We wanted to live in Maui and we saw an opportunity in real estate that allowed us to use our resources and skills in an industry that we liked - we love real estate!
We are experienced home owners and real estate investors who have been on both sides of industry trends - we made money and lost money! Real estate has helped us in the past to grow our assets/net worth and we firmly believe that when it's purchased right, it's still a great way to grow personal wealth and improve quality of life and nurture our families.
We experienced a lack of concern and professionalism from real estate agents we had worked with and felt we could provide a MUCH higher level of service. We wanted to create a business with high standards of client service and integrity that would allow us to contribute to the community and provide a living for us.
When we started in this business together, we had a common misconception about real estate agents. We thought that most agents were full time professionals who made their living working with buyers and sellers.
We were quite surprised when we were told that the average agent does less than 2 transactions per year. Lee was in marketing and advertising at the time, working for real estate brokers and he was shocked to find out how many people that call in or email to ask for information never get even one call back. He just didn’t realize how many agents were part-time or were hoping to transition to full time but just couldn’t make it.
At that time, we didn’t understand how complicated a real estate transaction could be, especially in Maui. Here we are frequently dealing with large custom homes on odd size and odd shaped lots, old houses that have been “expanded” over the years and may be “non-conforming” or illegal, and condos and condo-tels that require special lending, and the list goes on. "This ain’t the mainland". It’s not hard for buyers and sellers, at least it shouldn’t be, but it is different.
When we hit the “great recession” everything changed. No longer were we just helping buyers and sellers. What we had to do, had to learn to do, was literally life changing for our clients. Property owners, who became sellers had once had good jobs (frequently 2 or 3 jobs for Maui residents), good credit and good intentions and were suddenly laid off or fired.
Their lives were crumbling and they needed to get out from under a crushing amount of debt and avoid foreclosure. They were hurting, emotions were high, there were divorces, and they were counting on us, not just to sell their property, but to avoid the potential of long term financial consequences. It was messy and complicated, but they were counting on us.
At the same time we had potential buyers who’d dreamt of owning in Maui, but the price of condos and homes made that the impossible dream. Those people were trying to buy foreclosed properties and short sales. They too were emotional, starting from a giddy high of potentially becoming a property owner in Maui, to the frustration of dealing with the delays and re-starts of banks’ seemingly indifferent demand for this, that and the other thing.
That emotion and challenge changed our view of the real estate world. In any business, a savvy owner always wants to understand the customer’s experience to be able to market and develop products from the consumer’s perspective. But being face-to-face or on the phone with a client that is in anguish is emotionally transforming. We started doing everything for a different reason and in a different way.
Our clients deserve a team of dedicated professionals who are empathetic, honest, and lifelong learners who can execute a variety of complicated legal and technical tasks. Buying or selling property can be complicated. That’s why we have our immediate team of dedicated professionals as well as a team of associated professionals. That’s why we frequently travel to the mainland for on-going education and are constantly taking courses on Maui. That’s why we are constantly studying the Maui market and both domestic and international financial trends.
Aloha Group Maui's mission is to competently and confidently represent clients and treat all, especially one another, with aloha.