On October 17, 2019, Lamudi successfully held
The Outlook Real Estate Conference 2019 at the Makati Shangri-La, bringing
together industry thought leaders from all over the country to talk about the
hot topics in the Philippine real estate sector.
The Outlook: Philippine Real Estate Conference
2019, with co-presenters Philippine Daily Inquirer Property and Holcim
Philippines, provided an avenue for insightful discussion spanning a wide range
of topics from sustainability to alternative ways of investing in real estate.
The major sponsors for the event are the
International Workplace Group and SMDC, and the official TV partner is Cignal
TV. The Outlook Conference has also teamed up with event partner Subdivision
and Housing Developers Association (SHDA), and media partners Philippine Daily
Inquirer Property, Business Mirror, Business World, Malaya Business Insight,
Manila Standard, and Philippine Star.
The Role of Developers in Making
the Philippines More Sustainable
The Outlook Conference started strong with its
first track, “Taking Sustainable Action: Addressing Climate Change Through Real
Estate,” where moderator Cathy Saldaña, Managing Director of PDP Architects,
steered the conversation into a topic dear to her heart. The panel revealed
that though different companies are already pioneering efforts to use solar
energy, waste management, and water recycling to be more sustainable, there is
a need to adopt a more global, top-down approach to initiate change that will
The panelists for this track were Cecilia
Domingo, Vice-President and Head of Meralco; Gian Carlo Valerio, Chief
Executive Officer of Solana Land; Ram Maganti, SVP for Marketing and
Innovations of Holcim Philippines Inc.; and Gay Santos, a financial inclusion
The Philippines is blessed with sun and rain,
Saldaña noted, both of which can be harnessed as sources of energy. Maganti
also mentioned the scarcity of fresh water, prompting the company to use
recycled water as part of their sustainability efforts. Domingo talked about
the residential and commercial efforts started by Meralco and its subsidiaries,
from solar panels to e-sakay as an initiative. According to Domingo, the
Meralco compound has already banned single-use plastic, and are active in
tree-planting initiatives for carbon reduction.
Real Estate Marketing for a
The second track, “New-Age Customer
Experience: Transforming Real Estate Marketing in the Age of Disruption,”
moderated by Deborah Ong, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Lamudi, explored
the role of disruption in shaping a new breed of real estate clients along with
strategies that should be adapted to thrive in this new consumer environment.
The panel discussed the “end” of the mall to give way to online shopping, and
how this prediction years ago failed to take into account the adaptability of
Filipinos to change. What could have ended an industry sparked disruption,
giving rise to the changes in the way people do business and how consumers
The panelists for this track were Thomas
Mirasol, General Manager of Federal Land; Marco Antonio, President & CEO of
Century Properties; Tek Samaniego, Property Editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer
Property; Jose Soberano III, CEO of Cebu Landmasters; and Eugene Lozano, First
Vice President for Sales and Marketing for Megaworld Corporation.
Lozano, who has witnessed the transition from
traditional to digital marketing, said there is now a focus on Google
Analytics. To successfully implement these changes, Lozano mentioned the
importance of informing key people in the team. “We’ve been very busy
re-training, providing lectures and materials to different key people just to
keep up with the digital transformation of marketing strategies nowadays.”
“The consumer today is more demanding,” Ong
“And they really want to get their money’s
worth,” Samaniego added.
Uncovering New Real Estate Sales
“Fresh Perspectives: Mapping Evolving Real
Estate Sales” was moderated by Bhavna Suresh, Chief Executive Officer of
Lamudi. The third track leaned towards preparing the sales team for new
business models, strategies, and practices that improve how real estate is
offered to customers. The panelists mentioned the importance of likability and
trustworthiness, the human touch, malasakit,
and thinking beyond after-sales.
The panelists were David Rafael, President
& CEO of Aboitiz Land; Beth Ventura, President of Anchor Land Holdings,
Inc.; Ricardo Lagdameo, First Vice President of Damosa Land; and
Raphael Felix, President of Phinma Properties
Inc. and Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA).
