Real Estate Will Continue To Grow
27 year old Maetapong Upatising, nicknamed Oun, is one of the Managing Directors of the Phuket Villa Group. The Phuket Villa Group is one of the leading residential real estate developers in Phuket.
Why you chose your chosen career in real estate?
The Phuket Villa Group was founded by my father and a few of his very close friends over 20 years ago. I actually began work as a computer engineer; however, over time I gradually started to shift myself towards real estate and realised it was something I really had a passion for. I then decided to go to New York and do a masters degree in real estate development, this is where the majority of my knowledge has come from. I have also been lucky enough to have learnt a lot from some the industry leaders here in Phuket.
Have you seen any change in the real estate industry since you have been involved in it?
That’s a very wide question. Well with regards to the market, this has changed continuously since our group started. When the group was originally set up, the buyer of land had a lot more power in negotiations. However, now things are a little different. There are now so many more players in the market and more sophisticated investors. Also the land in Phuket has changed so much. As an example, 20 years ago you couldn’t drive to Patong, there were no roads. So that shows you how quickly things have changed here.
How do you see the future of the real estate industry in Phuket?
I believe the real estate industry here will continue to grow. Before the tourism industry hit Phuket it was a land mine. Once the mining industry died the island shifted to a tourism island. As tourism here is still continuing to grow, so will real estate, real estate developers benefit a lot from the tourism industry.
What would your advice be to anyone who wishes to join the real estate industry?
The main thing you need to do is to learn the market because every single real estate development is unique. Sometimes you think you know the industry and you really don’t. Also be aware that although there are a lot of positives with working in the industry there can also be some negatives.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I would like to see myself still developing good projects but with regards to direction I would really like to keep that a secret for now.
Do you have any role models?
I think I would have to say my father. He is currently serving as the Provincial Administrative Office Chief Execute and I have to say I respect him a great deal. He has been putting a lot of time and effort into helping with the needs of the people here in Phuket. His latest project was the opening of the spectacular fountain in Saphan Hin Park, which is aimed at bringing more tourists to the Saphan Hin area. He is a very creative person which is where I think I get my creative side from.
What is your main goal in life?
I want to be able to do what I do best, which is very similar to what I do now.
If you weren’t doing the job you do now what would you be doing?
I can’t really see myself doing anything but real estate, it’s something which has really got its hold on me and I’ve grown to become very passionate about. But to answer the question perhaps I would be a lawyer.
What do you get most satisfaction from within your job?
Talking to customers, for me that’s the most enjoyable part, especially satisfied customers. Unsatisfied customers also tell you a lot of stories, I’m not saying that satisfies me but I learn a lot from their comments.