Anyone involved in the real estate industry knows how ruthless the business can get, with competitors left and right and often not enough clients to vie for. Still, for National Real Estate Association, Inc. Chairman of the Board Andy Mañalac, there’s no reason real estate professionals can’t play fair to succeed.
MyProperty.ph talks to the Chairman about his undertaking on responsible real estate, his life as a professional and a family man, and how he came to be known as “The Shark.”
People in the real estate industry often refer to you as “The Shark.” Can you explain what this is in reference to?
I developed a way of life called “The Shark.” It stands for many things. For example, as a salesperson, you have to be Systematic, Hardworking, with Adequate Real estate Knowledge. If you want to move up, you have to develop Skills, Heart of a champion, Attitude of the positive, Resilience, and then Knowledge. As a team, you should have Synergy, Harmony, Alliance, Respect for each other, and (K)amaraderie. As an agent, your top priority is Security and savings, then Health, then Ambition, fourth is Recognition, fifth is Kapritso, or your wants. Then, no matter how good you are, you should always ask for blessings. So, Seek first the Kingdom of God, Have faith, Act now, Remove all hate, jealousy, then Know that God will empower you to succeed.
Have you always wanted to be in real estate?
My entry to real estate was accidental. I was a graduate of BS Computer Science in AMA University. Before that, I was actually bent on joining the secular seminary of San Carlos in Guadalupe in Makati. When I graduated college, I joined a multinational company and I worked all day with a colleague on a COBOL computer as big as a room. I told myself, this job isn’t for me.
In mid-1988 I was offered to join Globo Realty, among the first one that offered the condominium concept. From there, there was no turning back for me.
What lessons have you learned so far, being in real estate for so long?
I had the opportunity to be in three major cycles of the worst times of Philippine real estate: from December 1989 to 1992, then the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and then the global financial crisis in 2008–2009.
I learned to be resilient. This is what I tell real estate agents today: It doesn’t matter if you don’t make money today. You can make that tomorrow. But if you destroy your name today, you’re done. And real estate is a small industry.
And then I developed a positive attitude. You should strive to set the “thermostat” in the room. Particularly for agents selling to OFWs, I tell them they’re ambassadors of goodwill.
Aside from being a great salesperson, you’re also heavily invested in advocating responsible selling in real estate. What actions have you taken so far?
I have this website iamrealestate.ph. It’s not a selling site, but an unbiased third-party reference site in Wikipedia format where all questions about Philippine real estate are answered. It serves as a guide to help real estate agents as well to be properly informed about the workings of the industry.
We also practice responsible real estate with “ThinkInvest” wherein we match your investment objectives with the right projects, or we help you build your funds first by making you our marketing partners, and your successful referrals earn you a fee. Many Pinoys abroad, when they make a real estate investment, it’s often an emotional decision. I want them to think, instead of feel.
Aside from being a businessman, you’re also a family man. What’s life like for you at home?
I have four girls in the house, including my wife. Every Sunday I do a themed dinner at the house. I cook French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Indian. I study YouTube videos (laughs). Cooking relieves stress.
Since February, with the arrival of my new baby girl, things have changed. Typical of us daddies, the last thing I do is to play with my child, make her cry. When she’s crying, I place her back in her crib (laughs). Being with her takes my mind off work.
How would you like your life to be down the road?
My personal dream is to own a small boutique hotel, Tuscan-style, like Napa Valley, somewhere in the south. I’ll have ponies roaming around, so the grandkids will prod their parents to visit me. I’ll be the cook. It’s going to be my retirement place.
What about your dream for Philippine real estate?
My wish for the industry is that responsible real estate will be practiced not only by the sellers, but by developers as well. I also dream of de-centralizing the developments from the cities and spreading the progress to the countryside.