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Why your property development needs a project manager

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Project Manager Female

Does your property development project need a project manager? 

This type of expert acts to coordinate the many moving parts of a new development or build. They are worth the investment as they can save a lot of things from going wrong, look at the big picture while paying attention to the finer details and take a great deal of stress away from you as the developer. 

Project managers: A property developer’s secret weapon

Even experienced property developers hit stumbling blocks when they try to coordinate all the moving parts of a project themselves. 

When you are liaising with a lot of people but don’t have specific project experience, things can quickly become overwhelming. Details fall through the cracks and you end up going dramatically over time and budget because of all the moving parts which need to be coordinated. Despite your best efforts, you may end up with properties which aren’t attracting buyers, and have no idea why. You can also find yourself with a project on your hands which has gone way over time or budget because there are a few details you weren’t aware of before you started. 

From planning and due diligence to designs, council approval and overseeing builders/contractors, property development is a complex process. There are always additional elements which need taking care of. 

When you call in the help of a project manager, you have someone who is officially in place to keep your development on track. This professional has an in-depth understanding of elements from town planning, to finance to finishing a project off seamlessly. They take care of every small detail but they always keep the end goal in mind. 

Your project manager will take care of things including: 

  • Feasibility assessments (both for land and finance-related feasibility)
  • Financial loans
  • Quantity surveying
  • Building design to suit the target audience
  • Council development approval
  • Coordination through the build process
  • Interiors and fittings
  • Timelines
  • Budget management
  • Arranging owners corporation

Once a build is complete, and often prior, your project manager can also work with real estate agents and marketing firms to get your new properties tenanted or sold. 

Property Development Project manager

Why have a project manager?

To develop quality properties which provide return on investment, you need the help of experienced professionals every step of the way. A project manager is one of these professionals. 

Good project managers tend to be obsessed with details and committed to foreseeing problems before they happen. Investing in this type of help can save you thousands as your project will flow much more smoothly and roadblocks will be identified before they set your project back. 

A project manager has excellent contacts so you can rely on them to bring together an outstanding team to work on your development. They will handle the communications on your behalf so you’re never left wondering what is going on with your project. 

Top companies and major developments all over the world rely on project managers to act as the glue between the various stakeholders and contributors, no matter what the task at hand is. It works so well to take this approach with your property development as the principles are all the same.

Having a project manager also takes the pressure off you as the developer. You will have someone experienced to help you coordinate and oversee the project. They will help keep big ideas in check and remind you to focus on your end goal. 

Two heads are better than one, especially with a major project. Your project manager will be the voice of reason and will share evidence-based data to help you make decisions. 

Finding the right project manager

So what makes a good project manager? 

Firstly, experience. 

But while it is good to work with someone who has experience with building design or construction when you’re developing property, professional project management training is just as important. Ideally, you should look for a project manager who has a combined background, both in property development and project management. 

Your project manager should be:

  • Adequately qualified in project management
  • Able to share evidence of at least five past projects which are similar to yours
  • An excellent communicator
  • Someone who has outstanding technical knowledge when it comes to property
  • Good at looking at the big picture as well as the finer details
  • A person who understands your goals

If your project manager is the right fit, you will be able to talk to them about developing homes which meet quality standards without going over budget. They will get a clear idea of what you want to achieve and work hard to make it happen. 

Your project manager won’t be afraid to ask the hard questions or come to you when there is an issue. They will have strong problem-solving skills and good people skills so there are fewer setbacks for your project.  

A good project manager is always worth the investment. You will be saving yourself a great deal of stress and time, while also maximising the return on every dollar you put into your project.

Property Development Project manager

Project manager case study

To share a quick example of the contribution a professional project manager can make, I came on board as a project manager for a project in Altona. My client, despite having developed property before, was finding it difficult to sell his townhouses off the plan. 

Leveraging my property industry and project experience, I immediately realised that the design needed to be altered to meet market needs. I also recommended a new agent to take care of the marketing. With these changes in place and an amendment approved by Council, sales started to flow within a month. This saved the client time and a great deal of money.  

Another time a client of mine had a builder go into liquidation, they contacted us in a state of panic. My team and I managed the insurance claim for them, coordinated any required expert reports required for the claim, spoke to their bank and renegotiated terms and took the remaining build to tender to appoint a new builder. The developer was so relieved that they also did not have to liquidate their company and that their bottom line was not affected, that they appointed Alleura as the Project Management firm for the rest of the development and for all their future developments.

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