Escaping the drudgery of a 9-to-5 job and becoming your own boss by developing residential property is the dream of many.
Rather than assisting in the growth of someone else’s business, why not pursue your own wealth-creation goals.
Though risks are high in real estate development, so too are rewards. There are thousands of success stories out there, and mine is one of them.
You could be a successful property developer and earn millions of dollars by working on the right strategies.
Start your journey by understanding the comprehensive property development process.
Property Development Process are a series of steps that property developers taken in order to find, stack and execute a property development project.
An effective Property development process would include detailed steps that take you from the very first task of finding a development sites, conduction due diligence and financial feasibility on the project, and all the way to completing your property development project.
Let’s look at the complete property development process aka real estate development process and all the steps that should be part of a property development course for beginners.
Let me show you the complete property development process, that I teach in detail in my property development course I have packaged into a process driven Property Development System.
Conventional property development process dictates that there are only 5 stages in property development process.
However, from my own experience I have found that a complete property development process has lot more steps that are required to be completed in order to deliver a profitable property development project on time and under budget.
A developer must have a clear understanding of all the steps involved in the property development process. There are over 10 phases in a “process-driven” Property Development System.
Stage 1 – Vision
Stage 2 – Concept
Stage 3 – Consultants
Stage 4 – Construction
Stage 5 – Completion
The above are the 5 stages of property development process, as taught by most property gurus. I know this because that’s what I was taught as well. However, when I actually got into doing property development, I figured that there are so many different moving parts between these 5 stages of property development.
Considering only these 5 stages will be like talking about WHAT TO DO, rather than HOW TO DO property development.
Let me explain in the Real Estate Development Process video below:
You start the real estate development process with a vision…
you develop a concept of what you’re going to develop…
you hire the right property development team…
you get the right property professionals…
you get accurate reports…
and then you contract out the construction to a builder to construct the development for you.
Feels like a lot of work?
Yes, it is!
However, with the proper training and decisions, it can be a profitable endeavour.
Once your development project is complete, you either sell the ones you’ve developed or hold them for long-term investment.
That’s all fine, but for someone new getting into property development and thinking that it’s as easy as this, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I think that would be unfair to the beginners entering the property development industry.
However, it would be a lot better if you could see the complete picture before getting into the project or property development.
A term called ‘event sequence model’ means a simplified approach to property development that envisions a timetable from inception to completion comprising several stages shown above.
All I’m trying to do in the video above is to show you what the complete property development process looks like in its entirety.
There is no hard and fast rule that you must follow the method in the same order as described above. Activities can run in parallel or be arranged to fit the needs of the project.
For example, marketing may begin early if the developer wishes to achieve advanced sales off-plan or pre-lets. You must go through the process of becoming a property developer to make the best decision.
I have put together many courses in property development in various bite sizes, which I collectively call my Property Development System.
I have developed these property development courses over the last few years of doing developments, reading books, going to seminars and of course documenting each & every step over the course of all my property development projects that I’ve done personally with my own money.
Here is the complete property development process that I know and teach in detail in course. The image below shows a break down of conventional process into further details stages or phases of property development. Without these extra stages your property development process is incomplete.
Before I get into where you begin, due diligence and feasibility are part of the vision and concept.
I’ve broken it down into further steps that you can take as you go along.
I think the most important thing for any property developer is to be able to main the right mindset, and if you haven’t got the right mindset, you’ll quit halfway through, and you end up wasting your money, wasting your time, and I don’t want you to do that.
You must have the right mindset to be able to go through The Complete Property / Real Estate Development Process.
I say complete because you will get caught out if you skip the property development phases or stages.
There are people who are winners, and there’re people who are losers, but there are also people who haven’t learned how to win yet.
You can’t categorize them into winners and losers, as black and white. They’re people who have that greatness within themselves, and all they need is the right system , all they need is the right education , all they need is somebody holding their hand and telling them what needs to be done, and they’ll go out and do it.
You’ve got to make sure that you identify yourself with what kind of person you are. If you are that person who wants to learn and get ahead, then your must invest your time in learning property development the right way.
There is a saying…
Circumstances don’t make a man, they only reveal him to himself.
This quote is appropriate for property development because once you get into a development project, that project will reveal you to yourself. There are so many decisions that you’ll have to make.
There could be times when you won’t be 100% clear about what will happen or what will not happen.
