A picture is worth a thousand words to an out-of-town buyer competing for property in a seller’s market. That’s why Lee, who’d begun selling real estate at his father’s namesake company in 2003, hired a team of digital photographers to catalog every new residential listing on the island’s MLS and then zap detailed information and images of the property and neighborhood to his custom listing site, Brokerseye.com. “The market was so fast that if you didn’t get pictures to your clients that day, you could forget about their getting any good properties,” he explains. Lee’s cybersolution enabled him to close 16 transaction sides totaling $16 million in sales last year.
All in the family: Lee had planned to market the Brokerseye service to local brokerages on a monthly subscription basis, but the idea proved so successful that he sold the service to his father in 2005 instead. “Money is money, but when you can have success with your family, it’s a thousand times sweeter,” he says.
Paradise affordable: Looking forward, Lee plans to focus on a problem facing many resort areas—affordability. In June 2006 he bought a 36-unit apartment building in the Pearl Harbor area and converted the units to condos, priced well below the area median. All but two of the 29 units closed through March were sold to first-time buyers at prices starting at $259,000.