May 28, 2008

Never turn your back on the Ocean

Maui CoastlineAloha water enthusiast and ocean lovers! Usually the ocean at this time of year is calm. This weekend I went out with a friend from Oregon and it reminded me of how big the waves seem to people here on vacation. We of course are used to the bigger waves living in Hawaii all these years. Water safety is one of the most important things to consider when living and vacationing by the ocean.

Here are a few pointers for newcomers and a reminder for the seasoned water people.

Never Swim Alone

Check with lifegaurd or weather service on beach and surf conditions. To check with the National Weather Service for such surf advisories. Their phone number is 245-3564.

Avoid swimming near shorebreaks.

Do not dive into shallow breatking surf or unknown waters.

Be careful on beaches during periods of high surf, since riptides are common during that time. If you get caught in a riptide, don’t fight the current: wait until it subsides , then swim to the shore. Do not panic.

Within our area we have many of the Hawaiian Islands best beaches within the Kohala Coast region.

Here are some of the names of the beaches that people really seem to enjoy.

Lapakahi State Park
Although people rarely swim here but it is part of the true Hawaiian experience. It is made of up of coral and rock. Less wind in the morning.

Hapuna State Park Beach
White sand, good snorkeling, big surf in winter. Always check with lifegaurds before exploring these waters.

Anaeho ‘ Omalu Bay
Located in Waikoloa Beach Park. Good Snorkeling.

Kona Coast State Park
New State park with sand, lava, and coral.


Honokohau

Next to harbor, small sandy beach cove.

Kahalu ‘ u Beach
Big barrier reef keeps bay flat. Good beginner snorkeling.

Kealakakekua Bay
Marine preserve, located five miles south on Alli i Drive.

Pu ‘ Uhonua O Honaunau (City of Refuge)
Historical Park

Punalu’u Beach
Black sand beach, snorkeling and swimming.

Always check in with the lifegaurd on duty and make sure you never turn your back on the ocean.

Ocean front properties in Puako are loved by many different people from around the world for its coral and access to calmer waters.

May 23, 2008

Alaska Airlines announces new Flights direct to Kona, may help since Aloha Airline closure

John Gardner of Puako from Hilo Bay — Farewell Aloha Airlines , we will truly miss you. Alaska Airlines Announces New Service To Minneapolis/St. Paul And Hawaii
Seattle-Minneapolis/St. Paul flights begin Oct. 26, with Seattle-Kona to follow Nov. 17; Anchorage-Maui service to be expanded starting Oct. 31.

5/20/2008 1:10 pm (PT)

SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines today announced it will inaugurate service between Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul and Seattle and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The airline also announced it is expanding its seasonal service between Anchorage and Maui. The flights will be available for purchase starting May 22 at alaskaair.com or by calling (800) ALASKAAIR.

Alaska Airlines will offer year-round twice-daily flights between Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul starting Oct. 26, and year-round once-a-day service between Seattle and Kona beginning Nov. 17. Seasonal flights between Anchorage and Kahului on the island of Maui are increasing from twice to three times weekly from Oct. 31 to April 25, 2009. Service to all three destinations provides convenient connections from cities throughout the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Canada.

“With our new service between Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul, we now fly to one of the largest cities not previously served by Alaska Airlines,” said Andrew Harrison, managing director of planning for Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. “In addition, our new service between Seattle and Kona expands our coverage to all four major Hawaiian islands.”

Harrison said the new routes “are part of a broader effort to trim capacity from underperforming markets and redeploy it in places where customer demand is high.” In conjunction with the new service to Minneapolis/St. Paul and Kona, Harrison outlined these other changes involving Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air:

· Beginning Sept. 7, Alaska Airlines will end nonstop service between Portland, Ore., and Orlando, Fla., and between San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C.

· In addition, Alaska Airlines will not return this winter to three Mexico routes it has flown seasonally in the past between San Francisco and Cancún, Mazatlán and Zihuatanejo. The carrier will continue to serve these destinations nonstop from Los Angeles, as well as operate a daily seasonal nonstop flight between Seattle and Cancún.

