Big Island

How Real Estate Relates to Football

Down South, football rules! I come from a strong lineage of Southern football fanatics including my father who attended high school only in the fall. By doing so, he could extend his playing eligibility until age 22! Of course, at 5’3”, he was built more like a chest freezer than an actual football player, but that didn’t seem to deter him.

With the assistance of my trusty DVR, football fanaticism lives on! As Bobby Bowden coached his last game on New Year’s Day, it occurred to me how opposing coaches often mimic the players in a real estate transaction. It especially struck me how coaches on opposite sidelines often mimic the “coaches” involved in a real estate transaction.


Photo courtesy Stewart Miles/

Your Real Estate Professional is Like Your Coach

As much as any profession, those successful in the game of real estate are extremely competitive. Even though the opposing “coaches” have the same mission, they often employ notably very different methods. The Bobby Bowden’s of the real estate world are easy to work with. They tend to make it easy for other agents to show their listings. In fact, they seek opportunities to work with others. They are happy for the success of competitors and know that there is enough business for everyone.

It’s my impression that most people do not fully consider how the personality of their agent impacts the sales process beyond their direct interaction with them. It’s not a stretch to imagine that an unpleasant agent can really impede a transaction.

Winning at All Cost Can Be Costly

Even the most laid back REALTORS® are fiercely competitive by nature. A good sense of humor and a true love for the job helps temper this competitive spirit. But just as in college football, “winning” should not be everything. Winning should never run contrary to the best interest of the players. Players (and real estate clients) sense when the game is so intense that winning is the only goal. Some “coaches” are, in fact, so intense that they might even be considered downright unpleasant.

It’s only human nature that even if unknowingly, we avoid them and (perhaps unconsciously) because of association, we also avoid their clients. It’s an important issue not covered in any agent interview checklist I’ve ever seen. And while FSU may not always be the team I’m cheering for, I can’t help but admire Bobby Bowden’s style.

For me, whether it’s 2010 or long after I reach 80, it’s that down-to-earth, pleasant “dawg gone it” attitude that I always hope to emulate as I interact with others in my real estate business!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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