How did you get into the real estate industry?
It was actually at the invitation of fellow Irishman Joe Curran who at the time was still with another real estate services company. I was looking for a new challenge and they were hiring. I had previously been working in a different industry, primarily handling business development and marketing. Corporate real estate was quite new to me then, so I enrolled in a post-grad diploma course in Real Estate Management to complement my skill set. I joined as an associate in 2012 and with mentoring from some of the top brokers in the industry, was promoted to manager of the Corporate Agency & Brokerage team.
What are top 3 trends that impact future of real estate?
Real estate strategy has become a lot more employee-centric in recent years. Companies want their office space to be easily accessible to staff, and office interiors are being designed around the employee and their productivity. Aside from simply being a place to work, offices are being heavily invested in as a means to improve employee satisfaction and retention. Flexible work environments supported by modern technologies that cater to the different work activities within the office, and the ability to work from anywhere outside the office via mobile devices (especially important with the constant traffic choking the thoroughfares of Metro Manila) have got a lot of companies moving away from the traditional 9-5, one employee to one desk model.
How would you define success?
As a tenant rep success depends on achieving your clients goals. Sometimes that's by negotiating a great rental rate or a generous rent free period, sometimes success is securing future expansion rights or even something that sounds as straightforward as securing signage rights. Personally, at the moment my biggest (work in progress) accomplishment is the CoreNet Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) course. A few colleagues and I enrolled this year and hope to complete our studies and achieve the MCR designation sometime next year. The course has been fantastic, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for industry relevant professional development.
What is your take on the current state of economy and real estate in PH?
If we look at the usual boom-bust cycle then I suppose we should be due for a downturn in the near future. However, a lot of construction projects have been delayed in Metro Manila so I think supply pressures will keep the office market strong in the near term. Global political instability complicates matters, and the current administrations alignment shift away from the US toward China and Russia presents both opportunities and threats... I should probably start learning Mandarin.