Wanted: Better Property Rights for Foreigners

Sometimes you need changes and to be part of a bigger brand in order to grow and expand. It was the case for Patima Jeerapaet. He was general manager in his own founded real estate company Pasupat Realty Co., Ltd. for 18 years until he decided to set up a bigger company with seven business partners. The result was CIT Property, Colliers International Thailand which opened in 2007.
 “I had my own company for 18 years and realised that I needed to be international in order to compete. So my partners and I decided to become the franchise of Colliers’ more than 290 offices in more than 60 countries,” explains CIT Colliers Managing Director, Patima.
 With a registered capital of 60 million baht and 130 employees in CIT Colliers it is a decision he has not regretted. 50 of the staff are based in the big office at Ploenchit Center on the 17th floor in the heart of Bangkok and the others are spread out at his office in Pattaya and in various sites.
 “Our company works with many Swedish developers in Pattaya, Rayong, Phuket and Hua Hin. A lot of my friends are also from Sweden, so it was only natural for us to be members of the Thai-Sweden Chamber of Commerce this year,” Patima says.
 Actually, in his spare time he enjoys ‘European’ hobbies, like go-cart racing with his two children and wife and has a collection of old automobiles.
 “People always say that I should have been European instead of Thai,” he says and laughs.  
 As a member of the Thai-Swedish Chamber, Patima hopes to help promoting Thailand since 10,000 Swedes already have a second home in Thailand.
 “I can help, give them good advice and correct information about investing. A lot of people get cheated out here and loose their money or they end up in illegal contracts and I worry about other people and don’t like to see that. Sweden is one of the biggest groups who invest in property in Thailand and if they feel insecure they will not invest,” says Patima.

Consultancy booming
CIT Colliers is not only selling property. They actually offer a full range of property solutions, like asset management, auction, property and facilities management and tenant representation. Their main business is consultation.
 “In the past years the residential market was booming but now the business is low so we focus on consultancy for developers, private, government agencies. For example, we just finished consultancy for Thai Stock Exchange which appointed us to do their market analysis. We are valuers  for Communication Authorities of Thailand (CAT) regarding high rise buildings and we do the master planning for Port Authorities regarding the 1000 acres of land in Klong Toey. We do market analysis for Tesco Lotus to find out where it is good to build new stores.
 We look at consumer behaviour, traffic and demographic analysis. Personally, my job is to go to meetings and show what we can do and then delegate,” Patima explains.

Change the law
In order to help foreigners investing in properties in Thailand Patima is also the Chairman for the Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce (JFCCT) of the Property Committee. He wants to change the existing rules in order to make it more attractive and easy for foreigners to settle down in Thailand.
 “We just finished our paper to propose to the government about ‘lease hold extension’. Right now foreigners can only lease 30 years and we have proposed to extend it since we think it is too short a period. Other Asian countries have 70-90 years and therefore we like to extend it to 30 times 30 years instead. It will attract foreigners and solve many problems with illegal contracts,” he says.
Also another topic is ready for a change, according to Patima.
 “Right now foreigners can own 49 percent of a company. As a result you will find many illegal agreements to go about the law. We want the 49 percent to be more in order to make it easier for Swedes and all other foreigners to do business here in Thailand,” he says.
 Even though the property market all over the world has been in a crisis, Patima stays positive.
 “Of course we are not happy after being in a world crisis but we are in an expanding mode. I really do think we will see a difference in the market in the next two years,” he says.
 “Research has proved that the number of Swedes in Thailand is much higher than other countries, and the Swedish King has been here many times. We have a good, long history together and I believe that ten years ahead around 100,000 Swedes will have a second home here. We have the possibility to help them invest legally and I see a good future together,” says Patima.

Patima Jeerapaet’s Blue Book:
2009 Doctoral of Philosophy in Organization Development
(Ph.D), Assumption University
2005 Certificate in Directors Certification Program – DCP 66/2005 Thai Institute of Directors
2005 Diploma from Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors from the UK

2009 – present Chairman, Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce, Property Committee
2009 – present Board Member,
Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce
2007 – present : Managing Director, C.I.T. Property Consultants Co., Ltd. or Colliers International Thailand
1990 – 2007 Managing Director, Pasupat Realty Co., Ltd. 
1989 – 1990 General Manager, Pasupat Realty Co., Ltd.

Executive Producer of a song project
in contribution to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 60th Anniversary ascension to the throne.

Charity Car Rally organizer for the achievement of His Majesty’s Cup. All proceeds were contributed to the Chaiyapat Association for charity.

Contact details:
17/F Ploenchit Center, 2 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey, Bangkok, 10110
Phone: 662 656 7000
Contact: Patima Jeerapaet
[email protected]

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