The ActiveRain Stuff You Won't Find Anywhere Else on the Web

10 Ways To Lose Your Online Business

These are just a few ways I’ve seen large and small business owners and marketers fail or lose business from their online efforts or lack thereof.  There is no perfect science for online success, but there are some simple principles and methods that should be considered if you’re serious about building and growing your online presence and business.


10. Don’t market and advertise your page or site properly and effectively.

Word of mouth is just the beginning of getting the word out to your potential prospects and clients.  Linking to your site from every possible social network and profile on the web is an often missed opportunity by many.  Adding links back to the mother-ship in your email signatures and other strategic locations can never hurt the volume of visitors you'll generate.

(Not understanding and maximizing SEO may also be one of the greatest missed opportunities)

9. Use controversial content that creates “camps” or makes people choose “in” or “out”

Your opinions and expressed feelings regarding Politics, Religion, and a variety of other topics can and will create a parting of the ways with much of your traffic if you’re not careful.  Avoiding the “Like” versus “Don’t Like” or “I’m with you” vs “Against You” is advice I hear often from successful professionals online.  Don’t make readers choose a camp, it may not be yours.

8. Spend too much time just playing on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

If you poke 3o people a day on Facebook, that’s nice.  If you tell everyone following you on Twitter your play-by-play plans for the day and share photos of every image your eyeballs land on, that’s really cool.  If you’ve signed up on over 15+ social networks and feel guilty that you haven’t visited each one and updated your status, you may want to get help!?! 

STOP IT! Your business should come first!

7. Focusing on making money instead of providing value-added content.

Sell, Sell, Sell.  Me, Me, Me!  This won’t work off-line, and it certainly won’t work online.  Providing value with absolutely no expectation of anything in return over time will produce relationships which are necessary if you ever want to do business. This doesn’t mean to give up the farm and all your goods, just use a strategy that builds like, trust, and a rapport.  The rest will fall into place when you connect and meet IRL.  (In Real Life)

6. Trying to build traffic and analytics instead of building quality relationships.

Some people get very excited about the amount of traffic their sites and blogs generate every hour, day, and month.  They feel and believe that just because they are on the first page of the search engines for certain keywords and phrases that they are successful. Even with 500 hits to your site an hour, if you haven’t created or built one single relationship, then what is the point?  Don’t count hits, count trips to the bank.

5. Don’t know your markets, your products, your tools, and your service areas.

Let me look into that for you…  I’m not sure?  Hmmm… that’s a great question?  Let me see, not sue what I can do?  Not sure if that’s an option?  What does that mean and where did you hear that?  Are you kidding me, are you nuts?  These are all comments and signs that you may want to know a little more about your market, product, business, or service.  You are the expert, it’s no different when your doctor says… “Hmm… I’ve never heard of that before…”  Yikes!

4. Lack in response time to online contacts.  The sting and power of the 1st hour.

100% of online contacts have the option of being mobile and 100% of people usually are.  What percentage of people want to “WAIT” to hear back from you for any reason at all?  NONE. This is why text messaging has become the fastest and most popular way for the world to communicate.  It is the number one communication tool besides face-to-face and the phone.  Answer your phone.  Respond to email quickly.  Online contacts will often wait 3-5 minutes before they’re gone…FOREVER!

3. Don't use a good CRM to manage campaigns and follow-up with online contacts.

If you can’t remember what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner two weeks ago on Thursday, then there is no way on earth you’re going to remember what you’re suppose to do two weeks from tomorrow at 10am, 1pm, and 7:30pm regarding your business, clients, follow-up, or personal life.  Most people can’t even remember what to get at the grocery store so they bring their detailed store CRM with them.  (The Shopping List)  You NEED a “shopping list” for your business as well.

2. No calls-to-action, no methods of next-step, and no form of contact capture.

Your website may get hundreds of hits. Your various blogs may have thousands of readers and subscribers.  Your real estate MLS or IDX might produce millions of visitors but if you have no form of contact capture or call to action, then why even bother being online, spending the time, money, and effort to build your online presence and empire?  It’s OK to give information and share value-added content but don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.  Use multiple and creative ways to capture contacts.

1. Don’t update ALL your online profiles and sites: email, phone, contact info etc.

You have a company website, you have 3 niche websites, you have 4 really cool traffic driving blogs, and now you’re on more than 15 20 30 different social networks and sites including Four-Square, Yelp, and Google+.  Changes in real life are inevitable so don’t forget to make those changes online as well.  Watch out for “Page Cannot Be Displayed”  “500 Server Error” or that infamous phone recording “This number is no longer in service” and the worse one is when the email auto-responders says “mailer daemon is undeliverable.”  Make sure you Keep track of your online bread-crumbs.

