With its beautiful beaches, tropical climate, and picturesque views, life in Hawaii is enough to make anyone a dreamer—all except for Matt Beall. He has his feet planted firmly on the ground.
The way you actually build brand is by working. [It’s] by selling something, it’s by taking a listing, it’s by showing property, and by helping consumers transact…That’s building brand.
— MATT BEALL
A nearly 20-year veteran real estate professional, Matt founded Hawaii Life Real Estate in 2008. In nine short years, the company has grown to encompass 12 offices and 200 agents across the islands. It even spawned a celebrated TV show, now in its ninth season on HGTV. Much of that success is due to Hawaii Life’s masterful website. Today, Hawaii Life has the most highly trafficked real estate website in Hawaii, and sits at the top of Google search results for Hawaii real estate—ahead of Zillow and Realtor.com.
Nevertheless, Matt is the first to downplay his company’s innovation, saying it all came about through necessity. “We just literally realized that like you can’t have open house on a Sunday and expect everyone to show up when no one is on the island,” Matt admitted. Matt’s efforts to address these challenges led him online. “This is a second home, absentee, resort market, and those consumers are on the West Coast, so how do you get to them? Well, you just use the interwebs.”
Still, Matt dismisses the idea that brands are built on ideas alone. “Brand is sort of the most abused word in the real estate lexicon,” he suggested. “The way you actually build brand is by working. [It’s] by selling something, it’s by taking a listing, it’s by showing property, and by helping consumers transact…That’s building brand.”
Another key to a successful real estate brand, Matt suggests, is having your priorities straight when it comes to prospecting. “There’s sort of an addictive quality to the new lead,” Matt pointed out. “It’s like we would [rather] get a brand new person from Zillow that just wants to go look at property, than pick up the phone and call the person you just sold a house to two weeks ago, and make sure they got moved in okay.”
In this interview, Matt Beall explains why there’s no magic formula for building a great real estate brand online, and talks about why agents overlook their most precious resource: previous clients.