The name matters. Filipino culture is rich with lessons about keeping the family name untarnished, about a name being the most important inheritance from departing parents. Most Filipinos still uphold the saying that it’s better to live in poverty with an honorable name than wallow in wealth with a disgraced name.
The name matters, even in business. For products, the term used is brand, and manufacturers spend a lot not only to make their respective brands widely known, but also to protect the integrity of their brands. These companies even hire lawyers to prevent other companies from imitating their products or using their brands.
Companies in the services industries like banks also spend money to advertise their names, and develop awareness among their target markets that their names mean the best service, the most terms for their clients and the most reliable source of financing or other services.
The distinction that a good name brings is most significant in industries that are highly competitive because of the presence of many players, and where the exposure of clients are much more than what they spend for home appliances or personal gadgets.
The real estate industry is a good example. The strong recovery and continuing growth since the real estate bust in the late nineties, plus the impact of increasing remittances from overseas Filipinos and the surging business process outsourcing activities, have attracted many investors to become property developers.
This is good for real estate buyers, whether they’re buying homes, residential lots or condominium units, because the wide competition means a lot of properties to choose from. Choices are made based on many factors: the price, the location, prospects for continuing appreciation and the amenities, among others.
Because real estate investments are both substantial and long term, the name of the developer becomes a significant factor in finally deciding which property to buy. Prospective homeowners, especially migrants who are acquiring properties for future use, must look for developers that have already established a reputable name, have already gained recognition for honesty and fairness.
Reputable real estate companies also look after their clients’ interest and welfare beyond making sales. For example, they will not build homes or condominium units in places that are exposed to natural hazards like earthquakes and floods; they know that a single disaster of that sort will quickly destroy their company’s name.
The name, in effect, is a premium and may sometimes translate to relatively higher prices. But the reward is a worry-free investment, and a confidence that the investment will never go bad because a developer with a good name will not disappear after making the sale, and the home will not crumble when the buyer first set his foot on the door.