By Kyle Galdeira
Despite facing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawai‘i Life continues to thrive as the only statewide, full-service brokerage firm that is 100 percent locally owned and operated with a strong presence on all islands.
The company, specializing in high-end listings and sales, dominates the real estate landscape. It remains true to its local roots, as Hawai‘i Life has headquartered in picturesque Hanalei on Kaua‘i’s north shore since being founded in 2008.
Hawai‘i Life is coming off a record-breaking year, and exceeded $2.17 billion in sales at multiple price points in 2020. The company is the exclusive Hawai‘i brokerage of the newly launched Forbes Global Properties platform, and is one of Luxury Portfolio International’s global network of premier, locally branded real estate companies — distinctions that are reserved for the most distinguished independent brokerages in select cities and destinations worldwide.
The company features 333 agents in 18 offices, and its agents have consistently closed more transactions above $3 million than any other brokerage in Hawai‘i since 2012. The team has been No. 1 in luxury residential listings by both volume and units since 2014. Addition-ally, clients are provided with short- and long-term rental options, which help streamline the process for homeowners and tenants.
“Hawai‘i Life has such a deep bench of talented professionals and expertise. When combined with our global network and our extensive market knowledge of Hawai‘i, we’re able to get great results for our clients,” says CEO Matthew G. Beall. “Hawai‘i Life was forged in adversity of the recession of 2008, and we’re using that same grit and tenacity to navigate the challenges of today.”
Hawai‘i has become a new home for those seeking a healthier lifestyle, a safer place to live and communities aligned with their values; while others invested in real estate as a means of riding out the pandemic. Demand remains high, while the inventory of single-family residences is at an all-time low. The dwindling number of quality homes available for sale at the high-end range may prove to be the local market’s biggest challenge in 2021.
Hawai‘i Life projects 2021 to play out in similar fashion, with an increase in demand from foreign real estate buyers once the COVID-19 vaccine reaches a certain global distribution threshold and international travel resumes.
The luxury condominium market is also expected to pick up pace, with townhomes and detached condominiums likely leading the way. Additionally, the historically low inventory in the single-family residential market will persist for the next few years.
“Overall, we think 2020 and 2021 will prove to be the beginning of a long bull market in high-end real estate in Hawai‘i,” Beall says. “We encourage our clients to begin working with their broker ahead of any planned purchase or sale and to act decisively when opportunities present themselves.”
Hawai‘i Life was named by Inman as Most Innovative Brokerage three times, and was recognized as one of Inman’s 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders five times. HawaiiLife. com is the most trafficked real estate website in Hawai‘i, with as many as 3 million visitors each year. HGTV’s Hawai‘i Life series draws a national audience of 22 million-plus viewers.
“Personally, the human component is very important and differentiating,” says Beall. “Over the years, we’ve been able to attract incredibly talented brokers to our team who are local, professional and really plugged in to their communities. I think our approach is a little more relaxed, more real, without some of the pomp and circumstance that can be associated with real estate salespeople.
“Hawaii is very much a relationship culture, and real estate is a relationship business. Our goal is to enroll our clients in a dignified, respectful interaction with this place and with Hawai‘i Life. Those relationships are really everything.”