Brand a symbol of quality

Brand a symbol of quality

Reliability ranks as the most important factor in buying property

The living space at townhouses of Siri Place, Prachauthit 90.
The living space at townhouses of Siri Place, Prachauthit 90.

The top five factors to consider when choosing a residential project are reliability, value for money, materials used, security measures and after-sales services, according to research by property consultancy Terra Media and Consulting Co.

Managing director Sumitra Wongpakdee said brand reliability was ranked the most important factor for the three housing types comprising condos, single detached houses and townhouses.

"Developers that have a strong brand breed more confidence among homebuyers," she said. "Brand is not the only factor, but it adds value and accelerates decision-making. It has become a symbol of quality."

The company conducted market research last month among 1,581 respondents -- 1,181 via its housing marketplace website and 400 by a face-to-face questionnaire -- to search for the most powerful brand in 2020.

"Covid-19 changed their behaviour," said Ms Sumitra. "They preferred more privacy and quality facilities because they were at home to work more than ever."

She said the pandemic affected many homebuyers because they were not confident about the economy, income, job security and a second wave of Covid-19.

However, some used this chance to buy because of more attractive promotions and much lower prices.

The result found reliability was the top factor for homebuyers choosing a condo, single detached house or townhouse, at 76%, 85% and 80%, respectively.

Sumitra Wongpakdee, managing director of Terra Media and Consulting Co.

Buyers also considered value for money, followed by construction materials, security measures and after-sales services. These four factors accounted for around 70% of decisions.

Other factors included usable area, monthly down payment rate, interior and exterior design, promotions and discounts, environment and neighbouring communities, and common area and facilities.

According to the research, the majority of respondents earned no higher than 50,000 baht per month, which accounted for 70% of the total. Those earning below 30,000 baht comprised 39% of the total and from 30,001-50,000 baht 31%.

A full 45% of respondents were single, 34% were married and had children, 12% were married with no children, and 5% were unmarried couples.

Gen Y, or those aged between 25 and 39, were the largest group at 56%, followed by Gen X (40-54) at 36%, Baby Boomers (55+) at 4% and Gen Z (20-24) at 3%.

For media exposure, outdoor advertising and search engines were the top two mediums, at 49% and 48%, respectively. The research also found Baby Boomers used more online media, including search engines (44%) and Facebook (41%).

"Baby Boomers used online media more than Gen Z, where it was a factor for only 35%," said Ms Sumitra. "With little experience and knowledge, both Gen Z and Gen Y asked their family, friends or acquaintances [50-51%] when buying a house."

Customers also used Google to search for general information and Pantip, an online community platform, for negative reviews. They also preferred watching videos on YouTube to view products rather than still images, which they thought could be edited to deceive them.

An artist's rendition of Supalai Premier Siphraya-Samyan condo project with 384 units.

After an information search, homebuyers compare projects using factors such as location, design and function, price, promotion and brand, with a preference for well-known brands, she said.

Before eliminating choices, buyers browse project sites on the internet, said Ms Sumitra.

Salespeople must be knowledgeable, helpful and consistent.

Finally, buyers look for the best value-for-money choices by comparing price per square metre, promotions, giveaways and bank processes before making a decision, she said.

"Business owners were noticeably affected as their income decreased and uncertainty rose. They also found it difficult to acquire loans," said Ms Sumitra.

As a result business owners decided to delay purchases to next year, waiting for lower prices or better promotions, or looking for more modest options with less financial burden.

In contrast, office workers were less affected because they thought life was returning to normal and they saw little effect on their income, she said.

Many thought this was a good chance to buy a condo at below market prices.

"Salary earners will buy as planned, but explore more options and make more comparisons," she said.

Last Wednesday, Terra announced Sansiri is the most powerful brand of 2020, the third consecutive year for the brand.

There were two other brands that were the most outstanding and reliable: Supalai and SC Asset Corporation.

Consumers saw Supalai as a trusted brand in terms of quality, value for money, accessibility and design for senior living, said Ms Sumitra.

SC was strong on differentiation, standing out online, being dynamic, presenting luxury and pride of ownership.

"Consumers were willing to pay 20-30% more to buy a house from a reliable brand compared with others at the same location as those assets could be sold more quickly at a satisfactory price in the future," she said.

Ms Sumitra said people looking for a house to buy today represent real demand. To win them over, service from salespeople is important. They should be knowledgeable and able to guide buyers, help them seek mortgages, solve problems and respond to feedback, she said.

All these qualities can create a good customer experience and build trust in the brand during a crisis, which leads to brand loyalty in the future.

"The most popular promotions during the crisis were high-value giveaways such as gold, smartphones and savings lotteries," said Ms Sumitra. "Promotions, discounts, giveaways or free stays were perceived as good strategies by development executives."

Brand reliability and value for money were the top factors for buyers of condos. Wisit Thamngern

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