CLI’s CEO shares how he built his company

By: Victor Anthony Silva July 08,2017 - 03:16 PM

How does one build a successful real estate company in Cebu?

For Jose Soberano III, chief executive officer and chairman of Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI), there are at least three factors for CLI’s success – how he treats his people, the value of integrity and the need to be hands-on in the business.

Soberano, who was recently recognized as the Entrepreneur of the Year for 2017 by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said that he looks at his people as part of his family.

“There are so many hands that made it possible. It’s not just about me. When they bestowed this award, it’s also really to recognize them,” said Soberano, referring to the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

“It has always been the organization behind me, the team whom I feel is like my family. I am sharing this award to the members of the team, my co-workers, who made it possible for the company to grow in 14 years and will continue to grow,” he said during the culminating activity of CCCI’s Cebu Business Month this year.

The CCCI gave Soberano the most prestigious among the five awards last June 30 for having distinguished himself as the only entrepreneur, who steered his 14-year-old real estate business toward an Initial Public Offering (IPO) last May.

What drives him is also the value of integrity as well as the need to be hands-on in the businesses.

“It’s important also that the whole organization knows the direction of the company. The problem comes in if they are just there to do 8-hour work, but don’t know what for. It’s not just about what they will get every 15th or 30th of the month, but it’s knowing that this is for a better thing,” Soberano said.

CLI’s chief worked with the Ayala Group for 23 years and his transition from employee to employer has taught him valuable lessons he would eventually use in his own business.

“When you are an employee in an organization, you are also a witness of how people work from the ground. Moving up, you gather all these experiences positively. When I put up (CLI), I feel for the people, how they manage to work, and the importance and value of team work, of having to

harness and nurture the talents of the organization,” he said.

Even after 14 years, numerous awards, more than 20 projects, and an IPO, Soberano said he does not consider his company “big.”

As an advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, he said it was all about spotting the right opportunities and putting them in action.

“You have to see step by step if you can tackle it, if you can bring it to fruition by using the talents that you have,” he said.

To date, the homegrown developer has more than 28 projects in the Visayas and Mindanao.

CLI announced earlier this year a P12-billion expansion in the VisMin area to address the need for housing, offices, and commercial spaces.

At present, CLI has simultaneous projects in Cebu, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao for this year.

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