This week we sat down with Dana Asis and asked her some questions for our Friday Agent Spotlight. Dana is a newer addition to the Elite Pacific Properties team, but she's no stranger to the Big Island luxury real estate market. Starting her real estate career in one of the most prestigious private communities in the world- right here at Kukio Beach and Golf Club, Dana is an ace in the West Hawaii market.
Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up fairly close to Anaheim Stadium (where the Angels play) so I grew up watching baseball and playing at the beaches in Southern California. (I’m still a die-hard Angels fan and try to watch or attend baseball games when I can.) I’m a bit of an adventurer. I come by it honestly as my family is multi-cultural and there is a history of wanderlust and travel from both of my parents’ sides. On a regular basis, I enjoy the many fun activities that we’re lucky to have available to us year-round in Hawaii - like hiking and swimming in our beautiful beaches and SCUBA diving. Travel is one of my favorite things to do when I have extended periods to do it. I try to get to a new country every year as I find that as different as our cultures, languages, food, and landscape is around the world that people are really still the same everywhere. I find it so enriching to take a bit of knowledge from each place I go. It’s all made better by being lucky enough to come home to Hawaii!
What do you like best about living on the Big Island? What do I like best? That’s difficult as so many things contribute to the feeling of the Big Island. My family came to the Big Island in the 1880’s so I’m a bit partial to the island. BUT…I love that the island still has the small town charm to it. We still have plantation homes scattered among larger towns. It’s the paradox of cattle ranches, coffee farms, dive boats and beach resorts. In many places, people still know each other and wave as they drive by. There is still a sense of pride in where we live and the community around us. I love that I know my neighbors – and their families – and we take care of each other. On the Big Island, we have room to breathe and be adventurous. The Big Island offers the beautiful beach resort areas within a 2-hour drive to the top of the highest peaks in the state. Waterfalls, green sand, black sand, tropical rainforest, dry forest, majestic mountains and ancient historic cliffs are just some of the many beautiful things scattered around the Big Island. All of that makes living on Hawaii island special and unique.
What's your favorite activity outside of work? I’m currently training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February, as a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), so I’m enjoying all of the outdoor opportunities we have on the Big Island. Hiking to the summit of Mauna Kea, underwater rock running at Kua Bay, morning swims at Hapuna Beach or making my way through Pololu and Honokane Nui valleys. For more information on my history with LLS or to donate to the cause please see my website:http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/mtklmjr18/dana. On a different note, but still one of my most rewarding activities, I’ve been a volunteer in the emergency room at North Hawaii Community Hospital for the last 4 years. It’s as rewarding as it is intense and it feels good to be able to give back to my community and be a part of such a selfless group of individuals.
What do you like most about working at Elite Pacific Properties? I’m fairly new to Elite – having only moved my license in August – but I like that the organization stands behind its word. As agents, we’re given daily reminders and opportunities to better ourselves as people but also make us better at helping our clients. That’s good business but it's generated from a place of caring for others and for what we do.
Do you have a favorite home that you've sold recently? Yes, I recently represented the buyers of this property in Waimea. The home was designed by a local architect – whose home I had just sold a couple of months before so I had some sentimental connection to it. The property has the quaint plantation touch to the home mixed with beautiful upgrades that managed to preserve the feel of a generational home. It’s definitely one of a kind and it’s now owned by a fantastic couple that I’ve come to call friends.
If someone is thinking about moving or buying property on the Big Island, what is your best advice? If you’re not yet familiar with the island then spend a week here and travel around. Talk to people as you travel and find out what makes those communities tick. So often I have clients wanting to buy in a specific area because they’ve heard of it and then end up falling in love with a completely different place. Whether you are looking for a primary residence, second home or investment property you’ll want to feel passionate about your purchase. And don’t be afraid to call me for suggestions. If I haven’t explored a part of the island yet then I’d be happy to explore it with you.
What's your favorite beach on the Big Island and why? I’d have to say Uluweuweu Bay. Depending on the time of year it’s pristine and calm in the morning so it’s a great place to relax on the long stretch of sand or get a work out in. Winter usually brings some surf to the point and whales can be spotted not far off the coast. Dolphin pods are regular visitors between there and Kua Bay and schools of yellow tang and manini are commonly found along with honu. There’s a natural spot for the keiki to play and the public restrooms also have warm water showers. Public parking is limited so there are rarely crowds.
If I wasn't selling real estate I'd be...a cattle rancher. Odd coming from a vegetarian for almost 30 years but my hanai family are cattle ranchers and I enjoy spending time on the ranch learning about the animals and the business behind it. I’ve only begun to learn about it over the last 5 years but it’s opened my eyes to how ranchers really are experts in animal care, husbandry, feed, weather, soil, water, plumbing, fencing, shipping, etc. There are a lot of cattle ranchers on the Big Island and I’ve seen a lot of passion and pride in what they do and respect for the animals. On the Big Island, many ranches are run by families working together. There is a lot of pride in the hard work they put in to help feed others. And I think Hawaii would be the only place that I’d consider doing it – as we’re lucky to have fantastic weather year around to do that kind of work. I don’t do so well in cold weather so I don’t think I could be a rancher in other areas.
Vlad (the steer) and Hoku (my Shetland Pony / Mini horse mix). I’ve been working with Vlad to hand feed him as he was an orphan and really just a pet now