Interview Thien Chang, Project Development Consultant at Fragrant Property based in Bangkok.
: Have you been dealing with Russian investors already?
Thien Chang: Yes, we have a few Russians who are buying property from us in Bangkok.
IR: You attended the Russian Property Summit and the Moscow International Property Shows
last November. Can you tell us if you found these events useful, as an introduction to selling to Russians?
TC: Definitely. By just getting into Moscow, we were able to get a sense of what the environment was like, and all the information we are able to obtain at the summit, gave us a better picture of how the country was developing. Also in terms of what people were looking for in real estate particularly overseas, including their buying habits, how much they are spending, and generally their mentality to buy abroad in general.
IR: Now many developers come to Russia without any preparation. It is a difficult market to work in. What would you say were the top benefits you learnt on this trip?
TC: Well as we had been looking for overseas customers for a while, I did find some similarities with Chinese and Russian customers. They were easily skeptical about businesses and there is a lot toward indirect marketing required first, in order for them to believe and trust in our company.
IR: So you mean you cannot just turn up in Russia and be instantly accepted. You have to work on it?
TC: Well I guess in a way it is true of any market. I can understand why Russians and the Chinese have gone through a lot of bad businessmen, who are there just for short term benefits. Many would have been scammed into paying money on something that actually does not exist. To enter the Russian market we would need to spend a lot of time there.
IR: On a practical note you attended the Russian Property Summit. Did you learn anything which might help you and your company in the future?
TC: Well we definitely got a sense that everything we produce needs to be in Russian. Your Russian location is important, your brochure has to be translated and your contact person, as a requirement, must speak Russian. You get a sense even before going there that you need things in Russian, but now having been there, we saw that you really do need a complete Russian package to offer them.
IR: You also attended the Moscow International Property Show after the Summit. What were your initial impressions?
TC: It seemed every booth needed a photograph of their property. I suppose it is clear, people wanted warmer weather, which of course we here in Thailand can provide 365 days a year. The people in Russia who were buying overseas property, 30% needed them for personal use, another 30% wanted to buy them for security.
IR: Therefore would you most likely concentrate on general marketing there in the media and online and exhibit at an exhibition?
TC: Well by being in Russia we got a good picture of what they want and as Fragrant grows into integrated real estate, by then we will develop into beach side properties in areas such as Phuket, Samui or Pattaya for example, then we know that Russia is an interesting market as well. The Investment Show
is perhaps more likely to appeal to city developments.
Fragrant Property has become a major player in the real estate business in Bangkok Thailand, by developing high quality residential properties and offering them at competitive prices with value added service. The company's goal has been to develop products that satisfy the needs of their customers through location, quality and superior services. The success of the company was demonstrated in the first project called "Fragrant 71" which had been constructed and transferred successfully to customers. The company had expanded onto the next project called "The Prime 11", a high-rise condominium located in the centre of Bangkok on Sukhumvit 11. Creativity and design came together in the third project, "Circle", which is located on New Petchburi road next to the city airport link station. The fourth project, "Circle Living Prototype" is an eco-luxury high-rise condominium that aims to not only begin a new segment of market in Thailand, but to instill a value that we deem as important in this era of sustainability and social responsibility.