So far, three friends already asked me if I recommend SMDC. My answer was neither positive nor discouraging. But for some reason, I felt relieved when I found out that they ended up buying a property from another developer.

That made me realized that I don’t really want to recommend SMDC to my friends after all.

It’s been over a year since I moved into my unit at MPlace, South Triangle. I have been blogging about my experiences, which is overall I’d say, also neither satisfied or unsatisfied.

In this post, I am writing a review about being a unit owner of an SMDC property.

What I like about SMDC

I wanted to be very fair in my assessment, so let me start by highlighting the things that I do appreciate about SMDC, or at least with MPlace.

1. Location

MPlace is just two blocks away from an MRT station. ABS-CBN is our neighbor, and we are sandwiched by two major roads – Timog and Quezon Avenue. Needless to say, I couldn’t ask for anything more in terms of location.

This is true for most, if not all, SMDC condominiums around Metro Manila. This is their biggest asset which I think even outweighs the fact that Sarah, Kim, and Anne are/were their celebrity endorsers.

2. Security

I work in the afternoon until early morning, and I would often be greeted by a sleepy security guard who would ask for my name and my unit number as I enter the building. That would go on for a week, will stop for awhile, and will happen again when a new guard is assigned on the night shift.

Delivery guys are only allowed at the lobby. Whether a tenant likes it or not, they will need to pick up all deliveries at the reception. And we are required to meet and fetch our guests in the lobby too.

I understand the tight security, so while it is an inconvenience sometimes, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

3. Rules on Pool Usage

Only owners and registered tenants are allowed to use the pool for free. Guests will need to pay Php150 if they want to go swimming.

I find this to be ridiculous initially until I realized that Pinoys are fond of inviting guests to their homes. And by guests, we are talking about an entire clan, if not the whole Barangay.

Imagine them all jumping into the pool if it’s free.

The strict rules about the use of swimming pools are just and fair as there are also owners who don’t invite in guests regularly.

Before moving to the things that I don’t like. There are several others that I am on the fence with:

Cheap Finish – my previous exposure in building construction and design, despite being far from extensive, gave me a critical eye towards substandard building materials. I understand that SMDC is not a high-end condo developer so I take that into consideration. Besides, most of their units are unfurnished and they now put emphasis on “bare finish”. This is to give buyers the impression that they could freely replace everything during interior renovations, as they wish.

Small Windows – I prefer big windows for an open and airy feel. But I figured, I am mostly asleep during the day, so I guess small windows work for me at the moment.

What I don’t like about SMDC

I’ve read all these horror stories in online forums and other blogs, and I never thought I would also experience them myself. When I did, I realized that SMDC is consistent when comes to not meeting their client’s expectations.

1. Delayed Turnover Schedule

I thought I was prepared for this as I did not really expect them to follow the original turnover date that they set.

True enough, it was rescheduled twice. And before they would send me the next rescheduling notice, I gave them a deadline. They complied because I started talking about the leaks on their ceilings.

2. Water Leaks on Ceilings

Yes, this is for real. And upon Googling “SMDC leaks”, it looks like this is already an SMDC trademark.

They kept on moving my turnover date because it turns out that the unit below mine has a defect. There’s a leak on their bathroom (supposedly coming from my bathroom), and Engineering thought that they should fix mine. The unit owner won’t sign the turnover papers unless the problem gets fixed.

Engineers visited my unit only twice in the span of three months. In the fourth month, the Admin texted me and asked when they could start the renovation. I demanded that they get me a unit or a hotel room to stay while the renovation is going on. They never contacted me again.

A few months later, I found out that the owners already moved in. I feel bad for them.

3. Malfunctioning Elevators

All four elevators in our building were in good condition when I moved in. I understand that maintenance is needed from time to time, but when the service elevator stopped working and was never fixed, I thought that confirms the management’s inability to address issues quickly.

Everyone can use all elevator cars including the service elevator. Now that only three of them are serving 28 floors, tenants would encounter long waiting lines at the elevator lobby. And yes, all of them can now be used as service elevators too.

4. Poorly Laid Hallway Tiles

This alone is more than enough reason for them to let go of their “5-star living” tagline.

Hearing a cracking sound when I step on the floor tiles in our hallway is rather amusing. They eventually replaced the tiles surprisingly in two batches, over six months apart.

5. Very Poor Customer Service

I have a lot to say about this because I was once a customer service representative myself. I understand why some SMDC clients are fuming mad about how bad the customer service is.

The answer is, most (NOT ALL) of these agents don’t really care about your problems. They are just there to answer calls or emails, not to fix leaks on your ceilings or process the title of your property. They simply are passing on your complaints to different “concerned departments” which probably are understaffed with tons of work to do.

