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Challenge accepted: Tina Orcullo

Tina Orcullo

Back in 2015, Greenmist Property Management Corp (GPMC) – a subsidiary of the Philippines’ largest real estate developer SM Development Corporation (SMDC) – was formed to turn around SMDC’s developments previously managed by other property management companies.

Tina Orcullo

GPMC was forecast to operate at a loss for the next three to five years, and the intention was to raise the quality of property operations, maintenance and upkeep, while enhancing property values to deliver the promise of a five-star living experience to SMDC’s investors.

Fast-forward to 2019 and this same company has raised property management standards and is thriving. Set to double in size and diversify in the coming years, GPMC has done a complete one-eighty thanks to the brains and beauty behind the organisation, Cristina ‘Tina’ Orcullo.

“In 2015, I came in and restructured the property management fee structure of the organisation. From my first year on board, we have been earning money because of that,” Tina says. Currently, the company has 23 properties under its belt and is looking to add more.

“In the next five years, we’re going to double that number,” she shares. “There’s a plan in place that will also expand the business beyond managing residential developments to managing offices, condotels and paid-parking ventures.”

It’s a new initiative for GPMC, but it’s old stomping grounds for Tina. Her 20-year career has been built upon these different sectors of property management. “I began my career as Lease Administrative Officer in Araneta Centre, which is the organisation that operated the first enclosed shopping centre in the Philippines,” she explains.

“Then, I dabbled in commercial property management and condotel operations until finally settling in residential property management with Ayala Property Management Corporation. After that, I transferred to Greenmist Property Management Corp.”

A civil engineer by trade, Tina has become accustomed to tackling challenges head-on and breaking through proverbial glass ceilings in a male-dominated industry. “I’m used to excelling in a field dominated by men,” she shares. “I am used to working with them. I haven’t noticed any challenges at all being a woman in the industry. Being a woman is my advantage.” In fact, it’s her superpower.

From her financial aptitude and technological prowess to her problem-solving skills and visionary leadership, Tina humbly credits it all to her climb up the ladder – in heels.

“I am a compilation of all the best practices of the different organisations I’ve worked with,” she shares. “I’ve been able to apply all the good practices and improve upon the not-so-good practices. That’s one of the best things I’ve brought to the organisation. And, with the growth rate we are experiencing now, I think it’s working.”

Beyond physical growth, Tina is also helping GPMC expand into new technology frontiers. Innovation is the company’s point of difference, and she’s running with it. “We stand out because we innovate,” she says.

“I’ve been with the other players in the industry who only dream of having the funds to create applications and software that can improve the services they provide their clients – digital developments are not cheap. But GPMC has the support of our principal and higher management to really fund these projects. By next year, we will be launching an app where clients can make transactions without ever setting foot in our offices.”

Tina’s top tip for success:

“Keep on learning. The moment you stop asking questions and stop learning from other people is when you start to stagnate, and that’s not good in any kind of business.”

This prestigious property management group has always placed customer satisfaction high on its list of priorities. In fact, it’s an ideal that trickles down through every level of the company.

“Everyone in our organisation is encouraged to think like an owner,” Tina explains. “When you think like an owner, you care about the business and you care about the clients. Since our company is a service company, we are centred around client satisfaction. Our properties undergo regular audits for safety and security, maintenance, finance, policies and procedures to ensure they align and are compliant with all our standards.”

And, while the company may not always get it right the first time, Tina says, it’s quick to make amends in the future. “We always welcome negative criticism because that’s how we improve our services. If you only hear the good, then there’s no more room for improvement,” she says. “At GPMC, we continue to innovate in accordance withthe needs of our clients.”

Tina Orcullo

Thanks to SMDC’s tremendous scope, GPMC benefits from having a variety of accredited service providers and vendors – a benefit that funnels down to its clients. “They also get to enjoy our relationships with these service providers. It’s something we’re happy to extend to our clients,” Tina shares.

“With our security, housekeeping and technical maintenance service providers, along with our reliable suppliers and specialty contractors covering all trades, we are one of the lucky players in the industry to have really good partners.”

GPMC is also fortunate to have great talent. “Our team is very effective at implementing all the policies and procedures.” And, it’s not accidental. Tina says the company’s owner wants GPMC to be known as “the happy organisation”.

“I think it’s one of the things we can really boast about,” she enthuses. “We are happy. Everyone is happy in our organisation. We support each other. We work as a team and no-one is left behind.” Tina has been greatly influenced by her former superiors and looks to pay it forward with her team.

“Everyone is happy in our organisation. We support each other. We work as a team andno-one is left behind.”

“I’m in the position I am now because I was lucky to have been mentored by great bosses,” she admits. “Now that I’m a leader myself, I ensure that I identify good talents to mentor because I know, eventually, the old is replaced by the new. It’s very important for leaders to develop new talent so the company will be in good hands after they go.”

She also stresses the importance of never settling for less than the best. “The greatest advice I’ve ever been given was to always give it your best, no matter the job. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dishwasher, a janitor or the manager, as long as you give your everything and you’re passionate about it, then you’re going to do well.”

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