Connect with us


Phuket property rental platform aspires to clear muddied waters

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Being an entrepreneur can be daunting at times. It often entails subjecting oneself – and one’s bank account – to an unknown level of risk and necessitates taking a blind step into the unknown. There are usually no guarantees and failure is a common, yet unwelcome, outcome.

“Five months ago we said ‘we are going to come out to Thailand, set up a business and it is going to work’,” says LivePhuket cofounder and Chief Operating Officer Michael Kenner.

Five months later, British national Michael and his partners are here in Phuket with a business that is working.

Upon arriving in March, Michael reunited with his two long-time friends and classmates, Alon Tishler and Paul Trayman, and together with five-year Phuket resident Brennan Campbell, launched their new company LivePhuket.

LivePhuket is an online property rental and real estate sales platform that is aimed at Phuket’s high-end villa market – properties that are over US$200 (6,500 baht) per night.

Although the three 29-year-olds knew their goal was to start a company here, it was unbeknownst to them when they boarded their Thailand-bound flight what exactly the company would do.

“We came out to Phuket and the first thing that happened was we were looking for a villa to stay, and our experience was absolutely awful,” reflects Michael.

They took that experience as a hint, a sign that there was a much-needed service which was being poorly executed by other companies.

Within three weeks the late night discussions, debates and decisions came to a head and the business was launched.

The four entrepreneurs with backgrounds ranging from investment banking to real estate and project coordination unloaded their savings into their new company, investing more than US$100,000 and hiring three people to work with them in their Kamala-based office, as well as 10 offshore contractors tackling the IT engineering and operations side of things.


The fledgling company clearly represents the latest generation of ambitious startups full of energy and enterprising youthfulness. The laid-back office atmosphere, genuine care for their employees and desire to build something great out of nothing is a welcome approach compared with the stifled environments of old-guard companies.

LivePhuket is a startup in the true sense of the term. They are looking to identify and carve out a business model which can be scaled up and expanded throughout Asia, with a strong emphasis placed on researching and developing the needs of the market.

“We started focusing on the vacations rental market and we went through the pain of making every mistake in the book,” laughs Michael.

“The whole thing has been very, very difficult because you have to put your ego aside and realize that when you are building a business like this, you don’t really know, because we all thought that we did know.”

One valuable lesson they learned is that security is paramount. Since being swindled early on by fraudulent renters, they have made a marked increase in security by implementing the latest facial
recognition measures as well as developing face-to-face relationships with property owners.

“The main challenge for us really has been competing with companies such as these giants like Airbnb. Our vacation rental business especially is a direct competitor – their market is our market.

“On the first of October we released a platform that is better than theirs for the first time, but we’ve always been behind them technology-wise.”

Although in many ways LivePhuket’s services overlap with those of Airbnb, they have the distinct advantage of being locally-based.

“Our platform doesn’t just cater to vacation rentals such as Airbnb’s, it does long-term rentals and sales,” notes Michael, adding that they feel the development of a strong local presence will help them carve out a niche.

Despite Phuket’s property market having reached a level of maturity, it is highly volatile with prices swinging wildly between seasons, locations and other outside influences such as the recent coup. The LivePhuket team has embarked on a mission to introduce a new level of transparency, continuity and, eventually, stability to the market.

“We want to form partnerships, we want to work with the right people, we want to help people. Let’s work together and let’s help this market be better and benefit from it,” said Michael. “[We want to] try and work with the Land Office, try and make this more open… open up and really publicize [the data] and help people make the right decisions rather than people getting absolutely burned.”

LivePhuket’s Director of Marketing, Strategy and Innovation Alon Tishler said, “We are trying to provide this core information which is reliable and anyone can just reference it in the market, and that in itself, I think, will provide stability.”

With their fresh, new platform released on October 1, LivePhuket has been enjoying a positive response, reaching more than 80 bookings per month and expecting to clock over 100 per month soon.

They plan to continue improving their platform and presence in Phuket, but that isn’t stopping them from thinking big.

“We are really trying not to just be the biggest in Phuket, but we have larger aspirations after this [Phuket branch] to start a Samui branch and a Pattaya branch – we want to be a larger company that facilitates this in Asia,” resolves Michael.

For more information, visit:

— Jeremie Schatz


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)33 mins ago

Special train takes Covid patients home to northeastern Thailand

Best of40 mins ago

Top 5 best bars in Krabi

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Dying Samut Prakan mother tells daughters to go to orphanage

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Pattaya2 hours ago

American charged after not wearing a face mask at a Taco Bell in Pattaya

Thailand2 hours ago

GMT | Covid update, monkey business, Thai gold | July 27

Coronavirus World2 hours ago

Travel bubble plans abandoned amid global spread of Delta variant

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Pattaya3 hours ago

Over 66 people arrested in police raid at Pattaya beach club

Coronavirus Vaccines3 hours ago

Government under increasing pressure to share details of vaccine procurement deals

Coronavirus Thailand4 hours ago

Covid patients with positive antigen test no longer need PCR test prior to treatment

Tourism4 hours ago

Thai tourism likely to hit rock bottom this year

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 14,150 new cases and 118 deaths

Myanmar16 hours ago

Myanmar’s economy to shrink by 18% due to military coup and Covid-19

Singapore18 hours ago

Singapore plans to vaccinate 80%, reopen with quarantine-free travel by September

Thailand19 hours ago

Pattaya suspects arrested for live streaming breaking curfew

Thailand20 hours ago

Sinovac/AstraZeneca highly effective, according to Thai research

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8