Regulation: Why we need it

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Increased regulation of Thailand’s property and real estate sector is, in my opinion, just a matter of time.

I know I’m in the vast minority with this view, but we have to look at buyers and investors when we are looking at regulation, not only agents and agencies.

Here is an example.

I am aware of two companies that are currently touting their property investments to real estate agencies in Thailand.

The 10 percent-plus commissions for selling their “investments” look compelling for real estate agencies, and the 5 percent guaranteed returns for five years look attractive for investors.

What you will not be told during your presentation is that both these companies are re-births of companies that have failed in their home country, talking many millions of investor’s money with them in the process.

The people behind these companies are the exactly the same and are being investigated by government authorities in other parts of Asia, including Hong Kong (pictured) and Singapore.

One of the companies that has “scammed” investors elsewhere in Southeast Asia is currently recruiting sales staff with a view to opening a full-time office in Bangkok.

Just imagine the personal damage, and the damage to you and your agency, if you sell these products that could turn into failed investments.

Regulation, in my opinion, could force real estate agents handling overseas property investments to ensure the safety and viability of the investment. This happens in others parts of Asia, so why can’t it happen here too?

As a real estate agent, you owe a duty of care to your customers, and any due diligence that you undertake will obviously reveal the background story of these investments. But how many agents look beyond the commission and do legal due diligence on everything they sell?

Thankfully that same due diligence undertaken by potential investors will also reveal the same warning bills, and will hopefully push them towards other, more solid, overseas property investments.

Andrew Batt
The author of this article is Andrew Batt, the founder and editor of Andrew has been writing about property and real estate issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia for more than 10 years. He has worked for PropertyGuru Group, DDproperty, Dot Property Group, Hipflat and AsiaRents. He has also produced content for leading Thailand property developers and real estate agencies.

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