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Pillars of the industry, pillars of the family: Top KMC execs talk work-life integration

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The pillars of the real estate industry have been frequently associated with straight lines and sharp edges. Over the years, the strongmen behind the evolution of the industry have taken a new and softer form made evident by the leaders of KMC, the leading real estate consultancy, and flexible office space provider in the Philippines.

Underneath the well-tailored suits and after the long working hours, Thomas Cragg, Vice President for Sales of KMC Solutions Inc., Jose Carmelo Porciuncula, Executive Director for Investment Services, and Gerold Fernando, Executive Director for Tenant Representation Services of KMC Savills, come home to their daughters and begin another challenging yet important role of being a dad.

“No matter how many desks we sell, no matter how many deals we close, the best part of the day is coming home to my wife and kids,” Cragg said.

As the Vice President of Sales for the Philippines largest leading co-working space and private office provider in the Philippines, Thomas Cragg takes overall ownership of KMCS’ deals with local and foreign clients, and operations. Predictably a busy man, Cragg emphasized how appreciative he is to lead a company that also places a premium in maintaining a healthy family life.

“I see to it that I am very hands-on with both my children,” he shared. “Every day before I go to work, I feed Emma and Erin breakfast. I try to get home before dinner so I can join them and give them baths before tucking them to bed”, Cragg added on how he maintains a work-life balance “of course, on particularly hectic days this is not always possible and that’s when I am extremely grateful to have a very understanding and supportive better half!”

For these top real estate executives who are continuing to spearhead the success of the company and lead the industry, there’s no such thing as balancing work and life when you are a father. Instead, the challenge is to integrate it into their work as much as possible.

“We are lucky that the company encourages employee-engagement activities that are open to family members,” KMC Savills Executive Director for Tenant Representation Gerold Fernando stated.

“And it’s not even a policy, it is embedded in our culture,” fellow KMC Savills Executive Director for Investor Services Melo Porciuncula seconded. “We are all growing alongside KMC where there is an appreciation in allocating enough time for our family.”

A father of three daughters, Fernando’s go-to activity with his girls is out of the usual bonding itinerary: Playing golf.

“I am lucky to have daughters that are also into golf. My second daughter competes already, and we get to spend a lot of time on weekends at the course. My youngest is also developing the interest,” he shared. “My eldest, who is already a teenager, likes movies so we go to the cinemas and watch together all the time.”

Despite their hectic schedule, Fernando and Porciuncula don’t find it hard to connect with their daughters and have common interests with them.

“Mia and I go to the beach as much as the time permits,” Porciuncula shared his favorite activity with his unica hija. “She loves the water as much as she loves eating.”

Along with the company’s unique culture, which gives importance to its people and their relationships, the growing number of flexible offices and building inventory being offered by KMC allows them to maximize time with their families.

“KMC Solutions has the largest footprint in Metro Manila,” Cragg said. “Since we have available office spaces in different business districts, I can choose to spend a workday in an office closest to me, spending less time in Manila traffic and more time with my wife and children.”

The culture of KMC does not only carry and provide flexibility when it comes to shared offices and coworking spaces. By example, the company’s leaders also promote a different kind of adaptability when it comes to balancing work and life. They are the main beneficiaries as KMC sets up different opportunities to find alternative ways of spending time with family—even during office hours.

“KMC offices allow kids to be in the workplace, and family members are welcome during company events as well,” Porciuncula added.

They also acknowledge the changing dynamics of family in today’s society, where parents are no longer bound by roles and stereotypes. All our interviewed executives agreed that working dads share the same struggles of working moms as well.

“Like work, I make my kids understand the responsibility and their role in the family,” Fernando said. “They know that there is time for work and there is time for family.”

“Kids have different kinds of relationships with their parents nowadays,” Porciuncula noted. “They come to their parents for different things, love, play, guidance, we just need to find the balance.”

Fernando finds it interesting that his life as an executive in KMC has much more similarities with his life as a father than anyone would expect.

“My team celebrates together and face hardships together as well,” he shared. “Unfortunate events are easy to weather when members of the team look after each other and are ready to help one another like family.”

These men who stand as pillars of the real estate industry portray a much more demanding and fulfilling role of being the rock of their families. Their target is never measured by the numbers of deals they close or the number of desks they build. At the end of the day, the greatest reward of their hard work lies on being able to provide for their families.

“Being one of the heads of the company and being a father teaches you a lot about responsibility, realizing that other lives depend on how you perform,” Cragg said. “And in the long run, what you’re really after is for them to have a bright future ahead of them. That’s really the goal.”

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