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

Three Lessons - Starting and Scaling a Property Investment and Development Business

Property developer Anna Harper comments

At any scale, and in any industry, starting and growing a business  is challenging, and a steep learning curve.

Starting out and scaling up in property investment and development over the last few years has seemed an especially challenging journey, thanks to the many regulatory, political and economic changes affecting the property market.

My business partner, Stefan, and I started our first property business together three years ago, and our property development business two years ago. So, no surprise it’s been a sharp learning curve, with plenty of challenges! Over this period, we have built
c. 60 units of accommodation worth £8m+, having raised c. £3.5m equity to fund the projects, and we are currently working on c. 40 more. We also sourced c. £5m+ worth of property (20+ flats and houses).

I’ll be the first to say, it hasn’t been an easy ride! Over the last three years, I have learned more than I did in three years at Cambridge, five years in the city (whilst investing on the side) and the rest of my life, combined. Perhaps the most significant thing I have learned though, is the importance of attitude…seeing ‘learning opportunities’ (challenges!) as a chance to grow.
Carole Dwek described this as a ‘growth mindset’. It’s not something most people get taught at school, but when the going gets tough, it’s worth thinking about!

The point of this article is to share some of the most important - and specific - lessons we have learned, directly and through the experiences of those we have been close to or worked with. Similar themes are relevant across industries and business sizes, but are especially relevant for those who are starting out and scaling up in property investment and development.

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