In the world of business, following in the footsteps of a successful parent can be daunting.
Comparisons are inevitable, and the pressure for the scion to approximate, match or even surpass the achievements of the previous generation may be intense on both professional and personal levels.
But that doesn’t seem to bother newly minted real estate businessman Quinto Oreta.
In fact, the son of lawyer and real estate developer Mario Oreta seems to revel in walking a path similar to his father’s.
The elder Oreta is president of Alphaland Corp.—a property firm that has had its share of controversies in recent months, but is also known for having turned around the ugliest and longest running eyesores of the Makati City skyline, giving new life to what is now known as Alphaland Southgate Tower and Mall.
The younger Oreta, however, has chosen a parallel but distinct path for himself in managing the family-owned Major Homes Inc.
Build and grow
“I can’t go head on with the big boys of the real estate industry—at least not yet—so we decided to find a niche from which we can build and grow the firm,” says Quinto, who has a Management Information Systems degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and an MBA from Thunderbird School in Arizona.
“So our company’s goal right now is to roll out quality and affordable projects that are aimed at the middle market Filipino buyer,” he says, describing Major Homes’ business model with enthusiasm.
One look at Major Homes’ portfolio of ongoing and completed projects will show that Oreta is not just some glib talker with practiced grad school jargon, but someone who means business.
Major Homes is now a full-service real estate development company with interests and initiatives in affordable housing, middle–income, leisure destination condominium-hotels and—a relatively new concept—the high-rise condominium-dormitory-hotel (or condormitel) business.
The company currently operates 15 projects in and around Metro Manila, and its buyers’ profile exceeds 6,000 individual accounts with more than 50 percent represented by Filipino professionals working overseas.
“We are especially active in overseas Filipino worker communities abroad as they are the one who have the income and the strong desire to invest for their future in real estate back here,” Oreta says.
According to Oreta, Major Homes currently controls a total of nearly 25 hectares of land that can be developed into various property concepts.
This land bank has an estimated aggregate sales contract price of P9.4 billion spread across 15 horizontal and vertical development projects throughout the metropolis.
As of mid-2014, 81 percent of this land bank has already been sold to buyers, leaving the company hungry for more property acquisitions or joint ventures.
The aggregate budgetary cost to complete the company’s projects are estimated at P4.4 billion due for deployment in the next 30 months.
Indeed, the numbers show that the company is small enough to be nimble—if you can call P9 billion “small”—but large enough to be noticed by the market.
So far, Major Homes has, among others, residential and mixed-use projects being built in Lipa City called Lipa Verde; Crescent Knoll in Calamba, Laguna; Ravenna residential development in Mabalacat, Pampanga; Juez Residences in Malabon; and the Monteluce mixed-use complex in Silang, Cavite.
Of its ongoing projects, however, it is the condormitel concept—Oreta’s newest baby—that he is most excited about.
In this concept, Major Homes will build high-rise condos in Manila’s University Belt area, and rents out affordable dorm space to college students who need clean, convenient and safe places to stay during their matriculation.
The condos are run by a professional management firm, and their construction is funded by investors who buy units in the development in return for a fixed and regular rental yield on their capital.
“It’s an amazing concept, and is a big hit with our foreign investment market,” Oreta says of the sub-brand dubbed “Space.”
“In fact, the three projects we have (the San Marcelino, Romualdez and University Belt projects) have already been sold out,” he adds.
The company’s finances reflect the strong demand for its product portfolio. Major Homes posted an asset compounded annual growth rate of 29 percent from 2011 to 2014. During this period, it developed and launched various horizontal and vertical product offerings, amid positive client response.
Major Homes is projected to hit a net income after tax compounded growth rate of 18 percent from 2011 to 2014. Robust sales in 2012 through 2013 mainly derived from the Space condormitel units, coupled with the programmed increase in construction progress for Monteluce units this year, is predicted to help the firm hit its P150 million operating income target for 2014.
And what’s Oreta’s major goal for Major Homes? It is nothing less than to take the company public on the Philippine Stock Exchange—perhaps as soon as next year, depending on market conditions—via an initial public offering.
“Being in this business is demanding work,” Oreta says. “But it’s enjoyable work.”
And as most business gurus will attest, enjoying one’s work is one of the essential elements of success.