It is normally Andrew “Drew” Vento of Makai Properties who lets Hannah Sirois know how she’s doing in terms of sales.
He’ll call, and say, “Hannah, do you know how you’re doing this year?” Sirois will answer in the negative, and Vento will let her know.
It may be that she is simply too busy to check. It may be that the statistics aren’t nearly as important to her as her clients are.
Her results in 2005, which she does know about, are stunning.
She represented buyer or seller, or both, in 135.5 sales worth a total of $92,957,626 last year, with an average sale price of $706,000 when she represented the buyer, and $699,480 when she represented the seller.
She more than doubled the sales volume of the second-closest real-estate professional on Kaua’i last year, Barbara L. Sloan of Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty, who represented buyer or seller in transactions worth just under $39 million, according to statistics from Hawaii Information Service.
Sirois closed 132 folders last year, an average of one sale every three days, a pace that even when she talks about it is enough to make a lesser person tired.
“That’s a lot of volume, and it takes an incredible support team,” the one she has at Pacific Ocean Properties including owner Frank Supon, husband Peter Sirois, father John Somerville, Jill Pembrook, Delia Valentin, and others, she said.
Single-handedly, Sirois outsold several entire real-estate firms on the island.
Her athletic background as a competitive tennis player prepared her well for her current role, which still involves rising around 4 a.m. daily to get two solid hours of intense, uninterrupted work done at home, which she says is equivalent to five hours of the 9-to-5 grind with its inherent interruptions and disruptions.
She has never been one to be about numbers, unless it’s her tennis score.
“If you just focus on the numbers, you’re missing some of the story,” said Sirois, 43.
An important part of the story of her success in 2005 is the satisfaction she received from seeing the smiles on the faces of local people she helped get into homes in neighborhoods they desired to move into, she said.
“Lots of it is local people moving to neighborhoods of their preference, more so than second-home buyers,” she said of her clients last year and for several years.
“By far and away that is the most satisfying sale,” to see residents’ smiles and empowerment at becoming satisfied property owners, said Sirois, who sold property from Kekaha to Princeville last year.
“I buy more cell phone minutes than anyone I know,” said Sirois, acknowledging that she traveled the island to make her 2005 sales.
Sirois, after traveling the island in 2005, is now settling into her new position as vice president of sales and marketing at Kukui’ula Development Company Hawaii Ltd., where her geographic area narrows to an 1,100-acre strip along the South Shore coastline.
Sirois, still a broker at Pacific Ocean Properties, is responsible for everything from employee housing to high-end homes and lots, all along or near Lawa’i Road in Kukui’ula.
Discussing her chosen profession more than her phenomenal results of the last several years, Sirois said, “People think it’s about marketing. Real estate is all about knowledge, and sharing that knowledge with your client and customer base.”
It is a very tough job, one that requires multi-tasking at all times, a strong support system both at home and in the office, and sensitivity and a lot of focus, she stressed.
“You’re talking about lots and lots of money, and you are working with people’s lives to provide a basic need, shelter. A Realtor has to take it seriously,” she said.
“Your career in real estate is not about you. It’s about your clients’ success. We work extremely hard for our clients,” she said.
“I take it seriously. I take it very seriously,” she continued. “It starts with trust.
“To do your job in real estate to the fullest extent involves full transparency with everyone you’re dealing with,” including the buyer, seller, attorneys, architects, escrow agents, cooperating brokers, and others.
There can be “no agenda,” said Sirois.
Further, it takes years to build “a strong foundation” that she enjoys, and also likes the fact that many of her clients have grown into true friends who, like all her clients, Sirois feels a “fiduciary responsibility” to that “doesn’t end with the transaction.
“This business does not happen overnight for the average Joe,” she said with authority and experience.
Sirois, who has worked with Frank Supon at Pacific Island Properties since 1985, has also been advising Richard Holtzman, president and chief executive officer of Kukui’ula Development, for a few years as well.
A Punahou graduate, Sirois played competitive tennis in high school, college and beyond, and has a deep respect for Kaua’i, her home since 1985.
She has thrived by “living with a little kokua, never stepping over or stepping on, and being very inclusionary,” while taking the time to understand her industry’s people and paperwork, and drawing strength from team members.
At Kukui’ula, she has a chance to “make an impression, guide a team, on a concentrated area,” she continued.
Further, she sees no end to the current real-estate boom, and feels that, not just on Kaua’i, but across the state, “The Hawai’i market is sustainable,” and for as long as she can see there will be people who live here or who have lived here who want to always live in Hawai’i and on Kaua’i.
“The challenge, of course, is employment,” she said. The part about this being a safe, secure, beautiful place within the United States is a solid, constant draw, she added.
In short, she doesn’t see the bubble bursting, as some national money magazine editors are predicting for Hawai’i.
The gains in value have been very predictable, she said, and the cycles of spikes and flattening aren’t as important as asking and answering one basic question of both the buyer and seller: “Is there value in this transaction? If the answer is ‘yes,’ proceed.”
She also discussed a bumper sticker that has been seen around the island: “Kauai; Nice place to visit. Don’t move here.”
“Kauaians have great pride in this island, and all of us, we hope, treat it with respect and adoration so the next and future generations may enjoy it,” she said of the sticker and attending sentiments.
“The fear with a bumper sticker like that is that people moving here don’t (or might not) have the same love for the island, sensitivity, as long-time residents do. As long as we value our culture and community, and act as leaders,” and do things large and small to keep the island beautiful, like carpooling and recycling, everything will be all right, she reasons.
She does have words of advice for visitors: “tread lightly. Respect our ‘aina, and contribute.” She continues to contribute by being a member of The Koloa Early School board of directors, and in ways through her employers.
“I love our community. I like to be able to support the community,” said Sirois, who added that she would feel very awkward being part of a community and not being involved.
Sirois and husband Peter live in Po’ipu with daughter Cassady, a sophomore at Kaua’i High School. Daughter Alex is at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, but has yet to declare a major. She is taking classes as diverse as advanced calculus and Buddhism, her mother said.
Peter Sirois, also with Pacific Ocean Properties, was 16th on the list of top real-estate professionals in terms of overall transaction value in 2005, participating in the exchange of nearly $23 million in Kaua’i property.
- Paul C. Curtis, associate editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or firstname.lastname@example.org