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Construction Project Management for Property Developers


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How can project management support property developers?

Managing property development projects can be complicated, time-consuming and stressful, especially for developers who are developing multiple sites in multiple locations at any one time. Hiring a dedicated project manager can save developers time and money, as well as increasing their capacity to deliver more. This means that multiple sites may be developed simultaneously, allowing them to scale their business at pace.


Here's an overview of a few of the areas in which a project manager can add value, helping the developer to avoid costly or timely compromises.

 

Artists impression of a new development at St Peter's College, Oxford University

Project Planning and Coordination


One of the fundamental roles of a project manager is to meticulously plan and coordinate all aspects of the development process. This includes defining project scope, establishing timelines, and creating detailed budgets. For a property developer, having a project manager proficient in these areas ensures that they can focus on the strategy and commerciality of each deal. This frees up their time to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible.

 

Budget and Cost Management


Effective cost management is crucial for the success of any property development venture. A project manager can assist developers in accurately estimating costs, identifying potential cost-saving opportunities, and closely monitoring expenditure throughout the project lifecycle. Maintaining financial transparency and accountability helps keep the project on track.

 

Risk Assessment and Mitigation


Property development projects are often subject to various risks, ranging from regulatory hurdles with planning permissions, to unforeseen construction challenges. Establishing a comprehensive risk assessment, identifying potential threats, and devises proactive mitigation strategies will aid the development through this landscape.  This proactive approach minimises disruptions and enhances the project's resilience against unexpected setbacks.


A communal kitchen in an HMO is completed, ready for furniture to be installed.

Vendor and Stakeholder Management


Collaboration with contractors, architects, engineers, and local authorities is essential for the smooth execution of a property development project. A project manager acts as the primary point of contact, facilitating effective communication and managing relationships with all stakeholders. This ensures alignment of interests and promotes a cooperative project environment.

 

Quality Assurance


All developers want to deliver a high quality product, ensuring tenants are provided with a great place to live. The project manager will oversee quality assurance processes, ensuring that construction adheres to industry standards and regulatory requirements but, most importantly, to your expectations. By implementing tight quality control measures, the developer's reputation is safeguarded and the property's market value is enhanced.


Landscaping to the exterior of an HMO property development. Plants have been set out in the borders, ready for planting in their final positions.

Timeline Adherence and Project Efficiency


Time is of the essence in property development, especially for small developers aiming for the most effective allocation of resources. A detailed project schedule will monitor progress against milestones, and swiftly address any delays or bottlenecks. This proactive approach maximises project efficiency and accelerates time-to-market.

 

Adaptability and Problem-Solving


In any construction project, challenges are inevitable and property development is no different. A skilled project manager excels in adaptability and problem-solving, swiftly addressing issues as they arise and implementing agile solutions. This flexibility is particularly helpful to property developers, ensuring that their projects stay on track, no matter what the challenges.


The exterior of a new-build, four-storey HMO

In essence, the role of a project manager is critical for the success of property developments. By leveraging their expertise in project planning, budget management, risk mitigation, and stakeholder coordination, project managers help developers to deliver their projects efficiently and effectively. This allows them to develop multiple sites simultaneously and, thus, increase the capacity of their business.

 

If you're a property developer looking to embark on your next project, consider partnering with a skilled project manager to unlock your project's full potential.

 

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Author

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Darren Hewitt



Darren has over 25 years experience in the construction industry. Within this time he has led and delivered construction projects for major blue chip clients.


Darren has held senior roles in both client and consultant organisations. This gives him a full understanding of the construction process and level of stakeholder engagement required to ensure successful project/programme outcomes



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