Who will take care of the investments of FilAms?

Source: PhilippineNews.com online edition
Beting Laygo Dolor, Sep 27, 2006

MANILA – Because of the growing number of Filipino Americans investing in real property in the Philippines, there is also a growing need for qualified property managers.

With this in mind, licensed real estate broker Cynthia Palad Yap put up Fort Bonifacio Consultancy (now BGC Consultancy).

As its name implies, the company specializes in properties within the Fort Bonifacio Global City area, considered the top market for those who wish to invest in condominiums in the Philippines.

The one big problem that a FilAm buyer faces after he or she has purchased such a property is, who takes care of the unit?

Fort Boni Consultancy answers this need. This relatively new company is not your typical property consultancy firm as it also “house sits” professionally in the absence of the new owners.

“When you’re based abroad, FilAms and foreigners alike look for that assurance that their investment will be looked after and cared for,” Yap told Philippine News.

Fort Boni Consultancy in effect “manages their property with a remote control,” she said. “That’s specifically the service that I have been offering through the years.

Yap’s first company, CPY Real Estate Movers, was set up in 2001. One of the first things she did was to create www.realestatemovers.com. The website is one of the most frequently visited portals for those on the hunt for property to buy. It also serves as an accurate research and reference guide.

Her newer company is also visible in the web via www.bgcconsultancy.com. Yap says there is no other company in the country that caters and answers the needs of the meticulous investor.

“We set the precedent in this sector of the industry,” she said, “And we boast of comprehensive and integrated information on all property developments in Fort Bonifacio Global City. Our services take the fuss and worries from the investor giving them the freedom to enjoy their home.”

Unlike “paid” property consultants who disappear or transfer to other developers after a few months, Yap offers continuous service to the client. For example, she gives construction updates of condos she has sold to clients, sending pictures of these as they are erected and completed on a regular basis.

Normally, “broker-buyer relations stop after sales,” she told Philippine News. This is precisely what she seeks to avoid.

“Some of my clients tell me that right after buying the property, their consultants disappear, leaving them clueless as to the project’s progress. I have taken it upon myself to extend the after-sales service.”

Yap has spent most of her adult life in the real estate industry.

Graduating cum laude with a degree in agribusiness management from the University of the Philippines Los Banos, she first worked at the National Economic and Development Authority as economic development analyst. She then earned her master’s degree in business administration at UP Diliman. Then it was real estate all the way.

Her first foray in the sector was as commercial property negotiator for First Pacific Davies (Philippines), focusing on office space sales and rentals within the Makati Central Business District.

In 1995, she moved to C&P Homes as one of the company’s marketing managers.

She was one of the first to see the potential of Fort Boni, but opted to become an independent broker. This, she said, gave her an edge over other agents or brokers. “Unlike some exclusive property consultants of developers who are only familiar with one project, I have the freedom to choose among condo developments and recommend the best property suited for the investor. In a nutshell, I am not limited,” she said.

Yap undertakes a lot of research on the properties she sells, looking at the track record and reputation of developers/builders before she recommends a property to a client. She only recommends properties that pass her standards.

This is important to buyers who are far from the Philippines, such as FilAms. Earlier this year, a well-known builder invited Philippine News to view his company’s property in the Fort Boni area. The condo was almost complete, months ahead of schedule.

In front of that property was another condo project being built by another well-known developer. Clearly, it would miss its promised completion deadline by a mile.

Yap’s company offers comprehensive after-purchase property management services which includes property sale or rental, contract preparation or review and property documentation services.

More importantly, she also offers peace of mind for the investor.