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Coldwell Banker acquires Sakamoto Properties in Napili

Longtime west side real estate firm to retain name, logo

Betty and Roy Sakamoto

Betty Sakamoto said Friday that the acquisition of Sakamoto Properties by Coldwell Banker Island Properties has been “a little emotional and overwhelming.”

“It’s our baby,” she said, a day after the deal closed.

She and her husband, Roy, started Sakamoto Properties more than four decades ago with no money and five children to support, she said. Roy Sakamoto had moved home from Los Angeles and she from Chicago.

“We didn’t like what we were doing,” Betty Sakamoto said. So they opened up Sakamoto Properties in the West Maui Center in the late 1970s. Their boutique real estate company, which focuses on the west side, grew on their luck and hard work.

“The harder we worked, the luckier we got,” her husband often says. They even worked on Christmas. “We worked all the time,” she said.

“We were always available,” she said. “We always tried to do our best.”

The company’s biggest sales included the Kapalua Plantation Course for $50 million in 2009 and the Kapalua Bay Course for $24 million in 2010, both to TY Management Corp., she said.

“We have been responsible for some of the top resort property in Kapalua and Maui and have equally enjoyed the many homes that we have assisted someone purchasing as a first-time homebuyer,” Betty Sakamoto said. “That is always a thrill for both buyer and agents.”

Their office in Napili Plaza had grown to as many as 15 agents, but that number has dwindled with some agents going to larger companies, she said. They currently have seven agents and office staff.

Betty Sakamoto noted that she and her agents all will become Coldwell Banker agents, but their office will be rebranded Coldwell Banker Sakamoto Properties.

“It was huge for us to keep that logo” with the plumeria she said. “I think we are going to be real proud of it, our signage, our logo . . . and our ethics.”

Both have been active in the community, Roy with Hale Makua, and Betty with the Lahainaluna High School Foundation.

Noting that they are both in their 70s, Betty Sakamoto said Coldwell Banker Island Properties offered training opportunities, resources and “high standards.”

“Betty and I are pleased to be able to join with Coldwell Banker’s management team with a view to growing the agent ohana, adding locations and strategic acquisitions,” Roy Sakamoto said in the announcement Friday.

Coldwell Banker Island Properties said it intends to grow the company’s agent team “aggressively by offering one of the most agent-centric real estate offices, including free transaction coordination, lead generation, marketing support, extensive agent training and other income producing initiatives.”

The company is actively seeking additional office locations on the west side, as well as further acquisitions, the news release said.

The company also is seeking to build Coldwell Banker’s Island Vacations property management division, the news release said.

“It’s a true honor to have the Sakamoto brand and the Coldwell Banker brand bringing our joint experience and knowledge together to focus on the Kapalua market,” said Bob Cella, vice president with Coldwell Banker.

No terms of the acquisition were announced.

* Lee Imada can be reached at leeimda@mauinews.com.

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