Let’s face it…. this is really Number One, and it always will be. At the end of the day (or year), we’re extremely grateful for the incredible quality of life that Hawaii provides.
2.Â Buyer and Sellers “Get It”
We knew the real estate industry was changing, and that real estate marketing had to change as well… The brand promises of the past aren’t delivering. Fortunately, our clients and customers agree with us. In 2009, over 250 people trusted us with their real estate business. Thousands of people have Hawaii Life accounts, and thousands of people visit www.hawaiilife.com everyday.Â We closed our first calendar year with over $50 million in real estate sales, a feat that would have been impressive in the hottest of markets for a brand-new company.
3.Â Our Agency Policy Works
Our commitment to agency has yielded powerful results.Â Over 150 sellers have trusted us to list their Hawaii properties for sale, and in 2009, Hawaii Life sellers netted (a median of) 93% of their List Price, while Buyers who hire Hawaii Life as their Exclusive Agent enjoy a significantly higher margin, and immediate access to the market’s new inventory (and often, even a ‘heads-up’ of what’s coming).
We went through two website launches this year… with multiple revisions, innovations and new features that have won us awards, and garnered the attention of some of the real estate industry’s thought-leaders. We couldn’t have done it without the hard work and commitment of our ‘chefs’ in the kitchen:Â Yacine Merzouk, our lead programmer; Justin Britt, our Head Web Head; Winston Welborn, our Creative Director; and Brad Haeger, our Marketing Researcher.
Our Big Island team has taken Hawaii Life’s business model and injected it with “Solid Representation” rocket-fuel. We can’t say enough about how proud we are of Katie Minkus, BIC and her team of superstars. They are Hawaii Life’s top selling and top listing agents, and they’ve accomplished incredible success all since closing their first transaction in April of 2009.Â Incredible.
In the fall of 2009, Hawaii Life was honored to be chosen by Roberta Haas and her team of Realtors from Hanalei North Shore Properties to organize a merger that immediately made Hawaii Life on Kauai’s top listing brokerages. The power and influence of having Roberta Haas and her team working with Hawaii Life is incredible, and only just begun.
7.Â Unified, Statewide
Also in the fall, Hawaii Life officially became a Statewide brokerage, with Realtors in every County in Hawaii.Â With Tobi Fisher as the Director of Sales on Maui, and David Buck as our Broker for the island of Oahu… Hawaii Life is poised to express our business model in the largest markets in the State. We held our first Annual Brokers’ Summit at the Outrigger Canoe Club in Waikiki… where we discussed and created Hawaii Life’s Core Values.
8.Â More Brokers (than Salespeople)
Earning a Hawaii Real Estate Broker’s license is no easy feat. It requires a minimum of 3 years of full time real estate experience as a salesperson, and rigorous licensing course and State exam. At Hawaii Life, we have a unique policy where we pay for our agents education towards Realtor designations, including their courses and exam to become a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Hawaii. We believe that brokers make better agents, plain and simple. While we grew to 43 Realtors in 2009, we’re honored to announce that 4 of our agents have earned their Brokers license under our guidance:Â Lucy Clark, RB; Kelly Condon, RB, David Buck, RB, and Miriam Perlmutter, RB.Â As a result of their hard work… Hawaii Life now has a higher Broker to Agent ratio than any comparable firm in Hawaii (17 Brokers & 26 Salespeople).
9.Â Bank-Owned Inventory, Hawaii REO Listings
As a company, we’re honored to have caught the attention of local and national asset managers who recognize the power and scope of our marketing, and have hired us to sell their bank-owned real estate. We’re not particularly thrilled about rampant foreclosures in Hawaii, but we do recognize that REO listings are often well-priced, and represent excellent opportunities for buyers who are entering the market, and who are prepared and qualified to give these homes and neighborhoods the love and care that they deserve.
10.Â Luxury Hawaii Real Estate Listings
We’ve moved into the Luxury Listing market. And we’re thrilled about it. Hidden Place, Anini Vista, 180 degrees, Pueo Place are some examples… and there are more to come. Roberta Haas and her team have just listed a home in Ha’ena on Kauai for $8.7m, and Bobby Galchutt and I have to two homes on Kalihiwai Road on Kauai’s north shore starting at $6.9m.
So…. here’s to 2009!