PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

What To Expect From A Development Consultation

March 14 2017
Property Development Consultation

If it’s your first time doing a development project you may be unsure of what to expect from a consultation with a builder. To help guide you through the process we spoke to WA’s largest development builder, Ventura iD, to find out what Developers should expect from their consultations.

We sat down with General Manager, Kerrian Devlin and Senior Developments Consultant, Mark Lawrence, from Ventura iD to get the answers new developers have been asking about the consultation process.

What should I expect from a consultation?

Ventura iD’s General Manager, Kerrian Devlin says, “What I’d expect from a meeting with one of my consultants would be a professionally set out appointment where they would ask you,’What it is that your outcomes are? Or what your projected outcomes are going to be for the project?'”

“They would be able to give you a fairly accurate assessment on if [your project is] achievable or not at that first meeting. When you come for a first appointment with Ventura iD the person you will be meeting will be able to give you some good information for you to take away so you have value added to that experience.”

What questions should I ask the consultant?

Ventura iD, Senior Developments Consultant, Mark Lawrence states, “The first thing you should ask is ‘Is my block sub-divisible?'”

“We get a lot of people who give us a phone call and they’d like to build some units on their site. They’ve got a nice big block, and the first thing I ask them is ‘What’s the address of the property?” so that I can do a bit of quick online research to work out if the property is sub-divisible. Quite often there’s a large block but it can’t be subdivided,” says Mark Lawrence.

“The next question is ‘How many units can we build on the property?’.”

“The other thing I’d be asking is what would the consultant be doing on the property if they were the developer? Quite often people have preconceived ideas as to what can be done and it’s also good to ask the consultants themselves as they deal with hundreds of these kinds of enquiries constantly.”

“[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 thought of,” concludes Mark Lawrence.

What do I need to provide before the consultation?

“The first thing is if you have a survey provide that to the consultant. The other thing you need to do is provide information as to what you want on the block, and also involve the consultant in whether you have spoken to the bank and your accountant,” explains Mark Lawrence.

“The builder, bank and accountant make up the three main partners you will need to speak to before you start your development project.”

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’ve got 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 using the councils website online mapping, RP data, Nearmaps, and other packages that we have subscriptions to. So by the time you come in for your meeting we will have a background understanding as to what you can do on the site.”

“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 iD’s General Manager, Kerrian Devlin adds, “Usually when people come to their first appointment the consultants will have already asked several questions on the phone, so you would have done your homework and come with the information they would have asked. Usually after the first appointment the end result of that will be that they will do a design sketch. Our concept sketch is free and we would give that to a customer, for them to okay it.”

What comes next?

“If you feel comfortable and you want to go ahead with the process, if the numbers look good and you believe there is a positive benefit in doing the unit development, the next step is to get some designs done,” Mark Lawrence states.

“With the survey, we start out with a concept and if you’re happy with the concept and the layouts then we move forward to the costing process.”

“Once the costing process is completed and you’re happy and the costs still align with the initial discussions, and the profitability is still there in the process, the next step is the payment of the deposit.”

“With that we can go forward and make planning applications to the council. While that’s happening we’ll produce your building contracts and all your other documentation which will then present to you. Once that’s signed we’ll then get you in for a Prestart consultation where you choose all your colours.”

“Once the colours are selected, and we receive all the planning approvals, building permits, the finance approval and all the other council approvals, then we’ll be in the position to commence construction of the job,” explains Mr Lawrence.

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