What does a property developer do?

30/7/21
Emma Davey
Development

Property development demands a wide range of challenging activities and project processes, with the best property developers needing a high level of experience and industry knowledge to successfully create dream homes for their customers.

What does a property developer do?

A property developer is someone that builds new property or renovates existing homes before selling them. This involves purchasing land or properties, enhancing them and increasing their value.

Is it easier to hire a property developer or do it independently?

Anyone can become a property developer, but the risks involved in the process make it much easier and beneficial to hire an experienced property developer.

An experienced property developer will have the latest knowledge regarding changes in the property market or wider economy, as well as new regulations surrounding the development process – all of which could cause significant issues if the developer was not aware.

What is the process of property development?

The property development process is not as straightforward as some may think, and the numerous stages can often be confusing and difficult. The most critical steps in the property development process can be split into 5 stages, all of which work towards providing a customer their dream home.

Locating the site

Finding the best possible development site is always the first and most important stage when beginning the property development process. Experienced developers will have the knowledge and network of contacts to ensure new sites are being continually located. A strong strategy for knowing where to look and who to contact for off-market sites can result in the best locations being sourced for customers. Only when this stage has been completed can you continue with the following stages.

Development appraisal

The development appraisal includes researching into the opportunities and restrictions that originate from the site location, physical characteristics, legality, and planning.

The best property developers will be able to efficiently organise their initial site or full cash flow appraisal depending on the stage of the development project. Experience and knowledge it critical in this stage as it can become very complex.

Risk assessment

With the site located and development appraisal sorted, it is now time to evaluate the main risks involved and address them. This could include anything concerning legal, financial, and physical constraints, as well as the surveys, design, utilities and planning/statutory considerations.

An experienced property developer will have a strong network of contacts to assist on this stage of addressing the risks, such as planning consultants, architects and solicitors. Once sorted, the appraisal can then be updated accordingly.

Securing the site

With the appraisal and risk assessment completed, the deal can now be closed and the site secured. This is not always in the hands of the property developer, as in many cases the sites are obtained through bidding in a property auction or by an agent who has set out strict conditions for the sale of the site. However, this is not always the case and property developers with the necessary knowledge can take control in securing the site through a variety of avenues, all dependent on the situation. It is highly unlikely that two deals will ever be the same, due to the varying nature of the line of work and industry.

Permissions and construction

With the site secured, the design planning and other permissions and process can now commence. The permissions are the most important to obtain first, as without them the building project cannot be started. This includes the planning permission, as well as other permissions such as building regulations and controls.

The design stage will reflect the desires of the customer, and the best property developers will have the contacts to ensure the customers dream home becomes a reality in the most efficient way possible. From here, construction can take place under the watchful eye of the developer.


Bruckland Developments specialises in the design and construction of exceptional residential homes in south-east England. With a wealth of experience, we are recognised as a premium house builder. We have an exciting portfolio of developments and we also create bespoke homes for individuals. Our developments are situated in desirable locations across south-east England and we cater for a range of home buyers and property investors. Developments are high spec and designed with modern living in mind.  We create outstanding family homes, properties for professionals, couples and individuals.

Contact us to make your dream home a reality.