PRC released the Board Passers of the Latest Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination this year

From abs-cbnNews

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Friday that 3,185 out of 4,762 passed the Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination.

The examination was given by the Board of Real Estate Service in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao and Ilo-Ilo last March 2011.

The results were released in five (5) days after the last of examination, the PRC said.

Registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registaration will start on Thursday, April 7, 2011 until April 14, 2011.

Those who will register are required to bring the following:

Duly accomplished Oath Form or Panunumpa ng Propesyonal

  • · Current Community Tax Certificate (cedula)
  • · 2 pieces passport size picture (colored with white background and complete nametag)
  • · 1 piece 1×1 picture (colored with white background and complete nametag)
  • · 2 sets of metered documentary stamps and,
  • · 1 short brown envelope with name and profession; and to pay the Initial Registration Fee of 600 and Annual Registration Fee of P450 for 2011-2014.

Succesful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

The oathtaking ceremony of the sucessful examinees in the said examination will be held before the Board on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 1:00 in the afternoon at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

Tickets for the Oathtaking will be available from April 7, 2011 to April 25, 2011.

To see the successful examinees who garnered the 10 highest rank, CLICK HERE!

CLICK HERE to View the Full List of Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination Passers.

From abs-cbnNEWS

Successful Foreign National Entrepreneurs in the Philippines Under 40

By: Jahzeel Abihail G. Cruz

The recipe for running a successful enterprise doesn’t necessarily include membership in a related high school club or being voted “Most Likely to Succeed”. What it does include, though, is an expertise in something of personal interest and balance between risk-taking and business sense. And the earlier these factors converge in life, the better. Having enjoyed the perks of being their own bosses before the middle age of 40, these expat entrepreneurs would know.

Teaming with Talent

Mr. Gregory Kittelson

Mr. Gregory Kittelson

It may not been much for Gregory Kittelson looking back, but dreams of putting up his own Mexican restaurant and a nightclub in his native Rhode Island in the US now seem providential. Self-made at 37, and a foreign country to boot, Greg is co-founder of two Philippine-based companies: Kittelson & Carpo Consulting and the KMC MAG Group real estate brokerage firm.

“It’s really the people that make the Philippines attractive [for business],” he stresses. He found himself in the country seven years ago, assisting in managing a software outsourcing company, and had prior sales and business development work experience in San Francisco. With these and the burgeoning business process outsourcing (BPO) industry here, Greg found himself at the right place at the right time.

Finding the right people was the clincher, and for that, the Philippines were a gold mine. He first partnered with friend and seasoned corporate tax lawyer Amanda Carpo to put up Kittelson and Carpo Consulting three years ago. Today the consulting firm is a thriving team of lawyers, recruiters and accountants, which has provided business set-up services for some 200 foreign companies to date.

It was sister company KMC MAG Group that was more a child traditional business school principles. When Greg and his partner saw an evolution in their clients’ needs to include securing leased office space, they jumped at the opportunity to address the high demand and secure the niche.

It’s not all business for Greg, though. “Your overall focus has to be on your business, but it’s important to have social outlets,” says this health buff. How he has time for travelling, boxing, muay Thai, and dancing the salsa and meringue are bewildering, but he insists it’s a matter of balancing these with company concerns.

When called for, however, Greg puts his astute business mind to work by collaborating with people in his workplace. As if to reiterate the importance of skilled personnel, he doles out praise for the team s he has assembled here in the Philippines. “I have a very talented local team that can interface and execute for our clients, and that’s something we’re very proud of,” he says.

Self-Teaching through Experience

Mr. Michael McCullough

Mr. Michael McCullough

“According to a poll by the HR, I’m relaxed and easy to approach, and talk to,” says Michael McCullough, which may not come as surprise after finding out he hails from Southern California in the US. But don’t be fooled by his approach to management: At 28, he co-manages the KMC MAG Group, a company he launched with Kittelson and Carpo Consulting’s Greg.

Michael initially started out as an IT Consultant for Greg’s consulting firm, a position he held after stints in Silicon Valley and the Cambria Corporation, a custom software development firm. The latter brought him to the Philippines in 2007 to open a subsidiary company, and it’s felt like home here for him ever since.

