Property Development – Procuring your A-Team

Development projects are often complex and generally necessitate the involvement of several different parties. For this reason, it’s vital for a Developer or to assemble the best team possible to ensure success. This is where the concept of procurement comes into play.

Simply put, procurement refers to the action of obtaining a physical item or service; in development terms, this refers to securing the team best suited to a specific development/project. While there is no set procurement strategy, certain methods may even be counterproductive, so it’s important to adopt the right approach upfront. 

Riverlight Development’s Laura McLoughney provides us with some insight into her views on Project Management and how best to procure the most-effective development team for a given task. When wearing a “Developer’s hat”, she suggests, “the best approach is to break this process up into three parts: Design, Management and Execution. These ultimately form the basis of the goal you’re trying to achieve.”

The Design phase entails sourcing an Architect, Structural Engineer, Mechanical Engineer and Planning Consultant, to name a few important parties who may be involved in the initial phases of the development process.

Management, Mcloughney’s second phase is where you would look at employing a Project Manager, Quantity Surveyor, a Legal Adviser and various Financial Professionals. The management component of the team is in charge of helping the Developer see the project through to its finish.

For a large development, it may be useful to consider employing an additional party at this stage to oversee the overall project; an independent surveyor that is part of the Developer’s team who works alongside and also oversees the Project Manager to ensure that the Project Management is in alignment with the goals and objectives of the Developer.

Thirdly – Execution is the stage where the Building Contractor steps in. The Contractor is ultimately responsible for implementing and executing the development in conjunction with various subcontractors.

Having identified the three phases involved in the development process, the next step is to source the teams best suited to each phase. Initially, it is essential to create a pre- qualification list; this assists in determining the exact expertise required and ultimately helps condense the final list of prospective professionals.

With an established shortlist, it’s time to turn to your network (Why not look at TrustedLand’s Developers Directory? This will ultimately assist in the procurement of the specific professionals that you are seeking.) A sound network goes a long way towards ensuring that the relevant and most suitable candidates are available for selection and likely to meet procurement needs.

Having compiled a list of Professional Candidates, it’s time to conduct interviews. Ultimately, Developers will need to conduct their own Due Diligence on these “recommended” professionals to determine whether they will be a suitable fit for the project. Aside from interviews, it’s a good idea to examine public platforms and documents to obtain additional information, such as the relevant legal, insurance requirements, references, etc. This process assists in creating the most suitable working framework.

When procuring a Development Team, it’s essential to have a clear idea of the exact specifications for the development. The Developer needs to provide a concise brief in order to select the professionals best matched to the needs of the development.

Finally, McLoughney reminds us, when assembling the Development Team, it’s important to remember that good communication is key. “How are you going to work together? What kind of contractual conversations are you going to have?” These are all questions that need to be addressed during the early stages of the procurement process in order to prevent issues further down the line.

Have the “tough” administrative and contractual conversations early on to ensure that the project runs smoothly and with a good sense of team collaboration.

Building trust is vital to this process. A team that trusts one another and has belief in one another will form the basis for a strong Development Team. Trust and value matching are key components to team work!


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