The man of substance

by Robbie Antonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer

The younger Antonio with his father, former Ambassador Jose E.B. Antonio, who also serves as chairman of Century Properties.

I have been referred to as “Asia’s youngest real estate tycoon” and by Forbes Asia as the “liaison to the stars” as we, at Century Properties, have brought global fashion houses, Hollywood A-listers, prominent architects, and the most iconic real estate brands to the Philippines for exclusive luxury projects that are now changing Manila’s skyline.

It was in 2011 when I headed Century Properties’ International Brand Collaborations, and started to conceptualize, negotiate, source, and launch projects in Manila with lifestyle game-changers. These included the Trump Organization for Trump Tower at Century City; Paris Hilton for the Paris Beach Club at Azure Urban Resort Residences; and The Milano Residences in partnership with Versace and in collaboration with MissoniHome. We’ve also had collaborations with Yoo, the interior design company founded by John Hitchcox; and Philippe Starck, one of the most celebrated and revered living designers today. Our latest project is Century Spire, a residential office tower whose architecture is by Daniel Libeskind, with amenity interiors designed by Armani/Casa.

Over the years, I have learned that passion for innovation and excellence should always go hand in hand with market understanding and experience. We have to learn from the lessons of history, and innovate towards the aspirations of our target market. We may have come up with products that one would normally consider tough to sell but we’ve also successfully tapped into the aspiration of many Filipinos—which is to have a higher quality of life.

Apart from catering to the needs of the market, it would also be crucial to offer the best value among the products in your own category. Adding value to a real estate property will attract the very discerning property market. The market will always respond positively to lifestyle innovations that make sense. For a few more dollars, one can own property that is above par not only in terms of money value but also quality of life.

I have also learned that timing is everything. You have to know when to introduce specific products to specific markets. Developers who have experienced more than four economic cycles like ours will develop the sense of launching the right product to the right market at the right time.

Donald Trump Jr., executive vice president for Trump Organization, with Robbie Antonio of Century Properties. NELSON MATAWARAN





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