First Quarter Update, 2015

Aloha everyone, I'll spare you any April Fool's jokes (as far as you know, anyway...)

Amazingly, the first quarter of 2015 is already behind us. Last year, especially at the end of the year, I tried to play the role of the pragmatist. I didn't want us to think that our successes were "normal". There were a few anomalies in our sales which, as incredible as they were, would be a mistake to make a model around. (A grand slam in one game is not a predictor of grand slams in future games.)

Yet, here we are, three months into the year and keeping the same amazing pace as we did last year. There are still March closings coming in, but at our present count we've closed 339 transactions for $263 million, this year. If I sound surprised, it's because I am. I'll go on record to say that this pace, while it may continue, is going to require an enormous amount of effort to maintain, by all of us.

I know this because I see how hard we're all already working. We've accomplished in 3 months what all but a handful of companies in Hawaii will accomplish this year... and we've done it with far fewer people...

I'm a salesperson. I know what it's like to be "in the zone". Your world revolves around your business... other things fall into the background. It's not necessarily intentional, it's just required.

I want to just take a moment, though, to acknowledge some of the people behind the curtain at Hawaii Life who are on the receiving end of all this volume, and who aren't paid in commissions...

For starters, Hawaii Life's controller, Sara Niedwick, and the entire accounting department. They've handled this incredible (and growing) increase in volume like absolute professionals. And, they did it all while preparing 1009s for all of us, and the books for the company's taxes. Taxes, escrow closings, agent expenses, everyday bookkeeping. Think about it. Not exactly easy stuff.

Also, Hawaii Life's Transaction Management Department: Karin Warganich, Debi Rickert, and Rachel Acia. The percentage of transactions that they're accountable for in this company continues to go up. We just keep giving them more, and they just keep handling.

Some of you are thinking about that one time that Sara snapped at you. Or that one time that Transaction Management forgot to email somebody something. I want to encourage you to consider, for a second, the volume that these women are dealing with. It's amazing that they haven't strangled one of us by now.

As you know, Hawaii Life is the #1 listing company in the State of Hawaii. We're now up over 480 active listings. With that increase comes a lot of demand on our Creative Crew. The listing syndication alone, whether via email, print, or custom work, is massive. Jenn Stetts, Ginger Mudlin, and Michelle Wamsley are getting $&*t done.

Along the way, we've hired a new Design Director, Anthony Arnold, who's been quietly slaying it in the background, helping ship innumerable custom projects like our upcoming sponsorship of the Merrie Monarch Festival. Anthony story-boarded and basically directed an entire 30-second television commercial to air on KFVE during the event. All on incredibly short notice (thanks to yours truly).

I have to also mention Brad Haeger and our Customer Experience crew, Kahea Zietz and Hawaii Life Vacations (who've been hitting some home runs of their own).

Behind the scenes, there are people who contribute enormous amounts of time and energy to help keep this company great. It's awesome to watch them step up when we all go out generate a ton of business.

I'm not in the habit of predicting the future... but I do know that whatever lies ahead... this crew will handle it.

Bring it on,

Matt