The following article is written and contributed by Ross Voci, Director of Property Subdivision
The Creative spirit
I’ve been asked many times why I love developing and as much as I love the life style and financial freedom it brings the thing I love the most about this hobby turned life style, is the creative spirit it allows to flow through me. You see, whether it’s designing a single level home, a multi-level development or a subdivision site, I am able to bring an uninviting piece of dirt to life and create something that both its inhabitants and visitors will enjoy for years to come.
I truly believe we all have a creative spirit within us and everyone should have an opportunity to allow this spirit to flow to its maximum capacity. For some it is in gardening, for others in the arts, and for yet others it is in design; for me it flows in the developing of land, and I love every bit of it. But as much as I love turning dirt into cash I probably couldn’t do what I love if it didn’t offer the financial rewards. It would then become a nightmare rather than a dream come true. Doing something you love and having the financial reward that comes with it, gives you the freedom to keep doing what you love.
What breed is a developer?
If you ask most people the question, ‘what does a developer do’, they will tell you they build buildings and sell for a profit. This description is true for some developers but there are some developers who do not do the building themselves as they do not hold the license that allows them to build; there are also developers who are not builders, but who are visionaries and who have never been interested in the building side of things, but who are able to bring a project to fruition. Then you get the developers who do build, but the thing that is common to them all, is that they also investigate potential sites, the areas surrounding them, the relevant Councils and demographics. The developer will engage and manage a myriad of qualified consultants and professionals. A developer who completes the whole development cycle, is at the top of the food chain when it comes to starting from a piece of dirt, creating a building that is sold to the right demographics, and all the while keeping in mind there must be a financial profit at the end. A developer encapsulates all of these things. This development process also involves ensuring the project is marketed correctly and successfully, having created the right type of product for the right type of demographic in the right area. The developer needs to maximize the sale price without compromising quality. This can be done by reducing the cost of construction and making sure the right sales and marketing consultants are engaged. As you will have begun to see, developers also require good people skills. If, after reading this, you are thinking you only have a few of the necessary qualities to become a developer, don’t worry. All of these qualities can be developed as you go through the process and where you may be weaker in one area, you can engage the consultant who is strong in that area. Remember, that overall, a developer needs to be a go-getter and a well-rounded individual who can see outside the box and he must also be solution orientated.
The problem solver
My definition of the breed of property developer extends further to include problem solving, as much of development consists of exactly that – problem solving. You must have the mindset to be able to solve problems and deal with potentially difficult situations every day – day in and day out. Whether it is a multi-rise building, a small two-lot subdivision, or just simply building a single home, problems will arise daily and you must be able to come up with solutions. Problems can arise from all types of things such as tradesmen making mistakes; Council’s shutting sites down; objections to your plans; rain and heat right through to bad architectural drawings. The list goes on and on. If, however, you can eliminate as many problems right from the start with knowledge and a creative mind set you will reap a developer’s rewards.
The Developer’s mind set
A developer must have a particular mindset. As a developer, you have to be able to get up every morning and understand if there’s going to be a problem, and there more than likely will be, you need to walk into it with a solution orientated mindset. If your mindset is not solution orientated, then developing is definitely not for you because no matter how good a developer you are, all development sites will have issues – whether it be from the large development to the small, site problems anywhere from the middle to the edge or from the east to the west and the north to the south, or simply down to people, such as your consultants and trades people – there will be issues to deal with and it’s the developer’s job to not only work through these issues and provide satisfactory solutions but to eliminate as many problems as possible, before they arise.