74 – Developing property in Japan


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By Justin Gehde. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Ruskin McLennan from Peak Niseko on the Property Developer PodcastDeveloping property in another country is not something most people would turn their minds to, but opportunities exist everywhere and maybe it’s not as hard as you think, as my latest guest explains about his experience developing in Japan.

Some developers focus on a particular location and become an area specialist, others branch out and explore across a city, some go further and look interstate, but very few look beyond the borders of their home country.

In this episode we speak with someone who ended up doing projects in Japan, and what an interesting tale it is. I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Justin’s Project Update

I’m well, still in lockdown in Melbourne, have to say I am pretty bored of it all and looking forward to some changes but who knows when that will be… anyway, work continues slowly at my site. The drainage people are on site digging trenches and installing big pipes and pits around the place, which is great to see. Checkout the Property Developer Podcast Facebook or Insta feed to check out the short video I shot of the drainage works being done. On the sales front we are seeing a bit of a surge of interest, which I think is due to pent up demand and people wanting to act after some lockdown restrictions were relaxed a little allowing private inspections. Plus the Homebuilder grant is due to expire in a few months so that may be creating some urgency for buyers to act and take advantage of the money on offer. It is good to see some activity back in the market, I hope it continues.

On my other project, I am assessing what to do as there is a moratorium on evictions in Victoria until March next year so we cannot get our property vacant until the middle of next year which has an impact on our planned timelines. It certainly is an interesting time for the property industry. Hopefully government incentives and support measures continue to be rolled out to help keep the sector viable and vibrant.

Learn how to develop property

If you are interested in learning how to develop property then remember we have the mentoring program that is available to help guide you through the process of becoming a developer. It’s a great program that will teach you lifelong skills and help you unlock value and wealth from real estate. If you would like to know more then email me Justin@propertydeveloperpodcast.com

Property development in Japan

Okay, on to today’s guest, who’s story I am sure you are going to love. This discussion is a reminder about the many different ways that you can become a developer, and it doesn’t even need to be in your own country!

So I am speaking with Ruskin McLennan who has spent decades doing real estate projects in Japan. Ruskin started off tackling a ski resort project, learnt a few hard lessons and then got heavily involved with land subdivision, which he is still actively doing today.

There were so many questions I had for Ruskin, like how does a guy from central New South Wales end up doing property deals in Japan? Why would you develop in Japan? How difficult is it to do developments there? Who are the buyers? And so many more. This is a fascinating discussion, one that I really enjoyed, and I’m sure you will too.

Lessons for real estate developers

What an interesting journey that Ruskin has been on, I really enjoyed speaking with him about his experiences in Japan and what he has learnt along the way. Here’s a couple of things I took away from the conversation:

1. You don’t need to develop property in your local area

Okay, so I’m sure you understand that you don’t need to develop property in your local neighborhood, but I’m guessing the prospect of developing property in another country has probably not been at the top of your list! But it goes to show that property development opportunities can exist anywhere, including in foreign markets. So, maybe it’s not that scary a thought of doing a project in another state or even another part of the city…

2. Understand your capability and risk appetite

As Ruskin found out, it was all well and good to get a permit to build a ski resort, but they didn’t have the financial means or skill to physically develop the property, so he was wise enough to recognize that and bring in somebody who could take over the project. And from then on he realized he was better suited to land subdivision and sales. This is a good reminder to be aware of what you can handle and are prepared to take on, so understand your limits and what areas of the development process you are prepared to push through.

Alright, I trust you enjoyed that conversation with Ruskin, if you did then you might want to go back and take a listen to the episodes featuring past guest Don O’Rorke who Ruskin mentioned was the guy who came in and took over the ski resort development, Don has been on the show a few times and is well worth the time to listen to his advice and wisdom. You can go back to episodes 52 and 53, and hear Don share his tips on how to build a billion dollar developing company, here is a taste of what you can expect, Don talks a fair bit about his philosophy of pulling deals together. I assure you it is worth going back and listening to Don talk about property developing [https://propertydeveloperpodcast.com/2018/11/14/52-how-to-build-a-multi-billion-dollar-property-developing-company-part-1/].

Remember to email me if you are interested in learning how to develop property, justin@propertydeveloperpodcast.com and I can send you some further info.

And you can catch my project update videos on Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/propertydeveloperpodcast] and Insta [https://www.instagram.com/property_developer_podcast/] at Property Developer Podcast, plus lots of other news, views and fun things.


Peak Niseko Property – www.peakniseko.com
Justin’s project update – https://www.facebook.com/propertydeveloperpodcast

Pics from Justin’s Project

Drainage works are underway at my latest townhouse project. Trenches are being dug, pipes are being laid.

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