ECCP Real Estate Committee as the catalyst for collaboration and opportunities in the real estate industry

The inauguration of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ (ECCP) Real Estate Committee came about at a time where the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was taking its toll on the real estate industry. Despite the circumstance, the ECCP Real Estate Committee leveraged this period to amplify their initiatives for the advancement of the industry through experiential events and networking opportunities. 

The ECCP Real Estate Committee aims to broaden the business opportunities of corporate enterprises in the real estate sector, advance the economic progress of the country, and expand the network of industry members through a diversity of programs and initiatives. The committee promotes collaboration in the real estate industry by bringing together key players to share best practices, insights, and relevant data. The committee is headed by Lylah Fronda-Ledonio as chair, Mikko Barranda as co-chair, and Paula Queaño as communications chair. 

On April 23, 2020, the ECCP Real Estate Committee held its first webinar in partnership with Leechiu Property Consultants, Inc. The webinar entitled “Post-COVID Forecast: Real Estate Market Philippines” was led by David Leechiu, president and CEO of Leechiu Property Consultants, Inc., who shared relevant data and insights on the economy post-COVID landscape. The webinar was then subsequently accompanied by the formal introduction of the ECCP Real Estate Committee.

Among the practices the committee advocates would be to navigate “the new normal” through open dialogue with industry stakeholders, transparent sharing of information, and creating key recommendations to guide companies in making informed real estate decisions. 

On the committee’s advocacy and priorities, ECCP Real Estate Committee chair Lylah Fronda-Ledonio stated, “The committee serves as the catalyst in discussing and deriving common positions on issues and matters that impacts the real estate industry and its stakeholders. There is no better time to work together than now, as we face unprecedented challenges. Our commitment is to create a platform of idea exchange and best practices most relevant in these times; all in the spirit of collaboration.  Our focus is to bring together key players, insights, and relevant data that will serve as a guide into making business decisions in real estate.”

In relation to the committee’s goals for the real estate industry, Ledonio added that their driving force is camaraderie and collaboration amongst key players and committee members, “We envision a dynamic first year.” 

As for their first year as a committee, Mikko Barranda, ECCP Real Estate Committee co-chair, shared that they are looking forward to collaborating with other like-minded organizations to bring communities together through joint initiatives and be a platform for companies to share best practices across various industries. “We believe that during these trying times collaboration and synergy between industry thought leaders are key to not only overcome this crisis but bounce back stronger, wiser, and more resilient. Our plan is to facilitate connections: to create opportunities for companies to manage and maximize their real-estate portfolio by providing them with relevant data and match them with the right people,” expressed Barranda. 

Communications in real estate, although understated, is significantly important according to ECCP Real Estate communications chair Paula Queaño. She shares her insight that real estate whether corporate, commercial, residential, or retail is an interactive business. The proficiency of a person in communication largely determines their success. The attitude and verbal skills of a real estate professional to facilitate the pitching, negotiating, buying, and selling process of built infrastructure can make or break the customer’s experience.

“We have to remember that effective communication is a valuable skill to possess in all avenues of life, prominently one’s professional career. Effective communication is all about delivering messages to other individuals in a clear and concise way. Good communication is at the pinnacle of real estate,” added Queaño. 

ECCP executive director says that the Chamber recognizes the sector as an important driver of the economy and its crucial role for other industries like in BPO and hospitality. “Furthermore and as we grapple with the effects of COVID-19, we also recognize the greater need for collaboration among leaders in the real estate industry to exchange best practices on how to adapt to the new normal. Hence, launching the ECCP Real Estate Committee offers us an opportunity to better understand and resolve the challenges confronting the industry collectively,” he added.

The committee has launched three webinars since April, including the webinar with Leechiu Property Consultants, Inc. The second webinar, initiated by Haptic PR, entitled “Re-strategizing Real Estate” took place last June 3. The topic of the event revolved around emerging trends in branding, communication strategies, and technology that would transform and revolutionize the real estate industry in this digital age. 

As for the most recent webinar, the ECCP Real Estate Committee, in collaboration with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philippines and in partnership with The Philippines STAR, kicked off their first joint webinar entitled “Reshaping Workforce Re-entry” on July 9. For the third webinar, ECCP Real Estate Committee and ULI Philippines gathered together top real estate developers and occupiers to share their best practices for workplace re-entry for the New Normal. 

Even if relatively new, the ECCP Real Estate Committee is proactive in its initiatives and drive for bringing in opportunities for the real estate community. Under the leadership of Ledonio, Barranda, and Queaño, industry stakeholders and members can expect great things from the committee.