Real Estate Tech in Thailand
The Real Estate Tech in Thailand is booming, several real estate startups have come up in Thailand to fulfill all sorts of realty needs of locals and foreigners.
With the support of the government in Thailand, startup companies are emerging and expanding within the country as well as in other Asian regions.To increase the number of startups from 2500 to 10,000, the government is taking steps to promote innovation, and the growth of realty tech startups also get a boost in that process.
In one such initiative, Chulalongkorn University in collaboration with YoStartups, which provides early stage support to build and scale start-ups globally, organized a unique three-day workshop to work up the entrepreneurial skills of youngsters and improve their startup acumen.
The use of technology in real estate in Thailand has emerged out of the need to reach out of local and foreign clients. Due to a popular tourist destination, Thailand presents a variety of property options from residential apartments, houses, villas, bungalows, condominiums, land, holiday home, second overseas home, etc.
The growing upper middle-income group over a period due to Thailand’s economic development growth rate of 7.5 % in the 1980s and 1990s started changing the real estate dynamics gradually. Hence the use of technology in property transactions became inevitable.
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International tourists couldn’t spend time with property brokers to visit one place to another so online marketplaces have come up not only to make property search a convenient affair for foreigners but even local buyers find it helpful and easy to use.
In the recent years, the GDP figure has remained modest around 3 in the country but crowding online space with the arrival of new online real estate players reflect the rise in real estate transaction volumes.
Real Estate Scene in Thailand:
In the last couple of years, the property market has outperformed the Thailand’s overall economy. Though the country has witnessed several political and social unrests in the past yet the real estate market has remained resilient. High rise buildings with modern look and architecture in prominent cities of Thailand reflect the enthusiastic real estate scenario of the country.
The recent economic challenges such as a decline in export data and problems in tourism sector due to delicate social situations have cast its shadow over property sector as well. The pace of economic growth has slowed down as compared to what it was ten years ago but experts hold an overall optimistic outlook.
Many experts say that when the political situation is incoherent, short term investment is the riskiest option hence Thailand property market presents a real long-term investment option.
According to Colliers, approximately 10,380 units were launched in the first quarter of 2017, which is dramatically less than in 4Q 2016. The report also says that the prices of condominium have gone up by 5% to 10% every year in the past few years and the same trend will continue in 2017.
“Developers are still not confident in demand, so some of them are increasing the proportion of housing projects in 2017, as they can more quickly generate revenue compared to condominium projects,” the report.
As far as serviced apartment and office space is concerned, the Colliers report suggests that both have the positive prospect. While an increase in a total number of expats presents positive sentiments for serviced apartments, low supply and high demand will keep the rentals of office spaces quite high.
“Demand for retail space in retail centers is continuing growth in 2017, although the whole economic picture is exhibiting a significantly slow recovery. More than 300,000 sq m is still under construction and expected to be completed in 2017,” the report says.
It adds, “Occupancy rates in the main locations in Bangkok are higher than 90%. Shopping malls are asking significantly higher rents than community malls and superstore malls or hypermarkets, probably more than THB1,000 per sq m per month.”
Real Estate Tech in Thailand
The property market in Thailand primarily revolves around the capital city of Bangkok and some of the other areas such as Phuket and Patong. Due to the constant flow of foreign tourists, buyers, investors, and expatriates, these property markets are considered vibrant and very much in demand.
That’s the reason a lot of online realty portals have come up that empower customers to use these websites to buy, rent and sell. Besides being a modern marketplace, these sites offer several property transactions related services such as property auction, investment consultancy, asset management, property valuation, legal services, refurbishment, leasing, etc.
Another reason for the growth of realty portal is the lack of trust and confidence in local agents by the foreign buyers. These consumers look for strong commitment, confidence, and transparency which an online platform can easily ensure.
Besides operating through websites, some of them have developed mobile applications too because mobile penetration has jumped from 106.6% in 2010 to 146% in 2015 in Thailand.
The use of big data, virtual reality, and augmented reality is not very common in realty sector in the country, but experts hope that with foreign tourists, this technology will be widely used to expand the industry.
