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HomeJoy: The Future of Home-Buying for Filipinos
Real Estate

HomeJoy: The Future of Home-Buying for Filipinos

Pamela Belen

CEO and Founder
Mio del Rosario

Despite having a digitally native population, the digital economy of the Philippines has been lagging behind its Southeast Asian neighbors. However, in more recent years, the Philippines has experienced a rise in digitalization, partly driven by the emergence and acceleration of local technology startups. One of the most glaring issues that the country aims to address is the need to digitize home-buying. This is because home-buying involves a plethora of paperwork, meetings, and transactions that had to be done in a physical setting, something that also became difficult for Overseas Filipino Workers to manage due to the nature of their work. This is where HomeJoy comes in. 

HomeJoy is a property technology start-up based in the Philippines that offers an alternative home-buying solution for Filipinos, both residing in the country and those overseas. It aims to make home-buying fast and easy through its platform, which allows buyers, developers, sellers, and property managers to coordinate online effectively. With this, why don’t you join me in learning more about HomeJoy with its CEO, Pamela Belen.

We have seen that you have had extensive experience in the field of business, strategy, and leadership. What made you interested in going into the field of real estate?

Two things. I live alone in the Philippines because my entire family lives in the United States; my parents and relatives are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). My number one task would be to go to the offices for payments for Real Estate —  it could be association dues, down payments, or amortizations. Coming from my background which is digital transformation, I couldn't bear the thought of going to an office just to pay or just submit a document. That made me think that there must be some change that should happen here. These transactions can be easily done with the help of technology and data. 

What inspired you to start HomeJoy?

I think for me, the majority of the Filipinos would put their money in a home, and the least that I could do – or we could do – to help them out is to make it easy, hassle-free, and enjoyable for these Filipino home-buyers. 

As you may know, there are not many established female founders in the local start-up tech ecosystem. As one of the few female founders in this field, what were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome these? What do you think are your greatest accomplishments and contributions to the Start-up tech scene? 

My background is really in accountancy and in business. I did that for the first three to four years of my career and shifted into technology in 2013 not knowing it was about emerging technologies: digital transformation, big data, and cloud – all of these were all new to me. When I started, I couldn’t understand the majority of the discussions. Sometimes, when you're in a meeting and you're the only female there, you would really experience someone butting in and saying that females won’t understand technical stuff. Of course for me, I would understand that. Why would someone ever say something like that? I guess it was more of the time back then. Even though it happened a decade ago, until this day, there’s this connotation that if you’re female, you’re not knowledgeable in tech. I overcame this by equipping myself. I studied on my own and had Youtube and other materials as my resources. Then of course, I learned on the job. Every single day I would learn something new. Over time, I got very comfortable with it. Now, I understand the ins and outs of the industry. 

I think my greatest accomplishments and contributions to the start-up tech scene would be setting an example. I’m from a middle-income family, and I built my first company Umpisa then HomeJoy out of my savings. I was able to grow the company to 30+ employees and it has been profitable since Year 1. With this, I think being an example to others about how one could start a business — even if one did not really have that background or pedigree — is my most important achievement. 

How is HomeJoy unique and different from other Property Technology startups? 

For HomeJoy, what we really want to accomplish is a Real Estate E-commerce kind of play. We want the Real Estate transaction to happen in just one platform and system. This is what separates it from other Property Technology startups. 

Your company is currently fundraising for the next investment round, correct? With this in mind, which countries do you see yourself expanding to? 

Definitely Indonesia. We’ve done some initial market research there and also got to talk to some potential investors. The state of how Real Estate transactions there, particularly the residential ones, are done is less developed compared to other countries. As such, there is definitely a clear opportunity to expand there. In terms of market potential too, Indonesia is larger and has a greater population. Also competition wise, there are not a lot of competitors there too so it would really be a great place to expand. 

Lastly, as a founder yourself, what message would you like to impart on future entrepreneurs? 

It’s going to be challenging. A lot of people want to go into entrepreneurship and are not willing to do the necessary investments needed: financial, time, mental, intellectual, emotional, social and your overall health and wellness. Understand the business that you’re getting into. Don't lose the fire. We’re here not just for the money, but for solving problems. It's not easy, but it's fun and definitely worth it. 

Pamela Belen is the CEO and Founder of HomeJoy and has an extensive background in the fields of accounting, business development, and leadership. As a repeat entrepreneur and executive, this allows Pamela to take home-buying to a whole new level with the help of HomeJoy, giving every Filipino a better chance to have their very own homes. HomeJoy offers its customers a platform to transact and coordinate online effectively with developers, sellers, funders, and property managers, with the ultimate goal of making home-buying fast and easy. HomeJoy is currently raising its pre-seed investment round to help expand its services across the Philippines. 

Visit If you would like to know and connect more with HomeJoy. 

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