Hawaii Real Estate | Hawaii Relocations | Hawaii Home Buying & Selling


The Connections We Make on ActiveRain---Meeting Neal Bloom


I started blogging on ActiveRain  in March of 2007, and I have made friends over the years with many an ActiveRainer. The connections I have made on this Real Estate Network have been rewarding for the information I’ve received, referrals to and from other members, creating my website in a blog format and actually getting to meet many of them….way across the Pacific Ocean.


Lucky I live Hawaii!  That is one of the slangs we use when we are telling others that we are fortunate to live in Hawaii. When it comes to comparison on meeting others I’ve made friends with on ActiveRain it holds true because…..they come to visit Hawaii.


Of course, Randy Prothero invited me to ActiveRain in late 2006 and when I first posted he had been and still is my main support.  He is busy with his Real Estate life and has moved from our company to being part owner of another and starting The Prothero Group.


When we make friends through blogging on ActiveRain and we finally meet, we are not surprised that the person behind the words is exactly as they portrayed to be. Usually, those that I clicked with are amazingly… just as I imagined. 


It’s an amazing place, this ActiveRain. We’ve changed over the years and it is HUGE compared to back when I started. Back then, we made friends quicker with that small group back then...but we carried the friendships through today. Surprisingly, many of us still try to log in and read blogs as often as time will allow.


Neal Bloom is another one I made friends with in the early days of ActiveRain.  He used to talk about the Brady Bunch when they went to Hawaii. He had never been to Hawaii and as luck would have it….we finally met last Thursday. (Randy had met him years back at one of the NAR conferences) . I picked up Randy and his wife Darnelle (who is now working for Randy as a transaction manager) and we made the trip to Waikiki and met Neal at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

EDIT:  Per John Novak's comment below>>>>>>Many Rainers might not know that Neal is the one who started the tradition of the ActiveRain Week in Review, all the way back in 2007. That was probably one of the biggest reasons that the AR community was so strong in the early years.

It’s been over 7 years of knowing Neal and upon meeting him I was not surprised at all. He IS the person behind his words and a down to earth kind of guy. The nicest person (don’t repeat that) you’d ever want to meet! We went to the Rainbow Lanai for a buffet breakfast and good conversation.


After a couple of hours of non stop conversation it was time to go. Along the way back to the parking garage, we met his beautiful wife, Wendy and his daughter and her friend by the pool. A lovely family Neal has! They stayed on Oahu until Saturday and are now on Maui and enjoying the deep blue sea.


It’s the content of the blogs


…and the people behind the words.


That make ActiveRain.


A Hui Hou (until we meet again) Neal!!





Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.





Comment balloon 36 commentsCeleste "SALLY" Cheeseman • June 17 2013 07:05PM


Sally it truly is the people behind the words........and so many great people!  So glad you could finally meet him and that you all enjoyed your visit.  A gift!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales, 603-380-4886 (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 6 years ago

I haven't been on Active Rain as long, but I do feel that I have made some good friends here.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) over 6 years ago

Sally, Neal is also one of the people that I connected early on here in the Rain.  He is someone that I would also like to meet face to face if I ever make it down to Florida.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 6 years ago

Sally,There is nothing like meeting face to face. It is why I am such a big proponent of AR Meet-Ups.  We don't need to wait for a formal AR meet-up to meet-up with those we connect with in the Rain.  It's awesome that you were all able to connect.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 6 years ago

Sally - Sounds like he's every bit the cutie I imagined him to be. It sounds like a very nice time, even if only a short visit.

Posted by Carol Culkin, Overland Park (Reece & Nichols) over 6 years ago

thanks Anna:  It was great couple of hours! Now I can say we met now too :)

Kathy:  We all have made friends...old and new.

George: One of the old gang for sure. We have to get together more often...here on the rain...and keep it alive by showing everyone how we "grew" with this network. So cool! Some things have changed...okay...a lot has changed but the one thing that is constant...is keeping our blog new and alive...

Kathleen:  The 'problem' with meetups here is not too many are here on island that are AR addicts. The ones that used to be are still coming on AR as time permits.  One thing is for sure...when most that I am close with come to visit...we are getting together. It still becomes a scheduled "AR meetup" for those that are vacationing here. The neat thing about this one is that Neal doubted he would ever get over here...and look...it happened!  He already met Randy before ...and they got to connect again...and it was special for me because we all knew each other but I don't travel much and he got to visit Hawaii and I got to meet him!

Carol:  He is very entertaining and the nicest guy!  I wish we had more time! 

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 6 years ago

Many Rainers might not know that Neal is the one who started the tradition of the ActiveRain Week in Review, all the way back in 2007. That was probably one of the biggest reasons that the AR community was so strong in the early years.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 6 years ago

Sally, I haven't met too many Rainers in Person, but I would sure love too, and I would like to attend the next local gathering.Thanks for sharing! Oh...and I've always wanted to see Beautiful Hawaii! I'm dreamin' already!

Posted by Tamra Lee Ulmer, FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD! (Arizona Resource Realty) over 6 years ago

I imagine if there was an Active Rain event close I would attend. Curiosity for the most part. Want to see if their fingers are as blistered as mine from all the typing.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 6 years ago


Active Rain is great for making long distance connections.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 6 years ago

That was great seeing Neal again.  Thank you Sally for putting that together.  Good friends and a great place to get togther!

