Atty. Willie Ramos Martinez on Turning What You Love Into a Business
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Family Matters: Atty. Willie Ramos Martinez on Turning What You Love Into a Business

Family Matters: Atty. Willie Ramos Martinez on Turning What You Love Into a Business

Business & Career | August 22, 2022
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Law, cars, and now, real estate. Meet Atty. Willie Ramos Martinez and learn about how he started a business by doing what he loved.

Atty. Willie Ramos Martinez is a car enthusiast. “[This was] during my pre-law college days. It was my hobby to modify my personal car to make it extremely flashy,” he begins. “I also tend to go through my vehicle faster than others and therefore have more experience in the process.”

“My mind was so creative in making my toy a luxury car. I added high-end features that go above and beyond the average necessities. I equipped it with better performance capabilities, lavish interiors, and all the latest safety and technology features,” he enthuses—which goes to show that he thoroughly enjoys talking about cars at length.

Willie’s passion and enthusiasm for cars, combined with the fact that he had finally found his lifetime partner in Malou Tamayo Martinez, resulted in a simple logical step: starting the business now known as Multi Marz Cars. “When we got married in 1983, my wife Malou, who came from a business-oriented family suggested making my hobby into a business by selling my car.

“We started the business that same year when I was second year proper at the UST College of Law,” he adds. In fact, it was such a success that they were able to acquire more commercial property for expansion merely four years later.

From Passion to Family Business

Multi Marz Cars soon evolved to become a family business. “We extended it to our two sons [Wei and Marc] who also showed an interest in car trading ever since they were in high school. At a young age, they could close a sale and we gave them a commission for every car they sell to motivate them more,” Willie shares. His two sons, Wei and Marc, both continued a career in the car industry—now with degrees from De La Salle University—and have successfully integrated into the family business.

Willie and Malou’s daughter, Marinelli, and her husband, Reynaldo, join the fold as lawyers as part of their private legal practice and the company’s legal department. Meanwhile, their youngest daughter Ice works as a media broadcaster and is part of their marketing department. Even their employees and sales agents are also treated like family through incentives.

When asked about the ups and downs of managing a family business, Willie maintains a simple core rule: respecting each other’s opinions. “Through open communication, listening actively to any concerns and we make agreements. These agreements generate positivity, which helps dissolve, if not minimize, the conflict,” he opines.

It also helps that they value the suggestions of their two sons. Like most decisions, a majority vote determines the outcome of any choice for the Martinez family. After all, in his words, “working together harmoniously as a team is [the] key to a progressive company.”

The Brand Ethos: Honesty and Professionalism

Willie maintains that what sets their business apart is that it’s run on a foundation of lawyers and professionals—as well as the family values they instill which include daily rosary prayers and attending regular mass as a family. Thus, his advice for other family businesses is to have a similar relationship with God. “First and foremost, put God above all things, so you will be guided accordingly and everything else will fall into its proper place.”

As a business that faces customers, Willie insists on the importance of conducting itself with honesty and professionalism. “Our objective is to provide our customers the best car and best value for their money,” he says simply. “All our cars are guaranteed with clean documents, free from all liens, encumbrances, and from any claims whatsoever.”

Good customer reviews are a particular highlight. “Our customer reviews are unique, and no business can get these from us. We make sure to collect customer reviews so that we can highlight the very best ones online and in other forms of advertisement.” Other ways of getting their name out there include regularly joining car shows and similar events. Trophies like Best in Paints, Best in European Cars, Best in Body Kits, and more are just the cherry on top.

In five years, Willie hopes to see the business grow more significant and more progressive with a particular goal to add more imported brand new cars to the showroom. “We envision expanding our real estate development business, which was established in 1993 under MULTI MARZ REALTY & DEVELOPMENT CORP,“ he shares.

Atty. Willie Ramos Martinez on Having a Good Relationship

As the family business reaches great new heights, Willie believes in keeping his relationship with his wife stronger than ever. “As others have observed, my wife and I have good chemistry for the reason that I am excellent in choosing our cars and in extensively checking and preparing all the documents, while my wife, Malou, is excellent at marketing strategies that make our sales highly remarkable.”

Ever the proud husband, he couldn’t resist praising her. “In fact, there were several times when she sold 30 cars in one month!”

He adds that they try their best to maintain a harmonious relationship despite the challenges. “We always respect each other and recognize each one’s effort and accomplishments [and] we believe that a successful relationship is often the first step towards a successful business together.”

His Secret to Success

Atty. Willie Ramos Martinez would not be where he is right now without a supportive family, a capable team, and a strong set of principles. “We adhere to Confucius’ inspiring words, ‘Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be a failure,’” he shares. “We set goals, envision, plan and prepare, exert hard work, and commit to achieving the desired result.”

Beyond business, they also commit to focusing on other endeavors. “To make life more fulfilling, as part of our mission, we share our blessings to the less fortunate through charitable institutions and events. Malou is consistently handling this.”

As with most things in life, Willie and his family like to live by the golden rule: Don’t do unto others what you don’t want to be done unto you. “The golden rule is a philosophy for leading one’s life that suggests that other people should be treated fairly and with respect,” he ends.

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Pinky is the President and CEO of Progressive Laboratories, Qualibet Testing Services Corp. and KPP Powers Commodities. A chemist by profession, she is also the President of the Association of the Bureau of Animal Industry Registered Companies and Recognized Testing Laboratories (ABAIL). A humanitarian at heart, Pinky hosts a weekly online show called Grateful Tuesdays. On top of all this, she is also a wife and a mother of two.
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