Impact of Coronavirus on Hawaii Luxury Listings




Aloha to all from the beautiful Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii! Up until yesterday, those of us who reside on the Big Island have not been subject to the “lockdown” restrictions that many others on the mainland and around the world have been dealing with. That changed yesterday with the announcement by the Governor of Hawaii that beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25 at 12:01 AM, and through April 30, 2020, Big Island residents are subject to a “stay at home” directive.


There are exceptions to the so-called “stay-at-home order,” including driving to and from work for jobs deemed essential, and for those needing “health care, purchasing food, medicine and gas, taking care of elderly, minors or those with disabilities, returning to a place of residence outside of Hawaii, picking up educational materials for distance learning, receiving meals and other related services, and outdoor exercise”.


Not subject to this directive are activities deemed to be “essential”. Among other items on this list, businesses that are defined as essential that are of particular interest to our readers include hotels, and what are deemed to be “professional services”. The order does not specifically name real estate brokerages as an essential professional service. It only names professional services “such as lawyers and accountants”.


Although hotels are exempt from the order, virtually all of the hotels on the Kohala Coast (especially in the resorts) have either closed or are in the process of doing so. Many other venues that visitors to the Big Island have traditionally enjoyed are also closed, including all of the state operated beaches, as well as some others, such as Anaeho’omalu Bay, which adjoins the development of Kolea, where I have lived for over 15 years.


The Hawaii Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors have “strongly urged” that no Open Houses be held, and all showings are to be by appointment only. Open Houses have always been a central marketing tenet of Hawaii Luxury Listings. In fact, many of our friends and clients that will be reading this email are the direct result of our Open House program. In addition to that, many of the Realtors on the Big Island have come to take it for granted that there will likely be an Open House at one or more of our listings on a daily basis. Hawaii Luxury Listings will comply with both this Open House policy, as well as the showings by appointment only until April 30th.


Within the real estate industry in general, there is much discussion about how brokerages can respond to the changed environment caused by the current COVID-19 crisis. The prevailing sentiment is that brokerages should “go virtual”.  Hawaii Luxury Listings has in many senses always been virtual. We have never had an office accessible to the general public.  Our partners in the virtual sphere, such as Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, as well as the social media we use extensively (Facebook, for example), have been an integral part of our business for many years.


Hawaii Luxury Listings will of course be available to assist our clients during this crisis, and we look forward to a strong recovery both for our community and our business once the current situation has passed. Paradise will always be here when the time is right for those ready to Live Their Dreams in Hawaii.


Johnny McElree

Founder and Principal Broker

Hawaii Luxury Listings, LLC



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