Secrets of an $18 Million-Dollar Month

Locations agent Takako Friend recently represented the sellers in the sale of 1611 Mokulua Drive, an ultra-luxury hillside estate in Lanikai, for more than $18M. We sat down with Takako to learn how she landed the biggest sale of her career and how the support of her Locations ‘Ohana helped her along the way.

Q. What makes 1611 Mokulua Drive so special?

This exquisite property designed by award-winning architect James McPeak is like a typical Bel Air mansion, but with triple-gated security, extremely beautiful, private Lanikai Beach access and a spectacular ocean view.

Celebrities and high government dignitaries have even vacationed at this estate! Overlooking the turquoise ocean and the Mokulua Islands, this property promises timeless serenity.

Q. Was 1611 Mokulua Drive the biggest sale of your career?

Yes! Although I wish I’d been able to get my clients even more for their amazing property, with the current roller-coaster capital market environment, we’re happy with the sale price and that the sale closed smoothly.

Personally, I’ve been too busy with family and career obligations to enjoy the fruit of this sale — someday I will!

Q. How did you successfully market this home?

Marketing a home of this caliber requires a multi-pronged approach. I believe that private showings start by breaking the ice — even a billionaire who doesn’t want to speak with listing agent can be won over with unique, personal outreach. 

To get the home in front of as many qualified buyers as possible, my team and I created a series of videos and shared them with high net-worth clients and their agents through the Clubhouse app. We continued to follow up with these agents until closing. 

Listing the home for rent also helped with our marketing efforts. We helped our clients to bring in additional income during the pandemic by contacting celebrity rental agents and movie/TV location agents — the property generated more than $250,000 a month in rental income.

Finally, I stayed focused on making my clients happy, not just selling the property. 99.999 percent of my value as a real estate agent is to provide unparalleled service. I also believe in good karma: Taking care of my special mother, going the extra mile for my clients and just being myself helped me to make this sale.

Takako Friend and the Locations agents and handyman who helped her to bring the sale of 1611 Mokulua Dr. to fruition

Q. How did being an agent with Locations help you to make this sale?

I never felt alone in this transaction. When I needed guidance, I was able to turn to my coach and broker-in-charge, Brian Benton, as well as our principal broker, John Connelley, or one of our many brokers-in-charge. Our non-selling BICs were able to assist me with finding maps and resolving issues with vendors.

Many Locations agents brought their buyers to the property, and there was always someone available to lend a hand when it came to reviewing a translation or ordering items for the home.

I also relied on our Transaction Management (TM) program, which allowed me to focus on keeping my clients happy while our highly trained specialists handled all of the paperwork.

Q. How did Locations’ coaching and culture of mentorship help you to make this sale? 

My coaches gave me the motivation I needed to go after this sale, and they cheered me on throughout the process. John Connelley encouraged me to pursue luxury properties, while Brian Benton, our senior vice president of sales, advised me me on strategies and the negotiation process. Brian never gave up on me and always reminded me to take care of myself and my family first. My coaches saw potential in me and helped me to reach it.

I’m also grateful to Luxury Locations agents like Glen Fujihara and Dolores Bediones, who have shared their secrets of success and vast knowledge of Hawaii’s luxury market with me. Co-listing 5949 Kalanianaole Highway (winner of HGTV’s 2021 Ultimate House Hunt) with Dolores was especially helpful for me, as I was able to observe firsthand how top luxury agents conduct their business.

It truly takes a village to sell a unique, ultra-luxury property like this one, and Location is my village!

Akiko Morishita and Takako Friend, 2018 Locations Holiday Party

Q. Why do you love being at Locations?

The Locations ‘Ohana is all about helping each other to succeed. As our values state, at Locations, we believe that we’re Better Together.

Locations’ coaches and BICs, along with our Technology, Research and Marketing Departments, ensure that agents have the latest training, tech tools, market research and marketing collateral to stand out in a crowded industry.

The TM, TM Plus and TM Platinum programs allow us to focus on our clients while trusting that our transaction paperwork will be processed accurately and on time. I’m able to grow my business without diluting the quality of my services because I know these experts have my back.

Locations’ accounting and administrative staff handled all of my paperwork, including GE tax and expense sheet preparations, and my 1099 and commission check. Our affiliate companies, Premier Title and Escrow and Compass Home Loans, helped me to secure a title report ASAP and with document lending.

We have a lot of fun at Locations, too — from Locations Foundation volunteer events to our annual agent award banquet.

Last but not least, I love being able to access five offices across Oahu 24/7. Once, I had to work at the office until 6 a.m., and I appreciated the security, convenience and comfort Locations’ brick-and-mortar offices provide to agents.

Q. What do you want other agents to know about Locations? 

At Locations, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. There’s an entire support system of experienced professionals to lighten your load and allow you to be more productive.

Thanks to the support I’ve received at Locations, I was able to make the biggest sale of my career while being a caregiver. Because of Locations, I was able to reach my full potential, and I’m motivated to keep going!


Ready to reach your full potential, too? Contact us today to learn how Locations could help you to grow your career!

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