2012 Founders & Visionaries - Hawaii's Best
(page 3 of 5)
Hawaii Information Service
Information to Innovation
The Hawaii Information Service 'ohana. From left to right, standing, Michelle Geronimo, Jasen Katagihara, Leslie Rosa, Raun Ohama, Bob Schoenthal, Robert Atienza, Preston Ma, Novena Saludares, Michael Torres, Ryan Ozawa, Aaron Thompson, Sue-Ann Militante, Ana Tupou, Gay Rapisora, Jerry Lau, and Travis Flores; seated, Faith Geronimo, Colleen Yasuhara, Richard Eshleman, and Diana Haraguchi. Not pictured: Jocelyn Yanos.
When it comes to helping customers reach their potential, perhaps no one works harder than Hawaii Information Service (HIS). And the company, which built an industry-leading system to serve Realtors on Kauai and the Big Island, is now looking ahead to reinvent itself, expanding their expertise to explore new markets.
Known for their work as a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), HIS has also earned a stellar reputation for their handling of public records. Unlike typical MLS companies, HIS has been offering services that take it beyond a listing-management system.
“We’ve seen ourselves more as partners in the success of our customers, providing whatever else we can to help them grow their business,” says Ryan Ozawa, director of communications. “We’ll take care of your listings, but we’ll also build you a website, or help you advertise online, or start a blog.”
Colleen Yasuhara, vice president of product management, agrees, “We see ourselves as a technology company that lives and breathes information, with a deep understanding of Hawaii data.”
To get to this point took a team-based approach with a company culture of shared responsibility, work, passion and fun. Employees here connect with one another.
“Going against conventional wisdom, sometimes business is personal,” says Faith Geronimo, vice president of operations and general manager. “When something becomes personal, you want it to succeed, you need it to succeed, and you become willing to do what it takes for success.”
Working together, HIS developed expertise in their industry. This led to a partnership with a Mainland company that is beginning to build a statewide system for real property information. The partnership brings excitement to HIS because it will allow the company to take their talents to realms beyond real estate.
“We’ve already been offering marketing products to our current customers, but now we’ll have the freedom to work with any local business,” Yasuhara says. “Instead of focusing on a single Web service, we plan to explore a number of online offerings and even get into mobile app development.”
For a company that helped to take real estate technology from punch cards to the Internet, the opportunity to branch out brings incredible possibilities.
“Normally a business starts as a start-up and grows into a legacy business,” Geronimo says. But with a 30-year history and a new partnership, things for HIS are a little different. “We are a legacy business that gets to act as a start-up, and that’s exciting.”
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