Property development: becoming your own project manager, or hiring in outside help?

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Paul Naybour
Paul is a project management consultant and account manager with particular expertise in the analysis, process development, and implementation of change program management, risk management, earned value management, and bespoke project management training development and delivery. Paul is the Business Development Director of the company Parallel Project Training

Managing the development of a property can be a complicated process. If you have prior experience, it is understandable that you may want to be more involved than someone with very little or no experience. Regardless of experience, it can be a lot of work. Here are some things to keep in mind when making the decision of how much management you want to do yourself.

Time frame

If you want to get property developed quickly, then you may want to consider extra help from a more experienced manager. A tight timeline can lead to mistakes if you take on too much yourself, or lead to complications that make the development take even longer. This becomes even more important if tenants have already reserved spaces and expect you to finish right on time. If you have plenty of time, then you might want to be more involved with the whole process. It is important to also set a realistic timeline. Getting done sooner is better, but it is best to set a reasonable goal and then try to do better than it.

Do you truly have the experience?

It is easy for an investor to overestimate their experience. Property development involves a lot of meetings, cost analysis, procurement of supplies, dealing with regulations, etc. That doesn’t mean that you have to be on the side-lines the whole time, but rather that you may want to just deal with a small portion of the development process. In fact, if you don’t have the experience and take on too much, you can actually cost yourself money because someone with more experience is going to be able to complete the project more efficiently.

Smart decisions mean better overall returns

Making good choices about the development of your investment property early on will help you to make a better return faster. Existing buildings can require extensive renovations to be acceptable for your purposes. Older buildings can have their challenges, and renovation costs are often higher than expected. If you spend too much time working through the challenges yourself, you are adding even more to the cost. CEO of Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium, Fahad Al Rajaan, achieved his success by making good decisions early on in projects. Fahad Al Rajaan has built his wealth by carefully choosing the contractors and firms that his firm works with to develop its real estate interests. For more information, see Fahad Al Rajaan – 500 Most Powerful Arabs.

Be clear of expectations with those you hire

Another major factor that comes into play on any property development project is establishing good communications. If you want the absolute final say on something, then you need to make this very clear from the beginning. Also be clear as to the budget. Any development project should budget for some unforeseen expenses. Having a clear plan and making sure that everyone working on the development has the tools they need to work together is essential to getting a project completed on time and with minimal cost.

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