She came to Phuket to enjoy its tropical lifestyle, she stayed to do business. Now, after 12 years of running a successful real estate agency on the island, Raisa Sheludkina of Railand Property shares with us her insight into Phuket’s property market.
You’re to one of one of the first property agencies catering to Russians in Phuket. Why did you launch a property agency here?
Raisa Sheludkina: I came to Phuket to live here, not to run a business. But I soon realized that there was no one on the island who spoke Russian and worked in the property business so, I decided to become a real estate agent. At first, I went to all the biggest agencies and offered my help, but no one believed in the Russian market. That’s when I decided to open my own company. And I knew it was the right move when, a few months after the company launched, I closed my first deal.
How has the market changed in those 12 years since you started working in property in Phuket?
It’s grown, we have many Russian buyers and investors now. In the meantime, many agencies opened and many agencies closed, but we remained stable, which is quite an achievement in Phuket. We are still here.
Do you have any predictions for the Phuket property market for 2019?
I think Phuket hasn’t peaked yet, there is plenty of possibilities, a lot of potential. The development is moving from the south to the north – Bang Tao completely changed in the last three years, just see how may project are here now. I think the next step will be Mai Khao, the last beach in Phuket which hasn’t been developed yet. But some people look even further, to Phang Nga, which is becoming a luxury location now, five stars only. And they know what they are doing – there’s a beautiful long beach there, a new airport will be built in the area, and the construction there is more organized, less chaotic.
What is the most attractive segment of Phuket property market to invest in?
Apartments, as close to the beach as possible, preferably with a sea view. The first line of Phuket beachfront is gone already, the second line is disappearing quickly, there isn’t a lot of beachfront left. This is the most profitable investment.
What’s the reason for this popularity of condominiums?
Most people who buy their holiday homes in Phuket only want to spend vacations here. So, if they won’t be here all the time, they need property that can be rented out. Which is why most condominiums have management companies taking care of the rentals. It makes it easy for the investors, they don’t need to take care of the swimming pool, the garden etc. All costs of common areas maintenance are distributed between the owners and the management company carries it all out, so the apartment owner doesn’t have to worry about anything.
How much money is enough to enter the property market in Phuket?
If you buy during the pre-sale period, you have to spend 20% of the final price. So, for example, for a 3-million-baht property, you have to have 600.000 THB or 18.000 USD. And then, within one and a 1 to 1.5 years, the price will be up by 20% and at the end of construction can be up by 30%. If you chose the right project and wait long enough, the price might be up by even 50%. But anyway, to be safe I’d say you need 50.000 USD, to begin with.
Rai is a Thai measurement of land area, and in Russian “Rai” is the word for heaven, paradise.
How is Railand different from the competition?
We have a good reputation. I worked for my reputation for many years, now my reputation works for me. We have many long-term clients and they refer new clients to us. Other agencies ask for our help too. And then we provide service in both English and Russian, which is still not that common in Phuket. Most agents work in English, some work in Russian but very few provide services in both languages.
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