My business exposure is the luxury market

by Steve Van Derodar

Picture this.  Ayala Triangle. Makati Stock Exchange. Ayala Tower One.  An iconic scenario in the Philippines’ business world.  I was very motivated to be part of Ayala Land at the age of 25.

In the summer of 2006, I have decided to try to get a full-time real estate job in the country’s largest full-line property developer. It was a decision I made firm having had part time real estate activities and having seen few buildings in Legazpi Village, Makati with other jobs in multi-national companies in marketing and sales. I told myself, this time, I wanted to be part of the best real estate company in the country!

I recall the first time I stepped foot in the building in 2000 when I joined the Ayala Young Leaders Congress, an Ayala Corporation’s Program for the Youth and Investment into meeting and engaging with the nation’s brightest who excel in both academics and community involvement. I first met then the Zobel de Ayala and top management in different subsidiaries of Ayala Corporation.

I represented our university and I was billeted at Somerset Makati on Makati Avenue across the Philippine Heritage Library and beside the Makati Peninsula Hotel. Though back then I imagined of being in the buildings within the Ayala Triangle — in Tower One’s 18 floor or 5th floor or 25th floor. It always gave me a sense of delight and a powerful feeling that came with the privilege, working in the prime Makati Central Business District (CBD) area. It refreshed how the vibe was working well with my senses — it was then the perfect time for me to do so.

Back to applying. Without knowing anyone, I went to the HR Department and asked myself to meet one of their hiring personnel unscheduled. I met Ronnie Encarnacion and he gave me a briefing about Ayala Land’s subsidiaries. When asked which brand I would be interested in, with confidence, I responded, ” the most-luxurious” and my application went into Ayala Land Premier. That is why I am attracted to the luxury market as this has been my exposure in the business since. That visit to HR was classic, I made sure I would go to the right channel. And indeed, I was.

“That visit to HR was classic, I made sure I would go to the right channel. And indeed, I was.”

Steve Van Derodar

I have always liked Makati CBD. It was during that time the highly urbanized business district in the country, just as how the Bonifacio Global City, Cebu Business District, Madrigal Business Park, Libis are these days.  A few days later, I was already promoting properties near the mall, the Greenbelt Residences, One Serendra & Boni Ridge in Bonifacio Global City, Ayala Westgrove Heights in Silang, Cavite, Ayala Greenfield Estates in Calamba, Laguna, Anvaya Cove in Morong, Bataan, and many more.

From what I recall, the lowest price point I was handling was Php 3 million for a lot and for a condo unit around Php 5.7 Million for a junior 1 bedroom. Today, the minimum for these brands is at Php 6 to 7 million for lot properties and Php 7 to 9 million for a condo project. It was also during that time that price points like Php 20 Million and Php 30 million were tested out or introduced as now, they are common. Even the upscale project, they move up in scale with pricing and rendering as time goes by.

These developments made me realize that there is a market segment for such developments just as how exclusivity is felt and experienced in villages like Dasmarinas Village, Forbes Park, Urdaneta Village, Magallanes Village, San Lorenzo Village, and elsewhere.

My clients? I was lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and work with high-net-worth clients that I appreciated their successes and even their views about life. I figured these people would not be making these purchases if they were not living a good life. They are the so called the discerning ones. Few of them have become exceptionally good friends.

I was lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and work with high-net-worth clients that I appreciated their successes and even their views about life.

Steve Van Derodar

Property investments are one of the key wealth preservation mechanisms thereby taking advantage of the appreciation, high zonal values, and unique project propositions. With quality comes the exclusivity, privacy, and peace of mind. In one of our drinking sprees on Makati Shangri-la’s Conway, I met a few agents in their early 20’s like me and sensed that we were in a unique opportunity to benefit from the project developments in areas where Ayala Land Premier are undertaken. It was inspiring to hear from one, who earned his first million commission through property selling in just a few months.

(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation and commercial properties.  He has also worked as an International Property Specialist to markets in Asia, Europe and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a key focus to Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit

Leave a Comment