I first learned about REBARCamps right here on Active Rain. Someone wrote a post about the "Ten Things I learned at REBARCamp in Charlotte" and I knew I had to go to the next one. Several months ago I attended my first in Philadelphia and was overwhelmed by the amount of learning and the number of new friends I made. But I digress. This story is about what I learned at REBCDC, my second BARCamp.
Probably the most important thing I learned is that you really can get to know people on Twitter and FaceBook. In the short time between Philadelphia and DC (aka Herndon, VA), I truly feel that I have made good friends that I only see IRL once in a while. Apply this same knowledge to blogging and tweeting in general and you realize that prospects and future real estate clients can get to know you online well enough to feel comfortable calling you when they need to buy or sell a home in your area.
Second, I saw a degree of cooperation among agents, brokers and service providers in an open environment that I don't get to see on a daily basis in my market area. I think REBARCamps bring out the best in the best among us. I was part of a group like this once before in my life. Back in the late 1970s, I got into the personal computer business when no one in the REAL computer business would take a job selling those "toys". They were sure that PCs were just a fad and would never penetrate the real business market. I managed one of the first computer stores on the East Coast up in Framingham, Massachusetts, and I can tell you we sold a lot of those early Apple computers to CFOs and corporate executives. We were a ragtag group back then. I came from the hotel industry and others came from selling carpet to running a restaurant. I had no degree in Computer Science, in fact many of us had no degrees at all! Apple Computer did a study and found that this group of people that gravitated to the PC Industry early on had one thing in common - a need to know! I've never forgotten that and remembered it yesterday while thinking about REBCDC. Those that lead and those that attend are the ones that care about this business and want to do it better.
I now have over 500 followers on Twitter and it all started with a dozen or so great people I met at REBCPHL. Many now in "My Realtor Friends" column on TweetDeck I only met for the first time at REBCDC, but I felt like they were old friends. For those agents that don't get it, help them if you can, but remember those dinosaurs in the mainframe computer business and know that you are the future of the real estate business.