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About Richard Dolbeare

Former Aerospace Engineer Richard Dolbeare & Former Certified Residential Specialist  

Aerospace Career/AWACS-- Aloha and welcome to Hawaii!  I am fortunate to have had an enjoyable 2nd profession in real estate sales after my 35 years as a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry.  Although I left my engineering career behind in 2004 because I wanted to live and work in Hawaii, I will always cherish my memories from those 35 years.  As I look back, I consider my work on the AWACS Sentry program to be the most rewarding of all, the reason for its picture herein.  It's amazing to see that it's still flying and performing its intended function even though developed way back in the 1970's.  Upgrades have kept it alive, healthy, and important to the national defense.  That dome on top contains the phased-array antenna with supporting electronics located down in the cabin.  My role was to develop the precise temperature stabilization/cooling system for the antenna.  Within that system, it was the development of the self-pressurizing reservoir as a weight-saving alternative to heavy, spring-loaded accumulators that was most consequential.

Hawaii Real Estate-- Once I started working in real estate sales, my focus shifted from things that fly through the air to homes that sit on top the ground.  Both require a high degree of knowledge and dedication, traits which have allowed me to be successful in both.  While I think of AWACS as evidence of my engineering success, my CRS designation is evidence of my success in real estate.  CRS is an exclusive "club" with only the top 4% of agents having qualified for membership.  Membership is restricted to those who are top performers as demonstrated by a high number of sales in addition to extensive continuing educational requirements.

Experience is Crucial-- I ran into multiple situations that required experience and good professional contacts to obtain a positive outcome.  What to do as a seller's agent when under contract with a buyer who refuses to make mandatory deposits while he and escrow refuse to accept cancellation?  What to do as a seller's agent when the contract requires vacation rental reservations be transferred to the buyer but the management company refuses?  What to do when a buyer discovers his land purchase won't qualify for a building permit due to absence of water rights and his agent hadn't told him that?  These are just a few of the memorable experiences I've dealt with and resolved.

Now Retired-- After 35 years in the engineering profession and another 18 years in real estate sales, I made the decision to retire.  My Hawaii Real Estate Broker License # RB-20941 is officially INACTIVE as of August 2022.  I'm still the owner of multiple Hawaii properties including 2 rentals.Current hobbies include website development and photography (Drone, HDR & 360)

The following information is historical, Richard is now inactive in real estate sales


(Notice:  As of August 2022, Richard Dolbeare is INACTIVE, not affiliated with any brokerage, and cannot assist in buying or selling real estate)

Aloha and welcome to my real estate website designed to assist you in making your dream of Hawaii real estate ownership come true.  My extensive knowledge of island real estate, both resales and new construction, coupled with 35 years of corporate business & management experience in a major aerospace corporation are unique on the islands.  I hold Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from a mainland university and this assures you of service by a true professional.  The plethora of awards shown below attest to my extensive knowledge, experience, performance, and dedication to the real estate profession.

I hold the Certified Residential Specialist® (CRS) designation, the granddaddy of real estate designations attesting to both knowledge and experience in real estate transactions.  I'm also certified as an Accredited Buyer Representative® (ABR) by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC) of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. This coveted designation is the benchmark of excellence for buyer representation and is awarded to fewer than 5% of Kauai real estate professionals meeting key educational and experience criteria. The addition of my e-PRO certification means that I'm an expert in marketing technology so important today when the majority of home buyers begin their search on the internet.  Other designations include Resort & Second Home Property Specialist, and Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource.

I own multiple properties in Hawaii including the islands of Kauai and Maui which has provided financial security and made it easy to do business on both islands.  I have extensive sales experience in homes, condominiums, vacant land, and housing projects.  My broad referral network allows me to link you with an experienced agent on the other Hawaiian islands and anywhere in the U.S.A.  I owe my success to my wonderful clients and I am pleased that I have played a role in making their dreams come true.

On a personal note, I am the father of 2 wonderful children who are now young adults, both married and living on the East Coast.  I first became a grandfather in 2009 and now have 4 delightful grandchildren.  My goal is to see them become parents themselves so that I will be a great-grandfather and still selling Hawaii real estate!!!

