After HS alumna Patty Abila graduated from De La Salle University with a degree in Business Management major in Entrepreneurship, she began her career in the Philippines’ premier real estate developer, Megaworld Corporation. She was a Property Consultant from 2008 to 2012, and has bagged the Top Sales Performer Award for two straight years—2011 and 2012. In this special Q&A feature, the lovely achiever talks about working in the real estate industry and how Southville made her the successful woman she is today.
Q: Please describe yourself in three sentences.
Patty Abila: As I was trying to fit a description of myself in three sentences, I stumbled on an idea. For a better grasp of who I am right now, below is a list of the woman I want to be. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it every day.
• a strong confident, independent woman
• a passionate and compassionate woman
• a person with a good heart
• a classy but well-grounded person
• loving & caring & forgiving
• an inspiring leader
• a good daughter & a genuine friend
• a good sister & cousin
• the best mother to my (future) kids
• the best wife, best friend & life partner to my (future) husband
• someone who loves to share & teach
• healthy & someone with an enlightening aura
• happy and always smiling
• someone who lived a full life
• a traveler
Q: How long have you been working in the real estate industry?
PA: I have been working in the real estate industry ever since I graduated from college in 2007. In September 2015, it would be my 8th year with Megaworld Corporation.
Q: Can you please tell us what a sales manager’s day is like?
PA: They say in sales, our possibility to earn money is limitless. True. But, that is just the tip of the iceberg. I went through all the steps and stages of being in sales until I got into this position. And being a sales manager means you have to play all those roles still, and be a leader to the people around you. You take care of your business and theirs.
You have to lead by example everyday– in sales, in character, working habits, attitude and industry knowledge. You get in the office early, and you get out last. You can’t just sit around and wait for contracts to fall on your table to sign and earn commissions and overrides from. You have to constantly lead the team, ultimately towards a better and happier life. From the time you hire an agent to the time they get promoted time and time again, as their manager, you have to also be there for them (even on Sundays) – to remind them what they need to do, to constantly learn how to do what they need to do better everyday and most importantly to remind them of their motivation, of why they’re doing what they are doing. At the end of the day, quota aside, it’s all about caring about the future of your people and their families. You train them, assist them, you help them become better (whatever it would take) and you remind them of what they could be and could achieve. The sales will follow.
Q: What inspired you to work in the real estate industry?
PA: At first, to be honest, it just seemed a lot of fun. I just turned 20 when I started with Megaworld. They hired me as a Business Development Associate. My office was at the same building and floor with the sales teams. Everyday, I would sit in the office working on marketing things and everyday I would see sales agents pass by energized and carefree.
Eventually, I was offered to be a property consultant and since it seemed fun and a challenge actually, I jumped on it. It was then, when I had actually experienced what it was like, that I saw the golden opportunity in real estate. It was the perfect time to start a career in real estate sales.
As a property consultant, you have to see your work as your business. Without you pounding on it, your business will not grow and earn. And in a business, the more investment (time and effort) you put in it, the greater the reward you get. Only here, the overhead costs, the inventory costs or in other words, the capital is taken care of by Megaworld. All you need to do is have good working habits, positive attitude and know all about the industry and you can earn as much as you can, depending on your effort.
Lastly, what I realized aside from the possibility that you can earn more than your boss is the enormous room for growth. Not just in position or promotion, but growth in terms of (1) the things you will learn about yourself and what you need to develop to be successful, and (2) the different kind of people you talk to, the network you build and the influences that is open to you at such a young age.
Being in the real estate industry was not something I planned for. But if there is one thing I know now, if one is willing to pay the price to be successful here, the rewards (tangible and intangible) can be endless.
Q: You are a graduate of Southville International School and Colleges. Which of the 5C’s has remained in you?
PA: I believe all the 5C’s of Southville are important. You need competence to be confident in yourself. Without character, I believe it’s impossible to achieve anything in your career, in relationships or in life in general. It’s important to be able to collaborate and work well with others. You can’t work on being successful alone. They say no man is an island, I believe in that. And you need full commitment in anything you set your heart and mind into, because the going will get tough and you can achieve what you want if you will follow through. And lastly, my favorite: creativity. For me the simple act of thinking how to achieve one goal or objective needs a lot of your creativity. You need to be creative on how you can close an account, how to deliver a message to a person, how to deal with things at work and with people.
Q: How did Southville help you become who you are today?
PA: I spent my formative years in Southville, from grade school to high school. You could say Southville had a lot to do with who I am today. But if there’s one thing that I’ve always been grateful for Southville, it introduced and opened me to various experiences beyond academics. It led me to believe that we live in a world of endless possibilities, and this pushed me to constantly grow and expand in all ways I aim to.
Q: Who is Patty Abila ten years from now?
PA: Ten years from now, I would still be constantly working everyday on being the person I listed as an answer to the first question. I believe it’s something you decide on everyday.
Q: What makes a Southville Monarch amazing?
PA: It was a lot of fun studying in Southville. But I would still say that what makes Southville amazing is it opens doors to a wide variety of experiences beyond academics. And with these experiences come lessons that become instilled in us, which we would realize when we’re older – from reciting the student’s pledge every assembly, to keeping every year’s hallmark poems in mind before we can graduate, to plumbing, Chinese, French and electronics classes, to knowing what 5S and 5C’s mean. Southville has truly instilled lessons in values and character in me. I may not be able to remember all the statistical analysis we did in 4th year high school but I remember the lessons of discipline, integrity, teamwork and most importantly, of dreaming big.
Interview by: Jesselle Villegas