We've always loved and believed in real estate. Straight out of college, Lee bought our first investment property with a partner. We sold it years later for what seemed like a huge profit. Oh, if we had only known! But it was a successful investment and the first of many, but we hadn't considered real estate as a career.

We were living a perfectly happy life in the Sierra foothills on a lake not far from Lake Tahoe. We started running marathons, 26.2 miles, as a way, an excuse, to travel the world. We were in great shape.

But Barbara started to not feel right. She suddenly started to have aching joints, memory loss, her hair was falling out in clumps and, even though she still ran, she started to gain weight. The doctors she saw were completely at a loss until one asked, "have you ever been tested for Lyme"?

The Lyme test was positive and so began a long and sometimes painful series of treatments. She was told that some of the things that could help was getting out of the cold, damp mountain climate to some place that was warm and at a lower elevation where there would be more oxygen in the air. She was told that swimming in salt water would help.

And so, one cold rainy winter she visited Lahaina for two weeks. The effect was just short of miraculous! Both she and Lee knew that a move to Maui would be a good thing, maybe the only thing for her health.

But what were we going to do on Maui?

Lee was running a marketing consulting company at the time, with several real estate companies as clients. His job was to generate leads and inquiries for the agents. The programs he implemented were very successful, but there was a problem. It was documented that over 90% of the inquiries that came in to the various companies were never responded to by the agents.

He just wanted to pick up the phone and call those people himself. Here are agents that say they want business. He was delivering prospects with some level of interest, some with immediate needs to buy or sell, and the agents weren't even trying to connect.

These agents didn't understand what was at stake. We knew we could do a better job. We'd had a truly great agent in a transaction in Reno, helping us with one of our investment properties. She was on it! She knew what was at stake and was willing to do the work to get it done. We thought we could do that in Maui and make a difference for people.