Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Following Is an Exclusive Interview with Ronald Kawahara, CPM, CPA, CVA, PCAM, President of Destination Maui, Inc., AMO

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Following Is an Exclusive Interview with Ronald Kawahara, CPM, CPA, CVA, PCAM, President of Destination Maui, Inc., AMO

Article excerpt

* Your Firm is one of four in Hawaii to attain the AMO accreditation. What challenges and unique facets exist for property management in Hawaii?

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For the most part, the operational aspects of property management in Hawaii are similar to that on the mainland; however, there seems to be a higher density of property management firms in Hawaii. The result is that ft is a very competitive market in terms of the management fees. Some of this is attributable to the size of the average client. But more often than not, it results in the selection of a property management firm based on the lowest fees.

* Your website mentions that Destination Maui (DMI) was spun off from Ronald A. Kawahara & Co, CPAs, Inc. What was the impetus behind creating a separate entity? How easily did the financial management aspects carry over?

Due to the growth and certain changes in the real estate law, we decided to incorporate DMI as a separate entity in 1974. Since the majority of time tasks performed in property management are similar to work performed by a CPA, the transition went smoothly. Most property management firms have their roots in real estate. DMI, with its CPA background, has built one of the best back office operations in the business with significant internal controls, a paperless environment and the use of advanced technology.

* What is the origin of your unique management philosophy? What sets you apart from other property management firms?

DIM manages homeowner associations, long-term rentals, vacation rentals and commercial properties. Our emphasis, however, is on the management of homeowner associations. It was, and is, common for managing agents to have a relatively high turnover of clients. DMI was no different in that respect.

About six years ago, we analyzed why our business model--based on the industry norm--resulted in turnover of clients. …

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