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Hawaiʻi real estate data firm completes major system upgrade to new custom platform : Maui Now

Colleen Yasuhara

Real estate brokers and agents were able to get immediately to work on Friday using HIMLS—the next-generation Multiple Listing Service platform designed and built by Hawaiʻi Information Service—as the prior system was decommissioned overnight after 27 years of service.

“The transition to HIMLS has been seamless, a huge milestone that we passed quietly thanks to extensive planning and preparation that began nearly five years ago,” said Faith Geronimo, who has served as CEO of Hawaiʻi Information Service since 2013.

“This new application represents a major step forward for real estate technology in Hawaiʻi,” said Chief Operating Officer Colleen Yasuhara, who led the project from the beginning. “I can’t think of another MLS in the country that has built and launched a totally new system from scratch, but we did, because it’s in our DNA.”

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HIMLS replaces REsearch, which was the first parcel-based MLS in the country when it came online in 1997 and—like its successor—is still the only system with fully integrated public property and tax data, according to HIS.

The system conversion was several years in the making, with the early beta of HIMLS made available to REALTORS in October 2022, and with full brokerages and their agents onboarded beginning last July. And HIS customers embraced change, 95% of them using the new system before Friday’s cutover.

Most MLS conversions are messy and disruptive, as they are typically between systems from competing third-party vendors. Because HIS owned and built both systems, real estate professionals were able to access both systems during the transition, and data was kept in sync between them.

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“Running two MLS systems in parallel was no easy feat, both technically complex and requiring significant resources,” Yasuhara said. “But we did everything possible to make sure our technology never got in the way of the critical day-to-day work of our REALTOR members.”

The agile software development approach also allowed HIS to respond quickly to feature and improvement requests from users. There were 25 version releases last year alone.

“I’ve worked in real estate for 21 years and worked through countless MLS system conversions, and what local software company Hawai’i Information Service has achieved is truly remarkable,” said Julie Hugo, Managing Broker with Venture Sotheby’s International Realty and chair of the HIS Board of Directors. “The previous system set the bar for MLS software decades ago, and HIMLS delivers our Hawaiʻi members another state-of-the-art application that empowers them to better serve their clients.”

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HIMLS offers significantly improved speed and instantly adjustable searches, with an all-new technology stack under the hood and a clean, intuitive user interface. It includes an integrated client portal, bridging and accelerating communications between homebuyers and their agents.

“HIMLS is now the second MLS platform designed entirely in Hawaiʻi specifically for Hawaiʻi, giving REALTORS® the best possible tool to do their jobs,” Geronimo said. “HIMLS also provides all businesses in the islands easy access to the complete database of property and tax data statewide.”

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