This explains why you need to repeat yourself every time you call. And the agent for sure have already heard thousands of similar issues from other customers before, so they are so done empathizing and apologizing.

In the end, the poor customer service is still accounted for the fact that different departments across SMDC are seemingly inefficient at addressing their client’s concerns.

Update as of December 2020:

6. Rude Admin Office Staff

Our building is being managed by Greenmist Property Management Corporation as with several other SMDC condos. We’ve had three Property Managers in the past four years, and the admin staff that welcomed me four years ago no longer work here.

The current admin assistants are very rude you’ll have to be very decisive when talking to them for they will never entertain you if you’re being nice.

I understand that they may be getting yelled at by angry tenants and owners everyday, but they’re not professional enough to recognize that there are also nice tenants and owners. So yes, they treat everyone as their enemy so expect to never get a smile or any positive vibe when you enter their office.


Conclusion

So, why am I not recommending SMDC to my friends? Simple – I do not want them to go through the nightmares that many buyers, including me, have experienced. Nonetheless, this is not to say that other developers are not causing their clients headaches too. I’m sure, none-SMDC condo owners have some horror stories to share as well.

Our building is being managed by a third party. Again, this is comparable to a company whose customer service is being handled by a call center (which is a third party).

All the company’s customers will be dealt with at the call center. Their grievances and complaints will be falling on the deaf ears of the call center agent on the other line. It is the call center’s job to limit escalations that will reach the management of the company itself. In short, it is their responsibility to “block” customers from directly contacting the company.

Hence, I won’t be surprised if the SMDC guys are not even aware of the details of their client’s complaints. Everything is being held in the Project Management Office, and SMDC is probably just receiving their reports in the form of charts and PowerPoint presentations. As in any business, their concern is only on the highs and lows of Php figures on those sales reports.

My advice? Don’t get a condo if at all possible, invest in a house and lot instead.

22 thoughts on “SMDC Review: Why I am Not Recommending SMDC to my Friends”

  1. You are on point with everything you mentioned about SMDC, and would highlight that dealing with their property management is a nightmare. Property managers and the whole team specifically at SM Grass should all get trained with proper customer service. It’s a shame that even if I want to bail out, nobody wants to buy the unit anymore, mainly because of the reputation of the management company.

  2. Agreed on all the points above, along with the commments stated by the readers. Think TWICE before investing – regardless of the fancy presentation.
    Think THREE times before signing the Reservation Agreement.
    Think FOUR times before providing any down-payment. There is no ROI unless it can be rented or built on time. They will capture you with ‘POGO’ information, etc. etc.

    Most of their staff as well don’t have the experience of a ‘Property Specialist’. Many are trained with no experience, therefore you see others complaining about their agents not following up, etc.

  3. Greenmist Property Management is a worst::
    1. No consideration to unit owners
    2. Greedy for money
    3. Simply sending notice even u paid the dues.

  4. On point with regards to Greenmist. They are incompetent. Not all, but most. SMDC is disappointing to be honest. Even other people won’t recommend buying properties from them. They’re even saying, “Pangalan lang naman ang binebenta ng SMDC.” They have the worst customer service and Greenmist really just cares about profits..

  5. We should’ve read about this before acquiring an smdc condo unit. Now I feel sooo bad

  6. Absolutely agreed, I thought I am the only one experiencing these nightmares. In my case, I applied a bank loan and was granted. I forwarded the Bank Guarantee to SMDC on April 12, 2021(lumpsum balance due is April 30, 2021). After few weeks, I ask them the Deed of Undertaking to release the loan amount but they failed to send me DoU. Only until August 26, 2021 they finally send me DoU and August 27, 2021 loan has been credited to smdc. But to my surprised, they incurred a 3 months penalty on lumpsum due. Where should I go to file legal complain? Turn over is scheduled April 2020, but until now no update and I already start paying for my loan. Thank you and more power

    1. Happened to me too. You may have to communicate this to SMDC directly either by calling them or going to their main office beside MOA. Just a heads-up, they’re not very accommodating.

    2. same fate my brother .i started paying my bank loan last feb.but still no turn over yet

  7. Oh Boy!!! I’m joining the unhappy SMDC clients. In 2 yrs I own my condo , I slept there 5 xs maybe, becasue I live out of town. There is a problem on the exterior of my unit caused by the misapplication of the sealant on the precast causing the water to seep into my kitchen’s ceiling and wall. Since the problem is outside my unit, SMDC should be responsible for it, but then I have the place for 2 yrs and I am past my warranty. I asked the Client Relations if there is a crack on the exterior wall of a owner’s unit, the owner is responsible for it, if it is a structural damage? Too late now.

