Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thailand's Preuksa - Selling a Concept

In my Bangkok walk-about to look-out for good investments, I stumbled upon this project which taught me something about concept marketing.

What do you do if you have a less than perfect location, and you would like to target young and upcoming working adults in the city?

Answer by Preuksa, Thailand's best developer is "You sell them a good concept".

Preuksa normally specializes in suburban landed properties, which are of good quality and sells very well. This reputation and the sales numbers landed them the honor of being Thailand's best developer, a crown which they have this year snatched off Land and Houses who held it last year. Recently, Preuksa has ventured into the lucrative but crowded Bangkok condo market with launches in 3 city locations.

One of these locations is an area called Suan Phlu which is an off-shoot of Sathorn South Road, equivalent to our Jalan Ampang as this is embassy district. Suan Phlu road itself has many small lanes called Soi. Preuksa's newest Bangkok project is at Suan Phlu Soi 8 which is located 1.5km deep from the major Sathorn South Road. Our Malaysian embassy is located just a few meters from the intersection of Sathorn South and Suan Phlu roads. Being 1.5km from the major embassies of the world, including Australia, Singapore and Germany does not mean it is a good location. Suan Phlu is overly congested and seems like on an island on its own without any train lines nearby.

As one approaches the show house on the site (below), it looks like just any ordinary middle- range condo project. Nothing too exciting except the leafy big trees and shrubs (which I was told will not be chopped - they will become parcels of this project).

However, as one steps into the showroom, the furnishings accompanied by the cool fresh music humming along suggests one is going to get younger by 20 years!

My tour of the showrooms started with the 1-bedroom unit. As I stepped in, I was greeted by this colourful kitchenette and a remarkably relaxing living room. Who says everything in a house has to be matching and fit to purpose. The furnishing looks like it has come out of Chatujak market as you have that comfortable feel despite everything being mismatched. The walls are unfinished plaster but the lighting brings it out alive.

The bedroom with its white clean lines and clear crisps style provided a direct contrast. This 1 bedroom unit is only a cozy 400sf surprisingly.

I then ventured next door into the larger 750sf 2-bedroom unit. Again, one does not feel that it is only slightly larger than one's studio apartment back in KL. The layout is indeed very ingenius and bright.

The kitchen is also made out of a very unconventional combination. The SMEG fridge which lends a retro finish is probably the only piece that is worth a lot. Makes you think if it means one has spent all his budget on a fridge and has to scrape through the rest with bits and pieces to save costs. But it does not feel like that at all.... does it?

The masterbedroom has a contemporary 4-poster bed and other pieces which appears to be out of a flea market.

While the smaller 2nd bedroom which looks cheery and light seems appropriate for one's young off-spring or even guests.

In all, the whole interior design can be summarized as young. Or what my mum puts it "What interior design?". It may not suit everyone's tastes but that's what it is all about. Your home is supposed to suit your taste, no matter what it looks like, as long as you like it. However, here is the caveat... Prueksa is selling the condos unfurnished. You have to go put together the interior as you like it. That's what it is all about.

At a price starting from only RM180,000 for a 300sf studio apartment, there is a lot left in the budget to do whatever you want, for that 1st home of yours in the city!


Anonymous said...

Hi sinleong. I too have been doing some research on Bangkok condos recently. Noticed that their pricing and rental yields are quite similar to studio/ 1 bedrooms in Malaysia. But financing schemes still are not foreigner friendly. Looking at 10 year loans with 60-70% MOF. What is your experience so far?

sinleong said...

I am hoping that I won't need any financing at all... you see, Thailand's developers are very trading friendly. At any point of time during the construction period, if I can find a buyer, I can trade off the contract to the buyer with a profit and a small fee to the developer. In case if it sounds like I am too optimistic, if I can't find a buyer I'll be using my overdraft facility in Malaysia.... :-(

Anonymous said...

Ic.. but your trading period wouldn't be that long? During construction you would need to secure financing for progress payments. Using the OD in the meantime? Hmmm... thats interesting. Maybe should try that. Find buyer using a local agent?

Anonymous said...

Another thing would be the SPA. Transfer contract even after SPA ya? Looks like a working trip to Bangkok is in order :)

sinleong said...

this is how it works... when you book the property, you pay RM5000. Then, you pay RM3000 one month later when you sign the contract. Between this contract and the final hand-over date, you pay installments for the balance of the 15% upfront (the RM5000 is part of this). Upon hand-over, you have to pay the balance 85% either by cash or loan...

Ryan said...

That is interesting. Would like to know more and look to buy as well. How do I contact you? My email is khoocm82@hotmail.com or 012-2591876.

sinleong said...

contact me for? i'm not an agent. i dont sell anything here

Ryan said...

Not going to buy from you but find out more about which developments you've been looking in Bangkok and then I'll go look see look see myself. Or if you have any places or local agents to recommend.

sinleong said...

Ryan, u shud check out those close to CBD priced around RM200k especially by LPN for the best returns... if u read Thai, se www.bestbuycondos.co.th