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.

scam-alert

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.

August 2019 Training Schedule

gotomeeting-logo-orangeThis is the schedule of online training classes for the month of August. Even if you’ve participated in a session before, it’s often a good idea to get a refresher. Our live trainers can answer your questions and help you get the most out of REsearch. Descriptions of each HIS webinar can be found here.

August 5-9, 2019

August 12-16, 2019

August 19-23, 2019

August 26-30, 2019

To sign up immediately, simply click on the links below. If you are going to attend online classes as a group, only one person needs to sign up. We recommend registering for classes even if you cannot attend live, as many are recorded and made available the next day.

Remember, after you have participated, please make sure to fill out the survey or e-mail us your feedback so we can continue to improve upon our training efforts!

System requirements for online classes:

    • PC-based attendees – Required: Microsoft Windows® Vista or newer
    • Macintosh®-based attendees – Required: Mac OS® X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or newer
    • Mobile attendees – Required: Apple iOS 10 or newer, Google Android 4.4 or newer

 
System requirements apply only to the GoToMeeting webinar service, not to the REsearch system.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact us via support@hiinfo.com or call (808) 599-4224 or (800) 628-3121.

Important Accounting Updates

Unlicensed Support Account Price Reduction

We are happy to announce that the Hawaii Information Service Board of Directors has approved a reduction in the fee for Unlicensed Support Subscribers from $480 a year to $125 a year. This represents savings of over 70 percent!

As part of this price reduction, billing for Unlicensed Support Subscribers will now be on an annual basis only, not quarterly or semi-annually.

For your reference, an Unlicensed Support Subscriber is defined as follows:

An unlicensed individual who works in a support capacity to brokers, appraisers and/or agents who may or may not be seeking licensure. Support subscriber does not receive any commissions, quote prices, attends any open hours or caravans, performs any acts related to real estate sales, or appraises real property. If the Support Subscriber is seeking licensure, upon acquiring a license he/she or his/her PBS or PAS must report it to HIS within 24 hours of the license effective date. Support Subscriber’s subscription for HIS Service is subordinate to and dependent upon a PBS or PAS subscription. The service may not be accessed by anyone unless his/her PBS or PAS is already a subscriber.

The fee for Licensed Support Subscribers will remain at $480 per year.

If you have questions about Unlicensed Support Subscribers and associated fees, please send an email to accounting@hiinfo.com or call (808) 599-4224 extension 3.

July Billing Schedule

If you are on an annual billing cycle, or have products or services for which you will be charged in July, please be aware that your credit card or bank account may not be charged until the second or third week in July.

July is our busiest month of the year, as it is when most annual subscriptions renew, and it also marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for our company. In addition, we are in the midst of upgrading our accounting and CRM systems to be able to better service you. As a result, in many cases, we may not be able to process your payments as early in the month as usual.

We appreciate your patience and understanding this month, and we especially look forward to sharing with you some of the ways our new accounting system will make it easier for you to manage your accounts with us.

HIS Office Closed on Thursday, July 4

fireworks2The Hawaii Information Service office will be closed on Thursday, July 4, 2019 in observance of Independence Day. Normal office hours will resume on Friday, July 5.

If you need help using REsearch over the holiday, we encourage you to search our Knowledge Base or check out our library of YouTube videos.

If you are unable to access the system due to an outage, please call our system emergency line at (808) 599-4224 or (800) 628-3121 from the neighbor islands, and press * (star). Our phone system will notify our on-call staff, and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

Our next observed holiday will be Labor Day on Monday, September 2, 2019.

July 2019 Training Schedule

gotomeeting-logo-orangeThis is the schedule of online training classes for the month of June. Even if you’ve participated in a session before, it’s often a good idea to get a refresher. Our live trainers can answer your questions and help you get the most out of REsearch. Descriptions of each HIS webinar can be found here.

July 2019

 
To sign up immediately, simply click on the links below. If you are going to attend online classes as a group, only one person needs to sign up. We recommend registering for classes even if you cannot attend live, as many are recorded and made available the next day.

Remember, after you have participated, please make sure to fill out the survey or e-mail us your feedback so we can continue to improve upon our training efforts!

