BJ Kobayashi is the President and CEO of the Kobayashi Group, a boutique real estate development firm. Current developments include 375 home Kukio Golf and Beach Club, 248 unit Hokua high rise and 205 unit St Regis at Wailea. BJ is the co founder of the Gift Foundation of Hawaii, Trustee of the Nature Conversancy and board member of Ahahui Koa Anuinui.
BJ also founded the Gift Foundation of Hawaii which raises funds for worthy non profit organizations. They throw a huge fundraiser every year and the proceeds go to the non profit benficiary.
Some questions asked:
BJ, you have a law degree from Georgetown, how did you get started in real estate?
Did you practice law? What made you decide to leave practicing law?
Can you tell us about your first venture into entrepreneurship?
What was the hardest thing about getting started and how did you overcome it?
How did you prove yourself when entering your family business?
What are the most important things (top 3) you’ve learned from working w/ your father?
How do you determine incentives for employees?
How does your father voice his opinion?
The Kobayashi Group is truly a family run business. How is it working w/ your father, brother and sister?
How do you guys continue to get along?
What’s your average day like?
How do you manage risk?
What’s involved with developing large properties like Kukio and Hokua?
What are the most important skills to develop to be successful in real estate?
What’s your view on the growth of the Hawaii real estate market?
The Kobayashi Group’s team has been through good and bad real estate markets. What’s the secret in your opinion to making it in both times?
What’s story behind the Gift Foundation?
What makes the Gift Foundation special?
Can you give some success stories from the organizations that the Gift Foundation has supported?
When is the event and how can people buy tickets?
What are the biggest and most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs or business owners make when starting a new venture?
What are the most important laws to becoming successful?
What is the most important thing to teach your children?
What was your biggest business challenge and how did you overcome it?
What are the biggest mistakes people make in real estate?
What’s the right way to get into real estate?
Can you talk about your involvement in the Nature Conservancy?
What are you doing to teach Bert III to carry on the Kobayashi business legacy?
How do you split up roles between your brother and sister?
What’s entailed in deal sourcing?
What makes Kukio different from Hokulia?
Any last advice for business people?
BJ Kobayashi serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Kobayashi Group (“KG”). BJ has 10 years of real estate development and investment experience that ranges from large office building development to luxury Resort Residential developments.
Currently, notable KG projects include the following: Kukio Golf and Beach Club (Beach Club, 2 Tom Fazio designed golf courses, 375 homes), Hokua at 1288 Ala Moana (248 unit luxury high rise anchored by a two story, 40,000 square foot retail/office center), the St. Regis at Wailea (204 unit luxury bungalow development and 40,000 square feet of retail/restaurant developments), and Capitol Place (396 unit luxury high-rise development in Downtown Honolulu).
In his capacity as CEO, BJ originated each of the aforementioned projects and serves as managing partner for KG in the management of each. In this capacity BJ leads project real estate underwriting, acquisition and financing.
BJ is married to his wife Nicole and they have a four year old son, Bert III and a 18-month old daughter Lucia.
Philanthropy plays an important role in the family. BJ is co-founder of the Gift Foundation of Hawaii, a board member of the Kukio Fund and a board member of the Mayors Cup on the Big Island, in addition to serving or leading fund raising efforts for the Bishop Museum, Na Koa, Georgetown University, Georgetown Law Center, Punahou School and Hanahau’oli Schools over the past several years.
BJ is a 1989 graduate of Punahou School. A 1993 graduate of Georgetown University School of Business with an International Business major, 1996 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center earning a Juris Doctorate and a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association.
In spare time BJ enjoys working out, and traveling with family.
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