Spotlight on Jake Vaughan – Realtor, MBA, Entrepreneur, Dad & Jack of All Trades

Born and raised in Honolulu, Jake Vaughan grew up surfing his local surf breaks in Waikiki and beyond. A family man and outdoorsman, he graduated from Kamehameha Schools, then the University of Colorado, before pursuing his MBA at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He brings an entrepreneurial spirit and a love for his island home to his real estate practice.

“I truly believe in continuous learning, and I am also a firm believer in giving back to our community,” says Jake, who also obtained certification from the Pacific Asian Management Institute (PAMI). The UH Shidler PAMI Program offers certificates in International Management and International Entrepreneurship.

With his family of five, Jake volunteers time to street and beach cleanups, and they support Adopt-A-Highway and the American Cancer Society. Jake and his wife have created a beautiful home in the Kuliou’ou neighborhood of Hawaii Kai, where they live with their three beautiful children and their family dogs. He is passionate about them, saying, “I work hard for them so that I can make a better future for my wife and kids.”


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Over the years, he’s successfully operated several businesses, including his family food concession business in Waikiki, a car detailing operation, and a real estate photography and videography service. He also served as Director of Operations for a local, high-tech startup before ultimately pursuing a career in real estate beginning in 2005, where his combined experience and local knowledge have made him a success. He loves helping other families find their first home or transition between properties, and has helped his clients close more than 140 sales transactions in his career.

Over 14 years, Jake has learned that selling a home is much easier when it is “well-prepared, well-marketed, and well-priced.” With that in mind, he has become somewhat of an expert at styling and staging homes, continuously seeking to find cost-effective ways to add value to his client’s properties before putting them on the market.

Jake’s social media channels are a loving tribute from a devoted husband and father.

Using YouTube videos and the guidance of contractor friends, he taught himself how to fix up properties. “At work, I’m inspired by the possibilities that each property has,” says Jake. “And how we can find the best ways to maximize value through renovation.”

From painting homes inside and out to planting palms to create privacy, Jake can do it all. He’s even learned to replace cabinets, counters and flooring. He uses these skills to help his clients get the best price for their home, and he enjoys the work. His long-term goal is to flip properties for his own family.

Jake markets his listings using several short, HGTV-style videos that document each property’s transformation. He shares these on social media in the weeks leading up to a new property listing to create buzz. During stay-at-home orders this spring, Jake built a spectacular treehouse with and for his kids.

“We capture the finished product with photography and videography with an eye for the Hawaii lifestyle,” says Jake of his work to showcase each home’s unique offerings. He even takes viewers outside of the home’s four walls to highlight what he describes as “the greatest outdoors lifestyle in the world”.

Once the listing is completed and ready for market, Jake taps into Hawaii Life’s strong analytical tools, pulling data on the latest sales to determine the best price to market each property for maximum interest. “The leadership and systems [at Hawaii Life] are rock solid. I believe it is a company with good people and values and a love for community,” says Jake.

In his free time, you can find Jake surfing, paddling, diving, fishing, and hiking Oahu’s trails, and he says he derives even more enjoyment out of his hobbies when he can pursue them with his family. “Our lives revolve around the beautiful Pacific Ocean and all the outdoor activities we can get our hands on,” says Jake.

All of his skills, experience and local knowledge are built into his client service, including his MBA, his photography and videography talents, his entrepreneurship, and his home renovation capabilities.

If you’d like to take advantage of Jake’s many valuable skills and abilities, or if you simply want to learn more about Oahu from a local, you can reach out to Jake by email at or give him a call at (808) 728-5253.


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Jakob Vaughan RA, MBA

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