· Pending U.S. and Mexican government approval, Horizon Air will assume service previously flown by Alaska Airlines between Los Angeles and La Paz. Horizon will also assume Alaska Airlines’ service between Los Angeles and Loreto, Mexico, starting Sept. 7, with four flights a week.

· Horizon Air will discontinue nonstop service between Spokane, Wash., and Sacramento, Calif., effective Sept. 7. The carrier also will replace its twice-daily nonstop service between Spokane and Los Angeles with two daily same-plane, one-stop flights via Boise, Idaho.

To inaugurate its new service, Alaska Airlines is offering introductory one-way fares of $139 between Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul and $229 between Seattle and Kona. Customers must purchase their tickets by June 5, 2008, and travel by Feb. 12, 2009. Additional restrictions and blackout dates apply.

Alaska Airlines Vacations offers a full line of vacation packages for travel to the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as to Oahu, Kauai and Maui. Packages include air transportation, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and tours.

Alaska Airlines customers can earn double Mileage Plan miles on flights between Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul from Oct. 26 to Dec. 31, 2008. To receive the double miles, customers need to register at alaskaair.com, starting May 21.

Seattle-Minneapolis/St. Paul flights will depart at 6:50 a.m. and 6:40 p.m. Pacific time and arrive at 12:05 p.m. and 11:55 p.m. Central time, respectively. Return flights will depart at 7:40 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. Central time and arrive at 9:15 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. Pacific time, respectively.

Seattle-Kona flights will depart at 8:40 a.m. Pacific time and arrive at 1 p.m. Hawaii time. Return flights will depart at 2 p.m. Hawaii time and arrive at 9:40 p.m. Pacific time.

Alaska Airlines will operate the new flights with Boeing 737-800s, accommodating 16 passengers in first class and 141 in the main cabin. All flights will offer Alaska’s Northern Bites meals-for-purchase service, which allows coach passengers to purchase a meal onboard for $5. Inflight service will also include Alaska Airlines’ digEplayer, a personal entertainment system offering a variety of movies, television shows, music and other features. Complimentary in first class, digEplayers are available for $10 in coach.

Airfare prices listed do not include airport passenger facility charges of up to $9 (amount depends on itinerary), federal segment tax of $3.50 per segment (takeoff and landing) on itinerary, and a U.S. security fee of $2.50 per enplanement. Travel for introductory fares valid daily. Other airfare restrictions apply. Seats are limited and introductory fares may not be available on all flights or on all days. Blackout dates for introductory fares apply to travel to Kona Nov. 21-26 and Dec. 13-26, 2008, and from Kona Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 and Dec. 27, 2008, through Jan. 4, 2009. Blackout dates apply to travel to/from Minneapolis Nov. 26, Nov. 29 through Dec 1, Dec 18-22, Dec. 26-29, 2008, and Jan 2-4, 2009. Tickets are nonrefundable, but can be changed for a $50 change fee and any applicable changes in fare when changes are made online at alaskaair.com ($75 change fee when changes are made through our reservation call centers or ticket counters and $100 change fee when originally booked through a travel agent and changes are made through our reservation call centers or ticket counters). A ticket purchased at a Horizon Air or Alaska Airlines airport location or through one of our reservation call centers will cost $15 more per person than the advertised fare. All fares, taxes, and fees are in U.S. dollars and are subject to change without notice. See alaskaair.com for complete fare rules.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air together serve 93 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at alaskaair.com

Another great article from Regina Orlando of Old Republic Title and Escrow on Tips to protect from lawsuits

With today’s ‘sue-happy’ environment, it is important that all Real Estate Agents take measures to protect themselves from lawsuits. Below, Stanley F. Bronstein gives some us some tips on how to do that!Fireworks not so great for homes.

If you are like many real estate agents, you’ve had a bad experience with a lawyer at some time in your career. Believe it or not, there are many attorneys who are working to help real estate agents and their clients avoid problems, rather than causing them. However, due to the complex nature of business today, you can be fairly certain you will run into some kind of problem sooner or later. The good news is there are several things that can be done to minimize the likelihood you will ever get sued. No one can guarantee that you will never be sued, but you can greatly reduce the chances of it happening.

