Beth Thoma-Robinson, R(B) is named Big Island Broker-in-Charge

Please join us in congratulating Beth Thoma-Robinson, R(B) as our new Broker-in-Charge, Big Island!

At Hawaii Life, we believe in promoting Leadership from within for many reasons - the most critical being an understanding of Hawaii Life's culture. As one of the first five agents hired on the Big Island, Beth has literally helped co-create it. Beth knows that Hawaii Life's success is due to an intense focus on the consumer, and deeply understands how that extends to agent support and services. She lives and breathes the pillars of Smart Marketing and Solid Representation, and the evidence is found in her sales record.

Beth is stepping up to Leadership because she feels compelled to serve - to support Big Island agents in creating careers even bigger than hers. It's not every day the stars align such that the best salespeople want to serve as Leaders. This is an incredible opportunity for Big Island agents to learn firsthand how to best utilize all Hawaii Life has to offer.

Here's Beth's Hawaii Life Story, in her own words:

I came to the real estate profession as a third or fourth career. The early part of my professional life I spent at two Fortune 50 companies. They taught me how to develop the people working for me, plan strategically, and be accountable for building a business. When I left the corporate world, I went on to do consulting and leadership development, mostly for families of high net worth and entrepreneurs with growing businesses.

My family has had a connection with Hawaii since my dad was stationed here during WWII. I actually tried to do my consulting business from Maui 20 years ago, but the technology that would have allowed me to do that wasn’t there yet. When I finally was able to pick up and make the move to the Big Island full time in 2005, I decided that real estate and development was the best way to use my skill set and background.

I worked first for Centex in developer sales at their Kolea and Halii Kai oceanfront projects.  When I left to go into general real estate, I chose a small office in Hawi. I did that for two reasons. One was that I already knew the resort market, but also wanted to practice in Kohala where I live and had become deeply involved in the community. The second is that the principal broker was very good at teaching a new agent the business.

It was only a little over a year later that Pam Deery waltzed into our office to have afternoon tea and tell us she was leaving Mauna Kea to join this new company, Hawaii Life. So I knew a little about the company when Katie called me a few weeks later to ask me to meet with her and Matt. I’d spent my first year in general real estate redoing the website for Hawaii Palm Properties on a huge $1700 budget. I'd started blogging on the AlohaLiving platform. So I thought I’d pick their brains and told my PB that.

Forty-five minutes later I walked them back across the street to announce we should all just become Hawaii Life Big Island. When Matt explained the business model to me, I realized I’d just seen a glimpse into the future of real estate and I wanted to be a part of it.

That was six years ago. I had no idea then how successfully these young guys would navigate their rapid growth, and how successful I would become as a practitioner by leveraging their platform. If anything, I’m more excited about this company and more committed to it than I was six years ago.

You might think my priority as Broker-in-Charge is to recruit new agents. It’s not. My priority is to help the Hawaii Life Big Island agents to thrive. Like many of the first Hawaii Life hires, I’m in that 60-ish age group. We need to help those who are younger become the next superstars…or at least support you to set and achieve the goals that make sense to each of you.

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.