Buying Advice

You Get What You Pay for in Real Estate and in Life

The old saying you get what you pay for in life is generally spot on. This is especially true when picking a real estate firm to represent you as a buyer or a seller. The term disrupter often comes up in real estate, but this can have variable meanings. Nowadays, we are seeing a new emergence of discount firms popping up in Hawaii. These firms offer the agents a low-cost entry and, sometimes, a promise of downline income making. Some have caps on what you pay. Others promote signing-up agents, and you get to keep some of their transactions. Discount brokerages are nothing new, but do you want a discount firm handling the sale of your largest asset?

What to Look for When Selecting a Real Estate Brokerage

What should you be looking for when you select a real estate brokerage to represent you? For starters, you want to know that the firm you choose is a real business. A real business has physical offices, policies and procedures, employees, and most importantly, training and oversite. A firm such as brand B generates little to no income, or nowadays, public companies that never turn a profit to date have no infrastructure. They have limited tools and limited oversite, which generally translates into sloppy service and contracts. Poor education and coaching most often deliver subpar results. That might be price, negotiation, or huge items being overlooked in error that can cost the buyer or seller in the long run.

A real business model is one of the guiding principles that has made Hawaii Life Brokers not only grow but thrive. In Hawaii, the state licensing law requires that a broker in charge reviews, signs, and accepts anything being put in front of a client to sign. This means that only a broker that has elevated from a salesperson and then becomes a designated broker in charge or principal broker is reviewing and checking the documents in Hawaii. The main job is to look for things that can cause harm to a buyer or seller as well as come back later on the brokerage. Some firms have these people, but they are often spread too thin. Looking at contracts on islands, they don’t live or work on and experience high turn overrates. When a company is running correctly and the team is happy, they generally stay and grow.

Supporting Staff Makes a Difference

So what is the difference between a pared-down brokerage and a real business? It starts with a supporting staff. At Hawaii Life, we currently have 59 employees and 24 offices that have one job, and that is to support and nurture the agents. This, in turn, makes excellent salespeople that really do represent the clients in the absolute best light possible. This is from an in-house creative/marketing department to a full accounting team, transaction management, close of escrow with file checking, managing brokers, BICs, inside sales teams, HR, trainers, tech teams, and lots of R&D, to name just a few.

It certainly takes good infrastructure and planning to be successful. This is not a job where you shoot from the hip and hope nothing ever explodes on you. This is a job that requires careful planning, learning, growing, and plotting.

We will see how things change down the road and how many brokerages make it in a down market. When you have a good business model and strive to get better, as we do at Hawaii Life, everyone wins. I always say do more and be better. If that is how you conduct your business, then the clients win.

Interested and Want to Know More?

If you want to know why pick Hawaii Life and me as your fiduciary, please feel free to call, text, or email me anytime.

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Cherie Tsukamoto

April 27, 2023

Great article! Post it everywhere 🙂

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