“But everyone has a chance. Every big guy started off small.” This is one of the inspiring thoughts left by the third-richest person in the Philippines Mr. John Gokongwei  Jr. who passed away last November 2019. He taught many businessmen, students and other citizens that success can be achieved through hard work, frugality, integrity, responsiveness to change, and most of all the boldness to dream. There will always be risks in accomplishing things bigger than oneself. The world has its way of running the process of winning and losing. However, one must not disregard the core purpose in reaching such dreams, and the value that fuels to move forward. 

Sharlyn Joy “Shey” Velasquez, is a 39 year old wife,  mother, and entrepreneur. She is a real estate broker, running their family’s consultancy firm and has a strong background in multimedia, marketing, and brand communications. Iloilo City and Davao City are the two key cities  where she practices her profession together with her husband Gabriel Velasquez, who is also a licensed real estate appraiser. Shey was one of the last two batches that took the brokerage exam in 2015.

The couple’s brokerage named Velasquez Realty, was established last 2018 two years after Shey being an independent broker and affiliating with other brokerage companies. It is an independent firm with the vision of becoming the preferred boutique realty in Visayas-Mindanao. According to Shey, they are a very young company and still setting up the business but they intend to go full blast this coming 2020.  Velasquez realty is also attached to their Business Consultancy. They cater the needs of their clients especially for commercial and residential properties.

Professionalism in real estate Philippines industry is one of the present concerns among realtors including Shey. “The market is too saturated with colorum agents,” she said.  Shey can even testify since she was a victim herself way back when she was just starting her career as a real estate broker. “In one brokerage companies that I was affiliated with, they took a chunk from my commission when, as a licensed broker I was entitled to 5% of the commission. The agreement was they get 1% and I get 5% (the total commission was 6%). When I checked the releasing of commissions, I found out they got almost 60% from the commission and I only got 40%,” Shey narrated. 

The mischief prompted Shey and his husband to form their own brokerage firm. “It doesn’t matter if we start slow, what is important is that it is founded in integrity,” she said.She in her 3rd year as a licensed broker is currently striving to provide  only the best for her clients. They envision their brokerage as to not only focused on selling properties but also offering 360 real estate service. 

As for Shey, there is more room for improvement in the industry particularly in truly professionalizing it. “I look forward to the day when we can practice the way they do in 1st World countries where brokers are really the ones mediating and transacting for the sellers and the buyers,” she added. Shey as someone who is also very familiar with marketing and advertising, approved that integrating both digital and traditional platforms would be much more effective and efficient. Shey has advice for anyone who wants to start a career in real estate: a strong background in sales is important; be teachable; and patience is a virtue. “Be in it for the long haul and not just for the money. A genuine desire to help others will sustain you through the challenges you will face in the industry,” she quoted.  

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