2 Big Island Realtors top magazine’s list

  • A house on the beach at Kukio. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today File Photo)
  • A house on the beach at Kukio. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today File Photo)
  • Construction workers build a house in Kukio. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today File Photo)
  • A house on the beach at Kukio. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today File Photo)
  • A house on the beach at Kukio. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today File Photo)
  • James Schneider
  • Yvonne Khouri-Morgan

KAILUA-KONA — Two West Hawaii real estate agents topped a recent ranking among their profession in the state for total sales in 2017.

James Schneider, principal broker at Kukio Properties, was No. 1 in Hawaii Business’s list of the top 100 real estate agents in the state, followed by Yvonne Khouri-Morgan, owner and principal broker of Mauna Lani Realty at No. 2.


The magazine, which has ranked the state’s real estate agents by sales for 12 years now, put Schneider at the top with 28 transactions last year totaling $133.5 million. Khouri-Morgan had 46 transactions, according to the magazine’s ranking, with total sales of $133,454,000.

They and the rest of the Top 100 in Real Estate were recognized earlier this month at the annual awards gala hosted by Hawaii Business at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Schneider said he was “super surprised” to find out at the event he had topped the year’s list. He’s been listed on the Top 100 eight times out of his 12 years at Kukio Properties, according to a Hawaii Business article about the gala.

In the 2017 rankings, he came in second behind Jeffrey Samuels of Jeffrey Samuels Real Estate Services, who logged 223 transactions totaling $135,884,516.

Khouri-Morgan, who has been with the company since 1985 and took it over in January of this year, said she was “very pleasantly surprised,” by the announcements, saying there’s “a lot of great, super Realtors” in the area.

Schneider and Khouri-Morgan are among 17 Hawaii Island real estate agents on the annual Top 100 list, which Schneider says is indicative of the great potential the local market continues to have.

“People that are in the know and have been to the Big Island just fall in love with it,” he said.

Khouri-Morgan said the local market benefits from a lot of high-end properties in resort areas, which other islands don’t have.

“I think the resort areas have really driven this market,” she said.

The annual list published by Hawaii Business is based on the sales prices of transactions that closed in 2017, according to the magazine.

This is the 12th year the magazine has ranked residential real estate agents in the state, the magazine said, and this is the first year sales of residential vacant land are included in the Top 100, rather than a separate list.

In a column published explaining the criteria by which the rankings were established, Hawaii Business editor Steve Petranik said the decision to include sales of vacant land came at the request of local boards of Realtors, who said doing so “would more accurately reflect the performance of Hawaii’s real estate agents.”

According to Hawaii Business, 15 of Schneider’s 28 transactions were of vacant residential land.

Both Khouri-Morgan and Schneider said there’s still a lot of strong potential in the market, particularly from the West Coast and California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

“I think it’s going to continue on a nice, strong uphill trend,” Khouri-Morgan said.

And while the effects of the ongoing eruption might create a little softness in the market in the immediate near-term, she said, long term trends still suggest a strong uphill course.

Hawaii Island real estate agents in top 100

1. James A Schneider, Kukio Properties

2. Yvonne J. Khouri-Morgan, Mauna Lani Realty, Inc.

9. Harold Clarke, Luxury Big Island By Harold Clarke

12. Nicole L.K. Vincent, Kohanaiki Realty LLC

16. Stephen T. L. Hurwitz, Mauna Kea Realty

20. Thomas Loratta, Elite Pacific Properties LLC – Waikoloa

23. Eileen F. Lacerte, Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties

24. Robert Kildow, Hualalai Realty

30. Tony L. Pinkert, Elite Pacific Properties LLC – Waikoloa

54. H. Scott Rotheiser, Owners.com

55. Molly Harris, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty – Kamuela

59. Tomoko Matsumoto, Hapuna Realty

66. Carrie Nicholson, Hawaii Life

73. Sue Brown, Sue Brown Realty and Associates

90. Donna A. Duryea, Elite Pacific Properties LLC – Waikoloa


91. Rebecca J. Hirsch-Keliihoomalu, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty – Kamuela

95. Ben Garner, Kukio Properties

  1. antifaHI June 18, 2018 9:20 pm

    So Mr. Schneider made about $2 mil in taxable income. Good for him. But the real challenge would be how many properties a realtor sells per year? Selling i.e. a cheap leasehold farm is so much more time-consuming and intense than a super expensive Kukio condo. So what’s your educated guess who sold the most objects in 2017?

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