Compass offers a new direction for developers, agents

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Marketing guru Charlie Warner talks to Pattaya Mail about his company’s venture into the local property arena

Charlie Warner is the founder of Silvermover, a company in Pattaya that offers integrated marketing solutions.  In 2011 Charlie joined forces with his old friend Rob Rowcett to create Compass, which is a traditional real estate company, but one that offers some extra added value.  And a recent addition to the team was Peter Knight who has joined the company as a third partner.

Here Charlie discusses with Paul Strachan the ever-changing real estate market and how he and his partners at Compass now have their sights firmly fixed on Pattaya and the rapid expansion of this amazing city.

Charlie Warner.Charlie Warner.

Paul Strachan: Charlie you are something of a marketing guru, can you tell us a little more about Silvermover and why Compass came into being?

Charlie Warner:  I set up Silvermover in 2006 and at the time it was mostly internet marketing, websites etc.  Over the next couple of years we got calls from customers for print media and other marketing services and Silvermover became what it is now, an integrated marketing solutions company and the first of its kind in Pattaya.  We can cover everything, from the brand imaging right through to printing the business cards.

P.S: So sometimes your clients may have a project or idea but they don’t know what to name it?

C.W: Yes that can apply to condos or other products.  The idea of delivering a product to the market is to make it appealing and attractive to the customers, and that of course includes the name.

P.S: The Compass office is situated on Sukhumvit Road between central and south Pattaya, so where does the story start for the customers.

C.W: Compass is a traditional real estate agent, we sell and rent houses and condos but what we also offer is turnkey sales and marketing solutions to property developers.  So for those who don’t have an established sales team or are maybe new to the market, Compass can provide then with a turnkey solution.

P.S: When you talk about the market, I assume you mean here in Pattaya, which is very different from Bangkok?

C.W: Yes Pattaya is a very individual market and it is here that we are based; however we do have an office in Bangkok on Sukhumvit 13 where we offer properties in Pattaya to those living in Bangkok.

In Pattaya everybody here is a potential customer, from a developer’s perspective, and we have overseas customers as well.  We are fortunate in that a lot of those international clients come to Pattaya rather than us trying to reach them in their home countries, so we manage to sell them an idea when they are here.

P.S: Compass and Silvermover have been behind some of the big new developments in Pattaya, such as Atlantis, Grande Caribbean, Treetops etc.  Can you tell us how you became involved in those projects?

C.W: Compass is quite a new company, we started about eighteen months ago, however my work with Silvermover allowed me to work closely with real estate agents and property developers and I could see that there was an opening in the market for a full service broker that could offer both sales and marketing solutions to developers.

The developers have a huge task just to create and complete the buildings and often overlook how important the sales and marketing is.  To develop your own in-house sales and marketing team can be done but it’s quite a big task.

So what Compass did was to go to a developer with a turnkey solution.  We can run your showroom for you, do your marketing for you, run the sales operation right through to contracts and even payment terms.  A lot of developers have found this very attractive.  The first client for Compass was Blue Sky’s Atlantis project which was very successful, with it nearly being sold out and a completion date on course for 2014.

P.S: Since Atlantis, there are other developments that have come on board such as Grande Caribbean, Seven Seas etc.

C.W: Yes, currently Compass is joint managing agent on Atlantis, Grande Caribbean, Seven Seas and Savanna Sands.  And we are joint agents with Clare Pattaya Property with whom we have been working for a number of years.

Treetops, which is a smaller project with 252 units, has Compass as a sole managing agent.  We run that for the Boutique Group, a Bangkok based company known for their Rain Hill shopping mall and a number of Citidiens and Oakwood serviced apartments.  This was their first venture into Pattaya and they wanted to work with a local firm that understood the local market, had established contacts and relationships here.  Again the results have been tremendous, with sales of over fifty percent and this despite the showroom not being completed when they launched.

P.S: So with the expansion of Compass, real estate agents won’t see you as competition but more of a partner?

C.W: Yes absolutely, we only aim to facilitate sales for the developer, agents still get their commission.  At Compass we provide all the good local agents with the marketing materials, the brochures, the point of sales material, anything they need.  We can provide it to them so they can create interest with their own customers directly, and then we just help facilitate the close of the sale.

P.S: And with the sales that you have achieved over the last eighteen months, you are obviously doing a good job?

C.W: Yes, fifty percent of the sales have been achieved by local agents.  Compass receives a fee every time we sell a condo, but the agent also receives their commission meaning that the wheels keep turning, people keep investing and many of them want to be as lucky as us, to live in this amazing city.