Last week we hosted our first conference, End of Summer BAM Camp, and it was absolutely surreal being up on stage at our own event. It made me think of a story, which I told at the very beginning of BAM Camp:

Nine years ago I got my real estate license and became a buyer’s agent for a team in Beverly Hills. The first thing they had me do was go to the Tom Ferry conference in Anaheim. After the morning sessions on the first day, I went to the hotel pool for lunch and then NEVER returned to the conference. 

Was this because I had a few cocktails by the pool? No, it was because I knew that I was not going to implement one iota of what they were talking about. Don’t get me wrong, the content from the conference was great. I was just a 24-year-old jackass and couldn’t fathom the idea of follow-up, learning scripts, CRM management, and traditional lead gen (this was during a time before the real estate industry bought in on social media marketing). 

That year, after NOT implementing a thing from the conference I sold a grand total of ONE house. And by sale of course I mean a short-term rental where I probably spent more money on gas going to and from the house than I made on commission. 

For that entire year, I cold-called in the mornings, door knocked in the afternoons, and sat my team’s dead open houses every Saturday and Sunday to no success before eventually launching The Broke Agent in 2015.

 This was my first post:

What started a fun “side-project” to air my grievances under an alias became as real as it gets when I looked out in the crowd at BAM Camp eight years later.

We had 20 speakers and over 100 attendees come to Naples, Florida (which is not an easy place to get to). Just thinking about where this all started actually had me emotional before Byron and I opened up the event. 

Ok enough about my feelings, let’s get to BAM Camp. 

LOCATION

We hosted it at the Ritz Tiburón in Naples, Florida for two reasons: it’s where Byron and I founded BAM, and it’s where Byron lives (super convenient for him). 

SPEAKERS

Our goal was to throw a conference that was different from your typical real estate event. We wanted it to be unfiltered, funny, and packed with actionable takeaways. We wanted to avoid your standard “panel pontification” where a bunch of unrelatable, ego-driven speakers talk out their asses and down to the audience. 

In order to pull off the “unfiltered and funny” we led with an opening keynote from the hilarious managing director of The Agency Toronto West, Matt Lionetti. Matt knocked it out of the park with The Power of Personality followed by a fireside chat with myself and then a Q&A. The intimate venue and event size led to a lot more audience engagement than your typical conference. 

It was crazy interviewing Matt after doing hundreds of Zoom interviews with him as my co-host on our Over Ask Podcast. He has been an integral part of BAM’s growth and watching his growth as a content creator, speaker, and agent to now selling $14 million dollar listings has been incredible.

After Matt, Derrick Gregory took the mic as our EMCEE to introduce the Knowledge Brokers Panel with Byron Lazine, Tom Toole, and Lisa Chinatti. You can watch the first minute below to get a taste of what it was like. He basically performed a mini-roast session between each speaker and brought down the house every single time. This was not an easy job, and he absolutely crushed it.

After Knowledge Brokers we had Tessabella Jelten and Ramon Casaus talk Money in Motion and the power of real estate investing. At our happy hour, a lot of people told me this was one of their favorite segments because it is a topic so rarely discussed at these events. 

Then, we had our brand-building panel with Haley Ingram, the founder of Coffee & Contracts, Dustin Brohm aka The Massive Agent, Shannon Gillette, an active, successful agent, and myself moderated by Jason Cassity. It was cool to get four unique perspectives on how to build a brand from a podcaster, a content marketing platform, two successful agents, and The Broke Agent/BAM (me). The major takeaway here was that all of these brands become and remain relevant and successful because of their willingness to evolve. 

After this panel, we had an amazing Texas BBQ lunch where the intimate size of the conference really showed its strength. I felt like I met every person who attended, going table to table like it was my wedding reception. The BAM video team made rounds too:

We scheduled Krys Benyamein as our first speaker after lunch because we knew he would wake the crowd up and deliver the motivation we all need to stay consistent. He absolutely delivered. The guy climbed Mt. Everest. Enough said. 

Then, we got super tactical with Tom Storey’s YouTube Blueprint, followed by a jam-packed social media panel with Jason Cassity, Brooks Landry, Shane Burgman and Sarah Desamours,  hosted by Dan Oneil aka Danny Deals.

Then we had a surprise guest, Audie Chamberlain of Lion & Orb, join Byron Lazine in a fireside chat about PR, a side of the business agents (should) but rarely focus on.

Next BAM’s lead producer,  Bobby Kawecki, hammered AI Video Editing followed by the closing keynote from my good friend, Taya DiCarlo who taught us all how to unleash our inner-creative director, rain or shine.

BAM Camp Taya DiCarlo

NETWORKING

After Byron closed out the conference, we walked across the hall to my favorite portion of the event, the open bar.

I can’t tell you how good that first sip tasted after all the stress, planning, and anxiety that went into BAM Camp. This was also my favorite portion because we again got to network and hang out with everyone. It’s not a BAM event without a party, and everyone stayed for two-plus hours! The community we are building with BAM is really something special. Here is what attendees are saying about BAM Camp:

BAM Camp
BAM Camp
BAM Camp
BAM Camp
BAM Camp
BAM Camp

As I mentioned, this was our first-ever in-person event and it of course was not perfect. The acoustics weren’t great, the air-conditioning shut off briefly in the afternoon, the TVs could have been bigger, and we could have definitely used a more sightly backdrop. Maybe it was just me because I was hosting, but I was aware of every water bottle crinkle, cough, and chair adjustment. But, this is all part of the learning experience, and as Byron said at the end of BAM Camp, we plan on dominating the event space. Stay tuned for 2024 event details!

To all the attendees, speakers, and event sponsor Follow Up Boss, thank you for coming to BAM Camp and putting your trust and your time into our brand. I couldn’t be happier with how it went, and I can’t wait to throw more events. This is just the beginning.