In the recent International Property Awards (IPA) ceremony held in Bangkok, Thailand, Smart Home Philippines has been honored with the prestigious 5 Star Best Smart Home Philippines award and is now a nominee for the Smart Home Global Award, which will be held in London, England in 2025. This accolade underscores the company’s commitment to innovative smart home solutions and positions it as a key player in the global smart home industry. 

To delve deeper into this significant accomplishment, we spoke with the Founders of Smart Home Philippines, Kitch La Victoria and Miguel Barlisan, who shared insights into their journey, the significance of the award, and future plans.

The International Property Awards: A Distinguished Recognition

The IPA is one of the world’s most renowned and respected programs dedicated to celebrating the highest levels of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry. Established in 1993, the IPA covers a wide range of categories, including residential and commercial property, architecture, interior design, and development. 

La Victoria explained the structure and significance of the IPA: “We were awarded under the interior design subcategory for smart home. The IPA is an award-giving body based in London, with regional awards in Europe, Latin America, the US, the Middle East, and Asia. Within each region, there are two award levels: the entry-level award and the prestigious five-star award, which is the highest distinction.”

The judging panel at IPA is composed of an independent body of over 80 industry experts who scrutinize entries based on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability. The awards are split into regions covering Africa, Asia Pacific, Arabia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central & South America, Europe, the UK, and the USA. Each year, regional awards are held to select winners in various categories, with the highest scorers competing for the ultimate accolade at the global level.

Receiving a five-star award at the country level not only signifies excellence but also automatically nominates the recipient for regional and potentially global recognition. La Victoria added, “The fact that we were invited to the regional awards in Bangkok meant we were already winners at the country level, but we had yet to discover if we had won the five-star distinction. When we found out, it was a moment of immense pride and validation of our hard work.”

A Blend of Cultural Heritage and Innovation

One of the standout elements of Smart Home Philippines’ award-winning entry was its deep connection to Filipino cultural heritage. Barlisan highlighted the story behind their submission: “The design was intertwined with the cultural heritage of the Philippines, reflecting influences from Spanish colonial times to modern-day architecture. The homeowner inspired a blend of cultural designs that showcased the rich history and diversity of Philippine architecture.”

The submitted project, a house in Tanauan, Batangas, offers a panoramic view of Taal Lake. This scenic backdrop played a crucial role in the design, emphasizing the natural beauty of the Philippines. “We didn’t just focus on the design itself but also on the context of the Philippines as an archipelago,” La Victoria noted. “We showcased not just the beauty of the house but also the smart devices integrated within, highlighting efficiency, sustainability, and innovation.”

Challenges and Triumphs on the Road to Recognition

Winning such a prestigious award was not without its challenges. La Victoria and Barlisan candidly shared the obstacles they faced, particularly the initial skepticism about the smart home concept in the Philippines. “The biggest challenge was breaking the stigma that smart homes are only for the wealthy and tech-savvy,” La Victoria explained. “We aimed to debunk the myth that smart homes are expensive and complicated. Our vision is to make smart living accessible to everyone.”

The company’s persistence in educating the market and proving the practicality and benefits of smart homes eventually paid off. “We took it as a challenge to show that smart homes are not just for big houses or tech enthusiasts. By making smart living more accessible and practical, we were able to gain acceptance and recognition,” Barlisan added.

The Impact of the Award and Future Aspirations

Winning the 5 Star Best Smart Home Philippines award has far-reaching implications for Smart Home Philippines. Beyond the recognition, it opens doors to new networks and opportunities. La Victoria emphasized, “More than the recognition, the award brings us closer to our vision of ensuring smarter living for everyone. It adds credibility and helps us connect with other developers and industry leaders.”

The nomination for the Smart Home Asia Pacific award further solidifies their position on the global stage. “Being recognized alongside the best in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region showcases that the Philippines is indeed a contender in innovative architecture and design,” Barlisan remarked. “This award not only represents our company but also highlights the potential of Filipino firms in the global market.”

Upcoming Projects and Strategic Partnerships

Smart Home Philippines is leveraging the momentum from this award to propel their vision forward. One of their immediate goals is to communicate and educate the industry about the benefits and practicality of smart living. “We aim to use credible media platforms to reach a broader audience and convince major developers to adopt smart home technologies,” La Victoria explained. “By partnering with industry leaders, we hope to set new standards and drive widespread acceptance.”

The company is also expanding its reach with new studios in Visayas and Mindanao, set to open in the coming months. These initiatives, along with a focus on smart offices and smart hotels, underscore their commitment to ensuring smarter living for everyone. “Our mission has evolved from ensuring a smarter home for everyone to ensuring smarter living for everyone,” Barlisan said. “We believe that automation can enhance not just homes but also offices and hotels, providing a seamless and practical experience.”

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

La Victoria offered valuable advice for those starting their business journey: “Be very clear on your why. Understand the role of your business and its vision. This clarity will guide you through both smooth and challenging times. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs, but a clear vision will help you stay focused and resilient.”

Barlisan echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of innovation and flexibility. “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. There’s no perfect way of doing things, especially in tech and innovation. Experience is the best teacher, and being open to trial and error can lead to breakthroughs.”

The recognition of Smart Home Philippines at the International Property Awards is a testament to their innovative approach and dedication to promoting smart living. Their journey from breaking stigmas to achieving global recognition is an inspiring example of perseverance, vision, and excellence. As they continue to expand and influence the smart home industry, their success story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators in the Philippines and beyond.

The award has not only validated their efforts but also motivated the team to strive for continuous improvement. “Winning this award gives us more responsibilities, but it’s a challenge we embrace with open arms,” La Victoria concluded. “We are committed to educating the market, breaking stigmas, and proving that smart living is practical, accessible, and essential for everyone.”

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