by Brynley Little

Through our Property Developers Academy courses, and on my travels meeting people interested in property development and investment, I always tell them we’re not really developers – we’re marketing people. Because we’re creating stories, not just property.

Property development isn’t about bricks and mortar – those are just part of the process. In fact, creating and growing a successful development business can be narrowed down to four areas: passion, people, product and process. Let’s take a closer look.

By this I mean always try to be the best. And then be better. What is driving you to be successful in property development? Is it your love for architecture? Maybe it’s helping others and making a difference in the world? Perhaps it’s about having the creative license to leave your mark on an ever-changing landscape? Is it the money? Or, more importantly, how can the money have an impact on your life, and the lives of your loved ones?

Of course, it could be a combination of all of the above. But what I have found evidently clear from listening to expert property developers is their passion for breathing new life into landmark buildings. Because every building has a story to tell.

The success and failure of any business comes down to the relationships we build and the people we have around us. So it’s important to invest time in cultivating and nurturing good relationships with people throughout the property development process. Time invested at the beginning may not produce the short term pay-off, but as time progresses, the seeds planted will grow – and those relationships will blossom.

The product you are creating – in most cases – is going to be someone’s home. It’s much more than merely somewhere to live. If you want to put yourself head and shoulders above the rest of your marketplace, then remember to concentrate on where people want to live, rather than where they have to live.

So, whether you’re developing property to sell or to retain in your portfolio and let out, you’re selling the dream to someone; you’re providing the backdrop for your tenants or buyers to create their own stories. In many cases, if you can get the ‘feel’ right, you will often achieve higher prices and make quicker decisions.

What may be surprising to some of us is the similarity in the process when doing billion-pound development deals, and creating new neighbourhoods, to a single plot build or converting a building into apartments. Yes, the physical process and the financial input is vastly different, but, essentially you are creating a product, marketing the product and selling the product.

As long as you have the passion, you’re open to learning, you have the right people around you, and you’re committed to your own success, there really is nothing that’s stopping you from being a successful and confident property developer. Be daring, and dream big – and create your story.

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