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Earthquake and the difference in property management between the Netherlands and the Philippines

Date: 10/19/2023


October 13 brought an unexpected and memorable experience as an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 struck the Batangas region, located about 100 kilometers from Manila in the Philippines. This was the first time in my life that I had to evacuate due to an earthquake.

The earthquake occurred around 8:30 am, and the tremors prompted us to leave our belongings behind and quickly evacuate the building for safety. This event served as a stark contrast to my experiences in the Netherlands, where earthquakes, primarily caused by gas extraction in the northern regions, rarely exceed a magnitude of 3.0.

Differences in property management between the Netherlands and the Philippines


Property management is a crucial aspect of real estate, ensuring that properties are well-maintained and profitable for their owners. However, the approach to property management can vary significantly from one country to another. In this blog, we'll explore the differences in property management practices between the Netherlands and the Philippines, two countries with distinct cultural, economic, and legal landscapes.

Legal Framework

One of the most fundamental differences in property management between the Netherlands and the Philippines is the legal framework that governs the industry.

In the Netherlands, property management is highly regulated and standardized. Property managers must hold licenses and adhere to strict regulations. The Dutch legal system provides a comprehensive set of laws and regulations governing property management, ensuring a high level of professionalism and accountability.

In contrast, the Philippines has a less structured and more diverse legal framework for property management. The lack of comprehensive regulation means that property management practices can vary widely. While there are some legal requirements, such as registration with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), enforcement can be inconsistent.

Ownership Structure

The ownership structure of properties in the Netherlands and the Philippines also plays a significant role in property management differences.

In the Netherlands, property ownership is typically characterized by private ownership of individual units within multi-unit buildings, such as apartments. This arrangement often involves homeowners' associations (HOAs) or cooperative associations that oversee shared facilities and services. Property management companies in the Netherlands work closely with these associations to ensure the smooth operation of shared spaces.

In the Philippines, property ownership can be more diverse, with various ownership structures. This includes individual ownership, joint ownership, and even informal settlements. In some cases, property management responsibilities fall on the property owners themselves, leading to a wide range of approaches to maintenance and management.

Cultural Factors

Cultural differences significantly influence property management practices in the Netherlands and the Philippines.

In the Netherlands, there is a strong sense of community and collective responsibility. Homeowners often participate actively in HOAs or cooperative associations, making decisions about property management collectively. This culture of collective action contributes to a more structured and organized approach to property management.

Conversely, in the Philippines, cultural factors can influence property management in various ways. The extended family structure and strong family ties may lead to different property management dynamics, such as property being passed down through generations, which can affect decision-making processes. Additionally, cultural norms and expectations can impact how maintenance and repairs are prioritized and carried out.

Maintenance and Repair Practices

The maintenance and repair of properties in the Netherlands and the Philippines are subject to different approaches and standards.

In the Netherlands, there is a strong emphasis on preventive maintenance, which helps to avoid costly repairs in the long run. Property managers often work closely with maintenance companies to ensure that properties are well-maintained and that repairs are carried out promptly.

In the Philippines, maintenance and repair practices can be more reactive. Property owners might only address issues when they become urgent, which can lead to more extensive and expensive repairs. The availability of skilled labor and cost considerations also play a role in the maintenance practices in the Philippines.

Technology and Innovation

Technology is increasingly becoming a vital component of property management worldwide. However, the adoption of technology in property management differs between the Netherlands and the Philippines.

In the Netherlands, property management companies often use advanced property management software to streamline operations. This includes online portals for communication with residents, digital maintenance requests, and financial management tools. The use of technology contributes to efficiency and transparency in property management.

In the Philippines, while technology adoption is on the rise, it may not be as widespread, especially in more remote areas. Property management companies in urban centers are more likely to utilize technology for communication and record-keeping, but in some rural regions, traditional methods may still prevail.

Environmental Considerations

Environmental concerns and sustainability are increasingly important factors in property management worldwide. Both the Netherlands and the Philippines are making efforts in this regard, but their approaches differ.

The Netherlands is known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness. Property managers often implement green practices, such as energy-efficient systems and waste reduction programs. Additionally, Dutch homeowners are generally more willing to invest in eco-friendly improvements.

In the Philippines, environmental considerations are also gaining importance, but economic constraints can limit the extent of eco-friendly investments. However, some property management companies are gradually integrating sustainable practices into their operations, especially in urban areas.


Property management practices in the Netherlands and the Philippines are shaped by their legal frameworks, ownership structures, cultural factors, maintenance and repair practices, technology adoption, and environmental considerations. While the Netherlands has a highly regulated and standardized approach with a strong sense of community, the Philippines offers a more diverse landscape with varying degrees of regulation and cultural influences.

Understanding these differences is crucial for property owners and investors looking to engage in property management in either country. By recognizing the unique aspects of each market, property managers can adapt their strategies to effectively meet the needs and expectations of their clients, whether in the Netherlands or the Philippines.



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