Homegrown and proud
BUSINESS and outsourcing consultant Gregory Kittelson and lawyer
Amanda Carpo founded Kittelson
& Carpo Consulting, aiming to provide assistance to companies looking to start and
do business in the Philippines. The duo assisted their clients with business registration, taxation, payroll, executive search,
recruitment and even visas. Their clients
initially approached them to help them get
registered, but soon their clients started
to turn to them for officespace solutions.
Initially, they referred their clients to
a large realestate firm and a serviced office company, but soon realized that there
was an opportunity to expand their services to address these realestate needs.
Their desire to be responsive led them to
partner with one of their first clients, Michael McCullough, and to hire their first
inhouse broker, Rosario Carbonell. This
team of four would then give birth to what
is now KMC Mag Group.
For Kittelson, McCullough and Carpo,
one of the biggest challeriges that they
faced at the start was building their brand.
KMC Mag Group was up against multinational firms, and the team realized that it
needed to build a good repiutation quickly
in order to carve out a significant piece of
the market for themselves.
"One of the most challenging parts
about starting KMC Mag Group was the
initial branding-a new company takes
time to build credibility in a new market,"
Kittelson shared. "What was really crucial
was to build trust and provide great customer service to our clients. That has led to
those first clients returning and referring
us to other businesses.
"For me, the biggest challenge starting out was having no capital and having to
compete with international realestate services companies with global offices. It was a
DavidversusGoliath story," Carpo added.
"Our advantage was that KMC was homegrown.
We knew the market, and we knew
our clients. We were able to build that knowledge and master the market quickly."
"Finding the right staff was definitely
a challenge, as well as having to learn the
entire realestate market in a very compressed time," McCullough said. "I refer
to that expression, 'Rome was not built
in a day,' because it really takes time and
constant work. It was a lot of late nights;
trying to get our data correct; trying to get
our reports correct; and getting our presentations polished."
Through hard work, grit and determination, KMC Mag Group has become the
largest local realestate services firm in
the Philippines, with over 100 employees.
The firm offers various services, such as
tenant representation, landlord representation, offshoring corporate services, residential services, property management,
project marketing, hotels and leisure, facilities management, research and consultancy, and investments, and has worked
with companies such as ANZ, Roche, Canon, Fox, World Wildlife Fund, QBE Shared
Services, Aboitiz and Sun Life Financial.
In 2013 the firm was also named an international associate of global realestate
services provider Savills.
In addition, the firm has picked up a
couple of metals at this year's International
Property Awards, including Best Property
Consultancy WebsitePhilippines, Highly
Commended Real Estate Agency Philippines,
and Highly Commended Property Consultancy Philippines.
Kittelson shared that his favorite
milestone from the past five years would
be brokering 14,000 square meters of an
office lease for an Australian client, and
purchasing 16,000 sq m of commercial
space for a Thai client, while Carpo named
KMC's International Property Awards win
as her favorite. McCullough noted that his
favorite milestone from the past five years
would have to be handling one of the largest office transactions in Bonifacio Global
City, which he considered "a fun feather in
our company's cap."
As KMC Mag Group pushes forward,
McCullough believes that the firm will remain true to its roots, by providing high
quality, responsive service to its clients.
"KMC is going to continue to focus on a high
quality level of service, versus trying to be
the biggest brokerage firm in the country. I
think it's more important that we offer high-quality, highintegrity service to our clients,"
McCullough said. "That is where we built our
success on, and that is how we will continue
to grow as a company."