“Maybe I should rename this article the “10 Ways To Grow Your Online Business!”



"Learn More. Get More. Do More. Be More."

Comment balloon 72 commentsBrad Andersohn • November 27 2011 01:33PM


Brad * thank you for the REconfirmation of when we do stuff corrected.

I used to spend thousand$ of dollar$ in print media and now I am $pending my time to gain more dollar$ and I am enjoying it.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 9 years ago

 Sitting in my open house with just a few people trickling through this list has given me focus and energy.

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®) almost 9 years ago

Content and relationships! I agree.

Posted by Harley Wilcox, Harley Wilcox (West Group Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I confess, I'm guilty as charged.  As least on numbers 2 and 3. 

I'm a move manager, not a real estate professional.  (We help seniors (and younger people too) relocate, downsize and declutter with ease.)  I still learn a lot from the blog posts here at Active Rain, and this was a particularly useful one for me.

I'm actively fixing number 2, and number 3 is next on the list. 

Thanks very much for the list!

Posted by Katie Munoz (Moving Forward Inc) almost 9 years ago

Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) almost 9 years ago

Hey Brad, hope you had a wonderful holiday with family!  Awesome tips to key doubt the above thumbs up...

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

A wise person once told me that if I choose to the do the right thing, the money will follow so #7 rings especially true for me.  I've watched my online business explode in ways I never could have imagined from focusing on value added content--not to mention what original content does for your google ratings which in turn drives more online business.

Posted by Judi Monday, CRS-Green Valley AZ Expert, Green Valley Arizona R (RE/MAX Valley Properties) almost 9 years ago

I love this post . Most of the time we see the ways to do things. This opposite approach made for a great read thanks

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( almost 9 years ago

All good points!  Especailly important is #9 in my opinion.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 9 years ago

That pretty much covers it! It's not the platforms, the toys and gadgets, or cranking out blah blah blah or sell sell sell... It's about the relationships! Good reminders...

Posted by Rene Fabre, Marketing in the Digital Age (First American Title) almost 9 years ago


Thanks for the great information.  It all rings true.  I Bookmarked it and will re-read.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for a good list. I tell my copywriting clients not to mention politics or religion unless they only want to do business with those who agree with them.

But, as I found out recently, sometimes silence is taken as disagreement. It depends on how radical the would-be client happens to be.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 9 years ago

#8...OOPS! Yeah I probably do more than necessary! Hope you guys had a fantasticThanksgiving!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Well written, Brad. An excellent list I'll be sure to reference.

Posted by Kim Gaston, Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987 (RE/MAX Advantage Realty) almost 9 years ago

Brad, this is stuff we all know we should do, but might not keep up with all the time. Thanks!

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) almost 9 years ago

Brad yes you should change the Title:) Great advice as always! hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 9 years ago

Details, Details, Details, - You are right.  Keeping up with all the time management aspects of a company is just one aspect of the business.  Remembering to communicate with people in a timely fashion is extremely important and all the blogs and web sites in the world will never replace that.  

Posted by Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team (Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams) almost 9 years ago

Good things to think about as I sit here restructuring my website!  The latest info on a website is very important.  Thanks, too, for the other reminders.  Building relationships is the best part of this job! 

Posted by Mary McGuire, Broker (TODAY Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Nag nag nag!! =)

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 9 years ago

Hi Brad.  I agree with almost everything you said.  However, expert or not, I do not think it is a reasonable expectation, for any professional, to have "all" of the answers all of the time.   I do think, it is best practice, to honestly answer "let me check into that for you", rather than make up an answer. 

Posted by Former Agent (None) almost 9 years ago

Number 3 is one I'm dealing with right now. Thought I had a good system but am now looking for something more powerful any recommendations?


Posted by Nancy Laswick, Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun (United Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Brad:  Excellent advice that is really practical and relatively easy to implement, follow-up on, and keep maintained.  It's all about having a plan and executing it. 


Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055) almost 9 years ago

Wallace - spending time is spending money, both to be invested wisely.  :-)

Larry - may your open house today connect you to plenty of new contacts and great relationships.

Harley - agreed.

Katie - There is always room for improvement for us all, myself included.  I actually wrote these for me and accidentally made it a public post instead of draft.  lol~ 

William - thanks.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 9 years ago

I'm guilty of a couple of those from time to time.  Will have to try to keep my controversial content to my self.  Or Not. 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 9 years ago

excellent post Brand for newbies, and oldies and a great reminder to those who may have forgotten why there are on the site :)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 9 years ago

Hey Brad,

Great stuff (as usual from you) on this one! I've got lots of room for improvement myself...thanks for the reminders.

