Freeman Cebu Business

Nurse finds greener pasture in real estate

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman
Nurse finds greener pasture in real estate
Clementine Rama,a registered nurse, she started her real estate venture in 2014 while on maternity leave, just to earn a sideline income while taking care of her baby. She realized that real estate has bigger potential than working and earning dollars abroad.
Ehda M. Dagooc

CEBU, Philippines — The promising opportunities in real estate have prompted a registered nurse to switch careers, opting to sell premium properties instead of pursuing a potentially high-paying salary overseas.

Clementine Rama established her realty firm, Rama Realty and Brokerage, in Cebu at Raintree Mall, Cebu City. She did so after noticing an increased demand for middle to high-end properties in Cebu following the pandemic.

Rama started her real estate venture in 2014 while on maternity leave, just to earn a sideline income while taking care of her baby, and perhaps fight the signs of postpartum. She tried to sell properties of Ayala Land Inc. From then on, she realized that real estate has bigger potential than working abroad as a nurse and leaving the country.

She said the real estate business in Cebu is too lucrative, so she let go of opportunities to earn dollars.

In 2015, Rama passed the brokerage examination that sealed the deal of making real estate a profession.

In April this year, Rama opened her brokerage firm working with 50 to 60 partner real estate salespersons.

Rama's venture into the real estate brokerage business targets a niche market; she prefers to sell higher-end properties, which she believes have significant potential despite catering to a smaller clientele base.

However, she mentioned that luxury property sales have surged since the pandemic, and Cebu continues to be a highly sought-after location for the affluent market, whether for investment purposes or as a second home.

“Cebu’s mid to high-end projects are not difficult to sell, as Cebu has become one of the top choices for property buyers after Metro Manila,” she said.

"People realized they needed more space in case of future lockdowns,” she said adding that in the past, property buyers were content with low-quality, affordable units because they were always on the go and only needed a place to sleep.

However, she said the pandemic made the market understand the importance of space and better property management.

“We invest in research to stay attuned to trends, giving us an edge,” Rama said adding that the unique location of Cebu as an urban island easily accessible to mountains and beaches is an irresistible appeal to those who have money to invest.

Buyers of middle to high-end properties are typically business owners, top executives, and investors. These buyers have already carefully assessed the opportunities and risks involved before making a purchase, she added.

The rising middle class in Cebu has also helped expand the purchasing power of Cebuanos to invest in expensive and high-quality properties. However, she added that this particular segment also presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities.

“This market is more about connections, and building relationships because once you have them, you get referrals from them,” she said.

Meanwhile, in a report released by Colliers Philippines, it affirmed that Cebu has emerged as the ‘playground’ for premium and luxury property developers. Buyers, both Filipinos and foreigners, are increasingly eyeing Cebu as one of their preferred locations for second-home properties and investments.

Property analysts at Colliers believe that the market for upscale and luxury residential units in Cebu will likely expand, so developers should further test investors’ and end-users’ appetite for these units.

Colliers said that the supply of upscale and luxury residential projects in Metro Cebu is relatively small compared to Metro Manila. Still, the demand is likely driven by local and overseas-based Cebuano investors looking for attractive investment prospects and viable hedges against inflation. — (FREEMAN)

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