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The past and the curious

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Millennial executive Jet Yu of Prime Philippines cites baby boomers as a big reason for his company’s success

Jet Yu of Prime Philippines

The line between the mindset of a millennial to that of a baby boomer can be sharply drawn in a general sense.
Not for Jet Yu of Prime Philippines. The successful young founder and managing director of the fast-rising real estate consultancy firm believes it’s a line that can be crossed to benefit anyone’s professional and private life.

Often recognized as the youngest serial entrepreneur and most successful licensed real estate broker in the NCR region, Jet is behind the company that already built a portfolio of over P10 billion from numerous commercial projects both locally and internationally.

“I do think that many millennials don’t have savings because they spend their money on travelling. In that aspect we can learn from the baby boomers who are people who think about tomorrow,” said the 27-year old corporate honcho who was chosen as one of the mentors for the upcoming “Final Pitch” TV competition among start-up entrepreneurs.


He explained, “Social media influences our decision to rush things we don’t deserve yet. What we have to understand as millennials is that each has his personal race in life. We are not in a huge racing track where we’re trying to get ahead of one another. Don’t be pressured. We are here running our own race.”

Master of ‘educo’ 

While not an A-grade student back in his school days, Jet managed to absorb a lot by self-learning. He started reading books and came to love the Latin word “educo” which for one means “to train.” So he trained himself early on, spending summers doing financial tasks related to the real estate industry as entrusted to him by his entrepreneur-parents. Part of such training is venturing on businesses that would prove to be his path towards the wider plain.

Even while still studying, he sold gym supplements online, and then scored his acknowledged first big break when he put up a kiosk in an LRT station that sold dumplings with flavored rice. It was a hit and someone even bought the idea and stall from him.

With a wink he reflected, “It’s never too late for people who graduated without honors. You just need to continuously change for the better. Focus on what you want to do and believe in learning by doing.”

He added, “Anything that has nothing to do with my goal, I put it out. I listen to webinars instead of the latest pop hits. I have a vision wall and I don’t post much on social media sites. I wake up at five in the morning and plan for the next day every night instead of going to a party.”

Young and unconventional 

Nothing comes easy even for a quick-witted gentleman. Four months after he put up Prime Philippines at the age 23 and with only two employees, birth pains made his bank account go almost empty. He relied on addressing the matters unconventionally and finally caught a big fish when the exclusive marketing of a 500-million property was entrusted to his company.

Based in Quezon City, Prime Philippines, a name he picked to promote the country as a prime destination, quickly established itself as a no-nonsense firm, spearheading the movement for providing excellence in professionalized real-estate services. It presently employs around 40 personnel, mostly millennials.

Recently it also opened a satellite office in Davao City, blazing the trail for change in the province’s local real estate scene.

The neat-looking executive zeroed in on his company’s competitive edge. He assessed, “My workforce is two percent baby boomers and 98 percent millennials. If you look at it, a lot of strategists in the real estate industry still practice traditional ways. Our mission is to challenge the tradition and invent better real estate solutions tailor-fit for the millennials which comprised the biggest market share.”

Prime Philippines has done more than 80 commercial real estate projects and closed deals involving Philippine conglomerates belonging in the Top 100. It is the fastest-growing and youngest real estate firm and by Jet’s estimation is now fifth in the nationwide industry standing.

Old gen’s commitment

Now a family man, Jet always determines if a thing is a need or a want. It’s a kind of instinct he attributes to the older generation that he thinks the green horns should emulate.

With the devil-may-care people in mind, he argued, “I noticed that some millennials lack commitment. I am promoting intense commitment because great results come from that. You have to give your life to your career.”

He recalled that client who asked him over and over if he could help. Then a surprising question tested his commitment, the guy teased, “Can you bet your life on this?”

More than being threatened by the remark, it dawned on him that he couldn’t just say yes to solving a problem.
He needed to make sure he could deliver the job. Of course he was able to transact it well. And so he joked,
“That’s why I’m still here.”

While most people will say that the key to a happy life is balancing work and home, Jet prefers saying it as “work-life synthesis.” He meant seeing work as part of one’s daily life.

Perhaps that is really the key to moving forward and staying young or, at least for the baby boomers, young at heart.

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