Young and independent: Jomtien Property gets the basics right
Most readers of the Business Supplement will be well aware of Stu Sutton, the managing director of the Jomtien Property Real Estate Agency. Stu writes the straight-talking and informative real estate article for the Business Supplement every month.
The 38-year-old British-born Canadian citizen has been a resident of Pattaya and Jomtien for the past 12 years and directly involved in the real estate business here since 2002.
After four years cutting his teeth in the offices of a well-established real estate company in Pattaya, Stu decided to take the plunge and go out on his own. The year was 2006, one of the most momentous in recent Thai political history. For that was the year a coup ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Thailand was once more faced with the military in control.
Fortunately, the coup was peaceful and the military would return the country to a semblance of democracy by the end of 2007.
Nonetheless, for a new real estate kid on the block these extraneous events could have proved the difference between success and failure. Stu Sutton had already built a good reputation in this tough marketplace, so his business not only survived but has well and truly prospered in the almost seven years since then.
It doesn’t take too much walking around Pattaya and Jomtien to realise this city is well served when it comes to real estate agents. It wasn’t always so, but over the past dozen or so years the numbers of real estate agents hanging out a shingle in the city has skyrocketed. Despite this increased competition the same rules of being successful in business still apply.
Stu Sutton has been a salesman since his early twenties after obtaining a degree in marketing. That educational knowledge and hands-on experience saw him quickly recognise the impact the burgeoning Russian demographic would have on the real estate map of Pattaya. So, soon after opening for business he employed a Russian national as an agent, becoming one of the first in the city to do so.
Jomtien Property currently has a diverse line-up. In 2009, Stu’s wife Rattikhan (Ae) joined him alongside a fellow Thai national Khun Dear. They have a fellow Canadian, Scott Bedley, as an English-speaking agent and Anna Bovsun, a Russian national, to take care of the East European market.
As Stu notes, they deal primarily with American, Australian, Scandinavian, British and Russian clients. “Much of our business is built off repeat customers and personal referrals. Our goal is to establish long and trusting relationships with all of our clients, no matter the budget,” said Stu.
Stu feels part of the reason Jomtien Property has managed to garner such a strong reputation is because “We don’t carry any exclusive or paid relationships with any developers, hence we are not beholden to push any properties on our clients.”
In recent weeks the Thai baht has weakened against some of the major currencies and Stu is hoping that and the arrival of high season will encourage more people to invest in local property.
“Sales are about even with the past couple of years for this time of year, [but] rentals have been very healthy during the low season which is encouraging for people purchasing units with the view to let out,” Stu noted.
He sees that there is still a strong market demand for studios and one-bedroom condos although he thinks “ the glut of large resort style projects is slowing down a bit.”
Right now Stu believes Thais purchasing through large Thai development companies is the hottest area of the market.
When he does get time to relax, Stu enjoys taking care of his five-year-old daughter and is an “avid crap golfer” and musician.
With such a deep commitment to the city there’s no doubt Jomtien Property is set to ride high for many years to come.
The Jomtien Property office is very conveniently located on Thappraya Road, right next to the entrance to View Talay 2.