From the Top: Cristina Orcullo
An ethos of communication, collaboration and a management team who are always on hand to help are the cornerstones of Greenmist Property Management Corp’s success, says its Head, Cristina Orcullo.
Tasked with exclusively managing DOT Property South-East Asia’s Best Developer and parent company SM Development Corporation’s (SMDC) properties, Greenmist Property Management Corporation (Greenmist) and its Head, Cristina ‘Tina’ Orcullo, have raised the quality of operations over the past nine years.
And it’s no small undertaking. SMDC’s properties are vast, hosting five-star amenities such as grand lobbies, Olympic-sized swimming pools, function rooms, jogging paths and libraries that Greenmist maintain and operate.
SMDC is itself part of a larger company – SM Prime Holdings, one of the largest integrated property developers in South-East Asia. The group builds sustainable lifestyle cities encompassing malls, residences, offices, hotels and convention centers, of which their properties are part.
When Orcullo last spoke to The CEO Magazine in 2019, Greenmist were already managing 23 properties, a number that has since grown to 39 – and will continue to grow, given Greenmist exists to serve the parent company.
"Our plans for growth are married with the growth of SMDC as a developer. For this year alone, we’re targeting to open eight more properties."
For this year alone, we’re targeting to open eight more properties.
Adaptation an asset
Relentless in their expansion and diversification, SMDC, with its substantial landbank, is primed to scale up their footprint across the country, from mid-rise garden communities, to township projects, and even mixed-use developments, designed by world-class architects.
As one would expect, this will bring some challenges, the biggest being finding partners who have the machinery and capability to grow at the same pace.
To meet this challenge, Orcullo says they’re adopting a divide-and-conquer approach – accrediting additional contractors and vendors and dividing the project into smaller works so potential partners will be able to deliver what is required.
This ability to innovate has always been part of Greenmist’s – and Orcullo’s – DNA. Greenmist recently launched an app where clients can make transactions without ever setting foot in its offices, made possible with funding support from its parent company.
Such transactions include viewing account statements, accessing circulars and notices from the Property Management Office, and filling out authorization forms with just the click of a button.
"It is already being utilized by half our clients and is undergoing redevelopment for further improvements," she says.
For every roadblock that our onsite personnel are experiencing, head office staff and management are here to help remove them.
As workforces globally become increasingly more hybrid, there have been seismic shifts in what consumers demand from their homes. Along with this is a shift towards a more energy conscious mindset.
Orcullo says both Greenmist and SMDC have evolved to meet these changing needs.
"We are now providing communal spaces where our residents can work or study. All our properties have rainwater collection which water the plants, and we’re also providing spaces that are more open air and using LED light bulbs and solar-powered lamps outdoors, and a motion sensor lighting system, all of which cut utility consumption and operations costs."
Staying ahead of the pack
When asked what sets the company ahead of the rest, Orcullo says strong head office support for all of the managed properties is something they are both proud of and see a noticeable impact of on the end product they deliver.
"For every roadblock that our onsite personnel are experiencing, head office staff and management are here to help remove them. Management, including to my level, is very much involved – other players just leave their onsite staff to do everything," she says.
If ever there’s a property issue, we ensure that within a 24-hour period, the property is back to its normal operations.
"For example, we have a strong technical group at head office. If there are issues with equipment and critical building systems on site, the technical group will immediately visit the property to provide help.
"If ever there’s a property issue, we ensure that within a 24-hour period, the property is back to its normal operations."
Collaborating for success
Another edge for Greenmist is the synergy between its parent company, SMDC, and the subsidiaries under SM Prime Holdings.
"We collaborate with the different groups. We share what we learn, we share best practices and we borrow each other’s expertise when we have issues we can’t resolve ourselves," she says.
The size of their group has also been instrumental in its success, with Orcullo saying Greenmist has a long list of Triple A contractors and suppliers, which ensures it can provide the quality and the price required.
Greenmist also conducts regular meetings with its partners, whom they keep within a small pool to ensure all parties are aligned with the company’s needs, and that its standards and policies are met.
We share what we learn, we share best practices and we borrow each other’s expertise when we have issues we can’t resolve ourselves.
Regular communication also ensures whenever there is a change of process, it is immediately coordinated across its partners.
This approach is also taken in developing and nurturing in-house talent, which Orcullo says is its greatest asset and one that can really make or break an organization.
"We take good care of them and ensure they get the training and all the support that they need in making the operations onsite seamless," she says. "A key part of this is ensuring they understand the importance of what they’re doing for the organization and the overarching goals."
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