Key points from ANC’s Market Edge interview with FH Founder Anthony Leuterio

Last February 10, 2021, Filipino Homes Founder Mr Anthony Gerard O. Leuterio was invited by ANC 24/7 for a live video interview with Michelle Ong to talk about the status of real estate in the Philippines, its trends and changes in the time of a global pandemic.

Below are key points from ANC’s Market Edge interview with Mr Anthony Leuterio.

Inclusivity of the Real Estate Service Act of 2009 (RESA) Law

Michelle: “Sir, let’s start with RESA Law or the Real Estate Service Act of 2009 which I know is at the heart of your advocacy. You want certain provisions to be more inclusive so that even non-real estate management graduates can apply to become licensed brokers. Do you have allies in Congress pushing this today? And realistically speaking, are you confident that you can get this through?”

 “Yes. We have a group already Michelle. We call it A Better Real Estate Philippines (ABREP) where most of the allies now are interested in the amendments. We are actually not against abolishing the BSREM. We like BS-REM. In fact, I’ll be going to take BS-REM, but we just want it to be more relevant.”

“As we can see, most of the subjects are not relevant to real estate. And what we want it to be relevant and to be inclusive into the real estate sector. The BS-REM is really the biggest factor of today’s time because we need more brokers. Last year, we only had 100 brokers.”

1:20 rule and the difference between a Broker and Salesperson

Another topic they both talked about is Section 32 of RESA, specifically the so-called 1:20 ratio where the law requires that corporations have at least one licensed broker for every 20 accredited salespersons.

Michelle: “We hear a lot about the 1:20 rule, could you briefly explain how that works?”

“The problem is most of the brokers now can have more than 20 salesperson because of the technology. Today, you can manage 30, 50 or even 100. We are the only country today which has a limit. In fact, Malaysia copied some of the laws from there [RESA] but now they are already changing it.”

Leuterio said that the 1:20 rule needs to be amended given the rapid progress in technology, as it limits the potential of real estate to become the country’s major economic driver.

“In RESA, if you’re a broker you have to hire 20 Salesperson. These are the ones who will be helping you to market properties. Brokers are more in the technical side. They know everything from the brokerage, to private selling and they need assistance — which we call it Salesperson.”

A Shift to Digital

Michelle: “How are the agents, salespeople going today? How are they doing? Do we know how many are forced to leave the industry?”

“Actually, it really changed. It’s now pivoting to digital. When the pandemic struck the country in April – May 2020, everyone is hanging. So, we have to really use the technology,” Leuterio said. 

He said that most of the brokers now are doing social media marketing. They do online roadshows. And the developers also have innovative ways to capture the buyers like easing their payment terms.

Demand for socialized and mid-market housing

Michelle: We know that we’re looking at the housing backlog of about 6.75 million units that could possibly balloon to 22 million, how is the industry going today?

“The industry is doing very good. In fact, Filipino Homes is operating all over the Philippines and we saw a demand in socialized, economic and even mid-market housing. Especially today that most of the buyers want to own another home where they want it more COVID or ECQ-friendly. These are homes where they can have a mini office and/or a garden. You know there is a growing demand for backyard gardens.”

Because of this, Leuterio is urging developers to consider these trends in order to cater to the demand, saying that failure to meet its demand would add to the already ballooning housing backlog in the next coming years.

Related article: OFWs, local markets keen about investing in Cebu properties this 2021

Michelle: Would you say it’s a buyer’s market or seller’s market today?

“It depends on how you look at it, Michelle. If you look at it at the renting or investment part, it is not really having so much demand. But if you’re looking at it from the brokerage side… there is actually a lot of demand.”

He explained that while demand for office spaces may be weak, demand for socialized, mid-market housing remains strong— with many local buyers, including OFWs in the health care sector, looking for a second home that’s ECQ-friendly. 

Watch ANC’s Market Edge full 9-minute interview with Filipino Homes Founder, Mr Leuterio here