52 – How to build a multi-billion dollar property developing company (part 1)

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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.
Does the idea of creating a multi-billion dollar property company sound exciting? How do you create one? We speak to someone who has done just that, and we find out how he did it. Don O’Rorke is the executive chairman of Consolidated Properties Group. Consolidated is one of Australia’s leading development companies with a current work book of more than $2 billion. It is a privately owned company that has delivered more than 200 projects over the last 35 years and is at the forefront of creating places that people love to live, work and shop. As a founding member of the company, Don has successfully shaped the business over the past three decades. Don was only 23 when he knocked together his first commercial deal. This was a fascinating conversation as we look back over the many significant projects that have shaped the company, starting with a small commercial project in suburban Brisbane. Don shares his insight into how they did it, what they learned and how things have changed with property developing over the decades. Don was very generous with his time so this ended up being a long chat, so I have broken it up into two parts. Part one covers the watershed projects that have helped catapult the business into bigger things, and part two covers many of the lessons and tips that Don has learnt along the way. In this part keep an ear out for how Don looks to put deals together, how he did a major deal with the commonwealth government at age 26, and what he does to manage risk. And remember if you are interested in learning how to develop property then email me justin@propertydeveloperpodcast.com to find out about the mentoring program that is available to help you get started on your journey to becoming a successful property developer. Lessons for Real Estate Developers There was so much gold in the first part of the discussion, and there is so much more to come in part 2, so make sure you tune in to that when it drops. Here are three things I took out of what we have talked about so far: 1. Be ambitious and curious as a property developer Don mentioned how he was always ambitious about growing the company, and curious about exploring how deals could be structured. There are many creative ways to structure deals so why don’t you start exploring what is possible. Don said he was getting advice from people he knew, so go looking for creative ways that could get your next deal off the ground. 2. Manage key development risk through partnerships Don talked about how on their Casuarina project they off set some of the risk through effective partnerships with the land owner and builder. And on the law courts project they partnered with more experienced consultants to off set their inexperience. And this is good advice, if there is a part of your project that needs bolstering then try searching for somebody that can help strengthen it. Whether it be finance, planning, selling or construction. 3. Try to keep property transactions simple I like how Don said he tries to keep things simple. And he does that by trying to put himself in the shoes of the person on the other side of the transaction. This way he can find options to make a complicated transaction simple. For example, with the law courts project he knew the government preferred the location of the land they had, and he just needed to work out how to satisfy the other things they wanted. By working on keeping it simple he has grown a massive business. Okay, that’s it for part one of the discussion with Don O’Rorke from Consolidated Properties Group. Make sure you tune it to part two where we talk about how you can structure your developing business for growth and also discover one of the most expensive lessons Don paid for. He has a framed cheque for $200,000 to remind him. So make sure you listen in when that is available. If you are enjoying this conversation with Don, then go back and take a listen to episode 15 where I speak with...

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