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A HOME an app away

Feb 24. 2019
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CUSTOMERS will be able to buy all of Sansiri’s residential units through a mobile app and online starting in April this year, the property developer’s chief technology officer, Tawicha Trakulyingyong, revealed.

“We have developed the application and software to serve customers’ demand for buying residential properties in all our locations and at any time,” Tawicha told The Nation in a recent interview.

“We aim to support those of our customers who want to book online after they visit our projects and made a decision to buy after returning to their homes.”

The company began rolling out its online booking option when it first allowed customers to pre-book online during a June 2018 presale. That year, the company succeeded in selling Bt2 billion in property through the online booking process, out of total presale value of Bt48.5 billion, Tawicha said.

Sansiri Plc was joined by other listed property firms in opening up online booking since 2018. But the pre-booking times have been limited to a one-day period because the current booking systems must be kept in a separate and secure environment, apart from the traditional booking process under the marketing management approach.

For example, AP (Thailand) Plc allowed online pre-booking for five projects last year for only 10 per cent of its total 6,422 units launched last year. All 650 units made available online were sold, delivering Bt3.15 billion through that channel. The fastest time for online booking was the sale of 112 units in two minutes for the Life One Wireless project.

Ananda Development Plc also brought online booking to the pre-opening sales for its eight condominium projects in 2017-18, worth Bt3.58 billion. The most productive period for online booking was a one-hour period when 52 units were sold. 

Most such sales, however, remain limited to booking on a fixed date and not at all times, due to limitations imposed by the available technology as well as the need for developers to balance their marketing system between online and traditional channels.

But seeing the potential within reach, Tawicha said Sansiri is working to respond within the framework of an economy of speed, responding to changes in customer-shopping behaviour that require speedy and readily available sales closings. The company must develop a marketing process, and especially a sales system, that works for customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.

According to data analytics of their customers’ behaviour, the fastest time to book through an app or online is within one second. But if the customer stays on the web or app more than five minutes, they will not buy, Tawicha said.

The company has already adopted information technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for all of its business processes, beginning with a survey to pinpoint appropriate locations to develop residential projects. For that the company devel

 oped the Bangkok Model to match with the Bangkok map in order to align undeveloped land with market demand. Parallel software has been developed to match other locations, including a map of Hua Hin.

Then the company turns to the PRIMAVERA program, a unique software tool for project planning, control, monitoring and reporting. It is useful for all engineers in the field of project management.

Through its use of information technology to support both finding the right land and proceeding with design and construction, the company has reduced construction costs by up to 15 per cent from the traditional approach. It also has reduced the time required for a project and speeded up all aspects of the construction process, Tawicha said.

The company now also purchases all of its raw materials through blockchain, 

 allowing them to speed up their administration while also controlling raw material prices.

“We also have more prototype projects to develop applications and software to serve customer demand, and we are adopting a “green” concept construction system for project sites that will take an average six to 10 months from development to launch, said Tawicha.

The company now has in excess of 50 research projects under study, with a total investment budget up to Bt600 million a year.

“From our research and development of technology that we first use for Sansiri Plc’s residential projects, we may then be able to open up to commercialise our technologies to other property firms if they need them. This is the way to develop technology to be our own profit centre for the long term,” Tawicha concluded.


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