The residential property market is challenging at best, no matter the size of the developer. Therefore in a comparable mindset to ourselves, developers need to provide an edge in regard to their offering, up and above the competition. Notwithstanding that, it needs to be coupled with a viable appraisal to ensure that whatever form of exit is chosen, it maximises profit. Achieving this stems from a mass of marginal gains, and certainly not only within the developers remit, but that across the project team also.
With a growth in demand, and prime locations diminishing, developments can only increase one way; skywards. This brings further challenge to the cost per square foot of construction, and the buildability of the scheme due to often being within highly constrained surroundings. All placing further pressure on the appraisal. Naturally, a balance needs to be struck to demonstrate viability, confidence to senior debt funders and ultimately, a return.
Those marginal gains therefore need to be established from the absolute outset, driven within a team possessing sufficient knowledge as to the likes of balancing mix, ratios, efficiencies and standardisation of floorplates. Aside from landing on a palatable build cost, the next challenge is to accelerate the return on investment. This requires a well-considered and structured approach to marketing and phasing in order to release units for sales; balanced between maintaining the fluidity of construction, yet with appropriate segregation and a positive level of resident experience.
The role of the project manager is therefore far more extensive than the simple realms of delivering a scheme to a number or otherwise within a set period of time. It requires much more industry intelligence.