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  • Ryan O.


Last week, my broker forwarded me an Inman News special report about the difficulties of succeeding in real estate sales. Scrolling through the article, one alarming statistic caught my eye:

Out of 100 new agents, only 10-20 will be left in 2 years.

Wow…I’m coming up on 3 years. Yet it feels like only yesterday that I took the plunge of a lifetime!

Given I’m not a Top 100 REALTOR®, I do feel a very humble sense of accomplishment—I beat the odds. When I left the educational field to become a REALTOR®, I didn’t know what to expect. I jumped with my heart and not my head and thankfully I landed on both feet. As a person who over analyzes everything, making a career change that quickly was surprisingly refreshing.

Over the years, in order to become the best Real Estate consultant I can for my clients, I’ve expanded my knowledge on many of the finer aspects of the industry. I could probably write an 1,000 page book on the things I learned during the past 3 years. As I reflect back, there is one lesson that really resonates:

Commission checks are a sign of trust, not success. Early in my career, I noticed the agents who were consistently successful were the ones that "made meaning" with their clients. I quickly realized the churn-and-burn sales technique was just not what I'm about or why I got into this wonderful, often fulfilling career. Many agents, especially in Hawaii's market, enter the industry to make quick money, working part-time and not necessarily committed to all the moving parts required to assist their clients close on their dream of home ownership. These types of agents often don't last long, perhaps it's because they put their needs ahead of their clients. The ones who succeed are the ones who set out to make meaning in the lives of their clients. That is, their fundamental role as an agent is to facilitate their clients' home ownership dreams.

According to US Census data, home ownership in 1900 was 46.5 percent. Today, the current home ownership rate is 64 percent. While on paper this looks like great progress, we all know that roughly more than half of the people we know do not own their homes! I have a long way to go to making these dreams a reality, while ignoring my odds of survival in favor of breaking new home ownership odds.

Lastly, I would like to thank my friends and family who supported me the past few years. Most importantly, thank you to my current and past clients. Without you, I wouldn’t be here.


Sources:, US Census.

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. Ryan Oda (#RS-75450) is a licensed real estate salesperson with Benn Pacific Group, Inc (#RB-19423). The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of Benn Pacific Group, Inc., its agents, and or its affiliates. My thoughts and opinions can change over time. This blog is intended to provide a semi-permanent snapshot of a selection of various thoughts and opinions that may not be the same, or even similar, to those I may hold today.

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