Preparing For The High Season
By Kevin Cain
We are all aware that this low season many businesses have been complaining that trade is bad and every industry has been hit by a downturn of people on Pattaya’s sois. Real estate has been no different, and any agent or developer will inform you that times are tough. Many property agents will be pondering exactly how they should be preparing for the upcoming High Season but in reality for the savvy punter now is a perfect time to buy real estate. There are some fantastic deals to be negotiated at the end of the low season whilst buyers are a little thin on the ground.
Also as a developer or real estate agent this is also the exact time you should be putting your own house in order (forgive the pun) . As soon as the high season starts the most prepared will scoop the best rewards. Therefore if you have property to sell or rent, you must take advantage of the increase in possible buying traffic. A major marketing mistake is for businesses to cut their budget whilst times are tough as this is the very time that you should consider increasing your budget.
There are two reasons behind this strategy, firstly many of your competitors will be cutting back on their advertising so your adverts will be the only ones in the market place. Secondly, advertising now and preparing your marketing strategy will get in ahead of your competition and probably at better rates. Traditional real estate marketing in Pattaya was done mostly by billboard advertising but as the demographic of potential buyers has changed, so you should now consider how to best cast your net out effectively.
The European and Russian glut of property buyers has long gone, and if you ask any developer who they now sell the majority of their units to, the answer will be Chinese, Korean and Thai. Thus, marketing to this core selling potential is vastly different to what is was before. Social media, online advertising, printed adverts in popular periodicals, even attending property exhibitions abroad are all becoming more popular ways of getting to these new buyers. In essence you need to sow your seeds now, and use every tool available. Diversify your marketing strategy, and do not put all your eggs in one basket and do your homework.
One of the best and most economical ways of doing this is by social media and digital marketing online ( more on this on page 28). Make the Chinese and Korean buyers aware of your properties before they land in Thailand, and when they make their trip ensure that you at least have viewings arranged. This is then when local marketing takes over, when the actual buyers are on the streets of Pattaya. Ensure your properties are easy to find and that they are as visible as any competitor’s. Magazines, radio & TV ads, billboards are all excellent ways of getting your brand out locally. Thai buyers in particular look for properties this way, they go to an area they like and drive around looking at billboard advertisements.
You might find all this a little complicated, but a comprehensive marketing strategy aimed at specific buying groups will lift your advertisements to another level and will give you a much better way of finding a wider audience. If this is too difficult, or you simply do not have enough time to donate to this activity, then take on a professional marketeer to assist. They know the best ways of reaching a target audience and also the most economical, in the long run this may give you the best results and even save you money.
To reiterate, many real estate agents and developers make the big mistake of waiting till the actual high season before they open their marketing coffers again. But this is all too late, the astute property seller has already contacted potential buyers and lined up viewings. They will have the first bite of the cherry and will possibly already have opened up negotiations and drawn up contracts.
Another marketing strategy is to offer special deals and discounts, but taking a percentage directly off your bottom line is not always the best route to take. The sensible direction is to offer add-ons, these could be almost anything. From guaranteed rental returns, added furniture, lower deposits, available mortgages, all these extras are far cheaper than a percentage cash discount and just as attractive to buyers.
As the low season comes to a close, are you really ready for the high season? Get ahead of your competition, and if you haven’t already started marketing your available properties then draw up your marketing campaign now, you can bet that your more astute competitors have already done so.