Here are 10 lessons that I have learnt from property development that may help take your developing to the next level. If you want to find out lessons, tips and ideas from other developers and industry players then tune into my podcast at www.propertydeveloperpodcast.com

1. No one cares more about the project than you

No one! For me, this is the biggest lesson I have learnt. You are the biggest driver of success, so take charge, and keep things moving. Don’t just assume things will get done just because you ask for it. It’s easy for things to get held up or delayed. It’s not that people on your team don’t want you to succeed, it’s often just that they are also busy and have multiple priorities to juggle. However, your project is your number one priority so you have to keep cajoling and pushing people to deliver what you need in a timely way. This can be a delicate balancing act between politely asking and being pushy. This leads to lesson number two...

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2. Show some gratitude

I think this is a powerful trait that you can easily develop (pardon the pun). People always like to be thanked for their efforts, particularly if they have pulled out something amazing or urgent for you. So thank the people on your team when they deliver something for you, send them a thank you card, take them to lunch, or simply call them and say you are grateful. This will help you next time you may need something urgent or special. And an attitude of gratitude leads to lesson 3…

3. Thank your buyers

I think it is really important to thank your buyers for trusting you to build their property. I like to give them a bottle of sparkling and a short hand-written thank you card once contracts are signed. First, we are grateful to them for choosing to buy from us, and second, it helps them feel good about their purchase and your ability to deliver it. For people who have taken a chance buying off the plan, it helps to alleviate any post-purchase anxiety they may be feeling and to build trust in you. Plus it gives them an opportunity to celebrate their purchase.

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4. Deliver marketing that stands out

You need to stand out in a crowded market. I’m constantly amazed at the poor quality of copy that goes with online listings and some of the renders that are used to promote off the plan properties. Get the best renders you can afford. Sites like upwork.com or easyrender.com can be helpful in getting good renders done. Get great copy drafted that focuses on the benefits to buyers not just the functions of the property. Go way past what the agent may do, have you considered Facebook ads, creating a website or pages on your website dedicated to the project, publishing content that helps buyers make a decision, making videos about the project or property, promoting your stock to local accountants, mortgage brokers etc? In a hot market it can be easy to overlook going the extra mile but I like the saying people develop bad habits in good times and good habits in bad times. Don’t wait for the bad times to refine your habits.

5. Respond quickly to buyer queries

When you are marketing/selling your project you need to move fast to answer questions that potential buyers may have so that your agent can secure sales. This means being available on your mobile at all times so the agent can reach you, or getting back to them quickly. I’ve had calls from agents while buyers are in their office with queries that they had, in many instances I could provide the answers straight away. If you can provide a response to their questions you give the agent a better opportunity to close the sale there and then! If you have to get plans changed to accommodate a buyer request, get it done fast, same day is best or within 24 hours. This shows you are keen and can get things done. It will also give your agent confidence and motivation to promote your project to buyers if they know you are responsive. Which leads to the next lesson…

...to be continued