Put on a happy face The second generation of homebuilder Landy Home knows they need to keep customers, staff and construction workers happy to drive sustainable growth, writes Kanana Katharangsiporn

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Put on a happy face  The second generation of homebuilder Landy Home knows they need to keep customers, staff and construction workers happy to drive sustainable growth, writes Kanana Katharangsiporn

From left Mr Phanid, Ms Pornrat and Ms Phattra in front of the company their father built.

The second generation of homebuilder Landy Home (Thailand) inherited two key principles from the founder: to maintain market leadership and preserve sustainable growth.

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“We must always be ahead of other players and keep customers, staff and construction workers smiling,” said Pornrat Maneerattanaporn, assistant managing director and sales director.

“Always ahead” and “three smiles” are the tagline and motto that her father, Phiched, established as the foundation of the company when he formed it in 1988, when Ms Pornrat was just one year old.

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Mr Phiched, a civil engineering graduate from the University of Tokyo, started the homebuilding business because he believed there was a lot of room to develop the self-built home market, which was dominated by individual contractors at the time.

“To build a home 30 years ago was a headache,” said Ms Pornrat. “When people wanted a self-built home, they often could not find a builder, did not know where to get information or could not buy construction materials. It was not easy as it is in the digital age.”

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AHEAD OF THE MARKET

She said her father founded Landy Home with the aim to be a one-stop centre for homebuilding.

The company initiated innovations over the past 34 years to maintain its leading position.

Over 20 years ago, it launched Nova, a semi-prefabricated construction system the company developed from Japanese construction technology, customised for the Thai homebuilding market.

It was the first homebuilding firm that listed registered capital as Mr Phiched wanted to build customer confidence based on its stable financial status. Its registered capital of 200 million baht is still the largest in the market for the segment.

“We were also the first in the sector to receive ISO 9001:2000 certification even though such certification was mainly used by the industrial sector at the time,” said Ms Pornrat.

Landy’s home innovations include a home cooling system, cockroach-free home solutions and design, an anti-flood system, elder-care home innovation and a fresh air system to increase air circulation and reduce carbon dioxide and PM2.5.

This year it plans to launch new home designs and solutions such as electric vehicle chargers and solar panel rooftops to tap new demand, said Phattra Maneerattanaporn, director of marketing and product design.

“Our goal is growth of at least 10% every year,” she said. “To increase our market share, we will find new directions and seek new strategies and sales channels.”

After adopting digital transformation five years ago, Landy Home aims to be the first homebuilder to use an e-commerce platform to help customers book a unit conveniently using a credit card, said Ms Phattra, who is Mr Phiched’s middle child. The service is expected to launch next month.

“People love earning points from credit cards,” she said. “With an e-commerce platform, we can close sales as soon as customers make up their mind.”

The amount for online booking will range from 5,000 baht for a small unit priced from 2.5 million baht up to 250,000 baht for a larger house priced from 50 million baht, said Ms Phattra.

Monthly sales festivals such as 4.4 on April 4 and 5.5 on May 5 are planned to boost sales, she said.

“We were the first homebuilder to do online marketing, starting a decade ago when I first joined the company,” said Ms Phattra. “This was a key to our growth the past five years.”

During the pandemic, Landy trained sales representatives to use online channels to present products to customers instead of having them visit its branches.

“With an online booking tool, sales staff can seal the deal within an hour,” she said.

Phanid Maneerattanaporn, director of construction and business development, said the company wants to launch Landy Care by the end of the year as a one-stop after-sales service hub covering not only warranty services, but also post-warranty maintenance.

“We are studying customers’ behaviour after the house is delivered to see their requirements, problems or whether there are defects,” he said. “We want to develop after-sales services to satisfy customers.”

THREE SMILES

Mr Phanid said the customer’s smile is one of the three smiles the company needs to build sustainable growth.

“This year we will focus on customer experiences in terms of building, delivering and living in a home after we focused on quality and services for several years,” he said.

“New products such as EV chargers or solar rooftops should not be a burden to customers, but rather a value,” said Mr Phanid, Mr Phiched’s only son and youngest child.

To build staff smiles, Landy Home has applied a 360-degree assessment tool since 2019 to evaluate their performance. This assessment includes not only their supervisor, but also colleagues, subordinates and other departments with which staff coordinate.

“When an employee is happy, they will deliver excellent service to customers,” he said.

Ms Pornrat said construction workers are important as well. If construction workers or staff are unhappy, the business will not be sustainable, she said.

“We have to think about these three smiles when we plan, make a policy or decide to do something new,” said Ms Pornrat.

DECADE OF GROWTH

Ms Pornrat and Ms Phattra have helped their father since 2012, while Mr Phanid joined in 2015. The two sisters helped to increase sales from 700 million baht in 2012 to 2.1 billion in 2020. Sales in 2020 rose 15% from 2019.

“A key driver for growth was the high-priced segment of homes, from 15-50 million baht under the Landy Grand brand, which we pivoted to four years ago,” said Ms Phattra.

The company will continue focusing on units priced 10-50 million baht because of strong purchasing power, she said.

For homes priced 2-5 million baht, which had good sales before the pandemic, this segment has dipped as buyers are concerned about liquidity, said Ms Phattra.

Landy Home has 208 staff and nine branches: six in Bangkok and one each in Ratchaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima and Saraburi.

It has more than 300 home designs and has built over 6,000 units with an average price of 6 million baht.

Landy has three affiliates comprising Trendy Home Builder, a homebuilder for smaller units; Nikko Planning and Development, a housing developer; and an izakaya-style Japanese restaurant — Jirafu — which has five branches.

“We are looking for diversification based on the homebuilding business,” said Mr Phanid. “We are partnering with a landlord in Doi Chang, Chiang Rai to build a 10-unit boutique resort which will be launched this year.”

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