I work hard for my clients, even the fellow below who was looking for a banana farm!!!

Monkey Business?

(Yes, I like to have fun in my job!)


Testimonials From Clients

M.F.--October 2017

Dear Richard,

Thank you again for all of your help!  I really appreciate your responsiveness and knowledge!  Thank you for agreeing to take this transaction.  Sincerely, M.F.

L. C.
--August 2014

Richard Dolbeare recently sold a vacant lot for me in Kapaa, Hawaii. It was a pleasure to work with him and he was always available for questions and kept me up to date on market conditions and showings of the property.

He is a skilled real estate professional. He is a good communicator and skilled in marketing and every other aspect of real estate transactions. Richard is always available to talk. It seems his work is his life.

I had tried other agents, but never had an offer and I don't think the property was even shown to potential buyers by my other agents. It was a tough property to sell.

Richard put on an effective marketing program for the property, he kept me informed, he let me know the condition of the property and the need to do some cleanup to prepare for showing the property. I was on the mainland throughout the selling and closing process. He effectively worked on issues with neighbors on my behalf.

He helped me set an asking price and helped me through the negotiating process. He also was helpful in the closing process and smoothed out a couple of issues for me with the title company. He made it easy to get the deal closed.

Anyone needing an agent for selling or buying property in Kauai would be wise to engage Richard Dolbeare.

R. M.--
April 2014

Richard was our agent when we purchased our Kauai home. I took a long time for us to find a home we liked and could afford. Richard was very consistent in sending us listings of possibilities, since we were living in Pennsylvania at the time. Once we decided there were several for us to choose from, we made a trip to Kauai to visit them. The process was well planned and we quickly narrowed our choices. Once the final decision was made on which one we wanted, the process was made easier with Richard holding the reins. We were so impressed with Richard's caring thoughtfulness and attentiveness, he became a friend.

J. A.--
April 2014

I have had the good fortune to work with Richard Dolbeare, real estate professional on the purchase of a property in Hawaii. Without a doubt, Richard is the finest real estate professional I have ever had the opportunity to work with. Among his many attributes which give me, a client. deep respect, trust and appreciation are: Richard is professional, knowledgeable, and understands in detail markets and purchase options. Richard has never failed to follow-up with me on questions and details and he always follows up with clear and concise information. I feel that Richard has been and will continue to be with me every step of the way. He also is a detail-oriented person who prides himself, and rightfully so, on being an advocate for his client. Richard takes the time to really listen and understand the wants and needs of his client and then follows through. His professional background and training as an aerospace engineer and now real estate professional is also characterized by his research, market knowledge, temperament and personality for this complicated profession. I am thankful that Richard has been my partner in this venture. I recommend him without reservation.

S. C.--September 2011

Richard has been and always will be my first agent of choice. He is very helpful, knows his work like nobody else. He is efficient and understanding to his clients needs. He is prompt and works very hard to make sure that his clients are well taken care of.

He uses modern methods to analyze the market and is very thorough in bringing back the best to his clients based on their desire in reaching their goal of finding their dream home or any other real estate needs. His experience is just a added bonus that makes Richard an outstanding agent.

J. D.--
January 2010

Aloha Richard.  It gives me great pleasure to personally thank you for your great dedication and service you provided in helping me in the sale of my home and lots during a very severe downturn in the real estate market. I will be pleased to recommend you to my family and friends.

John & Ruth from Pennsylvania

Richard was extremely patient and assisted us over a period of two years. I couldn't ask for a better representative.

Ben & Jennifer on Kauai

I have purchased homes in multiple states and worked with multiple realtors.  All I can say is Richard Dolbeare is one of the best.  Professional, timely, and an expert in all things related to real estate.  Every question my family and I asked was answered quickly and thoroughly.  Every concern that came up was explained and assessed in a manner that made us confident we were making good choices every step of the way.  In a show of his devotion to his clients, not his commission, Richard saved us from making a costly purchasing mistake on a more expensive home than the one we ended up with.  Richard is the embodiment of real estate professionalism.  I would highly recommend him to anyone thinking of making any real estate transaction.  Above that, we plan on using Richard for our next deal.  Mahalo Richard!

