For someone who preaches the value of communicating with our customer base through our company’s blog, I’ve been pretty remiss at writing lately. I’ve been, well… busy. We had an incredible year in 2012, and if January is any indication, then 2013 should be another wild ride.
Let’s start with what’s most important: Last year, we had the honor of conducting 827 different real estate transactions in Hawaii (up from the 505 transactions we conducted in 2011). That’s 827 different families, individuals, or partnerships that either bought or sold real estate in Hawaii and were represented by Hawaii Life. It’s a humbling number.
To top it all off, we were able to conduct those transactions while shooting a 13-episode TV show for HGTV, which debuted on New Years’ Day. Apparently, it was one of the most successful premieres in the network’s history, with over 1.8m people tuning in. Wow.
The response from the show has been incredible, and moving. For the most part, it’s been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve received personal phone calls and e-mails from people all over the country, telling us how inspired they are by the show, and how it’s made them realize that they don’t have to “settle” for where they live. Now, of course, not all of these people are moving to Hawaii (a point that I’m quick to make with a lot of people who live in Hawaii and are petrified that, because of the show, Hawaii is now somehow going to be ‘discovered’ ;-) ).
The show has also posed a few challenges for us, as well. For starters, the traffic to our website is up by over 75%. Despite our best efforts, we weren’t quite prepared for that. So, the website went down a few times, and was slow to load other times. But, even the complaints about the website’s performance have been really great. I love that people feel entitled to use our property search tool. We are, literally, providing a public service that people have grown (very) accustomed to.
We weren’t paid for the show, and neither were our clients who participated in it. We agreed to take it on as a part of our commitment to provide exposure for the property listings that we’ve been hired to sell. There was, however, a travel stipend in the budget for the brokers and agents involved, which we compiled and gave the full amount (plus a little extra) to charity. We’re honored to support the Hawaiian Island Land Trust, Hawaii Public Radio, and KKCR here on Kauai.
Now, on to 2013… while we haven’t gotten official word yet, all signs are point to Season 2. So, we’re officially in a casting call. If you, or anyone you know, is a bona fide buyer who’s interested in participating and being on the show, let us know.