For the most part, I detached from all things real estate. A friend suggested I call an agent friend of his who lives in Waikiki. Said she would love to show me around. I opted out. Those favors are never one-sided and I needed to really not discuss work for the week.
I did however, drive around the entire island courtesy of family who live up in the rain forest (Tantalus) above Honolulu. We went all around the Island. The North Shore blew me away.
Amazing shaved ice stands.
The set of Lost.
I snorkeled at Sharks Cove. But unlike the rest of the folks there, I ventured out beyond the reef. Out into the deep blue. Wish I had an underwater camera.
I saw for sale signs everywhere. Especially before and after Diamond Head along the stretch of coastal highway. Big, fancy, expensive homes. I tried hard to grasp the the fleeting ocean views between but the real estate itself kept pulling me in.
I made one, brief mental note. Many opposing real estate brands stood side by side representing. C21, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s, KW, Realty Executives, Prudential… but no one individual brand seemed to own the marketplace. At least that was my observation. I also didn’t see any local brands although I’m sure there must be an Aloha Real Estate company or something to that effect in Hawaii but I saw no sign of them anywhere.
The brands all seemed to be intertwined based on my observation of so many million dollar homes listed side by side by all brands. Maybe Hawaiians aren’t picky. Or maybe every brand does the same great, medium or lousy job. Who knows. I never once stopped to ask anyone. Or maybe, in the hukahula world of real estate, it’s not about the brand at all but about the agents themselves. Who they are, who they know – their personal brand etc.
I did notice and feel an overwhelming absence of online technology. Most of the yard signs I saw failed to promote URL’s or point to anything
web based for online viewing which, as it turned out, mattered little to
those in the car with me. I suppose I was the only person wondering if the local C21 "Internet Listing Gurus" hadn’t quite gotten the missive yet. Seems there are yet so many ntapped opportunities here for someone to differentiate themselves if only they tried a little.
Or for that matter, cared.
But I was on vacation. And I needed to cease trying to turn my observations into an article. Or an agenda. I was there to relax.
It’s good to go away.
It’s great to come back.
And view real estate with a fresh perspective.
But then there was the matter of selling my investment home on the mainland which ultimately invaded my quiet time. But that’s a story left for another post.