That’s not to say that success came effortlessly for him. “We were never taken seriously by a lot of landlords at first, so establish a name is kind difficult here,” recalls Michael. But in its 13 months of operation, KMC MAG went from unsure to unperturbed, closing several significant accounts and establishing itself as a real estate player to stay.

The company prides itself in providing immediate solutions, usually for the brisk BPO industry, creating a niche in a country where red tape can be frustrating, Michael says. Triumphs such as providing large-scale serviced office for two clients on a floor of coveted Ayala Avenue building space (“I think we’re one of the first companies to do something like this on a large scale, specially at the price point,” he notes) have sincere created deserved buzz among industry higher ups.

Nonchalant about his achievements for his age, Michael looks at his business a continuing education. Incidentally, he chose entrepreneurship over graduate school, opting to experience learning rather that paying for it. “All of our clients are very seasoned CEO’s, so when they come to our office, I do nothing but listen and try to learn from them,” he says.

KMC MAG has since branched out to offer more solutions for its clients, from staff leasing to condominium brokerage. And Michael is living it up in the Philippines, unleashing the water lover in him on weekend getaways. “ I feel like is the 51st state of the US. I feel comfortable here.

Attuned to Business Weather

Mr. Sebastien Caudron

Mr. Sebastien Caudron

Browse the online materials of some of the most ubiquitous names in business here, and not a few will be the handiwork of NetBooster Asia. This online advertising and marketing agency’s successes were not without constant fine-tuning, however. For his part, company president Sebastien Caudron believes,” [Business] is evolving. You just follow trends and follow what’s working.

NetBooster Asia’s history owes a revisit to one of its predecessors: Yellowasp. Sebastien’s first venture in the Philippines in 2000, Yellowasp is a software services company offering offshore development services. Noticing that web services were increasingly becoming professionalized, Yellowasp eventually began re-branding as a web services provider.

Partnering with French web solutions group NetBooster around three years ago marked yet another shift, this time the creation of a full blown online agency offering creative services and online marketing solutions to companies across Asia. Sebastien shares, “Instead of trying to sell them a website or traffic, we went to very basic commercial talk to make them realize that internet has big potential for them.”

It helps that the Frenchman himself is young; at 36, he’s in touch with a generation that is internet-savvy. As for where he’d eventually set up business, Asia was always on his radar; a joint-venture project in the 1990’s in Manila sealed the deal, and he stayed ever since. The Philippines, with its large, young and English-literate population, provided both the ideal labor pool and target market for NetBooster Asia.

Sebastian started his first company here at the age of 25, and ten years into the business, he says he’s happy he started early. “If you’ve experienced the comfort and low stress of getting monthly salary, I think it’s difficult to accept the risk of not earning as much on regular basis,” he reasons. Still he notes some changes in perspective that come with experience: “You realize that the independence of an entrepreneur is also not real, because you have to report your clients.”

NetBooster Asia, with Sebastien at the helm, now looks to be the agency of choice for clients that aim to advertise regionally. “The idea is to be the first and largest digital agency network in Southeast Asia. We want to create value by offering a network,” so his forecast goes.

Taking the Leap

It helps for the enterprising hopeful to be well-educated: Greg studied in Mexico and Spain, Michael in Denmark and Sebastien in Scotland. But also like these three, the successful entrepreneur is ultimately the risk taker. Once the plunge is taken, however, there is so much to do to avoid a free fall. “Then it comes down to focus on your business,” Greg advices those setting up business on soil foreign to them.

“Trust your instinct, make sure you have enough investment, trust top people and include them in the business so they follow you and stick to you,” adds Sebastien. And if all goes well, dividends will not only be in the form of finances, but fulfillment as well. Michael would know: “I remember receiving my very first commission of Php 100,000, and it’s an indescribable feeling.

Real estate industry rides on boom in BPO sector

Vacancy rates on the decline

from Philippine Daily Inquirer

By Abigail L. Ho

The real estate sector continues to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in the business process outsourcing sector, as vacancy rates drop and the need to construct more office, and even residential, spaces increases.

In an interview with the Inquirer, David Young, managing director of real estate services provider Colliers International in the Philippines, said the BPO sector’s aim to add another 500,000 to its employee base over the next five years translated to the need to build close to 3 million square meters of office space.

