Property developers startup tips

Business Plan – ensure your business plan meets the specific needs of your business. The plan’s marketing, financial and operational requirements must be specifically tuned for your business success. Research and ask questions. You need to learn from mistakes others have made in addition to your own.

Operations Strategy – Decide if you are going to be the building contractor or you will be subcontracting this service out. If you have building construction experience, that’s perfect but always ensure you maintain the relevant CIDB grading for the relevant project value. If you are not going to be the builder, you are going to have to hire in the relevant skill. Richard Branson always says – if you want the best job done, hire the best manager.

Run a Feasibility – before you purchase any land always run a feasibility. Attain current property sale prices from local estate agents or websites that show you the property transfer values in the area. Speak to a Quantity Surveyor and ensure your estimated construction rates are current and accurate. Don’t undersell your property. Vat might be recoverable but losses maynot.

Consider current Building regs – Note that compliance with current SANS 10-400 building regs can very easily burn a whole in you pocket. The energy management requirements on your building will require specific, lighting, insulation and glazing requirements. Note that its illegal to be building without local authority approval. Always stick to the approved building plan – deviations will prevent you from attaining an occupancy certificate from the local building inspector which will delay ypour sale and payment.

Land Acquisition – never buy land without first ensuring that the land you are buying is zoned for the intended building typology – get a zoning certificate from the local council to confirm this. Also have a conveyancer assess the title deed for development restrictions most lay people will overlook. Also contact the relevant authorities to establish that there are no land claims on the site you intend purchasing.

Financial Support – if you don’t have enough cash saved up, monetary support often comes in the form of a development bond or business loan. Note that a reasonable surety will be required in both instances. Backing from Venture Capitalists is also an option for consideration today.

Sales and Marketing – Only hire sales agents with proven sale track records. Never sign a mandate for more than a month at a time as not all that glitters is gold. Sales off plan require a deposits and an in principal bond approval before a bank will deem the sale conclusive. Also keep in mind that a building site with some ongoing activity will get more attention from buyers than vacant site unoccupied site.