Property development can be a complicated and arduous process. Some projects require nothing more than a few coats of paint and some finishing touches, whilst others require a complete refurbishment. Taking on your first property development project is a big step and one that will require a serious time and financial commitment. Chances are that you’ll be hiring the services of professional tradespeople where needed and managing the project yourself, as well as completing any simpler tasks. In this article, we’ll explore some of the more common mistakes that you should look to avoid in your role as Project Manager.
You should always keep the end goal in sight, particularly if you’re planning on selling or letting the property once you are finished. This includes remembering what your target market is and what sort of features or finish your ideal buyer would prefer in a property. Factors such as the location, size and type of property will ultimately determine your target market – whether it be young professionals looking for a flat or families looking for a family home. Having a clear buyer in mind will help to guide your property development and ensure money isn’t being wasted where it doesn’t add value.
Timelines are essential in the property development process. They help you to plan when certain parts of the project will be started and completed, so you can book tradespeople and order materials in advance. It’s easy to underestimate the time required to complete basic tasks, let alone more complicated jobs. It’s always recommended that you overestimate rather than under because being in front of schedule is much better than being behind.
Money is a vital part of any property development. Thorough budgeting, planning and tracking of your spending are very important to ensure that you don’t over-spend and risk the whole project. Again, it’s better to overestimate rather than underestimate to avoid any financial scares down the line. As the old saying goes, if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves! Track every penny spent, whether it be on bathroom tiles, tools or hi vis clothing for the worksite, and keep on top of your budgeting at every stage of the development.
Something that is done in all areas of life is favouring lower costs over quality and value. This is a negative and potentially damaging mindset to get in, especially when it comes to property development. Both in terms of materials and tradespeople, paying less for something doesn’t always mean it’s going to be better value. Take paint, for example – cheaper paints will require more coats to give a quality finish, whereas a premium paint may only take one or two coats before looking how you imagined. The same goes for tradespeople – those offering lower rates may take longer and do a worse job than someone charging a bit more. It’s about finding balance and long-term value!