Property Development may seem difficult or high risk but it is not. If you are a property owner, considering renovations or rebuilding, you are carrying the same risks and meeting the same project complexities as a developer. The question then is one about scale. Development includes the same set of tasks, the same approval process, the same compliance objectives and requirements, and the same project feasibility risks whether it is large or small. Often, a larger project has more chance of success as it is, overall, more robust that a smaller project. A smaller project can be very on edge and make or break, as such, it can be very stressful for the Project Proponents (usually the Owner). Usually, because of rules of finance, Small Project Proponents are limited in their range of choices about how to develop their assets, in contrast to larger and more commercial developers, who have the benefit of big lending sheets, large teams of staff and consultants, established relationships with Local Authorities and Banks, and incorporated liquidation options, to make development easier, and more profitable.
MWA are launching a new initiative for Small Project Proponents, to transform themselves, through creative thinking and the right connections, from small fish to not so small fish; by providing to these Property Owners, the same team, skillset and finance options available to the big end of town, to improve the range of choice-making opportunities at the commencement of a project, to reduce the risk if failure if something goes wrong, to provide expert and highly competent management expertise in tracking a project towards its targets, and ultimately provide the Proponent a much higher financial yield than would have been able to be contemplated otherwise.
This may seem complicated but it’s not – a large project is no harder than a renovation. Trust us, we know – we have been there, done that. We know how to solve the biggest problems, reduce your risks, and make sure you achieve your targets and objectives for your Project.
PROBLEM 01: PROJECT START UP COSTS
Construction projects are usually limited in their scope (and consequently yield), by their budgets. Budgets are usually limited to either the mortgage or asset value and income of the lending client, or the future value of the project being lent to. Usually, the former option is available to a Smaller Project Development, but not the latter. The latter is reserved for the big players, and for the big projects.
The financial positions of Smaller Project Developers can usually vary greatly. Some have a reasonably sized property or asset portfolio that can be used to underpin lending to support forthcoming costs for the Smaller Development Project. However, usually, that mortgage or asset value is driven by the Smaller Project Developer’s income, which is, from the Bank’s point of view, a fixed constraint.
At the same time, returns on investment for Property Developments are very high yielding. A medium sized development might take three years to move from inception (first ideas or land purchase), through to yield or delivery (sale of product to consumers), however yields in this period are expected to be higher than 30% on investment capital – otherwise, for an experienced developer, the project will not get an investment ‘green light’. Some high yielding projects achieve yields of more than 30%, some up to 50% and sometimes, depending on market conditions and other somewhat unpredictable factors, yield more than 50%.
Therefore property development is an absolute blue chip investment strategy and use of capital – particularly in Australia where we have a secure mortgage market and relatively stable real estate values and employment. Successful business owners often turn their profits from their high performing business to property development, to consolidate and improve upon their wealth. Property provides security like no other – once a building is built and a title created, there is very little that can change that. This is why we see so much overseas capital flowing into Australia’s major cities, and directly into substantial property development projects. The Australian property market is very high yielding and by comparison, very stable.
As a Small Project Developer, income usually limits finance available for construction works. This is a shame, because often a site may be able to developed more comprehensively and yield more value (return) for the property owner. But for reasons of bank rules and finance limits, often those options cannot be entertained, and smaller scale, lower yielding and higher risk projects must be scoped and constructed.
SOLUTION 01: PROJECT START UP COSTS
MWA will, for select projects, provide partial or complete seed funding for purpose of managing all design and approvals costs associated with achieving a value uplift in the land holding arising from gaining the Development Approval for the Property Owner. This means that MWA becomes your Development Partner and will not only lend its skill, time and ability to your Project, but also it’s finances.
Once this value uplift is achieved, banks and other mainstream lenders are mor likely to refinance the landholding at an increased value, meaning MWA can receive a payment through this refinancing process, that is indexed to a proportion of the value uplift in the landholding.
PROBLEM 02: DESIGN COMPLEXITY
Often, Property Owners as Small Developers may not know where to start. Development options for a site are complex, varied, multiplicitous, contradictory and somewhat hard to visualise. Due diligence issues may arise again as whatever development advantages might have been envisioned for the site before purchase, must now be tested against a whole range of project complexity before being deemed as obtainable. Local Councils often don’t make it any easier, offering a confusing set of rules and no resource for their interpretation.
