What's the ROI of your coffee?

Last weekend flying home from Oahu, in the seat pocket ahead of me was a copy of a (well-known) real estate publication - the Big Island issue! It's been north of 5 years since I'd looked at one (had already read Hana Hou magazine), so I thumbed through. Lots of multiple page ads from the "big name" Brokerages. Lots of agents' faces and agent awards, and important titles. Less real estate. A less thick version than in 2006 by roughly half, all the same "stuff."I was holding my breath, looking at every page through the back cover - then a sigh of relief. Nope - not one Hawaii Life ad.


As we flew past Maui, it occurred to me - Hawaii Life is the highest dollar volume company on Hawaii Island... why are the other companies not copying us with regard to print advertising? Some have gone so far in the past as to copy our website, verbatim with their company name... what don't they understand about a less than one percent ROI?

The flight attendant asked if I want juice or water. "Black coffee please." I had heard the annoucement coffee was still available and calculated the ROI of juice versus coffee: juice would have given me a sugar rush with an inevitable quick crash; black coffee would return a longer period of attentiveness and wakefulness. Coffee was a better choice for a long drive home with lava field scenery.

I'm psyched to see that BI Hawaii Life agents "get it." They run businesses, and like any other successful business owner, they calculate the ROI on everything from being a Zillow Premiere Agent, to sitting floor, writing blogs and paying hard cash for print ads with limited time and visibility.** They understand that Smart Marketing is evaluating ROI and implementing the results. It warms my heart.

Then again, that could just be the coffee.

**I know people exist who have received phone calls from print advertising in Real Estate magazines and have closed transactions and earned commission dollars. To me, that's the 2014 version of "fooled by randomness." The 2006 version being a brand new agent whose first transaction was $3.5M, in a resort community, from an office walk-in. Neither does a professional make.