Website bridges owners of properties, renters-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Thursday, February 7, 2013
WITH nearly 50 percent of property buyers being investors hoping to cash in by renting their purchases out, a startup company has developed a website to bring together owners with those looking to lease property.
Real estate broker Anthony Leuterio started operating Rent.ph in October after developing it for a year. He admitted that bidding for the domain name cost him “millions” and took six months but he feels it was worth it.
Rent.ph now has about 4,000 listings, some 2,900 of which are properties in Cebu. The company’s seven-person team lists all types of property that are available for leasing. They do not charge for access to the list and earn from a percentage given to them by agents who close a deal.
Leuterio said the site was launched to help investors, saying they made up the bulk of the property buyers in the country, especially in Cebu, and that the real estate industry would not be booming without them. He said having a website like Rent.ph ensures there are clients who do rent the properties that have been purchased.
A mobile app was also developed to let those in search of rentals to pick do a customized search by specifying on a location, a property type, size and rates. It also allows users to chat with the owners, text them or email them.
All over country
Leuterio said they now have 40 offices nationwide, with seven franchises in Cebu.
Leuterio is also president of Leuterio Realty and Brokerage and president of the Philippine Allied Chamber of Real Estate Brokers and Licensed Salesmen (Philacre).
Having worked on the industry for years, he said there will be at least 100 finished buildings in Cebu by 2015 and that those who have been gone for a few years would not recognize Cebu’s landscape.
He said 8,000 Philippine Regulatory Commission registered real estate agents means the industry is doing very well.
He said that on top of the many residential developments in Cebu,which includes projects from Manila-based developers, Leuterio said there are some 64 hypermarkets expected to be put up. Hypermarkets, he said, are small malls occupying 2,000 to 4,000 square meters that have a grocery store and a few stalls, which is a trend in the US and Europe. He explained that many prefer to buy their goods at such establishments when they need to make quick purchases, rather than travel far to go to a big mall.
Leuterio believes the building of condominiums will continue until 2017. He said Cebu will have 170 to 200 condominiums by then.
“This means property rentals is good business for everyone,” he said.
Most investors are overseas Filipino workers and some foreigners. Out of all property buyers, Leuterio said end users only comprise 30 to 38 percent.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2013.