What better time to take stock and plan for the future than the start of a new year?
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, property prices rose by 1.4% in 2019 and many industry professionals are predicting that sales will increase this year as people in the property development business who have been holding off buying or selling until after Brexit make their move. There may also be more help for people trying to get their first step on the property ladder if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to offer first-time buyers a 30% discount come to fruition.
2020 is an exciting prospect for the property sector, so how can you capitalise on the potential of the year ahead and grow your property development business successfully?
Review and revise your business plan
Most businesses start with a business plan, but many people fail to use this as the working document it should be. If you haven’t reviewed your plan for a while, take the time to update it for the year ahead. It might be that when you originally wrote it, your goal was to achieve a part-time income from property development and now you’re planning to turn it into a full-time career.
What do you want your business to achieve in 2020? Consider the resources you will need (including staff), how you will promote your business, legal requirements, the current market and your target customers. Your business plan should develop in line with your new goals to ensure you grow. For example, your tax and insurance obligations may change as the business expands. There are plenty of free business plan templates online to help you get started.
Consider new financing options
Growing a business takes money and many small businesses struggle to come up with the funds they need to grow while maintaining healthy cash flow. If you have your eye on a great development opportunity, be it a property purchase or a renovation project, bridging finance is a great way to access funds fast.
Many traditional lenders will not approve a loan for major renovation projects or the purchase of land without planning permission. A bridging loan is much more flexible, and there’s considerably less red tape to wade through. Some companies can give you access to the cash you need as quickly as seven days after your loan is approved. Provided you have the means to repay the loan within the time agreed (typically 4-12 months), bridging finance can help you to take your small property business to the next level.
Grow your contact list
Property developers juggle a wide range of responsibilities and you might need input from many different professionals to get the job done. From real estate agents and accountants to landscape architects and project managers, a property developer needs a reliable network of contacts to deliver their project successfully.
Whether you’re new to the industry or an established enterprise, growing your contact list is essential if you want your business to thrive. Attend local business events, engage with industry debate online and take care to nurture existing contacts.
Developing a positive company reputation is a key to success for any business, but this is especially the case in the property sector. Buying a property is one of the biggest financial commitments most people will ever make. If you want people to invest in your developments, purchase your buildings or sell to you, creating a trustworthy brand is essential.
Specialising in one particular location or type of project, such as renovations or new-build developments, makes it easier for you to make a name for your business that people are familiar with and have confidence in.
Do your research
Keep up to date with trends in the property market, government initiatives — such as help-to-buy — and buyer behaviour. A little research can go a long way in helping you choose the right properties, locations and target clients. A new school being built in an area could significantly bump up asking prices, making it a prime location for buy-to-sell or buy-to-let, while a new government scheme to help first-time buyers could open up a new pool of target clients. Keep your ear to the ground and stay one step ahead of the competition to find the hotspots for business growth.
Property development can be an exciting and profitable business. 2020 has the potential to be a lucrative year for property business owners who set a clear plan, nurture their contacts, do their research and take advantage of the financing options available to support business growth.