MWA is expert in development planning and concept visualisation. We literally make it easy to find the right, and highest value, solution for a site. We understand what the rules are, what rules to comply with and what rules to break or bend. We understand the various logistical issues that underpin a project in terms of design and construction. We understand the market into which the project will be built, and the likely project yield calculations and scenarios.
As your Small Projects Development Partner, we have a responsibility to you and ourselves to get this important phase of the project, right. We make the process of Due Diligence and development scenario definition, easy. We take the risk out of project planning and give confidence that the development scenario will work for the market into which it will be selling and the yields that will accumulate from these sales.
SOLUTION 02: DESIGN COMPLEXITY
As your Small Projects Development Partner, we do all of this at no cost to you. As your Project Partner, we work collaboratively with you to achieve a shared agreement on the development scenario. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work and contribution to your project; we are very experienced in doing this and have confidence in ourselves and our abilities. We make the complex – simple, workable, unique, and high value.
PROBLEM 03: PROJECT REALISATION
Construction work is never cheap. Time costs in Australia for builders are very high. Most of the cost of construction goes into the time the builder spends in preparing or and constructing the Project. Risks are great and problems can be very serious. During construction, a good Project can quickly go bad, for a broad range of reasons. Achieving construction stage targets – time, budget and quality – are essential in meeting market expectations, project timeline expectations and pre-defined project yield scenarios. The expression ‘Time is Money’, is never more relevant to a Construction Project. A substantial amount of money must be outlayed before any return on investment is gained. There is no short cut or way out once this process is initiated.
SOLUTION 03: PROJECT REALISATION
Once the Development Approval is achieved as above, via assistance from the MWA Seed Fund Facility, the improved Land Value can become Security for purpose of financing the Construction Works phase. This then allows the project to move from ‘Dream’ (An approved Design) to ‘Reality’ (Sale of the Built Outcome at Profit to the Small Project Developer).
The MWA sed fund facility allows a project to move from a concept to a point where the improvement in value is enough to guarantee finance for construction works. MWA has as part of its working relationships, mezzanine finance facilities to provide finance during construction works up until point of sale.
PROBLEM 04: CONSTRUCTION RISK
Builders are not your friends. They are not aligned to your needs as the Small Project Developer, in constructing a project. Their motivation is to build what is drawn and specified at the lowest cost in the shortest time frame possible charging the maximum possible amount for this effort. Mistakes will be charged for, delays will be charged for, inconsistencies or omissions in the documentation will be charged for, changes will be charged for. The relationship between a Client and a Builder can change dramatically over the life of a project, for this reason.
A Client / Builder relationship must be an objective one, with clarity provided in all respects. This avoids or reduces the chance for misinterpretation and dispute.
SOLUTION 04: CONSTRUCTION RISK
For certain Projects, MWA offer a Design / Build Solution, where our interests in the successful completion of the project are vested with yours, we become aligned around your project needs, rather than opposed. As well as this, we know how to scope, define, draw, specify, coordinate, and instruct a construction project. We know how to deliver a project. We are experts in project delivery. We will achieve your targets, because we know how to achieve them, and because they are our targets too.
PROBLEM 05: MARKET RISK
Knowing what works in the market and what is of value is complex. For a Small Project Developer, there is forthcoming a bewildering array of choices about a project that will inform it’s success or failure at market; this complexity is compounded by the forthcoming demand from consultants for information required from the Project Principal (The Small project Developer), in order to ‘bed down’ the documentation. Consultants will just draw everything once and once something is drawn, it is very difficult to change. Consultants are themselves on very tight budgets and timelines that are beyond the reach and control of the Small projects Developer. This just adds risk and anxiety to the Project for the Small Projects Developer.
SOLUTION 05: MARKET RISK
MWA are very experienced in what works at market and where questions exist, can quickly, expeditiously and expertly engage with market experts to correctly define a project brief and market requirement. MWA are expert at project definition in terms of market sales, and work expertly and confidently in creating reliable project yield calculations, integrating with assessment of various development options in early phases of the Project.
MWA have performed this service for some of Australia’s most demanding and high level property developers; this skill at once integrates site planning, site use, site logistics, project yield characteristics, and robust and reliable interpretation of design constraints and opportunities. We will impress you from the outset as to how we can quickly, easily and clearly define a project, despite these complexities. As your Development Partner, we are your best ally in creating a successful project.
If you are a Property Owner and are contemplating various development scenarios for your Property, please contact Matthew directly for a no obligation discussion around your Project Needs. From there, MWA can provide a complete proposal defining for you a complete Process in defining the Preferred Development Scenario, and support you in achieving your Project Goals.