Realty broker: We follow rules

REAL estate broker Anthony Gerard Leuterio has denied allegations that his firm is overhiring real estate salespersons.

Leuterio, who owns Leuterio Brokerage and Realty and is the founder of Filipino Homes, said his company adheres to Republic Act 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act (Resa) Law, which allows only 20 real estate salespersons for every broker.

Leuterio said his company can partner with a lot of brokers but they strictly follow the allowed ratio as mandated by law. He said they also don’t accept agents that aren’t qualified.

Besides complying with other basic requirements to become part of the network, Leuterio said that under their manual, real estate salespersons are required to submit a Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service official receipt of sales accreditation and registration from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.

Leuterio also clarified that his business is not only selling residential properties as he has other business units that require salespersons under Filipino Homes.

Its business units include CarSavers for the buy-and-sell car business; Happy Webs, a web design company; HomeSavers for furniture and appliances; InsuranceSavers for insurance packages; and Live Eye cameras that are up for sale in one integrated website. The existing Leuterio Realty and Rent.ph, his rental platform, are subsidaries of Filipino Homes.

Moreover, Leuterio said he is a strong advocate of professionalizing the real estate services in the country, a program that should be initiated by the government. He added the company also opened 36 offices to date to cater to the requirements of investors, salespersons, property owners, brokers and others who are involved in the real estate profession.

“We have been conducting trainings to professionalize people who are in this business,” he said.

The Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) Cebu Regional Office received two letters of complaint against unnamed brokerage firms for allegedly hiring more than the legal number of real estate sales agents. Armond Englis, public information officer of the PRC Cebu regional office, said the complaints were based on “unethical practices” of brokerage firms.

“Rumors reached us that there were certain personalities or brokers who hired sales agents that exceeded 20. If they will hire more than 20 sales agents, if proven true, this will violate RA 9646 or the Resa Law and the ethical standards of their profession,” Englis said.

A report said that a certain Julie Anne Rocha, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, Talisay City, filed a complaint before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office against four individuals: Chris Malazarte, Tracy Villarias, Daisy Alindajao and Leuterio for hiring an excessive number of salespersons. The complaint was filed on June 13.

Leuterio said his office has not received any complaints yet. But he said that if it reaches his office, he may file a counter complaint against Rocha.

According to the PRC, it will be the real estate board that will decide on the penalty a brokerage firm can receive if proven guilty of the accusations hurled against it.

“The usual penalty is suspension of accreditation for a certain period of time. For about a year, for two years or five years depending on the gravity of the offense,” Englis said.

On June 18, Filipino Homes released an advisory to the public through a Facebook post.

“For almost a decade now, Leuterio Realty and Brokerage has stood the test of time in establishing its sales leadership and position from among the realty firms in the country including tirades, and negative attacks from the very people who comprise the real estate service practice, and yet, we stand out being the most awarded realty firm to date with awards from real estate developers, award-giving bodies in real estate and business organizations. Such accolades would have not been possible if we have been remiss in our duties not only to our clients, to the industry we serve, but to the government and society as a whole,” it said.

“Yes, our organization is not perfect, but it is not irresponsible. We can boldly assert that we are the most organized, disciplined, conscious, open and transparent realty firm today in which no firm has ever done,” it added. (JOB and KOC)

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