The Complete Guide to Property Development

The complete guide to property development

The complete guide to property development.

Free: The complete guide to property development

This is a VERY detailed guide to property development.

The aim of the property development course is to help empower people to get involved in property including property development.

Society is currently failing to build hundreds of thousands of badly needed new houses each year so there is plenty of room for everyone to build property and grow their wealth.

This guide is MEATY and will only get more detailed. If you want a taster of this guide go here for a less than 5 minutes summary of this guide which is designed to give you a quick overview.

What is property development ?

Property development is the economic activity where value is added to a property for profit for the benefit of the developer and the community.

Examples of this are:

-purchasing a decaying house and refurbishing it and selling it to a young family
-buying some agricultural land and obtaining planning permission for something that is needed in the community e.g. a school, shop or houses
-investing in a piece of land or property and building something of greater value – for example buying an old house, demolishing the house and installing twenty new apartments

Property development can be for small developments such as refurbishing an apartment or it can be for whole cities! The same core principles in this guide apply to all situations.

If you are interested in starting making money in property development remember to start small and work your way upwards – nobody starts out with building 500 apartments at a time!

Who is this guide for?

This guide moves away from basic but sound financial skills and property investment to more difficult skills.

This guide is perfect for someone who wants to start earning lumps of cash in a relatively short period of time. This person wants to start buying properties with issues, solving those issues and then selling fast for a good profit. (this is called flipping)

These people are motivated by short term increases in wealth. They want to make money fast so that they can become wealthy fast. They are interested in long-term investment to build a nest-egg but also recognise that there is money to be made fast in delivering what the market wants, now.

The guide is suitable for:

  • Employees looking to flip their first property
  • Self employed looking to flip their first property
  • Investors looking to flip their first property
  • Anyone looking to do more than flip such as build an executive house, multiple units
  • Flip properties at scale

What will you learn to do ?

Part 1: Beginners guide

At the end of this guide (once you have actually implemented the steps) you will:

  • have started and finished your first property flip
  • have flipped your first property
  • will have earned a cash profit

Part 2: Flipping properties at scale

This guide will also go on to teach you:

  • how to start building your flipping business from one property to multiple properties
  • how to introduce systems into your business to ensure that you have a good work-life balance

At the end of this guide (once you have actually implemented the steps) you will:

  • have a successful property flipping business
  • be making regular lumps of money from flipping properties
  • grow your business using systems to move into larger property development projects

Part 3: Notes on improving your property to build equity

This guide will also go on to teach you how to improve your property to build equity within the property:

  • Extensions
  • Loft conversions
  • Basements
  • Refurbishments

Part 1: Beginners guide

Deciding on a property development strategy

There are many different property development strategies

We at the property development course advise people to pick one strategy and concentrate on this one strategy for at least a couple of years.

Examples of property development strategy:

  • Planning gain Read more here
  • Flipping small properties flats, small houses Read more here
  • Refurbishing old properties
  • Extending small properties
  • Executive houses
  • Estate houses
  • Small blocks of apartments
  • Large blocks of apartments

How do you choose a property strategy? All property strategies have different advantages and disadvantages and there is no one strategy that suits everyone.

Once you have picked the property strategy that suits you then you can move onto the following steps of property development:

The steps of property development

  1. Having an Idea
  2. Feasibility
  3. Business plan
  4. Setting up your team
  5. Paperwork
  6. Book appointment
  7. Agreement in principle
  8. Search for property
  9. Buy property, land
  10. Planning permission
  11. Marketing
  12. Solve problem/add value
  13. Health and safety
  14. Sell
  15. Review
  16. Repeat

Step 1 Having an Idea

All development ventures start with one idea.

This idea must be within your chosen property strategy.

If you have chosen planning gain as your property strategy and you start dreaming up ideas of flipping the house next door then you need to stop.

Pick one strategy and then develop ideas within that one strategy.

So if you pick planning gain, then only consider ideas that concern planning gain.

Otherwise you will be chasing your tail.

