BRO­KER BLESSED

Agents cash in on the real es­tate boom

Sun Star Cebu Yearbook - - COVER STORY - BY JES­SICA SER­VANDE LOSO­RATA PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY JONOLIN M. LUAB

DE­SPITE the global eco­nomic slow­down, the Philip­pines pow­ered through 2013 with in­vest­ment rat­ing up­grades and eco­nomic ex­pan­sion of 7.4 per­cent in the first nine months amid ro­bust spend­ing and in­dus­try growth.

Con­struc­tion grew 16.3 per­cent in the first three quar­ters of the year, jump­ing from 10.5 per­cent in the same pe­riod in 2012, with the Queen City of the South get­ting a fair share of the boom in this sec­tor.

As a ti­tan in the na­tional econ­omy next to the cap­i­tal of Manila, Cebu has emerged as a fa­vorite res­i­den­tial des­ti­na­tion in the south. With the rip­ple ef­fect, ac­tors be­hind the scenes have been see­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the vi­tal­ity of the con­struc­tion sec­tor.

“We’re strik­ing while the iron is hot,” said An­thony Leu­terio, pres­i­dent of Leu­terio Realty and Bro­ker­age ( LR& B).

Leu­terio founded LR& B in 2009 af­ter pass­ing the li­cen­sure ex­am­i­na­tion of the Pro­fes­sional Reg­u­la­tion Com­mis­sion ( PRC).

Ac­cord­ing to Leu­terio, real es­tate bro­kers in the hey­day of the con­struc­tion in­dus­try are blessed pro­fes­sion­als.

Af­ter just a year or so of pitch­ing projects and clos­ing sales, own­ing prop­er­ties them­selves or go­ing on hol­i­day over­seas are no longer im­pos­si­ble lux­u­ries for ma­jor­ity of his bro­kers and ac­cred­ited sales­per­sons, he said.

De­pend­ing on the project, Leu­terio cited P30,000 to half a mil­lion pe­sos as the regular monthly earn­ings per bro­ker or sales­per­son.

“Money doesn’t come easy, though,” Leu­terio cau­tioned.

Re­leased in about two years max­i­mum, com­mis­sions de­ter­mine a bro­ker’s fate. The stan­dard rate is not less than five per­cent per developer. The sell­ing price of each real es­tate prop­erty av­er­ages P1.5 mil­lion to P5 mil­lion.

And the PRC al­lows ev­ery bro­ker to su­per­vise only up to 20 sales­per­sons. Col­lec­tively, LR& B bro­kers man­age a net­work of 300 to 400 li­censed sales­per­sons, aged 25 to 45, of whom 95 per­cent are de­gree hold­ers and the rest re­cip­i­ents of at least two years of col­lege ed­u­ca­tion. Some 80 to 90 per­cent work part- time.

BE­ING A BRO­KER IS A SUR­VIVAL-OF- THEFITTEST KIND OF GAM­BLE WITH A HIGH MOR­TAL­ITY RATE

Tar­gets and mor­tal­ity

There’s no spe­cific quota for LR& B. The ul­ti­mate task is to de­liver on tar­gets set by de­vel­op­ers— Pri­mary Homes, Aboitizland Inc. and Maria Luisa Prop­er­ties, to name a few.

Nor­mally, a realty out­fit con­tacts de­vel­op­ers for ac­cred­i­ta­tion, and bro­kers and sales­per­sons at­tend prod­uct knowl­edge sem­i­nars.

LR& B re­ceives around 200 queries daily, yet only about 20 trans­ac­tions are closed.

Leu­terio said they ap­proach the mis­match be­tween prod­ucts and prospects by bank­ing on 70 to 80 per­cent of their buy­ers ( in­vestors and over­seas Filipino work­ers) and 60 to 65 per­cent of pre­ferred prop­er­ties ( con­do­mini­ums).

“Be­ing a bro­ker is a sur­vivalof-the- fittest kind of gam­ble with a high mor­tal­ity rate,” said Leu­terio, who cited an or­ga­nized sys­tem for bro­ker­ages, rare in the Philip­pines, as a way to keep bro­kers from leav­ing.

He said suc­cess in the busi­ness de­pends on the bro­ker’s hon­esty and good rep­u­ta­tion.

Maria Co­ra­zon dela Fuente of MC Dela Fuente Realty ( MCDFR) said to­day’s bro­kers have it much bet­ter than those who strug­gled through the 1997- 1998 Asian fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

Creative la­bor

Buy­ers keep com­ing be­cause of Cebu’s nat­u­ral re­sources and prac­ti­cal mod­ern lifestyle, she said, and their op­tions abound as de­vel­op­ers launch new of­fer­ings al­most ev­ery two months.

Dela Fuente was li­censed by the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try in 1997, and in 1999, reg­is­tered MCDFR with af­fil­i­a­tions from al­most all de­vel­op­ers na­tion­wide. MCDFR sells projects from the low- end to high- end cat­e­gories with the best­sellers be­ing con­do­mini­ums and raw land.

Dela Fuente said bag­ging a sale boils down to creative po­si­tion­ing. Hard work for a year will reap cars and ed­u­ca­tion for chil­dren as fruits of a bro­ker’s la­bor on top of the P30,000 to P50,000 min­i­mum monthly in­come.

“How­ever, sales are un­pre­dictable. With many de­vel­op­ers nowa­days set­ting a 20 per­cent down pay­ment for prop­er­ties, stretch­ing the re­main­der up to 36 months, we’re lucky if com­mis­sions are re­leased in a monthly or per­cent­age ba­sis. Mo­ti­va­tion helps a lot,” she said.

This hasn’t damp­ened the en­thu­si­asm of would- be bro­kers.

The PRC’s li­cen­sure exam for bro­kers on March 17, 2013 had 377 ex­am­i­nees from Cebu. Na­tion­wide, a to­tal of 1,928 passers were recorded ver­sus the 2,969 ap­pli­cants.

The Philip­pine Al­lied Cham­ber of Real Es­tate Bro­kers and Li­censed Sales­men led by Leu­terio and the Philip­pine As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors Board Inc.- Cebu Real­tors Board Inc. headed by Dela Fuente are just among the na­tional realty groups with a pres­ence in Cebu.

BUY­ERS KEEP COM­ING BE­CAUSE OF CEBU’S NAT­U­RAL RE­SOURCES AND PRAC­TI­CAL MOD­ERN LIFESTYLE

KEY TO SUC­CESS. HON­ESTY AND A GOOD REP­U­TA­TION WILL HELP BRO­KERS SUC­CEED

IN THE PRO­FES­SION, SAYS AN­THONY LEU­TERIO, PRES­I­DENT OF LEU­TERIO REALTY AND

BRO­KER­AGE, SHOWN HERE AT AP­PLE ONE BANAWA HEIGHTS.

BUY TIME. MARIA CO­RA­ZON DELA FUENTE OF MC DELA FUENTE REALTY DEMON­STRATES HOW TO PITCH THIS AVALON CON­DO­MINIUM

UNIT IN THE CEBU BUSI­NESS PARK TO BUY­ERS. WITH DE­VEL­OP­ERS LAUNCH­ING NEW PROD­UCTS AL­MOST EV­ERY TWO MONTHS, SHE SAYS

THERE’S NO SHORT­AGE OF PROP­ER­TIES FOR BUY­ERS TO CHOOSE FROM.

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