English text by Lars Pinnerup
It was when buying a house in Hua Hin, the idea of setting up a real a state business in the town struck Hansi Madsen.
Today, five years later, business could not be better. With his wife and a handful of employees Hansi Madsen has built a prospering business.
60 percent of Hansi Madsen’s customers are Thais. That is unusual for foreigners operating in the Thai real estate business. Hansi Madsen believes the reason why many Thais choose to purchase real estate through him is simple.
“In Thailand a contract is not considered to be as binding as in Denmark. A deal is not always a deal. It can easily be risky business being a buyer of real estate in Thailand. Risky because the lawyers people use in deals may not have a degree in law.”
“Being a lawyer is not a protected title in Thailand. Anybody can put a sign on his door and call himself a lawyer,” Hansi Madsen explains.
When Hansi Madsen does business he makes sure that the buyers talk to the right people. And even when the buyer seems to be in good hands he always checks up on the situation, to make sure everything is done in a proper manner.
“That is why so many Thais choose to use my office when buying real estate,” he says, adding that he offers a scenario, where the odds of being cheated are virtually non-existent.
One of the reasons why Hansi Madsen is so keen on making sure that everything is done by the book, is that he has tried being scammed in a real estate deal himself.
According to Hansi Madsen it is not unusual that people come by the office to sell land that are not theirs. That also happens with real estate he tells. Fact is, that if Hansi Madsen is not on his marks he could easily pass on a house to a buyer, from a seller who has no authorisation to sell it at all.
Hansi Madsen’s business is good. Customers are found browsing the internet, local advertising, plus the location of the office is excellent; many people pass by the office windows by coincidence, see the estate for sale at display and maybe then decides to pay the office a visit.
“Since we first started we have closed somewhere in between 400-500 deal and rented out almost the same amount of apartments, says Hansi Madsen.
Unlike many other real estate agents who work alone, Hansi Madsen finds it necessary to have a staff.
“You need staff to deliver a good service. I mean the business cannot close down just because my wife and I are on vacation. With the staff at present the business still runs smoothly, even when we are gone for longer periods of time,” explains Hansi Madsen.
Still he would like to see some of the responsibilities connected with running the business taken off his shoulders. To match more and longer vacations in Denmark with his presence needed at work, he is looking for a partner who is interested in buying into his business.
“Up until last year I would have sold a share for a modest amount of money. Now, since business is as good as it is, that prize has risen with at least 500 percent,” says Hansi Madsen.
One might think that with the plans of slowing down his work pace at the office, Hansi Madsen’s ambitions for the business has done likewise. That is not an issue here. Hansi Madsen is contemplating on expanding his real estate business with offices in other cities and towns in Thailand.
His concept of working by Danish business ethics has already proven successful in Hua Hin. Hansi Madsen believes the turnout will be the same when he takes the concept elsewhere in Thailand.
“Our way of doing real estate business is so lucrative to the Thai consumers that we cannot fail doing this.”