BOSS LADY

Shanna Louise Lopez’s clar­ity of vi­sion is matched by her ca­pa­bil­ity to turn her plans into re­al­ity

Cebu Living - - Profile - By LIANA SMITH BAUTISTA Im­ages by JIM UBALDE

If made to imag­ine an up-and-com­ing real of es­tate mogul, you prob­a­bly wouldn’t think a wo­man in her early 30’s, wear­ing a killer dress sense and sassy smile. But Shanna Louise Lopez, pow­er­house and CEO of NEXUS Real Es­tate Cor­po­ra­tion, is in a class of her own.

Rid­ing on a high from her com­pany’s re­cent cre­ation of two sub­sidiaries and thus se­cur­ing its po­si­tion in the mar­ket, Shanna talks the talk and walks the walk when it comes to lead­ing a bal­anced life­style. You were on a very dif­fer­ent ca­reer path be­fore you de­cided to go into real es­tate. Why the shift? I ac­tu­ally took a pre-law course back in col­lege since I had dreams of en­ter­ing the le­gal pro­fes­sion. But be­fore I could en­roll in law school, I de­cided to help my mom run a cou­ple of our busi­nesses. Then I got hooked on the chal­lenges of run­ning an en­ter­prise. I learned to look for­ward to the unique tasks that present them­selves in the course of any busi­ness en­deavor.

At one point, I de­cided to try my hand at flip­ping a few houses that werepart of our port­fo­lio, and I was sur­prised at how fast I was able to sell them at the mar­gins I had. From then on, I found my call­ing. I took the helm of our prop­erty de­vel­op­ment arm, with plans of mak­ing it a ma­jor in­dus­try player. Was it dif­fi­cult to change gears? I’ve learned to love what I do, and I have started to be­lieve in the adage. “A man’s home, no mat­ter how hum­ble, is his cas­tle.” This is why I chose to join the real es­tate de­vel­op­ment busi­ness. I truly feel that it is both a busi­ness and a vo­ca­tion as it al­lows me to pro­vide fam­i­lies with one ba­sic need: hous­ing. The busi­ness al­lows me to earn my keep while I also do my lit­tle share of na­tion-build­ing. You’ve been vo­cal about your love of Cebu. What’s your vi­sion for our city? Cebu’s rise as a ma­jor des­ti­na­tion for new real es­tate de­vel­op­ment projects

bodes well for its eco­nomic growth.As per its re­port, the lo­cal gov­ern­ment has rec­og­nized that real es­tate [has been] the fastest grow­ing lo­cal in­dus­try for the past two to three years. My only con­cern is that both pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors must come up with a more com­pre­hen­sive and long-term de­vel­op­ment plan to make sure we will not end up with the usual prob­lems of other highly in­dus­tri­al­ized cities in the Philip­pines such as flood­ing, il­le­gal set­tlers, high crime rate, etc.

I think it is safe to say that Cebu will right­fully take its place as a ma­jor growth and des­ti­na­tion cen­ter within the South­east­Asian re­gion a few years from now. We shall have the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture and ameni­ties to fur­ther in­crease our ca­pac­ity to ab­sorb for­eign in­vest­ments and tourists. But what will set us apart is that our 21st cen­tury moder­nity will al­ways have the idyl­lic

“What will set us apart is that our 21st cen­tury moder­nity will al­ways have the idyl­lic and is­land feel that is uniquely Ce­buano.”

and is­land feel that is uniquely Ce­buano. You seem to be a wo­man with her roots firmly planted in home soil but who also has a global per­spec­tive. Would you agree with this as­sess­ment? Yes. Glob­al­iza­tion plays a big part on how so­ci­ety evolves and how busi­nesses grow at the same time. We have to have a broad per­spec­tive and not just limit our­selves to what we know and see lo­cally.

As a lo­cal com­pany sup­port­ing sus­tain­able lo­cal prod­ucts, we ad­here to global stan­dards for our projects. The use of nat­u­ral over syn­thetic ma­te­ri­als and the prac­tice of en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble and re­source-ef­fi­cient con­struc­tion meth­ods have been ap­plied to our eco­con­scious ad­vo­cacy. What chal­lenges do you plan to take on next? I have mul­ti­ple ex­pan­sion projects on the plan­ning board [that are de­signed] to take all the busi­nesses to a dif­fer­ent level. On a more per­sonal note, I look for­ward to set­tling down and start­ing my own fam­ily. Who are the peo­ple and what are the things that in­spire you to do what you do? First and fore­most, my mom and my sis­ters who have al­ways sup­ported me in all my en­deav­ors. It also helps when you have a team be­hind you who shares the same en­thu­si­asm and pas­sion to­wards the same vi­sion. I’ve also had sev­eral buy­ers who per­son­ally came to thank me and tell me they have found their dream home through our projects.Apart from my work life, I keep my­self busy by en­gag­ing in com­mu­nity and en­vi­ron­men­tal projects. Do you have a per­sonal phi­los­o­phy you live by? I’ve al­ways be­lieved in lead­ing a well­bal­anced life. Work, play, travel, ex­er­cise, and spend­ing time with the peo­ple who mat­ter most will bring out the best in any per­son. Life is too short, that’s why it is essen­tial to find what makes us happy.If you love what you are do­ing and com­mit your­self to ex­cel­lence in ev­ery­thing you do, you will be suc­cess­ful. What do you wish the youth of Cebu knew? With all the re­cent eco­nomic de­vel­op­ments set to trans­form Cebu into a mega city within the next few years, I hope the youth will not for­get their roots and the val­ues that have shaped the her­itage of be­ing truly Ce­buano. I hope they won’t be caught in and lose their iden­ti­ties to so­cial me­dia en­trap­ment, that they will grow into strong in­di­vid­u­als ready to take on the chal­lenges life gives them.As a guid­ing prin­ci­ple, it is al­ways im­por­tant to re­spect el­ders and put God in the cen­ter of their lives.

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