Common vision, friendshipdeliver unmatched success
Bound by a single vision and driven by a common goal, three ladies were able to hurdle the trials and thrive in an industry previously dominated by men.
And it is that solid bond, strong friendship, as well as the unshakeable faith and trust that allowed Matilde P. Robles, Carmina A. Sotto, and Ma. Melinda A. Bernardino to successfully build what is now one of the country’s strongest and longest running marketing firm—Royale Homes Marketing Corp. (RHMC).
“I still remember 22 years ago when I was given the chance to become a co-owner of Royale Homes. I didn’t ask for it nor prepared for it. As we started building our marketing network, we came to know people from all walks of life bringing with them varied stories of struggles and how they managed it all by being a real estate agent,” recalled Sotto, who currently serves as the AVP for sales, marketing, and training at RHMC.
“Days are filled with tears, heartaches and frustrations but above it all, we learn from it and we grew together. All of these did not deter us because we all have one goal, to provide a better life for our families,” Sotto added.
RHMC was established on September 8, 1994 by the three lady entrepreneurs who had then envisioned the company to become the leading real estate marketing organization in the country.
“Originally we started out as Royale Homes Realty. It was a venture I did with my husband, who is also the president of Sta. Lucia Land Inc. I used to be a sales coordinator also but then we decided that I should try and venture on my own,” said Robles, who is the president of RHMC.
“So that’s when we decided to established a marketing group because the people also wanted us to put up one,” Robles added.
Bernardino, who is currently the EVP for finance and administration at RHMC, explained that back then, they saw a real need to put up a separate marketing team since Sta. Lucia Land, as a company, was already growing while the demand from the clients was likewise getting bigger.
“And we really wanted to be independent and we know that somehow we have the capability. At that time, there were only two marketing firms servicing Sta. Lucia namely Fil-Estate and Asian Pacific,” Bernardino said.
“Sta. Lucia was a developer-owner but the ones who are selling its various property are the marketing arms which Mr. Robles himself designates to exclusively sell a particular project,” Bernardino added.
Passion to sell
Having shown its strength in real estate marketing, RHMC was then tapped by Sta. Lucia Realty and Development Inc. to exclusively market a number of its premier residential and resort projects nationwide. It has also marketed the real estate projects of the joint venture partners of Sta. Lucia Realty.
“We were friends since we were little, as we all grew up in the same neighborhood in Pasig. Diding (Robles) and Peanuts (Sotto) have always worked together, they were both sales coordinator and worked in the same office,” Bernardino related.
“It all started with me and Peanuts and our love and passion for selling. We actually started with Tupperware, W. Brown and Salad Master, an expensive cookware brand. You would actually be surprised that we’re making good sales. In fact, people are teasing us that we are using our beauty to be able to sell. But actually, it was really just our passion that catapulted us to where we are now,” Robles added.
RHMC’s first clients were also their suppliers when they used to acquire products from Greenhills and other wholesalers. The group’s first project was the Acropolis.
“We were quite lucky with the agents that we had because they were the ones who really pushed us to establish this company. Our sellers really believed that there’s enough reason for us to build this firm,” Bernardino said.
“It wasn’t really hard setting up the company at that time because we already have people who have so much faith in us and these are the same people who made us aware of the help that we are extending them without us really noticing it. Also, it was the agents who would come and flock to us because we have such good inventory of properties to sell,” Robles said.
RHMC has indeed come a long way since its inception—from the time that they started small with only one table to work on.
“We only had one table. So every time one of us had a client to entertain, the other two had to go out. But it didn’t bother us because we knew that sooner or later, things would change for the better. We’ve always had a positive outlook and we all share that common belief that we will one day succeed,” Robles shared.
“I am very proud of our sales people and I believe that God’s gift to us is each other. Every challenging project is made easier with laughter, camaraderie and optimism. We will tirelessly go from one sales rally to another, across the country and even around the globe, tapping new markets and recruiting more salespeople,” Sotto said.
“We will always be grateful to Sta. Lucia Realty for the continued trust. We are one with them in their mission to ‘Build better lives and fulfill the dreams of many Filipinos, and this noble intention is what carry us forward to a brighter future,” she added.
Today, RHMC continues to search for new information and new technology to enable the company to better cope with the changing trends and growing needs of its clients.
It also continues to strictly adhere to the ethical and moral standards set by society and have been in “continuous spiritual search for the Almighty’s will from whom the group believes all good and righteousness emanate.”
“We are just glad that we never gave up despite certain challenges and trials that came our way. The market has change so much and this is something we had to continuously adapt to. I think the wisdom that we have learned over the decades is what allows us to continuously thrive and grow despite the competition. Prayers also did us a lot of good,” Bernardino shared.
“We are thankful to (Sta. Lucia Land president) Exequiel Robles for his unwavering passion to create and develop projects that people would want to invest in as this gives us a healthy inventory of products that the market truly wants. He has always been fair to us and he’s always willing to assist us in everything we need,” she further said.
According to the group, it was not only them whose lives Mr. Robles has helped improve, but that also of their agents who were able to send their kids to school and provide a truly decent life for their families.
“The work that we do is no mean feat but because of the support that we get and with prayers, we managed to survive even the most trying times. We have gone through numerous economic cycles and we’ve managed to somehow escaped unscathed and this is partly due to the support that Mr. Robles has given us and for this, we will forever be grateful,” Bernardino noted.
“That’s what’s great with Excy (Mr. Robles), he’s always been fair and he never made anyone of us feel inferior. In my case, even if I was his wife, there was no special treatment because he really wanted me to understand the ropes of the business. I’m just really proud that I have found a partner, both in business and in life,” Robles said.
There aren’t any signs of these women slowing down as they themselves said that the increasingly stiff market competition and the changing market behavior continue to challenge them. However, they also noted that unlike before, they now have the luxury to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
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