Real Estate the Fun Way

At 100, Stewart Wade shows that having a positive outlook and a passion for making connections and remaining involved in his community keeps him successful, even after decades in the business.

May 13, 2015

Stewart Wade, CRB, CRS, GRI
Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties
Honolulu, Hawaii

How long have you been in the real estate business?

I started in 1968, helping my brother and his wife who had a real estate office. I gave them so many referrals, I figured I might as well get into the business.

What did you do before getting into real estate?

Well, my first job was right out of high school. I worked at a drug store and was a janitor. Then I worked with the American Rubber Factory in 1933. I was in the Army during World War II and got an honorable discharge. When I came back after the war, I started the first modern garden center in northern California. We built our own buildings and it’s very popular still today. My wife was not doing well and so we moved to Hawaii so she could feel better. When I came to Hawaii I did not have a job but one of my garden customers was in charge of Purina, and I would go out to the ranch with cattle, pigs, and chickens and all of that and they hired me. I represented them for seven years. They wanted to go back to St. Louis but I wanted to stay in Hawaii and that’s when I went into real estate.

So how has the real estate business changed since then for you? I bet technology has changed a lot.

Quite a bit. We used to write out a contract with one page and some carbon paper on the second page and that’s all we had. Now we have to have at least 20 pages. We used to use the slide rule and then we had the calculators with the crank on the side and, of course, you know what we have now.

How do you meet prospects and new clients? What is the strategy you’ve taken with that?

I mainly meet new clients through referrals. I used to get referrals from the bank. The top banker was on the Boy Scouts’ board, so I got a lot of referrals through that. Everywhere you go, if you do a good job, you make friends and then they pass their friends on to you.

Do you still enjoy real estate? What motivates you to keep working and not retire?

I have fun doing it. I don’t get along with these fellas who retire at 65. I have tremendous fun and have made too many friends.

How has real estate in Hawaii changed over the last 40 years?

Well it’s gotten more and more complicated, but it’s changed just like other businesses with new computers. And we have to advertise more, I think.

What is your daily schedule like these days?

We often have a meeting early in the morning in Honolulu, which means I have to get up at 5:00 and that’s Wednesday morning. We had a 9:00 meeting this morning at the office. If we don’t have anything else, I try to swim three days a week in the ocean. I swim for ten minutes to half-an-hour without stopping and it’s a wonderful exercise. I really look forward to it and enjoy it. Once in a while we get a jelly fish that hits us but not very often.

What advice do you have for agents who are just starting out in the business?

If you don’t have the right attitude it’s no fun and you should get out of it, because doing what you like is worth everything. It’s really fun and it’s a challenge. You set your goals. But one thing that I tell people is this: Don’t set your goals with a number. Your first goal should be your family, community, and then down the line you’ll have the amount of money you want to make. I think too many people forget their families and they go after the money.

People want integrity. They want to know that they can trust you. You’re not going to sell them something that they shouldn’t have. We just try and get along with people and help them make their own decisions. Well, it’s two ways of taking things: the hard way or the fun way.

Meghan Brozanic is a Writer/Content Strategist for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at