The lives of so many Filipinos have changed in ways they have never imagined. People can no longer meet, work, eat, shop, and socialize as they used to. Even the working world moved rapidly from business as usual to cautious travel, office closures, and work-from-home mandates.
Residential real estate developer P.A. Properties faced an all-encompassing crisis unlike any in its 26-year history. The lockdown has led to fewer homebuyers looking for new houses due to health concerns and stay-at-home orders. Even open house and site visits that usually generate huge gatherings are no longer allowed.
“The pandemic has definitely changed the way we do normal life including buying real estate and what people are looking for in a house — many homebuyers have realized that they can work from home indefinitely and are looking for homes that could be revamped or reconfigured to accommodate an in-home office or school for their children,” said Romarico “Bing” Alvarez, chairman of P.A. Properties.
Alvarez related that the company is literally defining the strategies as it goes, striking a delicate balance of adjusting to customers’ expectations and ensuring the safety and the health of its staff, their families, and clients.
“Thanks to the bond we have nurtured for the past 26 years — our teams at P.A. Properties and partners as well as the homebuyers we are serving, are coping with this crisis. It was this common sense of belonging that enabled the company to remain strong and ready to continue its mission to build more affordable homes for more Filipinos,” he said.
BUSINESS AS USUAL
Indeed, it was business as usual at P.A. Properties: East Residence Ortigas-Emerald building just held its topping-off ceremony last Nov. 27 while Idesia Lipa in Batangas had its groundbreaking last Dec. 8.
Jonathan Lu, president of P.A. Properties, said the company has instituted simple strategies like utilizing video conferencing to the fullest and introduction of Online Selling System to help its selling partners do real-time inventory search and payment scheme generator.
“To mitigate the pandemic’s impact, the company is offering discounts to prompt buyers and even bigger discounts for its ‘Ready for Occupancy’ units to buyers with cash. After all, such a challenging economic landscape calls for a ‘cash is king’ mindset,” added Alvarez.
Lu relates that the pandemic has taught them many lessons on how they conduct business, “to ‘think outside the box’ all the time, to adapt to the new normal and introduce new ways of selling our products.”
Alvarez said the real estate sector’s resiliency had buoyed the business. “Home buying will never stop as it became even more necessary during this pandemic. There is a renewed focus on affordable housing, which could be a silver lining during these times. The pandemic has demonstrated how vital safe, reliable housing is for the stability and well-being of our communities,” explained Lu.
Lu related that even the company’s Japanese partner — Hankyu Hansin Properties Corp. — remain on board despite business challenges brought upon by the pandemic. “To their understanding, the country’s real estate sector, compared to the other investment options, still remains the safest and the most reliable and holds value. Our first three signed joint ventures are on track. These projects are in Idesia Dasmariñas in Cavite. The second batch of signed JVs are for another three projects located in Lipa, Batangas; Cabuyao, Laguna; and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. They will all be launched in the coming months.”
Idesia Lipa is one of the two big projects P.A. Alvarez has in Batangas. Located in Brgy. Inosluban in Lipa City, the 11-hectare mixed-use township will offer more than 747 units, ready for sale. It will be launched this month. Meanwhile, the NuVista Lipa spans about 50 hectares in Brgy. Antipolo del Norte and Anilao in Lipa City. It currently has three projects: NuVista Homes Lipa that boasts nearly sold-out 1,022 units (from P450,000 to P1.7 million home packages); NuVista Homes Lipa Phase 2 that offers 399 units with prices ranging from P996,000 to P1.7 million; and NuVista Lipa that offers 1,008 units with prices ranging from P1.085 million to P3.018 million.
Alvarez added: “I am proud to say that the P.A. Properties and its partners have always been such a determined group. And I am glad to say that in just a few months, we were able to get everyone’s schedule back and running — many thanks to the efforts and cooperation of our teams.”