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Making REBarcamp RElevant

Setting Up ReBarCamp 2009

Setting Up ReBarCamp 2009

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.

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Written By

Bill is an unusual blend of Old & New - The CEO Century 21 Advantage Gold (Philadelphia's Largest Century 21 company and BuzzBuilderz (a Social Media Marketing Company), He is a Ninja CEO, blending the Web 1 and 2.0 world together in a fashion that stretches the fabric of the universe. You can follow him on twitter @Billlublin or Facebook or LinkedIn.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Ian Greenleigh

    August 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    REALTORS® helping the homeless is like…hmmm, have to think about that one for a bit. Anyone?

  2. Bill Lublin

    August 5, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Ian – Realtors helping the homeless would be like..
    Chefs feeding the hungry

    Makes sense to me…

  3. Jonathan Dalton

    August 5, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Granted, my REBCSF experience was two sessions via a computer feed but what I saw was less discussion than lecture. Which I think can be expected when the audience consists mostly of newbies.

    My hope is one day there will be content geared toward those of us who have been doing this a bit longer, a chance to share ideas and suggestions at a level that absolutely will go over the head of someone still Tweeting “it’s a great time to buy a house.”

    It’s been suggested those of us in this position ought to be leading the sessions but, honestly, my interest in lending a helping hand to the newbies en masse has faded to near zero.

    If I were smarter I’d find something to sell so at least there were a financial component to teaching but I just can’t get there for a number of reasons.

    Having said all of that … the charitable aspect was pretty cool.

  4. Wendy Hughes-Jelen

    August 5, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I met @thachnguyen at @promix on Monday night – he is an instigator of “The Contrubution Movement” contributionnetworkingparty.com.

    I just sent him a msg to be sure he will be at #REBCSEA in September – and I think it would be great if we could wrap a charitable component like this into our event. Thach is already doing this sort of thing and I am hoping he can take the lead on this, and I would be happy to help! thachnguyen.com and

  5. Wendy Hughes-Jelen

    August 5, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Sorry for the lame typos…

  6. Mark Eckenrode

    August 5, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    i share much of the sentiment that Dalton (and Toby) do however i think BarCamp is still a powerful resource to the REnet community.

    and the charity work… very awesome. props to this years organizers and attendees.

  7. Bill Lublin

    August 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Jonathan; This ReBarCamp had sessions that were Advanced, Beginner, and Everyone- at least that was the intention of the presenters. You however were missed 😉

    Wendy; It would be great for RebcSEA if you could keep the Homeless theme- but of course any charitable contribution would be awesome.

    Mark: I had no one to talk about comics with here – but the content should get stepped u as the people bring more concerns to the sessions – if we as the community members don’t make the content more advanced or relevant, then shame on us –

    Thanks to all of you for sharing and reading

  8. Bob

    August 6, 2009 at 12:23 am

    “If I were smarter I’d find something to sell so at least there were a financial component to teaching”

    The feedback I have heard today from friends and clients that attended was that many of the sessions were thinly veiled sales pitches.

    Maybe it is time to drop the barcamp part as was suggested earlier.

  9. Bill Lublin

    August 6, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Bob:
    I don’t need to defend Jonathan , but I think you take his comment out of context – he was saying that he didn’t have much interest in pro bono teaching, and if he were paid or had a financial incentive to participate he would possibly attend – however the sessions I was involved in , on REOs and on Social Capital & Social objects certainly had no sales pitch involved, nor did most of the sessions I attended. There may have been some that I didn’t see, but the Barcamp organizers had instructed everyone that “sales pitches” were not welcome – and in any case, people at BarCamps are always told to vote with their feet – if someone is presenting their product rather than a useful session, just leave – there were several sessions going on at the same time.

  10. Linda Aaron

    August 6, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Hi Bill, Thank you for posting about RE BarCamp. I am working on the Sept 8th RE BarCamp in Seattle and I wanted to let you know that our plans are to have the “something for everyone”concept as well, there will be sessions for beginners as well as advanced users.
    We loved the charitable giving aspect of the RE BarCamp San Francisco this year and have adopted the same, the group that we are working with is: Solid Ground. If anyone would like more information about that they can contact Drew Meyers from Zillow. @drewmeyers. Sponsors can contact @ajaymehta.
    Please join us for RE BarCamp Seattle in Sept.

  11. Joe Loomer

    August 6, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Would love to make the one closest to me in Augusta, GA – I’m thinking Atlanta needs to host one of these at some point. If I could find an Augusta National member who’d let us all play a round as part of the package, it’d be a no-brainer to have it here!