System requirements for online classes:

      • PC-based attendees – Required: Microsoft Windows® Vista or newer
      • Macintosh®-based attendees – Required: Mac OS® X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or newer
      • Mobile attendees – Required: Apple iOS 10 or newer, Google Android 4.4 or newer

System requirements apply only to the GoToMeeting webinar service, not to the REsearch system.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact us via support@hiinfo.com or call (808) 599-4224 or (800) 628-3121.

Meet the Team: Ian Ho

Ian-Ho-HeadshotThe son of a Honolulu real estate agent, new account manager Ian Ho only recently discovered that he had a knack for sales.

“I worked at the AT&T store at Ala Moana Center, where the hours were long and I pushed myself pretty hard,” he recalls. “I ended up ranking second out of 150 representatives in the entire state for selling phone plans, and I knew it was a talent that I wanted to develop further.”

Ian graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in finance and international business, and a minor in piano. In playing piano, he had also set himself apart from the pack.

“I practiced three hours a day… I spent more time playing piano than I did studying for my degree,” he admits.

In fact, Ian was the only music minor to be taught by Jonathan Korth, an associate professor at UH and renown chamber musician who has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Korth typically works only with music majors.

Ian-Ho-Piano-Captioned“I was super passionate about it,” Ian says. “Now I practice maybe an hour a day, branching out from classical piano to different styles, like boogie-woogie, jazz, 12-bar blues… I try to learn one or two pieces every three months, just finding something I like on YouTube and memorizing it.”

Ian’s father was born in Hawaii, and his mother hails from Singapore. They met on a Christian mission trip to Hong Kong. Both Ian and his younger brother attended Christian Academy in Honolulu, and faith is an important part of their lives.

“The three most important things to me are faith, family, and friends,” Ian says. “One reason I’m glad to be working at HIS is that I can now go to church on Sundays again.”

Ian-Ho-Beach-CaptionedIan came to HIS through a recruiter, and he admits he hadn’t previously considered working in technology or real estate.

“But when I walked into the office I immediately knew this was a place where I could start a career,” he said. “The atmosphere was really friendly and warm, and the people were so genuine and honest, which I think is pretty rare in the workplace.”

“I didn’t know anything about real estate, but I’m learning at an exponential rate,” he adds.

And learning is another of Ian’s hobbies.

Ian-Ho-Cherry-Blossoms-Captioned“I work out once or twice a week, go to the gym, I play volleyball or spikeball with friends at the beach, and I like to go hiking,” he says. “But while I used to be more athletic, into wrestling and lifting weights, now I’m trying to develop my brain muscles.”

Ian reads two books a month, and diligently spends his lunch hour with his latest tome.

“I like psychology, investing, self-improvement… the book I’m reading right now is called The Personal MBA, condensing an MBA program into a book, and I’m enjoying it.”

He is also an avid traveler, and while studying abroad in France, he got to explore the continent every other week.

“I went to 15 countries while I was there, and now I’ve been to more than 20 countries,” Ian says. “I like to solo travel, staying in hostels is a lot of fun, making friends and exploring together.”

He’s been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Madrid, and his most cherished travel memories include a six-hour hike up Mount Fuji and listening to jazz music in a small cafe in Japan.

Ian-Ho-Mountain-CaptionedEven with his varied interests, Ian says he is goal oriented, and carefully organizes each day, from hours working, spending time with family and friends, practicing piano, reading, and exercising.

“If we’re all conscious of how we use our time, we can accomplish things we didn’t think was possible,” he says. “If we’re focused, and focus on what we’re passionate about, we’ll surprise ourselves in the distance we can go.”

Among his current goals? Building a successful online private-label Amazon shop, earning an MBA from Cambridge University, spending a year studying music, and teaching English in France.

“I believe we can all accomplish way more than we think we can,” he says.

If you have a book recommendation for Ian, you can email him at ian@hiinfo.com.

‘Hold’ Listings Older than 1 Year will be Deleted

Please be advised that we will be deleting listings in ‘Hold’ status that are over one year old.

As we previewed in April alongside other changes regarding ‘Hold’ listings, we will be removing these older listings as part of periodic MLS database maintenance. We last purged old ‘Hold’ listings in 2015.

We are providing ample notice to allow you time to review listings you may have in ‘Hold’ status. If you would like to opt-out of having these older ‘Hold’ listings removed from REsearch, please notify us by sending an email to support@hiinfo.com by Friday, June 28, 2019.

Thank you very much for your continued support!