging Cincinnati-OH. (Cincinnati Home Stager) over 13 years ago
WOW..can I get you to do all my design work? You have a real gift my friend.
Posted by James Frazier (James Frazier Personal Development Coach) over 13 years ago

Everything you touch turns beautiful!

Posted by Lori Gilmore, One Savvy Move Home Staging (One Savvy Move) over 13 years ago
Craig, you are amazing!  I love how you come up with these designs.
Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 13 years ago




Posted by No Longer Available over 13 years ago

 Hey you, i mean me.  Howzit? cool.. i loved this graphic.. cool stuff dude. the page it links to is rocking brother.. btw, did you mean my other right? (as in left?).

i'm not sure i would go as far to say UGLY, but i wont disagree with you. that being said, the functionality of it is working. look at it with search engine eyes.. >hint<

later gator..

Posted by Nick M., Realtor-Appraiser in West Palm-South Florida Real Estate Appraiser (Certified Residential Appraiser- West Palm Beach Real Estate) over 13 years ago

You cover all the bases and the curb appeal, too!  Great entry!  Is the doorway from Santorini? 



Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago
Very pretty.  You do know how to dress a blog.  Gorgeous door.
Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 13 years ago
Well, what if you don't like Stucco?...hehe
Posted by Rich Jacobson, Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker (Fathom Realty West Sound) over 13 years ago
Wow Craig, I love it! I know I've told you are so talented!
Posted by Laura Monroe, Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media (Inman News ) over 13 years ago
Awesome Craig! You are so fantastic and very talented!
Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, NH Real Estate Broker (Prudential Verani Realty) over 13 years ago
Very nice Craig. It's really inviting. AR needs one of those on the front page. How about stage this place for us? 
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 13 years ago

Are you sure you are in the right profession... Seems you have so many talents!!!

I think that's an awesome way to invite peers to the rain.  Talk about inviting!

Posted by Alyse Bromberg (Dressed for Success) over 13 years ago

 what a great way to promote Active Rain on your website.  It's a beautiful welcome!  And a clever way to give a special invite to others. Michelle did a wonderful job!

You 'stage' everything!!  (and so very well) 

Posted by Jessica Hughes (Ambiance Staging) over 13 years ago
I like the term "gateway" as an entrance and passage into something - it's inviting and warm a bridge to come over to the other side and visit for a while.  How welcoming and perfect as an intro into AR!  How do you find the time to do all that you do Mr. Schiller?
Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago

Craig: We can add nothing original to the comments, thus far so—WOW!

Jay & Med
Posted by Boomer Jack Boardman & Carl McIntyre, the Codgers (Noted Curmudgeons) over 13 years ago long have you had the  I just noticed this :)
Posted by Teresa Meyer, Home Staging Cincinnati-OH. (Cincinnati Home Stager) over 13 years ago

Oooo. Misty likes it :)

She likes it a lot. Makes her think calm and soothing thoughts :)


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

Amazing ~ Awesome ~ Attention-Getting. 

Craig, are you available for marketing consultations??!!  You are truly a staging GURU.  Thanks for always working to make this industry excel.

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 13 years ago

Craig - Do these ideas just light upon your mind?  This is great! Your gift is getting bigger and bigger! Keep blogging the skies the limit!   Sue Shockley - HIDDEN POTENTIAL - Home Staging & Redesign

After thought -  you are a gift to all of us on AR! Thanks for sharing your talents with us!

Posted by Sue Shockley over 13 years ago
Craig, I like the way it looks, who knows maybe the ActiveRain decision makers will like it also and use it.
Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 13 years ago


Thanks for the post. By the way, isn't it about the small things collectively making a bold statement?..........At least that's the message I got...........Stage It Forward!

Posted by William Collins, Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) over 13 years ago
Great idea!!  I agree the front page is very boring.  Maybe you could work with the makers of the site and help them to update it.
Posted by Amy Laws (HL4LIFE) over 13 years ago
Craig this is terrific. Just think someday soon you and I will be saying - Remember when Active Rain.....
Posted by Dena Stevens Coriz, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) over 13 years ago
Wow! That looks great! Staging our front door is too cool!
Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) over 13 years ago
Posted by Jon Washburn over 13 years ago

Craig....One Word..... UNBELIEVABLE!!!!  When can we make the switch. I have signed up almost 100 new members and this door is such a warmer welcome and very professional. When is the upgrade? You're Hired!! Greatest Post Yet.



Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 13 years ago


Very nice idea and good work :) hope that it will work


Posted by Ray Saenz, Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor (Exit Realty Laredo) over 13 years ago

Yes we agree that our site is well, a little ugly.  Here is a design that I put together last Saturday.  To make AR look like this would involve an entire site redesign and we don't have the development resources to dedicate to that right now, so we are probably going to wait a few months before we begin this type of undertaking. (Plus Matt wants to get a professional UI contractor to make sure that we do it right!) 

However, we are going to use some of the design element displayed above in a mini redesign of the index page that should go up sometime next week.  I would love to know what y'all think about it. 

