Many people aspire to create wealth and freedom through property development. However, for many, success is often hard to come by. The Urban Developer is passionate about education, so we've done some digging and asking to investigate the six important personalities that contribute to success in property development.
The Problem Solver
There is probably no other profession that is as complex as property development.
When you consider the number of moving parts – design, town planning, construction, sales and marketing, legal agreements and funding, just to name a few – there is no doubting that the property developer is a jack of all trades.
Every property developer is a problem solver.
The ability to identify a problem, understand the moving parts, determine the best course of action to find the solution, and then leverage the skills of experts and consultants to respond to it, is a skill that bodes well for success in property development (and life, for the matter!).
The Quick Learner
The lesson of life is a constant learning exercise and property development resembles this in every way.
Every facet of the development process warrants a deep and thorough understanding commensurate with a PHD, however time is not on your side in this respect.
Property developers need to be quick learners. You need to get to the bottom of complex problems quickly whilst avoiding glossing over the important details.
For example, you often don’t think a developer needs to be a geologist. However, you will learn very quickly that without a thorough understanding of ground conditions (e.g. what’s in the ground), your construction costs can quickly explode when you hit rock digging a basement!
The Conductor of the Orchestra
The property developer is the orchestra conductor when it comes to leading and managing a project team.
For even a small development project, the project team can number in the dozens.
Architects, town planners, builders, bankers and sales agents all require a clearly defined brief with key dates, performance targets and incentive structures.
And most importantly, a good property developer will communicate the opportunities and challenges effectively and consistently with the project team to ensure the outcomes are achieved on-time and on-budget.
The Numbers Guru
The finances of a development are at the core of its success.
No matter how beautiful your development project is, it won’t get off the ground and succeed unless the numbers stack up.
Property developers need to know the numbers. This doesn’t simply mean just the profit, but rather all of the numbers that contribute to the bottom line.
How many taps in the development? What is the cost per square metre of gross building area (GBA)? What is your revenue per square metre of Net Saleable Area (NSA)? How many cubic metres of concrete in the development? What is the cost per square metre of tiles?You get the message. There is no detail too small when it comes to being a property developer.
The Frustrated Architect (aka the Design Guru)
You seldom meet a property developer that doesn’t think they’re an architect deep down. This is not entirely a bad thing.
When you undertake a development project, you inject so much of your personal flavour into it. Whether you like it or not, there is a lot of YOU in your project, which is why many property developers get so personally attached to a project.
Buying a site, engaging a design team, providing a design brief and then seeing the fruits of your labour come to fruition is one of the most satisfying feelings in the job.
As a property developer, it is critical that you involve yourself closely in the design. Think slowly and logically about the layout of the living areas, select the fixtures and fittings, push the design team to reimagine products and finishes, and create an environment where design innovation can flourish.
The Travelling Sales(wo)man
Once you take the leap and secure your first development, the sales process begins – and we’re not just talking about your real estate.
Firstly, you can’t sell a secret, so inform your community – friends, family, colleagues, industry associations, etc.
There’s an old Sicilian saying that ‘the fish rots from the head.’ This could not be more true than for a property developer and her team. If you’re anything but positive and confident about the fate of your project, then this will filter through your team and infect their culture and success.
Start with a vision and share it your team. Ultimately, your vision will become their vision and they will sell your success to the marketplace.