Follow Through is Everything

One of the first, and hardest lessons to learn as a salesperson is how to effectively ask for the business. It can be scary, challenging, and ultimately, rewarding. But asking is not enough. Follow through is everything.Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani gave a keynote speach for the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Summit in Las Vegas last February. Politics aside, his messages about Leadership and teamwork were funny, and spot on. He talked about how every Seahawk's player and Coach took responsibility for their part in the Superbowl loss and he poked some fun at Brian Williams.

He took questions at the end, and one man asked if Mr. Giuliani had a fourth for his golf game that afternoon. He took the agent's card and said he'd call if their unconfirmed fourth didn't show. Coincidentally, we met the former Mayor at the hotel after his golf game and asked if the fourth guy had shown up for golf. Nope. Mr. Giuliani had then called the agent, who didn't answer his phone. 

Sound familiar?

What an incredible "ask" for the business - on a microphone in front of thousands of colleagues, one lone salesperson asking to golf with one of the best known people in the world. And completely negated by an epic follow-through failure. 

This isn't a lecture about answering your phone (a minimum requirement for success in this business). Anyone in the room that day who really wanted to golf with Mr. Giuliani could have shown up at the clubhouse ready to go at his tee time. No one did.

It's exciting - exhilarating even - when we ask for something we want and the answer is "yes!" But getting an initial yes doesn't magically put money in your bank account or mean you're on a golf course with Mr. Giuliani. That takes follow through - persistence, commitment and intense focus on achieving the ultimate goal.

And many times, the follow through that lands you the business takes action outside of the "norm." It means taking that extra step - doing one more thing that your competition didn't. Being and doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal. That's being all in. That's follow through.




We don't recruit - Agents find us

Recently I participated in a “round table” discussion with seven other real estate Brokers/Owners, and we were asked the question, “how has technology changed the way that you recruit new agents?” My answer: “We don’t recruit. Agents find us.” 

It wasn't the answer they were looking for. By now, though, I'm used to being considered as "outside the box.” The other (very esteemed) Brokers in the room were all Oahu-based, and a lot of the questions were (naturally) biased toward the Oahu real estate market. Hawaii Life is a statewide company, and my job is to understand all of Hawaii, not just one island.


"Recruiting," as it's called, certainly isn't a new thing to the real estate industry, but it’s definitely more intensely expressed on Oahu than the neighbor islands. On Oahu, recruiting is systematic, systemic and downright annoying. Like the spammy email drip campaign you can never quite unsubscribe from. Postcards, letters, cold calls, “come be part of our family” – all from people I don’t know and who don’t know me. But they sure want me (and, seemingly, anyone) to come and work for them.


It strikes me as exceedingly odd. Real Estate is a relationship business and Hawaii is a relationship culture. Last I checked, spamming people isn't the best way to build a relationship. In Hawaii, most people don’t check the yellow pages or Google to find a plumber. They ask their Aunty, “who’s that plumber we use?” Why would hiring real estate salespeople be any different? (It shouldn't be, but that's a whole other conversation.)


We’re never going to call random salespeople out of the blue and ask them to work with us. We're only going to work with the people we have a relationship with. The people who are known. And even then, it still has to be a “fit.” We don’t spam all the REALTORS in the state and then hire anyone and everyone who comes along. That's just not what we're about.


Our culture at Hawaii Life is different than most real estate companies. We are not a top-down corporate structure with umpteen levels of "Vice-Presidents" and Regional Managers. We are transparent, collaborative and cooperative, and our Leadership Team eats last. We are un-corporate, flexible and innovative. Change happens quickly. Relationships matter.

For Sellers - a new and improved gets an upgrade! 

The new version of was fully launched mid-November and we've changed how we bring exposure to Hawaii Life listings.   Our sellers are getting more exposure, better qualified buyers looking at their listings -- and a whole lot more of them than cooperating brokers' listings.

Listing Exposure

Search results used to be sorted by most expensive property first, with two Hawaii Life listings pushed to the top of the list. This was a great strategy that resulted in HL listings being seen, on average, 210% more often than competing brokerage listings. The problem is that we could only show two Hawaii Life listings at a time, and these listings were placed randomly regardless of their relevance to the sort. This resulted in a lot of "fake" page views: listings receiving click throughs from buyers nowhere close to the listing's price range (looky-loos).

For this reason, we set out to build a new website that would deliver not only more, but better qualified exposure to HL listings.

We did this by creating a new algorithm that we now use to sort properties (visitors still have the option to sort by most expensive property). This new sort presents the buyer with the most relevant search results possible based on their chosen filters. Hawaii Life listings are then boosted in the algorithm. So, instead of being presented randomly, HL listings are now relevant to the buyer's search.

Aside from bringing better qualified buyers to your listings, this new strategy has resulted in HL listings now being seen 420% more often than non-HL listings. A 68% increase over the old site.

Other Improvements

The new site is faster, has an improved UX (user interface) and a better sort (to name a few). All of the improvements, have made the site wildly more popular. You can see this in the image below. (Google Analytics comparing traffic: Jan 1 - Feb 28 2014 vs Jan 1 - Feb 28 2013): is getting 68% more unique visitors, and people are viewing 21.11 pages per visit vs 8.9 pages previously.


The Really Great News?

In most cases, our sellers should be seeing more page views on their listing reports than ever before -- on average 281% (1,254 vs 329) more page views per month than on the old website.

We have some great seller tools to track listing stats, and of course there are some "secrets" we use to further promote Hawaii Life listings. You won't find that proprietary information here, but if you're a seller who wants more information or an agent who wants to dive deeper into the analytics, please don't hesitate to contact us.