Arthaland’s Jaime C. González shares leadership lessons during the 2nd Annual FIIRE Philippines Conference

March 25, 2024

rthaland Corporation’s Vice Chairman and President Jaime C. González was the guest speaker during the FIIREside Chat of the 2nd Annual FIIRE Philippines Conference where he shared lessons on leadership and gave advice to the next generation of trailblazers in real estate. Filipinos In Institutional Real Estate (FIIRE) is a non-profit organization based in the United States that brings together a group of commercial real estate professionals to network and mentor for the advancement of Filipinos in institutional real estate. The Philippines conference, which had activities in both Manila and Cebu, drew more than 200 local and foreign delegates.

The interview was conducted by Rico Hizon who started the ball rolling by asking how real estate and the financial markets have evolved through the years. Mr. González replied that in the past, it was unimaginable, even for himself, to consider living in a condominium. He recalls when a buyer had to fully pay in cash to purchase a residential unit as banks were not lending long-term funds for this purpose. Fast forward to the present, more and more people choose to live in condominiums given the convenience that they offer and the relatively lower cost of upkeep compared to that of houses. Banks have also become active in providing longer-term financing to buyers. Mr. González goes on to add that there is a high demand for reasonably-priced condominiums from the mid-market segment. Demand from this segment is growing significantly and will continue to drive the local economy in the foreseeable future.

With many developers jumping on the bandwagon to build more condominiums, Rico wondered if it would result in a supply glut.

“The key is to be able to differentiate yourself from the competition as there is always a danger of an oversupply. Arthaland grew fivefold in five years and expects significant growth in the next five years. All of our projects are certified as green and sustainable, both locally and internationally. Although being green brings incremental costs, we consider this an investment to protect the environment for future generations. We simply need to work harder, smarter, and more efficiently to remain competitive,” said Mr. González.

Mr. González emphasized that the real estate market is cyclical in nature and that prudent financial management is crucial to survive downward economic turns. Arthaland has consistently adopted very conservative financial measures which include keeping debt levels low. It is essential to be financially responsible and conservative while staying focused and disciplined in navigating the complex forces in the marketplace.

Climate change is the most critical issue for the next generation, hence Arthaland’s commitment to build sustainably and responsibly. It was very challenging at the beginning, but the company’s flagship developments, Arya Residences, the first and only residential building in the country to receive dual certification comprising of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification and the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design (BERDE) 4-star certification, and Arthaland Century Pacific Tower, the world’s first Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) Zero Carbon certified building, are testament that building green works. Throughout the years, Arthaland has delivered renowned and well-received developments that prove that high quality and sustainable developments can be profitable in an emerging market.

Arthaland is encouraged that its proof of concept is inspiring other developers to likewise make a significant impact on sustainability. Being a boutique developer, Arthaland is quite nimble and very entrepreneurial. When talking to potential joint venture partners, Mr. González states that Arthaland does not adopt one formula – the structure of the deal may vary to ensure it is to the benefit of all parties.

The hot topic of charter change was next on Rico’s agenda as he wanted to find out Mr. González’s thoughts on foreign land ownership.

“It will bring in much-needed foreign investments to the country and further spur economic growth, but safeguards must be implemented to ensure this does not drive property prices out of reach of the local buyers in acquiring their first homes. This is obviously a complex matter and it deserves much study and consultation with the different experts and stakeholders.” said Mr. González.

The last part of the interview was on Mr. González’s personal life. Mr. González stressed the importance of a good diet and a healthy lifestyle. In addition, one of his most treasured advice to his young staff is for them to become multi-dimensional and find other hobbies or interests outside of work to grow and connect with a broader circle of people at a deeper and more meaningful level. In addition to maintaining a rigorous fitness regimen that includes tennis, swimming, and working out, Mr. González is a lover of Philippine maps and history.

In closing, Mr. González said Arthaland is pushing forward with its mid-term land acquisition program which will provide a steady pipeline of projects to support its continued growth. Arthaland will continue to build and manage world-class sustainable developments that will provide a wealth of life at home, at work, in the community, and in our country.

ARTHALAND is the only real estate developer in the Philippines with a residential and commercial portfolio 100% certified as sustainable by local and global organizations. It has made its mark in the Philippine real estate industry by pioneering the development and management of exceptional best-in-class properties that adhere to international and local standards. For more information about Arthaland, visit 

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