What I mean here is compared to a 9 to 5 job, where you go to a job from 9 to 5, and no matter what you do there, you know that you will get the same pay cheque in your bank account next month. There’s a degree of certainty.
In property development, there’s a fair bit of uncertainty. I embrace it because that keeps me on my toes and keeps me sharp, and keeps me from slacking off. A lot of people don’t like that.
If you are one of those people who craves certainty, so you know what’s going to happen next month, then property development is not going to be a good fit for you.
However, if you can embrace a bit of uncertainty, you can pull your socks up and say, “I’m going to do this no matter what happens” , - then you can do exceptionally well in property development.
Suppose you are willing to spend the extra time required to get educated property development and get an excellent understanding of property development.
In that case, there is nothing that will stop you from becoming a property developer. My property development course has everything that you need to become a property developer. If you are starting, start with a short property development course.
It’s up to you, but make your mind and ask yourself how do you see yourself. If you don’t have confidence in your knowledge about property development, you will struggle in this industry.
There’s a lot of things that you have to assume and allow for before you get into a property project. When you’re in a job, yes, there is a lot of uncertainty that you deal with. However, that uncertainty or the consequences are borne by the company and not by you.
In other words, if things go wrong, they don’t hit your back pocket; they hit the back pocket of the company you work for.
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to take that responsibility or do that, I would not worry about watching the rest of the videos in this article. You will need to find something that suits your personality.
On the other hand, if you are willing to take action…
if you are the kind of person, who can take on challenges…
if you’re the kind of person who can troubleshoot…
if you’re the kind of person, who is resourceful…
I would say property development can be the most lucrative field for you compared to any other field. Make sure you’ve got that right mindset.
There are a few things that come before having a vision for your site. And that is actually finding the right site for your first development project.
What is more important is to be able to get an understanding of the complete property development process.
Understanding of property market signals that give you the pulse of the market is very important. There are a lot of things that you can do when you hear these signals in the media, and this is what will separate you from other property developers.
Because understanding these signals about the property cycle helps you make better decisions when selecting your first site for your first development.
For you to be able to get to your vision and concept stage, you got to do full scale due diligence on a property. Which is basically determining highest based possible use, which is your vision. What it does is it gives you the ability to determine how many townhouses that you can put on a block of land or how many apartments you can put on a block of land and so on.
How do you actually select the site? This stage, deals with understanding town planning zonings and overlays. The next step is collect data and analyze all this data about your site so that you can make an informed decision.
Spatial Analysis is basically you looking at your suburb from a birds eye view and understanding how it sits with respect to all the other properties that surround it.
In my property development course, I teach you how to plot all your sales data on maps so you can see what they look like and also determine the end value of your townhouses, apartments or units that you are going to develop. It’s very similar to what the property or real estate valuers do.
I follow the same system, I get all relevant sales data and I plot it all there and I look for evidence that helps me support my decision of whether I’ll be able to sell my townhouses for say, 600K once they are complete.
My decision is based on actual facts, things like finding evidence that tells me yes, because 2 blocks from my target site, there were townhouses which were 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom that sold for 600K.
That’s only about 700 meters from my development site. Then I figure out, whether or not this is achievable. Exercises like these, help me solidifying my assumptions and having a visual view of what it looks like, gives a totally different perspective.
When you’re a developer you don’t go out and keep doing a full scale financial feasibility on every residential property development project that comes on your table. It’s counter productive.
You want to have mechanisms in place where you can quickly conduct a 2 minute feasibility on a project to be able to determine whether or not it is worth your while to proceed from this point on.
Things like reading architectural drawings. I got this module in the course because when I started, I couldn’t read the drawings and I had to look at them and scratch my head?
Over a period of time, you get an understanding of the different architectural symbols that are used on drawings.
Due Diligence Checklist And Risk Management.
This is all part of due diligence which unless you go through all the previous steps about actually finding the site for your development project & due diligence you won’t be able to develop your vision and concept, because these 2 Stages will actually answer all your questions so you can develop the vision and concept for your development.
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Financial feasibility is the corner stone of property development. very important.
Before a project starts, I do 2 sorts of financial feasibilities. I’ve designed a Smart Feasibility Calculator I use 90% of the time to vet a project in under two minutes.
And I have an advanced Property Development Feasibility Study - Software, I use to do a full-scale feasibility on a project.
The Smart Feasibility Calculator gives me an overview of the property development profit with 80% accuracy - giving me enough information to make an informed decision.
