When you decide to become a property developer one of the biggest decisions you will make is whether you decide to manage your developments yourself, or whether you employ a property developer. Both options have advantages: managing your developments yourself gives you hands on experience of the project, and you will know exactly what’s happening and where you are spending your money; employing a project manager means that you will be able to focus on other important tasks (such as your family or day job) and will not need to concern yourself with the details of the development.
If you do decide to employ a project manager for your property development, it will be very important to find an experienced and qualified professional who understands how to ensure your development is completed on time and on budget. To find out how to find the right person for the job, keep reading…
Be Clear On Your Goals
From the beginning it is very important to know what you expect from your property development project, how long you expect the project to take, and what the budget for the project will be. If you have bought a plot of land on which you are going to build a residential apartment block, for example, you will require a project manager who has experience of similar property developments and who understands the process involved to ensure a successful project.
Find Someone with the Knowledge You Need
A good project manager is someone who possesses the right knowledge to successfully complete his or her project. A property developer needs a project manager with specialist knowledge, such as the rules for obtaining planning permission, the technical details of building control, the sequence of construction procurement, the environmental impact of construction materials and the implications of waste management. The Association of Project Managers (APM) offers a range of certificates for UK project managers, starting with the APMP that certifies that individuals have some level of project management experience. The APM also provides a registration of accredited project managers which can be accessed via their website. (http://www.apm.org.uk)
Employ a Skilled Professional
The most important quality that any project manager can possess is leadership, because he or she will have to motivate a team of diverse people and ensure that they work together to achieve an agreed outcome. At the same time, your project manager will need to be able to work independently, stick to a budget, drive the work schedule and manage difficulties and problems that arise along the way. To do this, he or she will have to be disciplined, flexible and approachable, good with people and have a proven track record of success.
A Good Communicator is Essential
Project Managers should be good communicators. This is because good communication lies at the heart of a successful property development. Your project manager should be able to communicate well with local planning authorities, a wide range of contractors, neighbours and you, their employer. A good communicator will smooth the planning and construction process, manage relationships between tradesmen on the building site and keep you up to date with regular progress reports. Finding the right person will save you stress, time and a great deal of money.
Find Someone with Experience of Managing Complex Budgets
Property developments are complex projects that involve several different stages. At the beginning of the project, the project manager can be responsible for finding the right development site at the right price. He or she will have to ensure due diligence and other legal checks are done, ensuring that solicitors fees, banking charges and associated taxes are paid on time. He or she may then be responsible for creating a work schedule and a budget for the building work, monitoring construction as it is scheduled, meeting regularly with all stakeholders and arranging progress payments as milestones are achieved. A project manager with experience of financial management is essential when managing property developments, because the right candidate will have to ensure that a project comes in on time and on budget.
Agree a Realistic Development Plan
Before you embark on any property development it is very important to agree a property development plan, which includes detailed information on all stages on construction and an agreed schedule for completion. This plan is essential, because it enables the different stages of construction to flow smoothly from one stage to the next without unnecessary interruption and costly delays. An experienced project manager can anticipate and prevent problems and delays that could otherwise sink a project, and a well-managed project can ensure a healthy yield from your property investment.
Pay By Results
When you have found the right project manager, agree their fees by multiplying their daily rate by the length of your proposed project. Payments can be made at agreed intervals, linking payment to the completion of milestones in the project. You can negotiate that your project manager will work a preliminary trial period or you can insert a break clause for situations where work has not been completed by an agreed time. As part of their contractual responsibilities, your project manager should be required to submit progress reports to you at regular interests.
The Advantages of Employing a Project Manager
A successful project manager will take responsibility for the overall completion of the property development and will arrange the final aspects of the project. If you do not have the time or expertise to manage your property development, a project manager can ensure that your results can be achieved on time and on budget. He or she can make the best use of all the available resources, whether these are people, money or material goods. Your project manager can take on the stresses and strains of the project on your behalf, satisfying the different needs of all stakeholders and will keep you informed of progress until the project reaches completion.