Step 2 Feasibility

It is one thing having an idea, it is another exploring this idea on paper to see if it is viable.

We explore all our potential property ventures using a feasibility plans.

It is much cheaper and faster to explore an idea on a piece of paper than just jumping right in and ‘learning from experience’ or ‘learning as you go’.

What is a feasibility plan ?

What is the 70 per cent rule ?

How to calculate construction costs ?

Step 3 Business plan

Once you have determined that an idea is indeed feasible, the next step is to create a detailed business plan.

You should identity strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Key features of a business include studies of your potential market and competitors.

How to create a business plan ?

You should have your ‘elevator pitch’ ready so you can describe your business plan and pitch in an instant.

Step 4 Setting up your team

While creating your business plan you should have identified who your team will be.

This will include an Architect, quantity surveyor, engineer etc. This also known as creating your Power team. Read more about Power Teams here,

Who is the best quantity surveyor in London?
How do you become a quantity surveyor?

How do I appoint a quantity surveyor ?

Step 5 Paperwork

Once your business plan is complete it is time to get all your personal finance paperwork in place and ready for inspection from potential lender

Step 6 Book appointment

You need to contact lenders and book appointments to discuss your business plan. (see that you are not looking to discuss an idea, you have a detailed business plan to pitch).

Types of finance for property development:

Step 7 Agreement in principle

If you find a lender who will invest in you then you will have the equivalent of a letter from them saying they will back you. This makes it easier to have sellers take you seriously.

Step 8 Search for a suitable property

If you do not already know which property you want to buy (perhaps your business plan just says ‘old out of date three bedroom houses in North London’ then you can start searching for suitable properties.

Step 9 Buy property, land

You purchase the property

How to buy a property ?

Step 10 Planning permission

If you need planning permission you can apply for it now

What is an Architectural technician ?

Who are the biggest Architects in the UK? 

What is the RIBA plan of work ?

How to find and hire an Architect ?

Do I need planning permission ?

What do you need to know about building regulations ?

Step 11 Marketing

You need to market your property before you start the construction works so as to gauge the interest of the market.

How to market your property ?

If you are building multiple units then a fully completed marketing suite can be a great idea.

Step 12 Solve problem/add value

This means construction:

The top 100 construction companies in the UK

Who is the best builder in London?

How to find and hire a building contractor

Why you cannot get builders prices ?

Health and safety in construction saves lives and prevents injuries.  You need to be on top of this:

What is the health and safety executive?
Does the HSE have enough teeth?

What are my health and safety obligations in construction?

Lessons from a worker death (fallen from heights)

Lessons from a worker death (fallen pile rig)

Step 13 Sell

Sell the property

Learn how to sell properties here

Don’t be too trusting

Step 14 Review

Review your results versus your business plan

How to review your property venture

Step 15 Repeat

Learn from your mistakes and do better

Step 16 Grow

Keep developing more and more properties and perhaps turn it into a full time job.

Part 2: Flipping properties at scale

How to start building your flipping business from one property to multiple properties:

More guidance coming soon

How to introduce systems into your business to ensure that you have a good work-life balance:

More guidance coming soon

Books for property developers

We curate a list of our favourite books and audiobooks on property development here

Part 3: Notes on improving your property to build equity

We appreciate that some people would like to start small before developing their first property.

Introduction to equity building using DIY:

It is very simple to start developing your existing home. You can refurbish your house one room at a time.

By simply painting your bedroom, installing new carpet and curtains you can get a taste for what developing a property is like. Try some DIY and pay professionals where you need some help.

If you can refurbish your bedroom then you can do your guest bedroom, sitting-room, hallway, bathroom, kitchen, garden….you can do the whole house.

Equity building using builders

There are some projects where you need some experienced builders to install foundations, blockwork walls, roof, windows etc

You need budget for the best builders and get the following works completed:


How to organise someone to install an extension – coming soon

Loft conversions:

How to organise some to install a loft conversion

Should I tell my home insurance company about a loft conversion


How to organise someone to install a basement – coming soon


How to refurbish your property – coming soon