For Client and Community
Primary Properties Is a Not-So-Little Company with Heart
Kay Mukaigawa’s sincerity and clear sense of direction are evident everywhere throughout Primary Properties. The Realtors—and the company’s representative in Tokyo—all reflect Kay’s strong work ethic and earnest desire to provide the best service to clients.
Her work ethic comes from her Taiwan-born mother, who at 72 still works 12-hour days, six days a week at her son Thomas’ Monarch Seafoods in Kalihi. It was Kay’s father, James, who gave her a nudge toward real estate. After serving as an electronic technician in the army, he came home to Hawaii and built a second career as a Realtor. Growing up, Kay could see his excitement at helping to change people’s lives for the better.
When Kay graduated from high school, James helped her buy her first home in Mililani. After that, every time she saved up about $10,000, she bought a small condo—just as her mother advised. “I did my best to accumulate real estate at an early age and I’m glad they both pushed me,” says Kay.
Kay got her real estate license in 1986 while working full-time as a sales manager for several companies. The last was Properties Unlimited. Owners Carol Iseri and Anne Keamo showed her the advantages of running a boutique office, and unselfishly encouraged her to start her own.
Kay opened Primary Properties in 2005 with nine friends. Those friends helped their friends find homes and began specializing in first-time home sales and smaller investment properties. The company also started a commercial real estate division.
In its most recent expansion, Primary Properties opened an office in Tokyo—the first step in a long-range plan that eventually will include offices in China and South Korea. “The markets for these buyers are still strong,” says Kay. “And with the lifting of visa requirements and strong economic growth, there is more traffic coming from these areas.”
Today, Primary Properties’ Honolulu office is a closely knit team of 23 agents. The company’s success and referral-based operation can be attributed to its focus on real estate career education instead of sales training. “We don’t teach ‘closing tactics’—it’s just not our style” says Kay. “Our goal is to continually educate, and this in turn promotes client confidence and continued referrals.”
Primary Properties also makes community service a priority. Its annual golf tournament fundraiser, held together with Primary Residential Mortgage, raised more than $32,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association this year. “My father would tell me to never underestimate the importance of a thank you, including to the community we live in,” says Kay. “We have many agents who have favorite charities and we love supporting each other’s causes.”
From how she runs Primary Properties and gives back to the community, you can see she’s taken his lesson to heart.