Monday, 22 March 2010

Buying Off Plan Property in Thailand - the Advantages and the Disadvantages

Advantages

1) The main advantage of buying an off plan property in Thailand is the price. Off plan properties are nearly always cheaper than a comparative built property. Off plan in Spain and other countries around the world are investment opportunities. The same is true in Thailand. The earlier you invest in a development the bigger the potential profit is. As the development progresses so the prices for remaining off plan properties also increase.

2) If you invest with a developer with a proven track record your investment is usually safe.

3) It is sometimes possible to sell on your off plan before construction has finished. Thus making a quick profit.

4) Once the property is built you have a brand new house or villa. This villa because it is new will usually come with a structural warranty. Second hand houses and villas rarely come with a structural warranty.

5) Your new villa has had no previous owners so you won’t have to pay for alterations. Furthermore, most developers allow customers who purchase off plan property to customize their villa in terms of interior design, tile colors etc. This means you can really get the villa of your dreams with off plan.

Disadvantages

1) The main worry for the purchaser of an off plan property is that the constructor and/or developer will go bankrupt before your off plan property is completed. In which case you will have to apply to the Thai courts for compensation.

2) Time can be a negative factor. Often things take longer to build than expected in Thailand. It can be frustrating making plans to stay in your new villa only to discover that it isn’t ready for occupancy yet.

3) In the current economic climate the housing market has seen a considerable slow down. This means that off plan investment is unlikely to result in a quick purchase and re-sale to make a tidy short term profit. In the longer term property prices will increase and so will demand in Thailand. This means off plan property is more suitable for those able to wait a few years to make a profit on their investment.

4) You cannot see the property before you commit to buying. You have to make your decision based on computer renditions of the off plan property or from viewing a show house. It is the technical competency of the constructor, the reputation of the developer and the real estate agent that you have to place faith in. This is faith that the villa will be completed to set out specifications. It is important to get an independent building inspector to visit the property as it is being built to make sure the building plans are being followed.

These are the major issues of buying off plan in Thailand. It is always advisable to do your homework before committing to an off plan project. Remember that in Thailand real estate agents and developers are often one and the same thing, so don’t expect independent advice from the real estate agent. If you are keen to buy off plan property in Thailand always check around and compare the prices with finished houses on the market. If there is no considerable saving in buying an off plan property then it is not a good investment. And finally, it can never be stressed enough, get a good lawyer to advise you about the issue of foreign ownership in Thailand; and get a lawyer to check with the land registry office who actually owns the land you are intending on purchasing or leasing.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Writing Articles to Promote Your Property Website

It can be very frustrating having a website that is designed to sell your property or rent your property in Thailand. It is often the case that your website will be difficult to find by potential customers because you are competing with real estate agents and developers in Thailand for the same keywords. It is very hard to get on the first page of google or yahoo! for keywords such as 'property', 'real estate' , 'villa rental' or 'Thailand'. You are competing against CBR Ellis, Raimon Land, Siam Properties, Soho Properties and Viviun.com to name but a few. All the best domain names will already be gone - anything with 'Thailand' and 'property' in the domain address will have been snapped up long ago.

Instead it is a smarter move to try and focus on other keywords. For instance, the name of the resort or beach near your property. Or the name of the island or town where your property is located. There will be a lot more availability. Maybe the .com address is gone but perhaps the .net is available. If so buy it and slightly tweak your site and put it up again. That is the first step. The next is to get some good links to the site.

The best way to get the best links to a site is to write quality content on a magazine style site that has a big readership. Write articles about the beach, good restaurants in the area, funny or unusual things that happened to you in Thailand; write about festivals and food, about language and culture. The possibilities are nearly endless. In each article make sure to put links into the text. The anchor text, as it is called should be one of your keywords. For example, Thong Nai Pan  has both 5 star hotels and cheap bungalows to stay in. This example has got the name of the beach, 'hotel' 'cheap' and 'bungalow' all in the anchor text. You will have to carefully read the editorial guidelines for article submission for each magazine site but it gives you an idea of what an effective link should be. Don't just put the web address at the end of a piece. Rather the link should be integral to the context of the article and in the body of the article. But don't get link greedy: often you are confined to just one or two links per article.

As you write more articles make sure you link between your articles on the same site. This is usually encouraged and will further boost your search engine rankings for each of the interlinked articles. For example: as I mentioned in my previous article on website promotion it is a good idea to get a blogger and wordpress account. Here I have used words from the title of a previous post to link back to that previous post. The more internal links in a website the more search engine friendly the site becomes (this is one of the reasons why wikipedia comes out on top for some many different searches).

Here's a list of magazine sites to write articles on. They are all free, and they all allow 'self-serving' links. As I said before, read the editorial guidelines carefully before making your first submission.

1) http://ezinearticles.com/ This website has really good exposure. They are very fussy about spelling and links so follow the rules. 

2)  www.yousaytoo.com. This blogging site lets you add pictures, make friends and gives you a share of the adsense revenue you generate for them. So get an adsense account. To get an adsense account you need to have an email address associated with a website. So for example info@backpackinargentina.com is good, backpackinargentina@gmail.com is bad.

3) http://posturown.com/ This uses the wordpress interface. It takes a bit of time to work out but doesn't use any coding. To register you have to fill out the form then send them a separate email asking for an account. It's irritating but designed to stop bots I guess.

4) www.hubpages.com lets you post automatically without having to submit and wait for acceptance. It is a good blogging site that is easy to use. You can add pictures, video and link widgets. They also share adsense money with you and help you get affiliate links with amazon.com and ebay.com

5) www.infobarrel.com Is another good blogging site. They share adsense and amazon money with you. The articles from infobarrel do well in search engines and give good linking juice to your website.

6) http://writingmafia.com This is very similar to postyourown.com in the sense that it uses the same wordpress interface.

Remember to set up a new email address to handle all the new mails you'll be receiving. Also you can write nearly the same article several times using different wording. If you publish the same  exact article you won't get in trouble but google might down-rank the article as a duplicate - this  is all open to debate at the moment.

Finally, to give your blogs an extra boost don't forget to digg them, facebook them and twitter them.