Many people skip this first step – which is understanding why are you doing this. You may be surprised at the different reasons people are doing it for. Most people, when they start their first development they think about knocking it down, build a few, sell one, and keep the others. Some have clear expectations whilst others don’t. Some prefer a particular style of design whilst others more focus on the yield and size.
Understanding the objective of development is critical because there are many ways to do a development on a parcel of land and it is important that the end product fits the clients needs. We help you understand your needs (surprisingly some clients don’t really know what they want until we guide them to think about it) and help develop a product that fits your requirements.
This step is applicable to most professional developers. Novice first timers usually start with their own home site. Acquisition is probably one of the most important steps in a development process. It is often said that 70% of your profit range is secured at the acquisition stage. The land itself is probably the only component that cannot be changed during a development process. You can do a different design, use a different builder, or use different sales techniques but you can’t change a site’s location and orientation!
The price is also important but in a good market environment the price is usually set by competition (like now) so there’s minimal room for price negotiation. Getting the right advice at the acquisition stage will help you understand the potential and constraints of the site so you know what you’re buying into. A carefully done due diligence study usually means there’s minimal unpleasant surprises further down the track.
3. Town Planning
This is probably one of the most mysterious component of the process. Our in-house planner often mentions when she was still a government town planner how residents just go to Council and want to get a straight answer as to if the land can be subdivided into two or three. Well the true, and the most responsible answer is, it depends on the site conditions, restrictions on title, the design, and who’s making the decision.
Most residential planning guidance policies and requirements are not black and white. There is room for discussion and negotiation. Some Councils can be quite rigid whilst others can have a more co-operative approach. And sadly planning decisions are not always consistent – this is probably not surprising as it’s the people and not the computers who are making the decisions!
But doing the planning part right could save you lots and lots of money. We see the full potential and constraints of a site and help our customers understand it. We have accepted jobs where we think we can fit one more dwelling than they expected. We have also turned down jobs where we’re certain the constraints of the planning restrictions are too great. People have to understand just because the land is bigger it doesn’t mean you can build more! We have dealt with sites that are 280sqm and can fit 3 townhouses and also 900sqm parcels that could only get one dwelling built. Why? Because the planning objective and policies are different.
4. Working Drawing
Once you have a planning permit we then move on to the technical side of things – getting drawings ready for construction. There are many drafting companies out there so what are the differences. We believe the most important step during the working drawing stage is getting the interior design done correctly. Let’s face it. Australia is not particularly big on home decoration and interior design by international standards. There are plenty of ordinary, if not ugly, houses and townhouses that were built and continued to be built in our suburbs. This is why whenever there’s a house that’s got tasteful detailing and decor people pay big bucks for it – because they’re so rare here in Australia.
Things such as bathroom layout design, floor finishes, and lighting design are the critical part of working drawings finalisation and these cannot be easily changed once construction is underway.
It is not as simple as just comparing the prices! What are the inclusions and exclusions? What are the builders’ experience like? What are their workloads like? Who will be the main contact person? Can you communicate with them easily? Have they got references?
Remember you’ll be stuck with them for a year or even longer. You need someone you could work with! We have a panel of builders we recommend and worked with in the past. We know the differences between good and not so good builders and hope you don’t need to learn it the hard way.
This is a process that drags for a year or longer, involving tens if not hundreds of people, early morning phone calls, things that had gone wrong, and liaison between different parties, authorities, and tradespeople. If you are inexperienced this could end up being a nightmare. Our professional project managers oversee the whole process and report back to you to save you from the never-ending paperwork and phone calls.
The most exciting stage of a development – seeing the end product. If everything had been planned well you would quickly move onto finalising sale/leasing or moving in. You should never leave a house/townhouse/unit vacant for too long. There is risk with break-ins, voiding insurances, and vandalism. Get them occupied and start enjoying the products.
Whenever we manage a project clients can fully enjoy the financial benefits of a development without the headache and they will quickly think about the next project when the first one is finished. Talk to us today and get started in property development !