It All Comes Together With a Team

A great big Mahalo for voting us yet again one of the Best of East Hawai`i! With over 1,000 agents on Hawai`i Island, it is truly a great tribute, but I couldn’t do it alone! Years ago, we decided to transition from out-sourcing our assistance to doing everything in-house.

We tried other forms of institutional assistants, but in the end, I felt it was important for us to reach a live person while we are in the field. Virtual platforms did not offer that flexibility. Some agents still prefer to do everything themselves (many think they can’t afford help), but when transaction numbers creep over 50 per year, you’d better have help given the number of moving parts in a real estate transaction.

Our “Secret” Sauce

At about the same time, we made a conscious decision to take our services to a level never offered in our market. It has been a long process getting to this point. These services include pre-listing prep, staging, professional real estate photos, drone photos, and Matterport videos, to name a few.

Increased volume necessitated the need for showing assistance. Our team is composed of a group who are not only committed to making things rock-n-roll on the real estate side, but who are devoted family members with a strong commitment to our community. I’m excited to have you meet them.


Kealohanui Browning is my beautiful (inside and out) middle daughter. She spent her formal academic time at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). Her latest degree was an MBA. I often seek her counsel with complicated projects or business listings. Nui is very involved in our Chamber of Commerce and Hilo Skatepark Coalition. A breast cancer survivor, Nui is an active spokesperson for Clarence Ching Hope Lodge where cancer patients can stay on O`ahu without charge. I can’t say enough about this wonderful person….even if she is my daughter. I hope you get to meet her. If you are like most people, you’ll fall instantly in love with her sweet spirit.


If imitation is really the highest form of flattery, then I’d like to thank Danny Krause. Danny started reading my blogs years ago. So when it was time to list his HPP home, he gave me a call. Having worked at both the Chamber of Commerce and later Hilo Hospital, Danny and his beautiful (local) wife Janie returned to California where Danny then obtained his real estate license. Like any good UH-Hilo grad, Hilo called him home. I was excited to have him join our team as our first buyer’s agent. Danny is a numbers guy. He’s our team statistician. He loves that stuff! His other strong quality is a high ethical commitment and uncompromised attention to detail.


Piliwale Kailihiwa is the newest addition to our buyer’s side. “Pili” was born on O`ahu but grew up on Maui. Her formal background includes schooling in business management and property management in California. She currently generates our listing paperwork while learning the finer points of assisting buyers at the highest level. We love having her on the team.

But wait, there’s more but alas, I’m out of space for now. I hope you will return to meet our admin side. As mundane as it may sound, stay tuned and you’ll see why it really does all come together with a plan…and a team!

Click here for Part 2 to meet the rest of our team!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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