Broker Q&A: Rob Kildow - Hualalai Realty


1413314301Rob Kildow, director of residential sales and principal broker at Hualalai Realty, strives to create a work environment that gives their company’s entire staff the tools and opportunities to be successful. Rob received the Billionaires Club and Significant Sales award at the Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in 2013 and has been recognized by Hawaii Business Magazine as the top residential broker for the State of Hawaii.

How did you get your start in real estate?

I was working at the Olympia Brewing Company and doing real estate on a part time basis. Working for the brewery was a dream job, as part of my responsibility was to taste beer from around the world, every day. A friend of mine, who was working full time in real estate, asked me to meet with the owner of another local company. That owner closed me with the phrase "unlimited income potential", and at 25 that sounded pretty good, so away I went.

What path has your career taken?

For the first two years, I focused on residential real estate and then branched into the commercial side of the business. I received my CCIM Designation in 1985 and enjoyed a successful career in that field. Five years after starting with the company, I became partner and eventually president/CEO. It was a full service company with residential and commercial brokerage and property management divisions and a development and construction division. In 1999, I thought I was ready to semi-retire, so I elected to leave my home town and the company I had been part of for 20 plus years. I accepted a position as the Director of Sales at a private high-end golf community in Kona, Hawaii named Hokuli'a that was just beginning development. I had owned a condo in Kona since 1982; fell in love with the weather and the people and thought it would be a wonderful place to "semi-retire". The fact that I'd never sold any high-end golf property before wasn't a deterrent to me or the developer, who I happened to know. I transitioned from selling office buildings and strip centers for $2,500,000 to selling one acre pieces of lava for the same price. It was a relatively easy transition. As there were no residences yet constructed at Hokuli'a, my wife, Barbara and I purchased a residence at an amazing community named Hualalai Resort. Shortly after our purchase the owners approached me to inquire if I'd be interested in managing the development and sales of the property at Hualalai. I graciously declined as I was already working at Hokuli'a. A couple of years later a court order stopped the work at Hokuli'a and I renewed the discussions with the owners at Hualalai. In December of 2003, I became the Director of Sales and Principal Broker at Hualalai and haven't looked back. I'm responsible for product development, pricing, budget and implementation of our marketing plan and coordination with our public relations company. We've closed over two billion in sales volume since I started. So much for "semi-retirement", but I do get to commute to work in a golf cart.

Why is your company successful?

Resort sales require a slightly different approach in order to be successful. 99% of our residences are not primary dwellings so we are not selling based on commute times, school districts, or strictly bricks and mortar. To be successful we need to resonate with people on more of an emotional level. We immerse prospects, based on their preferences, in a wide range of experiences that allows them to imagine what being part of this community would be like. We transport them to a time in the future (hopefully near future) when they will be creating lasting memories with family and friends in celebrating their time at Hualalai. Approximately 1,100 people work their hearts out every day to deliver an experience that is authentic, sensitive and world class. Whenever possible, I let those 1,100 people know that they are a very important part of my sales team and how thankful I am. Barbara and I have traveled extensively and have never found a community with so much to give. I believe it is my responsibility to be sure the story is told in a way that helps prospects understand and appreciate what makes Hualalai so special.

What are your favorite parts of your job?

I never tire of "golf carting" to work every day, to join a small group of very talented people who are committed to delivering the best real estate experience in the world. I strive to create an environment that gives the entire staff the tools and opportunities to be successful. Our membership is comprised of people from 26 states and seven countries so I get to meet very interesting people from around the world. As you can imagine, the parties are amazing. We're in a people business and I love getting to know each and every one during the sales process and becoming friends and neighbors afterward. Typically, they are very experienced in the world of high-end real estate, have high expectations, and I enjoy the opportunity of meeting or exceeding those expectations.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

The climate here is so amazing; I don't have any excuses for not getting outside. Golf, cycling, stand up paddle board (SUP), hiking, sitting on the beach with a great book, Heli-skiing, travel, eating great food and drinking awesome wine are among my passions. We are also fortunate to be able to support a number of charities and foundations that are doing amazing work.

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