Working toward a future where every Filipino family has a decent place to live in
Every Filipino family aspires of having a home to call their own, yet for many, becoming a homeowner may seem like a far distant reality. One company decided to get something done 24 years ago when it developed a community for 200 middle-class families in San Pedro, Laguna.
“It all started in 1994 with St. Joseph Village 1—named after St. Joseph the Worker—that completely sold out in just four months. It made me realize then, of that huge demand for affordably priced homes especially in the provinces south of Metro Manila where at the time, investment inflows are getting stronger, potential for job creation is big, and creating a well-planned counter-magnet developments to a heavily congested metropolis makes sense,” says P.A. Properties Chair Romarico “Bing” Alvarez.
Together with P.A. Properties President Jonathan Lu, Alvarez set his sights on “putting a roof over the heads of Filipino families which they can truly call their own—at a price they can afford.”
And the company is succeeding: To date, P.A. Properties has completed a total of 40 affordably priced housing communities, equivalent to over 19,000 units. With 16 housing communities still being developed, the company says 25 more projects, estimated to generate P25 billion in revenues, are now in the pipeline.
Indeed, for a P3.3 billion company that began with an initial capitalization of just P300,000, P.A. Properties is starting to make its mark in the affordable housing market and is now highly recognized and well-received in communities where it operates, particularly in the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan and Batangas.
“P.A. Properties underscores the power of linkages, collaboration and technology in its journey toward achieving its vision and thrust to help assist the government bridge that gap in home ownership. We wanted to make sure that we could keep home ownership very much alive because home ownership anchors a happy neighborhood,” says Lu.
In the process, both Alvarez and Lu have come up with an ideal blueprint for the company’s success: Focus on empowering people, strengthening partnerships and adopting technology as critical factors in achieving the company’s vision.
Alvarez stresses: “Our vision, all our plans for the future, can only be realized if we tap and optimize the potentials of an empowered talent pool; pursuing and strengthening mutually beneficial partnerships; and embracing new technology in our operations and processes.”
To be successful, Alvarez says the company continues to tap into its employees’ talent pool, believing they serve as bridges to the company’s future. “We collaborate with our employees, share expertise and insights with one another so we empower ourselves, allowing us to realize our full potentials.”
Alvarez says the company’s team members are passionate about making the organization succeed and its future targets realized. “To stay at the top of their game, our employees need to be skilled in all the latest techniques, up to date with the most recent the laws that affect our sector, and engaged with their work. We continuously motivate our employees to push themselves forward and strive to develop new skills and smash their targets. This is the only way to create a culture that encourages the pursuit of excellence.”
From recent graduates launching their careers with P.A. Properties, to seasoned colleagues getting new roles across the company, management encourages, supports and invests in the employees’ lifelong learning such as training and development, leadership programs, career track plans, and coaching and mentoring, to name a few.
“The key here is to be hands-on while giving our people the room they need to succeed on their own. But without employee training, organizations can’t keep up with change, strategies will fail and profits will fall. Training our staff unlocks their potential, improves their skills and gives them the confidence to make a difference. Training also improves employee morale, which is another important ingredient in business success,” believes Lu.
As part of its expansion strategy, P.A. Properties in June 2017, entered into a joint venture agreement with Osaka-based real estate giant, Hankyu Hanshin Properties Corp. (HHPC). This resulted in the development of a P656-million project in Dasmariñas City in Cavite, which is just the first phase of a development spanning more than 37 hectares and is projected to be completed in five years.
A little over a year after starting the partnership, both companies signed their second and third joint venture agreements, a P2.9-billion worth of projects spread over five years up until 2023.
The HHPC’s passion to serve families and its proactive approach to building communities and unlocking the potential of several locations across the Asean region is a philosophy and value also shared by P.A. Properties. This, coupled with both companies’ management team’s over 100 years of combined experience in various industries, positions P.A. Properties and HHPC as a formidable alliance in building vibrant and healthy communities that more Filipinos would truly love to live in.
Sharing the blessing
“None of us would be where we are today, were it not for the people who believe in P.A. Properties and in its mission—to build a better home for every Filipino. As such, for all the successes we reaped since we ventured into this business, it is only right to give something back. I believe it is our duty to try and uplift the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves,” shares Alvarez.
With these words, the company has committed itself to help make the lives of Filipinos a little better, specially in communities where it operates. P.A. Properties has embarked on a variety of initiatives which includes:
Adopt-A-Child Programs, where each sponsored child is given clothes and toys during the holiday season. The families of these children also receive Christmas baskets for their Noche Buena;
Sponsorship of events and funding of projects in various communities;
Donation of learning centers in select communities;
Conduct relief operations for victims of disasters;
Donation of housing units through Habitat for Humanity;
Initiating feeding programs and medical missions; and
Pamaskong Handog, which sponsors Christmas parties for children and communities, to name a few.
With its partnership, P.A. Properties also introduced several new technology that would serve as game changers and high-performance enablers.
“The company knows that it has to step up its game and look at how to change and modernize to create better customer experiences. What people are looking for has changed in the last five years as fast-paced technological and social change transform how people live and work. Technology is now playing a critical role in our sector so we started embarking on a digital transformation in our processes and operations so as to better respond to our stakeholders.”
In terms of building technology, P.A. Properties is also employing several modern techniques like allowing concrete and mortar structures to be produced at the project site. This makes the construction process more efficient, enabling single-story units to be finished in just 25 days while two-story units, in mere 45 days.
Alvarez adds, “Meeting the ever-growing demand for real estate is hard. But with the advancements in construction techniques, it is now possible to construct projects in less time.”
As it adopts new building techniques, P.A. Properties also set up several customer friendly innovations including the Hi+ (Home Info Plus), a one-stop portal (mobile app) for the company’s home buyers where they can check their account information from reservation up to move-in phase. The app also has a chat support function where buyers can directly channel their concerns and inquiries to a dedicated customer care representative.
There’s also a centralized communication tool used to send advice to P.A. Properties customers called eCast (e-mail and SMS notifications) wherein notifications, reminders, announcements etc. can be sent via e-mail and SMS.
Lastly, there’s the Customer Care Hub, an integrated, process-driven service center that allows customers a direct access to customer care ambassadors who are best equipped to respond to concerns and inquiries.
“P.A. Properties is all about making the Filipinos’ home ownership journey as easy and as painless as possible. To realize this, we need an innovation culture, which is essential to our success. When before, cultivating such was a ‘nice thing to do’, these days, it is already a ‘must do’ for an organization like us. By embracing the spirit of innovation can we truly survive the challenges of the next 24 years,” said Alvarez.
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