Btw, missed seeing you at NAR a few weeks ago. I asked about you on Mon. at your booth only to find out that Sun. was your last day.

Happiest of holidays to you and yours my friend!

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) almost 9 years ago

I agree with everything you have in this list.  I think the most important two things are quick response to leads and having your site updated frequently to make sure everything is current.

Posted by Doug Bullwinkel, Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609 (Envoy Mortgage,NMLS ID 6666) almost 9 years ago

I would like to quote Bill Archambault: "  "

Posted by Ken Cook, Content Marketer/Creator (Content, coding, marketing, host.) almost 9 years ago

Just reading the list gives me a headache. All we mortals can hope for is to do most things right, most of the time and hope that it's enough.

I'm sending you an email.

Hope you're well and happy ;-).


Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) almost 9 years ago

Brad ~ thanks for these excellent reminders.  I so agree that we could go overboard on the analytics and not pay attention to good content!  I need to get busy and get with Google + and also update all my profiles (hope I can find them all LOL)

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 9 years ago

Great tips and good reminders, Call to Action is very important, I also think for each niche websites there should be very different call to action to be relevant. Great new banner by the way!

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Excellent advice as always Brad. I have cut back on a lot of the social sites because it is too easy to lose focus.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) almost 9 years ago

Hello Brad,

Great post. All the points you mentioned are  very important.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Tatyana Makarov, Your Greater Hartford Area Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Hi Brad,

So easy to get bogged down with focussing on the busy stuff, rather than the value added information that grows your reputation.


Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 9 years ago

Good reminder list.  I took notes for reference.                                             


Posted by Jerry Morse, BBA,GRI (The Morse Company) almost 9 years ago

Brad ~ Karen would really like to repeat Phillip..haha...but you are so right ...we need to be on our toes always looking for ways to improve and follow thru!!

Posted by Karen Baker, Professional Help with Rapid Responses... (Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty) almost 9 years ago

Brad, sage advice from none other than the Master of how to do all this the right way! Hope to find time to attend some of your classes soon :) Hope you had a very wonderful Thanksgiving!


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 9 years ago

Brad I love the list. Number 6 is probably my favorite one. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) almost 9 years ago

I must say, quality relationships are trump. They make everything worth while and create the most important connections. Great post and thanks for sharing! Keep up the good work!

Posted by Ben Blonder, Buyers, Sellers, Investors! (Broker/Owner, Keller Williams) almost 9 years ago

Brad, that is a great list and I will be saving this one to refer to it often.

Posted by Steve Warrene, Pittsburgh Real Estate Investment Specialists (Your Town Realty) almost 9 years ago

YIKES! Spending too much time playing at ActiveRain -- GUILTY!!! I have got to put a time limit on this! :O)

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) almost 9 years ago


EXCELLENT points. You could run a webinar on each point alone.  This could be a whole series for you because there are certainly many agents that need help with many of these points.  I would admit I would tune in just to make sure I am on track.  I have been guilty of spending too much time on Crackbook at times. 

Posted by Larry Story, Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate (Total Care Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Brad--really great post.  Fortunately I can check "yes" to most of these, but it does appear that I have some work to do.  Thanks for all this information. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Hi Brad - this is an excellent list and reminders about what to include when you are blogging.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) almost 9 years ago

Terrific list, that many should post on their social media walls.

Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) almost 9 years ago

Excellent list, Brad.  I definitely want to keep this one around so it's bookmarked for future use.  Thanks!

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 9 years ago

Quite a list of things to keep paying attention to.

Posted by Alan Abramson, Luxurious Waterfront & Club Communities (RE/MAX Complete Solutions) almost 9 years ago

Certainly #3 is something I need to work on in 2012. Thanks for the gentle nudge. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 9 years ago

Hi Brad - Your points are excellent reminders on issues that one needs to consider when online marketing.

Posted by FN LN almost 9 years ago

Great list , I'm bookmarking it and will add it to a class I teach ! Thanks

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) almost 9 years ago

Great guideline!  Thanks for giving us a good checklist to follow.

Posted by Barbara Calwhite, 417-438-7387 Specializing in Relocation (Keller Williams Realty of Southwest Missouri) almost 9 years ago

That is a very good list!  So what you are saying is that my poking 30 people a day on FB isn't helping my business grow??  :) 

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 9 years ago

I am thankfully not doing most of this but a few I have to admit I am working on bettering! I guess the main thing is to know that you have the problem in the first place!! Hope your Monday is not so Monday-ish! :)

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I was looking into ways to jump start my business for 2012, and this is great information. Thank you for this article. This article and some webinars will go a long way.

Posted by Adrian Kindred (Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 9 years ago


Great list!  It's important to be doing business smart and this is a fabulous list to follow.

