1. Building the wrong consultant team around you
Property development requires input from a vast range of consultants, all who boast different expertise in relation to their craft. It is critical to build a well-rounded team of consultants that are appropriate for the project you are undertaking.
Prior to purchasing a site, there should be some detailed thought and strategy around who is appropriate to appoint when the project becomes live.
Architects, in particular, have different styles and design personalities, so it is important to choose an architect whose design style will match with the buyer profile of the projects’ end-product.
By engaging the entire team during the town planning stage and seeking early engineering and geotechnical advice, it’s less likely that you will need to continually amend the design and as such, avoid multiple town planning submissions.
2. Getting the product mix wrong
There are a range of competing elements in design that can dictate the product mix of a project, that is, the spread of different types of dwellings such as apartment sizes and attributes. The most common example is the allocation of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments within a project.
Nowadays, it is common for projects to have a mix of townhouses, apartments, retail and commercial space, so agreeing on this mix is crucial to the project’s revenue potential and the timeframe it takes to pre-sell.
The site itself will dictate the most efficient floorplate design, and then subsequently, the size and aspect of apartments can naturally be concluded. It is typical for developers to try and maximize the sellable area in each level to increase building efficiency, and this is achieved through minimizing common areas and internalising as much space as possible.
However, the building envelope alone shouldn’t dictate the size and mix of dwellings. It is important to know exactly who the target market of the project is and the price points and areas they demand.
There is no benefit in increasing apartment sizes and subsequently apartment end values, if there is a price ceiling that purchaser’s can’t afford. For example, if your project is targeted at first home buyers and investors, prices would typically be classified as entry level. Therefore, if you design 120sqm apartments that have an end value of $1.2 million, the target market will not be able to afford them.
It’s imperative to know and understand the unique attributes of your site and your target market, alongside the preferred apartment mix, sizes and price points. There is no substitute for research, understanding your buyer and designing specifically for them.