Elegant, poised, and highly professional: that’s how many people would describe Valerie Jane L. Soliven, particularly those who have worked with her and for her in her capacity as executive vice-president and chief revenue officer of Rockwell Land Corporation. And why not — in person, Soliven exudes the sort of confidence that comes from years of honing her talents and skills to suit her chosen industry but, at the same time, she also radiates a warm congeniality towards others — a rather feminine energy that is more than welcome and appreciated in the increasingly cutthroat competitive real estate field.
“I am quite blessed that Rockwell is a very gender-neutral company and that people are recognized based on performance, and not whether you are male or female,” she says when asked about how it feels to be one of the women who are making a difference in Philippine real estate and development. “In fact, several key positions at Rockwell are held by women.”
A licensed broker, Soliven officially took on her current position on Dec. 6, 2018, moving up from her previous posts as Rockwell Land’s senior vice president for residential development and vice president for sales and marketing.
For her, being a woman has never been a setback against getting ahead in the workplace; indeed, there are feminine qualities that she has used to her professional advantage.
“Women, I believe, are naturally more nurturing,” she opines, citing how a warmer, friendlier approach helps in her line of work. “This has helped me build and cultivate strong relationships with stakeholders who have helped me in the field. We are also naturally more intuitive, a trait that helps us navigate our way through an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.”
This way of cementing relationships is something that Soliven cultivated throughout the years and partly stems from her background in the hospitality sector. Having graduated with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of the Philippines, she spent the early years of her career as a hotelier, holding posts at the Manila Garden Suites, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, and Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. Her work in this particular industry helped her later on when she joined Rockwell Land, as she noted that customer service and a cordial approach would go a long way in the real estate sector.
“Customer service was a priority,” she recalls. Likewise, the experience of those early years formed the way she dealt with situations in the workplace. “This experience trained me with regard to situational management; working in the hospitality industry taught me to how deal with and manage people from all walks of life, every day.”
Over the years, Soliven has further honed her skills and augmented them. In 2006, she completed the Management Development program at the Asian Institute of Management.
When she joined Rockwell Land, she had the good fortune of being mentored by no less than its president and CEO Nestor J. Padilla, who helped steer her along the path to success. As a result of constant learning, she has helped drive Rockwell Land into its current position as one of the Philippines’ leading real estate development companies — one that stands at the forefront of the luxury category in the industry.
At the same time, having worked in the industry for over two decades, she has seen it grow and is of the opinion that, in the Philippines, real estate is poised for further growth, particularly where urban development is concerned.
“The Philippines as a country is becoming a more attractive investment destination in the region, and especially in the real estate industry,” she says. “We definitely acknowledge that it is booming and that an increase in wealth is happening everywhere, what with growth in tourism and infrastructure over the years.”
She also believes that this growth will enable Rockwell Land to further push its horizons. Soliven states that “the expansion of areas of urbanized cities and next-wave cities outside of Metro Manila provides us with an opportunity to explore new markets and products for Rockwell. With Rockwell currently on the move, expect the company to introduce new properties in and out of the metro in the coming months and years.”
Indeed, Rockwell Land has expanded its geographical reach over the past decade through projects in such key development sectors as residences, commercial and retail centers, as well as hotel and leisure. Community building where residents and tenants are nurtured and well taken care of has proven a boon with regard to the company’s expansion — and it just keeps on growing.
“We’ve created a vibrant community with Rockwell Center, and now we’re continually bringing the Rockwell signature lifestyle across the metro,” Soliven says, citing the company’s urban developments in Pasig, Quezon City, and San Juan. The Rockwell way of living has also made its way down south to Cebu with the development of Aruga Resort and Residences-Mactan.
“From here, we’ve created master-planned communities that have catered to so many of our clientele, and we’re still leading in innovation by striving to build our very best with each new development.”
It would be so easy for a woman like Valerie Soliven to rest on her laurels for a job well done, but she isn’t like that. In fact, she believes that she should set an example for a new generation of women making their way into a constantly evolving industry.
“The position comes with responsibility,” she says. “I realize that I have to be a good role model for those young ladies who are just starting out in their careers.”
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For more information on Rockwell Land, visit www.e-rockwell.com