The Art of Storytelling with Chalermnit Art De Maison

Stanley Cheung

For Stanley Cheung, every high-end development has a story behind it and wealthy buyers want to know what it is. “When you paint them a picture, investors have confidence in you and the development.” A nugget of wisdom the Canada-bred property expert wants to share with anyone walking into international property sales.

As head of sales and projects at the Hong Kong-based international property agency FM Investment (FMI) a pivotal part of his role is to get inside the head of the investor. “You need to read their minds and know what they’re looking for,” he says. Cheung explains that traditionally Hong Kong buyers are mainly concerned with the price, aspect, size, location and prospective value of the property and details like interior design and brands of the appliances are not at the forefront of a buyer’s mind. Hoping to change that perspective, Cheung has taken it upon himself to help Hong Kong investors approach buying slightly differently.

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Having cut his property teeth at other industry heavyweights over the years, there’s one memory that sticks out in Cheung’s mind and changed his approach in selling property. Cheung remembers listening to the interior design brothers Candy & Candy describe how every detail, every wall, window shape, door and blind at the famed London property, One Hyde Park, had been considered and had been woven together to make not just a house, but a home that had its own story. This made Cheung appreciate that their attention to detail had helped set the property apart from others in the market and that investment property was simply more than maximising profit and minimizing time. To some investors, property is a lifestyle choice, a community choice and to some, perhaps an art form.

Chalermnit, Art De Maison

Chalermnit, Art De Maison

Cheung feels similarly about Chalermnit Art De Maison, FMI’s latest project, acting as sole agents for the Bangkok property. The 122 unit, eight-story residential building in Sukhumvit 53, Thonglor also has a story, he tells me. As the name suggests, it was inspired by the work of Japanese art creator Conami Hara, whose contemporary, modern style permeates the sophisticated and elegant design.

As the only Japanese-themed development in the Bangkok property market, Cheung says the authenticity of Japanese design is underlined in both architecture and construction as it has been awarded to reputable Japanese firms, Nikken Sekkei and Rinkai Nissan, respectively. Details such as the male and female onsens (hotsprings), Japanese-style gardens, Japanese-inspired swimming pool and high-tech automated underground parking (also built by a Japanese company) further highlight the developer’s dedication to this theme. Scheduled to be completed in 2020, the building will also feature a state-of-the-art golf simulator and a holistic fitness room.

Chalermnit, Art De Maison

Chalermnit, Art De Maison

Chalermnit, Art De Maison

Cheung does expect that the property will attract highly educated Japanese buyers and tenants given there are some 60,000 Japanese expats in Bangkok alone, he explains. However, Cheung doesn’t sideline Hong Kong buyers either, “Hong Kong investors know Bangkok,” Cheung says, which is why FMI has a keen eye for it for 2018; last year alone FMI sold some 500 units in the city. He says, “Fifty percent of Hong Kong investors who buy property in Bangkok will likely use it for investment purposes.” So, when it comes to appealing to the Hong Kong buyer, the Thonglor location, located in close proximity to renowned shopping malls, restaurants and well-connected transport, along with Chalermnit Art De Maison’s potential growth, given the popularity of the district among other factors, is extremely favourable.

Although what Cheung wants to relay to Hong Kong investors is that Chalermnit Art De Maison is a development that has depth, substance, a story. While it may not necessarily mean much to a buyer who is solely concerned with the bottom line, Cheung’s passion for storytelling is communicated to every buyer he approaches, saying that it may, in the long run, improve profits by setting the property apart from luxury counterparts, because he says, “The story will make the buyer feel like he’s buying a home.”

(Sponsored by FM Investment (FMI))

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