Taking your development from good to great, has beneficial impacts that extend beyond the final sale or lease. As buyers become more savvy and competition expands and diversifies, developers can no longer think about each project in isolation.
There are common aspects, across every project, that lift it from memorable to unforgettable. When this happens, each future undertaking benefits. It’s not just about developing properties, but relationships, experience and reputation too.
The majority of time, of any great project, will be spent in planning. This can be broken into two components; assembling the right team and the site, concept and financing.
The Site, Concept and Financing
The surrounding area poses a lot of questions to the initial viability of your project.
- Does the council have plans to invest or regulate the area?
- What are the council’s development and planning policies?
- Research all past, current and planned developments for the area –
- Are these beneficial or detrimental to your project?
- Is the local community likely to object to any part of your plan?
- What is the market demand for the area?
These are the foundations to understanding the unique attributes of your potential neighbourhood that will lead to its success.
Features of the build
Brett Ayles of 1 Village Project Marketing has seen a rapid increase in the intelligence of today’s buyers. “Over the last five years the level to which buyers are smart is approaching engineering levels… they’re asking for working drawings, they’re looking inside the walls”.
Features and benefits are only good as the return they generate, but in many cases, the effort spent in the initial plans can lead to large returns at the end. Make each inclusion worth it.
Approvals and objections
Negotiations with councils, and/or objectors, can be very costly and time consuming. Often a development approval permit may take up to 12 months to acquire. Sourcing pre-approved sites is an easy way to save time, frustration and increase your return.
A pre-purchase feasibility study is critical before any offer can be submitted. There needs to be an understanding of how much the project will cost, if it meets the borrowing capabilities and if the projected return makes this development viable.
While long, this is often considered the most important step of the entire property development process. Those that can accurately plan for all realised and potential costs of the project, serve the best chance at success. As Abraham Lincoln put forward – Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening my axe.
Assembling the Right Team
Whether it is yourself, or a property development company, an experienced project manager is an important aspect of any undertaking. A truly great leader is decisive and solution oriented; there are inevitably going to be a few road blocks that need to be dealt with intelligently and timely to keep costs down.
Skilled leaders are also great communicators. Do they ask the right questions from the beginning and seek to understand all unique aspects? Are they transparent with their previous and current projects? Are they accessible and quick to respond?
The Right Team
When assembling his own team, Property Developer, Campbell McLeod of Base Group, looks at quality over quantity - “architects, planners, accountants, lawyers... have all got certain areas of expertise that suit certain areas, projects and even people… so we would rather cherry pick and get the right teams together”.
Strong, long-held relationships with quality vendors allow property development companies to negotiate the best prices while maintaining quality. Each project is different and has unique requirements. The right team formed at the beginning can make the entire process more time and cost efficient.
Plan for success
It may sound obvious, or a little bit cliché, but only in planning the right foundations can you build success. The best property developments are orchestrated by experienced, detail oriented teams that can plan strategically and execute efficiently. Good property developments make a profit; great ones lift the entire portfolio.