By: Theresa S. Samaniego – @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:19 AM July 29, 2017
Sta. Lucia Land Inc. recently signed a joint venture agreement with Diamond Hiland Inc. to put up another landmark development in Cebu City.
Being in the real estate industry can be quite tricky and challenging.
Given the huge capital outlay required in every project and the demanding tasks that come with it, it is imperative for the leader of any property firm to have the passion, the vision, and the wisdom to see the project through amid the challenges.
Of course, it’s not all hardships and difficulties, as there’s also that satisfaction and fulfillment that comes with the completion of any project.
And this is something Exequiel Robles, president of Sta. Lucia Land Inc., knew all too well, having thrived in this business for decades.
“Real estate is one of the trickiest businesses to go into, but when one is determined to work on a goal or a mission, success is inevitable. Our company started out really small but with the right people and partners on board, we managed to grow the company and realize our vision. And to this date, we continue to create developments not only to help uplift the lives of many Filipinos, but to also preserve the legacy,” Robles explained.
“From the start, I knew we have a chance of breaking into the market and making it big for as long as we bring to the table products that are truly new and unique to the market. With the right attitude and by having partners on board who believe in the same mission, nothing is impossible,” he added.
Right partnerships
But just like any other business, Sta. Lucia also had its fair share of challenges, having gone through the different boom and bust economic cycles that have had a huge impact on the local real estate industry.
It seemed, however, that the company was destined to succeed. In its early years, it has managed to partner with the right groups that had the same goal in mind—which is to provide Filipinos quality developments that could help uplift their lives.
“Having on board the right people and entering into joint ventures proved to be beneficial for us during the early part of our business. Given that we started with a really small capital, it was through various successful JVs that we were able to create some of the best projects under the Sta. Lucia brand,” Robles shared.
“Among the first JVs that we entered into were for projects in Pasig and Rizal. It happened at a time when purchasing a property proved to be too costly for the company, given the high interest rates and the limited cash that we had on hand,” Robles added.
Further expansion
Most of Sta. Lucia’s early ventures were thus made possible through JVs. Encouraged by positive results, Robles saw a great opportunity and went on to further expand the business.
“Admittedly, through these JVs, we were able to grow our offering to the market and expand our portfolio of products. This was something we couldn’t have done in the early years given the limited capital that we had. The JVs encouraged us to pursue our goal and continue to explore other opportunities that led us to where we are now,” Robles explained.
“Trust and proper understanding are crucial in ensuring the success of JVs. Early on, both parties must be able to lay down their conditions and expectations to avoid any conflicts. We have seen first hand the value of respect when it comes to JVs—there must always be a clear understanding and grasp of the agreement from all parties involved,” he further noted.

Fueled by strong partnerships

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