It’s no secret to say that real estate is a relationship-driven industry. Everyone knows this. Deals are closed, relationships are forged and titles and funds are transferred everyday, but it’s the personal aspect that keeps the machine well oiled and running smoothly. This is true for many industries, not just real estate, of course.
However, I’m going to gamble here and say that this is more true in Hawaii than in most, if not all, the other states in America. Now I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers and, as I’ve yet to visit most states, I certainly cannot speak to how the business is conducted elsewhere from experience. I’m sure folks in the business are friendly everywhere. But I have realtor and investor friends from many states now and, after many discussions, I think it’s this personalization in the industry that is slightly more important here than elsewhere. Now, the human aspect of real estate is important in all 50 states. Let me make that abundantly clear before I’m misunderstood. But this is just one end of the spectrum.
The other end, as I see it, as technology. Real estate today has become such a technology-driven business as well, but I feel that Hawaii’s residents rely upon technology slightly less than do their mainland counterparts. There are so many foreclosure listing websites; there are real estate investor software packages like FreedomSoft and PropTrackr to name a few; there’s Craigslist marketing, vFlyers, Postlets, etc. Social media is HUGE in real estate – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, BiggerPockets, ActiveRain, etc. The list is endless. My thoughts as a real estate investor and former I.T. guy is that technology is not used as much in the real estate industry here.
So if we can consider the current state of the real estate industry in 2011 to be a spectrum with old-fashioned human-human interaction at the left end and rapid-fire technology at the right, I think Hawaii is a bit further to the left side than where a hypothetical nationwide mean would be.
Is this good? Bad? Progressive? Behind the times? I don’t know and I’m not suggesting one way or the other. I’m just one guy making an observation but I think it’s worth discussing.
What do you think? Am I onto something here? Agree / disagree?