Spotlight on Kathy Awai – Camaraderie, Travel & New Challenges Make An Exciting Hawaii Life

An adventurous spirit and a zest for travel led Hawaii Life agent Kathy Awai from her home in Laguna Beach to Hawaii Island in 1981. She’s called West Hawaii her home for some 38 years, and while she and her husband have traveled widely, she always feels happy and blessed to come home. A self-proclaimed and recovering “sun bunny,” Kathy enjoys the landscape and calm of her home in Waikoloa Village.  “The skies, so pretty, the sunsets, so beautiful, the climate so perfect. The Big Island suits my personality,” says Kathy.

Kathy Awai at Beach 69 (Waialea Beach), Hawaii Island

It’s no wonder she loves it. Kathy lives in the heart of some of the most desirable real estate in Hawaii, where she gardens, reads, and enjoys a little beach time, when she’s not tending to her clients. She’s been living in Waikoloa Village, on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast for more than 18 years. For those readers unfamiliar with it, the Kohala Coast is the epicenter of resort-living and until the recent boom in Honolulu’s urban core, this stretch of coastline has been the leading location for luxury real estate sales in Hawaii for more than a decade.

Kathy Awai and friends on the Big Island of Hawaii

Kathy also likes to keep fit and has been a healthy devotee of the fitness club at the Mauna Lani for more than 15 years, enjoying the resort lifestyle that’s at her doorstep (pictured in the leading photo of this post) to the fullest. Though her career may be “winding down,” her travels are not. She still loves meeting new people and keeping her fingers in the real estate business.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Kathy’s parents immigrated to the United States when she was just two years old, very possibly igniting her passion for travel. Kathy and her husband Wayne’s travels have taken them from Thailand to the Caribbean and beyond. They’ve also visited many of the islands throughout the South Pacific.

Kathy with her husband Wayne at Kapoho Tide Pools.

Waikoloa Village, Kathy’s home turf, is tucked neatly between Kawaihae to the north, and the resort community at Kukio to the south. Kathy has easy access to the lovely white sands of Hapuna Beach, and to the mid-century delights of the celebrated Mauna Kea Beach Resort, just up the highway. The Kailua-Kona airport is also within easy reach for Kathy’s frequent trips abroad. Also, the many conveniences, amenities and shopping in Kailua-Kona are within easy reach.

Kathy Awai, cruising the Caribbean.

Kathy has cultivated a deep knowledge of the Big Island, having spent her first nine years in the islands living in North Kohala, then in historic Waimea for 12 years. Her industry experience, earned through her 18-year professional real estate career devoted to her clients, makes her a sought-after advisor. Her clientele is comprised of older professionals who are, like Kathy herself, nearing retirement. In addition, she says that young families looking to put down roots and invest in their first home are often drawn to work with her.

Kathy Awai doing a vineyard tour on her way to Taos, New Mexico

Kathy is grateful for the role she plays in helping both groups to achieve their distinctive goals of home ownership. She is happy to meet new people of all ages. “I always strive to do my best for my clients and to put their interests first. I strive to be thorough, helpful and honest.”

Kathy joined the team at Hawaii Life in 2010 after a chat with her friend Katie Minkus, who serves as Hawaii Life’s Statewide Director of Business Development. Katie is based out of nearby Puako on the Big Island. “When I spoke to Katie, I was very excited and intrigued by the way Hawaii Life does business. Their tech tools were beyond what I knew about, but joining Hawaii Life offered the chance to learn something new and to do real estate in a whole new way. It was very exciting to me,” says Kathy.

Kathy and her husband Wayne taking a ride through St. Maarten.

The appeal of Hawaii Life lay also in the company’s singular approach and understanding of design, according to Kathy. An avid reader with a love for architecture and design, her favorite book from Hawaii, about Hawaiian furniture, style and decor, is called Hawaii, A Sense of Place. It’s a book by locally renowned interior designer Mary Philpotts McGrath.

From the start, she also came to enjoy a core group of agents and brokers that she still calls friends, and it’s that camaraderie with other Hawaii Life real estate pros like Julie Keller, Rhonda Hay, and Katie Minkus that makes the company feel like home for Kathy. “These are the people I’m comfortable with, and who’ve always been there for me. What would I do without them?” she asks. “I love Hawaii Life because of the agents, some of whom I’ve known for years and their support and friendship is worth millions.”

Kathy is always open to meeting new people. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home on Hawaii Island or in Kathy’s neighborhood on the Kohala Coast, you can find her through her webpage, or you can contact her directly via email at, or by phone at (808) 938 -6864. To view Kathy’s listings and to read more about her, please click here.

Kathy taking a ride with her husband in Thailand.

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