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The World’s Best Property Development Strategy

Ritchie Clapson, co-founder of propertyCEO, comments

I’m not entirely sure what the printed equivalent of clickbait is, but hopefully the title of this article doesn’t set too many expectations that I can’t subsequently and rapidly fulfil. I’m only two lines in, so it could go either way at this stage. But, if, by the time you read this, the article is called “Here Are A Few Development Ideas”, then it means that the editing team at PIN have adjudged that my bar was set too high. And if it’s called “The Gypsum King: My Career in Dry Lining”, then you’ll know my efforts this month were so bad that it was replaced by one of the secret stash of emergency articles that every editor has up their sleeve to keep regular contributors on their toes.

But, at this early stage, let’s think positive. What do I think is the world’s best property strategy? As I sit here surrounded by a range of post-Christmas detritus, I can’t help but think of chocolate. This thought isn’t usually season-dependent, but today, it’s been prompted by the remains of a (nearly) empty box of Quality Street sitting on my office sideboard. Now, I’ve probably overthought this massively, but I suspect every family in the country has a Quality Street ‘profile’. Some like the soft centres, while others prefer something they can get their teeth into a little more. And, of course, everyone has a personal favourite: a ‘go-to’ chocolate that you’re prepared to have a good old rummage for rather than rely on the ‘lucky dip’ approach. You may even be prepared to fight a parent or sibling for ownership. You may recall that such was the popularity of ‘The Purple One’ (hazelnut pieces in caramel, in case you’ve not indulged) that the makers brought out a box of Quality Street that contained nothing else, effectively making it the Man Utd of confectionary while also, one suspects, promotin familial harmony.

(Editor’s note: Ritchie, you just lost a lot of readers who support Man City or Liverpool)

This is all very interesting, but what does it have to do with property development, I hear the magazine’s editing team loudly say. Well, there’s an analogous connection between the two that I thought might set the scene quite nicely. Quality Street and property development each have two distinct genres, within which a raft of further subcategories exist. In the case of Quality Streets, your two main genres are hard centres or soft centres. And in property development, the equivalent choices are new builds or conversions. Let’s start there before our hand delves any deeper into the box. 

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