Property Development | Top Tips for Beginners

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By BenjaminBeck

This article should not be seen as an authoritative guideline for construction project execution, since each project presents unique challenges which need to be met through special expertise, expert consultants and innovative approaches to overcome.

Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway were formed in Singapore in 1983, The Continuum offering real estate development expertise across a range of real estate businesses. Over the past four years they have actively purchased land through government land sales as well as exercise en bloc deals.

Hoi Hup Realty have completed numerous developments prior to The Continuum Condo. These projects include The Continuum Showflat, Waterford Residence, Sophia Hills at Mount Sophia, Whitley Residences and soon-to-be Terra Hill at Pasir Panjang.

Engage Your Consultants Early

At its heart, this discussion should not be seen as a sales pitch! A property developer should know as soon as their project becomes feasible the highest value it holds for them and with experts present, can gain more value, cost assurance and risk identification from such discussions than from dealing solely with one designer alone – giving an edge in competition before acquisition stages are reached. Likewise, early cash flow analysis helps define any lending requirements and drawdown timelines that might need to be set forth.

Consultants who regularly work for property developers understand this model and should be willing to negotiate flexible fees that accommodate drawdown schedules or milestones for projects. Any costs incurred will likely be offset by adding value to the plan.

Keep Your Cost Model Updated

Your initial cost estimate for your project may not turn out to be accurate, especially as its design evolves and construction materials, methods, and work areas change over time. Any costs related to such changes should be tracked using an estimated development costs model. Construction costs often rise when demands from regulatory bodies or design elements require specialization or customization – often increasing construction costs significantly in turn.

As soon as contingencies are included in a project’s initial plan, create a list of areas of the project which remain unclear or have yet to be designed – these could be areas in which cost assumptions were established. As the project unfolds, try to “design-out” these items by “deliberative design”, adding agenda items dedicated to contingencies to meetings of your project team in order to discuss any of them further.

Be Creative With Your Procurement Strategy

As part of any project, whether complex, simple or small, your first priority should be to secure build contracts. Contracts provide cost-effectiveness; tendering allows multiple contracting companies to assess your project and provide insight into any necessary risk assessment analysis, design details or value engineering options.

When your project involves upgrading, converting or renovating an existing structure, a separate strip-out contract or work enabling contract should typically be in place to help uncover any hidden aspects within it. This provides additional certainty in planning and budgeting processes.

There are various contracts which can be utilized and an exchange of ideas between your project manager, architect and Quantity Surveyor should provide numerous options for outlining design controls as well as risk proportions and handover procedures.