The Real Estate Executive Magazine is a popular national publication with real estate articles and news from around the industry. Each monthly edition introduces another agent. In December of 2006, I have been the featured Maui Real Estate Agent in an issue of the Real Estate Executive Magazine, Hawaii Edition. The cover photograph was taken on the 5th-floor-lanai of the penthouse building in the Wailea Beach Villas, unit J-506. Here is the interview:
"VW" Volker Weiss - Coldwell Banker Island Properties - Determined to Succeed
There is a quote by H. Jackson Brown that says, "In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins - not through strength but by perseverance". Volker Weiss is the stream and his success is no doubt rooted in his perseverance.
Volker Weiss is known to many simply as "VW". Those who know VW will tell you that he is passionate about everything he does and about life in general. The minute he enters a room, it almost seems to literally light up. His dynamic personality seems to charge the room with a positive energy that can not be squelched. He sets the tone for the occasion the moment his hand touches yours and he greets you with his trademark smile and a friendly 'hello'. As the interview continues his sincerity and genuine nature shines through. Weiss is a kind, honest hard working man who is happy to be where he is in life. He makes things happen, nothing seems insurmountable to him. It is as though he thrives on the challenge and the prospect of the new and unfamiliar. VW's vibrant personality is only superseded by his passion for Maui Real Estate. In the business only 3 years, VW has begun to etch his place in this competitive business. VW is one of Coldwell Banker Island Properties top producers with a personal sales volume solidly in the double-digit million-dollar range. His office is located at The Shops at Wailea. The widely recognized national firm’s Shops at Wailea office is the number one producing operation internationally.
Weiss' respect for the island of Maui and its people run deep, this is home. He is a well-traveled, sophisticated business-man who could have opted to live anywhere in the world, but chose to make his life in Maui. "It doesn’t get any better than this", states Weiss. "I really can’t imagine working or living anywhere else". VW enjoys the lifestyle that living on Maui affords him. He loves the water, the beautiful and romantic sunset, and the silken stretch of beaches.
Wailea & Makena Real Estate by VWonMaui
Volker Weiss specializes in one the world’s most beautiful places, Maui Real Estate. VW works with both buyers and sellers. Buyers and sellers reap the benefits of Volker’s vast knowledge of South Maui, particularly the majestic beauty of Wailea Real Estate and Makena Real Estate. Sellers on the other hand, with VW’s negotiation skills and sophisticated marketing strategies, have the advantage. Volker is dedicated to his clients and offers them a customized plan of action. He also provides his clientele with continual updates, which he believes are an important part of the purchasing and selling process. He understands how important it is to the people he is working with, to know the latest developments and challenges. They also know that VW strives to assure a smooth transaction for all parties involved. His reputation for caring, his attention to detail and his marketing strategies are perhaps some of the reasons why he is quickly making a name for himself as one of Maui’s most savvy agents.
The #1 Website for Wailea & Makena Real Estate
Weiss understands the need to keep his clients and prospects abreast of current marketing trends, listings and sales. VW realizes that agents need to embrace modern technology and progress with the times. He remains on the cutting edge of the information age and translates his knowledge and expertise on the Maui Real Estate market to an informative web site: VWonMaui.com. The site is extremely well done and easy to navigate. It pleases the eye and provides timely and up-to-date information on the South Maui market. Volker understands how important it is to have current market information. He makes this available to his clients through his web site as well as through his blog.
Growing up in Germany
As with all successful people, there is always a story behind the drive and the success. There are always people who were instrumental in the shaping of their lives. There are families, friends and mentors along the way, and there is a host of experiences - some positive, some not. Volker Weiss is a man of high ambition and intrigue. Born in Hamburg, Germany to Richard and Heidi Weiss, Volker Weiss was raised in what he describes as a middle class German neighborhood. He grew up in the town of Norderstedt, just north of the city of Hamburg. Volker and his younger brother Stephan grew up having the luxury of being a stones throw away from several countries. Needless to say, the Weiss boys are well traveled.
Weiss speaks of his mother, a homemaker, with great affection: "Mom took great care of my brother and me", he says. "She constantly told us to believe in what we do and we will be successful. She was the nurturer", says Volker. "My mother was and is an incredible person. When I think back now, I do not know how she managed to do it all - but she did", says Volker.