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

Enjoyed reading the comments that were posted, also like the updated photo, California living is fun, have a great time with your family over the holidays 2011. Your post was very insightful.

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) almost 9 years ago

Brad~What a great list-thanks for sharing. I've bookmarked this for future reference.

Posted by Michael S. Bolton, MN Appraiser (Michael S. Bolton,Inc.) almost 9 years ago
Fantastic list, brad! I am guilty of #6 but have been working for months to change the site content so that its primary focus isn't SEO.
Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group) almost 9 years ago

Hi Brad, this a nice list. For me #4, #3 and #2 are really important. by giving the reader permission to call you and by having a contact form and or IDX links that match the content of that particular blog post can be very helpful in attracting a readers attention. The CRM I use is Property Minder. The reason, it is simple to use. By using forms, and IDX links from this site you can database each lead and set the up quickly on a plan  ( such as Buyer, Seller,Short Sale, Relocating Buyer Plan ) They will also receive holiday cards and touches throughout the year. Everything is automated.

Posted by Peggy James, Woodbridge Virginia Area Real Estate Specialist (EXIT Realty Associates) almost 9 years ago

Hi Brad,

You changed everything up since the last post I read!

Like the header.

(Oh, and the content too)


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) almost 9 years ago


I don't know how anyone keeps up with all that, great reminder to those who have those sites out there and need to go clean them up.

Posted by Valerie Duncan Stewart, Real Estate Agent-Broker, OKC, OK ((Metro First Realty)) almost 9 years ago

you're so right about responding to online enquiries instantly, I manage a bunch of lead generating campaigns for 9 different realtors and I can see how they all respond to their leads and to their enquiries and the fastest responders have way more going on with their leads than the slow ones

Posted by Adam Todd (LeadTrader PRO) almost 9 years ago

I cant believe that you think I cant talk online all day long and be productive in business. Isnt that how everyone is doing it... just talking and talking? :-)   These are great points and OH so true!

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 almost 9 years ago

Thanks everyone for all your great comments and to AR for the feature. 

As always, I have read every comment (some of them twice) and although I'd love to comment back to each of you personally, my time tonight doesn't permit it.  The kids need Dad and the wife... well, we've all seen the infamous honey-do list! lol~ 

I'll be back to answer some questions in the morning...

@Nancy - regarding your question about #3, I just posted this...
CRM's are NOT Yet Over-Rated


Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Brad!  I don't do too many of these things, thank goodness!  I do need to work on my contact capture though!  Been thinking about trying Market Leader but I just don't know!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) almost 9 years ago


It's pretty scary, and humbling, to look at all the things we could easily do that would harm our on-line presence, perhaps without even realizing it. It makes my brain ache.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

DeeDee - there are some great tools and sites, people using squeeze pages, contact forms, IDX and MLS contact capture, even text messaging widgets and services etc.  If you need help or want some ideas and insights, feel free to contact me anytime.

Jeff - I hardly believe that you have anything to worry about.  Failure is not an option any more than hope is a strategy!

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 9 years ago

Consistently offering something the real estate buyer or seller can expect anytime they dial in, that they need, can use and that is service helpful wins an audience. Be a little red hen not a mirror mirror on the wall kind of real estate agent, broker. It's not about you, it's about them. Provide the buffet of local area information for the outside buyer that needs to be brought up to speed before they can make the shift to looking over what you have listed, are peddling.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 9 years ago

All key points. The big challenge is to have a social media/online marketing plan and stick to it.  A big part of that plan should be boundaries to never touch.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Great list.  I feel bad about my slow response time to online leada.  I will have to step it up a notch.  Thanks for the push.

Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) almost 9 years ago

Karen - with the mobile device movement across the globe, we no longer have the luxury of responding to contacts when it's convenient for us. 30 percent of the 25,000,000 unique users that come to over the weekends each month (on average) are on a mobile device. They're in their cars, on their bikes, walking in the communities, in the neighborhoods, on the streets in front of homes and listings.

They are contacting agents right then and there and want.... no... they expect a response and quickly.  I say avoid the potential of a lost contact by answering your phone whenever possible, and get back to contacts within 5 minutes and no longer. The agents I've talked to that are doing this are having great success converting those online contacts into clients. Much moreso than agents waiting an hour, a few hours, or till the next day to respond.

Not trying to push anyone here, just trying to help. :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 9 years ago

Very useful and important points. Thanks for sharing this great article with us, Brad. Best wishes!

Posted by Jark Krysinski *PREC (Personal Real Estate Corporation), TeamYVR Team Leader, BA,ABR,IRES,IMSD,LLB (REMAX CREST REALTY WESTSIDE) almost 9 years ago