In this article, I’m going to breakdown the importance of time being a first time property developer running residential development projects.

Including 5-time killing tips to guarantee you rinse every dollar out of your next project.

Let’s do it!

Time management when running development projects is nothing new. It’s essentially the ability to organise and plan the time spent on activities in a day.

A direct result of good time management is increased effectiveness and productivity. Which is a fancy way of saying you make more money.

As residential property developers working all over Melbourne, there’s no question that time is enemy number one. If you aren’t on top of your time it’s mind-blowing how fast it can get away and how much money can be sucked out of your project.

Poor time management has a snowballing effect. It’s the smaller tasks that cost you a half-day here or a full day there that can start to stack up pretty quickly with those days turn into weeks and weeks into months at a rate of knots.

As the property developer, you need to understand that it’s you against the clock. The faster and cheaper you can finish a project without compromising its integrity the more money you make. It’s not rocket science.

Completing your project quicker means, you see your money faster meaning you roll into the next project and repeat.

Here are 5 tips that will have you killing your time as a first-time property developer.

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1. Schedule Everything

At Little Fish, we schedule every single actionable task required to complete every project. No matter how small or insignificant the task might be.

first time developer tasks

As the developer, it’s your job to know exactly what needs to be done and exactly when.

You need to understand that every day has a dollar amount attached to it, so it’s important you ensure no hours or days are wasted due to poor scheduling.

So, make sure you schedule out all of your tasks from the very beginning of the project and continue refining it all the way to the end. 

2. Prioritising Your Time

Prioritising your time as a first time property developer is going to become critical as you make your way through your project.

As the saying goes, when it rains it pours. So you are going to go through periods where it feels like everything is coming at you.

This is fine, in fact, it’s pretty standard in the developing game.

The key here is to learn how to prioritise your time correctly. You need to stay focused while methodically moving through your to-do’s in the order of importance.

Prioritisation is all about identifying the most important tasks at any given moment. Then giving those tasks more of your attention, more of your energy and off course more of your time.

It sounds simple, but I can assure you it’s not. There are plenty of beginner property developers out there that think they have it sussed that are leaking time (and money!) and they don’t even know it.

So be conscious of prioritisation, it’s something that deserves your respect.

3. Set Reminders

I can’t stress the importance of setting reminders. It doesn’t matter how you do this. The key is to have some kind of reminder system in place that works for you.

first time property developer

There’s no point having everything scheduled only to get distracted or pulled in a different direction to end up forgetting whatever task you were meant to complete.

It happens all the time, as the property developer you’ll have things coming at you from all over the place.

Things that can and will distract you so you need to make sure you have a fail-safe system in place that reminds you at the exact time you need to be reminded to do whatever it is that you need to.

Don’t be one of those old heads that thinks you’ll remember everything, and nothing will slip through the net. It’s just not realistic at some point something will slip through the net and that something will be costly.

It’s also unnecessary as there are countless reminder applications and options out there that you can leverage – so there are no excuses.

Once you set up your system, train yourself to use it and trust in it – believe me, you’ll thank yourself.

4. Follow up the Follow Ups

Most people tend to follow up, definitely not everyone but anyone worth their salt would generally follow up.

It could be following up to see if something was completed. If something was delivered, scheduled, booked whatever the case may be.

BUT the most efficient and successful real estate developers they take it a step further and follow up the follow-ups.

Use your reminder system to set up follow up reminders.

Then, if and when it makes sense set a reminder to follow up the follow-up. Sounds extreme I know, but if you’re into making as much money as possible from your developments then these are the types of things that need to become part of your day to day.

The second follow up is generally for confirmation. It’s to confirm what was supposed to be done has actually been completed, or someone that promises you something has in fact followed through on that promise.

If working to this level of efficiency doesn’t sound like you, maybe you should consider engaging a project manager to help with your development project – it’s a high stakes game and needs to be treated as such!

5. Never Assume Anything

Assumptions can cost significant time and money so it’s critical you train yourself not to assume ANYTHING.

Especially making an assumption that something has been completed or someone has done what they were supposed to.

It’s a trap for a developer to trust in people that promise you things. It happens all the time, you’ve followed up to confirm so you would be forgiven if you ticked the completed box and moved on.

As a first time property developer, this is not how you want to roll, your mindset should trust no one and assume nothing.

In most cases whatever was supposed to happen or get done may actually get completed no issue.

But I can assure you the 99th out of 100th time is the one time that something important that has a serious knock-on effect and that was supposed to be done actually wasn’t.

It will bite you on the arse when you least expect it. So you need to train yourself to be disciplined enough to never assume anything otherwise you’re playing with fire. Expensive fire.

So never assume anything. EVER.

As per tip number four, follow up and follow up again, always get confirmation.


In conclusion, as you start your journey as a multi-unit property developer it’s important you give due respect to all five-time killing points I’ve shared if you are serious about knocking your projects out of the park and maximising your profits.

These 5 strategies are about working smarter not harder. 

It only takes one small thing to slip through the net to negatively affect the outcome of your development project. Or it can be a collection of small things not hitting the mark on time that accumulates over the duration of your project that in the end cost you a lot of money.

The worst part, in this case, is that you won’t even realise that you’ve left money on the table.

So, if you are going to take the leap and get started as a first time property developer you want to make sure you respect time and leave no money on the table at the end.

Kill your time, kill your project.

Learn more tips and tricks on how to become a real estate developer.