Assisting buyers and sellers of Big Island Real Estate is an art. Like any art, it takes practice and hard work to gain mastery.
Hawaii Life Principal Broker, Matt Beall, and Big Island Broker-in-Charge, Katie Minkus, have been encouraging me rather strongly to go through the coursework and examination process to upgrade my license from “salesperson” to “broker.” Over the course of several conversations the light began to dawn as to why they consider it important.
I suspect it does not matter much to most customers and clients whether I have a “B” or an “S” after my name. But I do understand the process of gaining competence and eventually a level of mastery in the practice of any endeavor, whether professional, artistic or athletic. When we get our salesperson license, we have book knowledge, but we don’t yet have practice under our belts. It is only in the course of representing buyers and sellers on dozens of transactions do we begin to move up the levels of competence and expertise. At that point, returning to the real estate code and principles which govern and guide our business can ramp up our practice to a whole new level, because now it all has meaning within the context of experience.
Committing to set aside the time during the month of May to pursue my broker’s license has had an important and hardly secondary benefit for my business: getting better organized with the Hawaii Life tools and team, and refining my business plan to better serve you: the buyer or seller of real estate in North Kohala or the Kohala Coast.
Unlike some of my colleagues, real estate has not been my lifelong career. I only entered the field when I decided to move to Hawai’i. I faced a learning curve about Hawaii real estate law, practice, and local “inventory,” but I had solid business skills like knowing how to listen and negotiate, and the life experiences I share with many of my buyers and sellers seemed to serve them well.
Joining Hawai’i Life a year ago was a decision based upon my desire to add value for the buyers and sellers I worked with. I liked the values and fresh approach to the practice of real estate that Hawaii Life’s founders were taking, and I was thrilled about having marketing and Internet professionals dedicated to giving us the tools we need as real estate agents to betters serve our customers and clients in the way they prefer.
The Hawaii Life business model proved incredibly popular with prospective buyers and sellers – to the point where about six months ago I found myself capacity-constrained by my own physical limits and the hours in the day. I felt I was letting people down because I couldn’t always give them the time and attention they expected and deserved.
Luckily, help was at hand. Heading to Europe for vacation during the autumn “slow” season, I left the resort part of my business in the capable hands of my colleague Pam Deery. Two weeks into it, I had an email from Katie along the lines, “Did you know Pam has written offers for three of your buyer clients and talked with two Halii Kai owners who called you about potentially selling their condos?”
At that moment I saw the solution, and over the past six months Pam and I have become a smoothly functioning real estate team at the Kohala Coast Resorts. Our sellers have the confidence that one of us is available to show and sell their property; our buyers know that one of us will be available the second the right deal for them hits the market. Pam’s experience in working at Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea resorts complements mine at Waikoloa Beach Resort. As an added benefit, she used to live in Maliu Ridge near Hawi, so she’s prepared to back me up with my listings in North Kohala.
I’d worked with Catherine Klug at my previous real estate brokerage in Hawi, and the day she joined Hawaii Life she called to ask if I wanted to co-list a home in North Kohala. Catherine and I worked as a team with buyer clients in the past. Plus, she’s currently the main presence at Hawaii Life’s Puako beach office! Thus another piece of the puzzle fell into place with a second colleague who knows both the Hawi area and the resort market.
It is an informal team we have. Each of us still has our own separate clients and listings, but our circles of competence overlap constructively and that benefits our customers and clients.
May Day is Lei Day
Going forward, as a team we want to play to our strengths. If you are reading this, you are part of the 90% of real estate buyers and sellers who begin their search for a property or listing agent online. I add the greatest value by using my knowledge and writing skill to be a source of valuable information for you. When you take the next step to reach out for more information or representation, I can help you refine your search or define the marketing strategy for the property you want to sell. And with a team of collaborators ready to share their local expertise and mastery of real estate, I can confidently put you in the hands of the right person to assist you on the ground.
The bottom line is, Hawaii Life Real Estate Services is a company with values. Solid representation. Collaboration. Education. Our values statement says: Real estate is a relationship business and Hawaii is a relationship culture.
Wish me luck on my broker’s course.
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(S)