“This industry, on its own, can fill up all office space in Ortigas. Real estate developers have a lot to thank this industry for, as it has spurred not just commercial development but residential development as well. BPO employees are either getting their own or leasing condo units,” he said.

He said the surge in the number of BPO employees, many of whom had to work outside their hometowns, had given rise to the establishment of condominium buildings with studio and one-bedroom units that are well suited to these individuals.

Mall developers have also cashed in on the BPO trend, he said, by constructing buildings with more floors and leasing the top stories to BPO companies.

Developers of office spaces reaped the most benefit from the surge in BPO activities, as opportunities opened for them to move into suburban areas and the province, away from the already crowded Makati and Ortigas business districts, he said.

“Makati and Ortigas are not really suited for BPO operations. Also, the vacancy rate in Makati is down to just 4 percent and in Ortigas to only 6 percent, with no more room to grow. The movement is toward suburban areas like Eastwood and the (University of the Philippines-Ayala Land TechnoHub), as well as to the Fort (in Taguig),” he said.

Rates have also started to pick up. He related that office space in Makati would cost around P750 per square meter for prime buildings such as 6750, RCBC and Ayala Tower One. The rate is P100 per square meter cheaper in Ortigas at P650 for buildings such as Wynsum and Orient Square. In Alabang, Eastwood, and UP, lease rates range from P400 to P500 a square meter.

As vacancies go down and rates go up, Gregory Kittelson, chairman of real estate brokerage firm KMC MAG Group, advised BPO firms, particularly start-ups and small and medium operators, to try the serviced offices approach.

Managing Director and Business Consultant of KMC MAG GROUP

Chairman of KMC MAG GROUP

“Developers are building large offices to be leased to large companies, but some companies are also looking for small spaces, especially when they’re starting out,” he said in a separate interview. “There’s a massive need for serviced offices that can serve as incubation spaces for start-ups or as temporary offices for expanding small and medium BPO firms. These serviced offices can cater to operations with 5-100 seats.”

He said KMC MAG Group last year assisted more than 100 companies in setting up shop here using the serviced offices approach. Around 50-60 percent of these companies were from the BPO sector.

“There are not enough temporary office spaces now. All we have are big offices. This is an opportunity for developers as well,” he said.

KMC MAG GROUP Commercial Real Estate & Property Broker

KMC MAG GROUP Commercial Real Estate & Property Broker

KMC MAG Group is the fastest growing commercial and residential real estate brokerage company in the Philippines.  Founded and managed by two Americans and a Philippine corporate lawyer, KMC provides brokerage services for commercial office space, serviced office, seat rentals, and residential properties.

KMC also operates its own serviced offices, incubation and seat leasing facilities on Ayala Ave in Makati and Fort Bonifacio

to see the page follow this link Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines Tax Talk: Understanding the REIT Act

By Kathleen Yu

In a bid to boost the stock market, the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Act was recently passed into law, marking the fourth legislative attempt to bolster economic growth and development in Philippine markets. The Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9856) promises to promote economic development in capital markets, democratize the distribution of wealth by increasing Filipino participation in the Philippine real estate market, enable the financing of infrastructure and other projects through the management of capital markets, and provide protection to the investing public.

But let’s get back to basics: What is REIT? And how can it help improve our economy?

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a corporate institution that invests in real estate, while reducing and (in some cases) eliminating corporate income taxes. In exchange, REITs are required to distribute 90% of their annual income to shareholders. The REIT structure provides a framework for real estate investments in the same way as mutual funds provide investments in stocks. Like any corporation, REITs can either be publicly or privately held, and are classified as either equities, mortgages or hybrids.

The Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Act of 2009 proposes several incentives for establishing these corporations in the country, including tax exemptions on revenues and shareholder dividends. REITs will also benefit from the documentary stamp tax exemption recently issued on its original shares of stock.

According to Philippine Stock Exchange  (PSE) president and chief executive officer Francis Lim, “The REIT law promotes transparency for tax reporting purposes. Moreover, the new business opportunities that will be created should translate to a broader tax base for the government. An independent study conducted by a team from the University of Asia and the Pacific concluded that the government will not only recover every peso of tax incentive but stands to gain between P0.15 and P0.35 more over a 15-year period. This conclusion was made on the basis of the March 28, 2009 version of the bill, which granted far more liberal tax incentives than the enrolled version.”

