The heart and hustles of mom-preneur, Rochelle.

Rochelle A.

Broker
-
Manila, Philippines

Rochelle is the eldest of 6 children living in a poor area in Metro Manila. When she was 7 years old, they were forced to move to Bacolod, her mother’s home province, due to her third brother’s asthmatic condition while also struggling with the cost of living in the Metro. There, her father worked as a “sacada” (sugarcane plantation farmer) and after 2 years, since life was still difficult for her parents to feed them all even though they moved to the province, she decided to move out of their house and stayed with her grandparents at the age of 9. She helped her grandmother tend to their grocery store until she reached high school. Already an independent 13-year-old teenager, she went back to Manila to continue her secondary education and stayed with her aunt to attend to her little cousins as their nanny which helped her family in Bacolod as she sent a portion of her earnings to them. 

Following her high school graduation, she started working at a supermarket instead of continuing college due to financial priorities though she always thought that she would be able to get back to school. Her decision to prioritize work over education became a blessing as this is where she met the love of her life. Their love gave birth to Sophie, an 8-year-old Grade 3 student at this moment. Having her own family already, she once again moved out of her auntie’s house to stay in an apartment where her in-laws also lived. Unluckily, she became the breadwinner in her new home.

Having the biggest contribution to their household, Rochelle felt a greater responsibility to make more efforts to sustain the family’s needs. From 2015, she started to work more than the normal shift of 8 hours a day and 5 days a week in the supermarket. Though having a lot of expenses, she still kept in mind that she needed to manage her finances well so she could save money for her dream of getting a home for her own family. 

Once Rochelle could have reached her dream, it was pre-pandemic when she inquired for a house and lot. Unfortunately, the sudden passing of her father came and being the first born child took her the lead in sustaining her family’s needs in Bacolod. She sent all of her savings to her mother which led her to set aside her planned purchase of house and lot. Even though Rochelle went through a lot of life challenges, she managed to get back to her daily work, saving money from scratch, and still following her dream.

But things got worse for Rochelle when the pandemic hit in 2020 as Sophie was always sick and no one was free to take care of her during the weekdays considering that everyone in the household was busy sourcing for income and because of that, Rochelle decided to be a contractual worker in the supermarket wherein she only worked during the weekends. Then an unexpected event happened again as an outcome of the pandemic since the employer of her husband included him to be a contractual employee instead of a regular one. At this point, the dream of having her own house and getting back to school seemed to be further than ever.

Delaying her decision to own her first house and lot, her real estate agent proposed one day in 2021 to try selling properties as additional income to her current work at the supermarket. She got interested in it though she mentioned that she has no idea yet about the industry.

Kasi dito sa amin napansin ko puro nagre-rent. Sabi ko bakit kaya hindi ko i-focus? (I had already noticed that in our neighborhood, people are renting, even with some regular incomes. I said to myself "Why not pursue this opportunity?” Rochelle said.

Rochelle learned it fast and she received her first sale within the same month of her accreditation in 2021 as an official seller. Her first client is a neighbor who purchased a Willowbend unit, one of our group of lot projects in Pandi, Bulacan. The unit was delivered to her neighbor within only 7 months after her reservation and this made a huge boost in Rochelle’s real estate selling confidence. She got excited at the time she got her first commission as there was a huge difference in what she was earning in the supermarket. As a reward to herself, she treated Sophie to her favorite fast food chain and saved a big portion from it. 

This also made Rochelle decide to focus on real estate selling and left her job at the supermarket. Knowing a lot of neighbors with regular and stable jobs, and with the first neighbor’s success story, Rochelle’s second, third, and succeeding sales came easily from neighbors alone. Her aim of selling at least 1 per month became consistent.

Rochelle’s commissions allowed her to enroll in a college education, a dream she always had since coming back to Manila after graduating from high school. In August, she is now in her second year in BS Business Management course. 

Rochelle’s drive to continue her studies amidst all her responsibilities is born from her intense desire of being a good example to her daughter and to ensure Sophie’s future, who wants to be an engineer. She continuously supports her family in the Metro and once in a while injects more capital into her family in Bacolod. Hoping that her next achievement is her dream to become a first-time homeowner.

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