“They sometimes call me Dr. Phil,” he said. Dominick Geraci is a tall, Italian, middle-aged man with a ready smile and a steady handshake. He just opened up shop next to the monster mart Seafood City, a Filipino-owned chain of oriental markets that have dominated in California, becoming the “go-to” food center for Filipinos and other Asians alike. This is exactly the reason why Vista Group chose this location because, excitingly enough, they are the only real-estate company that will be representing Century Properties of the Philippines here in the state of Illinois.
Affable and charming, Dominick sat down with us to talk about his plans for Vista Group, a company he and his son Vincent founded together to complement his real estate development company downtown. But to get a complete picture of this man, we asked Dominick to share with us his journey from starting a chain of neighborhood grocery stores, to positioning his office in becoming a hub for Filipinos and Filipino-American buyers that want to invest in the Philippines.
An entrepreneur even at an early age, Dominick started the Primo Grocery store fresh out of high-school. Although he was born in Sicily, Italy, he grew up in Chicago after his parents migrated from his old country to the United States and raised their family in Illinois. Primo Grocery began as a small store in Forest Park, Illinois, then grew to three stores in the 1990’s, but by that time, Dominick was also exploring businesses in real estate development, looking for something more than the food business.
In 1993, he sold the grocery stores and opened up New Heritage Realty on Taylor street and went full steam into real estate development and investments. Business was booming back then, and Dominick hit the upward trend in the areas of Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square called the tri-Taylor area of Chicago. However, when the real estate bubble burst back in the early 2000’s he focused his sights on finding something outside of the United States, and because of friends and family, came to learn about the booming real-estate market in the Philippines. In the beginning, he was not too hot on the idea of doing business overseas, but fate works in mysterious ways, and soon, Dominick came to meet key people from Manila that would, eventually, fortuitously bring him to meet the owners of Century Properties in the Philippines.
One of these fateful encounters came into fruition when he met Attorney Zaldy Alarcon, one of the founders and a very close family friend of Ambassador Jose Antonio, Chairman of the Board of Century Properties Philippines. Despite their disparate nationalities, they realized that they had a lot in common when it came to hard work, respect for the migrant work ethic, and a vision when it came to real estate investments. After a series of phone conferences, visits of Attorney Zaldy to Chicago several times and talks with different Filipino businessmen, Dominick decided to take the plunge and meet the owner himself in Manila in April of this year. When he came back to Chicago, Dominick began negotiations with Seafood City and signed a contract with them in March, 2018 to open up the office of Vista Group Realty.
Just recently, Dominick and his wife Cathy, his son Vincent, Attorney Zaldy and the rest of his sales team, hosted a very successful “soft opening” in November, where they presented the offerings of Century Properties in the Philippines. Aside from being the biggest builder right now, Century Properties is offering their buyers a unique feature as part of their ownership of their units, an income- generating program where units are rented and managed by Century Properties for the investors. This way, the units are not idle and vacant, and are maintained for the owners while making money for them. Dominick assures the buyers that his staff will personally take care of the buyers and guide them through the real- estate maze of owning a property in the Philippines, streamlining the process and making it as pain-free and transparent as possible. Vista Group also has an affiliation with an in-house mortgage company to help pre-qualify buyers to be real estate owners, whether it’s here in Chicago locally, or overseas back in the Philippines.
Because of his knowledge and more than a lifetime of experience in business, Dominick Geraci was invited by Veronica Leighton, our publisher, to write his own investment column for Via Times beginning in December, 2018. Therefore, please welcome Dominick Geraci, dear readers, and make sure to stop by his Vista Group Realty office next time you shop at Seafood City. He may not be Filipino, but like us, he shares a passion for family, friendship and and the indefatigable desire to make life better for the ones we love.
Congratulations to Dominick Geraci, Managing Broker/Owner of Vista Group Realty and to Century Properties Chicago. Mabuhay!
For additional information on the Century Properties offerings, please call the Vista Group office at (773) 697-3030 or check out their website at VISTAGROUP.COM