澳洲Australia property Project Manage a development + full time

在澳大利亚 I need some advice regarding a property purchase. Property - semi-detached house Bedrooms - 2 Condition - average needs internal reno to modernise Street - one of the best in suburb Location - excellent Close to schools - yes Transport - 50m The pool at of an IP needs to be resurfaced (or so the pool doctor says), the cost was estimated to be $10K ($10,000), after recoverying from my impresssion of a cat coughing up a fur ball, it just seems far too much. Its just a standard poo

Hi all,

First post. I've been reading through the wealth of knowledge on this site, good find.

Question for anyone who has project managed a 6-8 unit development, is this possible whilst also holding a 9 to 5 job? In the initial stages of site aquisition, design and waiting council approvals etc, I can't forsee a problem. Once construction starts, I'm thinking site visits in the AM on the way to work would be feasible. Does this sound doable?  

only if your 9-5 is flexible

I'd say only if your 9-5 job is flexible and allows you to take a few hours unpaid and/or flexi time to deal with the unexpected emergency (and they will happen - probably weekly :)).

If not flexible then I would say no - and even if flexible it is likely to be a struggle.

Any chance of perhaps working part time for awhile?  

Thanks for the reply FL :)

I do have a bit of flexibility in the job and leaving to attend to an emergency is not out of the question. Weekly might stretch the friendship a little though! I do have a retired builder father who would be willing to put out a spot fire here and there if required.

Expecting it to be a bit of a juggling act, hoping to hear it's not impossible.  

Who's doing the building? You or the builder? If you, then forget the 9-5 job. If you have the builder involved then yes you can provided you are flexible at times.  

Definitley not doing the building, my role in the project is selecting the site and coordinating architect, builder, etc.

Thanks :)  

This is very possible and anyone can do it if they want to. I currently:
- work full time for a public listed company
- studying (part time) online uni - Bachelor of Property
- managing our own 3 x town house development in Brisbane
- also acting a development manager for another member from somersoft for 5 + unit site.

The process gets easier once you have been through it, from site acquisitions, DA approval, BA approval to tendering for builders. You need to surround yourself with an "A team" such as good a town planner, architects, engineers, real estate agents etc who are each professionals in their own field. You don't necessary need to know everything about town planning or how to build a house but having basic knowledge is very helpful.

Hope this helps.

It's definitely an advantage to have your retired builder father available to help/represent you in any case where you're not physically available.

Are you currently looking for a site in Brisbane?  

i did a 16 unit development some years ago, project managed..........i run my own business so hours were flexible for me.............still i wouldnt do it twice...........

my personal opinion is that you really need to be hands on more....i found it quite difficult to concentrate on my own business and manage muppets on a job site who often cannot think for themselves let alone read a tape measure.

either your job or the construction will suffer somewhat.............

its not an easy task i promise.......possible for sure but time management no matter how good you are at it will cause issues.

quit your job, go in as an apprentice or labourer under someones watchful eye if your fit and keen......that way you can be on the job site and be available daily at a moments notice....and learn something to boot!

two friends of mine did just that and now work for themselves in the building game..they were in their 30;s when they did apprenticeships........

best of luck..  

Or, if you want to keep your current job and this is just a one off development for now, you could hire or appoint a competant assistant/organisor/project manager to assist you, and overlook your project when required.
Simply an expense and add it to your development costs.  

About 3 years ago we renovated a very house into bachelor suites.We hired the carpenters and tradies to do the work. My husband was there all the time, because there were always questions needed answering.
He was also the "gopher". It also showed we were serious and they knew not to slack off.

