Within a few months of graduating from Chico State University, Lee sold his car for $1,000 and, with a partner who also had managed to scrape together $1,000, bought his first vacation rental at Lake Tahoe, California.
Since then, he and his partner for the last 31 years have bought and sold investment property and personal residences in California, Nevada, Texas, North Carolina and of course, Maui.
We haven’t always been real estate professionals, however.
Barb became a CPA for one of the former Big 8 accounting firms, Ernst & Young. She went on to international finance with Apple Computer back when the Steve’s were still running the company. She finished her MBA and became Director of Strategic Marketing for a Tektronix company, Grass Valley Group. She served as chief financial officer for successful startups and president for an Association of Apartment Owners for a Maui condominium project. In California she was a business broker and she is still a real estate investor.
Lee also earned an MBA and worked in sales, marketing and advertising – useful experience for a realtor. As VP of marketing, he helped lead a startup company to a successful IPO. As a corporate president he negotiated many deals to buy and sell companies. Subsequently, he helped start a medical software company and a marketing and advertising company. He is also a real estate investor.
Then, after years of additional education, corporate life and successful startups we noticed something. With all our hard work and success, we were making more money in real estate than any other business. And the best thing was that we enjoyed it.
We noticed something else. Not all REALTORS are created equal.
We were making money and having fun, but our experience with agents was all over the board. It ranged from service so outstanding it was truly breathtaking to spotty service to no service at all to speak of.
Whenever we were working with a poor agent, I’d be complaining to Barbara, “that’s no way run a business, why if I was an agent, I’d…”
So we did what all good MBA’s would do. We did research. Specifically, we wanted to know what clients – investors, first time home buyers, vacation home buyers and anyone else wanted in a REALTOR. Then, we wanted to know what clients need to know about buying and selling Maui property that they probably don’t know. Then we took all of our research and experience, wrote a plan and set standards.
We have the experience to understand the variety of goals that both property owners and prospective buyers have. Maybe you’re looking for a personal home. Perhaps you want income property. You might be seeking a vacation home with good rental income to help with cash flow. Or maybe you’re looking for long term asset growth. We have the financial acumen to understand leverage, cash flow and long term asset performance.
With that in mind, it is important to look for a team that treats real estate like a business and you like a customer. The secret to success in any business is deep financial knowledge, great marketing, savvy negotiating skill, creativity at every level and, of course, hard work. These principles and years of experience and education have taught us:
• The importance of managing both relationships and details, and of providing accurate and timely information on all investment opportunities or offers to purchase can’t be overstated. So, like any well-run company, we have standards in place to ensure timely communication with you.
• How to recognize the warning signs to anticipate problems in advance and take steps to solve them before they present a crisis based on years of project management experience.
• We are not “sales people.” We are consultants and advocates (not to mention tough negotiators) for our clients. We do everything possible to make you comfortable with the process of purchasing or selling a home or condo.
• We are committed to the ethical and practical principles of the practice of real estate, resulting in better risk management for you.
• We understand the importance of listening to your wants and needs in order to professionally satisfy them.
• We are truly expert marketers. If you are selling, marketing tailored to targeted audiences helps to get the best value for a property.
In 2006 Aloha Potts associated with Keller Williams Realty Maui. Keller Williams is the 4th largest Franchise real estate company in the U.S., passing Prudential in 2005 and ERA in 2004. We have over 58,000 agents nationwide and 120 on the island of Maui.
So consider our team. Our goal is to help you achieve the highest possible price in the shortest time.
We get it. For us, real estate is not a sales job, it is the business of serving the best interests of our individual clients. We know the smarter we work, the luckier you get.