Images from Perth REBarCamp 2012

[tweetmeme source=”ChazGunningham” only_single=false]RE BarCamp Perth 2012 was a distinct improvement on last year. Not to say the last year’s was not good, but this year (perhaps because some of us had done it before?) involved more sharing amongst attendees. And the more you gave, the more you took away.

For those of you not familiar with the rebarcamp concept, it started in the tech industry in the States where programmers would come together and exchange code on projects they were collaborating on.

The concept switched over to real estate about five years ago when some real estate agents in San Francisco came together to try and share practices and ideas amongst themselves. A novel concept, the older and wiser heads would think this was sacrilege in what is traditionally a dog eat dog industry.

The REBarCamp concept has now gone around the world with the first one in Australia being held in Sydney last year shortly followed by our first one in Perth last October.

REBarCamp group in action

So there was a bit of nervous tension and excitement around the second annual one held at the Balmoral Hotel in East Vic Park last Friday – coincidently the same day another REBarCamp was going on in Tucson Arizona (#rebctuc).

Given the time difference we were up first, with agents sharing their ideas and experiences on such diverse subjects as vendor paid advertising, using video, breaking into a new areas, using Facebook and blogging, using your website, search engine optimization among others. Basically the idea was that if everyone could go away with sum knowledge of the 60 people present then everyone would be better off for the day. And that is how it proved.

I felt this year was better than last years as about half the crowd had been to one before, so this set the tone from the outset. There was more sharing and giving going on, and we have more sponsorship which allowed the attendees to have lunch, morning and afternoon tea and even a sundowner paid for along with the excellent venue, the venerable old lady that is the Balmoral pub.

How did we fare in comparison to Tucson? Well the Perth tweeters got up 98-38 in the (not serious) hashtag battle, and everyone seemed to go away buzzing. One participant was heard to say “I have learned so much from today, now it’s up to me to go away and implement it!”.

Hats off to the volunteers who organized it notably Peter Fletcher, Natalie Hoye, Lee Baston and Bill Atkinson, plus all the sponsors who were so numerous we had to print off two banners to capture them all. I got a tremendous amount out of it persoanlly and came away learning more about how agents use databases and CRM’s, what some are doing with video and some new things I’d not heard of before. Thanks to everyone involved, and roll on REBarCamp 2013.

About the author

Charlie has spent more than 20 years in Perth’s tech and startup sector, firstly as a founder himself, through to exit, and more recently as a writer, advisor and investor. Originally from the UK, Charlie worked in Singapore before arriving in Perth in 1997 to do an MBA at UWA. Graduating as top student in 1999 he set up online real estate business, running it for 10 years before selling to REIWA, whereupon Charlie ran In 2013, he moved to Business News to lead their digital transformation as CEO, and then worked for the federal government’s Accelerating Commercialisation program, funding pre-revenue startups and innovative businesses. He now works in an advisory capacity for multiple tech and other businesses, is managing editor of Startup News and co-host of the Startup West podcast. He also writes a column for Business News on startups. Charlie sits on the advisory boards of WA Leaders, TEDxPerth, WAITTA, the Perth Symphony Orchestra, and the full board of Rise Network.

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