Top honors for luxury real estate agent, remembering KPIG
Hawaii luxury real estate doyenne Patricia Choi has again ranked near the top of real estate agents in the United States.
The namesake of Choi International is No. 12 among the Real Estate Top 200, compiled by three publications, the Wall Street Journal, lore magazine and Real Trends Inc.
She is the only Hawaii entry on the four lists of 50, which rank individuals and teams by sales volume and individuals and teams by sides, which means the agents or teams represented both buyer and seller, Choi said.
Choi is No. 12 on the list of Top 50 Agents by Sales Volume with 2006 sales of just under $136 million.
Those are just her sales. "My company's sales are higher," she said. Her average sale is $3 million while her 34-agent-company's average is $2 million.
She was No. 3 last year, with 2005 sales of $181 million, but the Hamptons in New York took off last year, shooting Dolly Lenz to No. 1 with 2006 sales of $748.3 million.
"That's European money (paying for) $50-, $60-, $70- and $80-million-dollar houses," Choi said. Also, an NYC apartment can go for $55 million.
For perspective, the No. 2 agent, from Illinois, had just under $182 million in 2006 sales.
So far this year, "I'm already at $100 million ... the closest (Hawaii) person to me is at $38 million," Choi said.
Choi and her colleagues were honored this month at the National Association of Realtors conference in Las Vegas, during which the company's Web site won a runner-up award for "Best of the Web."
Choi International spent about $50,0000 on an upgrade a couple years ago "and we just continually keep it up," she said. "Eighty-seven percent of buyers have seen (a property) online before they ever call for an appointment."
The eclectic programming of KPIG-FM 107.5 in Freedom, Calif., has been picked up by a national syndicator, according to radio industry publications.
Those of a certain age will remember that KPIG used to be the call letters of the disco station at 93.9 FM in 1978. The calls were changed to KMAI 23 months later and "My Rock" was born, but in 1989 it adopted the call letters of its AM 830 sister station and has been KIKI ever since.
The California KPIG does have another Hawaii connection, via its Nevada-based news commentator Travus T. Hipp, who worked at KGU-AM 760 in the early 1980s. He was broadcasting from the transmitter building in July, 1983, the day Oahu suffered an islandwide power outage due to a cane fire damaging 138 kilovolt power lines.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org