Mentoring the future of real estate in the country

THE Urban Land Institute (ULI) is an organization that just keeps on giving, more specifically by identifying and mentoring the future of the real-estate industry.

Batch 2017 of the ULI Philippines Mentorship Program is here—personally handpicked by the Young Leaders Group (YLG) and the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), featuring exceptional and accomplished real-estate professionals from around the country:

  • Robert Abano, investment banking associate at Primeiro Partners
  • Jo Ann Abellanosa, manager at Leechiu Property Consultants
  • Herbert Philip Alba, manager at KMC Savills Inc.
  • Karen Daniele Besmonte, licensed real-estate salesperson at Red Zeal Realty and Communities Development Corp.
  • Ma. Victoria Bravo, operations manager at Palafox Associates
  • Eduardo Castillo, senioraAnalyst at Leechiu Property Consultants
  • Kenneth Ching, managing director of Exabuilt Construction Company Ltd.
  • David Andrew Co, BS in Civil Engineering Undergraduate at De La Salle University
  • Emmanuel Eugenio Enciso Jr., vice president of Legacee Real Estate Development Corp.
  • Christopher Enriquez, interior architect at Grit Design Studio by Atelier Almario
  • Andrea Kristela Evangelista, managing architect of Studio Evangelista
  • Ayla Gomez, brand manager of JEG Development Corp.
  • Jose Gutierrez, investment sales manager of Leechiu Property Consultants
  • Emmanuel Francis Javier, director of Elazegui Estates Development Corp.
  • Juancho Jimenez, analyst at Primeiro Partners
  • Samantha Louise Lim, sales and marketing director of Rubysapphire Land Corp.
  • Carla Manantan, managing director of REBL Real Estate Group
  • Jefferson Ng, business development head of Millennium Properties and Brokerage Inc.
  • Harly Geraldine Pow, business development and marketing manager of H.S. POW Construction and Development Corp.
  • Erika Arielle Recomite, manager at Leechiu Property Consultants
  • Nelson Roquero Jr., project architect and business development, senior associate at Ayala Land Inc.
  • Eunice Joy San Juan, licensed real-estate broker
  • Michelle Siy, commercial leasing analyst at Leechiu Property Consultants
  • Iris Templo, manager at RME Consulting
  • Alessandra Chelsea-Mae Uy, BS in Architecture Undergraduate at University of the Philippines-Diliman

These chosen few are now part of the very first run of the ULI Mentorship Program here in the Philippines. Those selected were proven to show the commitment, the leadership qualities and the drive to advance in the real-estate industry. Truly it can be said these are the young and future leaders in the field of real estate in the Philippines.

Asked on how she felt on being accepted into the mentorship program, Carla Manantan was quite excited, in hopes she will learn a lot, not just from the program but from the organization itself. She aims to network and connect with those involved in the industry, not just in the Philippines, but globally.

David Co was thankful to be given the opportunity. “I have been constantly looking for opportunities, such as attending talks and seminars,” he said. As one of the undergraduate students accepted in the program, he is looking forward to better exposure and involvement to the real-estate industry. He also plans to actively jump-start his professional development by gaining first-hand experience to develop his skills.

The mentees all come from diverse backgrounds, from construction to investment banking to brokerage to project management to urban planning. They also come from different cities—some even different regions, such as Ayla Gomez, who is based in Cebu, and Karen Besmonte, who hails from Legazpi City, Albay. Noting that there is a need to pioneer growth in communities beyond Metro Manila, both believe in developing the real-estate footprint of their respective cities.

Nelson Roquero, a project architect, acknowledges the multifaceted approach to real estate. “I realized there are people from different backgrounds who are involved.” He is looking forward to learning more about the different stakeholders that make up each project, as this knowledge will help him become an expert professional; a source of innovation and new ideas.

Each mentees’ reason for joining the program may be different, but at the end of the day they are united by a common cause: Their hope is that through real estate, they can build a better future for the Filipinos and the country.

Alessandra Uy, a BS Architecture student in UP Diliman, hopes to be a future architect in the Philippines. “But I don’t aspire to just be an architect. I want to be a designer who advocates sustainable and responsible design here in the Philippines,” she said. This desire is in line with the ULI’s mission of providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

Iris Templo, an advocate of public transportation, is hopeful to contribute to the betterment that will improve the lives of the Filipino community, especially with regards to urban planning. Her experience in the public sector has allowed her to see how her involvement can push projects forward. She also hopes that, several years from now, to be in the forefront of projects that can initiate change in the society.

The mentees were formally introduced to their partner mentors who were all elated at the chance to meet the high-profile professionals whom they have looked up to for years.

Beyond their assigned mentors, the mentees are also given a chance to learn from their fellow mentees throughout the program. Mentees are encouraged to establish meaningful relationships with one another so they can gain different perspectives outside of their current practice.

Robert Abano even referred to ULI as “a thriving real-estate family that one would want to be part of,” as he shared his expectations of building relationships with other mentees. Since joining the program, he has also joined ULI as a member, seeing the value beyond the participation in the mentorship.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Ching is an existing ULI member who chose to apply in the program. “ULI has a global reach,” he said. He notes that the local representatives are impressive, and is confident that the program can help improve his network in real estate.

The ULI Philippines Mentorship Program was established by the combined efforts of the YLG and the WLI. The program is an enriching avenue by which young individuals with strong leadership potential can gain a unique first-hand experience learning from the best of the best in the industry, expand their networks, cultivate skills and develop their understanding of real estate. The program aims to bridge traditional and new perspectives, foster ideas of innovation and provide mentors the opportunity to share industry secrets gained from their years of experience to these emerging professionals. This is the inaugural launch of the program here in the country, and the leaders of ULI hope to continue the program in the succeeding years.

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