Hawai’i Life’s Big Island Broker-in-Charge, Katie Minkus, sent me an email inviting me to download the LocalMind “app” to my smart phone. Evidently, she thinks it will be useful for my real estate practice “to send questions to people checked in around your neighborhood to find out what’s happening there right now. You can use it to find out how crowded a bar is, how fun a party is, or what’s good at a restaurant.” Hmm…sounds like the Kapaau Post Office on steroids.
Granted, I am one of the true believers in our office when it comes to the value of social media in connecting with buyers and sellers of real estate. I’m sure that’s why I got her invitation. I’m not likely to actually download LocalMind and I’ve turned off FourSquare. Maybe it’s heresy, but the coconut wireless works just fine for me.
In case you are considering a purchase of real estate in one of the neighborhoods near Hawi or Kapaau, consider yourself warned. By the time you finish sneezing at home, the folks in line at the post office are already speculating on whether you have a cold!
Take last Tuesday—I was determined to get to a 4p.m. yoga class because it had been one heck of a day and I needed to clear my head, but just before I went out the door I got a call from our local Bank of Hawaii branch. They wanted me to come by to redo the signature on a document related to the account for my community horse arena project. I thought I might have just enough time to stop in before class, which is held in a studio in the yoga teacher’s home a few blocks from the bank in Kapa’au town.
I’d forgotten there might be a line just before 4p.m. closing time, even with three tellers at work. No worries, the two ahead of me in line were Peter, who owns Sushi Rock, and Karen, who owns the Kohala Coffee Mill. They were in the middle of a conversation about where they eat when they are in Kona for their Costco run. “I’m no help there,” I explained, “I only go where my 87-year-old mother wants to eat—and she orders the same thing every time.”
Karen laughed, “My 87-year-old father does the same.” Of course, her 87-year-old father lives here and I know him too, and naturally, the parents agree on where to eat in Kona. I don’t believe either of them use FourSquare, although my mom’s on Facebook.
By that time, another friend who works in Hawi had stepped into line behind us. “Are you going to the tasting at Lighthouse Liquors?” she asked.
“Not sure, what are they tasting tonight?”
Just then, the bank manager, with whom I’d just been working on the Kohala Country Fair, noticed me in line and waived the documents at me so I could jump out of line and sign.
On to yoga class, where I almost fell out of my headstand laughing. My tech savvy yoga teacher, Jan Roberts, was telling us about her new iPhone. She tried to ask Siri to send a text message to Mimi (who happened to be on her head next to me as this story was told). When asked what she wanted to say, Jan had responded, “Ummm…Hi.” She sent without proofing and Mimi received a mysterious message from her yoga teacher that read, “I’m high.”
You see, it’s not that we are anti-technology in our rural, old Hawai’i corner of the Big Island; we’re all on Facebook, we text incessantly, and high-speed internet is now available even in Niulii and Makapala near the end of the road, but our high-tech virtual connections just enhance our high-touch culture.
Kohala probably isn’t the place for you if you aren’t a hugging type of person, or if you don’t care for small town living where everyone cares about you (and your business), but if it sounds like the lifestyle for you, give me a call, send me an email, or text, or tweet, or Facebook message…
A hui hou!
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)
P.S.—A big mahalo to Hawaii Life Creative Director, Winston Welborn, for the fabulous photos of Kohala Life!