What are your assessments of the apartment lease market?
In the first half 2010 Hanoi’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 10.1 per cent year-on-year, largely contributed by industry-construction, service and agriculture sectors. This means that there is significant growth in the overall economy of Hanoi.
The city’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in the second quarter of 2010 alone was worth at $70 million with 75 projects. With this FDI increase, it comes with demand for accommodation from incoming expatriates.
In the past, there were fewer accommodation choices but as the lifestyle of Hanoi and its people changed during progressive development, so did the requirements of the existing expatriates and those from more developed countries.
What is the case for Fraser Suites?
Fraser Suites Hanoi came as the first gold-standard fully serviced residence in Hanoi in 2008. Together with its strategic location, the ultra-chic fittings and fixtures along with its spacious units and panoramic view of the surroundings, combined with the facilities and amenities available to its residents, we certainly have raised the bar.
Being the first and flagship property of Frasers Hospitalities, one of the three top global players in the extended stay market, it was not easy for out brand to be accepted in the beginning.
We are now one of the most sought after serviced residences for diplomats and senior managements. For the occupancy rate, Fraser reached from 85 to 90 per cent, compared with roughly 80 per cent last year.
Being one of the late market arrivals, how can you compete with other projects to attract customers?
I would like to say three things - location, product and services. We believe the hardware and software must go together in an industry like ours.
Service makes the difference and in this case, we will ensure that not only we update our products but also that we are able to deliver good professional services from front to the back of the house, which will serve as the icing to top off the overall experience of each of our customers.
What is your expectation of the demand and supply, especially when other bigger projects such as Keangnam and Charmvit come online?
As in most emerging economies, when more players come to the market, hence more options are required. This is the case of Vietnam. I believe that Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular, as a developing capital, with immense investment potential will continue to attract a lot of foreign investments.
The demand will grow obviously for residential leasing market such as private house, local apartments, condominiums and serviced apartments.
Charmvit and Keangnam will of course contribute towards the supply for the serviced apartments but that is only one sector of the overall residential needs of the incoming expatriates and the growing affluent Vietnamese who desire a more convenient and comfortable lifestyle.