Michelle Mulet Yu: The Chic Construct

A black Dior straight dress with a pink and beige combo blazer from a Chanel autumn collection, accented with a pearl necklace and a forefinger ring,” Michelle Mulet Yu describes as one of the outfits she would put together for an important business meeting. “And a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.”

For people who think that fashion is merely frivolity, the Chief Executive Officer of Landtraders World Properties Corp. easily proves them wrong. “Running a real estate company requires power dressing,” Michelle declares. “Being a CEO means I am the embodiment of what the company represents. How you dress up reflects your character and in the business world, it is mandatory to dress the proper way to epitomize the image of your company.”

Michelle Mulet Yu
High-collared blouse from CHANEL, houndstooth mini-skirt from ZARA (Photography by Dan Douglas Ong/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2016)

Understanding the importance of appearances is just one of the aspects that has made Michelle a strong presence in the local real estate industry, where she plays an integral role in building Landtraders World to be one of the leading homegrown developers. “I feel responsible for the future of the company,” she reveals. “I make sure that all its objectives are being attained in both micro and macro management. In order to do so, I chart the course of the company by preparing both short-term and long-term plans and strategies, and making sure that they are assimilated and implemented accordingly by all my managers.”

Since its inception in 2011, the company has six high-rise condominiums in its portfolio: San Marino, Corinthian, Royal Garden, Soligrande, Parthenon and Corinthian Valley Residences. “It all started when my family had plans to venture into the pension house or hotel business in 2010. When the discussions became more serious, we finally decided to go into developing high-rise condominiums, considering the fact that we had several lots strategically located in prime areas of Cebu City,” Michelle recalls. “We have always believed that investing in real estate is the safest and has the highest returns. With this conviction, and Divine Providence, everything just fell into the right perspective.”

San Marino was the company’s first venture, and Michelle acknowledges that it’s a development that is close to her heart. “As the pilot project of Landtraders World, it opened up greater opportunities and made us focus on catering to a particular market. San Marino gave us more insight into the real estate industry, and made us more confident in pursuing this business model.”

Printed dress from DIOR (Photography by Dan Douglas Ong/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2016)
Printed dress from DIOR (Photography by Dan Douglas Ong/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2016)

It certainly wasn’t an easy rise. Michelle admits that getting into an industry where there were already a number of players was a challenge they had to overcome. “The answer was simple—find the market niche,” she says. “But looking for that niche was also very challenging and complicated. A lot of corporate research, interviews with real estate authorities and keeping abreast with current events are vital in achieving and sustaining success. After years of pre-development planning and research, we found the right product for the right market.”

These past years have seen a steady growth for the company which is expected to be cemented even further with the launch of Landtraders World’s seventh project—the Grand San Marino Residences across Robinson’s Galleria in the North Reclamation area. “Landtraders World will still continue to cater to the median-cost residential market,” Michelle says of their plans. “But soon we will be adding more of a twist to our development by incorporating the concept of ‘Small Office Home Office’ or SOHO. Also, we would like to undertake a larger development, with plans of doing a mixed-use commercial, office and residential project.”

In most of my business negotiations, I tend to get the upper hand because men don’t realize the strength I have behind my being a woman. But I am a good listener and very open-minded. I believe I earned the respect from my male counterparts because of this nature. – Michelle

With such lofty aspirations in the near future, Michelle’s days are understandably hectic. She starts by having breakfast with her husband, Janby and catches up on current events by reading the daily newspaper. “I’m at the office by 9AM, and spend an hour going through my emails,” she says. By 10, she’s in meetings with department managers, with her afternoons open for other meetings, site visits or going over documents. “The secret is being able to balance your time,” she explains about maintaining a balance between work and home life. “It’s not easy being a working mother. Any working mother can attest to that. Both our careers and families demand our time and commitment.”

White blouse and floral skirt from DIOR (Photography by Dan Douglas Ong/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2016)
White blouse and floral skirt from DIOR (Photography by Dan Douglas Ong/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2016)

To do this, Michelle makes sure to set aside time every day for her three kids. “Dinner time is usually when I can sit down with my children, and they can tell me about their day or bring up any concerns. It’s the most important opportunity for daily bonding with the family. Occasionally, I miss dinner with them, but I make sure to explain why during the next dinner.” The effort doesn’t stop there – Michelle also asks to have their kids drop by her office after school. “It’s a chance to show them that whatever we have now is a product of hard work, and I hope that inspires them to study and work hard as they grow up.”

Sundays are set aside for time with the family, and Michelle spends the day playing with the kids and making dinner. “I try not to miss school affairs and activities,” she adds. “This way, my children will feel that I am always 100% supporting them in their studies.”

How do you go into an industry with an already significant number of players? The answer was simple – find the market niche. – Michelle

Their family vacations become perfect chances to bond as well, with five trips scheduled every year. “Once within the country, twice within Asia and twice outside Asia,” Michelle enumerates. “We prefer to visit Japan, because their food is our favorite. On a few occasions, we’ve also joined cruises in Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Baltics, to name a few.”

Spending simple moments with her kids are among the best ways she unwinds after particularly stressful days, as are get-togethers with close friends over wine or coffee. “Having special romantic dinners with my husband every once in a while works too,” she says, before adding, “I also like opening my closet and looking at my clothes. That also helps me relax.”

Geometric-printed dress from VALENTINO, sunglasses from PRADA and satin pumps from MANOLO BLAHNIK (Photography by Dan Douglas Ong/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2016)
Geometric-printed dress from VALENTINO, sunglasses from PRADA and satin pumps from MANOLO BLAHNIK (Photography by Dan Douglas Ong/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2016)

“I’ve always been interested in fashion. It’s a passion,” Michelle says. “I don’t mind what design I wear, as long as it’s comfortable and I’m happy wearing it. She favors shopping at Chanel, Fendi, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Hermes, Miu Miu and Dolce & Gabbana, and likes pieces by Ronald Enrico and Francis Libiran. Her favorite item in her closet, though, is something more sentimental. “The piece that means a lot to me, though, is a pastel dress given by my father-in-law. It was for our teng-hun, our engagement.”

We have always believed that investing in real estate is the safest, and has the highest returns. – Michelle

Her fashion savvy and decided femininity is something Michelle isn’t giving up, and she has found that’s just fine—even as she works in an industry that is, in appearance, a man’s world. “I think I fit in very well in the masculine world of real estate,” she says, and goes on to explain that being a woman can, in fact, be an asset. “Sometimes a woman can do things a man cannot. Women have more patience in dealing with details than men.”

“I am diplomatic by nature, but don’t be deceived because basically I am a dominant character. I can hide that, and work it to my advantage,” Michelle continues. “In most of my business negotiations, I tend to get the upper hand because men don’t realize the strength I have behind my being a woman. But I am a good listener and I’m very open-minded. I believe I earned my respect from my male counterparts because of this nature.” It’s certainly no question—Michelle Mulet Yu is ready to bring Landtraders World to soaring new heights, and she’s certainly dressed for the part.

  • photography Dan Douglas Ong
  • styling Blaq Mafia
  • makeup Emi Ayag
  • hair Mariel Fernandez

Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2016. For back issues, subscribe via Magzter.


Shari Quimbo
Shari Quimbo

Shari Quimbo is the managing editor of Zee Lifestyle. In her spare time, she likes cooking for family and friends, and escaping to the beach on weekends. Follow Shari’s adventures on Instagram at @sharinuh.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This