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Law of the land

Realtor Martie Law got her picture on the cover of Top Agent Magazine for the month of February.

With a distribution of about 800,000 across the U.S., that sounds impressive. And it is. But it’s not for what you might expect.

You would think it’s for reaching a certain number of sales, listings or handling more transactions than anyone else. Why else would a magazine about Realtors for Realtors put you on the cover?

Surprise. It’s more for her story, not quite rags to riches, but along that line. Enough to merit six pages after being nominated for the honor.

“I think the best part of the story is that my family moved here in 1969,” she said during an interview at Sleeping Giant Sotheby’s International Realty in Lihue.

That was just the beginning.

Law was born on Kauai and grew up learning construction. Her grandfather, Jim Blackwell, ran a construction company, Blackwell Builders. Her father, Curtis Law, owns Curtis Law Construction.

“Everybody in my family moved here and worked in the construction industry,” she said. “I sort of just followed along in the footsteps of my family.”

As a young adult, Law was a single mom who used HUD vouchers for a time for housing. She went to school during the day, worked at night and raised her daughter, with help from her family. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University, but knew she wanted to live and work on Kauai.

In 2001, she earned her real estate license and later, her broker’s license and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) designation.

Law knew, from her family, that hard work paid off. Overcoming adversity was a given. She learned the ropes in construction from her father while working as a go-fer, tackling anything that was tossed her way. She remembers being 18 and driving a one-ton dump truck.

“I really wanted to be successful,” she said. “My family is very much about working hard. It was always about working hard.”

And by any standards, Law does that.

In real estate, she handles sales of all kinds and is a property manager.

In 2010, when real estate stalled, she returned to working for her dad as a project manager and estimator, and still is the OSHA compliance administrator for his company.

These days, she’s back to focusing her time and talents on real estate, which is doing well and posting solid sales.

Law said being born and raised on Kauai gives her an insight in real estate that not many have.

“I wanted to put a local face on real estate, because everybody needs a Realtor,” she said. “Being local gives me a little bit of an opportunity.”

Law, an avid traveler and photographer, leads a high-energy lifestyle. She hopes to buy another home and remodel it.

“I feel that is rewarding,” she said. “As long as I have the youth and the energy, I’m really excited to do that.”

Meantime, Law wants to guide people through the daunting process of buying property. She even wants to make it seem simple.

She considers herself, in whatever she does, to be “pretty hands-on.”

Law doesn’t get too caught up in handling a set number of transactions. In fact, she likes to limit her number of listings and sales.

“I really prefer to have fewer transitions at higher quality rate,” she said. “And it doesn’t matter about the price point.”

She pays attention to the details of the client, the property and the transaction. And that, she said, leads to happy clients, even if it means there are fewer of them.

“It’s about the client, it’s not about me,” she said. “I think you should do the right thing and the money will follow later on.”

When asked what she likes most about being a Realtor, she said it’s helping people. Among her passions is keeping Kauai, Kauai. And she can do that in real state.

“I understand it’s a cliche coming from a Realtor,” she said. “But that’s how I feel. I want everybody to have a good experience and I want to be there for my clients for life. I’d like to be that resource for everybody.”

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