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A good development team is instrumental to the success of an investor who wants to explore property development as a wealth-creation strategy.
One of the most important people that you should have on board is a good architect, whose job is to help you layout a building plan that adheres to the guidelines set by the local council. Aside from ensuring that the property is aesthetically-pleasing, architects also see to it that developers don’t go over their specified budgets.
According to Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant: “If your architect knows the game, knows the council, knows what gets past easy, it can ... speed up things considerably in terms of [development application], financing, et cetera, and save you quite a few bucks as well.”
In order to choose the right architect for your development project, White Gorilla Developments’ Neal Ashworth recommends going through a few candidates who are familiar with the area you’re investing in.
Here are three important questions to ask your potential architect to determine if he or she will be perfect for your team:
1. How many times have you been to the Land and Environment Court?
2. What projects have you done?
3. What is your usual timeline?
Knowing the professional history of the architect will give you an idea about how well they perform.
Neal said: “You want … to see how many designs they started, and how they started, and what their role was, and what was the change history.”
“If it was mostly the same throughout the process, they know the rules and controls. They're in tune with the client and they produced what they first started with,” the property professional added.
You can also ask the architect how he’s going to charge you for the professional services. To avoid going over budget, have a fixed budget set and openly discuss it with the professionals you’re looking to get on board.
According to Neal: “Most of them do the percentage on the end cost … They'll design a way that end costs will go up so he gets more money.”
“Just create the feasibility you want with those fixed prices, so you know what you're in for when you start … You've got control of those kinds of consultants. Keep them on your side,” he concluded.
Tune in to Neal Ashworth’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the step-by-step process of getting the best chance of maximising cash flow and how to excel in the property development industry.