The Law of Contrast

The Law of Contrast is a negotiating principle used when someone is trying to sell you something. They tell you that something costs $10,000 and that everyone around sells that thing for $10,000 and they set your expectations to spend $10,000 for that item… then they pull out their product and show that it’s only $2,000. Suddenly, $2,000 doesn’t seem like that much to spend! This negotiation tactic works because of the law of contrast – our brains compare everything to everything else.

The same thing happens in our everyday lives – we compare and contrast everything around us – to ourselves, our own life and experiences. We look at what other people are wearing, the size of their houses, their cars – and our mind is always comparing and contrasting. This is what tourists are doing when they say to us in Hawaii: “Back in the States we do it like this…” This is a clear indication that the person speaking is so involved with the differences between Hawaii and where they live – contrasting the place, the pace, the culture – that they’ve forgotten that Hawaii IS a state, the 50th, to be exact!

Two weeks ago I experienced this significant contrast in place, pace and culture by attending the National Association of Realtor’s Conference in Las Vegas. Having lived in CA nearly my whole life, I had naturally been accustomed to mainland-style fashion, the speed of speech, aggressive driving, being asked “what do you do?” Living in Hawaii has changed all that. At first, the contrast in my brain told me the difference was huge – almost insurmountable. Hawaii is slow-paced, with no long lines, and a culture where people don’t compare thingswith each other – well, except maybe for “how big is your truck?” :) We have a two-lane highway, and few stoplights. Drivers politely stop traffic to allow left turners to merge, and we have the most gracious BigRig truckers on the planet who nearly always get over to allow faster cars to pass… (who, me?). Naturally, I needed to stop at In-N-Out Burger to calm my brain down after being on the 15 FREEWAY – talk about a contrast to Kawaihae Road and Hawaiian Style Cafe!

The thing is, our brains adjust. I know, It seems an incredible thing to envision living 2500+ miles away in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, because the contrast is too great – this is what makes Hawaii seem like a “dream.” In reality, your mind is just focusing on the contrast – how great the difference is between Hawaii and where you live now. Want to know the secret? Adjust your mind – stop focusing on the contrast, and start focusing on the benefits of soaking in the place, the pace, the culture. Embrace all that Hawaii is, all that is offered, all that is around you – soak it in, and relax. And yes, it does take courage to live on this rock – I know, I’ve made the jump – and every year I make mini-jumps back and forth from Hawaii to the mainland and get to experience that contrast all over again, both ways. If I can, you can. Jump in – the water is fine! (And I won’t tell you how luscious the weather is right now, or you’ll be back focusing on that contrast again…).

Speaking of hurricanes…

Did you hear about the hurricane that was clearly on “Hawaiian-time?” Well, so is my blog… Last week I was going to write a post entitled, “Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Fire! It does take courage to live on a Rock!” Although I’d like to say that I decided not to write such a ridiculous promotional tie-in to the Lava Rock Realty “slogo,” in truth, I’m doing my best to just live Hawaiian-style! Which sometimes means when you’re twirling full speed over the ocean and then hit the giant land mass called the Big Island, you slow down and allow the energy of the island to direct your speed and direction. Lucky I live Hawaii!

Speaking of hurricanes… we’ve reached the end of the traditional “summer chaos” in the Real Estate industry and there is a collective sigh of relief as the speed and direction of the market shifts into the “quiet-time” of the fall season. For those Buyers who are in the know, it’s a GREAT time to purchase that second home, the vacation rental, the retirement home that you’ll move to in “x” years! Interest rates are still good, and if you have a good credit score and verify-able income, my mortgage broker colleagues assure me the loan world is your oyster! Sellers who haven’t sold over the summer can be very anxious and/or can’t wait until the super high holiday season arrives to sell and we often see more flexible pricing during this time.

