10 Professionals That You Need to Consult as a Property Developer
The quality of your team has a huge effect on the success of your development projects. DG Institute founder, Dominique Grubisa highlights the 10 professionals that you need in your property development team.
You’ve found a site that has development potential. You have some ideas about what you want to do with it and you’re tempted to rush right into the purchase.
But hold your horses for a moment.
The property development process is a long and arduous one. And no developer has all of the skills necessary for it alone. You’re going to need to build a strong team if you’re to have any hope of achieving property development success.
The right team can help you to avoid the costly mistakes that trap other developers into money pits that they can’t escape from. These are the 10 professionals you need to work with to grow that all-important profit margin.
Professional #1 – Property Accountant
We say property accountant here because it’s crucial that you work with somebody who has experience with property. A regular accountant may not understand the industry well enough to help you to reach your goals.
A good accountant can help you to understand the various tax claims you can make during the development. They’ll also help you to put together all of the documents you need to find a good loan for the development.
Finally, your accountant will work alongside your lawyer to help you to protect your assets.
Speaking of which…
Professional #2 – Property Lawyer
Your property lawyers will help you to create the investment structures necessary to protect your assets. For example, they may help you to set up a company structure to invest through. This means the asset isn’t in your name, which protects it from any personal financial liabilities you may incur.
Your lawyers will also help you to comply with any legal requirements that relate to your development. Plus, you have issues of conveyancing and contracts to deal with, especially once you’ve completed development.
Again, your lawyers come into play to help you to handle all of the relevant paperwork.
Professional #3 – Finance Strategist
A finance strategist plays a very different role to an accountant. Where the latter looks at the big picture and focuses mostly on tax, a strategist digs into the figures for the development itself.
That means they look at all of the stages of property development. Your strategist will analyse your expected expenses and calculate potential profits. They’ll also help you to work within your current income.
They’ll help you to create a financially-sound strategy that ensures you stay afloat if something goes wrong.
Professional #4 – Mortgage Advisor/Broker
As an article on Strata Data puts it:
“How you finance your project determines whether your project will be profitable, so you’ll need to answer this question in the earliest stages of planning.”
The issue is that financing a development project is more complicated that financing a property investment. You’re not buying an established property that the lender can examine. Instead, you’re buying a development site, which means you need to convince lenders of the potential for profit.
A good mortgage advisor can help you to locate specialist lenders to finance the project. They’ll also work in your best interests to ensure you get the right loan.
Professional #5 – Architect and Engineers
We’ve grouped these two sets of professionals together because they play similar roles in the process.
Your architect will help you to create all of the designs for your project. Often, you’ll lean on them to understand what’s possible with the development. Plus, they’ll play a key role in the development approval process.
The same goes for the various engineers that you’ll consult. Each will help you to create a compliant design that’s more likely to receive approval. You may work with all of the following as part of the development:
- Land surveyors
- Geotechnical engineers
- Civil engineers
- Structural engineers
- Fire engineers
- Hydraulic engineers
Professional #6 – Town Planner Consultant
The larger the development, the harder it is to gain approval. Large developments tend to have wider-reaching effects on the local town, which means the council’s going to get involved.
A town planner has the responsibility of ensuring your development fits with the local area and infrastructure. As a result, consulting the relevant planner early can help you to gain approval.
As Bryce Yardney of Property Update puts it:
“<Consulting a town planner> is useful because they know the process and understand how the process works from the other side of the counter.”
Regular consultation with a town planner will help you to create a strong development application. This means a higher chance of getting approval with fewer delays.
Professional #7 – Market Analysts
You have to know the state of the local property market before you begin a development.
Is there enough demand for new types of residential property? If so, what types of property is the market attracted to? What are the local population demographics and what are they looking for in terms of location and property features?
These are all questions that a market analyst can help you to answer. You need to bring this professional on board at the due diligence stage. This will ensure you don’t pour money into a project that ends up going nowhere.
Professional #8 – Property Development Manager
These professionals often serve as the bridge between your design team and your construction crew. However, they’re also responsible for ensuring the development gets completed on-time and within budget.
You can think of them as the liaison between all of the other professionals that you work with. They’re vital if you intend to work on several developments at the same time.
Professional #9 – Construction Contractors
These are the people who’ll turn your vision into a reality. The key here is that you work with builders who have an established reputation for delivering quality work.
Often, you’ll find suitable candidates thanks to developing a network of fellow property developers. That’s what Kay Streeter discovered with DG Institute. She worked on a joint venture project with an established builder:
“I was the money partner and he’s a builder and an interior decorator, so they did all the work. It was very successful. It was sort of a record price for the area so, yeah, it was really good.”
Professional #10 – Real Estate Agents
You’ll work with estate agents both when buying your site and when you attempt to sell the completed development.
A good buyer’s agent can provide important market data. Plus, they may help you to negotiate a better price for the site, which improves your profit margin.
When selling, you ideally want to work with an agent who can convince buyers to pre purchase. This means that they buy before you complete construction. The more early buyers you can secure, the easier it is to manage the cash flow of your project.
That means you’re looking for agents who are strong marketers and have experience with development projects.
Build Your Team Today
Every member of your team has a key role to play. The most successful property developers realise this. That’s why they put so much time and effort into building a team of consultants.
The guidance that your team provides will help you to create a compliant building that meets market demand.
And at DG Institute, we can help you to understand more about property development. Plus, we can introduce you to a community of like-minded people.
If you’re interested in learning more about property investment and profiting from distressed property, join the upcoming Real Estate Rescue webinar with Dominique Grubisa.
Lawyer, Asset Protection Specialist and Property Educator
Dominique Grubisa is a practising legal practitioner with over 22 years of legal and commercial experience. She is a property investor and developer, an entrepreneur with businesses in Australia and Southeast Asia, a speaker, educator, writer and published author. You may contact Dominique at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column has been written for general information purposes only. It is not intended as legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such.