As a property developer, obtaining your resource and building consent is a significant milestone. However, the journey is far from over. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to consider next to ensure your project proceeds smoothly and successfully.


1. Detailed Review of Consents

Thoroughly examine your resource consent, engineering approvals, and building consent in detail. The conditions imposed within these consents provide a roadmap to achieve Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) and titles. Failure to satisfy any conditions could jeopardize your project.


2. Firm Up Your Costs

Now is the perfect time to refine your budget. Resource consent plans often lack the detailed information needed for accurate cost estimation. With detailed plans now finalised, you can obtain more precise quotes from your builder, accounting for structural elements and other critical details.


3. Engage a Contractor

Select a contractor contractors based on experience, past performance, qualifications, licenses, and certifications. Assess their financial stability and ability to procure resources, a crucial factor highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Review references and inspect previous work. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best—physically visit past projects completed by the contractor to inspect quality.


4. Identify additional approvals

Besides your resource consent (RC), engineering plan approvals (EPA), and building consent (BC), there might be other permits required before you start work. These may include close approach permits, works over approvals, or vehicle crossing permits. These may be critical risk items, and failure to secure them could halt your project. For instance, agencies like AT or Vector might decline applications, leading to site shutdowns. Ensure you have a workable solution before drawing funds from your development finance lender.


5. Form a Project Control Group (PCG)

While typically associated with larger commercial projects, PCGs can benefit smaller projects too. The team usually includes the architect, builder, and yourself but can also include your engineer & surveyor. The PCG oversees the project, making crucial decisions that affect its direction, funding, and success. Regular meetings should be held to review status, address issues, and make necessary adjustments to keep the project on track.


6. Ensure No Neighbor Approvals are Required

This should be done during the due diligence phase, however it is always good to revisit this. Neighbor approvals might extend beyond the location of physical services to include site access. Certain construction methodologies may require temporary access for material delivery (e.g., via crane). Avoid such situations whenever possible. Additionally, consider how your work schedule might impact site access or interfere with other parts of the site.


7. Consider a Quantity Surveyor (QS)

Most banks require a QS to review and verify costs, material quantities, and project timelines. QS reports cover almost all project-related risks and support payment claims lodged by your contractor. Banks typically have an approved panel of QSs, so consult your lender before hiring. Note, some non-bank lenders, such as ASAP Finance may fund projects without a QS, reducing costs and simplifying the drawdown process for experienced developers.


8. Develop a sales strategy

Work with a real estate agent to optimize your sales strategy. A clear sales strategy maximizes profits and can inform decisions regarding funding partners and financial objectives. For bank funding, presales will be required necessary – in which case you will want to consider engaging an agent that specializes in selling off-plan properties. Alternatively, you might decide against presales, opting to sell on completion. In this case, a non-bank lender might be a better fit for your project and you can broaden your scope with regard to what agent you want to engage.


9. Engage a competent lawyer

A good lawyer is essential for transacting and settling property, drafting presale agreements, reviewing construction contracts and loan documents, handling sales, facilitating settlements, and managing contractual disputes.


10. Get tax advice from an accountant

Consult and accountant to optimize your project structure. Ideally, this was done before purchasing the development property. If not, consult an accountant to determine the best ownership structure, GST position, and profit distribution strategy. Many lenders offer GST facilities for progress payments, requiring timely GST return filing and a monthly GST cycle.


11. Choose the right Funding Partner!

Your choice of funding partner is as critical as choosing the right builder. If presales and cheap funding are priorities, a bank may be the best option. However, in a challenging market, meeting presale requirements can be difficult. Non-bank lenders like ASAP Finance can offer more flexibility, funding projects without presales, QS appointments, or fixed-price contracts. This can be beneficial for builders or project managers seeking greater control over their projects.

It is extremely important to conduct due diligence on your non-bank lender. Not all non-banks have the same product offerings, risk appetite, or ability to service clients. Additionally, there are nuances in how they are funded, which should be a key consideration when choosing your funding partner.

Speaking to past clients, such as property developers and builders, is a great way to gain insight into how a lender conducts business. Google reviews and client testimonials can also assist in your decision-making process.

By carefully considering these steps and engaging the right professionals, you can navigate the complexities of property development more effectively and increase the likelihood of your project’s success. We will happily review your consents and project budget free of charge to provide an indication of whether we can finance your property development, so contact us now!