We’re Working for You from Home!

As you may know, the Hawaii Information Service ʻohana has been working remotely, and so far, we are pleased to report that there have been no interruptions in service or other issues as a result of the transition.

As we continue to provide our highest level of service even from our respective homes, we know many of you have also found great success in adapting to remote work.

We would like to remind you that during this time, you may receive phone calls from us from unfamiliar phone numbers, as our front-line team members reach out from their home and cellular phone lines.

We understand that you may not answer phone calls from unknown numbers as a general rule, and we will be sure to leave a voicemail message if so.

Fortunately, you have always been able to reach us at our main office phone number at (808) 599-4224. Our phone system is able to forward calls and messages to our respective locations.

We hope this message finds you, your colleagues, and your loved ones safe and well. And we look forward to the day when we all can work and play again without limitation.

Until then, we are here for you, from anywhere!

(As always, if you feel you have received anything less than excellent service, we’d like to hear from you, too!)

Video Tour Hosting by HIS

With the homebuying process evolving to better support virtual tools, video tours are even more important today!

circle-play-buttonVideos were already an important marketing tool before the COVID-19 pandemic: property listings with videos receive four times as many inquiries as those without, and NAR estimates more than a third of homebuyers turn to videos to research a home or neighborhood.

Today’s consumer is quickly adapting to virtual home buying tools, and video tours matter more than ever.

Video Tour Rules are Complicated

circle-exclamationIf you include video tours with your listings, or work with a video tour provider, you already know how valuable video tours can be. But you also know that there are a number of restrictions on video content and where your videos are hosted.

For example:

  • Video tours must be unbranded, as they are distributed with listings to third-party real estate portals and websites.
  • Video tours cannot be hosted on YouTube, as YouTube has third-party advertising as well as displays the name of the company or person who uploaded them.
  • Video tours cannot be hosted on brokerage websites, as the web address will similarly reveal the identity of the listing brokerage or agent.

HIS Video Hosting Can Help!

circle-thumbs-upBecause we know how important video tours are to your business, and because we understand that the rules governing them can be complex, we are excited to introduce a simple and useful new service for members: video tour hosting!

If your video tour provider doesn’t provide video hosting, or if you create your own video tours, you can now let HIS handle the hosting to ensure that its presentation is compliant with MLS rules.

Free for a Limited Time

circle-dollar-signBecause this is a new offering, and because the COVID-19 pandemic has required all of us to adapt, we are further excited to announce that HIS video tour hosting will be available to MLS members free of charge for a limited time!

Sign up for HIS video tour hosting before Wednesday, October 7, 2020, and your video tour will be hosted free of charge for one year, or until your listing sells, whichever comes first!

The final pricing for this service is still being determined, but we are committed to ensuring that it remains an attractive option compared to other commercial video services!

You will not be charged for HIS video tour hosting without advance notice and without signing up for the paid service in writing.

Get Started Today!

Drag-Files-HereAll you need to get started is an unbranded video tour file! This is typically provided to you by your video tour provider, but you can also create your own. Once you have it on your computer, you can upload it here:

Upload Your Video Tour

Once uploaded, our Sales team will contact you to complete your free order online (via Docusign).

Then our Customer Support team will work with you to host the video and provide you a link to add to your listing!

More to come from Hawaii Information Service!

We remain committed to helping you accomplish your goals and keeping the real estate market moving. We are excited to let you know about this new service, and please stay tuned as we share more tips and tools that can help you work #safeathome.

Office Closed on Friday, July 3


The Hawaii Information Service office will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2020 in observance of Independence Day. Normal office hours will resume at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 6.

If you need help using REsearch, please check out our knowledge base at help.hiinfo.com, or browse our library of videos on YouTube. If REsearch is not accessible, please leave a message on our emergency line by calling 800-628-3121 (or 599-4224 from Oahu) and pressing ‘*’ (star).

All of us at Hawaii Information Service would like to wish you and your colleagues a Happy Independence Day!

Our next observed holiday will be Labor Day on Monday, September 7, 2020.

Streamlined CMA, Client Portal Creation

Arriving in REsearch today, three small changes that add up to be big time savers.

CMAs and MLS Summary Format

When you begin to create a Comparative Market Analysis with the REsearch CMA feature, the “Summary” format will now be automatically selected.

This will add summary reports to the CMA that will compile and calculate the data in each individual section, such as “Comparable Listings for Sale” or “Comparable Listings with Contingent Sales,” for you.

We’ve found most CMAs include these sections, so we’re saving you a step by selecting “Summary” in advance. If you’d rather not include these sections, you can uncheck “Summary” under “Format.”

Create a Client Portal with a Prospect

When setting up a new Prospect search for a Contact, you can now save the search and add it to the Client Portal for that Contact at the same time. By clicking “Save Search and Send to Client Portal,” you can automatically achieve in one click what used to take several steps!

