Berkshire Hawaii Small

Out on a morning walk, I saw a sign for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Hawai’i and decided to give them a call. I wanted to get the insight into what Allie Beth Allman’s crew have gotten themselves into. A few days later, I met local president Tracy Bradley at that first-seen home’s open house. The short answer is that others in Dallas real estate should be a bit worried by the Berkshire firepower and savvy.

The Honolulu real estate playing field was at one time dominated by local brokerages that over time were acquired by national brands like RE/MAX, Prudential and such. Often what was gained in national presence was lost at the local level with layers of mainland management out of touch with the islands. Also, like many conglomerates, technology tools were not the best. Bradley told me of one of her agents who had been screaming for years for a way to embed a video into an email – no link, no Dropbox. Spoiler alert: now she can film a property on her phone and embed the impromptu tour into an email to her client from her phone.

1,820 oceanfront square feet. A snip at $4.69m

1,820 oceanfront square feet. A snip at $4.69m

One of Berkshire’s first real estate acquisitions was Prudential. Apparently, franchisees had the option of opting out and that’s what Hawai’ian offices did. With no presence in high-priced Honolulu, Berkshire approached Bradley and a select group of agents to be their start-up in Hawai’i. Little did I know how timely my meeting would be.

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I see Steve Brown now has the Champ auction story up behind the Dallas Morning News pay wall, which I subscribe to. Nothing new in his report except that the auction house handling the sale once sold one of Cher’s $8.7 million Hawaiian homes. (See what that means.) Meantime, here’s the website for the auction. I have been placing a lot of office bets with people on what the reserve price will be — that is, the seller’s bottom line price. Looks like it is $10.3 million. And for your viewing pleasure, here’s the video Ebby Halliday made when Greg Cagle had the listing: Cinderella parties!

The agents who have tried to sell this home are Joan Eleazer Briggs-Freeman Sothebys, Doris Jacobs Allie Beth Allman, Greg Cagle Ebby Halliday, Cindy Frey Coldwell Banker, Elaine Whitfield & Mathew Edwards, Dave Perry-Miller, Joan Eleazer again and again.