Matthew D. Rayner
Chairman & CEO of The Estate Group
According to wikipedia, “An urban planner is a professional who works in the field of urban planning for the purpose of maximizing the effectiveness of a community’s land use and infrastructure. They formulate plans for the development and management of urban and suburban areas, typically analyzing land use compatibility as well as economic, environmental and social trends. In developing their plan for a community (whether commercial, residential, agricultural, natural or recreational), urban planners must also consider a wide array of issues such as sustainability, air pollution, traffic congestion, crime, land values, legislation and zoning codes.” So what will happen when these kinds of people happen to be interested in home development? Matthew D. Rayner, the planner of The Estate Group is with us this issue.
“Concisely, an urban planner is a person who has skill in planning the infrastructure of a city and the development of a sustainable environment. It’s not just the architecture or design. That’s what I got for my first degree before I continued on with the master degree in real estate and investment.” However, what seems to have influenced this change is his family who are involved in real estate. “It’s also in my blood”, he added.
Khun Matthew is experienced working in many parts of the world on a variety of real estate deals. “Before I started my own business, I ran a fund for investment in global property all over this region. Mostly in Thailand but also in Taiwan, Korea and Japan.” No one would guess that the reason why he quit his last job and started his own business here was because he couldn’t get funds to invest in Phuket which he had fallen in love with. “I only began with a small piece of land next to Ao Por Grand Marina.”
On his working principle
‘Quality of life’ is the focus of his work. He says, “I just want people’s experience to be like staying in a hotel room, living a city life, and never leaving behind the thing they would like to do, their family, their hobbies, whatever.” He continues, “I want to cheer up people and I think Phuket is the best place to do that.” Not only does he reflect that inspiration with clients but with his staff as well. “Everybody works smart but they don’t have to work long. I don’t believe in that. They won’t have me over them. They will have me support them,” says Khun Matthew with a serious look.
His motto and way of thinking
“My motto has changed from what I’ve learned. Actually, you need to be flexible. You need to never give up. Only understand that the way to get from here to there is not the way you think it is going to be. It’s always going to change.”
Goal of his life
“My goal is to be happy and share my happiness with my customers.” If GDP is a basic measure of an economy’s economic performance, a measure for ones satisfaction in life should be called ‘Growth Domestic Happiness’ which he strives to achieve.
“I play squash and play with my dog [laughing at him]. I have learned Thai boxing and train everyday. I think I’m a pretty healthy person.”
Handling a problem
“My customers are actually those people who know what they like. They make a decision. They want something more than just a real estate investment. They want to live and invest. Most of people we sell houses to are those who believe in the long term growth of this market but also want to live here. So it is both investment and lifestyle put together. If they understand this well, we don’t really have a problem. Perhaps the only problem is they don’t understand how difficult it is to invest in Thailand,” Matthew explains openly. He is a permanent resident who will become a Thai citizen soon.
Phuket property situation
Although Phuket property is in a downturn due to the global economic conditions, he believes it still a very good investment. “What you are going to see now is people are looking for something to invests in. They are looking for a new venture so they can flip it and make money from it. I think people are going to concentrate more on what is important and what is important is good food, good weather and easy lifestyle. I think more people start to realize that the market is a sustainable way to learn. So it’s now slowed down but I think it will just take time.”
A Message to those whom are thinking on running their own business
“To me, we may do retail, we may do hotels, we may do resorts. So I don’t know but I want to start with housing first and then we perhaps move to other things. For you, to run your own business, being very careful is a major step. It’s always changing. A lot of people that run their own business in a particular place like a holiday vacation spot don’t realize that it is never too late to make money. But you have to be an expert in the place and in what you do.”
Need to know
About his Estate
The Estate is the upscale development from an Asian-based real estate developer, the Estate Group. Situated on a prime area of 25 rai (45,000 square meters approximately) on Phuket’s East Coast next to the headland of Laem Yang.