RE MAX Town & Country, Pattaya
Town & Country have been involved in Pattaya real estate since 2003. Recently it switched from its offices in Pattaya Tai to new premises in the Jomtien Complex Condotel and aligned themselves with the Re/Max group of international estate agents. Here, REm consultant editor Dave Buckley interviews T&C’s managing director Cees Cuijpers about the changes…
Dave Buckley : Cees, I visited your Pattaya Tai offices many times and found the layout -especially on the upper floors – to be a little quirky with different levels at every twist and turn. Is that why T&C decide to move and how did the move go?
Cees Cuijpers : No, that wasn’t really the reason. The building was tired and we were tired of the building so we decide it was better to move on and start from scratch, which what we did. “Starting new” feels like an enormous energy-boost for our whole team.
So – the move is also a bit of an incentive for our employees; a new era so to say. New office: new name; new website, but the same great staff with the same great service!
As the whole inventory of our new office is new; the ‘move’ in itself was easier done than said. Mainly boxes with paperwork and our ultra-modern computer network made it easy to ‘restart’ in this nice new venue. All of our old desks and chairs, fixtures and furniture stayed in the old office and found new users. Very convenient.
Dave Buckley : T&C are now linked with the internationally-known Re/Max group. How did that alliance come about? What do you believe Re/Max adds to your operation and will you be amending your branding in the near future?
Cees Cuijpers : Of course we will rebrand and amend our branding otherwise it’s going to be messy. Some of my contacts were surprised as they mentioned: “Town & Country Property doesn’t need it as you guys already HAVE a good name!” But that’s likely to be for the “in crowd” and not that much for newbies and inquiries from outside of Thailand. Adding the most respected and world’s biggest real-estate name RE/MAX to your own brand gives everything an edge I think. Confidence; trustworthiness…benefit of the doubt… lol
RE/MAX caters to a very large crowd and is not limited to “Only exclusive” or “Mostly Commercial” we reach the largest worldwide audience and THAT’S what I emphasize. If I go ouT fishing; I always like to CATCH some! And in a numbers-game you go with the flow. Then again; RE/MAX was also very delighted to have US on board Guess it takes 2 Tango!
Dave Buckley : in your 20 years here I’m sure you have seen many changes. Can you recall for us the best and worst of them?
Cees Cuijpers : The best is : infrastructure; the worst is : infrastructure. Now you go figure.
Dave Buckley : In addition to it’s real estate agency business T&C has also been the developer of three upscale villages. Will that aspect of the business continue under your new arrangements or have your days as a developer been put on hold or shelved?
Cees Cuijpers : Our happy days as a developer have ceased and our happy days as an agent will continue. As a small-time player on project developments we have done the utmost that could have been expected from us. When my business partner and I took over the business from Town & Country Property it was still in its very early stages (2004 I think?) there were three concept projects pencilled out of which only one “kind of” started with two homes under construction.
We managed to further launch and fully complete all three of them with a total of 105 units (homes and condos) delivered. Not a bad achievement.
However; we found that our sustainable core-business lays in general real estate. Sales and rental of homes and condos: all over Pattaya. Mostly mid-and top-range. Plus a strong foot in the corporate rental market.
Dave Buckley : Many in the property community – myself very much included – are in your debt for organising some amazing networking evenings both here in Pattaya and Bangkok. You seem to have scaled back on these in recent times. Do you think we will ever see a return to the once-a-month offerings?
Cees Cuijpers : You are talking about my years running the Lighthouse Club in Pattaya and of course MOVERS & SHAKERS THAILAND that achieved some highlights in the domestic professional networking scene. For M&S even some regional-reach into Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines.
Paid marketing and branding efforts; whether it’s advertising or sponsored-networking often pairs with economy fluctuations. When times are a bit rough those kinds of activities and privileges are often cut-down. Movers & Shakers certainly slowed down in that respect.
Luckily we have built-up an enormous reputation. This was clearly shown when we suddenly re-appeared at Mantra Restaurant & Bar (Amari Hotel Pattaya) on December 2016 after a “break” of more than 15 months! More than 450 guests attending at the talk-of-town function: MOVERS & SHAKERS! Whether we will be back on monthly basis: I doubt it.
A Few times per year perhaps? Yeah; I think that is more likely, although I am not really working on it for now. Will see what comes up.
Dave Buckley : Are there any things you would change about how property business is conducted in Pattaya? For example, are you a fan of selling off-plan? Would you like to see an escrow system introduced?
Cees Cuijpers : I am bit old fashioned and would like to see more people like myself. Business on a handshake is over and done with. All needs to go “by the book” and still there are people among that find every and any excuse to bail out on done deals. Time wasters. I hate them. But I guess you not only find them in our property business. I love off plan developments as a sign of market growth and would I like to see an official escrow system introduced? Why not? Although there are many more trusted ways to secure client’s money floats.
Dave Buckley : I appreciate that you probably don’t wish to “reveal your hand” about future plans and alert T&C’s competitors to them but are you able to tell us anything about short-and long-term hopes for the company?
Cees Cuijpers : On the short term I hope the total integration of our new brand will reach its market awareness. We will put in a lot of effort and “make some noise” so people know who we are and where we are! Long term: Sustainability in general where as I see our strength in defined market knowledge and a great portfolio of (resale) properties. We have what it takes to match each inquiry with a property of interest. This image has grown our reputation and word of mouth advertisers. Referrals probably are half of our business.
Dave Buckley : How confident are you that the future for Pattaya is bright?
Cees Cuijpers : The fact I am still here with my whole team in a damn fancy new state-of-the-art office on walking distance of Jomtien Beach. Times are looking up and happy days are just only beginning for us. See you next decade!
Contact : RE/MAX Town & Country
Address : 416/16 Jomtien Complex Condotel (Lobby)
T : +66 (0) 382 514 81
W : towncountryproperty.com
E : [email protected]