  8. My thoughts exactly. I think the super low monthly amortisation would be good bait for clients. But what you really get is the poor customer service, leaks in the unit, their elevators take forever probably because theyre HIGH DENSITY per floor. If the unit is for investment, clients wont mind the high density per floor, but if its for end use, my god. You’ll definitely hear neighbors from next door and smell what they’re cooking lol.

    You won’t experience this with Robinsons Land (RLC Residences). Im actually surprised some clients don’t know the brand but theyre the Real Estate arm of Gokongwei (JG Summit Holdings Inc.). Monthly amortisations are also affordable minus the cheap deliverables and headaches compared to SM!

  9. Totally agree. Greenmist is so greedy. I had not been able to pay my monthly dues for a year which I admit was my fault. But the total interest they billed me was almost 21% of my unpaid dues. They are charging worse than a bank. Very greedy and very poor customer service. In terms of SMDC’s condo quality, amazingly terrible. Rampant complaints about water leaks on ceilings. By the way, know your rights. This issue of eaks on ceilings is out of our responsibility because they are not inside our units. Do a research about this law. Greenmist should be responsible to fix this kind of issues.

  10. ALL ABOVE COMPLAINTS ARE SOOOOO VERY TRUE!!!

    Until SMDC and all their Property Management Companies clean up their act they will lose all the serious investors.
    They are liars and thieves with a great marketing ploy. Take it from me. I got suckered into it!

    To ALL thinking about buying anything SMDC related — DO NOT DO IT!!!
    And don’t say we didn’t warn you!!!

  11. Waiting for turn over of my unit this March 2022 but received an email that due to covid, it will be delayed until April 30,2022. So my question is, am I going to wait for bank financing as I need to apply it on my own? Or they will give me some options which banks to choose from? Pls advise which bank is the best for financing 🙏. . Unit is in Makati Lush. This is for investment purposes and I have no idea what to do if no one rented the place due to covid. Very risky. Was also planning to sell it straight away. Help if you know someone whose looking for condos. 1 bedroom with balcony. Lush Residences 🙏👍🏻 Hehe. I don’t want anymore stress and buy House and Lot instead.

  12. Very true, I think in totality they care only about the figures they can collect. Delayed on your payment they will email or call you almost everyday threatening you they will do legal action, but when you have problems in your unit or you’ll need any of their assistance they will not mind you at all unless you’ll be firm with them at the beginning.
    Don’t get condo, buy house and lot if you can.

  13. Agree. I regret buying an SMDC property. NEVER AGAIN.
    Simple services/help have additional charges. Everything is under maintenance and it takes a long time to finish.
    Encountered some rude guards too. Poor maintenance planning.

  14. My wife and I bought 2 units in MOA area and everything you mentioned is exactly what we are going through. Even threatening emails of failure to pay lump sum balance even though the units are not ready for turnover. I have repeated told them your not getting the money until they turn over the units. I’m afraid we’ll be battling this out in court. It behooves me that one of the largest corporations in all of Asia treats it’s investors in this manor.
    We are ready for the turn over. We have the money secured, Down payment is paid in full for both units, and someone ready for the inspection and final turn over but the units are not ready for turn over. The keep threating us with breech of contract litigation and they are the ones in breech for over 2 yrs. Our units were promised in December of 2019 and here we are May of 2022 and still no units. Worst business practices I have ever seen. The employees are the rudest and no one seems to care about the investors. If someone were to start a class action Law suit, Let me know I am interested.

    1. Dear John Sneed,
      I totally agree with your stance. I do not see anything wrong on what you told them or demanded to them. What you told them is very fair, I am very sure during your arbitration they will side on you. (My basis is just my common sense. haha).

      Besides the handover date should be year 2019, and its now 2022. They are the one breeching the Contract, even if they reason out Covid they need to substantiate the three years! You can give them 6 months to adjust because of Covid. If you will ask my opinion, they should be the one compensating you because of the delay.

      Please update us on the status of your case. Thank you and hoping you can overcome this obstacle.

  15. Which property management I should deal with if iam planning to buy a properties like condominium in philippinrs?

  16. I am an SMDC unit owner and I can say I disagree on some statements here. I invested in SMDC 3 years ago and currently I have no problem with the staff. The common areas are very clean with security and staff greeting me 24/7. They are kind and helpful esp. When I experienced covid19. Engineers and admin staff are the nicest people I dealt with compared to my other properties. For me SMDC and their 3rd party staff are the best out there. They have 5 star lobbies partnered with their 5 star services. I definitely recommended to my friends and relatives and they are satisfied also. You can also check my videos on youtube for the vlogs about smdc.

Comments are closed.