Being a Property Developer is a fantastic job and career to be involved with. It tests and challenges a whole range of skills providing a hugely rewarding journey from start to finish. The reasons for being a property developer will be different for everyone. Some of us go the more traditional route of higher education followed by a corporate career, whereas others will do this part time to provide a second income or support a better lifestyle.
The beauty of property is that the barriers of entry are extremely low. Provided you can find a site and put together finance for a project, then anyone can become a property developer. We don’t need any formal training and it’s something which we can do part-time.
However, this does also lead to the potential of lots of mistakes through inexperience and property usually involves large sums of money, which can be disastrous. Like any other industry, the success of being a property developer needs to be learnt and mastered.
Success does not happen overnight.
It doesn’t matter what route you take to become a property developer, there are some fundamental do’s and don’ts for all of us who want to make a success out of a property development business, and be a profitable developer.
Within this article, I will share with you my favourite top five tips for being a property developer and to help you on your journey. Hopefully, this will also help you avoid making the most common mistakes new developers make.
Proven Tips for Being a Property Developer:
Tip 1 – Educate Yourself:
You would never try to drive a car without first learning how to do so..!
Being a property developer is the same
Everyone who wants to get into property and be a property developer will benefit from educating themselves to provide a baseline of knowledge from which you can work from. There are some core concepts and ideas which have never changed throughout the years of property investment and development. These are fundamental to know, and spending money on yourself through education is a wise idea.
I personally do not care where or who you learn from. You can join my PLP Academy which provides an online learning platform with a community to support you. You can do a weekend masterclass or you can go to University.
Don’t take on too much risk by not learning the basics… its to dangerous in my view.
Also remember this… ACT on your education. Put it to good use and turn the theory into experience.
Tip 2 – Your Project Team
When you are new to anything, you want to learn from the people who have done it before.
This is especially true within property development.
Part of being a property developer will involve a huge range of tasks and skills, and it is unreasonable for us to think that we can master everything. With that in mind, the clever property developer will surround themselves by a good quality and experienced team who can help and guide the process.
All new developers will benefit from employing an experienced architect, planning consultant and project manager as a minimum for every project they do.
Tip 3 – Know Your Numbers
Arguably, the most important aspects of being successful property developer is to control and know your numbers. Property development involves huge amounts of money and in most projects we do not see any return until the very end, which can be years down the line.
Therefore, we need to have an idea of development appraisals, cash flows, how to track spending and how to set budgets. Being a successful property developer will mean spending a lot of time in Excel running financial models. It may not be glamorous, but this is where the profits made.
For me, there are simply no excuses for not knowing your numbers.
Tip 4 – Understand Your Market
A common mistake many new and experienced developers make is to build a product which is not suited for the market that they are operating within. A classic example of this is building small flats in an area which is popular for families where small to medium size houses are in demand.
This may seem obvious, but we must build what the market wants, not what we think the market wants. Market research is critical.
By building and providing what the market demands means we are optimising our developments and giving ourselves the best chance for success.
Tip 5 – Networking
Property development is an industry which relies on people and relationships. Part of being a property developer involves working with people we get on with and doing deals with people we like. Networking, whether we love it or hate it, is a necessary action for success within property.
Countless opportunities will emerge from people we have met along the property journey. From my own point of view, nearly 90% of the projects I currently work on have happened because I’ve connected with someone through a networking opportunity. Without putting myself out there and meeting these people, the opportunities would not be there.
So get out there, spread your property message and meet as many people as you can. You will be amazed at the doors which open.
Final Thoughts on Being a Property Developer:
So there you have five excellent tips to take on board your thinking about your property development business and what it is like being a property developer.
These tips have come from years of experience working for some the biggest property developers in the UK. I now run my own successful and profitable property development business which has given me the opportunity to open up a hugely exciting online education resource, the PLP Academy.
If you want any more details about property development, how to make your business a success head over to my website I have lots of free articles, training, tools and downloads.
All the best,