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

What an inspiring post!  I am so glad that you got to finally meet Neal.  I hope you are able to catch up again soon.  I am a new agent and I would like to make those kind of connections on ActiveRain too :)

Posted by Karen Johnson, Realtor, ABR, "Bucks County PA Homes" (Addison Wolfe Real Estate ) over 6 years ago

John...you are soooo right!  I will edit my post here to include that!!! thank you!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 6 years ago

Karen:  And if you need any help from any of us...we are all here!

Randy:  You and Darnelle are the bomb! 

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 6 years ago

Sally, I have met some Rainers that live close and it has been really special. I have others across the country I would love to meet in person. One day maybe.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 6 years ago

Sally, what a great story and how special to finally meet Neal in person! Love the photos :) Sharon

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 6 years ago

How exciting to make and keep connections on Active Rain. It is especially wonderful to meet one of our active rain family face to face. It is an extraordinary experience.. one that is priceless!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 6 years ago

That sounds like a lot of fun.  There are many I have met in my 5 months here so far that I hope to meet in person someday.  The support has been incredible.  My two daughters love Hawaii possibly even more than my dad.  I think my 9 year old has been to Hawaii 9 times so far in her short life.

Posted by Scott Larson, Park City, Utah Real Estate News (BHHS/Utah Properties) over 6 years ago

What an awesome threesome. Would love to meet all of you.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 6 years ago

Don't burn bridges :)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 6 years ago

Sally, as a senior member of ActiveRain, I like your interactions and stories with other Rainers - and may be, few years from now when I have visited Hawaii...

In a nutshell - I feel a void if I don't read my favorites, be it 1 AM EST or even 3 AM!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 6 years ago

What fun, Sally. I would love to meet Neal some day. I've known him since the early days! Your post takes me back to OUR visit to Honolulu back in 2008 - we were at the Hawaiian Village as well for the CRS convention.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 6 years ago

Hello from Maui HI! I'm still here until wed so I'm not on the Internet since I'm out side right now on my phone. Great seeing Randy again and his wife. Yes finally met Sally although we've talked on the phone over the years. Been on here since 2006 when there were only a few of us. I think started and went to the first meet up back in 2006. Been to about 4 in FL. Met up with TLW and Bryant a few times,Kept in touch with a few on here, John,George,Sharon,Susan,and even was a guest on Magarets radio show a few times, just to name a few. I'm not on here as much as I would like but I've gotten a few referrals and made somgo friends with some good people... Peace out from paradise!

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Oh I forgot you too Jeff Dowler!

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Sally, how wonderful! Some day I hope you will be posting about how we met in real life... it would mean I not only got to  meet you, but a dream came true about being in Hawaii, LOL!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 6 years ago

Sally, it's always nice to meet the real person in the photos. Sounds like you had a great time.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

The island life...I never tire of hearing about Hawaii and if you add "rain" stories to it...well it captures interest

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

It is a great honor when we meet each other in person. Make it happen

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 6 years ago

It's definitely the people behind the words but, you're right, I don't believe friendships are forming as quickly or solidly since ActiveRain has grown.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 6 years ago

Although, I have met many local AR members, I've not had the pleasure of meeting any out-of-state. It sounds like a good reason to go to Hawaii.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Neal:  We couldn't list all of the people we connected with. I've made a few additional even if it's gotten bigger. I was taking the time to acknowledge you. Just as in person you are humble online with your comment. Thanks for taking the time out of your vacation to meet with us. Meetups are hard to come by here and it usually happens when a long time member comes here to visit. I am glad you made it to Hawaii....I really thought you wouldn't as you kept  saying how it was too far to travel!

Jeff: I loved that first and only get together with MANY of you attending since you were in town. I have since become a CRS member and I am ...PROUD! 

Laura:  ????  I don't think that pertained to anything here?

Praful:  I would love to meet you too!!

Andrea: I am hoping one day you'll be able to make that trip (I really don't think I'll be over to the east coast again)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 6 years ago

Active Rain is a wonderful way to connect with other people. Not only do we get to network with some of the best Agents but we also gain knowledge from Agents who have a lot of expertise.


Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) over 6 years ago


Lucky to live in Hawaii, I understand, I feel blessed to have been raised in Michigan.

Your right about it being easer when AR was smaller. There were only 10,000 members when I started 6 months before you and it was nothing to get 1/3 to ½ of all the members reading your blog. I went to grade school in a very small community and it was common to know everyone a little in four townships, moved to the city to start high school and basically spent the next 22 years there, never knew all that many and I was well known.

It was easer and we refered friends to frends, like Sardi did for us.



Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 6 years ago

Sally, you have said it all...

It’s the content of the blogs


…and the people behind the words.


That make ActiveRain.

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) over 6 years ago


Creating terrific relationships along the journey is the best part of our lives!

I look forward to meeting you next time I'm in Hawaii.


Posted by Kim Carlson 480-993-9384, Valley of the Sun Realtor, Seller Specialist (www.NowSellingAZHomes.com) over 6 years ago

Sally, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet you a few years ago.  What greeting it was to see you walk through the lobby of the Hale Koa!

You are the most gracious hostess.  The Hawaiian travel agency needs to hire you as their promoter.

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) over 6 years ago

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