Meet our Client Services Associate, Fenella Rabatan, as she shares her experiences being in the residential field during the pandemic and how Colliers' empathetic culture sparks teamwork and strengthens our collaboration within the organization.
1. What led you to a career in real estate?
I suffered from postpartum depression 2 years ago after giving birth to my first child. I didn’t feel worthy – in my mind, being a full-time mom only meant that I will not be able to find a job and contribute to my family financially. Even if my husband tells me that I don’t have to work, I know in myself that I will go crazy if I just stay at home.
Given my situation, my husband finally allowed me to find a job, but on one condition – the location of the job should be near his office. At first, I was hesitant to agree to his conditions as there might be few choices around the area. Days after we talked, I went online and searched for a job. Luckily, I came across a job opening at Colliers International which was just one street away from my husband’s office.
I submitted my job application to Colliers, got interviewed, hired and signed up for work in a completely new industry and basically started my career in real estate from scratch. Flash forward 2 years, I can say that I am happy about my career choice and to stay in a company where I still learn something new every day and hone my competence.
2. What is the best thing about working in Colliers?
Having a culture of malasakit* where everyone is willing to help and support each other during these challenging times. Employees are also working together to strengthen our commitment to each other and to the community we are serving.
3. Most challenging experience with a client and how did you solve it?
There was an instance where a client emailed to request for someone to clean their swimming pool during lockdown.
I sincerely apologized to the client about the situation and explained as best as I could the reason behind the wait and I gave assurance that I'm working on resolving the issue.
I worked with the landlord to offer solutions to the client such as delivering the pool chemicals and I gave the client complete instructions on how to maintain and clean the swimming pool while on lockdown. Afterwards, the client emailed us again saying that they fully understood the situation and will just wait until after the lockdown to do the cleaning.
4. If you can take someone dead or alive for lunch who will it be?
My late brother.
5. What is the best advice that you can give to your daughter?
Life is not always fair and square but always choose to be kind, grateful, humble, and understanding, even if others are not.
6. If you weren’t a residential broker, what would you be?
Favorite movie or TV show: Serendipity / Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite leisure activity: Traveling with family
Favorite travel destination: Bali, Indonesia (with or without kids)
Coffee or tea: Coffee (with hyperacidity meds on the side)
Favorite comfort food: Any breakfast food
*Filipino word for empathy