Vetting a project quickly to determine the property development profit quickly, is an important step towards completing the VISION STAGE of property development process.
The next stage in the conventional property development process is consultants i.e. your property development team or property professionals who help you with all sorts of building and construction permits, reports and drawings.
But hang on, there’s a lot of stuff involved with understanding finance and being able to purchase development site.
So, let me explain you a few things before you even get to the consultants. You’ve got to first be able to sort your finances.
As part of sorting out your finances, it is important that you do a financial feasibility analysis. Conducting a feasibility will help you answer two crucial questions:
- How much money can you borrow? and
- How much do you need to do your first development? aka Developer’s Equity Contributions.
If you’ve done your feasibility right, you should know exactly how much money will you need to chip in from your own pocket, to complete your first property development project.
Development finance also works in different stages. There are different kinds of loans, and there are so many lenders in the market.
So it is imperative that you have a good understanding of what are these lenders looking for? The kind of loan that you can get and the serviceability requirements.
Land Finance to settle on the block of land or development site that you wish to develop. This usually occurs, either after you have signed a contract of sale or have already purchased or settled on the land.
Now is the time, that you engage your property development team to being the planning process.
Construction loan is usually a commercial loan & is not dependent up on your serviceability alone.
Finalise stage of development finance is, the post completion finance required after the construction is complete.
Post completion, you can refinance and hold a couple of apartments or a townhouse that you’ve just developed and acquired at cost.
Maybe you’ve sold four of them and you’ve held two, and all that has to be refinanced back into a retail loan.
This understanding is required prior to getting into your development project. So that know what’s going to happen when you reach the construction stage and what’s going to happen when you reach completion, specially, if you’re planning to hold the development that you’re developing.
When it comes to valuations, you also need to understand why getting a favorable valuation is essential? The different types of valuations, how to get a fair valuation, understand the various valuation methods, and what the valuer looks for? You can also get desktop valuations from multiple free and paid sources.
The property development valuation consists of 5 different methods. That are -
- The investment method;
- The comparative method;
- The contractor’s test (a cost-based way)
- The profits method
- The residual method.
Among all these, the most important one is residual valuation, which you will use to calculate your commercial development project’s gross realization value (GRV) or gross development value (GDV).
The property development process usually involves the development of new buildings. Thus you will be evaluating the value of your development in a residual appraisal.
It is a well-known property appraisal method for determining the viability of development ideas. With this method, it is simple to calculate the increased capital value of the land as a result of the projected development.
Let’s do some math…
The completed gross development value (GDV or GRV) of a project is the starting point for the residual valuation. Let’s understand this with an example of GRV $10 million.
After deducting the costs, which include the developer’s profit, the land value is determined.
The overall costs in the case below are $5 million, which is subtracted from the GDV to leave a residual sum of $3.5 million for the land.
Both sides of the equation appear to be in balance, and the developer seems to have made a wise decision in purchasing the site for $3.5 million. In this scenario, it is estimated that the development will take two years to finish and sell.
If you want to master the complete property development process with more such real-life scenarios, subscribe to any of my property developer courses. I guarantee you will never regret your decision.
The basic formula for residual value reflects the fact that land is typically the unknown residual element:
GDV – (building costs + profit margin) = land value
If the land value is known, then there is a change in the residual equation to calculate the profit margin:
GDV – (building costs + land value) = profit margin
With Site Acquisitions comes a requirement to understand the best structures that you need for your development.
Get the right advice from your accountant before deciding on the type of structure you will use for the development, often referred to as the development entity.
Make sure that you get a good understanding of what’s involved based on your long term plan after the development is complete.
If you don’t know your long-term plan after the development is complete, you might end up with a structure that will not help you save tax or help you with asset protection.
I would suggest that you go and talk to your accountant and make sure that you’ve got asset protection built into it and have an appropriate structure that can help you minimize tax legally.
Negotiations are a very big part when you’re purchasing the site. It could be negotiating the price, it could be negotiating the terms, it could be negotiating the time that you require for settlement which is basically part of the terms and special terms and conditions that become part of your contract of sale.
So you have to prepare for these negotiations. You’ve got to develop your responses to all different scenarios. You must understand how to negotiate in a hot market as well as how to negotiate in a down market.
As part of my property development course, you also get my Negotiate for Advantage course in property negotiations.
