''Buyers in Hawaii come from a global market and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury network is unmatched.''

An Interview with Kurtis Becker and Carl Hulen
Luxury Realtors, Hawaii Global Luxury Group at Coldwell Banker Island Properties

Our special interview on Hawaii with KURTIS BECKER and CARL HULEN, luxury realtors with Coldwell Banker Island Properties and the Hawaii Global Luxury Group, delves into the luxury real estate market in Hawaii. Executive Global explores the worldwide shift to virtual workplaces and the reasons Hawaii is drawing remote workers to the islands.

Executive Global: What are some of the characteristics that make Hawaii popular with remote workers looking for a new home for their virtual office? 

Carl Hulen: Number one, the Hawaii lifestyle - living here you can enjoy a balance between work and play that is difficult to find anywhere else on the planet. The weather is nearly perfect year round - you can be outside and on the water (or in it) 365 days a year. Also considering how remote Hawaii is, there is excellent commercial airline service to both the East and the West, and weather delays are virtually non-existent. Because of the range of clientele who travel or live in Hawaii, you’ll find something for everyone - ultra-high-end luxury resorts to laid-back coastal and beach towns. Other characteristics important to remote workers - stress reduction and an exceptional quality of life. 

EG: How about business executives looking for a home for their new remote office? 

CH: All of the above applies - and in addition to the excellent commercial air service, you have private jet terminals on all major islands. Many of the high-end luxury resorts and neighbourhoods offer high levels of privacy. Hawaii is a popular destination for the world’s top business, sports and entertainment professionals but you wouldn’t know it when they are here. From a business operations standpoint, you have excellent internet and phone service in most locations, and access to ‘big-box’ stores and all the major shipping services. When it’s time to relax or network, there are world renowned golf courses on all the islands, and you’ll find your clients and business partners want to schedule meetings at ‘your office’.

EG: What are some of the important features people look for in a Hawaii home / virtual office? 

CH: The number one request from remote workers is an ‘Office with a View’, preferably an ocean view - and considering almost every home in Hawaii is built on the slopes of these volcanic mountains, great ocean views are fairly easy to come by. Homes outfitted with solar are important for remote workers - electricity is expensive in Hawaii and when you’re working from home, the savings from solar can be substantial. There are many aspects to living and working in Hawaii and also to the different islands themselves - the most important thing one can do is talk to a friend or business associate that knows the islands well. 

EG: Do you have an example of the perfect Hawaii home / virtual office?

CHPaul Allen was a good example of a global tech business executive - his former estate in Kailua-Kona is certainly in that category and recently sold for $43 Million.  We have an oceanfront estate for sale, on Ha’ikaua Point in Kona, that is arguably a better example. It has 4 homes on a private peninsula so you don’t have a ‘Zoom-room’, you have an entire house set up as the ultimate ‘office away from office’. With 270 degrees of ocean views, 600+ feet (185 metres) of ocean frontage and world class Kona sunsets year round, the backdrop doesn’t get any better. The owners, who were avid game fishers, built it like a yacht with everything in brass, bronze or copper. It is incredibly well protected, with mountains to the east and an offshore reef to the west - it is set well above sea level and yet offers easy ocean access. But it is the location, overlooking Keauhou Bay, Heeia Bay and the Pacific, that sets it apart. Dolphins routinely pass by right offshore as do humpback whales and their newborn calves every winter. You have to walk the grounds and watch a sunset over the ocean to really experience it - at twilight it is one of the most magical places you can imagine.

EG: Describe the working lifestyle in Hawaii - what does a typical ‘Day at the Office’ look like?

CH: Many of the remote workers are officially based out of an office on the mainland. With the time difference they are able to start early in the morning and be done with work by mid-day, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the Hawaiian lifestyle. Generally it feels like you’re at work in the morning and by that afternoon you’re on vacation.  Hawaii offers a wide variety of activities - virtually every water sport from swimming to surfing or paddle boarding to scuba diving. There are great areas for hiking and biking in some of the most scenic areas found anywhere. In the winter season, you can go skiing on Mauna Kea or build a snowman and be on the beach the same day. For an evening out, there are world class restaurants with farm to table (or ocean to table) offerings every day of the year. It is the Aloha lifestyle. 

EG: Speaking of Aloha, tell us more about the culture in Hawaii?

CH: To many, the thought of Hawaii brings images of palm trees, sandy beaches, receiving a tropical flower lei or watching Hula dancers at a luau - but there is a deeper essence of peace, love and beauty in these islands that imbue a feeling of calmness and timelessness. One of the things which draw people to Hawaii from all over the world is the beautiful and loving Hawaiian people and their culture. Where else can one go and be so warmly welcomed with an ”Aloha” and a lei? The word Aloha itself means greetings, welcome, love, compassion, good wishes and more. How would the world be if we all greeted each other this way? You can learn a lot from Hawaii and the people here, even if simply to relax - they say among the most calming sounds in nature are ocean waves on the shoreline and the sounds of breezes through palm trees with birds singing. Living in Hawaii, you get these every day.  

EG: What services do you offer to individuals looking for a new Hawaii home and office? 

CH: Our team, Hawaii Global Luxury Group, and our brokerage Coldwell Banker Island Properties handle all aspects of acquiring properties in Hawaii, and can assist with the logistics of moving here and establishing a new lifestyle in Hawaii. Our brokerage also has a division handling short-term or long-term rentals and can manage your property if you decide to rent. When our clients decide to sell, we create unique plans for each property and utilise all types of channels designed to maximise exposure for our client’s properties - not only within Hawaii but worldwide. Buyers in Hawaii come from a global market and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury network is unmatched. We strive for excellence and the highest levels of service with each client - always delivered with the spirit of Aloha. This is Hawaii.   EG