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'Accidental seller' to deliver greatest pitch.

I did not grow up to be a seller.'

Coming from someone who has made so much impact in real estate selling and marketing, it was probably one of the most ironic statements.

But that was what 8990 Holdings Inc. national head of sales and marketing Dennis Lim told Inquirer Property one afternoon at the company's headquarters in Mandaluyong.

In fact, Lim describes himself as a shy, simple boy from Borongan, Eastern Samar. It was only by circumstance that he eventually found himself in sales, something that urged him to break out of his shell.

'I lead two lives, the loud one and the silent one,' he shared. Lim first worked as a teacher, a profession that he didn't like doing at first, but which also suited him as he likes to talk.

'I like teaching. I like talking to people, imparting the learnings that I have with them in the hope that they absorb it,' he said.

A graduate of management economics from the Ateneo de Manila University, Lim first worked in the academe for six years. He was then an assistant dean for Asia Pacific College's business program, when he decided to pursue a career in property development.

It was Extraordinary Development Corp. that first gave him an opportunity of a lifetime in property development, offering him a spot in the company's executive training program. Lim graduated at the top of his class and to his surprise, he was then assigned to sales.

'I approached sales more cerebrally. I like to look at numbers, crunch numbers. I eat numbers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I see stories out of the numbers that are presented before me. I can see patterns and I use those patterns that I see to make plans and decisions, because that's being very objective,' Lim explained.

But he also learned that sales is an art. He doesn't look at it as merely engaging potential buyers in flattery and sweet talk. According to Lim, 'it's more of exposing your potential client to all the information that he or she needs to make an informed decision.'

'You need to have empathy. You need to understand, put yourself in the shoes of your client. What is he going for? What would he think? It's not all about the seller or the product. It's all about how best to serve the needs, the wants of your potential buyer. That's what selling is. Selling is personal,' he said.

With 21 years in the property business, Lim can say he has handled it all-having been in charge of an entire range of real estate products, from mass housing to those catering to the higher end market. It was a valuable opportunity that very few people are afforded.

'My career has been a progression actually of moving up,' Lim shared. 'A progression of tackling higher and higher markets until ending up with Grand Hyatt of Manila.'

This wealth of experience is what made 8990 Holdings to pursue Lim and ask him to come on board, as the leading mass housing developer prepares to venture into the higher end market.

Needless to say, Lim appears to be unfazed by the task. 'If you cannot trust your delivery vehicle to sell the projects that you've launched, then you cannot go into more projects. Nothing is impossible at 8990. We can make things happen,' he said.

Lim brings in not only his expertise in selling and the network that he has, but also the experience of how a condominium is to be marketed.

'It starts with branding. It starts with packaging it and designing it as it should be for this market,' Lim explained. 'I've handled the lower markets to higher markets and each one is distinct. You have a specific target market for each, with different ways of communicating to these markets so we will adjust our messaging.'

'It's all about catering to the lifestyle of your target market,' Lim concluded.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Nov 10, 2018
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