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Factors for success as the season for property exhibitions gets underway

By on May 17, 2013 in Property News

Factors for success as the season for property exhibitions gets underwayMany people will have noticed the recent upswing in the number of outbound property exhibitions from Thai developers where a number of properties in Bangkok and Phuket are being increasingly exhibited overseas in regional markets, particularly Hong Kong and Singapore.

There are several property exhibition formats that developers can choose from – joining an exhibition together with several projects hosted by an organiser, or organising their own exclusive exhibition. Whichever format a developer chooses, there are three key critical success factors – timing, product and marketing tools.

Timing is the first factor one should consider. As there are multiple variables that can impact the market response and exhibition success, the factors to bear in mind are sentiment of target clients in that particular country to Thailand during that period. They will look at the big picture including the overall economy, property market outlook and politics. Any negative perception that occurs will impact the receptiveness of overseas buyers.

Then it is important to assess the market situation in that particular country during the time of the exhibition. If the local market currently provides limited attractive investment opportunities, local investors will be more receptive to overseas opportunities. For example, in Hong Kong, a recent measure was imposed to tightly regulate the sales of first-hand off-plan projects whereby all information and materials used for sales purposes such as specifications must be completely accurate. Reasons cited for this measure is for consumer protection against the use of possibly inaccurate sales information such as perspectives, maps, and project details used in selling off-plan projects, although the real underlying reason may also be to prevent a potential property bubble. This measure recently came into effect in late April and will have vast impact on the Hong Kong property market and will inevitably force Hong Kong buyers to look to investment opportunities elsewhere. Similarly, the implementation of an additional stamp duty in Singapore since January has also cooled down its local property market whereby Singaporean buyers are more actively seeking overseas opportunities.

Location is the second most important factor to consider. Foreign buyers will select only the location they are familiar with. In Bangkok, for example, exhibiting a freehold condominium in a prime CBD location will ensure a higher chance of success than projects in a non-CBD location. If the market is familiar with a particular location such as Rajdamri and can easily associate with that location, the product will instantly be an easier sell.

Branding is also another element to consider. As they may not be familiar with Thai developers, residential projects associated with brands they recognise will be an added sales benefit. Hong Kong buyers tend to have a preference for five-star hotel branded properties such as the Ritz Carlton Residences.

Along with the right location and timing, utilizing the right marketing tools is also essential. The key challenge in selling properties at overseas exhibitions is the ability to convince buyers to purchase site unseen. This is where the use of marketing tools comes in. Today the marketing tools available for property marketing have evolved to become much more sophisticated than just using simple sales brochures. The benchmark today is the use of gadgets such as iPad and touch screen applications which has been designed and programmed to offer detailed information down to even the views from individual units.

The quality of presentation from display panels, sample material boards to sample specifications also needs to be presented in a sophisticated format which creates a good first impression to win buyers. Even traditional marketing tools such as perspectives and 3D animations need to be the latest technology to ensure the highest quality.

With the right timing and marketing tools, the chances of being successful in a foreign market are definitely higher, but the essence of closing any transaction is also down to the ability of the sales team and choosing the right product to exhibit in the right market.

Source : The Nation 17 May 2013

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