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