Franco and Joie Soberano team up, poised to build on solid ground
By Deneb Batucan
GROWING up, Franco and Joanna “Joie” Soberano were each other’s helpmates. Together they experienced the adventures of youth. But today, they have a different kind of partnership. With Joie recently joining the Cebu Landmasters Inc. as its new marketing director, the siblings become partners in building the company their parents labored into reality.
Franco, who has been in the family business since 2010 as the chief operating officer, is Joie’s Yoda. He guides her as she learns the ins and outs of the real estate business.
“We’re very glad to have Joie on board. I’ve been wanting to work with my sister for a long time,” Franco said.
Being siblings makes working together easier for Franco and Joie.
“Because I’ve only been in the company for three months and haven’t really helped out, I’ve been learning a lot from him,” Joie said.
Work-wise, Joie and Franco’s corporate background before Landmasters — she from an international food and beverage company and he from a technology company — complements each other. Speed and efficiency is key to them. “It has really been nice to work with him finally,” Joie said.
The Soberano siblings were never groomed to work for their company.
“When we were in college, we didn’t know where the business was going yet. When our business started growing, the timing was also right for us to start helping,” Franco said. “But since it’s a young family business, more help is really good at this point. But I guess me as the eldest, there’s always that expectation. But the hope is for all the children to eventually be part of the company.”
Since they were little, they were always exposed to their family business. They were always told that it has to come from them if they wanted to help out or not. But they were taught to cultivate their own interests. And now that they each had their expertise, sales and marketing for Joie and operations and master for real estate for Franco, they are now well-equipped to handle the positions that they have today.
“They wanted to ensure we had work experience outside in a career we want after we graduated,” Joie said. “Now I’m heading the marketing team, it helps because I have a strong marketing experience and education. So that’s why I have a right to be in this position. It was never handed to us.”
In the high-pressured real estate world, conflicts would arise sometimes. But with Joie and Franco’s can-do attitude and grace under pressure, conflict apparently becomes a challenging opportunity.
“In real estate development, it’s very important to manage time, cost and people very well. With our 12 years’ experience in the industry, we know that it requires a ‘team-first’ approach,” Franco said.
“Walking the talk and keeping a consistent track record are the most crucial things for us. Also, to answer our buyers and customers’ needs immediately and well,” Joie said. “All should be faced with a sense urgency, in an approach that is hands-on and sincere. And I believe this is a strong point for us in our company.”
As the kuya, Franco has nothing but great things to say about Joie.
“Because we went to different colleges then different first jobs in Manila, I never saw how she worked. So when she joined, I was so impressed. Joie is very organized, meticulous and passionate. That passion brought in how she leads her team. Pinangga kaayo niya ang team,” he said.
“Franco is very well-rounded. Since he’s the COO of the company, he knows the ins and outs of the company. He has the ability to multitask, which is really important. Also, he’s very calm and patient. Kung maglagot na siya, anha naka mahadlok,” Joie said. “With having a family and everything, he’s still able to handle all kinds of pressures and responsibilities here. Daghan gyud kaayog work here, but he’s able to manage everything and build a lot.”
Personally, both want to focus on building another part of their life — their family life. Franco, who has been blessed recently with a son named Enzo, wants to grow a loving and generous family with children. Joie, who is going to be married soon, wants to have a family of her own, help the community, and explore the world with her soon-to-be husband and future children.
The sibling duo of Cebu Landmasters Inc. is a well addition to the already growing real estate empire. And with their excellent leadership, the family business is destined to reach new heights.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
HMUA: Gari Son, Carlo Sadaya Damolo and Jerwin Batastas
Locale: Park Centrale