Chris, Rami, Kylie (A.K.A. "Squirt")Gift basket from delighted clients

Thank you so much for your professionalism, Aloha Spirit and real estate knowledge.  Wow!  You work fast, intelligently and with extreme personability!  We feel so blessed that you were recommended to us.  We hope you enjoy our tropical gift basket.  Thank you for helping us get our slice of paradise.

DS in Koloa, HI

I just wanted to say mahalo for the very thoughtful package you sent us recently.

C & R in Fresno, CA

Dear Richard,

Thank you for all of your help!  You are the best!  We appreciate all of your insight.

Patty in Lakeville, MN

I just bought a home on Kauai with a referral that you gave me. Richard Dolbeare has been an outstanding and helpful realtor who I will strongly recommend to family and friends. He is a very knowledgeable, warm and friendly, helpful, with a great sense of humor to boot! Please do offer him many more referrals, cause he will not do you wrong! We found him to be very ethical and professional to boot!  

Bruce & Rose on Okinawa, Japan

Thanks for all your help.  We'll be in touch for all of our future real estate needs.  Aloha & Mahalo.


Interview with Richard Dolbeare, a Hawaii REALTOR® specializing in Kauai real estate sales

By Rhonda J., December 2009

Richard, I appreciate your taking a few minutes to talk with me.  Let me start by asking how you ended up living in Hawaii?

Well Rhonda, after growing up in the Midwest and graduating from college there, I moved to the East Coast where I worked in the aerospace industry for 35 years, starting as a design engineer and later managing a design engineering department.  That career was hugely rewarding in many ways or I would never have continued for that long.  However I had fallen in love with Hawaii from my very first trip in the early ‘90’s.  That attraction grew stronger and stronger with each subsequent trip and I eventually decided that I wanted to live here full time.  I view planning as essential to making dreams come true and so put together a long-term plan to make this one happen.  I began buying properties in Hawaii and eventually had holdings that included vacant land, a home, and 2 condos.   All but the land were rented out to provide a source of income.  I bought a car to use when there so I could bypass the car rental counters upon my arrival.  A year before making the move, I sold my Maryland home and moved into a rental so that I had that behind me.  The Hawaii real estate holdings had made me financially secure and once eligible for early retirement, I packed my bags, drove cross-country, sold my car on the West Coast and flew on to Hawaii.  I spent the first night in a hotel and then moved into my Kauai West Side home the next day.  That was back in 2004 and I’m still loving life here in paradise.


What is it that attracted you to real estate as a 2nd career?

I wasn’t ready to quit working but I did want to try something different.  Real estate sales was a business I understood from having invested in multiple real estate properties over the years.  There was also a social component of my decision.  I was living in a new place where I didn’t know anybody which was an issue that needed to be fixed and fixed quickly.  Real estate sales offered the opportunity to build relationships with clients from all over the world and to establish professional relationships with hundreds of agents and support personnel.  I would point out that being known and respected by the other agents is critical in this business because most transactions involve working with another agent.


What about your background prepared you for real estate sales?

Rhonda, when I first entered real estate sales I didn’t stop to think that I should promote my background as something that prepared me for this business.  Now that I have years of history, I can see that my background gave me a critical advantage in 3 major ways.

First of all, I’m highly educated with Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Southern Illinois University.  College degrees while not unheard of in real estate sales are nevertheless relatively rare.  A key discriminator of mine is that this background trained me in how to approach a problem and get it solved.  It taught me the importance of accuracy and getting it done right.  These are highly-valued traits in my new business and set me apart from the majority.

Secondly, I’m accustomed to working with people from all walks of life.  In my former career, I worked with hourly, salaried, and professional people, both union and non-union.  I learned to be adaptable, personable, and to remain calm in situations of adversity while seeking a solution.  It was here that I learned the art of negotiation which is so crucial to real estate sales.

