Agents cash in on the real estate boom
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.
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.