Posted by Jon Washburn over 13 years ago
i think i just p'd my pants. that happens when i get excited.   -anon
Posted by Nick M., Realtor-Appraiser in West Palm-South Florida Real Estate Appraiser (Certified Residential Appraiser- West Palm Beach Real Estate) over 13 years ago
You have my vote!!!  we need to make the world a little prettier....and AR can definitely use a little makeover.
Posted by Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate (Majestic Properties) over 13 years ago
I really like Craig's redesign, but yes, anything you do in the meantime is a positive change. 
Posted by Steve Scheer, Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate (Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers) over 13 years ago

Nothing I can add except to say WOW and thanks, Craig. It needs it. Localism as well. Need I say more?


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 13 years ago
Brilliant...I'm proud to be a member of such a sophisticated and professional group.
Posted by Melody Young, Auto Broker-Milestone Motoring (Milestone Motoring - Auto Broker/Dealer) over 13 years ago
Craig, is there anything that you can't do? This is fabulous...very impressive and such a heartfelt gift to all. You have pushed the bar and hopefully there will be more to come. Good job, Craig.
Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) over 13 years ago
You stagers are just too darn creative. Puts the rest of us to shame.  After reading your post and many of the comments I'm almost embarrassed to say it never occured to me to even notice AR's front door. OK...maybe that's something in and of itself. But nevertheless, your input is valued my many here at AR and your creativity and style are respected. 
Posted by Kelly Kilpatrick, Broker-Associate over 13 years ago
Craig-thanks for making Jonathan admit that they're working on it!  You stagers are worth every penny.
Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) over 13 years ago

Very creative.  I wish I could come up with some of these fantastic ideas.

Posted by Cindy Jones over 13 years ago

Craig, it's all been said I'm sure, but ... NICE JOB !


Posted by Sandi Gerrard over 13 years ago
Very nice! Stagers thinking outside the box.  I love the bright colors!  It is proof that we must not forget the entrance and the front door- it is the first thing people see- it can engage and intrigue or prevent them from entering!
Posted by Ginger Wilcox (Sindeo) over 13 years ago


Great post.... I love all the talent on this site and the willingness everyone has to share with everyone.   Thanks again

Posted by Desiree Daniels (RE/MAX Tri County) over 13 years ago

Jonathan.. I think your new mini redesign looks good.  Active Rain has never bothered me. I like simple.     It isn't gorgeous but it does not offend me.

That new site that is an Active Rain clone (the Doctor one?) on the other hand I think looks tacky.. I think Wanna Network looks tacky... but what do I know?  

What is a "UI contractor"?

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 13 years ago

LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  two thumbs up from me, if they count!


Posted by Abby Reilly over 13 years ago
It's you want to do my doorway??? It looks good. I am amazed at what you can do on a computer.
Posted by Christy Powers, Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) over 13 years ago
Wow, I'd like to have the listing that goes with that door. Beautiful.
Posted by George W. Miller, Naugatuck and Beacon Falls Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) over 13 years ago
Really great ! Way to go. Can we keep it, use it, have parties on the other side? Just teasin'- Really really nice. : )
Posted by Kelli Fronabarger, Realtor - Bend Oregon (Bend River Realty Inc.) over 13 years ago
How cool Fav C. OMG I am blown away.  How you keep doing that to me is amazing :-)  Gorgeous
Posted by Carole Cohen, Realtor, ePRO (Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office) over 13 years ago
I predict Jane Fonda is on the other side of that door. - Carnac
Posted by Linda Davis (RE/MAX Home Team) over 13 years ago
Wowie, that's great!  You're just an all around great designer. This just isn't something that can be taught!
Posted by Lisa Dunn, (Edina Realty) over 13 years ago

Craig: Kudos!!! You always have creative ideas. I dont doubt you are a great business man.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 13 years ago
Craig, great job thank you...just started with active rain myself..and I am finding that I can't stay of the site.  I started 4 days ago and my score is almost 6000 this now I just need to find time to do an open house  LOL just kidding.
Posted by Bruce Edgerly (Ogunquit Sunrise Properties) over 13 years ago

Craig, That is a really cool entry that you created, and why aren't we using it for Active Rain? well maybe in the future. Thanks for the post!!

Good Day!! have a cup of java and a smile on me :)

Posted by Duayne Weir, Minnesota Real Estate Agent (Investment Realities LLC/MarketLink Realty) over 13 years ago

Great job....let's get 'the powers that be' to implement this change! 

Now, what about

Posted by Devon Cerniga (Coldwell Banker Faucette Real Estate) over 13 years ago

Very catchy!  I love it.

I would really like to see this implemented. 

Posted by Molly S Ringer, Realtor Lake County FL Luxury Homes (Weichert Hallmark Properties) over 13 years ago

As a 'stager' I think this is a great idea. I love the concept. Good work. I never thought of it but it would be nice to come thru a prettier door.

Posted by Kathy Somers, Stage it First Home Staging (Stage it First) over 13 years ago
Nice work Craig,  excellent design. 
Posted by Anonymous over 13 years ago