His father, Richard, was an entrepreneur. VW remembers his father as constantly working: "He would come home from work after we were in bed and leave early in the morning". Volker’s upbringing was strict and his father was extremely traditional. He was the provider and the disciplinarian. Although his parents were strict, they did encourage their young sons to find their own passion and gave them the freedom to make their own choices. "Dad is the one who told us that freedom is the most expensive good in life, but it will also give the most peace".
Volker and his brother remain close. It is evident that VW holds a deep respect for his younger brother. "Stephan is successful, he owns his own business and is a single parent, he’s a self-made guy", says VW. "I love him and I am proud of him. My brother was always there when I needed him". The boys learned to lean on each other for support throughout their youth, as they grew into men they formed a bond and a friendship that is rooted by mutual respect.
Swimming & Traveling
By the age of 10, Weiss had started swimming, as a young man he was selected for a national program aimed at developing champion swimmers at an exclusive boarding school. The school was an elite facility set up to support the national swimming team of Germany. He and his school mates would rise at 5:00 a.m. to train until 6:30 a.m., they would train again in the afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Volker kept this rigid schedule and his rigorous training for 4 years and went on to swim competitively for over a decade. He traveled extensively competing throughout Europe and won several medals. The school located in Malente and Eutin, which is near the Baltic Sea, was a dream come true for Weiss. He recalls spending much of his spare time toiling around in Ascona and Locarno, Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland. Volker remembers his youth at the boarding school as some of the best times of his life.
Education & Background
The school system differs from that of the American school system. The highest German education, the Abitur, is 14 years of school. Weiss completed his challenging public school education, which was not part of the boarding school. Trainees of the boarding school only roomed and trained at the facility while attending public school.
Upon completing his studies with top honors in English and Economics, Volker completed 15 months of mandatory military service. When asked if he resented the fact that his military service was mandated, Volker shrugged his shoulders and replied, "No. Growing up in Germany you are aware of this fact. It is just something you must do - so you do it, you learn from it and try to make the best of the situation". After his military duty, Volker went on to work for the Atlantic Hotel Kempinski Hamburg. The prestigious hotel is located in the heart of the city. After a lot of long hours and hard work VW was selected for an exchange program between the United States and the German Foreign Ministries for Economics. Volker began to send resumes to various hotels throughout the United States. Hired by a high-end hotel in New York, a last minute twist of fate brought him to Maui. The New York based hotel he was to work for had been sold and the new management did not have a place for him anymore. This did not stop Volker.
How Did You Get To Maui?
Anyone who knows him understands that once he knows what he wants there is no stopping him. While flipping through a local hotel industry trade magazine, he saw an article about a fellow German that was recently named CEO for one of the most upscale hotels in South Maui. In typical VW fashion, he picked up the telephone and called the high-powered executive’s office, introduced himself and the rest is history. Luckily the hotel executive, being from Germany, was familiar with the exchange program and how selective it was. He was offered a position and within a month, VW arrived on Maui and went to work for the Grand Wailea. "I remember they sent a limousine to pick me up at the airport", says Volker. "The sun was setting and I felt like I was coming home". Volker’s career has taken him to many beautiful and exotic places, such as Japan, China and Nepal, but his first love has always remained Maui. After 15 years of living and working on the island of Maui, Volker says he cannot imagine being anywhere else.
VW immediately appreciated the opportunity he had been presented. Within six weeks of arriving at the Grand Wailea, he was promoted to management. "I wanted to show them what I could do", he laughs. "I worked so much that I don’t think I even saw the beach before six weeks after getting here".
VW took stock of his career in the hotel industry. "To be successful in the business you have to relocate often", says Volker. "This was not an option for me any longer, so I had to make a career change".
The New Commitment
Volker took a step back and relied on two areas he knew well and loved, service and south Maui. He was looking for a career where you could enjoy a high level of success without being forced to relocate. Maui Real Estate seemed to be a perfect fit. In 2003, VW received his real estate license. Again, Volker had a plan and he knew what he wanted, he wanted to work for Coldwell Banker Island Properties. He had no experience and no contacts, but he did know what he wanted. He met with Bob Cella, Broker Owner of Coldwell Banker Island Properties and the rest was history. Three years later, Volker Weiss is one of his offices top producers. He has received the nationally recognized firm’s President’s Circle Award and has earned the designation of Certified Previews® Property Specialist.
