39 – How marketing can take your property developing to the next level


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Manage episode 214908823 series 2419074
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.
Today on the show we are going to be talking marketing, with one of Australia’s leading small business marketing advisers, and I’m sure you will get plenty of value and ideas from the discussion we have. Before we get to that, here’s an update on what I have been up to. In the last episode I mentioned that we had been to our tribunal hearing and we’re waiting on a decision. Well, we have received the ruling from the planning tribunal following our appeal against council’s decision not to grant us a permit. So the tribunal decided to uphold the council’s decision. Which means we lost. The tribunal member decided that our proposal was too big, compared with the footprints of the neighbouring properties, our design didn’t match the neighbourhood character of the area, and there was insufficient meaningful landscaping. It is obviously very disappointing to lose, we felt we had a strong case given the location and zoning, but the tribunal felt otherwise. So we have to take the decision on the chin and move on. Lessons for real estate developers from a planning tribunal loss It certainly was an experience going to the tribunal and I learnt a lot from it, some of the key lessons I learnt are: 1. The risk of confirmation bias. I was confident that what we had proposed was acceptable for the location given the planning controls and strategic policy of the local council, and this was shared by all the consultants we engaged to advise us. They all believed what we had put forward was acceptable, and because it aligned with my own thinking, it strengthened my own belief. However, we were all wrong, but I am the one without the chair once the music stopped. I remember reading about how Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon, also appreciates the risk of confirmation bias and forces the company to challenge its assertions and ideas to ensure they really are robust, and not just nice ideas that lots of people like. And it goes back to the adage of there being nobody who cares more about the project succeeding than you. So be aware of the risk of people telling you what you want to hear! 2. The significant impact a tribunal loss has on the momentum and timing of your business. We have essentially wasted 18 months getting to this point. This is time we cannot get back. We are basically back at square one, looking at another 12 months minimum before we get a planning outcome, which is pretty frustrating, given how long it takes to bring a project to market and get it finished. This lost time leaves a hole in my future pipeline of works. The key lesson to be learnt from this is the importance of having multiple projects at different stages so that a set back in one project doesn’t derail your ability to consistently be progressing your business. 3. Appreciating the risk associated with property developing. In this case I underestimated the planning risk of not achieving a permit. I did identify it as a risk when I was planning the project, but I felt our mitigation strategy would be to go to VCAT and succeed there. Obviously that didn’t work, so next time I may have to reign back my expectations on what is possible from a design perspective. There are many more lessons that I learnt but those are probably the big three. As I mentioned, it is very frustrating to lose but we have to cop it on the chin and move on. Fortunately the market surged during our holding period so the land has gone up in value, so we aren’t facing the prospect of losing money on the project, but we have to decide whether we sell up and realise our profit early, or start again with a new planning application. I will let you know which way we decide to go… Marketing for Property Developers Okay, on with the show, my guest today is Tim Reid, one of Australia’s leading advisers and commentators on small business marketing. Sales and marketing of a project is such a crucial piece that I wanted to speak with Tim about how property develope...

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