Developers face many challenges and obstacles, and Canadian developer Dan Barona shares some stories on his experiences developing property in Ottawa.

Dan is a partner in developing and construction business Urbanworx, and has progressed from doing renovations to multi-property developments.

We talk about the challenges of building during bitter cold winters, dealing with organisations that issue permits and the vagaries of the Canadian property market.

Lessons for real estate developers

Here are three lessons I took out of our discussion.

1. There will always be obstacles to overcome

It doesn’t matter what state, territory, or country your are in, there will always be challenges you will have to overcome with your developing, whether that’s dealing with councils, finding a site or determining the best product to build. So you need to anticipate these problems and solve them along the way.

2. Development costs need to allow for local conditions

Dan talked about what is involved with building in Canada over winter, and having propane gas heaters, this is a good point about being aware of all your development costs and including them in your feasibility and project budget. Each area will have its own consideration and you may need to allow for rock removal if rock is known in the area, or extra costs for footings and foundations if the soil at your site is poor.

3. You can seek inspiration from international projects and developers

Dan mentioned how he likes some of the projects being done by US developers and they inspire him, it reminded me that you can look further afield than your local market for ideas and ways to design and deliver projects. Are you looking abroad for great developers and exciting projects that can inspire you to try something new? In the age of Google and the internet it is easier than ever to find and follow great developers around the world.

Remember you can find me on Instagram ( for my latest property development pictures and videos. You can also find all the previous episodes of the show on this website.

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