And lastly I came from an industry where failure was not an option as peoples’ lives were often on the line.  I’ve carried this over to real estate sales and believe that accuracy, responsiveness, and being proactive are all essential in avoiding problems.  I’ve also learned that there really is a solution to every problem if we only just spend the effort to look for one.  An important component in every solution is that is must be mutually satisfactory to all parties, a win-win solution.  This is integral with the Keller Williams belief system expressed as “WI4C2TS”, with that first “W” standing for "win-win".  If you're curious about those other letters, they stand for Integrity, Customers [first], Commitment, Communication, Creativity, Teamwork, Trust, Success.


What about your family?

I have 2 wonderful children, both are married and living on the East Coast.  In 2009 I became a grandfather, a status in life I adore.  I make a point to visit yearly and have already held my new granddaughter Zoe on my lap.  While it would be nice to be closer, I’m realistic and know that my children have their own lives to lead and very busy ones at that since they and their spouses all work long hours in their demanding jobs.  We stay in touch by phone and email and are able to maintain our family relationship long distance.  The same is true with my mother who is 91 years old and going strong.  She has come up to speed in the internet age and loves her email.  Her new computer has a video camera built in and we Skype with each other to stay in touch.  As you know, Skype allows both voice and video and best of all, it’s FREE!


What is it that has made you successful in real estate sales?

Rhonda, at one time I might have just said I’m a lucky guy.  But now with years of experience under my belt, I’m well aware that it’s much more than luck.  I have the educational and professional background which enables me to work with clients from all areas of life.  I’m intelligent, wise, creative, and know how to plan and execute.  My decisions are well thought out and are forward looking to assure long-term objectives are met.  My  decision in 2009 to move from Century 21 to Keller Williams is an example of that.  Keller Williams is the fastest-growing real estate franchise in the nation and is currently the 3rd largest in the nation.  Who doesn’t want to be part of a fast-growing organization!  I hate failure and thus am driven to succeed regardless of the obstacles.  I enjoy my work immensely which allows me to work hard and work long hours without getting burned out.  This career is just so fulfilling on a personal level that I can’t imagine ever giving it up.


What advice do you have for those thinking of buying or selling a home in Hawaii?

I have strong opinions on this and highly recommend the following:

a).    Use an agent.  They don’t cost anything for a buyer and are worth their weight in gold.  A seller is well-advised to list with an agent instead of using a go-it-alone approach.  A seller is rarely successful without an agent and surveys have shown that homes usually sell for a significantly lower price without an agent.

b).    Make sure your agent is a REALTOR®.  All REALTORS® subscribe to a code of ethics, must treat all parties fairly, and can be disciplined if they violate that code.

c).    Make sure your REALTOR® is experienced, well-educated, and continuing to further that education.  The educational barriers to entering real estate sales in Hawaii are very low, perhaps the lowest in the nation.  When I first started, it was only 9 days from my first day of class to graduating, passing the real estate test, and being a fully-licensed, active real estate agent.  Nine days!  Compare that to 6 years of college to obtain my Masters degree.  It was shocking to me then and it still is today.  A motivated agent will realize this minimal level of training isn’t nearly enough and will actively seek out additional training.  A good way to tell an agent’s level of training is to check for all those letters after their name.  You will see that mine include “ABR”, “CRS”, “e-PRO”, “RSPS”, SFR, and “BS/MS”.  The consumer doesn’t have to know what those letters mean but it’s very reasonable to conclude that the more you see the more experience and training the agent has.


Thank you Richard for sharing your thoughts with me.

Rhonda, it was a pleasure chatting with you and I love the opportunity to “talk story” about Hawaii real estate.  Hawaii is a very special place, unlike any other I’ve visited in my world travels.  Someone once said that real estate is a good investment because they aren’t making any more of it.  That’s not fully true here in Hawaii as Goddess Pele is busy making more with her Big Island active volcano with lava flowing into the sea and cooling.  But none of that new land will be usable for millions of years which is way too long for those of us living today.  While real estate has ups and downs, long term I strongly believe it’s the key to wealth and financial independence. 


The move from print advertising to the web has accelerated to where it is now the dominant force. Most buyers start their search on the internet so a strong presence there is crucial.  78% of buyers find the home they purchase either through the internet or their real estate agent.  Newspaper ads only account for 1% of sales and magazine ads less than 1%..  Source:  National Association of REALTORS® "Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2010".