If you can't be there, have your father/friend there on your behalf.
It was a full time job for us..even if we just cleaned the rubbish away.
The more my husband did, the less the carpenters had to, which kept the bill down. They were being paid by the hour, while the other tradesmen were paid by the job.  

simple answer is no
if you are not there the numbers will go thru the roof
the only other way is a turn key deal again you have to make sure that the numbers are right and thats not a part time thing
any unit development is alot of work and is not a part time pop in now and again
its a major job 6 units is about a 1.2 mil build and that can go well thru the roof if you do not keep an eye on whats been done
there are heaps of property where the builder has gone bust and you are holding the can and you need to know this very early
if your dad is there from 6 to 7 each day inc sat thats fine but thats not a pop in thing
the only way to do a development part time is to have five people taht do 1 day each a week
this does work but is a small syndicate
or a turn key but even then I would go there everyday just to make sure
at 1.2 mil its your money as the funder will come after you and your full time job will not cover the debt
so the answer for me is no
a house or duplex maybe (even then for me no) but a unit development no chance
the risk would be just to high
even with people watching a development they still go bust
if you don't understand the builder and the payment system and you don't have the system right
maybe post have you had a development where the builder went bust.
answer yes
3 for me
and I have full time guys
how are you to be able to make sure you have the triggers right if your not there
if you get a call from the electrician saying have you got the keys for the gate as the ATO just paddlocked off the site becuase the builder didn't pay his gst what are you going to do tell your boss that you are popping out for 5 mins
that little problem will take about 4 weeks of work with the ato to get over
in the mean time all the contratcors are ring you to see whats happening
do you turn off your phone (alot do)
or your boss says you have a call from the painter because he got it from someone and whats to know when he is paintingthese are not hypo's this is the real developing
I have two phones as alot here will know
why because people ring on issues all the time.
just 1 month of a 12 month development and not you but your boiss will ask you to decide what you want to do
and with 1.2 mil in debt what will you decide
it will then not be a part time job.
a unit development is not like ikea or flat pack
its hell of alot of work and is not part time work
its not like playing xbox
there is a million and one problems that come up and you as owner carry them all
the builder builds it but any problem is your problem
ATO/council/neigbours/builder building wrong place/drawing wrong/paint different/water pressures/drainage/power/shadowing/bank charges/bank inspections/qs charges /qs wrong/fights between trades/lock ups as trades running late/fines/
do I need to go on
part time
give me a break
oh and talking of a break for the 12 months that the development goes for you can't go on holiday you can't go out side the city.
a ten unit development takes about 2 to three people to manage if you want it to suceed
and they do there different parts
you and your dad good luck
I don't normally say luck as you make your own luck but in this case you are going to need it
would I do it on my own
not a cat in hells chance
and thats me full time  

You are so right.
From the time we started our development, the building code changed and it cost us $25K..which to us is a lot of money.
We were informed by our first contractor (who we later fired) that it would be approx $40K project.
It was $100K+
We almost went bust.We were naive, and just knew we had to finish.
It turned out well and we finished 3 weeks late.

The property still needs finishing touches, and maybe someday they will get finished.:)
In the meantime it is making us lots of money.  

Thanks for the replies everyone, a varied response it seems.

grossreal, thanks for the comprehensive reply. If by 'turn key' you mean a construction company manages the construction and hands over the finished product, then yes, it will be a turn key deal. Hence the site visit on the way to work to keep an eye on how things are progressing. I couldn't imagine doing this any other way part time.

kathryn d, there's no way I could hire the tradies etc and coordinate. It has to be managed by the builder/construction company with them doing all the subcontractor hiring and coordinating etc.

ace in the hole, yes, looking for a site in Brisbane. Will have the funds available from Oct/Nov this year so looking to purchase from then on. Just need to find a site that stacks up.

csc2, were you acting as the site foreman or was there a builder managing the subbies etc?

rexilla99/Jason, sounds promising! Thanks for that.

Appreciate you all taking the time to reply.  

Hi Jamar,

Good luck with your project.
I'm looking to do one in Brisbane too (multi unit development), part time also, but interstate for me.
Closing in on a possible deal which will cost around 3 mil.

Grossreal has outlined many various risks involved, thanks.
I supposed it also depends on your investing personality and risk profile, risk vs reward.  

