Yesterday, I attended the 2nd Annual ReBarCamp San Francisco Its just over a year since I attended the first one in San Francisco, just before Imman Connect where AgentGenius won the Award for the most innovative Blog. That event has been well chronicled, and has had an incredible reprise yesterday when the most familiar figures of the RE.net met once again to share and learn about social media . But its been a long year, and it seems like an awful long journey for me and the real estate industry.
The San Francisco BarCamp was the brain child of Todd Carpenter, Andy Kaufman, and Brad Coy whose major concern last year was if there would be enough people to maybe make it happen a second time. Since then the phenomenon has spread through the real estate industry like wildfire.
I’m not sure why ReBarCamps have grown as rapidly as they have. It may be that real estate professionals are just so hungry for knowledge that they embrace every opportunity to learn and congregate. It might be that they’re just all different. The volunteers that host each REBarcamp each have different venues and thoughts about the process, so each one that I’ve attended has had a distinct flavor. This year’s version of the San Francisco event was larger, more diverse, and really well produced. The social element was there, as the CEOs of real estate technology companies mixed and mingled with real estate agents and brokers of all degrees of experience. I got to met Ken Brand (who rocks) and even had the honor of being confused with Jay Thompson, the Phoenix Real Estate Guy.
This year, Ginger Wilcox added “Housing for the Homeless“,a charitable component to the event. Taking advantage of the ReBarCamp frenzy, Ginger (and the rest of the ReBarCamp organizers and volunteers) stepped up to mobilize the power of our community to help those in our communities whose needs align oddly with our profession. The final count is not in, but Ginger’s idea is, even in the first blush, an amazing success, raising thousands of dollars to help those whose plight is the antithesis of our industry’s promise to the American public.
Hopefully this component of the ReBarCamp phenomenon will continue to be part of the next ReBarCamps in Columbus, Washington DC, Miami, Lynchburg, etc. Brad, Todd, Andy and Ginger have proven that we can make a difference to our professiona, and now that we can make a difference to our communitites. Let’s run with this as well.