1. Document everything. Professionals who do not document what they do are examples of malpractice waiting to happen. Keep a notebook that documents your transactions. Make a habit of putting your statements in writing, and then getting your clients to sign that they have received those statements. Sending e-mail or letters instead of making phone calls facilitates this, as the conversations are automatically recorded and can be more easily referenced in the future than spoken conversation.

If there is no proof of something you said or did, the opposing party can claim you misled them, didn’t tell them, or possibly even lied to them. Also, the other party might misunderstand you, which leads to wasted time, arguments, loss of your deal and maybe even a lawsuit.

2. Make proper disclosures. Some estimates indicate that at least 75 percent of all real estate lawsuits are filed by buyers, and most of those lawsuits address non-disclosure. In most states, real estate agents are required to disclose in writing to all other parties involved any information they possess that could affect the price that is being paid for the property in question. Basically, real estate agents cannot assist their clients in hiding any material or negative information about the transaction.

Few real estate agents have lost their license because they disclosed negative information in their possession, but many have lost their license and/or lost a lawsuit because they did not disclose negative information in their possession.

3. Respond to consumers. Address complaints promptly. If you do this, you can resolve most problems long before they ever turn into lawsuits. In my experience, most lawsuits are filed because someone feels their complaints were not heard. No matter who complains, the quicker you respond, the more likely you will be able to resolve the complaint before it escalates into a larger problem or lawsuit.

4. Limit your expertise to your own field. Do not act outside your area of expertise. As real estate agents, you have to let your clients know that you are not an attorney, not a surveyor, not a title expert, and not a CPA. This problem arises when your clients want to save money and cut corners when doing their deals. All too often, as a real estate agent, your clients expect you to be able to answer all of their questions as part of the package of services you provide to them as their agent.

One of the easiest ways you can avoid problems is to refer your clients to an expert when they have questions that are outside your area of expertise. Beginning with drafting the contract, real estate agents should recommend their clients seek the advice of a real estate attorney who can tailor the deal to their needs. Especially if the other side of the transaction is represented by an attorney, you can sell your client short if you don’t help them realize the importance of seeking legal and tax advice on their deals. When you do this, you are protecting both yourself and your clients, and saving both of you from future problems and hassles. If your client is stubborn or doesn’t want to spend the money, I strongly suggest that you put your recommendation in writing. That way if a problem arises later, you have the documentation to protect yourself.

5. Avoid dual agency. This is an issue that has caused many problems for real estate licensees in the past, and it will continue to cause problems in the future, as long as real estate agents continue to act as dual agents. In most states, dual agency is allowed if consent is given in writing by both parties.

However, that does not mean it’s a good idea. Many sellers feel that brokers should owe them a greater duty of loyalty, as it is usually the seller who pays their commission. Buyers often misunderstand and think that since they have talked with an agent and negotiated with them, that the agent is representing them. In dual agency situations, the broker must walk a fine line between the parties, and both sides frequently wind up getting a lesser degree of loyalty than they expect. From a consumer’s perspective, agents provide a lesser level of service in dual agency situations because the agent has to be fair and impartial to both sides and consequently ends up short changing them both.

6. Avoid conflicts of interest. Put your clients’ interests first. Due to the fact that real estate agents typically do not get paid unless the deal closes, agents often find themselves in a position where their interests conflict with the interests of their client. Agents need to remember that they owe a duty of loyalty to their clients and they must put their clients’ interests ahead of their own even if it means the deal might die, commissions might get cut, or closings will be delayed in order to give the parties time to solve problems.

7. Keep deals simple. Overcomplicating a deal increases the risk that something will go wrong. If a deal does get complicated, bring in a professional who can help. This shifts the risk of something going wrong away from you.

8. Be available. Return phone calls and e-mails promptly. I know nothing bothers a client more than getting the run around when they need to get in touch with their agent. Most of them won’t hesitate to give up and start working with someone else in this type of situation.

9. Use reminders. Use forms and checklists. Put together sets of forms and use checklists. These checklists will minimize the likelihood you forget to do something which might lead to a serious problem. This will help you to keep organized records and will make it easier for you to document what you are doing.

