Hawaii Life Maui feeds the Homeless in Wailuku and West Maui

The Hawaii Life Maui Team has been doing quarterly dinners at the homeless shelter in Wailuku, Ka Hale A Ke Ola, since November of 2014. Our team has provided dinners of chicken, veggies, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy along with dessert (usually Kristina's Texas sheet cake) at the shelter since then. Sometimes I think we should change the menu, but it's such a hit that I'm told we should leave it the same.

This is a way we give to the community with very little money. It always amazes me that we can feed 60-70 people for under $150. We usually bring toiletries for the residents as well (Shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc.). I'm not even sure how we agreed to start this last year, but once we did the first one, it was easy to commit.

Tomorrow, 12/1, will be our first West Maui Shelter Dinner, feeding 40-50. We have committed to doing each shelter every other month, so we will do West Maui on the even months and Wailuku on the odd months. The menu will be the same and while that may seem mundane to us, the residents only get our menu when we come so it's wonderful to them.

We arrive at 4-4:30 and are pau by 7 (including us eating dinner too) so for less than $200 and 3 hours of time, we are making a difference. We bring the kids so that they can help out and learn the importance of reaching out and helping others. The clients are very appreciative as well. We are blessed that the Maui Team is great about participating. Some give money, some give time and both are needed to make this work.

Every island has a shelter (I think), so this is something that I would love to see expanded throughout the state. It's fun and rewarding and easy to do!

Mary K is also putting together holiday packages for the clients that will include toiletries as well as granola bars, juice or water and more in bags being decorated by Morgan Lee and her friends.

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.

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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.