I’m currently working on delivering my 31st new development to market in South East and all too often I see new developments come to fruition that completely miss the mark in the design, location, pricing, marketing, and (more often than not) some of those combined. A developer can’t do everything on his own. The success or failure of any new project is a direct result of the team of consultants you have working on your development, so take a look around.
Before you bring a new development to market you should be speaking to numerous industry experts, especially experienced project marketers who are at the coal face, dealing with buyers every single day, getting their opinions and feedback. All of your consultants should have individual proven track records. Don’t just rely on a brand to deliver upon your expectations, because at the end of the day, it’s the people who will sell your properties, not the brands.
It is also important to engage people with local knowledge and understanding. Many international and interstate developers assume the market operates the same way here in the South-East, but that is not the case. Each market is unique – I would not go to another region or country and decide run a project there without speaking to local experts.
When evaluating the potential success of a new development I always ask the following few questions:
Has the developer got a track record locally?
- Do they have the right product for the market or if not, will they listen to advice from local experts?
- What architects are they using and what is their track record?
- Who is their builder and what is their reputation for delivering a quality product?
- Can they pay their bills? It is a long wait before developers receive profit and there are a lot of upfront costs to cover before bank funding may kick in.
Ask yourself, how can one developer get over one hundred sales in a quarter in a coastal fringe location when a blue-chip development will get six? This happens every single quarter, you only need to read an Urbis report to see these figures for yourself. It is not pure luck when it happens time and time again. It’s hard work, skill, dedication and the right price, position, people and product. Most of all, they are always humble, learning and listening to feedback from the market and their sales team. A prime example of developers that know how to get this mix just right is Rawcorp and the Emandar Group.
A couple of years ago I was working on a development in a ‘blue-chip’ location which we were selling for an average of $6,500 – $7,500 per square metre. Our direct competition with a similar product was selling for an average of $4,500 – $5,500. Guess who sold more? Our development (the dearer one), by a long shot. That client, was very firm in what he wanted, but he listened to the experts and made informed decisions (after he researched every aspect of their life, checked their police records and social media accounts – not kidding!).
Buyers often share their experiences, grievances and pet peeves with us, particularly if they have been on the hunt for a property for a while. Some of the more common complaints about properties buyers have inspected are outlined below:
- They are too small;
- There’s no storage;
- Only one car park – we have two cars;
- Back to back bedrooms – privacy reasons;
- The development is too big;
- The body corporate fees are too high or they will sky rocket as there is lots of facilities and amenities;
- No island bench in kitchen – most people want island benches;
- Entry straight into the bathroom, laundry or dark corridor – not very welcoming;
- Laundry in living areas making it hot and noisy;
- Not enough windows or windows are too high and you can’t see out of them;
- Block balustrading where it’s not needed, impeding views;
- Privacy, looking straight into the neighbour’s apartment;
- Internal bedrooms without windows – sometimes this can be overcome if this has two-way bathroom access.
- Poor quality fixtures and fittings
- Unknown brand name appliances – appliances such as Bosche or Miele are always favoured
Of course, it’s important to note, that there is no ‘one size fits all’, when it comes to what people do and don’t like – you can never please everybody. But the complaints above are quite warranted and should be taken on board nonetheless.
Project Marketers should be involved in everything before the development approval is lodged, including density and height discussions (just because you can do 100 levels on that site, doesn’t mean it will sell), finishes, layouts – everything! If you recommend your clients to experienced project marketers from when they purchase the site, we can all avoid having to deal with an ugly baby later on.
Project marketers shouldn’t be confused with general real estate agents. Project Marketers have wide networks of selling groups locally, interstate and internationally who we train and update regularly. We don’t just get given a project to start selling and then keep it to ourselves. We project manage all aspects of sales and marketing including, design, public relations, development branding, pricing, and signage. We educate ourselves on every aspect of the development so we know how to sell an off the plan property for upwards of $500,000 without the buyers needing to see, feel and touch what they are buying.
I always endeavour to do my very best for my clients. I am absolutely passionate about the industry and I really want the developers of the Coast to not only succeed, but thrive. The City is ready for you. Now is a better time than ever to deliver a new project to market and we would love to be part of your story.
If you would like to have a confidential discussion on your project and see if we can assist in any way, feel free to contact me on 0413 602 321.