Marketing C9 Hotelworks managing director Bill Barnett Marketing is critical to successful project delivery as top line revenue is a key component to bottom line profits. Marketing is not only advertising and promotion, but is taking advantage of public relations opportunities, e-marketing and is just as important as the other elements of project execution. Branding and the trend towards managed units plays a key role in Thailand and globally. Branded products give an average of 20 to 40 per cent uplift in sales prices and provide a key marketing advantage for projects. Brands normally out-trade non-branded projects. Also, a well-executed marketing strategy will enhance sales prices during the sales cycle, thus creating more revenue for the project. Marketing is the engine that drives the machine and getting it right from the onset is as critical as having a well-designed building to provide value to investors. Environment Lynx Developments marketing director Rodney Waller With today's technology giving people greater flexibility about where they live and work, we are witnessing a general migration to the sun and sand. After a long growth cycle in the traditionally popular property investment markets of the United States and Europe, it is clear that the investment havens such as Miami, Florida and Spain have reached the top of their cycles and prices have either stagnated or are heading down. The smart money is either waiting to pounce on distressed assets in the traditional markets or moving to Asia, which is expected to account for much of global growth and affluence over the coming decade. Due to its beautiful beaches, warm climate and friendly people, Thailand remains one of Asia's top tourist destinations. There will always be demand for vacation homes and retirement residences in Phuket and Samui. Quality Knight Frank executive director of international investment Andrew Pang Product quality is essential with the increasingly good class of visitors, investors and buyers in Thailand. This group is looking for a high-quality product. The quality of developer is essential for product and investment as the development must be developed by a reliable company that has a good track record. So too is the quality of the project location. This seems to be the most simple requirement, but it is critical as good-quality locations are getting harder to find every day. The quality of property management is very important to ensure that the investment is well taken care of and will appreciate in value. And finally, service quality is important to make sure that investors are treated well. Design Raimon Land chief executive Nigel Cornick The most essential factors to analyse are unit floor plans to ensure the layout is efficient and optimises space so that none of the area is wasted. Another key consideration to look into is measures to combat energy consumption, such as double glazing, sun-shading devices, smart technology for effective air-conditioning and lighting systems, natural ventilation, water saving kitchens and quality sanitary ware. Investors should also check for durable finishes that require low maintenance and have a long lifespan, especially when subjected to the tropical sun and rain. Another consideration is timeless interior design. This will guarantee high rental occupancy over a long period. Investors should insist on a design that avoids shortsighted trends and tastes. Common area efficiency is worth the attention of all investors to reduce monthly common area expenses. Finance Savills (Thailand) managing director Robert Collins Freehold condominiums can attract financing from selected offshore Thai banks. Long-lease property cannot be financed by Thai institutions. Alternative financing opportunities may be available on the basis of raising capital through refinancing of existing assets. However, buyers need to investigate and satisfy themselves as to the best financing opportunities available. Location CB Richard Ellis Thailand chairman David Simister Location is the prime driver of property values. In Bangkok projects that are in the heart of the central business district (CBD) command the highest prices. Location in the CBD, proximity to mass transit routes, principal roads and motorway access are central to property values. The quality of the environment is also a key. Locations that offer good quality restaurants, shopping malls and other leisure facilities score highest in overall desirability. For capital gains, go for a prime area that has a scarcity of land available for new developments, such as Lumphini, or choose branded projects such as Sukhothai Residences. For rental returns, go where the tenants want to be. Values in resort locations are driven by privacy of the location, as well as accessibility and convenience. Raffles Resort Phang Nga is set away from the activity on Phuket's west coast, offering privacy and a white sand beach, yet it is only 30 minutes from Phuket International Airport. Branding helps if a hotel will manage your project for rental.