According to Anton Steenman, President and CEO of Elite President-CEO, the merger of LIHU’E – Hawai’i Commercial Real Estate with Elite Pacific LLC has nothing to do with the economic desperation caused by COVID-19.
In his interview with The Garden Island, Steenman insisted that corporate mergers are becoming a necessary trend in the developing real estate industry.
“COVID-19 had little to do with this specific strategic move,” Steenman said. “The real estate industry has been consolidating for a long time and I don’t think this trend will stop.”
Years in the making
This merger between Hawai’i Commercial Real Estate and Elite Pacific LLC lasted two years, according to Steenman.
“This particular opportunity has been in the works for a while,” said Steenman. “For a merger to work, you have to focus on personal relationships, trust, culture, opportunities and long-term orientation. It takes time to develop alignment along these important vectors. “
The Hawaii Commercial Real Estate business will continue to be led by HCRE founder Jamie Brown and his team of eight full-time agents and support staff in Oahu, according to the press release.
“The merger will initiate an expansion of the neighboring island for HCRE by adding two experienced commercial real estate agents and more than $ 10 million in investment properties to the Big Island,” said Brown. “This merger allows us to better serve our customers and agents with access to capital and the extensive resources and infrastructure of Elite Pacific, including approximately 50 people in technology, marketing, finance, operations and human resources. In addition, we are generating significant synergies with over 200 top real estate agents at Corcoran Pacific Properties, Elite Pacific’s real estate brand. “
Since some of Elite Pacific LLC’s clients are retail investors looking to buy vacation homes or investment homes in Hawaii, they continue to look for additional investment opportunities, Steenman said.
“When they get to grips with the islands, they see opportunities in the commercial arena and want to build a larger financial position in Hawaii,” said Steenman. “When we have residential real estate, property management, vacation rentals and now commercial brokerage under one roof, we can offer our agents a portfolio of services.”
Back to the Future
As technology keeps changing the dynamics of the industry, it has become more difficult for traditional real estate companies to keep up with changing trends.
“(Changes in technology) make it very difficult to keep up without investing heavily in highly specialized tools and resources,” said Steenman. “It’s extremely time-consuming and extremely expensive.”
According to Steenman, there are two ways to overcome this changing dynamic.
“You can consolidate and be a bigger company with more resources,” said Steenman. “The next option is partnerships so that you can take advantage of the investments made by the partner. We use both strategies. “
A one stop shop
Because different companies have different strengths, the merger offers customers more resources.
“When we are a one-stop shop for our customers, from residential properties to rentals and property management to commercial services, they can do business with us easily,” said Steenman. “It deepens the relationships our agents can build with their customers.”
The merger with HCRE makes Elite Pacific, LLC a larger company with more resources.
“We have partnered with the Corcoran Group to add brand marketing, technology and social media know-how and tools to our service portfolio,” said Steenman.
The merger also gives the franchisee an opportunity to expand their technology resources, an important component in the real estate industry.
“Partnering franchises and a franchising agreement with the Corcoran Group allowed us to remain locally owned,” said Steenman. “We are all in action while giving our agents all of the brand, reach and marketing benefits that Corcoran has to offer.”
The merger may have changed the logistical elements of real estate, but the basic approach to real estate remains intact.
“Basically, we’re doing the same thing as always, selling residential and commercial properties,” said Steenman. “What will be unlocked with this merger is the opportunity for residential and commercial brokers to work together and offer their clients a wider range of opportunities.”
Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or [email protected]