Michael McCullough of Manila brokerage firm, KMC MAG Group, adds, “The REIT is a promising new investment option allowing many small investors to take part in large scale real estate developments through simply purchasing stocks in the REIT.  The entire commercial real estate industry is excited as REITs will encourage more real estate development, which will be beneficial to the local economy.”

In order to qualify for tax exemptions under the REIT Act, companies must first meet the following requirements:

  1. Company must be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and distribute dividends of at least 90% of its net income
  2. Company must invest only in real estate or real estate assets
  3. Company must invest at least 70% of its total assets
  4. Company must not undertake in property development activities nor invest in unlisted property development companies
  5. Company must invest at least 35% of its total assets in real estate
  6. Not more than 5% of its investments in listed or unlisted debt securities and listed shares of or issued by property and non-property corporations (local or foreign) and other locally-registered REIT should be invested in any one issuer’s securities or any one manager’s funds
  7. When investing in real estate as a joint owner, the REIT should acquire shares or interests in an unlisted special purpose vehicle (SPV) constituted to hold down the real estate and the REIT should have freedom to dispose of such investment
  8. Company’s total borrowings and deferred payments should not exceed 35% of its deposited property
  9. A full disclosure on the identity of the parties and the transaction should be made to the PSE if it acquires assets from or sells assets to interested parties or invests in securities of or issued by interested parties
  10. Company must conduct a full valuation of a REIT at least once a year
  11. Company must comply with the applicable minimum public ownership requirement of the Philippine SEC
  12. In addition, to qualify for the exemption of taxes imposed on the transfer or sale of assets, REIT must retain or hold the assets sold or transferred for a period of five years from the date of sale or transfer to the REIT

REITs must have a minimum paid-up capital of Php 300 million, with 1,000 public shareholders, having at least 50 shares each. Although the act seems promising, it is important that the incentives and exemptions given to investors must be offered with caution, as it may impact other industries, and even government funds.

Manila lawyer, Amanda Carpo of Kittelson & Carpo Consulting stated that: “The REIT law will allow Philippine real  estate market to be truly global and it holds a lot of promise for the industry. Hopefully, the law will be implemented as written and the different government agencies will not try to inject their policies into the implementing rules and regulations. Those concerns should have been aired and dealt with in the deliberations. We must trust our lawmakers and not second guess the wisdom of the law.”

Real Estate Flourishes in Cebu, Stirs Investor Interest

By: Kathleen Yu

Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines and one of the foremost domestic shipping ports in the country. Rife with historical significance, the city is now home to the largest commercial center outside Manila and one of the fastest growing real-estate markets in the country. Hailed as the “Queen of the South”, Cebu is a developed metropolis with the idyllic charms of an exotic island destination. The city boasts a number of central business districts, IT Parks and special economic zones that have made it an ideal investment destination for foreign and local companies in the Philippines.

As the city’s real-estate market flourishes, Cebu has started stirring interest among numerous investors in the country. Says Michael McCullough of Makati-based real estate brokerage firm KMC MAG Group, “ More and more investors are now looking to Cebu City as the next real-estate behemoth in the country. The cost to purchase real estate in the area is about Php 4500/square meter, much cheaper than in Makati.”

Outsourcing Consultant Gregory Kittelson says, “Once a lot of the larger BPOs and call centers establish operations in Manila, most of them look to Cebu as their first provincial destination in the Philippines. However, some small and medium BPOs bypass Manila and go straight to Cebu.”

Commercial office space has now become readily available in Cebu City. Rental rates may range from  Php 350 / sqm to about Php 500 / sqm per month, depending on the quality of the building and developer.  Numerous call centers have already set up operations in the area, and more are still on the way. Because of the affordable office space, more and more start-up companies are also setting up operations in Cebu. A number of Metro Manila-based companies are even relocating some of their operations to the city. Among these are Convergence, Wipro and ADD Force.

Cebu City is also a thriving tourist destination in the Philippines. Home to the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the city also houses a number of important historical sites. Among them are Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro and the Lapulapu Monument. The oldest school in the Philippines, the University of San Carlos, is also in Cebu.

As more and more investors inject capital into the area, Cebu is fast becoming one of the most important commercial and residential centers in the country. What was once the oldest Spanish settlement in the Philippines is now one of the fastest growing cities in the country today.