Rafael admitted to wondering about the future
of real estate. “Will we ever reach a point where people would buy property the
way they buy food from Foodpanda or they buy a shirt from Lazada?”
Upon pondering, however, Rafael has come up
with an answer: “At the end of the day, the human person buying property will
really still need to talk to a human person.”
Startups and Their Exploration of
the Sharing Economy
“Paradigm Shifts: Exploring the Sharing
Economy in Philippine Real Estate” explored the changing Philippine conditions
and the rise of startups that have led to the growth of the sharing economy.
Eric Manuel, of Arch Capital Management, moderated the track, which discussed
the commute as a major pain point for residents who eventually decide to move
to co-living spaces. The very young population of the Philippines wants to be
measured by their performance, not their timesheet. Co-working spaces, on the other hand, allow
young professionals to expand their network.
The track’s panelists were Jelmer Ikink, Group
Director of MyTown; Nick Padilla, Co-founder, CEO & Space Captain of
Kahon.ph; Paul Rivera, Co-Founder & CEO of Kalibrr; and Lars Wittig,
Country Manager Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, S. Korea for
International Workplace Group.
Shared spaces answer the tenants’ need to
escape the commute. Ikink further noted that the future of work, especially its
definition, will change over time and to address this, they are working towards
a zero-commute lifestyle. This means working, living, and all amenities will be
in the same space.
Choosing Investments: From POGO
“Changing Face: Uncovering Alternative Ways to
Invest in Real Estate” zeroed in on the drivers of investor demand, the new
investment opportunities available in the market, and how the market can tap
into these to encourage a robust real estate economy. The moderator, Cignal
TV’s news anchor Danie Laurel, asked about the viability and sustainability of
POGO as an investment. Panelists also recommend diversifying as a smart way to
The fifth and final track’s panelists were
Richard Raymundo, Managing Director of Colliers; Mikko Barranda, Associate
Director of Leechiu Property Consultants Inc.; Iluminada Sicat, Assistant
Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; and Noel Rapadas, Senior Vice
President and Chief Finance Officer of Torre Lorenzo.
Sicat presented an interesting fact that will
help guide investors in diversifying their portfolio: “We did an assessment of
the impact of POGOs on the price of our residences. There was a sudden increase
in the price of rent, but if you look at the net contribution of POGOs, it’s
not that big, actually.”
Raymundo also noted that if POGOs did not
come, “the rents would have corrected anyway.”
Rapadas mentioned that there is still a long
way to go for these kinds of investments to be sustainable. He urged investors
to look at what drives prices up, and suggested following a fixed plan to see
growth. Rapadas also said that despite the increase in the prices of real
estate, the Philippines is still relatively cheap compared to other places for
investment in Asia.
Projects Shaping the Filipino
Keynote speaker Vince Dizon, President and
Chief Executive Officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority
(BCDA), shared the plans for New Clark City as part of the Build, Build, Build
program. New Clark City is planned to be the Philippines’ first smart, green,
and resilient metropolis.
The Outlook Real Estate Conference also gave a
platform to Virlanie Foundation, a private, non-profit and non-sectarian
organization reaching out to marginalized children and communities in the
Philippines. Lamudi and Virlanie launched a partnership program, Cherish-A-Home
Fundraising, to help the disadvantaged, abused, neglected, and abandoned
children through in-kind and cash donations that will improve their quality of
life in any of the foundation’s eight homes.
The Outlook Conference: Future
Lamudi’s The Outlook: Philippine Real Estate
Conference 2019 gathered real estate thought leaders to share their insights on
the pressing topics facing Philippine real estate today. The event leads up to
Lamudi’s Outlook Awards: The Philippine Buyers’ Choice Property Awards
scheduled on November 14, 2019, at the Makati Shangri-La, where property
developers from all over the Philippines gather to celebrate the outstanding
achievements that shaped the country and steered it to a greener future.
The winners of the awards are determined by a
panel of judges and a survey involving 10,000 active property seekers.
To know more about The Outlook Awards 2019, head to