VW credits his early success in the business to two real estate powerhouses, Bob Cella and Jim Wagner. "I am thankful to have the support of these two men", states Volker. "Their support and advice has contributed greatly to my success". Volker recalls the best advice he has received since he entered real estate is from Cella. "Bob asked me directly how badly I wanted to succeed", says Volker. "He encouraged me to determine what level of success I wanted and then go for it".
Partnership & Experience
VW is also quick to credit Title Guaranty for their commitment to his success. "I have received an enormous amount of support and training from Title Guaranty. I firmly believe that they have been instrumental in my success. Shannon Cortez, Escrow Officer, has been a dream to work with. She is accessible and reliable. I would not hesitate recommending Shannon to other Maui Real Estate professionals", says VW. He also mentions the amazing support provided by Patrick Kilbride, Marketing Representative, also with Title Guaranty at the time. "Patrick was very helpful when I first started in real estate. He was informative of the local market and assisted me with my early marketing", says Volker.
Volker Weiss’ ambition, dedication and commitment are definite reasons for his incredible rise to success in the Wailea Real Estate arena. Volker has managed to create a niche for himself and already garners a reputation for being one of the best agents on Maui. VW believes that his travels and previous work experience have contributed to his understanding of people and other cultures. One such experience is his exposure to the Japanese way of doing business. "When I went to Japan, it changed my life", says VW. "The concept that nothing is just about one person, but it is about what is beneficial for the group as a whole. It was an amazing experience in the area of team work, lifestyle and how to get someone to work for you and doing it in the right way".
Spare Time On Maui
In his spare time, you will find VW in the water. He has a passion for windsurfing, which is his favorite way to unwind after a long and arduous day at the office. "This is one of the toughest things I’ve learned", he says. "It takes a while to master, but once you do there’s nothing quite like it". Volker’s other interests include Maui Photography, SUP (Stand-up Paddling), biking, swimming and of course, his love for fine German Automobiles is well known.
When asked what advise he would give to new and upcoming agents, Volker quickly responded, "Do not even consider getting into the business if you think real estate can be a part time job. If you decide to become an agent, be serious and focused", he says. "This job is for 'lonely warriors'. Find the right people who will really support you".
Current & Future Plans
What are Volker’s plans for the future? There are no limits as to how high this energetic, ambitious and dynamic professional can go. He is a smart business man with a plan. He has a keen understanding of the local Wailea Real Estate and Makena Real Estate markets and its trends, combined with his deep understanding of what his clients want, will propel him to the highest echelons of the industry. "I have bought and sold many properties in the past. The first time I sat down with VW he looked me right in the eyes and I knew his sincerity was genuine", says one of Volker’s loyal clients.
VW also looks forward to helping his neighbors and the community overall. He recognizes that Maui has been extremely good to him and he wants to give back to his community. He wants to help the people around him and once he has taken up a cause, rest assured Volker will see it to fruition.
His future is bright and limitless, nothing or no one will ever hold him back. For someone so young in the Maui Real Estate business, some may wonder what he does to achieve the incredible success he enjoys. They may ask: What is his secret? The answer may be as simple as Volker Weiss knows what he wants and goes after it. His tenacity and his ambition have served him well, but he never looses the personal human touch. VW is devoted to his clients, he works hard and continues to research ways to provide better customer care and meet his clientele’s needs. He is a visionary, a man who knows that the future holds a place for him.
VW is a testament to the fact that if you are willing to dream a little and work a lot, you can achieve your goals. What sets VW apart from other agents? It is simple. He just wants it more.
My Final Comments
Individual paragraph headlines and links have been added to this page. They are not part of the original article published by the Real Estate Executive Magazine. The final print included some additional text and photos. Sorry, but reprints are no longer available.
Much of this interview was done in the Coldwell Banker Island Properties: Shops at Wailea office. It was a great experience, that I really appreciate and never forget! Mahalo for everyone's support, VWonMaui.