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The monthly magazine providing news analysis and professional research for the discerning private investor/landlord

The Most Important Aspect of Development

Land, Planning and Development Specialist Paul Higgs comments on ‘Instructing the optimum scheme design’

Last month I talked about how, drawing on my many years of hard work and experience, I've turned the most important aspects of what people want and need to know about property development into my step-by-step INSIDER SystemTM. I outlined the first three steps: Identify (finding the very best off-market opportunities and deals), Navigate (quickly understanding the potential of any site) and Secure (controlling the deal and maximising profit whilst minimising cost and risk). The fourth step, Instruct, is the key part of the whole process.

Generating the very best land, planning and development deals will only happen if you can raise land values significantly above their Existing Use Value (EUV), thereby creating a situation that's attractive enough to make it worthwhile for a land owner to do a deal with you. The way you do this is through creating the optimum site design - which is where all the magic happens - and it's both an art and a science. Exactly what you need to do to optimise land values is right at the heart of my INSIDER SystemTM. It's the developer's job to 'Instruct' everyone and everything in order to ensure the very best returns are realised for all stakeholders.

The better you become at this, the higher land values you can achieve, giving you a greater chance of agreeing a deal whilst at the same time creating very large profit margins. Even when dealing with openly-marketed sites (which those that know me and my system will recall is NOT what I recommend you look for), the only way to buy these sites whilst still maintaining your profit margins is by creating the optimum design. Basically, the more value you create, the more there is to be shared around. The whole process, when done the right way, is all about adding and creating planning value.

So to reiterate, as the developer or trader, it's your job to raise the land value by assembling, coordinating and instructing the professional team. What you don't do is simply contact an architect or a planning consultant, and say, 'here's a site, what
can I do?' That's not how you'll optimise a site's value and, as I've mentioned previously, if an architect or planning consultant knew everything that they needed to know to make huge profits as an experienced land trader or developer, wouldn't they be doing it? If you are lucky enough to find a good architect and planning consultant and you ask the right questions, you should receive some good initial advice, but you will only get the optimum outcome (i.e. maximum land value) if everyone is given an extremely detailed brief.

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