What should you expect from a development consultation? Are all building consultants the same?
We sat down with General Manager, Kerrian Devlin and Senior Developments Consultant, Mark Lawrence, from Ventura Developments, to get the answers that new developers have been asking about the consultation process.
What should I expect from a consultation?
Ventura Developments’s General Manager, Kerrian Devlin says, “What I’d expect from a meeting with one of my consultants would be a professional appointment to identify the objectives of the project.”
“They should be able to give you a fairly accurate assessment on if [your project] is achievable or not at that first meeting. When you complete the first appointment with a Ventura Developments consultant, they will be able to give you quality information and value added to the project.”
What questions should I ask the consultant?
Ventura Developments, Senior Developments Consultant, Mark Lawrence states, “The first thing you should ask is ‘Is my development site sub-divisible?”
“We get a lot of people who call and would like to build units or apartments on their site. They have a large property and the first thing I ask them is, ‘What is the address of the property?” This information allows me to do online research to work out if the property is sub-divisible to begin with. Quite often the site can’t be subdivided,” says Mark Lawrence.
“The next question is ‘How many units can we build on the property?’.”
“I would also be asking advice from the consultant on what they would do if they were the owner of the property. Quite often people have preconceived ideas as to what can be achieved. In addition, it’s also prudent to ask the consultants how qualified they are to actually be discussing development projects.”
“[Ask your consultant] ‘What have you seen other people do that has been successful?” You’ll pick up ideas that you might not have previously considered,” concludes Mark Lawrence.
Mark explains what you should ask a consultant in the video here.
What do I need to provide before the consultation?
“I would purchase a survey for all potential development sites and a engineers detail for sites that are not sandy. Further, speak to your Lender, Financial Planner and Accountant to confirm property development is the correct investment solution for you,” explains Mark Lawrence.
“The Builder, Bank and Accountant make up the three most important partners you will need to speak to before you start your development project. Information makes a huge difference in the planning the development process.”
Mark Lawrence explains the three main partners in the following video.
What do I need to provide at the consultation?
Mark Lawrence explains, “If you have the address of the site, ideally that’s all we need to start with. Generally speaking, by the time you come to the consultation, we will have done an analysis of the property using the councils website online mapping, RP Data, Nearmaps and other packages that we have access to. So by the time you come in for your meeting, we will have a sound understanding of the the development site’s potential.”
“So realistically you don’t have to bring anything as long as you’ve provided the details of the site you want to develop on. If you want to get a survey done through the builder then you would bring some form of payment as well.”
Ventura Developments’s General Manager, Kerrian Devlin adds, “Usually people have been prepped by the consultant on what to bring to the first appointment, so you would have done your homework and come with the information they would have asked you to bring. Usually the first appointment ends with a design sketch brief which is a free service for you get a visual understanding of the sites potential.”
What comes next?
“If you feel comfortable and want to proceed, the next step is to complete a design breif,” Mark Lawrence states.
“The survey gives the designer a lot of important information in regards to the general works component, which may impact on the cost of the development and the feasibility of the project proceeding.”
“Once the costing process is completed and the price is aligned with the initial discussions, the next step is the part payment to offset the planning and building application costs, in addition to structural engineering. Simultaneously, building contracts and all other documentation required for finance approvals are created.” explains Mr Lawrence.
Ventura Developments and Multi Living Developments offer a free consultation service so you can see if developing is an option for you. Call (08) 9241 1600.