Consultants - which is stage 3, as per the conventional property development process, get activated now, after you have secured the development land or site that you are going to develop.
You need to leverage off your property development team to obtain permits & all sorts of approvals from government bodies, councils and or industry watch dogs.
Construction is a complicated industry with lots of rules, regulations and compliance. Leveraging off of specialized consultants is the only way you will be able to complete your development.
For this, you need to understand different stakeholders and their roles in the property development process.
How To Finance Your Property Development Project?
And Other Books On Real Estate Development Finance
Includes 5 x detailed eBooks
✓ Property Development Finance: Easily Finance Your Project? (26 Pages)
✓ 10 Big (Financial) Property Investing Mistakes Made By Investors (58 Pages)
✓ 10 Finance Options For Your Next Property Development Project (29 Pages)
✓ What Is Equity Finance And How Does It Work? (42 Pages)
✓ Property Investment Finance - Ultimate Guide
No two developments are the same, and thus there is always an involvement of a range of professionals or stakeholders in the real estate development process.
The term “stakeholders” in the real estate development process refers to anyone interested in a project and can influence its success.
It is a person or persons who impact the property development process or are affected by it. The role these property development professionals play will be different each time.
The "stakeholder map" below depicts the type of stakeholders and their involvement in the property development process.
The Property developer here could be a trade property developer or an investor property developer. You could be one by signing in for my FREE Property Development Course Online.
The professional team of a property developer can vary depending on the type of real estate development.
Still, in an extensive commercial or residential development, the core professional team would typically include a project manager, an architect, quantity surveyor, valuer, planning consultant, construction manager, structural engineer, services engineer, landscape architect, and possibly a highways consultant.
I have revealed the secret of becoming a property developer in just 10 easy steps in my blog.
Local people, businesses, and organizations will tend to generate opinions on any significant development ideas, and they will voice their concerns to the local government during the planning consultation phase.
Local opposition to eco-town plans, wind farms, and airport expansions demonstrates that local opposition is alive.
While local opposition does not necessarily result in a proposal being rejected by the local government, it might force developers to reconsider or relent on certain scheme features.
So, that was all about the stakeholders and property development team. Scroll down and explore the remaining stages of a property development process.
Local planning authorities in the United Kingdom and other nations have many ‘hats’ to wear in real estate development.
Any country’s LPA has policies in place that it uses to negotiate with developers to create a policy complaint scheme. LPAs frequently arrange planning agreements with property developers to establish ‘planning obligations.’
In addition, the LPA has a legal obligation to consider objections and explain the weight attributed to them in the decision-making process.
When a project is speculative, the client’s concept becomes imaginary. In such a case, I recommend constructing a building with the broadest potential market appeal, visually appealing, and located in a popular area.
When a client, such as a landowner, a government agency, a business person, or a funding institution, is involved, the real estate developer will work on a more detailed brief.
When development is challenging and entails a certain amount of risk, specialized development partners may be required. The involvement of development partners is most common in the redevelopment of brownfield sites.
Your development partners could be engineers, regeneration agencies, housing associations, mentors, and sometimes the landowner. Development in partnership has the potential to spread the risk between parties.
For the ultimate success of your real estate development projects, I have created personalized mentoring programs. Take this 360-degree program to put together your first deal in a profitable way.
Property development is funded either by banks or financial institutions (funds and insurance companies).
After assessing the risks involved in the real estate project, banks usually give short-term financing to the developer. It could be reflected in the interest rate charged by the bank.
In the worst-case scenario, a bank would consider its own exit strategy if it had to take possession of a site because a developer had defaulted on a loan.
A fund might employ a developer as a project manager to oversee the development of a property it has purchased.
In certain situations, a financial institution will have significant control over a developer, who may have to accept a smaller profit margin in exchange for the certainty offered by an institution’s involvement.
Take a smart move and switch to a no-money-down property development project with me.
The contractor is responsible for the building’s construction and may hire subcontractors. For large projects, twenty to thirty subcontractors may be involved whose contributions are coordinated by the main contractor or project manager.
The procurement process and the type of building contract used will determine the relationship between the main contractor and developer.
In some cases, the developer could be the landowner also. While in a town centre retail scheme, the local authority could be the landowner.
Landowners may have agreed to enter into property option and conditional sales agreements with developers, in which the developer undertakes to execute the work involved in obtaining planning consent.
My Secret Property Development Process [Part 2-2]