Whether it’s setting up an open house, preparing a contract or answering questions, real estate agents are constantly working hard to best serve their clients’ needs.

The Aloha ‘Aina REALTOR® Awards Program publicly recognizes the superstar agents who go above and beyond to provide exceptional service to their clients and colleagues. Sponsored by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, First Hawaiian Bank and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, this award program celebrated its 21st year of honoring the Oahu realtors who excel in the real estate profession.

This year’s ceremony took place on December 1 during the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® Winter General Membership Meeting and honored ten winners – three which hailed from Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties.

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Hsiao Mon Alison SoongRonda Ching Day and Steven Dutcher office were selected among hundreds of nominees across Oahu.

We recently caught up with the winners from Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties to hear their insight and advice on finding success in Hawaii’s real estate industry.


Steven Dutcher – Coldwell Banker Kapolei Office

 stevenFavorite part about working in Hawaii’s real estate market: In such a fast-paced, highly-competitive, and expensive market like Oahu’s, often times “great success” is simply getting a buyer’s offer accepted! It’s awesome when my buyers get their perfect homes for below appraised value, or my sellers get far more net proceeds for their properties than they ever thought possible. Turning renters who never thought they could qualify for any kind of loan into owners a couple months later is something I get great satisfaction from. Especially when those new owners wind up owning their new home for less monthly expense than what they were paying in rent! Smoothly navigating our servicemen and servicewomen through their special transitional concerns and situations is very rewarding. Delivering life-changing results, and seeing the surprise and joy my clients experience is what it’s all about for me!

Recipe for success: Really listening to your clients and putting very much thought into what their needs and desires are. And determining how to achieve those client goals, and then taking the necessary steps to achieve them. Anticipate transactional challenges, and have their solutions ready to go before even getting into contract. Communicate with your clients, and respond to them promptly! Fluent understanding of all transaction-related documents is a must, as contract terms and deadlines are critical and can mean the difference between making client dreams a reality, or a nightmare. Always make the transaction process easy and seamless for all parties involved. Put the agent on the other side in the best light possible for their clients as well.

Advice for future real estate agents: Make sure to get started with a real estate brokerage that has a very solid and extensive training program. While merely passing the licensing exam and joining any brokerage makes it legal to sell real estate, there is still very much to learn in order to truly be competent in such a complex industry. And till more to learn to excel at it. Very few brokerages offer quality training, and many if not most offer very little training or none at all. Take as many real estate courses as you can. Always be learning. And persevere! Real estate can be a tough business to get started in. There is a ton to learn and no matter how experienced an agent is, challenges arise. Especially early on. You’ve got to be strong and never give up.

Ronda Ching Day – Coldwell Banker Waikiki Office


Favorite part about working in Hawaii’s real estate market: I enjoy seeing the diverse inventory – from a micro-unit to a signature home with a magnificent panoramic ocean view.  I enjoy looking at a property and imagining how to renovate and refresh it.  I enjoy observing how owners or their designers have blended different architectural elements or design styles to reflect the property’s setting, the owner’s heritage and/or travel experience.  I love meeting and working with the different kinds of people in Hawaii.  They make my work fun and sometimes a funny experience!  (I have the nicest clients and am fortunate that I can visit them if they move away.)

Recipe for success:

I’ve seen all kinds of people succeed: people who are quiet or animated personalities, as well as, those with analytical or intuitive thought processes.  I’ve been in markets with double-digit interest rates where I thought a 10% interest was a bargain!  I’ve seen dips and stalled markets as well as enjoyed robust ones.  Overall, the recipe for success in the real estate industry calls for:  1 quart of a “Can Do” Attitude, 1 gallon of “Action Now”, 8 pounds of “Commitment to your Client’s Goals” and much resilient perseverance.

Advice for future real estate agents: There are so many entry points into real estate since there are so many career choices: marketing, sales, property management, escrow, lending, administrative support, transaction coordination, staging and more.  If someone is thinking about real estate sales, which is typically paid by commissions after a sale, I would save some funds and think of the experience as a business opportunity, which it is. Meaning you’ll need to invest in your business and yourself. It’s easy to watch HGTV and think real estate sales consists of showing clients homes and hosting open houses. It’s that and more!  The “more” will determine your success and longevity in the profession. As you help more people, you’ll realize that your transactions can be complex or your client may be a savvy investor. The market could slow down and it could take a year to sell a property. You’ll want to have funds for ads (whether print or digital) and other promotions. In a slow market, you’ll need to have stick-to-itiveness to market and sell the  home! With the vast amount of information being available online, it’s very important to set yourself to shine above the competition. To succeed, you need to be a go-getter and invest in your business to educate and market yourself.


Hsiao Mon Alison Soong – Coldwell Banker Leeward Office


Favorite part about working in Hawaii’s real estate market: If you treat your clients like family, they will show their appreciation by providing you with referrals.

Recipe for success: Be positive, be professional, be consistent, follow-up and don’t give up. Then, repeat the process again and again.

Advice for future real estate agents: Sell the truth, be proactive and be passionate in delivering real estate experiences beyond expectation.