Agoda looks to property rental business

EXCLUSIVE: Agoda, best known as a hotel bookings website, could soon be competing with Thailand real estate agencies in the short-term property rental business with the debut of its Agoda Homes business.

The company is recruiting for a marketing manager, and wrote: “Agoda Homes represents our non-hotel travel offering, and is both a key strategic initiative and one of our fastest growing products.”

Airbnb, already established in the sector, has more than 300 listed properties in Bangkok for rent for selected dates at the end of this month.

Whilst some landlords prefer the security of long-term tenancies, others are already making substantial income from renting their properties on short-term agreements.

Agoda Homes will undoubtedly provide more competition in this sector, and will likely take some of the current rental property market – likely at the expense of Thailand real estate agencies.

One Bangkok-based real estate agent, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “I’m concerned that Agoda Homes, with its large marketing budgets, will impact the number of rental properties that real estate agents like myself will have access to.”

“I believe it will be quite likely that when Agoda launches this spin-off business, its name alone will persuade property owners to go with them, as opposed to agencies.”

“Agencies know what they’re doing and can offer personal knowledge and advice to both landlords and tenants, but I don’t know whether that will be enough.”

It is not known when Agoda Homes will launch in Thailand.