10. Give excellent service. Agents who give excellent service almost never get sued. Agents who give substandard service are a lawsuit waiting to happen. By giving excellent service, you make your client happy they did business with you, and you make them willing to do business with you again, and you make them want to send you referrals.

11. Incorporate. Real estate agents should also consider becoming a professional corporation or a professional limited liability company. Though this will not keep you from getting sued, it can minimize the effect on your personal finances if you should ever get sued and happen to lose. Additionally, there are tax benefits that can be achieved if you set up a properly structured professional corporation.

12. Buy insurance. At a minimum, agents and brokers should carry some type of liability insurance, especially if they are driving people around in their cars. One thing you should do, is check with your auto insurer to make sure you are covered when you are driving people around on business trips.Also, you should consider getting professional liability insurance. This is commonly known as errors and omissions insurance.

Real estate agents are vulnerable. You are working with many different people on many different deals, and there are potential problems that can and will arise. It is vital that you do what you can to prevent problems, and protect yourself from potential lawsuits. Though no one can guarantee you will never be sued, if you are willing to make the effort, you have the power to minimize the chances of it happening.

____________________________________________________________

With warm aloha,

Regina

Regina Orlando
Real Estate Marketing Specialist
Old Republic Title & Escrow
75-5722 Kuakini Hwy. #108
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
W: (808) 327-3700
M: (808) 271-7217

May 22, 2008

Iron Man coming on May 31st, 2008 — Stay at the Mauna Lani Fairways along the route

Iron man swim from HapunaIron man swim from HapunaAloha Bulletin for the Iron Man on May 31 , 2008. We always enjoy the energy around the Iron Man. People visit from all over the world to experience this event that originated in Hawaii. Ironman 70.3 Hawaii is a world-class sport event consisting of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. The event will host over 1000 athletes from 19 countries and 38 states.

Participants will be competing for qualification spots to the Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Florida and coveted qualification spots to the legendary Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona , Hawaii.

Traffic will be delayed on this day so check with your local contacts for routes and schedules. For answers to questions not covered by this information call 808-329-0063.

Of course Hawaii Vacation Rentals has homes throughout the areas of Puako, Mauna Lani, and Hawi.

Update: Well I went down early on Saturday morning to watch the beginning of the race, it was high energy and it was a beautiful morning. I realized how nice it would be to have a condo in Puako for the event. Next year I will be sure to take my camera , this is from my I phone, decent but not great.

May 14, 2008

Great Photos a must when presenting a house for Sale or Vacation Rental

rice-resize.JPGAloha all! Tim Rice recently stopped by to show off is amazing Real Estate photos. They are crisp and clear and seem to capture the attributes of the homes he photographs.
It it very important to have high quality photos when trying to sell your home. Vacation Rentals really need high quality photos for people to visualize where they will vacation before ever setting foot on the property. Real Estate photos and presentation of these homes is vital for Luxury homes especially.

Tim Rice is also working on a wonderful concept with Hawai’i based knowledge combined with high resolution photos of Hula dancers and Kapuna of the Islands. I thought that was such a great idea and truly hope he expands and makes that happen. We need the knowledge of the incredible culture of Hawaii in our day to day travels. Anything we can do to promote Hawaiian Values throughout our community here on the Big Island will be appreciated and cherished in generations to come.

“E ola mau ka lokahi” May our unification be boundless

We often times will do a Virtual Tours of our homes for rent. It has made such an impression on guests. They love the fact that they can sit and watch the tour from their cold and rainy office in Seattle or San Francisco.

Feel free to contact us for our Virtual Tours.

Income Opportunity! 2 Home Luxury Vacation Rental on 7.78 Acres of Secluded Estate. Commercial/Residential Kona Coffee Farm

hud1.gif
Income Opportunity! 2 Home Luxury Vacation Rental on 7.78 Acres of Secluded Privacy. Great Ocean Views. Contact Patricia Freeman for more pictures and details. Retire here on the Big Island and generate income.

Process your own Kona Coffee and Macadamia Nuts, and sell your products with your Store Right on the Highway. Great Agricultural business! Farm is located on the Busiest and ONLY!! Highway that leads to and from Hawaii Volcano National Parks the Number #1 Visitor Attraction. with Active Lava Flows and More! Millions of People drive by this property every Year!! Great Location!!