Contact Us with Just a Click

We love to hear from you! While you can still access a “Contact HIS” button as part of the menu that appears when you click your REsearch profile, we’ve added an envelope icon in the top right corner of REsearch where you can get in touch even more quickly!

Clicking this envelope icon will instantly display a list of our most commonly used email addresses, making it incredibly easy to reach our various departments.

And by clicking on one of the addresses in this list, you’ll be presented with a form to compose and send a message, all within REsearch!


The real estate market continues to move forward, as does our work to support you in your business. Stay tuned for more enhancements and improvements coming to REsearch!

Second Tour URL Added to REsearch

We know that multimedia, from videos to 3-D models, are increasingly critical in marketing a property. In response to your suggestions, we have added a second optional field to our MLS to support an additional video, virtual, or 3-D tour.


Rules Refresher: Acceptable Virtual Tour Links

2nd_virtual_tour_IconsIf you already have a URL, or link, to an externally hosted, unbranded tour for your listings, they will be designated the “Primary” video, virtual, or 3-D tour for that listing.

Now, you will be able to add a secondary URL to another tour, which will be shown as a second icon and link in REsearch.

Please note that only the primary tour will be syndicated to external real estate portals and IDX websites. The secondary tour is only shown in the MLS. We encourage you to prioritize the link that you feel best represents and promotes the property.

This is only the latest enhancement to REsearch inspired by you, our valued members. If you have any comments, questions, or additional suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Accounting System Upgrade

After more than four years of planning and incremental enhancements (like accepting American Express and Discover credit cards), Hawaii Information Service is happy to announce that we have converted to our new accounting system!

In retiring our 17-year-old legacy system, and moving to a modern, cloud-based platform, everyone at HIS will be able to provide support and service more quickly and efficiently. And most of the changes are behind the scenes, and will not impact your day-to-day work.

Even so, there are some improvements that you will begin to see very soon!

Pay Online!


PaymentScreenFixedOur most requested member service enhancement is here. With our new accounting system, you will be able to click a link in your email statements and submit payment information online.

Whether for recurring or a new service, the “Pay Now” option will accept your credit card or bank ACH information, allowing you to pay your bill quickly and at your convenience!

While we’ll always be able to help you by phone or email, we’re confident this new option will save you time and effort. We’re excited to be unveiling this option!

Improved Email Notifications

UpcomingChargeOur new accounting system will allow us to provide more clear and helpful information via email. For example, in addition to post-payment confirmations, we will be able to send you regular, automatic, advance notice of upcoming charges to your credit card.

We will continue to enhance and add to our library of informational notices to make working with us even easier.

Digital, Printable Invoices

Along with our improved email notices come with informative, printable PDF invoices attached. These should help with your business bookkeeping and record keeping!


More to come!

These are only the earliest improvements that you will encounter with our upgraded accounting system. Our roadmap includes many other enhancements that we’re excited to introduce in the future!

VIDEO: Using Drones in Real Estate

Welcome back to AlohaLiving TV, a video magazine from Hawaii Information Service! In our second episode, we get an expert’s view on using drones, or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), in real estate. Mike Elliott of Drone Services Hawaii covers the things you should know before takeoff.


Scam Alert: Text Message & Email Scams

We would like to alert our members to a couple of scams that have surfaced recently, one conducted via text message affecting members on Kauai, and a second sent via email to our employees and associates.


hiresThe Kauai Board of REALTORS reports that scammers are sending text messages to real estate professionals from an (808) area code phone number, and are using information related to their real estate business and brokerages to convince recipients of their legitimacy.

The scammers are asking about real estate and requesting meetings at members’ offices, for example, but meanwhile are requesting money or gift cards.

These are fake inquiries, and a police report has already been filed. If you receive such messages, you can also report them to law enforcement. KBR encourages you to always remain vigilant and to prioritize safety.

emailMeanwhile, we would like to share with members an example email scam that is quite common, and that has targeted all sorts of businesses. This scam involves faking an email from a company executive, and is sent to company employees.

The email is made to appear to be sent under the name of a company executive, but a close analysis of the sender email address will usually find it to be from a fake address. The email will always include a push for quick action (“this is incredibly urgent”) and often ask for secrecy (“I want this to be a surprise”). To prevent victims from asking questions, the email will usually claim to be sent while the executive is out of the office, unavailable by phone, and too busy to explain.

In the two recent cases reported by employees, the scam was attempted while company executives were indeed traveling and out of the office, making the request seem more legitimate.

Please take special care to verify emails that ask for wire transfers, online payments, or purchases of gift cards (which are a common currency among scammers). Contact the purported sender via another channel, and do not act unless they confirm the request. Even if a legitimate business request is delayed, the extra diligence is worth it.