FIVE WAYS TO STAY ORGANISED DURING YOUR NEXT PROPERTY PROJECT!
The most important aspect of the planning/management phase of a profitable property project is organisation. It is essential that you are the most organised person on the project and that you know exactly when and how each task is to be completed and when the materials are to be delivered.
Below are our five top tips to help you stay organised and manage your next property project as effortlessly and efficiently as possible!
1. Have a system in place and stick to it
If you are a newly minted developer then there are only two ways to develop your systems. The first is through the school of hard knocks, go out and get stuck into a project, make mistakes and learn from it each time. The other and more preferable option would be to get some advice and direction from someone who has already made the mistakes this sort of advice could save you thousands of dollars. You renovation system should cover all aspects including, how to find a project, how to evaluate a project, how to plan and manage a project and how to sell a project and everything in between. Once you have your system in place check it every day and stick to it, this will stop you making silly and costly mistakes.
2. Do not always assume the best of people
On our second project we had a tiler booked in about a month before we needed him on site. The booking was in writing with an email confirmation. Fast forward 4 weeks and I called him the day before to check what time he was going to be arriving. I still remember the call clearly "No I definitely don't have any jobs booked in for you, I am far too busy for at least the next 3 weeks". We flew into panic stations and somehow managed to find a guy to start a couple of days later and complete the job. The moral of the story here is always assume the worst of people (in the best way possible). Make sure that you triple check every aspect when it comes to planning and management whether it is the trade tasks and times or material specifications and deliveries or something else. Check, check and check again!
3. Don't be afraid to pester
After working in my previous job in the Middle East and Africa I have developed the "skill" of pestering people as much as humanly possible to get a job done, my wife however finds it extremely difficult to follow up as she feels awkward a lot of the time.
It is important to understand when dealing with trades and suppliers that you are only one job out of 50 they may be dealing with. Sometimes things slip through the gaps and people forget so it is your job to make sure they remember. When you are following up with contractors and suppliers just make sure to always be polite and friendly but don't be afraid to insist agreed dates, times and prices are adhered to.
4. Always expect and pre-empt delays
When dealing with almost all renovation and development projects, it is rare that everything goes exactly to plan and on schedule. We have had delays due to council approvals, weather, illness, delivery timings and countless other things. When you are planning and managing your projects it is extremely important to be on top of when contractors are due to start work so that you can keep in touch and confirm everything is on schedule. If there is a delay somewhere there will be downstream repercussions with your other jobs so if you find out early you can handle it without any issues.
5. Stay calm and be flexible in your approach!
This is probably the most important point. If you want to be able to complete profitable property projects, make some good money and avoid having a heart attack then you need to take a breath, stay calm and approach the plan with some flexibility.
As mentioned in point 4 things will always change and there will always be a certain amount of uncertainty. It is naive to think that when dealing with so many different trades and suppliers that everything will be exactly on schedule. Having said that if there is a delay due to one issue or another you need to review your plan, come up with a new plan of attack, and notify the contractors of the change. Nine times out of ten it will be a small issue and you might lose a day or two. Even if there is a big problem and you get pushed back by a week or more you need to keep it in perspective. A weeks delay will cost you some holding costs and a headache of re-scheduling trades but the project is still profitable and it is definitely not worth losing any sleep over.
Applying these five principles has helped us move complete over 10 development projects while remaining happy and relaxed. Hopefully they will help you work through your next project as well without loosing too much hair!
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