October 13th is certain to bring a different sort of hurricane to the north west side of the Big Island as the Ironman comes to Hawaii. This is the “tutu kane” of triathalons, and is quite a spectacular event for many reasons. Ever needed to pull out the Thomas Guide to find your way around a road blocked off by a film crew? Welcome to Hawaii – only one main highway on island – and they ride their bikes on it for 112 miles! That means for those of us living along the route, if we don’t leave home by 7:30am, we’re “stuck” at home for the day…sort of like being snowed in, but in 80-degree weather. Still, it never hurts to have a little extra toilet paper, water, rice, beer and poke in the house! Hurricane – Hawaiian-style!

Find Hawaii Real Estate At HawaiiLife.com Property Search Engine

Aloha, this is Katie Minkus, Broker-in-Charge for Lava Rock Realty, located in beautiful upcountry Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii!

We are part of the HawaiiLife.com network of Brokers and have been continually impressed by their service and commitment to accurate property information in Hawaii, and by their giving back to the community through local charities! Hawaii Life understands the need for Buyers to be represented by Buyer’s Brokers, dispelling the myth that a Buyer can get a better “deal” by negotiating directly with the Seller’s Agent. It’s NOT TRUE!! The Seller’s agent represents the Seller exclusively and Buyers need their own professional representative to negotiate on their behalf. This is especially true in Hawaii as property purchases in the 50th state can be very different than those on the mainland. For instance, did you know that the vast majority of Buyer’s due diligence is done in Hawaii only AFTER a property has gone into escrow?? Or that our Standard Purchase Contract is 12 pages long, minimum??

Hawaii Life does a great job of adding value to the lives of those Buyers looking for their own special piece of paradise!! We are huge fans of Hawaii Life and have great respect for their contribution to the real estate industry in Hawaii and to the lives of those who benefit from their charity. Mahalo nui loa, Hawaii Life, for leading the way to living a better life in Hawaii!!!

For a day or a lifetime, It Takes Courage to Live on a Rock!

Connecting the Big Island and the West Coast…

Aloha and welcome to the Big Island of Hawaii! My name is Katie Minkus and I’m the Broker-in-Charge and co-owner of Lava Rock Realty, located in beautiful “Upcountry” Waimea, about halfway between Kona and Hilo.

I was born and raised in Los Gatos, CA, in the heart of the Silicon Valley – a wonderful, laid back, suburban environment with an incredible public school system. I received my BA in English/Business from UCLA and spent about 9 years in the Los Angeles area before returning to the Bay Area in the mid-90s. While living in LA, I earned my Stockbroker’s series 62 & 63 licenses, and worked for Chinon America, selling CD-ROM drives and floppy disk drives. When I moved back to the Bay Area, I worked for Novell, Silicon Graphics and sold for Phoenix II seminars before obtaining my Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. My husband, Dave, was also born and raised in Los Gatos – Dave first started working in the Silicon Valley at age 12 for DisCopy Labs, and subsequently worked for: Symantec, UCLA School of Medicine, US DOD, 3Com, AOL, Tavant and Invisible IT – all in the IT/Computing arena.

Obviously, our lives haven’t all been computers, education and sales – together, Dave and I have been committed to living a life that matters, to creating laughter and fun! We have dedicated a large amount of our time and resources to traveling the world, getting to know and understand different cultures, and being humbled by the continual realization that not everyone in the world wants to trade passports with us! (A uniquely “American” point of view to think everyone would rather live here).

We first bought property on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2001, and moved here full time in 2003 in pursuit of a lifestyle change. We were tired of the “scene” after the brutal years of living through the dot-com boom and bust. The Bay Area had changed and we were dissatisfied with the 24/7 work week, and overwhelming focus on money and status. We were looking for a lifestyle focused more on connecting with people, family, laughter, fun, and enjoying the outdoors, which we found in Hawaii. Along with an incredible community, wonderful friends and our own local ‘ohana – it’s a small Big Island, and we love it here!

Needless to say, we have “plenny kine” connections throughout CA, and scattered friends, family and connections throughout the states and around the world. Have a question about the CA-HI connection? Want to know more about moving to HI? Would you like information on buying/investing/selling a home in the paradise we call Hawaii?

This is my blog. Connecting the West Coast with Hawaii. Like one big 3000 mile bridge over the big blue Pacific.