From its start in 2002 as a web design company called Wasabi, Hawaii Life has grown into a multi-dimensional brand, encompassing a billion-dollar real estate business, a television show and a technology platform expanding beyond its Island presence. Founded by Matthew Beall, Winston Welborn and Justin Britt in 2008, the real estate company has expanded from one office on Kauai to 13 offices on the four major Islands, has grown to 218 agents, and exceeded $1 billion in sales in 2016.
With 12 offices around the state, Hawaii Life works collaboratively across the islands to ensure that clients find the perfect property or effectively sell their own homes. With Hawaii's most-trafficked real estate web site, the firm hosts a powerful search tool that provides fast, up-to-date listing results and allows users to save searches, create alerts, and chat with live support. The company also recently hosted its sixth annual Worthshop conference, and a television show based on the company with the same name was recently renewed for its 10th and 11th seasons. The HGTV show, produced by Left/Right TV, premiered in 2013 with an audience of almost 2 million viewers, making it one of the most successful premieres in the network’s history. “The television show was unexpected, but was a big push for the brand and it lead to enormous internet traffic,” Beall said. The increase in the number of agents and web traffic and a desire to capitalize on successful 2016 sales pushed the company to develop a new and improved website, currently in beta mode. The new site will expand on what has been previously successful, and showcase the company’s agents with blog articles. “Our new website is essentially a publishing platform, and will help us share knowledge and connect with all of our agents in a meaningful way,” Welborn said. The company now dominates luxury listings in Hawaii. Hawaii Life has gone from $4.7 million in sales in 2008 to $1.14 billion last year, a 19 percent jump from 2015. According to a statewide market report by the company, there were 241 resale transactions at or above the $3 million price point in Hawaii in 2016, and Hawaii Life represented more buyers and sellers in those transactions than any other real estate brokerage. In the $10 million-plus market segment, there were 21 transactions, of which Hawaii Life represented 14 of the clients, for a market share of 33 percent in 2016, more than double that of any other firm.
There were two benchmark sales on Oahu above $10 million in 2016 excluding the new residential towers of Ward Village and Kakaakao. Beall said there is room for strong growth on Oahu, the newest market to Hawaii Life. “Despite the larger market, we had the smallest volume of sales on Oahu, representing $200 million of the sales volume,” Beall said. “Over time, Oahu will be the largest market for us, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that happened this year.” Hawaii Life expects to expand its presence on Oahu through the completion of new luxury condominium towers in Kakaako, and take advantage of the listings that may open in the neighborhoods of Kahala and Waialae.
January 17, Hawai’i Life has been selected as the exclusive statewide affiliate for Christie’s International Real Estate, a global network of over 32,000 real estate agents in 45 countries, offering luxury real estate services to buyers and sellers worldwide. Hawai’i Life has been a network affiliate since January of 2016 and this new agreement cements the relationship across all the Hawaiian islands, including most recently, Oahu.
“As an Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, we’ve seen how valuable this relationship is and the extra level of reach and vision it provides to our clients,” said Matt Beall, Chief Executive Officer of Hawai’i Life. “Through the Christie’s International Real Estate brand, we market to a global audience of luxury real estate purchasers. Equally important is the spirit of collaboration among the network’s affiliates which represent true excellence in real estate. We at Hawai’i Life will be proud to carry the Christie’s International Real Estate brand in Honolulu and beyond, allowing us to point the way to real estate opportunities statewide.”
Hawai’i Life advertises its luxury listings on the Christie’s international platform, magazine and website, as well as taking advantage of other affiliated programs. Beall also recently attended the Christie’s International Real Estate Owners Conference in London, an invitation-only event uniting brokerage owners from over 30 countries.
“As we’ve worked with Hawai’i Life, we’ve seen their intelligent expansion of the brand throughout the islands,” says Zack Wright, Executive Director of Christie’s International Real Estate. “Matt Beall and his team embody the core values of customer care and attention to detail in every aspect of their organization. We are honored to grow our working relationship to encompass their statewide reach. And what a state it is: Hawaii is surely among the most sought-after destinations for luxury living in the United States and indeed around the world.”
Oahu is the major gateway to the Hawaiian Islands, and its addition to Hawai’i Life’s exclusive territory is a badge of honor for the brokerage, whose strong track record on the other islands promises to be matched on Oahu, the “gathering place” of the Hawaiian chain.
MARY ANNE FITCH
BROKER-IN-CHARGE OF CHRISTIE'S
INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE AFFILIATION
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