Hawaiian Realtors are networking masters. We know everyone and if we don't know you, we know someone who knows you, and we love to get together with those people and with you. At least once a week there is some kind of Hawaii Realtors meeting, whether it's our regional Hawaii Kai meeting or general membership meeting or a continuing education class or enrichment class or just a social gathering of Realtors. In fact I probably get one invitation a day to some kind of meeting or broker's open or broker's party.
What do we Realtors do at these parties? We talk about Hawaii real estate of course! We talk about houses for sale, escrows we have, listings and buyers we are working with, and just about anything that is newsworthy in real estate. We love to talk about the market, about your house, and about everything related to real estate in Hawaii. Whether it's a house in Manoa or a condo in Waikiki or an estate in Diamond Head or Portlock, we love to talk about real estate. Sometimes I have to try and stop myself from constantly talking about real estate!
The MLS is a powerful tool that allows us Realtors in Hawaii to search for all kinds of parameters of real estate. We can search for a certain square footage home in Kaneohe, with no pool or with a pool, with 2 car garage or 3, with an ocean view or a golf course view, or just about anything you can think of.
We also have a very important criteria in the MLS called "property condition." The ratings for Hawaii homes are: Excellent, Above Average, Average, Fair, Needs Major Repair, and Tear Down. These labels are very helpful when looking for a house, because some people are looking for a home that is a real fixer upper, while others want a home that is in near perfect condition with no work needed.
If a property in Honolulu gets an "average" rating, that means it's pretty bad. I'm not sure why we call a pretty dumpy property in Hawaii "average," but that's usually what it means. We should really reserve "excellent" for homes that are near new condition, but unfortunately I see the "excellent' rating too often attached to homes that are still in need of updating.
The Honolulu MLS has thousands of homes from all over the island, with everything from studios in Waikiki to beachfront luxury estates on the North shore. The system can search unlimited combinations of variables among thousands of properties. You can literally put 100 different parameters on a single search to find exactly the property you want.
A Broker Open house is held on Wednesday or Thursday mornings in Oahu, and while the public is always welcome, it's primarily for the Realtors who have interested buyers to see the house before the buyer comes. This way they don't waste the buyers time, and also if they don't have a buyer yet, they can be familiar with the house in the event that a buyer does come to them.
Broker Opens in Hawaii are great because the Realtors will give you feedback on the staging and price, so you know what needs to be done before the public shows up. You want to ask the Realtors for advice on the placement of furniture or anything else and ask them if the price seems too high, too low, or about right.
One thing that is very popular to do is to have a group of homes in the same neighborhood get together to do a preview tour, so that Realtors are encouraged to view several homes at once. These are called "joint broker's opens." Then we'll have pupus or an entire meal served at the last house, so that people are really encouraged to come. Realtors love free food. Who doesn't?
Each full time Realtor in Hawaii is working with dozens of buyers. If they are really working hard, they may have hundreds of buyers in communication with them at all times from all over the planet.
So having flyers for everyone in my office is a great way to let people know about a listing. It's always better to market Realtors than buyers directly because each Realtor can exponentially multiply my efforts at getting the word out on a property. That's why whenever we have a meeting we talk about listings that we have for sale from all over the island.
Unless I am really trying, it's not possible for me to know about more than a few dozen listings off the top of my head. So when we get together we talk about the estate in Makaha, the starter home in Kailua, and the fixer upper in Nuuanu. We talk about every listing we have whether it's in Aiea, Ewa Beach, Manoa, or Kaneohe. This is our job, it's our life. We love to market properties.