2. Narrow-mindedness, insularity, or lack of sophistication.
There’s a lot of provincialism in Hawaii, especially in the real estate industry. I travel all over the State. We have offices on Oahu, Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii, and Kauai. I see everything from the “Drawbridge Mentality”, where people behave as if now that they’ve started their career or moved into a particular market, they think it should be closed to everyone else; to classic “NIMBYism” (Not-In-My-Back-Yard); to just a plain avoidance of anything new at all, especially “technology.”
I was hazed like a college freshman trying to get into a fraternity when I started selling real estate in Hawaii in 1998. Other agents would shame me for calling them on the weekends. One woman loved to condescendingly refer to me as “Junior.” I actually had another broker say to me, “If you keep holding Open Houses that means we all have to hold Open Houses.”
I went to a housewarming party recently for one of our employees who just bought his first house. The broker who represented the seller was there. He proceeded to tell me that the “honeymoon” of my company (Hawaii Life) would soon end, and that “all this technology stuff is just like a flash in the pan.” Really? We did more transactions than any major brand last year. Must be a long honeymoon.
The “Drawbridge Mentality” shows up a lot in Hawaii, too. We had quite an interesting dialog on this blog about Realtors sharing listing data with each other. Its amazing how protective agents can be of a market that they’ve only worked in for a few years. I actually hear other brokers and agents say things like “I don’t want you coming into my market from some other island and selling my listings.” Really? You don’t want your listings to sell? How do you think your client who hired you to sell their house would feel about that?
NIMBYism shows up, too. I hear some pretty funny comments about “interlopers from the mainland” about everything from a new company, to an MLS organization, to new “technologies.” Interlopers from the mainland? Where are we? Oh, yeah… we’re on an island. What’s so ironic is that a lot of these same Realtors work for a huge national “brand” that siphons their money away to New Jersey. Classic.
I have to keep putting “technology” in quotes because people make it out to be this thing that’s out there, as if somehow technology doesn’t permeate virtually everything we do in real estate. I hear Realtors say, “The internet-buyers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”
“Internet-buyers”? What does that even mean? I’ve got news for you, they’re just buyers, and they’re ALL ON THE INTERNET. Don’t kid yourself.
The truth is that the ocean between these islands isn’t as divisive as people make it out to be. Hawaii is not a big State (it’s actually the 7th smallest). The “technology” that serves our clients on the Kohala Coast is the same technology that serves our clients in Hanalei, and it produces the same results: successfully connecting buyers and sellers.