10 Key Professionals Who Contribute to a Successful Property Development

Development is a multifaceted process necessitating the involvement of many different role players, working as a team to create the desired outcome – the development. The following article will highlight 10 key professionals that play an integral role in the development process.

As the developer seeking professional assistance, the consideration at the forefront of this process should be the experience of the developer in question. Is this sufficient for them to manage the project single-handedly? How much assistance is required? Managing a proposed development is never easy and determining the relevant contributors is generally subjective, based on the developer’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their confidence within specific areas.

It is essential to involve an experienced team; a team able to offer sound advice pays dividends and helps avoid poor or rash decision-making. As Jake Nazha, experienced main contractor of JSM Associates, reminds us, “luck only carries you so far”.

Another idea is to enlist the opinion of a 3rd Party or Friend; although they may not necessarily be viewed as a professional, it is helpful to seek an unbiased, objective opinion. Often developers have a personal interest in projects, which may prove a hindrance in the decision-making process.

The Solicitor is vital as they are involved in ensuring that the developer follows the correct legal protocol. Seeking legal advice throughout the development period is important as this informs what can/ cannot legally be done, thereby significantly impacting the decision-making process.

Architects are also very important professionals to consider, and need to be selected carefully While a developer may have the vision, he/she can sometimes lacks the architectural expertise needed to understand the site and determine the viability and suitability of various design options. An architect can assist in evaluating this perceived potential.

Planning Consultant is another key player. Planners are arguably sometimes the most integral professionals in the development process, as they inform the developer of which developments are permissible on the land. They will also often assume control of the various applications and negotiations with various councils to gain specific rights to proceed with various development options. Council policies are quite onerous at times and generally require a specific professional focus.

Further integral professionals at this stage of the development process are the Structural Engineer and the Quantity Surveyor, both of whom are responsible in assisting in the creation of a functional and cost-effective development. The Structural Engineer will advise the Architect as to the suitability and viability of various design plans; whereas the Quantity Surveyor will be in charge of the financial side of things and ensuring that the Architects designs and plans are financially viable.

It’s all well and good to have an idea for a prospective development; however, the question of feasibility of a development is an important one. This is where financial advice in determining whether a development is actually profitable comes in handy. A Financial Broker can also assist in providing access to funding, and will often know who can fund what type of project and what margins need to be in place, and with what supporting evidence.

Developments, especially large-scale ones, may prove exceptionally costly and a developer can seldom put up all the required funding for the existing real estate and the redevelopment. Through a sound relationship with a financial professional, the developer is able to obtain the required leverage.

An Insurance Broker will help to provide cover for all main parties involved in a development, not just the developer, providing protection to the building, the site itself, as well as the activities that occur on the site (the physical redevelopment itself).

While a developer is often able to act as Project Manager and it is not always necessary to employ a separate professional, such a professional helps bring about strategic alignment, ensuring the correct delivery and the achievement of the ultimate end goal, a successful development.

As a developer, what you choose to do with your land and the impact and benefit it has on those around you and the community will all form part of the legacy you leave behind. Therefore, to ensure the most favourable legacy, it is essential to create development success with the correct professional team.


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