    Agree with Bill – but also understand the funding for these events has to come from somewhere – I assume there’s some strategic partners for these events that help defray the hosting cost.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  12. Doug Francis

    August 6, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Almost as soon as I understood the concept of Re BarCamp, I knew that I wanted to get to one. Sorry to miss the Philly one but made it to Virginia Beach to see you, Bill, in action. Glad that you made the trip!

    Why did I want to go asap? Because I knew that the longer I waited, then it was less likely that I would experience what the first participants got so excited about at SF ’08. And that was the “quality” of the people… the conversations and sharing of ideas… the energy and excitement.

    Jonathan’s comment on sharing and newbie’s is accurate, because it is exhausting to explain what a blog is and what someone should write about, and that may dilute the quality of the participants next-time. Or Bob’s comment on “thinly veiled sales pitches” sends a shudder since I have been to many “free” seminars in 18 years of selling RE.

    I follow Jay, Kris Berg, Ian Watt, you and others and, if not for a family vacation in Maine, would have been at RE BarCamp SF with you.

  13. Bill Lublin

    August 6, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Linda: I so wish I could attend the ReBarCamp in Seattle on September 8 what a great city and great event!

    Jay: You are right there are a number of sponsors in each of the cities. The local volunteers have to look for sponsors – sometimes the local associations, sometimes national companies, sometimes local companies – but even so, they don’t use the ReBarCamp tp pimp their products.

    Doug; The pleasure was mutual, and its a shame you missed the SF event, but there’s always next year 😉

  14. Bob

    August 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Bill, I understood JD’s point. Mine was that the original spirit of Bar Camp is about helping without a sales pitch. The feedback I got (unsolicited, btw) was that a few of the sessions offered help via the presenter’s product.

    I didn’t intend to characterize all of them as such. I know many of the presenters are all about sharing.

    NAR is in my backyard this year, so I’ll be at the one in San Diego in November, prepared to share with no close.

  15. Ken Brand

    August 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    SF Barcamp was cool.

    I took notes.

    I learned.

    I shared.

    I shook hands or hugged many of interesting people I enjoy, respect, read, stalk and admire on line (priceless).

    I made new friends.

    The sessions were human, some were fantastic, some were flawed – that’s what makes it an adventure.

    The one thing I can’t figure out Bill, and I suspect it’s a well guarded secret, until now, that you MUST have a twin brother. No way I see you here, over there, around the corner, on-line…basically omnipresent…..and now I’m reading your blog post. It’s impossible to be everywhere at the same time, you’re unreal.

    You da man!

    Cheers.

  16. Bill Lublin

    August 7, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Bob; Thanks for clarifying – I look forward to meeting you in person at ReBraCamp San Diego

    Ken: Meeting you in person was one of the great take aways from Inman and ReBarCamp this year- you are an exceptional person and I treasure the time we got to spend together- You sir – are da man!

  17. Brandie Young

    August 7, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Hi Bill,

    Great post, and great comments all.

    Like Ken Brand said, some sessions were fantastic, some flawed. I’m not an agent, but walked away with some key learnings. And, I get as much from one on one conversations than sessions. It all comes down to setting your expectations. You won’t come out of it with a magic bullet, but a little nugget here and there is fantastic.

    p.s. Ken Brand does rock. I’m grateful Brad, Andy, Kelly, Ines, you and many others worked so hard to make this happen. I applaud Ginger for bringing her passion to help others to light.

  18. CWaterhouse

    August 7, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Bill –

    In my humble opinion, I think the effort you (or anyone) puts into such an event equals what you take away. I had a list of goals for my experience at REBarCamp – San Fran. I wanted to establish real life connections with the folks I’ve met on line. Did I learn alot? No. Did I expect to? No.

    While I agree with JD (who was missed), I think the concept of REBarCamp is the same – connect and learn. Leave the extended learning to other opportunities.

    I came away with a couple implementable ideas and a lot of new friends. Worth it? You bet!

    Meeting you was worth the price of the ticket!

  19. Brad Coy

    August 8, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I have to say that for this venue “RE BarCamp” I used to be very concerned with how it was perceived and if people would think that it had any value or relevance. This no longer concerns me at all.

    In my opinion the event was a wild success.

    The coolest part for me was that we had enough space and interest to create smaller spaces with shorter sessions in 1/2 hour slots. This gave opportunity to whatever your heart’s desire. We put a lot of work into making sure that this was as good as it gets. We had some of the most assertive people at registration that day encouraging people to either lead or contribute.

    I’m happy to have been a part of this, but it’s a lot of work. Thanks to all those who made it happened for year two. You made it this a very special event.

  20. Missy Caulk

    August 10, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Bring a charity into it was awesome, I was following it on Twitter.

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