Elite Pacific Properties plans Kauai expansion

LIHUE — A Honolulu-based brokerage firm in the luxury residential real estate market is expanding to Kauai.

Managing Partners Stephen Cipres and Paul Mayer co-founded Elite Pacific Properties in 2005. The real estate and luxury property management firm has a lead office at Kahala Mall on Oahu, with two Maui offices at Lahaina and Wailea.

Elite has seven full-time property managers, and 79 licensed agents, including 17 on Maui. In 2013 alone, Elite closings averaged $881,202 among 232 transactions, and totaled $204 million in sales.

“The move into Kauai is a strategic step in extending the Elite Pacific Properties brand throughout the state,” Mayer said.

Elite will eventually open a full service office with up to 10 experienced agents on the North Shore of Kauai. However, for now the work will begin with Sean Ahearn, a Kauai Realtor who was recently named a Partner of Elite Pacific Properties.

Ahearn was named Kauai Realtor of the Year for 2008 and continues to rank in the top 5 percent. He was selected to lead a specialized office where experience, work ethic and an understanding of fiduciary responsibility to the client are held to a higher standard, Mayer said.

“Sean’s reputation, knowledge, skills, and work ethic make him the perfect fit with Elite,” Mayer said. “We are proud to have such an outstanding Realtor lead our Kauai efforts and build a first-class team to serve the Kauai luxury market.”

Ahearn has lived on Kauai for more than 12 years and worked previously with Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty. He serves on the board for the MLS provider, Hawaii Information Services, and has served on the Princeville II Design Review Committee and several community groups.

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has made the transaction process more cumbersome, he said. To compare the islands to the Mainland, he said 47 percent of Hawaii real estate first quarter transactions were cash in 2014, where the average around the entire country was 19 to 40 percent.

“Having spent 15 years in software sales in the Bay Area helping to grow companies, it was refreshing to see the development of a Hawaii-born company from afar that was designed to suit the needs of sophisticated buyers and sellers of quality properties,” Ahearn said. “This is an exciting opportunity to introduce Elite to Kauai.”

Ahearn said there are around 65 real estate companies on Kauai, and whether a large firm or a mom and pop, to succeed today they need to do more than leave fliers in a box in front of the property. 

“They need to have a convergence of technology and real estate,” Ahearn said. “Keeping the client informed and engaged is critical.”

Today’s buyer on-island or off, knows as much about the property from learning online as the Realtor, he said.

A realtor’s local knowledge and experience helps to pull together all the relative information to help the buyer make an informed decision.

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