Sun, August 07, 2022


Property sector aligns with shared economy model

AS THE business model for the property sector transforms to align with the sharing economy, most local property firms are expanding their investments in prop-tech businesses as well as in co-working space, residential maintenance services and similar opportunities, a survey by The Nation has found.

As new small and medium-sized enterprises and startups focus on the sharing economy, property firms are also taking notice.
Sansiri Plc and Siam Commercial Bank, for example, in 2017 established Siri Ventures Co Ltd to expand investment in startup businesses in order to develop technology to serve the property industry.
Since then, Siri Ventures Co Ltd has invested Bt900 million in startup businesses in Thailand and overseas as part of its three-year plan to invest Bt1.5 billion between 2017 and 2020.
The firm also set up the Siri Ventures Private PropTech Sandbox in order to provide various aids, including mentorship and insight from various business units, grants, lab rooms, networking opportunities and smart devices. It will also provide a co-working space to support startups in the areas of proptech, living tech, contech, health and wellness tech and sustainability in this year.
Ananda Development Plc also expanded its investment in startups by announcing it sees itself as an urbantech company under its strategy to deliver urban living solutions to customers.
For its part, Origin Property Plc set up Primo Service Solution Co Ltd, an arm for investment and collaboration with startups, as the company develops its “digital butler service” and others applications, along with artificial intelligence, to betters serve its customers. It also aims to provide the service to other property firms.
SC Asset Corporation has established a new investment arm for startups and technology. Called SC Urban Co Ltd, it has invested in Fixzy Co, a startup firm that provides home renovation and repair services through the “Fixzy” application.
Meanwhile, the new business model can combine services and application technologies developed by startups as an entry point to providing sharing services to the market. 
Take, for example, Hostmaker, an award-winning home rentals management company from Europe. It has already entered the market in Thailand.
“We established our business in Thailand in November 2018, and have grown to managing 120 condominium units in Bangkok, such as along Sukhumvit, Phya Thai, Ratchathewi and Mo Chit. They are open for rentals start from under 30 days through to six months, depending on the customer demand,” Hostmaker Thailand’s assistant general manager, Paruethai Panjaboon, said in a recent interview with The Nation.
Paruethai said the business had enjoyed success in Europe and others countries by following the behaviour change of homeowners as they shifted to sharing their assets and using their assets to create income for their families.
Co-working space is another aspect of the new business model based on serving the sharing economy. The sector was first established in the US and Europe and has now firmly entered Thailand to positive feedback from the market. Globally, co-working spaces have been growing rapidly, surging from just 75 spaces in 2007 to more than 7,800 in 2015, according to a CBRE report.
According to the World Economic Forum, freelancers – which are often users of co-working spaces – now account for 35 per cent of the total workforce in the United States and 16 per cent in Europe – and their numbers are growing in Asia. 
According to Colliers, the first co-working office in Thailand emerged in 2012, pioneered by local operator Hubba in the Ekkamai area. The number of co-working space projects nationwide rose from four in 2012 to 12, 20, 60, 120 and 132 from 2013-2017 respectively, and is projected to reach 150 by the end of this year. Another 25,000 square metres of new space from 10 projects will be added in Bangkok this year, boosting the total to 125,000 sq m.
However, that would still account for only 1-2 per cent of total office supply, which is estimated at 8.8 million square metres, the research said. 

Published : June 23, 2019