REAL ESTATE veteran Rick Santos, who currently heads the Philippine office of real estate services firm CBRE, has announced his team will partner with global property consultancy firm Knight Frank, following the expiry of the franchise agreement with CBRE.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Santos said that his team of 1,200 employees, who currently operate as CBRE Philippines, will transition into a new brand called Santos Knight Frank, as it partners with the London-based Knight Frank LLP.
“I am delighted to announce our partnership with Knight Frank and my entire team is excited to extend our market-leading position and continue to drive growth in the Philippine real estate sector,” Santos said.
Knight Frank, which was founded in 1896, is the largest privately owned global real estate consultancy, with more than 400 offices in 59 countries.
The global firm has a strategically important partnership with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (including the market-leading West coast operations of Newmark Cornish & Carey) in the United States.
Santos said that his group would maintain its 11 stand-alone business lines and its existing clients.
“Following extensive consultation with local, regional, and global business leaders, we chose to partner with the organization that best demonstrated an unequivocal commitment to the Philippine market and one that was fully aligned with our client-centered philosophy,” Santos said.
Santos, who will operate as the chief executive office of Santos Knight Frank, said what attracted them to partner with the global real estate consultancy is the business model it operates with.
“The Knight Frank model is focused on the owners of businesses working in those businesses and this was another key factor in our choice of partner,” Santos said.
Last October, CBRE Group Inc., announced that it is partnering with local Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC), who will act as its leasing, capital markets and consulting services arm.
This followed the announcement of Santos that he will not renew his franchise agreement with CBRE after 23 years of operating in the Philippines.
Santos noted that the partnership with Knight Frank is driven by the group’s bullishness for the Philippine property market in the Southeast Asian region.
“Southeast Asia is one of the most exciting regions for real estate today, and the Philippines stands on a prime spot as its fastest growing economy preferred by global investors,” Santos said.
The real estate veteran said the new brand would help his existing real estate business grow even further.
“We see huge potential in the Philippine market and my entire management team is committed to stay and continue to provide the premium quality of independent professional service that our clients expect,” Santos said.
Similarly, Knight Frank Asia-Pacific Regional Head Kevin Coppel expressed his optimism for the Philippine property sectors, mainly driven by the strength of the country’s economy.
“Over the medium term, we expect to see sustained economic growth in the Philippines, fueled by favorable demographics, continuing foreign direct investment, further BPOs, strong overseas remittances and continued infrastructure development—all of which will drive robust demand in the real estate sector,” Coppel said.
The Santos Knight Frank brand will begin its operations on January 1, 2017.