Property Development Lifecycle – What You Need to be Thinking About and When

Are you looking to undertake a townhouse development project but need advice around what needs to be actioned and when with relation to the property development lifecycle?

Well, stick around because in this article I’m going share exactly what you need to be actioning and at precisely what point in the development process.

When running residential development projects, no matter what type or size pre-planning is not only the first but one of the most important steps of the entire project.

There is no question that poor planning will directly impact the outcome of your project.

For the purpose of this article, we are going to assume that you’ve already secured a site and your project is underway.

My goal is to get you up to speed with the property development lifecycle and what you should be thinking about at each of the key phrases in your project’s lifecycle.

1. Design Phase

The first step of the property development lifecycle is to get your land surveying done. So, your features and levels and re-establishment surveys.

You would then engage your drafty and it’s this information from the surveys that they will use to plot your project.

In parallel you will need to come up with a design brief, explaining specifically what you are hoping to achieve with the site.

It is important that you don’t hold back. The more information and direction you can give here the better.

That said, you still want to ensure your drafty has the ability to use their knowledge and skills to maximise your site

I suggest you focus on the look and feel and leave the initial footprint and layout to your drafty.

It’s good to get your drafty’s raw and uninfluenced ideas on how the site should be developed and then, of course, you can then evolve from there.

During this preliminary design process is when you would engage the town planner.

It’s vital that you get their contribution and feedback with the preliminary design to ensure that it aligns with your areas planning objectives and requirements.

This will minimise the back and forth with council saving time and money.

Your planner is also responsible for pulling together your planning report that supports your final town planning drawings submission to council.

Below is a breakdown of the design process::

  1. Land surveying
  2. Engage drafty
  3. Design brief
  4. Town planner

2. Town Planning Phase

In this phase of the project, you can expect a lot of waiting. You are waiting for feedback from the council in relation to your application.

Your overall aim in the phases is to achieve your planning permit and ultimately your endorsed set of drawings.

The key is to be ready to respond as timely as practically possible when you do receive your requests for further information from the council.

And never forget that time is money. 

3. Working Documentation Phase

Once you have your planning permit and whilst you are waiting for your endorsed drawings there are circumstances where you can proceed with your working drawings.

If your project team is confident that the conditions of the planning permit won’t change the design this is a way to make up some time whilst waiting for the endorsed drawings.

In this phase of the project, you will be arranging all of your working documentation such as the working drawings, energy, engineering and civil.

We also put a lot of time into the specifications.

We make our final decisions on all fixtures, fittings and finishes.

This guarantees that when we tender out to our subdivision builders, they all have the same information to price the project.

And most importantly they don’t need to make any assumptions.

Once your documentation package is complete this is when you go out to the builders you have identified to suit your project and run your tender process and ultimately appoint your builder.

4. Demolition Phase

The first thing you need to be thinking about in this phase is the abolishments of the existing gas and power.

The demolition cannot happen until these have been taken care of.

Typically, the abolishment’s take up to 20 days from the application lodgements, but it can take longer which is something to be aware of.

Something else to be aware of is that is no abolishment required for water. Usually, your demolition contractor will cap the water at the metre.

It is important to note that asbestos on your site has the ability to delay your demolition process.

Prior to the commencement of the demolition, it’s your demo contractor’s responsibility to identify any asbestos and arrange its removal by special contractors.

If this step is missed, you risk your site becoming contaminated with asbestos which can be costly to clean up and is guaranteed to cost you significant time and money.

5. Build Phase

The key here is to allow the builder to do their job.

As the property developer, it is your responsibility to arrange for the service connections at the relevant times within the project and as agreed with your builder.

These connections include water, NBN, power and GAS.

It’s also your responsibility as the developer or project manager to be working through your plan of subdivision conditions.

Your goal should be to achieve timely registration of the new titles towards the end of your project.

This ensures that you can settle your off the plan sales within 14 days of the project’s completion.

Finally, in this build phase, it is also your responsibility to hold your builder accountable for both time and quality to ensure a perfectly executed build.

Your mindset should always be to support the builder. You work with them through any challenges that they encounter.

At the end of the day, you’re a team and you both share the common goal of delivering a successful project.

6. Completion Phase

development lifecycle

The focus here is on finalising the build, the subdivision approval, the registration of titles, achieving the certificate of occupancy and working towards any pending settlements.

If you’ve done all the prior steps in a timely, efficient and effective manner then this phase of the project should be straightforward.

If you miss something it can cost significant time and money so, make sure you keep your finger on the pulse right to the end.

Well, that’s it, the property development lifecycle in a nut-shell.

Wrapping Up

Are you still looking for expert advice? Perhaps expert help in managing your development?

Why not reach out to our team here at Little Fish, we would love to hear from you 1300 799 277.

townhouse development melbourne

peter kelly

To put it mildly, Peter Kelly is enthusiastic about real estate. When he’s not looking at properties, or visiting potential sites, Peter can be found online at realestate. com. For him, it’s more than a job – it’s an obsession. Peter is a co-founder here at Little Fish Property developments.