Big Island

Still… ”Safer at Home”

So far, REALTORS® are still working under a “safer at home” order. While the initial proclamation declared “real estate” an essential service, it was later interpreted that this applied to (mainly) property managers (rental agents).

The directive for sales agents remains that we’re supposed to operate electronically by initially offering virtual tours and walk-throughs. Once completed, we can meet a buyer at a listing if normal protocols (mask, etc) are followed. As a group, one of the most interesting adjustments Realtors have made is participation in virtual caravans.

Realtor Caravans

A “caravan” is traditionally where a group of agents get together and go from house-to-house pre-viewing active listings. Honestly, I often wonder what the neighbors must think (drug raid perhaps?). Caravans are a great way for an agent to “multiply themselves.” It provides the opportunity to get other agents excited about my listings. During this stay at home period, we have transitioned to substituting in person tours to virtual “walk-throughs.” There is no question that we live on a very big island. It’s not uncommon for physical caravans to last past noon. Many properties are excluded because roads are too rough, and properties are too isolated. It can take 45 minutes to go a mile sometimes. The condition of some Big Island roads is exactly the reason most agents drive big SUVs. Virtual caravans have become so popular that they may soon be the norm for some areas.

Local vs. National

On another topic, this past week is normally the time REALTORS® travel to Washington DC for mid-year meetings. These, of course, were done virtually this year. Participating in East Coast meetings means getting up very early. Anytime I attend national real estate conferences, the highlight for me is hearing from our National Association of REALTORS® economist. Lawrence Yun did not disappoint. His perspective is, of course, national. As an agent, my job is to attempt to layer a local perspective.

Like our local market, he acknowledged that prices are still on the rise. It makes perfect sense. Prior to COVID, inventory was already short and because listings are being held back or withdrawn, the shortage has become more acute. He noted that most buyers understand this and are not expecting a deep discount.

Like Hawaii, not surprisingly, national sales numbers have decreased. Mortgage applications were down initially 35%, but last week were only down 10%. He does not expect wide-spread foreclosures if 90% of the workforce returns to work quickly. Remember those virtual tours I mentioned, the same technology is allowing more and more agents to service off-island buyers using technology to sell homes. We are no longer surprised to receive sight unseen offers based on a virtual tour or video walk-thru.

Real Estate Wine’d Down

Our last Wine’d Down via Zoom featured Niki Hubbard from VIP Mortgage, Daniel Hartong from Sevco Appraisals and Emilia Carangelo from Fidelity Title and Escrow. It was the perfect blend of knowledge from three services that are so integral to our process. Ryan Kadota, of course, started us off with the weekly Team Nakanishi wine selection (yum!). For a video recording or synopsis, email Ash.

Join Us!

Be sure to join us for our next Real Estate Wine’d Down via Zoom when we’ll be joined by an equally impressive group of experts. Just contact me or Ash and we’ll get you an invite. It’s a fun and very informational way to end yet another Safer at home Monday!

Related Posts:

COVID-19 & Real Estate 2020

Keeping it Real…Daily Changes!

Meet Me on Monday – Real Estate Wine’d Down

Time to List

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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Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

May 26, 2020

Are your colleagues invited for Wineʻd Down? You know me…

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