HONOLULU – (October 8, 2014) Associate-owned Kahala Associates, one of Hawaii’s premier kamaaina luxury real estate firms, has partnered with international real estate powerhouse LIST Sotheby’s International Realty.
The union creates a new era of luxury real estate services in Hawaii that will put local clients and agents on the world stage. The expanded LIST Sotheby’s International Realty is steeped in the knowledge and culture of Hawaii, Japan and other countries with agents who are active and engaged members of their communities. The partnership with Kahala Associates also creates Oahu’s third-largest agency as measured by total sales and dollar volume by agent. LIST Sotheby’s International Realty remains the name of the enlarged firm, and all Kahala Associates agents and listings have been transitioned accordingly.
“Combining Kahala Associates and LIST Sotheby’s International Realty creates incredible synergies. It injects new energy into the dynamic local market for luxury real estate services and strengthens our global reach and exposure for our clients and agents,” said Myra Brandt, formerly Kahala Associates’ principal broker and now principal broker at LIST Sotheby’s International Realty. “We knew from our first meeting with LIST Sotheby’s International Realty that there was a natural alignment of business development goals and values that truly felt right.”
Brandt said the agreement to merge came together quickly since the strengths of each organization met the business development goals of the other.
“Kahala Associates had been searching for a stronger presence in Asia, especially Japan, and found an ideal match with LIST Sotheby’s International Realty,” she said. “LIST Sotheby’s International Realty has seven offices and nearly 200 agents in Japan alone. Also the Sotheby’s International Realty network reaches buyers and sellers in 53 countries and territories including Hong Kong, Taiwan and China in addition to the clientele of the globally renowned Sotheby’s Auction House.”
Mikako Takemura, managing director of LIST Sotheby’s International Realty, said the company had been considering opportunities to expand its presence in Hawaii through a strong local company with deep understanding and expertise of the local market.
“We are committed to growing and developing our real estate business in Hawaii, and we recognized the uniqueness of this marketplace and the need for strong local leadership. We found that in Myra Brandt and Kahala Associates,” she said. “It is really an amazing alignment of the stars that enabled this deal to come together so quickly. We are extremely pleased and excited to bring a new era of luxury real estate services to Hawaii.”
The expanded LIST Sotheby’s International Realty offers every client a focused luxury real estate experience that maximizes the potential for all clients whether it is a studio condominium or an oceanfront estate. In addition to the full-service real estate brokerage, the comprehensive concierge and relocation services will provide clients with unparalleled real estate services.
The concierge services go beyond traditional property management and include services such as: checking mail; weekly property inspections and rental options for absentee owners; airport pickup and drop off; restaurant and recreational activities reservations; shopping and stocking of refrigerator; design and remodeling coordination and providing information on almost every aspect of living in Hawaii.
A client-oriented division focusing on relocation services will handle clients’ every need as they relocate from point to point. It provides neighborhood orientation, information on schools, hospitals, recreation, financing, property values and market conditions.
“We understand the importance of maintaining and fostering a relationship with our clients far beyond the sales transaction,” said Brandt. “Our new company’s commitment to continuing education and professional development will help ensure that every client continually receives the highest level of luxury real estate services in Hawaii.”
The merger adds 28 Kahala Associates agents to the 46 Hawaii agents of LIST Sotheby’s International Realty. Kahala Associates has been in business for 13 years.
Kahala Associates was founded in 2001 by Myra and Victor Brandt as Hawaii’s first associate-owned luxury real estate firm offering client-centered service with an emphasis on luxury homes and condominiums, family and employee relocation, and investor/developer representation. Since its founding, Kahala Associates saw steady growth, ultimately becoming one of the most productive (in total sales) real estate firms on Oahu and in Hawaii.
LIST International Realty, Inc.
LIST Sotheby’s International Realty
LIST International Realty, Inc., is the wholly owned subsidiary of LIST Co., Ltd., a leading real estate and development company in Kanagawa, Japan. Established in 1991 by Mr. Hisashi Kitami, LIST Co., Ltd. has developed and sold over 7,000 condominium and housing units in Japan over the years. In 2010, in order to expand its domestic real estate business, LIST obtained the exclusive rights to the Sotheby’s International Realty master franchise in Japan. Mr. Kitami was interested in the Sotheby’s brand because its business model was unique and because he felt that Sotheby’s tight global support and network would be an advantage. Through the Japan Sotheby’s International Realty business, the Hawaii relationship was built, resulting in the establishment of LIST International Realty, Inc. in Hawaii, and its 2013 acquisition of Mary Worrall Associates Sotheby’s International Realty, which is now known as LIST Sotheby’s International Realty.
Hisashi Kitami, President & CEO
LIST Sotheby’s International Realty
LIST Co., Ltd.
Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, Hisashi Kitami has achieved great success in real estate development and brokerage. At the age of 26, he founded List Company, which has grown to more than 300 employees in Japan. The List Company brokerage arm has earned a reputation for providing knowledgeable, exceptional service to clients for more than two decades. In addition, the development arm of the company has completed successful projects such as List Garden and List Residence condominiums in Japan.
In an effort to expand business opportunities, Mr. Kitami obtained the Japan franchise for the Sotheby’s International Realty brand. In 2011, he opened Japan Sotheby’s International Realty in Tokyo. There, Mr. Kitami has developed a successful brokerage business, providing clients with international access to real estate opportunities around the world. Mr. Kitami’s appreciation for Hawaii prompted the purchase of Mary Worrall Associates Sotheby’s International Realty in 2013.
Mr. Kitami’s deep commitment to the local community has molded his vision for the Oahu operations, which includes the growth of local business, continued development of the Asia-Hawaii market, and local condominium and residential development. Raised near the beaches of Kamakura, Japan, Mr. Kitami is an avid surfer and now spends leisure time in the waters off Honolulu, a city he has visited more than 100 times. He is also very involved in sports and community organizations in Yokohama, including the Yokohama Baystars, a professional baseball team, and the Yokohama Mariners, a professional soccer team.