Top startups in Real Estate Tech in Thailand
Several real estate startups have come up in Thailand to fulfill all sorts of realty needs of locals and foreigners.
Real Estate Tech in Thailand – Online real estate search and list websites
HipFlat is an online real estate search startup that provides a search of all types of properties on its website in real time. While users can buy and take properties on rent through the site, it also helps real estate agents connect with home buyers.
Its data is up-to-date on both website as well its mobile application. It offers map-based search options which help a customer can zoom in any locality to take a full view of the location as well as the property. Its Neighbourhood Explorer tool takes buyers on a virtual tour of the area as well.
According to CrunchBase, the total equity funding of Hipflat is $585k in 2 rounds from 5 Investors – 8capita Partners, Chang Ng, Crystal Horse Investments, Kris Nalamlieng and Xplorer Capital. The most recent funding was of $250k on July 1, 2014.
Recently, HipFlat has collaborated with a technology platform FindYourSpace to improve the workflow by reducing time in list management and lead generation. Another prominent website for searching and listing facilities is ZmyHome which operates with the concept “buy and rent from owners without commission.” Apart from the listing, searching, and marketplace, the website offers service such as escrow account, home valuation, mortgage center and market monitoring among other things.
Homey is also a digital service platform that helps find the right home loan to match buyer’s need. The secured platform connects homebuyers with the best lender. Other real estate portals that offer listing searching and marketplace are Bangkokcondofinder.com, Rent Bangkok Condo, Rent Bangkok Apartment, Thailand-property, craigslist, DD property, Baanguru.com, etc.
Real Estate Tech in Thailand – Real Estate Mobile applications startups
Some of these real estate online portals such as DD property have developed mobile applications that are compatible with Android and iOS platforms. This makes property search an anytime anywhere affair.
Real Estate Tech in Thailand – Co-working space startups
Hubba is the first and largest co-working network in realty sector in Thailand. Launched in 2012, Hubba is Bangkok-based startup which, according to reports, raised funding in 2015 and 2016. Other prominent co-working spaces are Busy Bees @ 115, Glow?sh, Third Place, The Hive, Launchpad, Ma’D etc.
Real Estate Tech in Thailand – Real estate 3D printing startups
3D printing a revolutionized the design industry as the technology can create a three-dimensional object with the help of computer and a printer. The technology can help create the home product with ease and in less time. The technology has arrived in Thailand, and startup companies like MakerZoo have been making people aware of its benefits.
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Siam Cement Group (SCG), a Thai cement maker, has developed a new variety of cement which help in printing non-traditional shapes such as columns that can create pavilion and such structures.
Diakrit is another software company in Thailand that specializes in building 3-D models. The company claims “to make the online search easier, more secure and more engaging.”
“From cloud-based software to 2D & 3D floor plan services, professional photo services, property slideshows, high-end 3D visualizations, flythrough animations, real estate business analysis, reproduction of drawings, and much more. Every solution we develop and produce is specially designed to help make real estate professionals’ online listings attract more buyers & renters. With over 450 employees globally, we serve more than 2,000 major real estate clients around the world,” claims Diakrit.
Opportunities in Real Estate Tech In Thailand:
Like Many Asian countries, Thailand too has immense scope for the use of technology to expand the realty sector. However, there is a need to encourage entrepreneurship in realty tech sector. Various newspaper reports suggest that from 2012 to mid-2016, $108 million was invested in different startups by these VCs and some angel investors.
Despite that, funding is still a big challenge for more and bigger companies should come forward to fund startups.
One can imagine the realty market potential from the fact that 32.6 million tourists visited Thailand in 2016, which is a 9% increase from the previous year, according to the data released by the tourism ministry. These travelers have brought a business worth $45.9 billion.
Real Estate Tech in Thailand – Conclusion
The Real Estate Tech in Thailand is rising , and the credit goes to the government which wants to promote realty tech players. The government is of the view that if Thailand emerges a realty tech leader in the Asian region, it can earn the dividend in future. The innovative technology can be utilized in many other Asian countries in the development of smart cities and Thailand can lend the technology and earn the benefit.
Besides, it can expand the local property market for foreign buyers and investors which play a significance in country’s real estate development.
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