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Property investors often seek to manufacture equity by building and renovating – a strategy that could be made or broken by their chosen lender. Builder Finders’ co-founder Lynette Manciameli reveals the one indicator that could tell investors if they are with the right builder.
As in all investment strategies, building and renovating could easily be a minefield for investors without the proper preparations and guidance from experts and professionals.
According to Ms Manciameli, in order to get the best out of a builder, investors need to be able to communicate well with them, even before the building or renovation project commences.
“It’s all about communication, I think. You want to make sure that you’re communicating your desires really clearly, getting a really detailed scope of work in conjunction with your plans, your drawings to help you avoid any conflict with the builder and not getting it right,” she said.
“You just need to communicate and they need to communicate with you as well. That’s why I was saying a red flag to me is finding a builder that doesn’t communicate well because if a problem arises, it’s all going to fall apart.”
Having a builder to whom the investor is comfortable communicating with can help both parties run a seamless project, with the investor ultimately getting their money’s worth and improving their wealth-creation journey.
To avoid jumping into a professional relationship prematurely, Ms Manciameli encouraged meeting up with prospective builders, and then doing reference checks before hiring them.
This may include going online and doing research, reaching out to previous and current clients and even talking to the neighbours of previous projects.
According to Ms Manciemeli: “You want to find out what kind of person you’re dealing with. You can get that information from past and current clients, and that will help you to make sure you’re selecting someone that’s going to be open with communication.”
“You need to have a lot of preliminary conversations with them.
“A red flag for me was when I had one builder that wanted to join the panel and we had a phone meeting which he’d forgotten [twice]... I said, ‘I just need to stop you here. I can’t even go through this process with you because if you can’t be there for me on two occasions, how do I know you’re going to be there for my clients?’
“If they’re not on time for the meeting or the call, it’s a red flag that the communication is going to break down somewhere through the process.”
Simple as it may seem, communication is key to a good building and renovation project, especially as bigger projects tend to be more susceptible to conflicts, according to Ms Manciameli.
“If you select a good builder and he just seems like a genuinely decent person, those kinds of conflicts aren’t going to arise. You’re going to have a smooth-sailing journey,” she concluded.