There is a healthy amount of speculation involved in property development, but successful property developers use a variety of tools and resources to reduce the amount of risk involved. And the best property development tools combine several different resources giving you fast access to rich and robust data for decision making.
Tools for Zoning & Planning
Finding suitable lots and sites is a big part of property development, but equally important is knowing how these sites are zoned and what type of development is allowed. Normally this is an arduous and time-consuming job, but there are tools that simplify the process while also giving you access to all the data and information you need, such as:
- Approved land use, not only differentiating between residential, commercial, or industrial, but also the type. Residential land use does not always mean townhouses or apartment buildings are allowed.
- Restrictions on the number of floors allowed, and the maximum building height.
- The size of the lot and the maximum site coverage allowed.
Having easy access to this information not only allows you to quickly find suitable sites, it also makes it possible for you to compare multiple sites to determine which would be the most profitable to develop.
2D maps that are viewable from different angles are essential but supplementing this with recent high-resolution aerial images and 3D maps unlocks much more valuable data. And although it doesn’t completely replace the need to visit potential sites, it can make it easier to do initial assessments remotely.
Services such as the satellite part of Google Maps are useful, but the images are not high-resolution, and you have no idea how recent the images are. Areas that are being rapidly developed could have changed significantly and you would not know until you visited the area. You would have to use a tool such as Nearmap to get access to high definition aerial imagery that are updated frequently.
Feasibility and Due Diligence Tools
Part of your feasibility study and due diligence is informed by zoning and planning details, but like 2D maps, this still lacks depth. Rich data from Corelogic and BCI Australia provide insights into recent and planned developments–through all stages of development from planning, through to approvals– within the area you are looking at.
Using tools like Domain and Commercial Real Estate, you would also get access to details of all recent property sales in the area, broken down to type, size, number of days on the market and the selling price, along with historical data relating to vacancies, floor space, and amenities. Information that is essential for proper due diligence and feasibility reports.
It goes without saying that a project management suite is crucial to efficient property development, so instead our final tool essential to property developers is something that allows you to quickly create concept designs yourself. We aren’t talking professional architect level designs, but rough concepts that allow you to experiment with different layouts and scenarios. Archistar’s built-in Design Generator AI allows for rapid creation of any number of design concepts and check for compliance, including building analytics such as solar access, cross-ventilation and overshadowing.
The Archistar platform also integrates data and reports from 17 expert industry partners covering all the essential tools property developers need, including the ones discussed in this article and more–for use at almost any stage of the development process. Book a free demo of our platform and we will help assess if Archistar is the tool you need, before showing how the platform will help your business.