Ace in the Hole said: ↑
Hi Jamar,

Good luck with your project.
I'm looking to do one in Brisbane too (multi unit development), part time also, but interstate for me.
Closing in on a possible deal which will cost around 3 mil.

Grossreal has outlined many various risks involved, thanks.
I supposed it also depends on your investing personality and risk profile, risk vs reward.Click to expand...
Good luck with yours too mate. Once you've sealed the deal, would love to hear a little more about your project.


hi couple of questions
how big is the builder
this is very important when doing turn key
is the funder wanting a tripartate loan
whats in the contract if the builder defaults
is there personals from the builder.
turn key sounds fine but make sure if the builder goes bellup you have your a-- protected
turn key the builder needs to be up over 15 mil on his bank balance
at a 1.2 mil build 15 is 9 or ten to one
so 10% of his bank balance any lower and you are looking at risk.
not sure about the drive past
if its my deal even turn key I would be doing a bit more then drive past
1 all contractors have my number and if they don't get paid to ring me
2 all major contractors have the owners mobile or land line and ring each week to make sure its on track
3 check the ato for outstanding gst for the builder
4 check the fair trading on the builder if they have any major complaints
5. check google all directors of the building company know who they are and what they have done
6.do a credit check thru land title on each and every director of the building company and see if any hairs there if so make sure they are not a problem.
7.make sure that your legals understand building contracts if not use a contractual lawyer
8.get all payments signed off by your accountant
9.check all and every contarctors super/ license and authority to work.
10. make sure you have insurance on the deal and that insurance allows to finish off yes expo depending on the builder but well worth it.
the above is the min they would be another 10 these are off the top of my head  

Thanks grossreal, that's an excellent reply. Mitigating risk is so important, learning from your experience is much appreciated.

I haven't selected a builder yet. This project is in it's infancy right now. Selecting a builder is 6 - 12 months away. Newbie question, how do you go about determining the builder's bank balance?

When I say visiting the site on the way to work I mean being on-site from say 7 until 8 am to give me a chance to discuss progress, make decisions on non-urgent issues etc. Then a couple of hours during the day say once a week. So my plan is to spend some time on site.  

get your account or legals to get them to send thru the last 2 or 3 years of tax returns
what you need to check it the ato that they do not have any out standing gst issues
very important
they will tell you there bank balance if they want the job
balance or equity is fine even checking these and not only I check but the others check as well and still three got thru the net
so it not an easy thing to do
developing I was told is very much like gambling
and the more I look at it the more I think thats true  

Hi Jamar,

Lots of good advice to your query.

For what it's worth I completed a 8 townhouse development with a joint venture in 2008. There were 3 of us that shared the project management duties between us which worked really well as we all had other jobs.

With regards to the actual project management of the build we recognised we didn't have the time or the expertise to manage on site so we engaged an external project manager. We interviewed a number of project managers but decided to go with a guy from Charter Keck Cramer in Melbourne. He was fantastic and was very reasonable as well. He cost around $800 - $1200 per month from the tender through to completion of the build.

Another option for you to consider...  

Too difficult especially if you don't already have the contacts (ie architects, builders, tradespeople etc) and experience working with them specifically. They will probably delay, make really spastic mistakes which cost $$$ to rectify. Something as simple as coordinating their times and making sure the right people are all there at the right time will be a nightmare (because if one guy has his phone off, got the wrong time, is a no-show because he's an a-grade @$$hole etc the other guys prob can't even do the job). Much better off paying a project manager with contacts to manage all that. Even then it's a big risk for someone who doesn't even know the project manager... could be a retard for all you know.

My parents are constantly fitting out commercial places for their businesses and their own commercial buildings are always under renovations/developments as diff tenants move in and out, and even something like that (ie not building from scratch) requires semi-FT during the busy periods. My own experience on my own small-time development and renos is a nightmare as well and the very first time I blew money here and there quite easily, but luckily it was small in the scheme of things and small in the scheme of my income. But you're commiting a fair bit more relative to your income. Bit hard to go part time, even FT is hard in itself...  

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