Sansiri offers more than just bricks and mortar; it offers a stylish brand that is synonymous to sophisticated lifestyle.
By Laurence Civil & Percy Roxas
‘Sansiri’ needs no introduction. It is the name of one of Thailand’s leading property developers for 30 years now, starting from their earliest projects in Hua Hin to become one the country’s mega property developers.
What distinguishes Sansiri from other property developers is that they are offering more than just bricks and mortar. They offer a stylish brand that is synonymous to modern sophisticated Thai lifestyle. As one of their popular advertising puts it: “Sansiri constructs not just a home, it constructs a life.” Lookeast recently spoke with the chief executive officer (CEO) of this proud company: Apichart Chutrakul.
“I am primarily responsible for overseeing the company’s financial performance,” Apichart told Lookeast in an exclusive interview. “Because of the high investment required in a real estate business such as ours, I need to proceed with caution. I have to take into account the fluidity of the operation, the accounting, and the financial discipline in line with transparency and good governance and management. We put a strong emphasis on the mechanics of marketing and branding, so that we can effectively respond to our customers needs to create brand loyalty among a group of customers in the long run. ”
Technical lingo aside, Apichart is the one of the many dynamic people behind the Sansiri vision that has propelled the company to phenomenal growth. AS CEO, Apichart makes sure that its mission — not only meeting and satisfying the needs of its target clientele but also providing them in a way that earns loyalty to the brand — are met without compromise.
One proof of this is the new 260sqm-Sansiri Lounge that the company opened on the third floor of Siam Paragon recently. The first lifestyle venue of its kind, Sansiri Lounge is like a private club. Built for the owners of 30,000 Sansiri units throughout Thailand, it is like a microcosm of the Sansiri lifestyle.
The Lounge reflects the company’s entire philosophy and business operation. From the atmosphere – the Lounge boasts a tasteful choice of black and white marble and intricate sandblasted steel structure — to the Smart Zones, such as The Library — run by the TCDC creative team and houses a collection of inspirational book from around the world covering arts, design, and modern lifestyle topics – to the Sansiri Collection, handpicked by Thailand’s leading exhibition designers Winai Chairakpong, which offers a wide range of desirable items to make the Sansiri home even more pleasurable to live in – to the service — there’s a zone providing information about all Sansiri projects while the paperwork required in property buying transactions are being taken cared of.
The entire Lounge is like a mini-replica of what Sansiri is all about: perfect for stimulating creativity and imagination; building the essentials for living in a perfect home. In fact, Sansiri has long proven that it is more than just a property developer. Besides the number of properties it has developed and the increasing number of projects now already in the pipeline, the company offers total property management services.
“Sansiri emphasizes the importance of regular mutual maintenance of both public and private areas to protect the value of their investment in a property asset,” says Apichart. “More than half of the Sansiri staff is involved in the management side of business. When customers wish to sell their existing property and upgrade they will recommend a realistic selling price and work as an agent – for free. It is only upon completion of the sale that a commission is charged.”
Sansiri develops properties for both the local and foreign market. “Thailand is a popular destination for foreign buyers to have a second-home because prices here are just a quarter of what they would have to pay in say, Singapore or Hong Kong,” Apichart points out. “Since many of such buyers only have time to occupy their units four to six weeks a year, Sansiri offers a ‘Rental for Holiday’ scheme so they can earn a return on their investment.”
He credits Sansiri’s amazing expansion to the trust and acceptance given to the brand, and is bullish about the future: “With Thailand’s expanding middle-class, more and more people now have the money for what they want, like a home with style and ambiance,” he says. “Our advantage is that the size of our business enables us to buy land and materials so that we can sell homes at the right price.”
But it’s not all about the profits. Sansiri also makes the effort to ensure the company does its part in terms of social responsibility. Says Apichart, “We are a part of our customers’ lives; our property managers know the names of their kids.”
And he says they truly care about the community and its children. He cites some examples: “Our president lobbied former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva to make it law that salt must contain iodine, and we have a soccer program where we hire national coaches to help improve their soccer skills. We also prohibit our contractors from hiring children under 16 to work on any of our projects.”
Apichart probably can dish out a long line of examples to show how his company does responsible and ethical business. But he doesn’t have to. It’s already in their name. It’s already in their reputation: a business that enhances lives, more than just trying to make big profits.
It’s that reputation that has been largely instrumental in their consistent, long success. “As soon as we announce that we have bought a piece of land, customers start calling our sales team, some of whom have been with Sansiri 30 years, right away” says Apichart. “We recently put 180 units for sale in Sukhumvit Soi 39 at Bt2,000/sqm and they were all sold in a day.“
But even with such success, he is still harboring a dream: “That a kid who was born, and grew up, in a Sansiri home, will eventually buy one from Sansiri too in the future to raise his family.”