Large Acreage On Highway, Commercial Development Potential!!

No other Properties are available at this size, in this location, and with the ability to Develop and Add Value, like this property!!

Secluded Multi-Million Dollar Estate in Beautiful Kealakekua,Hawaii 7.78 ACRES Fee Simple! Most Properties this Size are Leasehold!!

Just minutes from the City of Kailua-Kona. This property is located above Kealakekua Bay and Napoopoo.

There are 2 Homes are on this property as well as Development Potential with over 500+ feet of Property fronting the main Highway. Perfect for a Corporate Retreat,Commercial Shopping center and much more.

Highway frontage, Restaurants, Shopping or more could be developed on property with commercial zoning.

Please contact Pattie Freeman for more details on this great location only 15 minutes from Kona.


Regina Orlando
sent me this great article on web sites and how to keep your page up to date and on top of the heap of competition that surrounds the current market.

In today’s market, your real estate website better do a lot more than look pretty. There was a time, not so long ago, that having a website put you on the leading edge of real estate marketing. That is no longer true. Now, the vast majority of agents and brokers have a website or two.

To compete today, your website has to do much more than simply put a pretty face on top of your real estate activity. It has to be an integral part of your real estate marketing activity. Here’s a quick list of the minimum things your real estate website must do for you to stay competitive today:

1. It Must Bring You Traffic. Your website needs to be truly search engine optimized (SEO), and not just by throwing in a few general keywords. All of your competitors are also optimizing their sites for the search engines, so if you want to maintain a high-ranking in your local area, you have to constantly adjust and “tweak” your keywords and content for your area. Start by examining the keywords being used by your competitors, make sure you have those covered and then add other words that buyers or sellers might use in their searches. Make sure that your website content also uses the same keywords that you’ve associated with your site.

2. Evoke Trust and Confidence. Your website has to evoke trust and confidence in the prospective buyer or seller. That has to happen the minute a visitor begins to browse your site and must continue on every page of the site. To establish trust and confidence, your visitors need to see credibility. That means supplying them good solid information, testimonials from other clients, and other evidence that you can do the job for them.

3. Add Value to a Buyer Search. If all of your competitors have a website, what will yours offer the visitor that your competitors’ can’t? Like it or not, having a website puts you in the publishing business and the consumer will only read your material if it’s interesting, relevant, and fresh. You have to have Web content and listings that matter to your site’s visitors. Provide them good information about your area, attractive listings that are up-to-date, and a useful network of real estate services that they aren’t able to get elsewhere.

5. Capture Leads. Having someone visit your website and then disappear into the night doesn’t do you any good at all. You want names, addresses, and e-mails. In addition to having a compelling website, your site must ask visitors to register, or sign up for listing information from you. Otherwise, you have no way to follow up.

6. Respond Rapidly. Once someone has visited your site and has contacted you through it, time is of the essence. They’re on a mission to buy or sell their property. They’ve decided to act on your site. Now, it is vital to act quickly to cement their interest in your services. You need to respond right away or they’ll find someone else who will. A modern website will use “auto-responders” to acknowledge the visitors inquiry quickly and will notify you promptly, wherever you are. Auto-responders, as the name suggests, will automatically send an e-mail back to your visitor and send one to your PDA or cell phone too.

7. Stay Up-To-Date. If you have an existing website, make sure you review it at least once a month to make sure that your content is up-to-date, that your keywords are refreshed and are mirrored in the content, and that every page on the site evokes trust and confidence.

Of course, all these suggestions presuppose you have a website. If you haven’t yet invested in a website, do so soon. Take advantage of some of the excellent values that are now available for websites. A good website service shouldn’t cost you more than $25 to $50 per month. Make sure that your site addresses each of the points above to ensure that you get the most out of your website investment.

About the Author: Peyman Aleagha is the founder and president of RealtySoft.com. RealtySoft provides Web-based marketing solutions, websites, MLS IDX integration, contact management, and listing management and syndication.

For more information, visit http://www.realtysoft.com.