Real Estate Philippines
I have been living over in the Philippines for 5 years now and got a fairly extensive look at the Phillippines Real Estate Industry. I must say that Real Estate in the Philippines is really all over the shop in every area, and especially from a foreign Real Estate Business Owners perspective. One of the things that has stuck with me over my 15-year career in Real Estate is the theory of “making it easy to buy.” Everything to do with Real Estate goes against this theory in the Philippines.
If you make it easy to buy, you don’t have to sell
This theory is not just for the actual sale of a property or leasing, it also has to do with how you capture the initial lead in the first place. That is what the game of Real Estate is about. Generate leads and close sales! Just make it easy!
Real Estate Issues in the Philippines
Well, we have covered off in it in a general sense about making it easy, in which it is not but now let’s break it down in bullet points for quick points to pull out and look at.
- How do you know what is for sale and what is not?
- Who do you call to go and view a property in the first place?
- How do you arrange an inspection when you barely know what the property looks like?
- What is the actual price of the property?
Those are sales-related however there are even more on the Property Management side. I have rented a few places and it is messy.
- Who will show me the property?
- What is the rental price?
- Who do I pay to and how do I pay?
- Where is the entry condition report?
- Who do I call if I have an issue?
- Whose responsibility is what?
- What do I do if I want to move out?
There are so many issues and the reason I am writing this article is I am trying to get enough self-justification the problem is big enough and fixable. More importantly, is it just me or does anyone else think all of those need fixing for the better of the Philippines moving forward?
Buy a House in the Philippines
I am at the point now that I have been living in a Condo for 5 years and am ready to make the move to buying a house quite shortly. I have proposed to my beautiful Filipina future wife and my business over here is going well enough that we can afford to do so. So the fun in the Real Estate space continues. My key dot points earlier will be highlighted here.
So the first thing any normal person would do is to search in Google Houses for Sale then the area. I am in an area outside Clark, Angeles City. So that is what I search and I must reaffirm my thoughts here. What a cluster.
What a mess right? All you see is a mix of terrible photos, mixed-up information, wrong addresses, and multiple contacts with a different set of info.
Hmm, what is wrong with this picture? This is really not uncommon and no one here actually thinks there is any problem with this, which to me is crazy. I am writing this article in 2021 by the way and this property is live right now.
So I decided that maybe I want to know a little more. I look for the map view so I can jump in my car and drive the area as I am unfamiliar with it. The next question that you will be challenged with is where the hell is it? I guess somewhere in that location.
If you decide to chance it you will never find it anyway. Even if you had the actual pin drop location. You won’t find the house either as there will be no simple for sale sign on the property. After trying a few times I gave up on this and decided to call an agent and see what they can do. I also had no luck there either as no one could give me a current list of what is for sale and where they are located on a map.
Very frustrating. So we have given up right now and looking to maybe buy some land and build. That will be another story for another day I am sure.
Rent a House in the Philippines
Currently, we are renting a Condo privately from a friend which I must say has been a far more simple process than renting here in the past. In the past, I have rented a few condos on a monthly basis and once a house from an agency. The experience going through the agency had all the same issues with looking for a house for sale. I want to talk more about what is lacking on the property management side rather than finding a place to lease experience.
Once you say YES to the place, you sign a basic lease, pay the agency 1 month upfront and then pay a deposit of 1 month the place is yours. I guess in this case the agency got the 1 monthly fee as the commission which was more than you would get in Australia. Comparing this to the service we provided in Australia, that is a great commission amount for the agency, considering what they actually provided.
A few things here really surprised me. The condition of the property that they expected us to move into was horrible. All I thought was, is this going to be pinned on me when I leave? The answer would have been YES unless I did my own entry condition report documenting all the problems from cleanliness to broken fixtures and the rest. This I thought would be a standard process for both owner, tenant, and agency to protect all parties. Apparently not.
The next weird part was that to pay rent I was requested to hand over a cheque or cash each month which seems like a 20-year-old way of doing business. No one carries lumps of cash and who the hell writes cheques? This is something that in 2021 can be set up in a far easier online way which would obviously make it far easier for the owner and tenant.
I stayed at this property for 1 year and then decided to move out and go back to a condo. Guess though how many times anyone visited in that time to check on the place to see if I was looking after it? Zero! That is just crazy, lucky I am a good tenant but could you just imagine what could happen in 12 months to a property if the wrong tenant was renting it.
In the end, when I moved out the owner tried to pin things on me for the way it was left which was better than I found it. However, he had no leg to stand on as I had it all well documented. So if you rent a house in the Philippines my strong suggestion is to do your own entry condition report and send it via email so that there is a firm record of it our you will come unstuck!
Real Estate Agency in the Philippines, Good Idea or Not?
There is a lot more to write about this topic and I will continue to do so to see if there are enough people that agree that it needs to be improved. I have a run a successful agency in Brisbane, Australia back in the day. I still have all the processes that we used for that and 5 years of additional experience now running a business in the Philippines. I am thinking over the next 6 months I will get all my thoughts out into some sort of plan and tackle it piece by piece.
If you would support a Foreign style Real Estate Business in the Philippines or simply just agree it needs to change please comment and leave your support and feedback on any other issues you see that drive you nuts